Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
Early last year, I wrote a post about The Black Hole. You probably have one in your house. It’s the place where all clutter tends to accumulate . . . and never leave. Like the black hole in astronomy, it has such a strong gravitational force that even light cannot escape it.
I confess, I too have a Black Hole in my house: my gigantic kitchen island.
It doesn’t look like a Black Hole, you may be thinking. You’re right. It doesn’t anymore. Anymore being the key word here. The half in the foreground seemed to always have a stray napkin, maybe a glass or two, and a book or purse (or both) from my eldest daughter. The far half had, well . . . everything that A Black Hole of the Flat Surfaces accumulates: random school papers, lone art projects, hair do-dads, some pens and pencils, the cord to the laptop (and maybe the laptop) – all sorts of random junk.
I tried to enforce the rule that the island had to be completely cleared off twice a week, but I wasn’t a very good enforcer. Besides, half the stuff was probably mine. Then I struck upon a completely different approach: We went cold turkey.
For those of you not familiar with this term, Wikipedia defines cold turkey as “the actions of a person who abruptly gives up a habit or addiction rather than gradually easing the process through gradual reduction.” It is often used to described abruptly giving up drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. But in my case, it meant abruptly giving up cluttering a spot that had always been a favorite clutter attractor.
We cleared everything off the island, even the useful and island-appropriate things such as the fruit bowl and the salt and pepper. It was kept completely bare, except when being used, for weeks. Seeing it completely clean, day after day, began to be the right mental picture. After a couple of weeks, we put the fruit, salt and pepper, and butter dish back on the table. I was a little nervous that this might be an invitation for these items, like crazy teenagers, to have a big party and invite all their friends over, but it wasn’t. (Probably because unlike the party in my mind, Mom was supervising.)
The island has stayed clean now for a month. When someone does leave miscellaneous this-and-that on it, it’s obvious who it belongs to, and it doesn’t stay there for long.
Do you have an area in your house that needs to go cold turkey?
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter a book or two.
Today’s Declutter Item
This magazine is the closest thing to a book that I have to declutter at the moment.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast