The 10-minute tidy is like a miracle. Seriously, it’s going so smoothly, and the main-floor living area (den, living room, kitchen, dining room, one bathroom, laundry room) is staying, well… how do I say this? Clean. It’s stunning.
I know exactly why this failed before, and why it’s working now, and it all comes down to choice. Before, when I tried to implement this, it was just a general idea in my head. I’d think that at some point during the day, I’d have to do a 10-minute tidy, but everything else was more important, or at least demanded my attention more effectively. So, the end of the day would come, and I’d be too tired, and it wouldn’t happen. A few days would be skipped, and then it would be more like a 25-minute tidy, which would feel like too much, and so we never, ever developed a rhythm.
Now, it’s part of the daily schedule. I clean my sink and stovetop, I feng-shui my table, I do one load of laundry and I 10-minute tidy. When we start homeschool, we set the timer and my daughter and I race around and do as much as we can. When the timer goes off, we stop, even if it’s not all “done.” And this has had interesting results.
The house is less cluttered, and therefore more peaceful. I’m less likely to leave things out, because those things are more obvious, simply because they are fewer in number. And my husband is less likely to leave things out because he doesn’t want to mess up my success. He’s also been helping with the mail, which is easy for him because I changed the system. I moved the shredder from the office to the kitchen (where mail is dealt with), so it’s extremely easy to dispatch everything. And I stand amazed.
I’m amazed that the organizational efforts are working. I’ve tried before and failed. (Please be patient with me, dear reader. I know for some of you this comes so naturally, but for me, it’s like re-learning to walk after an accident). Why the difference? I think it’s several things. For one thing, I’m making very small changes, then keeping with them day after day until they become part of my routine. Secondly, I’m writing everything here, which keeps me focused and accountable. And I’ve been at it long enough that I’m actually feeling the difference. It feels good. I don’t want to go back. And so I keep putting one foot in front of the other, so to speak, and I guess that’s what makes the journey. That’s what it’s all about for me these days – not getting there, but going there.