This week's hotspot for Project: Simplify was technically the pantry and fridge. I walked into my kitchen Monday morning and saw this (and I can't believe I'm posting this for everyone to see...) :
Usually we keep up with dishes pretty decently, although the counters usually do have some dirty and some clean dishes on them (the sink separates the two). But after a busy few days and general laziness on my part (I really don't like doing dishes), things got out of hand this time.
The night before (Sunday), I was struck by a bit of self-consciousness/embarrassment. We had taken Abby to the playground, where we happened upon a couple and their daughter who live a few houses down from us. We don't know them very well, but they've always seemed like a real nice family. As the sun was going down, they convinced their little one it was time to head home and get something to eat. We were about ready to leave too, and I suddenly had the thought that I should invite them over for dinner -- we were just going to grill up some burgers and hot dogs anyway. But I kept quiet, as I thought about my current disaster of a kitchen...
And I found myself very quiet and sad on the whole walk home. I've always felt I have a gift (or at least a desire) for hospitality. I enjoy having people over for lunch on Sunday (pancakes -- it's a tradition!), and I love to plan parties. I like being able to randomly call up friends and invite them to pop-over for games and dinner on Friday night (sometimes we even bake popovers! :) .
But lately my house has not been that haven of peace I want it to be for my own family, let alone for anyone else.
So I decided to make a change. Most years, one of our New Years' resolutions is to do the dishes every night after dinner. It works for a few weeks, then, like so many other resolutions, slips away. So I don't want to say something as constraining as that. We are very involved in many different activities, and often aren't home in the evening (as you can see from the piled up dishes last weekend...).
I developed a simpler goal: At some point each day (morning, afternoon, OR evening) I want to be able to look around my kitchen/dining room/living room and say ok, if we had unexpected guests sometime today, I wouldn't be embarrassed by my house!
Needless to say, on Monday I decided to skip the fridge and pantry part of Project: Simplify this week (they're both doing pretty good anyway), and focus on other kitchen cleaning. I began by tackling that MOUND of dishes. While they were drying, I baking soda/vinegar/boiling water-ed the sink drains. Then I put ALL the dishes away (wow that never happens!), cleared the counters of EVERYTHING, and brought out the all-purpose cleaner and SoftScrub.
I even scrubbed down the stove top really well, and cleaned the microwave etc. inside and out.
Then I put the stuff back on the counters and moved on with life. And you know what? I'm ok with a few dirty dishes in the sink. I'll get to them today or tomorrow. Our house currently looks "lived in", but not messy. There is no way any mom can keep a spotless house.
This weekend we basically have no plans. Nothing tonight, nothing tomorrow, nothing Sunday (except church in the morning, and that's my birthday!! :) . I'm hoping we can be a little social and invite people over. Now if only we had a tv to host a good March Madness party... ;)