Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simplicity Habit #2: The Ten-Second Tidy Basket

Well, I was hoping that Simplicity Habit #1 would be useful to someone...anyone, but it turns out that no, it was not needed. We all know that unloading the dishwasher first thing in the morning is ideal. I assumed that other folks, besides your's truly, were having trouble actually making this happen.  Turns out that NatureGirl is in fact, the laziest person alive. I have suspected as much. Oh well, perhaps tip #2 will prove more valuable.

This is a tip that someone shared with me many years ago. And it really does work. The idea is that most of us waste a lot of time and a lot of steps when doing that little "tidy-up" time around the house. Not the deep cleaning of each room, but just the picking up of stuff that is not where it belongs. 

[note: If all of the comments come back that everyone else's children put things away as soon as they are done with them so that nothing is ever out of place, I will take an overdose of chocolate and end this blog immediately] 

Often, when we are tidying up, we see things out of place and grab the offending item and take it to where it belongs. In that room we then see the next item that needs relocated and grab it and walk to the next room to put it away. Think: If you give a Pig a Pancake! We are constantly running from room to room moving our stuff. So...to the tip!

Carry an empty laundry basket around the house with us as we do this little tidy. Everything that we see in the room that does not belong, goes in the basket. This first room then gets a quick tidy and we move to room #2. Everything from the basket that belongs in this room gets put away, and everything that does not belong in this room gets put in the basket. Quick tidy and then on to room #3...Get it? Eventually we are back to room number 1 with whatever may be in the basket that needs put away. We essentially save ourselves the running from room to room and backtracking that takes extra time and so many extra steps. 

Confession time: This really does work. I have tried it. It saves time and energy, I promise. The problems? I am often to lazy to do this when things are just a little untidy and it does not really work when things are all the way untidy...if you know what I mean. I also would like the children to learn to do this for themselves instead of relying on Mom to pick up after them. The kids are 18, 16, 13 and 9. At what point do I give up on this fanciful notion? AND often the laundry baskets are full of clean/folded clothes that said children have not yet put away!

So, it is what it is people. If you actually happen to have an empty laundry basket, this really does simplify that morning and evening tidy up. AND if we can muster the motivation to do it everyday, it saves us from the larger clean ups that become necessary when we...um...let things go...a little longer.
I am going to work on this one.

P.S. Hunky Hubs read the blogo tip #1 and unloaded the dishwasher last night after I was already in bed.  Told you he was a hunk!


  1. (From a friend who was having trouble with the comments this morning)

    Shannon says:

    In an effort to save you from death by chocolate and allow you to keep your blog running, I will freely admit that my children are not so great about tidy-ing up after themselves. We kind of run the gammet from pretty good job to completely oblivios as far as noticing their own stuff that needs to be deat with. I like the basket idea and even happen to have one empty at the moment. I'll give it a try and enjoy the tidy-ness until everyone gets home from school!

  2. So that's how it's done! My only fear is that I'll lose my girlish figure due to less walking if I get that efficient!

  3. I'm in your shoes, only the baskets are full of clean laundry that I have not yet folded. Can't blame that one on the kids, darn it. But I can blame the mess on them, and do, often and loudly. I'm gonna try it...after I finish laundry.

  4. I taught Marc how to do this in a modified fashion years ago, when the smalls were too small to be much help. I don't use a basket, I just pull out the front of my shirt and use it like a large bowel and drop as much stuff as I can in there. I agree, it does make pick up way faster than dealing with each thing one at a time.

  5. Love! And I loved the dishwasher advice too-I should have commented! I'm super excited to see what else you have to share about simplifying-I need more of that in my life!