Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Interlude: Musing on Habits

Aby Garvey's newsletter today discusses habits as "the key ingredient" to staying organized. I think she's right.

She challenged us to think about how habits and how they influence our clutter: these are my thoughts.

1) Which specific habits are causing my clutter?

Is not doing something a habit? While it seems odd to say so, isn't it so? What's procrastination but a) not doing something and b) a bad habit? (At least that's what my Grandmother always told me!)

Tiredness. I should put my clothes on the couch when I go to bed--not on the floor! I should also be making my bed and throwing in a load of laundry when I wake up. Yawn. I'm often just grateful I'm awake before noon.

I hate folding laundry, too. I avoid it. I'm not sure why. True, the laundry room is dark and freezing cold in the winter. (I tried running a portable heater, but blew a fuse.) It's a long way from company and cheer--but I'm afraid that if I bring unfolded laundry out of the basement, I'll just perpetuate laundry clutter in the main areas).

2) Pick one habit to change.

Oh well, I have been starting a load, transferring one and folding one pretty much everyday since we got back. I think I'll keep it up.

3) Get support


4) Create a list of compelling reasons to change.

Maybe that's part of it. With respect to the laundry, I'm not really all that affected by whether it gets done or not. My wardrobe is very small. I collect my dirty clothes separately from the rest of the family. When I need something, I run a load and include it. I also think we have too many clothes, even though my husband never has a clean shirt for work and my son, right now, says he has no pants. The fact of the matter is, my son has a gazillion T-shirts and a couple of pairs of pants. So, it is entirely possible for me to do two loads of darks--and nary a pant leg nor a work shirt for my husband will emerge while doing the dreaded folding. I'm not sure what a "reasonable" amount of clothing is--but it's something to look into.

One compelling reason?
I don't want anyone telling me they "can't" do something because they don't have whatever it is they need to wear. No more complaining. No more yelling. No more icy trips to the basement on the edge of my toes to retrieve socks and underwear.

I think I'll also train the kids to take over some days....

5) Decide up front to stay the course.

OK. However long it takes, I'll stick with this. However long it takes--to do what exactly? Stay on top of the laundry? See, this chore, this habit (like the other bugaboo, doing the dishes) never ends. There is no "over." There is no "done." No completion.

I hate that.

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