Hi. My name is Barefoot, and I am a slob.
Not just messy, not just disorganized, a slob.
I have made plenty of excuses about it over the years.
I just don't have time. I was never taught how to be neat. I'm too tired. I'll do it later. My kids/roommate/hubby aren't neat, either, so it's not fair to expect me to clean up after them. There is too much stuff and too little room...
....etc, etc, etc....
I have tried, so many times, to change this about myself. I don't like being a slob. Really I don't. It's frustrating to not be able to find things when you're in a hurry, or to buy something only to get home and realise you already have 3. It's embarrassing to have people come to the house, and you would rather keep them out in the rain and cold than allow them entrance to your home.
So, as part of my plan to come back to the land of the living, I have instituted a five minute rule for myself.
It's simple, really. Whenever I go to do something (take Little Sprout to preschool, go to bed, eat breakfast, take a shower, head off to work) I get started five minutes early, and use that time to pick up.
Genius, if I do say so myself.
Now, those of you who are born neat (and I hope you don't mind if I hate you - just a little) probably do this without even thinking about it. You probably sit down to read the paper in the morning with your coffee and toast, and before you head off to get ready for work you put the paper in the recycle, rinse out your cup, and wipe the crumbs from the table.
I don't. I never even think of it until there is so much junk piled on the table that it takes 20 minutes just to throw stuff in boxes and bags so we can sit and eat at it. I don't bat an eye at the kids having to push back piles of papers before being able to set their plates down.
Yeah, I'm that bad.
It's amazing how much you can get done in five minutes, and even more amazing how many five minute sections there are in a day. Turns out, there are 288 five minute segments to every day. I don't use anywhere near all of them, and I really see a difference in Barefoot Manor.
Take today for example. When I got up, it took me less than five minutes to pick up the clothes off the floor, make the bed, and clear all the Mt. Dew bottles out of the bedroom. So I got ambitious and emptied the trash cans, too. A little later in the day, it took me a total of 8 minutes to vacuum the living room. Another 5 were spent sweeping the bathroom, hall, dining room, and kitchen. And I never really broke the rhythm of my day. After dropping Little Sprout off at preschool, I spent 10 minutes picking up in her room. No big sacrifice, but HUGE improvement when looking through the door. It took me less than that to switch out the lightweight jackets and sweaters from the front entry, and replace them with the heavier winter coats.
I know eventually it would probably be good for me to have some kind of system. Something like a routine. But right now, my life HAS no routine. Instead of fighting that, I just take five minutes here and there, and do something that needs doing. I can do just about anything - no matter how distasteful - for five minutes, and I love the results!
And guess what? This post only took a few minutes to write this post! That might mean more posts in the future!