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Something we have been working on this last month or so is finishing what we start around the house. (Or in other words, cleaning up after ourselves! Not that we're starting from scratch, but just that we all tend to get distracted and move on to the next thing before we've really finished cleaning up whatever we were working on.) We were starting to get into the often overwhelmed with messiness stage, so it was time to try something. And this has helped. So far, it has mostly made a difference around mealtimes. The kids have learned to not just clear their places, but put their dishes right into the dishwasher. (And this one little step has probably made the biggest difference!) After dinner, we all stay in the kitchen until dinner is all cleaned up. There's more we can do here but I've been grateful for the little improvements!
A few other little things -
Last week Kathie and I made applesauce and the kitchen was a pretty sticky mess (with juicy apples combined with the morning's maple syrup snow cone left to melt at the kitchen table as well as some sticky spills from the night before...) And so I filled the sink with hot soapy water and scrubbed and mopped till it was sparkling clean again. And it was a big deal -- a big batch of applesauce and a clean kitchen all in one day! (It definitely helped to have Kathie's help and her company!)
For the past few months when I've gone grocery shopping, I've come home and prepped all the fresh fruits and veggies along with putting all the groceries away. (washing/chopping/etc.) And it has been so great to have those things more easily accessible and our fridge neater and tidier too.
But, a few months ago if I'd been given this suggestion I would have either brushed it off or felt totally discouraged because who has energy left to even put the groceries away after a grocery shopping trip? So I'm happy to have found something that works great for me now, and also very sure that it wasn't something I should have been doing all along. It's just nice since it works right now.
So I'm feeling grateful for these little things that make life smoother, and even more grateful for life being smooth enough to figure out and have energy to do these little things!