Ain't no doubt about it, my life is exhausting. I've heard many mom's recount the years when their children were preschoolers; they describe those years as being very physical and tiring. I don't remember who said it, but these days, I relate well to the following statement: "The days are long, but the years are short."
Everyday feels like I am sprinting a marathon.
Someone has speech homework that needs completed. Potty training means taking trips to the bathroom every thirty minutes. Food intolerances require major meal planning and preparing. Special needs and PTSD beg for structure and routine. In an attempt to save money and be conscientious of the environment, diaper laundry (three separate wash/rinse cycles plus hanging to dry) requires attention every other day.
Three young, dependent children need to be dressed, bathed, cuddled, read to, and heard.
Because some of these busy life circumstances cannot be changed (my middle child WILL get out of diapers, even if it kills me), I've been thinking about the areas in my life that CAN be streamlined or made simpler.
Most recently, I read an inspiring book called, "Notes from a Blue Bike." This book has quickly become the most highlighted book on my Kindle. The author, Tsh Oxenreider, spent some of her adult life residing in Turkey. When she and her young family returned to the US, she was bombarded by the busyness and the exhaustion that is commonplace in our world today.
Throughout the book, she shares the ways that she has helped her family live more simply and more intentionally.
I could easily relate to Tsh, as we've spent extended times in other countries. I've seen a different, less-exhausting way of life, and I have been intrigued.
In the past few months, I've been naturally leaning towards a simpler, more intentional way of living. I've become burnt out on decision fatigue and over-extended schedules.
All of this to say, I've been inspired to do some extreme spring cleaning!
I have realized that if I spend less time organizing and maintaining our possessions, I will have more time to live intentionally with my children.
Camping helped me to see how few things we actually need in order to survive and thrive (we really did have a great time!), so I've been working hard to pare back our possessions and get our house organized.
This spring, I've been busy cleaning out closets and organizing toys. I've also reclaimed the disaster that is our laundry room.
One of the biggest projects I've tackled though, has been creating a "capsule wardrobe." I had way too many clothes. Like, way too many. And with all the decisions I make through the day (what to pack for Nasko's lunch, does Edward need to wear a coat, what time should Louis go to bed since he took an exceptionally long nap, etc.) I didn't need to be wasting precious brain power on creating outfits everyday. One would think that more clothes would mean that the decision of what to wear would be easier, but actually the opposite was true. It did not seem to matter how many clothes filled my closet, I still felt as though I had nothing to wear.
So, I'd had enough a couple weeks ago. I completely emptied my closet (and, ahem, Louis' closet) of all my clothes. I dumped them all on the bed.
For each and every article of clothing, I asked myself, "Would I wear this TODAY?", "Is it appropriate for spring/summer?", "Does it work with my lifestyle (mom of boys)?", and "Do I have anything else that is similar?"
A true capsule wardrobe contains closer to thirty articles of clothing, but answering these questions honestly, I was able to pare down to around 60 items (plus a small tote of winter stuff)!
My closet now contains things that I would actually wear. Also, there's room to see what items I own.
Then, using the app, Stylebook, I spent one day photographing and organizing my clothes.
I can now look on my phone in the morning, and see what clothes I own. I can even save outfits so I know what coordinated well together.
Using this app, I can even track which clothing items I am actually wearing, and which aren't getting much love. I'm hoping to be able to be more drastic about paring down my wardrobe after using this app for a few months.
Next up, is organizing my desk. How about you? Are you doing any spring cleaning in order to fight fatigue?