Finish the cycle
Finish the cycle
It’s not about having the perfect home. The aim is to create a home that’s in reasonable order on a fairly consistently basis. Think clean clothes, clear floor, clear enough work surfaces and a level of organisation that helps you to find what you need, when you need it.
‘Finish the cycle’ is a statement that I use a lot. You probably know that I’m a fan of simple habits, and this is a great habit to not only keep clutter at bay, but is also a really good maintenance technique.
But what exactly does it mean?
In it’s simplest terms, it means finishing what you start. Laundry is a good example and it can teach us a lot about accumulation of clutter. There are several steps to completing the cycle of doing the laundry – dirty clothes go in the laundry basket, the clothes are sorted, put in the washing machine, dried, folded and put away or ironed and put away. That is the complete cycle to doing the laundry.
Most people are in the habit of doing the washing and drying part, but often the laundry isn’t put away. So it’s common to see clean washing still sitting in the tumble dryer, draped over furniture or piled up on surfaces. The laundry cycle hasn’t been finished so living spaces soon become cluttered with clothing.
When several key cycles in the home are are left unfinished, for example eating meals but not washing the dishes or paying bills but not filing paperwork, clutter will start to build. Other simple examples of completing the cycle are: refilling the toilet roll holder and putting the empty in recycling, putting the cereal packet away after using it, putting a new bag in the waste bin after taking the rubbish out. If you don’t finish the task you start, telling yourself; ‘I’ll get to that later’, then you are giving in to clutter.
People are often ‘good beginners but halfhearted finishers’…so tidying up the loose ends of a task often gets missed. Lack of time is often cited as a reason, but it doesn’t need to be time consuming. It’s as simple as firstly – becoming more aware of the things that you tend to ‘leave until later’ and then getting in the habit of dedicating a few more minutes to finish them off. The results are well worth it – a lot less time will be spent putting your whole home back together in the future, and you’ll live in a less cluttered, more peaceful environment.
Put simply: finish what you start, close what you open, replenish what you empty. In a busy home, this mind-set is important or else things very quickly get out of place and out of control.By consistently ‘finishing the cycle’, you never half do something or need to come back later to complete a task. Things will be put away as you go, clutter won’t have a chance to accumulate and stress levels will be much lower as a result.
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