Cleaning up my act

Recently I’ve been playing a game called “That’s Not Where That Goes.” And by game I mean “never-ending loop of picking up after myself.”

pickupyourshoesThe perk of—and the problem with—living by yourself is that things stay exactly where you last put them. So if I am too tired LAZY to, say, put away my gym clothes and shoes after a workout, they can (and do) linger in the exact spot I kicked them off. Which in the case of the shoes can be literally inches away from where they’re supposed to go, as you can see from the photo at right.

Yesterday I folded laundry and instead of putting away the lone pair of underwear from the batch, I put them on top of the dresser. Because opening the drawer to put them inside just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. (I didn’t actually put them away until after I started typing this paragraph. I didn’t even have to get out of my swiveling desk chair to do it.)

I noticed that I was leaving an ever-increasing trail of detritus in my wake, to be picked up when it finally got big enough for me to pay attention to. Magazines I read while I ate meals remained on the dining room table. Empty water bottles or glasses stood sentinel on my desk—on a coaster, granted, but long depleted and overdue for their trip to the recycle container or the dishwasher. I seem to be more vigilant in common areas than in my bedroom, probably because I know that leaving things askew could be a burden to Mr. Brooks when he’s home, awake and ambulatory.

The first step in reversing this habit is, of course, a mission to put things “away right, right away.” The second is more burdensome, and thus hopefully more edifying: Whenever I see something previously left out of place, I make myself put it away, right then and there. Last night I was crawling into bed—teeth brushed, goodnight!—when I saw a drinking glass on my desk, so I got out of bed and walked it to the dishwasher where it belonged. If things go according to plan, moments like that will be so annoying that I’ll want to avoid them by putting things away in the right spot to start with.

And if they don’t go according to plan, you can expect to see a grumpier me, repeatedly muttering, “That’s not where that goes” as I move items to new, improved locations. If I can master that, maybe my next step will be making my bed every morning. But I’m not holding my breath on that one.

WHAT SAM WORE: 8-31-14
shirt083114 shorts083114 converseshoe
The shirt: T-shirt by Junk Food, from Urban Outfitters.
The shorts: Running shorts by Adidas, from Sports Authority.
The shoes: Custom All-Stars, made on the Converse website.

 

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