Wednesday, November 11, 2009

one tiny thing

A few weeks ago
I ordered The Messies Manual
after reading that Jen was excitedly waiting for her copy
after she ordered one
cause one of her readers highly recommended it.
So desperate to get this house in order,
I seriously considered paying the extra 4 bucks
to have it overnighted.
As soon as it arrived, I hightailed it to my room;
I didn't even make a cup of - well - anything first.
This book was going to solve all of my problems.
You can see that this doesn't bode well
for the poor book.
Rather than being hasty,
I should have at least checked the profile
of Jen's commenter who did the recommending.
She has two dogs.
no children.
While reading the first half of the book,
I discovered
that I am not
what one would call
a messie.
I simply have a larger than average sized family
in a
smaller than average sized
and some of them are messy.
Tucked into the second half of the book
along with some elaborate systems
that I certainly don't have time for
was one little jewel.
The 30 second rule.
Which states
'if it will only take 30 seconds to do - do it now'
or something along those lines.
I haven't gotten anybody else to abide by the rule yet
but I have found myself
many times
going to set something down, to put away later
and thought, "30 seconds - that's all it'd take. 30 seconds".
Even when I'm super rushed
I can probably spare 30 seconds.
It's revolutionized my house.
No - not really.
it has helped my mindset.
And that's a good thing.


  1. ok. Here are some quick thoughts. open to others...

    As I stepped over the toy trucks and trailers for the ump-teenth time, I finally picked them up observing the '30 second rule'.

    Yes, some things only take us 30 seconds while the job would take them 30 minutes PLUS me as a helper.

    So what am I gaining? a cleaner house. more exercise (all those squats)...

    But it dawned on me. By doing that 30 second job versus the 30 minute one I missed an opp to teach Samuel. He will only continue through life making messes until I take that time.

    30 seconds versus 30 minutes and a life time? I'll take the 30 minutes - which may take a lifetime to learn, of course.

    And so the toys and the blankets are on the floor.

    "Hey Samuel! Come! I've got something to show you!"

    (What does the book say about long term learning?)

    Love, Your S-I-L

  2. yeah - the book doesn't include children at all (with the exception of talking about how difficult it will be to get them to help...)
    the 30 sec. things I've done are more like - hang my jacket up immediately, rather than toss on couch to get 'when I have more time', put the can opener back in the drawer NOW, that sort of thing. what we need to get through to our kids is if they put something away right away - clean up time will go quicker, later... Unless you have children like mine who calculate that it's awash.... OR maybe even (gasp) more time overall spent when doing in tiny spurts instead of all at once.

    love you all!!


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