Just 4 Moms on Wednesday: Touch it Once

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I hate clutter.  I’m not real big on dirt, either but I can deal.  It’s clutter that drives me bonkers.  It’s as though everything I see is screaming, “Do something with me–organize me–file me–respond in some way–NOW!”  It makes my head hurt.  It makes me feel scattered.  And it only got worse when I had kids.  It’s not getting any better now that those kids are growing and have more and more stuff–and more and more independence! 

When my first was just a baby, a “twin mom” (see last Wednesday’s post “Friendship Flowers”) told me something I remember to this day, “Touch it once.”  Sounds sort of like, “Pay it Forward,” doesn’t it?  This touch-it-once philosophy has a similar benefit of paying it forward, but in this sense it’s all about decluttering. 

Let me explain.  “Touch it once” means just that.  You get the mail everyday.  Before you even make it inside decide which pieces of mail are “junk” and which aren’t.  Open all mail right then and there.  Recycle what you need to, pay what you need to, and put the magazines on the coffee table/magazine rack right then.  Same goes for dishes.  You’re already holding the dish as you bring it to the sink.  Why not just pop it in the dishwasher right then and there instead of putting it in the sink so you can come back to it later and (touch it again) to put it in the dishwasher. 

Try to make a game out of it for a day or so.  All day long keep the “touch it once” mantra going through your head and tally up how many times you can successfully follow-thru on a task by touching the item/object/junk  just once.  Make a deal with yourself…if I can rack up 10 “touch it once” moments in the day, I can reward myself with a McFlurry/Starbucks drink. 

It’s totally hard to do this, I know.  Everything you do–or start–gets interrupted by little people.  I’m with ya.  Say you’re folding laundry and your little one comes over to you and wants a drink.  Don’t sit down the item of clothing you were folding.  Take it with you.  Pour your kid’s chocolate milk with the other hand and get right back to folding.  Your child will see that you are busy and have things to do and you won’t “forget” what you were doing, abandoning the basket of laundry because your attention got diverted.

Hummm…do moms have ADHD by definition?  I don’t know…I’m beginning to wonder.

About leslie1218

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) frantically working on a novel that should be ready for submission this fall. Mom of two spritely redheads & one chubby basset hound whose stories & images appear in my writing from time-to-time.

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