View From The Glen

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Works For Me: Three Minutes to Peace

Trying something new - a blog carnival. Check out the link...Works For Me Wednesday

Three Minutes to Peace

I’m sure you’ve been there. You walk into the kitchen and lay down the mail on the table next to your purse while you pop the kettle on. The kids come in dropping book bags and rummaging through their agenda for a mountain of paperwork for you to read and sign. They plunk it on the table and spread out their books for homework. You sit with your tea and make a grocery list while your youngest draws 200 pictures of purple cats. Before you know it, the kitchen table has vanished, leaving only a pile of paper. This happens to us all the time. And as we eat at the kitchen table most nights, I’m just glad we have a 6 foot long solid pine table and, in an emergency, can just plough everything down to one end and still have enough room for two adults and three children to sit and eat.

Emergencies are one thing. But if there is one thing I have learned through trial and error it’s that a cleared kitchen table and uncluttered counters can change your day, maybe even your life.

Now I can almost hear those eyes rolling, but the kitchen is the centre of a home, and a sense of order in the centre radiates outwards. The kitchen is the first room I see when I come down the stairs in the morning to get coffee, and again when I walk through the back door at the end of the day. Coming downstairs or home at night to be met by a pile of dishes on the counter and a table containing magazines, discarded mail, and the contents of someone’s pockets (no names, darling) causes stress – the mild kind you can’t put a finger on but that builds up and makes you feel fidgety and overwhelmed. Whereas, when the kitchen is relatively clean and clear, life feels more peaceful and this has a calming effect on the whole family (because if mom’s not happy….you know the rest). I’m not talking shining-spotless-not-a-crumb-on-the-floor kind of clean – just generally clean, in order and tidy.

It takes me three minutes twice a day:
- 1 minute to clear away the accumulated paperwork and general debris (even if it’s just to put them in a bin in a closet to deal with later);
- 1 minute to wipe down the table and counters (I keep a spray bottle of vinegar & water and a cloth under the sink); and
- 1 minute to sweep the floor.

It’s habit for me now. Even though we have to be breakfasted and out the door by 7:30 each morning, those three minutes are somehow found. And after lunches are packed and dishes put away at the end of the day, I take another three minutes. Even the sitter who comes in sometimes knows the secret. And when my husband is home for the day, he knows too. So whenever I walk through the door, the kitchen awaits, clean and tidy and serene. Organized.

And seriously, it makes everything else in your life much easier to deal with.


Anonymous said...

Now THAT's Wisdom. You're so right; a messy hub makes me fidgety too. I'll be putting this tip to good use! Blessings, Whitney

Katie said...

ah, yes...the mild's been with me all day! :) You've just inspired me to go clean my kitchen!!!

Totallyscrappy said...

Picked up, wiped off counters and a clean floor are the way to every mom's happiness! A shiny sink helps, too.

Leslie said...

Popped over from WFMW and wanted to say-- I love the Oreo cows in your picture. (At least that's what we used to call them when I lived in NC.)


Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

I really hate cleaning my kitchen for that very reason. I hate having to deal with juggling all the things I bring in and so, I just drop it all on the table.

Drives my husband NUTS.

Anyway, I'm working on it! Your method will totally help