Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm finally figuring things out . . .

. . . maybe. Time with tell. But, really, I had this 'ah-ha!' moment. I'm sure if you were here you would have seen a light bulb hovering above my head.

Now, most of you, after reading this post, will be saying something like "Duh! Doesn't everyone know this? Isn't this how everyone does things?"  Well, no. Not people like me. I'm still learning things the rest of you normal people have known instinctively.

So what is this big revelation?


While cleaning up the other day I came across 2 screwdrivers. A phillips and a flathead. My automatic response was to think “These must have come from the junk drawer.” My absolute natural course of action would be to set it down, intending to put it away as I passed through the kitchen when I had finished what I was doing. But I CONSCIOUSLY talked myself into going IMMEDIATELY to put them away.

Yay Me!  So, I go into the kitchen and open the junk drawer. Remember the junk drawer the kiddos helped me clean out and organize in January? Yeah, that junk drawer. Instead of dropping them in as I sashayed through the kitchen, I actually LOOKED to see if there were OTHER screwdrivers there already.
Can you guess what I saw? 2 SCREWDRIVERS! A phillips and a flathead. SOOOO, they do NOT belong in the junk drawer. Confession time. My long-time habit has been to do one of two things. First, shove them in anyway. (that's how the drawer got into such bad shape in the first place) Second, set these items that do not belong here right on the counter where anyone passing by could see them and maybe, just maybe, be inspired to take them down with them to where they belong. 

Guess which option I chose? The third option! That's right. I closed the drawer, turned around, screwdrivers still in hand, gave specific instructions to Gabe as he was heading down the stairs, and now they are down in Dad’s Workshop, where all good tools live.

I'm learning that for me, 'maintenance' has to happen 'in the moment'.  I find the experts and self-help books tell you to have 3 stashes as you clean up. One for throwing away, one for giving away, one for putting away. The throwing away and giving away makes sense to me. The putting away, somewhere else, later, does not work here. It might take me a bit longer, but I need to put out-of-place items where they belong, NOW. If I have cleaned up an area/room, and then find a pile of stuff to put away elsewhere, it likely won't happen. When I'm done, I want to be done. Period. I don't want another pile of stuff to put away after I've finished cleaning up a whole 'nother area!

I'm finding this is what works for me. Now I just have to continue to do it.

Oh, and in case you are wondering - the junk drawer still looks like the picture above - organized and neat and contained. Two months later. Now, that's a success story!

I'm linking this post up to Homemaker's Challenge: Accomplish

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes, this is me! I'm totally obsessive about keeping a clean house, but to get there I have a junk drawer in the kitchen and a junk basket in my bedroom closet...both full of stuff that would have been so much better to have been put away in the moment! Thank you for this wise advice!


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