Jul 19, 2010

The House That Cleans Itself: Chapters 11 - 14

Part II of The House That Cleans Itself at last explaining how Mindy's system works. In the next several chapters, Mindy explains the steps we'll be using to get our homes in order - once and for all.

Working one small section at a time, the first thing Mindy says we must do is get rid of clutter. No surprise here, although I like what Mindy says about determining what to keep and what to get rid of:
"The questions to ask yourself are not value judgments about when you used it last or when you might need it again. To clutterers, there are too many shades of gray in those questions. Instead, face the black-and-white reality of the true trade off you're making. When you are decluttering, with every single item you own ask youself these questions:

*Is this item worth my time?
* Does what I get from this item provide a fair trade-off considering I have to clean it and store it?
* Do I want to spend another second in the future fooling with it or do I want to get rid of it now so it will no longer cost me a thing?"
Mindy also stresses the old adage, "A place for everything and everything in its place," and I must confess, I have a lot of stuff that has no "place."

Next, Mindy says to thoroughly clean the area. Finally, she wants us to "neaten, organize, and solve problem spots." I love that she offers specific advice on changing our homes so they are no longer problematic (like dealing with paperwork and keeping the entry tidy). There's a lot of stuff to chew on here.

However, for me, chapter 14 was the real eye-opener. Here, Mindy explains we should set up "stations" throughout our homes, which will save us enormous amounts of time. She calls failing to have these stations "rabbit trails." For example, I realize one of my rabbit trails is mailing packages. The shipping containers are in my laundry area. The envelopes in my desk. The packing tape is above the fridge. The scissors are on my desk. The stamps are in my purse. No wonder I find mailing things such a hassle! But if I set up a shipping station in my house - a place where I store all the boxes, envelopes, packing tape, stamps, and a set of scissors that are only used for shipping purposes - getting packages out the door will be much less frustrating and time consuming. (This must be a DUH to some of you, but truly it never occurred to me before!) Again, Mindy offers concrete examples of rabbit trails (from getting ready for church to making coffee) that are easy to remedy with stations.

Now we're almost done reading about The House That Cleans Itself method, but I'll bet you're like me, and the book has already inspired you to start tiding NOW.

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