Something I’m very good at doing is making messes. Just ask my husband. When he came home to this:

He thought he’d walked into someone else’s kitchen.

Let me back track though.

Ever since I can remember, my physical space has always mirrored my mental state. If I’m in a frazzled mood, you can pretty much see it all around me in the form of dishes everywhere, clothes on the floor, random containers on the counter, etc. And it’s been an unfortunate thing for me, because when I am frazzled, a messy environment makes me feel worse. You can probably imagine the downward spiral that I’ve found myself in more than once.

The thing is, I have always wanted to be neat and organized, to have a home that was always ready for someone to stop by, to have that sense of peace and order. That’s probably one of the reasons I was so drawn to my husband, because he is the epitome of neat and tidy. In his drawers, all of the undershirts are folded the same way, facing the same direction (unless I put them in there…); he puts things away as he cooks so there’s never a huge mess, and he’s not able to relax with a sink full of anything. I admire this about him and have always (secretly) wanted to be more like him.

I’m realizing though, that for me it’s more than just wishing or wanting – it’s a whole life process change. Now that I’m running around after Eli, I don’t have time to also be running around after myself. There’s less time to be messy, but of course, also less time for cleaning.

What’s a girl to do?

Simplify.

I looked at my kitchen countertop yesterday. I had all of this on it:

  • Vitamix blender
  • Juicer
  • Food steamer
  • Cuisinart mixer
  • 2 coffee makers
  • spice rack
  • dish drying rack
  • cannister of baby formula
  • a plethora of bottles and accessories
  • two tier fruit basket
  • another fruit basket with odds and ends in it
  • 3 non-dairy creamer cannisters (which I don’t even use…)
  • unopened mail

So, yes – I do have a very large kitchen counter space. But even so, it was kind of ridiculous. And it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing either. It was frenzied. Here’s what I did.

  1. Identify the hot items. These are the things that I use daily. So that was easy – bottles, drying rack, vita mix, juicer, steamer, coffee maker.
  2. Remove everything that is not hot. As much as I love my cuisinart stand mixer, I think the last time I used it was last Christmas. So I put it up in the pantry, along with anything else I didn’t use daily.
  3. Create a home for daily use items that is NOT on the countertop. The juicer and the vitamix got their own cabinet within easy reach of the countertop. The steamer and coffeemakers stayed where they are, because they are fine. Only fruit in the fruit basket. Baby formula goes in the pantry. And I got this cutie for my bottles:

Now my kitchen has more of flow to it, and I feel really proud of it. When I came downstairs this morning, I felt good. As I drank my morning water + lemon, I felt relaxed. Clearing space is nice.

The trick is keeping it that way, eh? I’ll be doing my best.

What are some ways that you clear space in your life? Do you find that a clear space = tranquility?

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