So….I finally did it.
(Nike would be so proud of me.)
I finally came up with a solution to something that had been bugging me for longer than I care to remember…and I got it done. It wasn’t life-shattering or destiny-altering by any means. In fact, my family thinks I’m slightly nuts for having spent the time doing it…and wonder why I couldn’t just leave well-enough alone. You see, since we moved into this house I have been vaguely annoyed by the way my coffee pots and accessories were arranged.
(Yes…coffee potS. As in more than one. As in three. We might have a slight obsession with hot beverages in this family. But honestly…each one is used for something super specific at special times and moods. They are all essential. Seriously.)
The pots were all crammed in this deep dark corner and the mugs were in this weirdly placed cupboard that wasn’t very easy to reach–especially for human beings of the shorter variety.
I decided I could move my cookbooks (which I still use despite my love for the AllRecipes site) to an actual bookshelf and utilize the desk space (which was actually a “throw-all-your-junk-here-to-maybe-be-dealt-with-later” space) to create a cozy coffee nook. The mugs and java- paraphernalia were organized in the cupboards above and…I have to say….I am pretty darn happy with the results.
The whole process, from start to finish, took just under two hours. During that time I also baked 4 dozen peanut-butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…so I suspect it could have gone much faster if I had focused my energy on that one task!
Look how much less-cluttered that corner looks now! (I kept one pot there that needs easy sink access.)
And look how junky my “desk” looked beforehand!
My point here is….even if my family thinks I’m odd, I’m actually finding a strangely large amount of joy in my kitchen rearrangement. It’s this silly little thing that has truly been bothering me for a looooooong time. Not bothering me in the sense of sending my life in a hideous downward spiral every morning that I had to stretch to reach a coffee mug….but bothering me in a sense of making we wish things were different each time I hit my elbow on the corner of the cupboard. However, when I finally invested the time and energy to change the situation, the problem of 3 years (that’s approximately 1,095 mornings of coffee) was instantly gone. Sure it took a bit of effort…but the payoff was totally worth it.
That evening as I made a steaming cup of tea from my uncluttered beautiful coffee area I asked myself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner???” I guess the answer is that it was one of those tasks that seems like such a pain in and of itself. I felt like it was going to take too much time or energy to perform it, and I didn’t want to give up anything else I was doing to put that effort into the Great Coffee Move. Once I did it though, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it went and how much better I felt to have the problem fixed.
So now I sit here (with a cup of coffee from the afternoon coffee maker) thinking: how many simple pleasures have I missed out on because I thought they would take too much effort–or weren’t worth the time? The joy of being able to pull out a pair of socks because I spent 10 minutes matching them is really a bigger deal than most would think! Being able to quickly find a pen or pencil because I gave 30 minutes to cleaning out the junk drawer(s) brings a disproportionate amount of joy for this gal! Not having to squint at the mirror because I actually took the time to replace the light bulbs is truly awesome!
What about the things I keep putting off because I’m worried they will take too much mental or emotional energy? Things like: sending or replying to a message, returning a phone call I know will be time intensive, updating my phone which will have 2,398 more steps then necessary, making a doctor’s appointment (and keeping it!), setting up (and having) coffee/lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in ages….
Some of these things I don’t think about until I am faced with them. For instance, I forget about how badly I need to clean out my pantry until I try to put more cans in there and realize I am out of room. I might not remember to make an appointment with the chiropractor unless my back suddenly seizes up. I know I don’t think about replacing the depleted ink cartridges until I need to print something! These kinds of things will eventually get done out of necessity. If I open the pantry and the shelf gives way and cans and boxes come careening onto myself and the floor (hypothetically speaking of course), then I will get that darn pantry cleaned out and organized. If I have to print something…I will replace the cartridges. Even if I wasn’t planning on doing these chores, there is still a deep sense of satisfaction in having them done.
Other things…the ones that take a little more mental fortitude….may not literally fall at my feet and require “dealing with”. Instead, if I want them done, I will have to purposefully and consciously make the decision and effort to Just. Do. It.
But you know what? Once I Just. Do. It. I oftentimes discover that it took waaaaay less time then I thought it would. Also, the fact that it is done takes a big item off my mental to-do list and a weight off my shoulders that I might not have even realized was there! When my closets are clean–both literally and metaphorically–I feel a lot more freedom about moving on to doing the things I enjoy.
I am going try to start paying attention to the needs-to-be-dealt-with-at-some-point-things that niggle around in my mind and peripheral vision. If I can just identify them and then suck it up and get them done, I have a feeling that my harried daily life might become a bit more simple. The time commitment tends to be something I way overestimate in my mind, and the reward is usually way bigger than I anticipated. And, if I do them when they first occur to me, perhaps they will not “surprise me” and need attention when I am in the middle of Something Super Important and become minor crises. Instead, I will relax with a cup of hot cocoa and find great joy in the fact that none of my canned goods are expired and I can fit as many jars of pickled beets in the pantry as I want.