Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Two birds with one stone

I wasn't planning on sharing this little 20 minute adventure, as it isn't a pretty one, really.  It's quite filled with grime and messy build-up actually. 

I've been on a simplifying adventure.  I've been working on little pockets here and there - the mudroom, the storage closet that holds our luggage and children's clothes waiting to be handed down to the next little one, the dress-up bin, the pantry, the door of the refrigerator.  Well, now that I look at the list, most of them took quite a bit of time.  But they look and feel so much better now!  Anyway, my task has been to get rid of the stuff that is no longer needed or no longer fits with our lifestyle choices, then organize what's left.  It meant that we reduced the number of mitts and hats to choose from in the mudroom, that all the bulk goods in bags were moved into jars in the pantry, and that the boxes with the children's clothes have been sorted through so that only a reasonable amount of clothes remain.

Today's quick project was underneath my kitchen sink.  It's definitely not a glamorous spot that will receive a lot of attention, but my reason for cleaning it out had nothing to do with the mess or grime that was under there.

You see, we have a weekly chore day.  On one afternoon a week, Tuesdays this winter, all of us do some sort of chore.  Vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms are always on the list and Nicholas and Jaelyn alternate doing these.  I'm available to help, if it's needed, but I also do chores, whether it is folding laundry or doing dishes, or de-cluttering a corner.  What I discovered was that the person responsible for cleaning the bathrooms would inevitably disappear, citing that I hadn't gathered the cleaning supplies fast enough.  During a moment of clarity, I realized there is no need for me to keep the cleaning supplies up high because Astrin never was into eating or drinking our cleaning supplies.  As she watched me fanatically scrubbing the cabinet and we talked, it became clear the thought of chowing down on the stuff under the sink had never even crossed her mind.  And the cleaning supplies are baking soda and vinegar.  The same stuff we put in our baking and our pickles.  I think we're safe.

So, my quest for an accessible and logical place for the cleaning supplies led me to under the kitchen sink.  Here's kind of what it looked like before, once I pulled all the empty jars out (which I intended to use for pouring grease into - did I really think I would need that many?).  I couldn't get too close, as I didn't want to immortalize the mess under there!

And here's what it looks like now.  Minimal.  Accessible.  Simple. 


  1. Nice! I love that you have a specific chore day! We have something similar that we do over here. I agree on your less is more ideology. Getting the kids involved in the chores is SO nice! My third just turned three and has a chore chart to follow now. I love teaching these life skills. :)

    1. It's great to hear your three-year-old is helping out too! Things are a little hit or miss with our three-year-old. I'm convinced the attitudes of those around her, mine included, determine how things will shake out.