A Guest Post by Cindy Bogard
Recently, we were carving pumpkins on the screen porch, and during a lull in the action, I thought I would be efficient and put away the clothes on the little drying rack I keep out there. Now, if you knew what was on that rack and how long it had been there, you’d be laughing like a crazy person at my use of the word “efficient.” That’s because the things on the rack, swimsuits and swim shirts for all four of us plus three towels, had been there since the last time we went swimming, at least 2 months ago. Um, yeah. I think they’re dry.
Once clutter becomes familiar to us, it’s easy to overlook. Right now, I am sitting at my kitchen island. Looking around with a slow and critical eye, but without getting up from my chair, I can see the following things that aren’t where they should be, but have been there for at least (at least) a week: a book on the kitchen bar, a standing fan that needs to be put away until next summer, several “important” and now yellowed notices on the fridge, a large box of packing materials in the living room, quite a few pieces of framed art and a bolt of fabric partially tucked behind a chair. (Same chair. I guess its role is to hide clutter, although it’s doing a poor job!) Sure, I can rationalize why these things are out of place, but that doesn’t stop them from being clutter.
How does this happen? Why does it happen? I don’t have the answer to either of these questions, but I do have some ideas as how to overcome this phenomena.
- First, and most efficient: When you get it out, put it away. (Sometimes easier said than done, I know.)
- After shopping, put things away promptly. If you don’t know where it belongs or can’t bother to take it out of the wrapping, should you really have purchased it in the first place?
- As you’re cleaning, especially in an area that holds misplaced objects, put them all in one corner while you clean. Know that putting these items away is part of the cleaning process, but do not put them away as you go. That’s a trap that leads to meandering around and losing focus (see day 306).
- If you have trouble seeing out-of-place items, look at or even touch everything on the coffee table or counters. Say the name of the object in your head or out loud. Experiencing your clutter through one of your senses besides visual will help you to notice what does not belong.
- Take a picture of your room or just look at the room through the view finder of the camera. A new way of seeing things will help you see through to the clutter.
- Ask someone you know, preferably someone who does not live with you and can offer a fresh and honest perspective, about your clutter.
As for me, I put away the swimwear and sat down to type this blog. I managed to continue to overlook the other items, but not for much longer. What did you see in a new light today?
ITEM 322 OF 365 LESS THINGS
A couple more books that are either out of date or no longer wanted.
5 Things I am grateful for today
- Sunshine after the rain – just the right ratio of both is nice.
- Self check out at the supermarket – Always much faster than waiting at a normal register.
- When you wake up and realise you were just dreaming – This is only in the case of bad dreams of course.
- Summer fruit – Big fat juicy mangoes, yellow and white peaches, strawberries, watermelon and all those other yummy delights are starting to hit the shelves of the grocery stores.
- Liam had his interview for the brain injury unit today – Hopefully he will be able to do outpatient therapy and be home from hospital very soon.