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Small and Simple Things

Small and simple things mean more to us than we sometimes realize. In our travels, especially when we are south of the US border, we will often have housekeepers who come to clean weekly. It will be part of the rental agreement. And, quite honestly it’s nice to have someone come in and clean! But sometimes, I’ll come back into the apartment or hotel room and not be able to find something. The housekeeper didn’t notice where I kept things. And things would get moved as she would clean off the counter or even put dishes away. It creates some frustration for me.

There was a time during our stay in Argentina when I had made a trip back to the States. Upon my return, I discovered I couldn’t find things in my kitchen. While I had been away, a huge dust storm had moved through the area and housekeeping had gone in and taken everything out of all the cupboards to clean the dust out of the cupboards and the items in the cupboards, then put things back. But they didn’t put things back where I normally kept them. I had plates in drawers, canned goods in different cupboards, and flatware in a different arrangement. I had to hunt for things. Was I grateful that they had cleaned the apartment? Absolutely! But they didn’t put things where I wanted them. It was a small inconvenience that caused me some irritation.

Sometimes small and simple things can be wonderful, sometimes we don’t pay much attention to them and sometimes they can be annoying. I recently spoke with my husband about one thing that I found annoying. It was a very small thing. Every time when I would do laundry, I would wash the clothes and as I was putting them away, I would always have to turn his shirts right side out. It annoyed me to no end! Every time, as I was folding the laundry or hanging things up, I would say to myself, “Why can’t he turn his clothes the right side out?” So one day I decided to just ask, “Honey, would you mind terribly when you take off your clothes to turn the shirts the right side out so I don’t have to do it when I do laundry?" This was not a big deal. It was just one of those things that I found annoying. And of course, he had no idea it bothered me. It wasn’t a big deal for him and it was simple for him to do that. Now when I do laundry, I don’t have to turn his shirts right side out. It’s such a nice change! And I let him know how grateful I was that he would be willing to do what I had asked. I could’ve carried on with just doing what I was doing. But he would not have known that one simple act would make my laundry day simpler. Don’t we all wish it were that simple with our little ones and teenagers! That’s a whole different subject!

So think about this. Are there small and simple things that you can do for someone else, especially a family member, to make things a little easier in our hectic lives? There’s a lot more that can be said about small and simple things, so watch for another post!

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