I am a pacer.
It drives my husband nuts.
Anytime there is something that requires me to make decisions or tackle big jobs at once, I micromanage. I need to make sure everything is how it should be and plan for all contingencies. This translates into pacing.
When packing for a trip, I can usually get the majority of the job done rather quickly, but then I get thinking about all of the different activities we will do and I start to walk back and forth from my closet(s) to my luggage, look at either container, and ponder life’s big questions:
“Will I need two grey sweaters? One of them is classy; one is comfy. What if we go to such-and-such place… Will I need this one? Or should I bring the black one? This black, or that black?”
Rest assured, my underwear always find their place into my bag … even if they are accompanied by seventy-three other miscellaneous shirts, scarves, and pairs of shoes… for that two nighter.
I am also a piler. I leave piles of things in all of the places. My husband says he can always tell if I’ve been home because I leave a trail of piles in my wake.
This, too, drives him bonkers.
These two habits of mine, piling and pacing, make for a deadly combination. Okay, not deadly, but extremely time-consuming and messy one, for sure.
I can never seem to pick up all my
junk extremely important piles. I will pace around and eventually move clutter from one pile to another.
Here comes my brilliant #mamahack (if I do say so myself) …
The Clutter Basket
You will need to grab a basket. This might be a laundry basket, large bucket, or (as I suggest) a Large Utility Tote (I love Thirty-One bags). You want something large enough to carry some clutter and probably some handles or straps to make it easy to transport. That’s why I love my LUT. It is spacious and has awesome handles so I can throw it on my shoulder and move from room to room while herding my quick crawler. (If you don’t have a Thirty-One gal, yes every mama needs one, meet my girl, Teisha.)
With your basket in hand, you will go to one far side of your house. For me, this is my office. You will need to start by picking up all of the clutter in that room. If you come across something that does not belong in that room, put it in the CB. I find it very helpful to put a plastic bag or mini-trashcan in the CB to put trash in so that you do not leave the room and lose focus on your mission. Another tip would be to keep a small plastic bin in your CB if you find there are often cups or other dishes that need picked up. You don’t want to spill anything on the other cargo in your CB.
Once you have picked up one room, make your way across your house by stopping in each room along the way. If there is something in your Clutter Basket that belongs there, put it away. If there is something in the room that doesn’t belong, put it in your CB and keep trekking.
Once you get to the other side of the house, you may have some things in your basket that don’t belong. You will turn around and move your way back to the other side. You can drop off things in the rooms on your way back to your starting place.
There is really only two rules for using The Clutter Basket:
- No back-tracking. If you pick up something that belongs in a room that you’ve already passed, you cannot go back. You will need to wait for your trip back to put it away.
- No pacing. You put all the things away or in the basket. Get it done, mama!
I swear, when I use my Clutter Basket I can get my house picked up efficiently. No more pacing. So if you find yourself pacing around aimlessly while staring at all the important piles in your house, use a Clutter Basket.