Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
As I mentioned back in January, I recently read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It’s full of rules, suggestions, tips, and research on making yourself, and by extension everyone around you, happier. In the very first month of her year-long undertaking, Ms. Rubin cleans and declutters, and she keeps it up throughout the year – helping out friends when she gets desperate for a tidying fix.
One tip I got from her was the One Minute Rule. I doubt this is something she made up; it sounds like something nearly everyone’s parent said to them as they were growing up in some way or another. Basically: if it only takes a minute to do it, then do it. (A couple variations I can think of are “Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today” and “A stitch in time saves nine.”)
Here at 365lessthings, when we talk about clutter, we usually are referring to items in excess of your needs and desires. But clutter also can be the stuff that you use frequently but fail to put away. It’s always out, it’s where it doesn’t belong, and it creates visual clutter. Plus, anything left out draws other things to it. That’s how black holes develop.
Recently I walked into my bedroom and threw my sweater on the bed. As I turned to leave, the rule popped into my head. I walked back into the bedroom, picked up my sweater, and in far less than a minute, I had hung it where it belonged. I prevented clutter. One of them sitting on the bed will surely attract another one, likely my husband’s jacket perhaps or maybe his bags from work.
Here are some common clutter pitfalls that can be avoided with the use of the one-minute rule:
- Lost keys: They belong on your dresser, desk, in your purse, or hanging from a hook. Same place every time.
- Sweaters, jackets, and coats thrown on a chair or the floor: Hang up your items in the closet or buy a set of hook for near the door.
- Needed receipts lost, useless receipts found: If you’re going to keep them, find a home for them and put them there every time, as soon as you get home. (Right after you put your keys away, of course.)
- A messy bedroom: Make the bed in the morning as soon as you get out of bed. This might take 2 minutes, but it sure makes your bedroom look nicer.
- A visual mess and possibly smacked heads or knees: Close the cabinet doors behind you. It amazes me that there are people who leave the cabinets open and walk away, but I’ve heard it enough times to know it’s true.
- Mental clutter: Have a place for your notes and reminders, either on paper or electronically. Remembering that there’s something you have to do and what it is takes as much time and mental energy as doing the thing itself. Write it down and free your mind.
Decluttering and organization expert Peter Walsh gave this wise advice that dovetails nicely: Complete the cycle. “If you use it, put it away. If you dirty it, wash it, etc. When a family thinks this way, there no longer is a trail of clutter left throughout the house.”
If it only takes a minute, do it now, do it right.
Today’s Declutter Item
I am not really a flipflop kinda gal but I continued to wear these because it would have been wasteful not to. Now they are beyond repair and I feel quite justified in throwing them away.
My Gratitude List
- Something that made be laugh ~ There is an advertisement on television here for a clothing store called Rivers. The lastest promotion is for women’s shoes and I swear the legs in the ad are hairy and I am not even sure they are a woman’s legs. I find this oddly amusing even though I wouldn’t want anyone to see my legs right now either. 😆
- Something Awesome ~ Homemade chocolate chip muffins warmed up and served with cream. Yumm!
- Something to be grateful for ~ The Liam’s motorbike only had an air bubble in the fuel line and decided to start after all. He was not a happy boy when it wouldn’t start.
- Something that made me happy ~ Even though it would be great to wave a magic wand and have the house clean itself I always feel satisfied with a job well done when I am finished the task. I love a clean house.
- Something I found fascinating ~ Chemistry, alchemy and the elements and the discovery there of.