I gather clutter every year: paperclips, shoes that don’t fit, magazines, and leftovers in the fridge. I know a balanced life requires that I’m conscious of what I bring into my life—and that I let go of things in equal proportion. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Research shows that we overvalue things once we buy them, which is why we often live over-cluttered and complicated lives.
In theory, evening is a glorious time of day — a time to eat and spend time with loved ones and then unwind before bed. In reality, though, it’s often a stress fest – feed the kids, put the kids to bed, answer some emails, fall into bed. Or simply lost time – eat whatever, channel surf, cruise the Internet, then look up and wonder how it got to be 11:30 already.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to transform your evening hours into the respite they ought to be. Here are four of my favorite tips for a peaceful evening. I’d love to hear yours!
I don’t know about you, but I love doing the laundry when it involves line drying the load outside instead of using the dryer. It’s part pure eco-satisfaction, and I love how fresh the clothes seem as a result. It also appeals to my frugal side, since line drying can save $135 annually.
Other reasons why I love line drying clothes:
You probably think that that, as a professional chef and food writer, my kitchen is immaculate and orderly, with a place for everything and everything in its place. But I have a confession to make: My kitchen has gotten out of control. It’s a Herculean effort to drag a baking sheet out from the cabinet, where it’s wedged in place by plastic containers that are missing their tops. My knives are on the opposite side of the kitchen from my cutting boards, and I need to completely empty a kitchen cabinet to get out my canisters of flour and sugar. I could use the excuse that I have a small, poorly designed kitchen, but the truth is that I’m a bit of a slob.
OK — you’ve taken the steps to stop the uninvited clutter coming into your home and the soon-to-be clutter that you buy yourself. Great job. But your greatest challenge is before you and it’s not for the faint of heart: It’s time to reduce the clutter you already have.
I just heard the good news that my northern California city has banned fireworks for the 4th because of the 1,400 forest fires burning around our region. But why not ban grilling on a weekend when an estimated 60 million people are firing up the barbecue?