In the two years that I have been a mother I have not just learned how to be a parent, I have also learned which tools are really necessary as well as the luxuries that are worth adding into your home. One of the first overwhelming experiences you can have as a parent is deciding what to add to the baby registry. You haven’t even held this tiny person yet and you are supposed to know every single thing you need to buy in preparation. That’s a lot of foresight to ask from a person.
As I sit here writing this post, my home is currently clean. Like actually clean. Like everything is orderly and put away. There might be a pile a boxes on the counter waiting to be dropped off at USPS, but, overall, things are looking pretty damn clean. And why is this worth mentioning? Because today just felt so much easier than it usually does. My day was pretty usual. Woke up before 5am for barre, had a yummy breakfast, showered and dressed, woke up and fed the twins, played in their room while a contractor cleaned our chimney, went to the grocery store, made lunch, played a bit, and put them down for a nap. If this were any other day, the beginning of nap time means me collapsing on the couch with a bag of snack food while simultaneously watching Netflix, reading blogs on my laptop, and checking Instagram on my cell phone. This goes on for an hour or so while I contemplate the chores I’ve been putting off and stress about everything I have to do. It feels nearly impossible to lift myself off the couch and pry my iPhone from my hands just so I can accomplish SOMETHING before nap time ends.
Happy August, folks! I’m kicking off this month with a quick recap of the 30 Days of Less Screens challenge I completed from June 17th-July 18th.
Of all the self-imposed challenges I have completed, this was, by far, the most difficult. To recap, I challenged myself to complete the following during the 30 day period:
- no social media
- limited TV
- limited cell phone
- limited computer
- more blogging
I have spent the better part of the last two years primarily focused on one goal – making my life intentional. It started first with culling my wardrobe, then editing out unsafe, potentially toxic products from my personal care regime. Eating healthier was next, then getting regular exercise. But discovering the concept of minimalism and learning to live with less has been the most beneficial step in my goal towards living intentionally. When I removed shopping as a hobby and stress reliever, there was another habit that took its place – social media and the endless stream of entertainment available online. It has been apparent to me for a while that I spend too much time staring at screens. I’ve made futile attempts to schedule time for social media, but I keep finding myself picking up my phone to scroll through Instagram or Facebook.
Part of the excitement of starting my very first capsule wardrobe back in fall/winter 2013 was the idea that this carefully curated wardrobe would be so much better than what I was usually faced with as I got dressed each morning. It seemed like a much easier way to finally reach that goal of the Instagram-worthy closet. And in the beginning it was more about the aesthetics of my capsule than it was the functionality. I chose everything from my wardrobe that was season appropriate and then pared that down according to how well everything matched together. Which seemed like a good start. But I was forgetting to address if these pieces fit my needs. And for a while that worked. It was really easy to just over dress for work every day.
The dining room in our apartment is probably one of my favorite areas in our home. It’s purpose is purely utility, yet is has taken on this relaxed, minimal look that I am really digging. Besides the kitchen countertops, the surfaces of the dining room receive the most cleaning of any area. 3 toddler meals + 1 toddler snack on a daily basis = a lot of wipe downs. So it makes sense for surfaces to stay clear. It also allows for the dining table to serve multiple purposes. Besides meals and snacks, it makes a great location for typing away at blog posts or rummaging through the mail. My husband has also commandeered the table on several occasions as a location to solder various projects for the truck.