Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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Continuing War on Clutter II

So my dad and stepmom are coming in town this weekend to visit. That means I need to knuckle down and get rid of some of that nagging clutter around the house. Between the cruise, teaching, and our normal evening activities, the month of October was pretty much a wash when it came to cleaning up the clutter. On the plus side, I didn’t gain any significant clutter.


If you remember a few weeks back, I had made a diagram of my house and marked where the clutter points were. This has proven to be pretty helpful and a little surprising. When I started the map I figured I’d have about a half dozen clutter points around the house. As I went around, with my daughter at my footsteps having drawn her own map, I colored in different sections. When it was all said and done, there were over a dozen colored areas on the map. A dozen places downstairs that clutter accumulated in, and that didn’t even include the kids’ rooms.


Unfortunately, the map remained on the counter for weeks. The reason? I simply did not have time to tackle all of those areas. Of course, that is not true. I did not make the time to tackle those areas. Well with family incoming, I find I have to make time. Unfortunately, this week is pretty busy as well, but no excuses. I’m a “person of action.”


So Monday night I tackle a couple of the areas. Once again, an object in motion stays in motion. As I cleared out one area I jumped to another, not wanting to stop. I knocked out three areas that night. Last night I tackled the constant problem area: the dining room table. We normally eat at the kitchen table so the dining room table is relegated to projects unless company is coming over. It is also the generic place to dump things so it becomes cluttered pretty quickly.


There were two profound discoveries during these clutter busting blitzes:

1)      It took less than 30 minutes to clean out three areas. That means if I just took 10 minutes a day to clean up a clutter area, in two weeks, I’d have no clutter points in the house. All for 10 minutes. 10 minutes is nothing. It sometimes takes me 10 minutes to decide there is nothing good on TV. Clearing clutter does not take much time at all.

2)      I need to break the habit of moving things to the dining room table. I know why I do it, it is a conveniently located huge open area. Hope’s schoolwork for the day? Just put it on the table and we’ll figure out what we want to do with it later. A game that I finished playing but don’t want to take up stairs yet? Just toss it on the table. That project I started but haven’t completed? You guessed it, toss it on the table.


#2 there is a post for a different time, but I’ve had a minor epiphany about it. #1 though is a real eye opener. I have 10 minutes to clear a clutter spot. You have 10 minutes too. So tonight, carve out 10 minutes, look at just one clutter point, and clean it up. 10 minutes later you’ll have that much more of your living area back and a good feeling of accomplishment.