I never thought I would say that a spoon can change your life but I suddenly thought that if you treat every item in your house like a spoon you will end up in a very organised home, changing your life for the better using one simple but very important idea..
I am sure if you go to a friends house and you wanted to find a spoon, you would go to the kitchen and open a top drawer, just below the worktop. It may take two attempts if there are two units with drawers in, but I can guarantee that you would find a spoon in one of those drawers. Your friend may be super organised or they may be the most unorganised person you know, but the fact that the spoon is there is what is important. The spoon has a home. It is in a drawer in the kitchen. We don't even have to think about where to put it when we unload the dishwasher or clear up as we all know that is where this particular item lives.
I promised in my last blog Is 7 minutes enough? that this idea that 'every item needs a home' is very important and by taking the 'spoon method' I can now do it really clearly.
If I asked you to put away 10 different items - a pen, a key, a cup, a book that you are currently reading, a ruler, a coat, swimming googles, a bill that needs paying, some wrapping paper or a childs homework for example, there are probably a few that you could put away straight away. A cup would live in the kitchen, a coat might hang up in the hall or cloakroom, but some of the others may be a bit more obscure..
You have these 10 items in your hand and you need to put them away now, but the thought of where they go stresses you out (I've been there), so if you were me a year ago, I would would just put the ones away that I could and maybe put the others in a pile on the table for later...
Later becomes dinner time and I move the pile onto the side board so we can eat dinner, and that's where my new pile of things lives 'until I have time to put them away'. This cycle continues, the bill is unpaid, the kids homework not done, the ruler I won't need for a while so it just stays there and by the end of the week the pile of random items is bigger with no order, no home.
The stack of items naturally grow bigger and bigger all week through the same daily cycle, knowing that there is no easy home for these items to be put away to. On seeing it daily, makes my heart beat a little faster, my body temperature rise a little higher and the cortisol hormone (the stress hormone) kick in..
"But there must be a way! I can't keep spending Saturday resentfully tidying up after the weeks build up of random things".. And that's when the spoon theory came about..
Generally we now have a home for every item and have learnt to put things back when we use them. As my daughter says - 'Choose it, Use It, Put it away!'
It is the last part - the 'put it away' that it the hardest and takes the most practise. So next time you see a pile of things, really take the time, item by item, to think about where and how would be the best place to store this type of item. For example, would the key live in a key cupboard, or a bowl in the hallway, or on a hook behind a door? Would the swimming googles live in your child's bedroom or in the garage with other sports equipment? By categorising items together and thinking objectively about where and how you would feel is convenient to store them, that is where they will live. The more items you treat like a spoon, the more organised your house will become. The consequence of having a home for everything means you will save you so much time and energy. When every item has a home, you will feel more in control of your environment too. Clearer spaces, lighter mind. Hopefully this will give you the inspiration and motivation to make your first steps to clearing that stack. I look forward to hearing how you get on.