Yes, I know I've been absent lately. Let me put the last two and a half weeks together for you with one simple picture:
No, that is not really me. But yes, that is how I've been feeling.
I've been stressed. I love all of the aspects of my life, but sometimes when they all pile up at once, it gets to be a lot. My days start at 5am, and most days I literally don't stop moving until I crawl into bed at 10pm. Here's a sample of a typical weekday for me and Jim:
5:00am -Wake up. Wake the baby, feed the baby her bottle, shower, do hair, get dressed, feed baby breakfast, clean kitchen while baby eats, walk dog, feed dog, feed cat, change baby, pack car, leave house at 7:15. Drop baby off, go to work. Work hard until 4:30. Pick baby up, come home, walk dog, make dinner, eat dinner, feed dog dinner, play for 45 minutes, give baby bottle, tubby time, put baby to bed. Jim studies. Kristina edits/manages photo business. 10:00pm - turn off computer, close text books, brush teeth, crawl into bed, collapse.
Man, that's exhausting just to read.
When life is crazy, things stack up, and you live in a tiny 960 square foot ranch with a husband, baby, 80lb dog, and cat, you have to find ways to keep life together. For me, our lack of space is a real thorn in my side. There is ALWAYS something in my way. And in a small space, you have to have small things. A small kitchen table. Small countertops. Little floor space. Staying on top of the clutter is key, and is something I've really struggled with since Molly came along. There just hasn't been as much time as there used to be.
A few weeks ago we were at Target, and I stumbled upon two small things that have made a huge difference, in both my stress level, and the clutter.
Our house, sadly does not have a mudroom. Instead, you walk directly into the kitchen. Consequently, the mail and all of our junk from the day, goes directly on the table. I picked up this really cute mail sorter, and it has made such a difference. Each day we get the mail, and it immediately is sorted into my pile, and Jim's. We are each responsible for our own slot, and mail is no longer lost in the mix, forgotten about, and best of all, is no longer on the table.
I got a bit crafty and made fun "K" and "J" labels for the slots in each pocket.
The organizer is placed on the wall in the kitchen, just as you walk into the house. This way it's easy to remember to use it, and since we walk by it so often, the things in there are not forgotten.
I also picked up this really fun magnetic organizer for the fridge. It's dry-erase so you can use the slots for whatever you'd like. I always have piles of things on top of the fridge that need to either be filed, or looked at later, so now they go into here. It's an easy way to organize the things that belong downstairs when we don't have time to go downstairs and file them.
This is just a start, but so far, my table has stayed clean, and the top of my fridge isn't overloaded with piles. It's funny how just a tiny change really can make a big difference in stress and time.