However, since reading Lorilee Lippincott's book, Simple Living, I've been endeavouring to set aside some time every day to spend in absolute silence. For me, this is usually at the end of the day when the children are all asleep and my hubby is watching TV. I've been putting myself to bed a few minutes earlier than I usually do and I will just sit in bed and reflect on what is good in my life, what I'm grateful for, what my goals are and what steps I need to take to get there.
It is most certainly not the 20 minutes that Lorilee recommends but I am enjoying it anyway. I'm finding that my mind is calmer and more focused.
I have also been working on on keeping the horizontal surfaces of my home clear. This is something I have tried to do for years as it is a source of angst for my husband. I do have to agree with him though that having clear surfaces definitely makes the home feel calmer and more orderly. However it is a task I find really challenging. I always have something on the go and my two greatest hotspots in the home are the kitchen bench and the study desk.
My kitchen bench is the hub of our home. We eat, we talk, we do homework, bags get dumped here when we walk in, the mail gets opened, and meals prepared. There is always something on the bench during the day. I do make an effort though to clear it every evening once the kids are in bed so that we have a clear space when we wake in the morning. I usually also clear it once or twice during the day as well on days that I am home.
We don't keep a lot of household items on the bench either. Since taking this photo above I have swapped my kettle to a stovetop one. The only 2 other items on the bench are my Thermomix and a hand soap dispenser. I know a lot of people keep toasters, utensil holders, knife racks and a multitude of other items on their benches but I've found this necessary. My toaster gets put away in the cupboard every morning after it has been used. My knife block is on the top shelf of my pantry as my eldest son was a climber. He would use the handles of the kitchen drawers to climb onto the bench, toddle around to the knife block and grab whatever knife was going to suit his purpose for cutting open packages, cutting up food etc.... After a few heart stopping moments the knife block got moved and never replaced. But I like it. And I've never had a problem with keeping my utensils in the drawer and just grabbing what I need from the drawer as I need it.
Having so few items permanently on the bench makes it very easy to clean up after meal time and at regular intervals during the day. There aren't lots of items to move in order to clean the benchtop and there aren't a lot of items that need wiping over due to splatters, dust etc. It works really well for us.
Having said that, I haven't found the perfect system for keeping the bench clutter free all day while my busy little family carries on the business of life! Please let me know if you've found one! In the mean time here are some lovely drool worthy kitchen for you to admire with me!
Lorilee is offering her book for free from May 24-27 on Amazon! Go here to grab a copy! I thoroughly recommend it!