Monday, September 17, 2012

Yes, I'm pretty sure I had lost my mind

A few months ago I saw a post on one of the DS mom's blogs about the chores she had her child doing.  In it she had a picture of her young child much younger than Cate emptying the dishwasher as one of her chores.  She was able to handle this chore because the dishes were all stored in a floor cabinet instead of a high cabinet.  After seeing the genius in this arrangement I started to plot how I could make it happen.  If the everyday plates and bowls were in a cabinet that Cate & Lucy could reach easily then not only could they empty 75% of the dishwasher without help, they could also set the table without me having to put out all the dishes.  I liked this idea a lot and the timing is perfect because my dishes are in a pretty bad state so if they break a few oh darn that just gets me closer to buying new ones it will be worth it as it contributes to their learning process.  The concept was much more appealing than the reality though because the perfect cabinet at floor level close to the dishwasher was full of platters, chip bowls, mixing bowls, measuring cups, our electric knife and who knew what else was lurking back there. 

Well, last week I had a bad few days which included some horrible homework sessions with Cate and a few three year old tantrum periods with Lucy (including one where she had at least 30 people staring at me like I was a monster) that just left me in tears.  I needed some control in a bad way.  So what do I do to gain that control?  Did I read some helpful parenting books about avoiding tantrums or teaching math to children with DS?  Nope I removed every single item from my kitchen and put it all in the dinning room.  When I was done every drawer and cabinet was empty and all available surfaces in the dinning room covered.  I pulled up the bumpy shelf that drives me nuts as it snags and bubbles and threw away an entire garbage bag of junk like old ketchup packets and bowls of old Easter candy.  By the time I started washing the cabinet I was completely beat and starting to wonder what I was thinking.  After I finished cleaning - and by the way does anyone know how the inside of kitchen cabinets get so dirty, yuk - and walked into the dining room which was almost impossible to walk through, I was positive I had completely lost my mind.

Lucky for me my mother is a saint.  She gave up her day to come to my house on Sunday and help me put this chaos back together.  I'm pretty sure without her help I would have still had an unusable kitchen and dining room for an entire week.  Together we put down new old-fashion adhesive shelf liner (which I'm sure I'll regret at some point but right now I just don't care as long as I don't have to fight it every time I pick up the last plate or the glass on the end) and started the process of planning out the most efficient use of space.  I have a ton of cabinet space which is awesome but the cabinets are so deep that there are many dark black hole areas and large portions where stuff is stacked in front of and on top of other stuff.  Not to mention the huge cabinet filled with a hundred pieces of plastic storage most of which did not have lids and all of which had been throw in while slamming the door shut to keep the rest from falling out.  But with my mothers organizational super powers and motivation to keep me moving, we did it!  We actually got everything back in or discarded before dinner on Sunday night.  Ric bought us a new plastic storage set so I got rid of 90% of everything else - amazing how many throw away containers, I wash and don't throw away!
the new Tupperware cabinet - lids in the big while container, dipper cups in the little one
floor level dish cabinet for Cate & Lucy's expanded chore list

lunch box cabinet with little baskets from dollar store for the napkins & sandwich cutters plus a bin for the bagged snacks

My mother is so awesome that not only did she help with this project she brought over a casserole and cooked it at my house so we had a family dinner that I didn't have to prepare!  And the girls set the table pretty decently with almost no help!  So the future looks bright as far as kitchen organization is concerned but the questions remains - How long will it stay organized? and Will this little bit of control make a dent on my stress factor?
I think I'll lay off the projects for a couple weeks - I have some Project Runway and Chopped episodes to catch up on before the new fall season starts!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you are BRAVE! :-) Love it! Hope all goes well. Sammi helps me empty the dishwasher sometimes, by taking all of the *plastic* items out and setting them up on the counter for me so I can put them away.