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Monday, March 8, 2010

Have you ever thought that piles were taking over your home? Piles of clothes, magazines, dirty dishes, mail, etc.

Piles just seem to accumulate around most homes, and it just becomes easier to move them around than deal with them.

Today I want to share one of my daily practices for managing, actually avoiding, clutter. I am diligent in keeping clutter at a minimum around my home. Mostly because I live a very full life, and clutter drains a lot of energy from me that I can't afford to lose. Plus the fact that I've got five kids and two home-based businesses means I don't have time to clean up after the fact. I've included a photo I just took of my kitchen. You'll see my clean lunch dishes and a glass of water are the only things left out.

Another reason for keeping my home clean is I work here. My desk is actually in a nook under the stairs, and I have to look at my living room and kitchen all day long. So I really want it to be clean.

To keep things picked up, I give myself a simple command multiple times throughout the day:
Finish what you start.

Here's what I was doing when I had to tell myself that today:

  • Cleaning my bathroom counter.
  • Hanging up my bathrobe, instead of leaving it on my bed.
  • Putting my pjs in the drawer, instead of leaving them beside by bathrobe on the bed.
  • Cleaning my dishes after lunch.
  • Folding a load of clothes.
  • Putting the remote control where it belongs, instead of a convenient table top.
  • Walking recyclable items all the way outside and not leaving them on the dryer.
  • Hanging up a pair of jeans I wore yesterday and didn't hang up last night.

It seems that I want to stop just short of finishing a task. My inclination is to put clean and folded socks on top of the dressing instead of in the drawer. Or stack dishes in the sink instead of washing them. Or leave my jeans draped over the tub because I'm going to wear them again. It only takes seconds to move the task to completion, but for some reason I resist.

I see this behavior in my kids all the time. Instead of taking five more steps and putting their shoes in the closet, they get to the door of the room and drop them on the floor.

What is this within us that causes us to stop short of finishing what we start? I haven't figured it out, but I do know it is a cause of some clutter. Not all, mind you. But some.

Today my encouragement is to finish what you start. It's a little habit that can make a big difference in the clutter battle. Plus, I find that clear counters, dressers, tables, and couches help me clear my thinking. And believe me when I say I need all the help I can get in that area.

In His love,



handmade by heart said...

Thanks for the encouragement. This is so me. I have a tendency to let clutter take over and it is so very draining. When you mentioned jeans laying over the edge of the tub I was thoroughly convicted! You're right. 5 extra seconds is all it takes in most cases. I like that. A huge payoff for minimal time and effort!

Amber Ford said...

Hi Glynnis. I struggle with clutter daily because I have four kids and a myriad of projects I take on for myself. Yet, with I feel tired looking at the clutter and find myself accomplishing much more when I've recently de-cluttered an area. Thanks for the practical mantra to chant! ;-)

Nancy M. said...

LOL. I'm looking around my study at all the started & unfinished projects. Baskets of pictures, a desk w/ only half the hutch assembled, my first-ever paint job that was never touched up, pictures unhung, a closet full of "stuff" moved from the living room to "declutter" it (only to clutter my office). I think of the Bible classes I'm taking at church & all the unfinished assignments. I reflect on my weight loss, which I started so ferociously 3 yrs ago, but has been sputtering out for the last 2 (I gave up again last night, only to "try again" this morning).

I don't know where/when/how I learned not to finish what I've started, but I've think I consider it a burden of laziness. Isn't it interesting how "laziness" creates more of a burden than the productivity that procrastination seeks to avoid?

OK. I'm getting out a blank sheet of paper & writing down the key things I want to start AND FINISH today (but not too many as to overwhelm me). I'm too embarrassed to share w/ you some of the stuff on that list (having to do w/ a certain large holiday 3 mos ago!), but thanks for your encouragement to FINISH WHAT I STARTED today.

(sorry my post is almost longer than your original blog!) ♥

Jennifer Renee said...

You are talking to me today. I just finished washing a load of laundry and I put the clean clothes on the bed. I decided to come back to my computer and read your post instead of putting the clothes away. I guess I should go finish what I started. I know I'll feel so much better when it's done.

Anonymous said...

As a wise woman once said, "Keep up so you don't have to catch up!" Love that!