Friday, September 16, 2011

Minimalizing Update

Oh my goodness!  Can I just start like that?

Never have I had such a hard time finding things.  What is going on?!  I have fewer things, right?  Well, now I can't find them when I need them.

It started with my shoes.  I have always been the kind of person who predominantly wears one pair of shoes.  Right now I'm into wearing my sandals.  I really love them.  They are completely worn out, and I really should replace them, and I have to admit that I kind of pray that I don't wear them into someone's house because I am a take-off-your-shoes-at-the-door kind of person--even if it's at someone's house where they don't have that rule.  I just can't wear shoes in a house.  I can't.

I have also been a person who puts my shoes in one place.  Usually, they're by the front door, and at night, they go in my closet on my shelf, but for some reason, when I cut myself down on so many other things, the shoes would turn up missing ALL the time.  It was CRAZY!

Since that time, I have been in the sorry state of no underwear, no bra and tonight, no jammies.

If I'm going to do this, and be successful at it, I'm going to have to be more organized.  That's all there is to it.

The dishes thing started out beautifully.  I still LOVE the concept.  I have one child who takes dishes to the bedroom frequently.  Eating in the dining room has been a rule FOREVER, but for some reason those dishes just kind of find their way to the bedroom.  StRaNgE!  With limited dishes, that doesn't happen any more.  But, I have learned that in order to be truly successful with this, everyone has to be completely on board.

When I separated out the dishes, I didn't stow them away right away.  I put a few in the hutch and left the rest on a table.  Those dishes kept sneaking in with the ones we've chosen to use.

So, here's what I think.  Put everything away right away.  Lay down the ground rules.  Each dish is marked with an initial.  We've found that Sharpie doesn't do very well in the dishwasher for the long haul, so I think I'll probably resort to fingernail polish initials on the bottoms of dishes.  For us, the rule is the dishes come out first thing in the morning for breakfast.  After breakfast and lunch each person hand washes their own dishes and puts them away.  After dinner, they are put in the dishwasher and run at night.

It should be simple, and hopefully will teach the kids that we don't "need" everything we think we do.  I also hope it will teach them to take care of their own things.

The bad thing is that there is one person in the family that doesn't care whose stuff he's using.  He just uses whoevers is handy.   This bugs me.  It kind of defeats the whole purpose.

So, other than those things--not being able to find things I need and interchanging dishes, I'm pretty happy with this.  I really love that my clothes are limited.  Really.  I love that that's not even an issue in the morning.  I've gotten so I put a load of laundry in in the evening and put it in the dryer in the morning.  It works well.

I haven't been narrowing down anything else.  I'm still trying to get into the swing of school starting and getting up to date with my own studies, but I think we're going to attack the towels next.  I think two towels should be sufficient for each of us.

Another thought I've had is that when the kids' birthdays come around, I take them shopping and let them pick out their own pattern of dish, bowl, cup, etc. and their own towels.  That way, they have their own special thing and they don't have to have them marked with anything.  I'm thinking we only have to do it once and it shouldn't be that expensive to do.

Now if I could just find some pajamas....


TheBradyBunch said...

Each of our 6 kids has a color. We started this about 2 years ago in order to eliminate others using things that don't belong to them. Due to the added cost of getting everyone items in their color, we started in the bathroom as it was time to purchase new towels. Each child has one towel, one washcloth, and one mesh sponge. Since we purchase our toothbrushes in large packs we are usually able to allow the kids to have the correct color toothbrush. Our kids are responsible for washing their own clothes, towels and sheets (each kid has only 1 set), they boys wash their clothes together and the girls wash their clothes together. Often they will all choose to wash their bedding and towels together, but they all know if they need something clean it is their responsibility to get it clean. We haven't purchased dishes for each child yet, hopefully we can transition to this soon!

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