My one year-old son eats at the table with us for most meals. I read a book about good eating habits and child development and it suggested that children thrive when sitting at the table with adults for their meals. He sits in a booster seat with a plastic mat attached to the table in front of him. It gets pretty wild especially on nights when we’re eating something saucy.
After cleaning the little plastic mat for the sixty-seventh time I considered getting a few extras. It would be so nice to not have to clean the mat after each meal.
I quickly realized my flawed logic: we don’t have a housekeeper and no matter how many plastic mats I purchased I would never avoid having to clean them.
Sleep deprived new parents are easy prey for the myth of multiples. So is anyone with a busy life looking for more time. The idea of having multiples of everything from umbrellas to bottles to boots is often sold as a time saver for a hectic life. What isn’t sold is the hard fact: multiples mean delayed work, not reduced work, and often more work in maintaining them.
Before decluttering my home I lost or misplaced four sets of baby nail scissors in ten months. Sure, they were small but I would find them later, after I had bought a replacement set, stashed in a drawer of random items. Other multiples looking for friends.
More clothing won’t save you time in the laundry room. Now that I have a small wardrobe it’s easier for me to keep the laundry pile from overflowing. I can visually see when most of my clothing is in the laundry basket and my closet is bare. Before, with my huge wardrobe of which I only wore 15%, there was always lots of clothing in my closet. Now, I still do the same amount of laundry but I’ve created a habit of doing a load of laundry every two days.
When you break away from the myth of multiples you have space to create good habits. I’ve always struggled domestically. Cleaning house is just not my bag. I know some people love dusting their baseboards but I would much rather read a magazine or call a friend. I still don’t love cleaning but it’s become easier with less to clean. I don’t find the tasks as daunting now and have gone from ‘clean when I can’t stand it anymore’ to a doing a few small things each day. It’s become a habit instead of a dreaded chore. And I’m never losing another Saturday to three weeks worth of laundry again.
Need a pep talk on getting rid of the unused? Check out the Psychological Security of Stuff by Faith at Minimalist Moms.