Despite my best efforts, I’m not a very tidy person. If you know me at all, you’ll know this is true. My office is a mess, my apartment is a mess, my car is a mess. I would love to be a Monica Gellar-esque, Type A clean-freak, but I just can’t. Clutter follows me wherever I go.
As my parents can attest to, my lack of cleanliness is nothing new. I have been this way since I was a child. They tried to beat it out of me, but it didn’t work. (That is a joke, btw. My parent’s didn’t actually beat me.) I try to so hard to stay organized, but it just never works out very well. Slovenliness is simply engrained in who I am as a person.
All things considered, every once in a while I get the uncontrollable urge to sort through and organize everything I own. For me, this has happened two weekends in a row. (!!) I’m not sure what the impetus for the most recent episode(s) of this were—possibly the fact that spring has finally arrived in Michigan or the fact that my move-out date is soon approaching—but regardless, I recently decided it was time to start purging my life of shit I don’t need, don’t want and/or don’t use.
Whenever I feel my life spiraling out of control and directly into an episode of Hoarders, I try to regroup and get my shit together. For those of you unfamiliar with GYST, it stands for get your shit together. (Who can’t relate to that? I think we could all benefit by getting our collective shit together, regardless of what it pertains to.)
Recently I’ve just had the desire to get my shit together. Like, all of my shit. I don’t know if anyone else can relate, but I think it stems from these occasional, weird moments of panic where I feel like everyone else has their life together and I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t.
TBH, I think Matt Bellasi said it best when he said, “…I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing. I don’t date. I don’t drive. I don’t eat right. I don’t exercise. I don’t cook. I don’t clean. I don’t know how to dress myself. And I can’t remember where I left my remote, which should be the least of my concerns, but somehow it’s the most upsetting.”
Whenever I’m having one of those moments, I like to do two things (in this order): 1) remember all the people I went to high school with who are actively pursuing rap careers on Soundcloud and 2) deep clean everything I own.
CYCLE OF SLOVENLINESS
For me, the cycle from pristine organization to chaotic mess typically goes something like this.
- Organize everything I own
- Let organization fall by the wayside
- Try to regroup by “organizing” shit into piles (you know “the chair.” We all have one!)
- Be entirely consumed by clutter, on the verge of getting my own A&E show
- Organize everything I own
ONE MINUTE RULE
The issue with this is that I can’t break the cycle. Sure, I clean. But doing it this way isn’t very effective, so I’m actively trying to create habits that free me of perpetually being on the the verge of needing an intervention and an industrial sized dumpster.
One thing I’ve found that actually helps a lot is sticking to the one minute rule. The premise of the one minute rule is super easy (and also, probably pretty self-explanatory): if you can get something done in one minute, do it right now.
The caveat: on top of being a messy bitch, I’m also a procrastinator. (To be fair, I feel like those things basically go hand in hand.). It’s like I always say: why do something now that I can put off indefinitely?
Despite having honed my laziness and procrastination for 20+ years, I’ve been following the one minute rule for probably a month now, and I actually think it’s working. You see, due to my aforementioned laziness, I never want to put in the effort required to deep clean or organize things but if I can get something done in one minute, put in minimal effort and have my apartment look better because of it, I’m down.
I think the one minute rule works for me because my laziness is rivaled only by my competitive spirit. In short, I love a good challenge. I need to make my bed, complete with 8 oversized decorator pillows that serve no real purpose? I bet I can get that done in a minute—probably even less. Oh, I need to put laundry away? Call me Speedy Gonzales, bitch.
PUTTING IN EFFORT
Obviously, not all cleaning tasks can be finished in one minute or less. An obvious #lifehack is that the real magic happens when you choose multiple minute-or-less tasks and knock them off one after the other.
Even then, there will be daunting cleaning tasks that you’ll have to tackle, no matter how long they take. One thing I hate, haaaate doing is cleaning my vanity. It’s super important to do considering I use it every day and everything that goes on that table touches my face/eyes, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it.
The other day I went on a GYST, spring cleaning spree and deep cleaned not only the top of my vanity, but the drawers, too.
But wait, there is more! (You should read that in Billy Mays’ voice.) I went on to clean my car, my bathroom and my living room!
Even this messy bitch™ can admit that few things in life are better than a clean, organized home.
Before it all goes to hell again, I’m going to sit back and enjoy my pristinely clean apartment. In the meantime, send me your best cleaning hacks! Are you a naturally tidy person (in which case I hate you) or do you have to trick yourself into cleaning, like me?