So this is me, tryin’ to be shiny.*
* Some of our beloved readers might not know what I mean when I say “Shiny.”
In that ‘Verse [universe], shiny = awesomeness. See bottom of post for more shiny fun.
But I digress…
You know when you are trolling the web, and you keep coming across all these lists of cleaning rituals, clutter-busting rules, and organization plans? It’s especially bad at the beginning of the year, and then bad again when everyone is telling you it’s time for Spring Cleaning.
Like the seasons need cleaning. Please. Seasons are self-cleaning. That is what rain is for, people. But I digress…
You read things like: “2 Million Things You Should Do Every Morning Before Anyone Else is Awake or You are a Failure as a Human Being” or “1001 Clutter-Busting Tasks That You Must Do Immediately – Unless You Want to Continue Living in Filthy Squalor, You Lazy Bitch” or “Your New Simple Task List – Two Hours a Day Is All It Takes or You Can Continue to Live Like A Sewer Rat, You Disgusting Whore.”
Wow, those subtitles escalated fast. Calm down, Internet.
And then you have to go lie down because you feel faint. And you are certain that you will drown in your own clutter if you don’t die first from the filth. But before that happens you will be evicted because you are just too hopelessly disorganized to find your bills, much less pay them. And then they will drag you off to debtor’s prison and your daughter will have to support you, and your granddaughter will die in the street and it will be ALL. YOUR. FAULT.
Okay, calm down. A few deep breaths. Think about kittens. And wine. Think about watching adorable kittens while drinking wine…
I think I can help.
Anna-Liza is laughing now because she knows I have a bit of a cleaning thing* and she thinks my rules are going to be just as bad as Martha‘s.
Really, Martha? 4 minutes and 15 seconds on how to fold a fitted sheet? Really? Someone get that woman some better drugs.
But I digress…
I can no longer spend hours obsessively cleaning my place, as I was wont to do back in the old days.
About housework, my mother used to say, make a shiny spot each day. Oh wow. I just realized that Joss Whedon stole “shiny” from my mom. I think I’m due some royalties now. Or free DVDs. Mom also used to say “You missed a spot” but I’m much better after the therapy…
But I digress again…
So I recently came up with my own plan: the Five-Minute Shiny.
I decided to see what I could do in 5 minutes. Anything that I could call progress around the place, anything at all.
For five minutes.
Put a few clean dishes away. Take out the kitchen trash.
No, not “go through the frig and toss everything that needs to be tossed and then clean the frig since it’s now empty, and defrost the freezer, and…” – Just take out the bag of trash already in the bin.
The Five-Minute Shiny is a tiny bit extra beyond my everyday tasks, like feeding and watering the livestock (my three cats), and cleaning the litter box. And… uh… yeah, that’s about it.
The first week I came up with this, I timed myself – because I happened to be microwaving my dinner for five minutes, not because I was being all scientific. I was amazed at what I can do in five minutes.
So, now I try to do a Five-Minute Shiny every day. Some days, I might do one in the morning and one at night. And some days, even 5 minutes is too much to think about, let alone accomplish. And that’s okay too.
This is the great thing: Even done semi-regularly, the Five-Minute Shiny has really helped keep the place tidier and more organized.
Of course, I could use the five minutes to fold a fitted sheet.
But let’s not get silly.
* Super Shiny Bonus Fun: Go here. Let’s do the thing.