It’s time to talk about daily habits. I know, you may be purposely reading blog posts about de cluttering because you don’t want to think about daily habits.
I mean… is there really any point in trying to maintain a home that’s cluttered?
Yes, there is, in fact. I tell people that while de cluttering and daily habits are equally important, daily habits are the most important. That doesn’t make mathematical sense, but I don’t really care.
You have to start somewhere, and daily habits are the best place to start. While daily habits are more difficult in a cluttered home, de cluttering wont make a lasting impact without daily habits to maintain any progress you make.
And here’s another (huge) benefit starting with daily habits: It is through establishing daily habits that you will begin to understand how much stuff you actually need.
When your not keeping things under control, you can’t have any idea of how many of an item you actually need.
I call it the vicious cycle of excess.
I have a favorite wooden spoon, it has burn marks and everything. But I love it. For years, I din’t know I loved it. I had too much stuff.
A little over three years ago, I began purging the excess from our home while also developing habits to help me keep the house in order.
Habits like… washing the dishes every day.
I was cooking supper one night, and reached for that wooden spoon, I thought, I love this spoon!
Then it hit me… I have been using this same spoon to cook with everyday, for months! That was big!
I used to let dishes pile up in the sink. I could, because I had so many dishes that I was able to go several days with out washing them.
Even still, I always thought I needed more. You can’t have too many dishes right?
Excess kills appreciation.
This is obvious when you see it in others. A teenager who has been given everything has no appreciation for a new sports car, and promptly wrecks it. A couple buys toy after toy (jet ski, motor homes, swimming pools), but doesn’t have time to use them all.
I’ve finally excepted that it’s the same with wooden spoons… and with cups, plates, clothes, toys etc.
How the vicious cycle works.
If I found wooden spoons at a garage sale for only 5cents… I grabbed five. For a quarter.
When I owned five wooden spoons, I didn’t have to wash one until I used all 5. But if I waited 5 days, my sink was over flowing with dirty dishes. At that point, the thought of washing them all overwhelmed me.
Suddenly, 5 no longer seemed like enough. So the next time I saw wooden spoons at a garage sale, I bought 5 more. Then I could go 10 days with out doing the dishes. But by the time I dirtied all 10, dishes were covering my counters and my family was left searching for paper plates.
At that point, I was paralyzed by the hugeness of the mess, and I began to despise all of the stuff… and myself.
I used to think that those who prized a certain wooden spoon were more obsessed with stuff than I was.
Turns out, an appreciated item isn’t stuff. It becomes stuff when it gets lost in a mass of similar (all unappreciated) items.
Daily maintenance was necessary to bring me a true understanding of our families needs.