“Half-tidying” is when you only sorta-kinda put things away. You know, you open the bathroom cupboard, scroonch up your eyes and just shove that new shower-puff into the nearest space. I’m prone to this because if I look properly I get stressed about where the “correct” place is to put that thing, and in order to locate that “correct” place I think I need to empty everything out of the cupboard and have an extended Tetris-type arranging party and it will take hours I tell you, hours. Bah.
Of course that sort of behaviour just builds on itself, because each hastily-placed thing wobbles on top of the previous pile of things, making it more likely to avalanche forth when you open the door. You think that only happens in the movies? It’s more fun at 2am, I tell you what.
But I was typing this I saw, in my mind’s eye, the FlyLady waving her finger at me. “You can do anything for 15 minutes!” she says. “Get off your arse, Rosie!” she adds, somewhat unexpectedly for a woman from North Carolina, “Get a plastic bag and set your timer and sortoutthatcupboard!”
I finished the job in twenty-something minutes. (I paused my timer early because of an Urgent Child Related Interruption and forgot to restart it)
2 pairs tiny nail clippers and an unopened packet of emery boards in donate box
1 and a half supermarket bags of rubbish taken out
all the loose rags back in the rag bag
loo paper and tissues on proper shelf
all the bottles, packets etc back in correct baskets
even fit the vacuum cleaner back in the bottom!
And I added some quick labels, to help me put things back properly next time around:
because you don’t have to go Full Pinterest on your entire house to get things organised; ballpoint and $2 shop stickers will do the job. If I want to go back and make fancypants labels with stamps or something I can do that another day.
Here are some things I have “just” put in the wrong place “for now” in the past day or so.
mucky yoghurt lids (the bin is full and it’s too mucky it’ll stick to the bin lid)
toy walkie talkie in fruitbowl (half of a pair)(I don’t know what to do with it)
CD taken out of car CD player into the case of the CD I’m putting in (always, always; have a queue of incorrectly boxed discs going back to 1990*)
Knotted nest of necklaces resembling a junk-jewellery rat king (put on dressing table because ehhhhh I can’t untangle it but don’t want to put it back in the box to incorporate every other set of beads)
Fitbit that’s been through the wash twice put on the same dressing table (because maybe it’ll do a Sherlock and be only pretending to be dead)
Then Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire) from the You Tubes talked about it better than me. (note: video includes cussing)
One week ago I did a hard-core complete tidy of this room and yet here I am standing in a post-apocolyptic laundry pile. … So, how did this happen? I’ve thought about it and I think it’s because people tend to only ever do half-tidies. Instead of putting stuff where it’s actually supposed to go, you just cop-out half way…. That one thing won’t matter, but if you do it with every bowl, sock, disc, and piece of paper, everything slowly builds up, and before you know it, you’ve ruined your life”
What is the solution? Not making a promise to yourself that you’re never again to cram a thing into the wrong cupboard, or swearing black and blue that the coffee table is not a home for the dog’s leash or your second best scissors, because then the next time you “forget” you’re likely to feel super faily.
There are just two three parts to the answer:
when you next pick up a thing, put it where it belongs, ESPECIALLY if the place it belongs is the laundry-basket, the sink/dishwasher, or the rubbish bin.
make a habit of visiting all the places where you tend to “just put” things and putting them away properly before they grow to epic proportions. Flylady calls these places Hotspots. You can call them what you like.
Think about adding your hotspot patrol to your afternoon routine, or keep it in the back of your mind for when you’re on the phone and want to do something absent-minded while you talk. Or both.
*Oh man, that’s the year before that Dan guy was born. What is my life.
The Elephant Shrew (or Sengi) makes trails then rushes every day picking up anything that’s fallen in its path.
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