Friday, July 24, 2009

oh, that martha

as you know, i often marvel at martha stewart, and her "organizing tip of the day" was a good one yesterday. it touched on some of the same notes as the article i posted about a few weeks ago detailing how she does all she does. that one was more about personal care, while this one is more home-related. either way, they are things to aspire to doing with the dedication she does.

here, she shares six things to do every day, and they are simply put in that very martha way.

make the bed
tidiness begets tidiness. a crisply made bed makes the whole room seem more orderly, which makes it less likely that you'll let other things -- such as clothes and papers -- pile up around it.

manage clutter
whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn't where it should be. pick it up and put it where it belongs. insist that everyone in the household do the same.

sort the mail
take a few minutes to open, read, and sort mail as soon as you bring it inside. keep a trash bin near your sorting area for junk mail. drop other mail into one of four in-boxes: personal correspondence, bills, catalogs, and filing.

clean as you cook
instead of filling the sink with pots and dishes, wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.

wipe up spills while they're fresh
whether it's tomato sauce on the cooktop or makeup on the bathroom counter, almost anything is faster and easier to remove if you attend to it immediately.

sweep the kitchen floor every evening
once you've finished washing up after dinner, sweep the floor. this will keep tough-to-clean dirt and grime from building up, which will make the weekly mopping much quicker.

everything seems a little easier and quicker when martha says it, i know, but her approach is so matter-of-fact because it's just a way of life for her. though it's not really in my nature to be so tidy and clutter-free, i work at it. hard. what i do know is that each of these tasks yields tremendous pleasure and enjoyment in return...they make home a more beautiful, relaxing place to be. and maybe that appreciation and effort is how you become someone who is naturally that way.

martha's simple directives remind me of the general concept of the book zen and art of motorcycle maintenance (which i'll be rereading soon) - about mindfulness and reminds me of lessons from my dad about using the right tool for the right job, clearing a workspace and working carefully, including cleaning as you cook. no wonder martha's advice has a familiar ring to me.

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