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Friday, March 1, 2013

clean up time

I adore Gretchen Rubin. I believe that anything you didn't learn from your parents you can learn from her first book The Happiness Project and anything you didn't learn there, you can learn from her second book Happier at Home. She mixes the intellectual with the frivolous in a way that is so uniquely her. Her 'Secrets of Adulthood' are full of some pretty profound wisdom like, "By doing a little bit each day you can get a lot accomplished." and, "most decisions don't require extensive research," and everyone's favorite, "The days are long, but the years are short."

Don't you feel like every once in a while your brain makes a loud 'wooosh' sound and you suddenly see a situation from a more grown up perspective? Organization has always been a challenge for me. I am prone to clutter and mess, but I don't like being in a space that is messy- especially when I have no one to blame except myself.

A big "Secret of Adulthood" that I've discovered lately is to clean up when things are already clean. A lot of times, I'll put the kids down for a nap and things will seem relatively tidy, so I'll move straight onto work- or - if it's a weekend maybe read a book or take a nap. But lately, I've been setting the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and cleaning up- even if it seems unnecessary. What I've realized is that "pretty tidy" can easily turn into "very messy" in an instant if I'm not vigilant. There's always laundry to be put away, toys that could be better-organized, nightstands to be re-organized, mail clutter to be dealt with. Even if there is absolutely nothing that looks out of order (this has happened maybe one time ever in my entire life) - then I might clean out a drawer or tackle the random shoes and school papers that live in my car.

Simple. But I've found it makes a vast difference in the overall state of my house and my life. It's also pretty painless. Perfectionists needn't concern themselves here because I'm sure they've already got the whole "clean house" thing figured out. But if you're a bit more disorganized like me, then try the 10 minute clean up! I aim for twice a day, whether I need it or not.

Do you have any 'secrets of adulthood?' ...and how do you manage to keep your house so neat?

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