032: Tidy // STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Tuesday’s posts are unplanned, streams of consciousness, straight off the top of the dome. Get into it. Or don’t. Just try to do what makes you happy, okay?
Most things* are manageable as long as you manage them.
Like anything in this world, the remedies are never cut and dry, and what works for some, may not work for others, but I really do believe in the power of a good habit.
In my own life, I have found that forming productive habits has made me feel more in control and self-aware which, in turn, has made me less anxious and depressed.
By putting more effort into the things that support me in becoming the best version of myself, I have been putting less energy into the things that make that goal feel unattainable. The more I practice, the easier it gets.
You have to put effort into the things you want. If you want to be smarter, tidier, healthier, or better at anything, you will have to put effort in.
Yeah, that whole ‘effort’ thing can be a little off-putting, but I think that by breaking shit down into manageable steps and then just starting is the best way to break through your personal barriers.
I enjoy a tidy home. I have always enjoyed a tidy home. The problem is, I am not an inherently tidy person.
Since childhood I have always liked to leave piles of clutter, proceed to panic over the piles of clutter, quickly hide the piles of clutter under beds and into boxes, and finish by feigning organization and detachment from said clutter.
In reality, the behind the scenes was a ding-dang mess, and it has always stressed me out.
Even when I was not conscious of it, my stuff was adding to my anxiety.
I would look at any given corner of my room and see a pile of bills, or bags I needed to sort through from 3 years ago, or a broken purse I was gonna take to my cranky shoe guy to see if he could repair it but never did, and I would subconsciously just tack that list of tasks onto the never-ending list of things I will never get done.
I realized I needed to change but didn’t know where or how to start. So, I did some research. First, on what I wanted my place to look like because it got me excited (and was fun to scroll Pinterest and call it research). Then I researched different strategies to clean and declutter. Then I started trying shit out.
I started practicing and those practices became tiny habits that felt like subtle changes which eventually became a consistent regiment. I actually consider myself a fairly tidy person now.
Here’s some of the habits I have ingrained into my daily routine that really work for me as a sustainable practice.
- Consolidate your steps. If you’re heading back to the kitchen for a drink, grab all the shit off the coffee table that needed to go back that direction anyway and put it away right then. I learned this as a server and it’s become so ingrained in me I’ve been called out at parties for pre-bussing tables.
- Touch it once. If you are taking your plate back to the kitchen, may as well give it a quick rub down in the sink with some suds real quick. Taking off your shirt? Hang it back up or toss it in the hamper. Got mail? Open it right away and trash or file as needed. Avoid pileups of any kind.
- Clean as you go. When I cook, I am putting things away as I finish them and washing dishes as things simmer. That way, after I eat my dinner, I only have a plate to wash rather than a sink full of dishes. (If you do have to leave stuff, learn the power of a pre-soak.)
- Break it down. You can’t take 40 bins of recycling down the stairs anyway, so bring one everytime you leave the house for the next few days til it’s all gone.
- Just start. If you have a pile of clothes you need to donate to your local, (well-researched, positive societal impact) charity, set a date for this week and ACTUALLY do it. Then it’ll be done and you’ll never have to look at that stupid trash bag again! (This was a pep talk for me, currently.)
- Work smarter not harder. When I clean a room, I take everything off the sheves, spray every surface, make my way down the cleaning line, return the shit to the shelves, and you’re done. It’s surprisingly faster and easier than dusting around stuff.
- Think of it each chore as a favor to future you. I make my bed everyday for nighttime Julie because nighttime Julie always appreciates it and that bitch deserves a consistent act of service!
- Think of it as a game. I literally set timers and Double Dare my ass through chores sometimes when I am in a good mood. Upbeat music makes everything more fun. Make tidying a vibe, y’all.
- Get inspired. Watch MariKondo videos, or inspiration videos, or read an article on how minimalism can save the world or some shit and just get into it. I am telling you, A VIBE.
- Be gentle with yourself. Humans suck at lots of stuff and that isn’t our fault! We all have to be a little nicer to ourselves if we’re gonna improve on anything, ever.
Remember this is a long game and progress is progress no matter how small.
These arent steadfast and sure and they don’t always apply because there are definitely days I am not trying to remember dishes exist let alone have to be done right away.
Maybe you don’t care about being tidy. I personally like a tidy space because it leaves my brain free to worry about the countless other things I believe it should be focused on.
By recognizing what I can do to accommodate my best self and setting myself up for success, I feel more amped and energized about actually creating it.
Whatever habit you decide on, start on the couch, real low-commitment vibes by doing some research online about inspiration and then strategies that make sense for you. Then really start bringing some of those practices into your daily routines and see what sticks. If none of those practices become habits, go back to the research grind and find something new that may work to help you manage/improve/build the foundations for the habits you want to create.
Remember it’s a long game. You are simply going to practice building habits until you get good enough at ‘em that they become second nature and you can climb on up to the next rung to becoming the best fucking person you could possibly be.
You’re already a badass, kickass, one-of-a-kind powerhouse. Imagine the possibilities a little bit of effort can bring ya.
The world needs more of that.
The world needs more of you.
*I am talking about habits, y’all. I am not talking about the plethora of terrible things in society and life that are never ‘manageable just because you manage them’. Like my mother-in-law amirite? (I don’t have a mother in law but thought a classic joke would work there.)