Home Forums Challenges The Domino Effect

This topic contains 54 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  Lounger 6 years ago.

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  • #159902

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect. What’s the first brick to set all of them on fire? Let’s work on it this summer (sorry Southern hemispherers πŸ™‚ ), when there’s more bounce to the step and more hours to the day somehow.

    Mine is PEEP, a place for everything and everything in its place. When I don’t put things back, I have created chaos within a few days. Not everything has a place yet, but there are many more places assigned already, so I’ll challenge myself to correct my bad habit of leaving things everywhere once I’m done using them for the day. When chaos rules, decluttering is oh so much harder.

    You?

  • #212968

    lucy1965
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I’m joining you on that one! It’s a complete mystery to me, but “don’t put it down, put it away” as a motto has just flown out of my head, and there are little bits and bobs everywhere.

  • #212969

    luxcat
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    In order to keep PEEP in my non-PEEP friendly world I have begun a habit called “The Ten Minute Tidy”… basically after work and before dinner I grab a laundry basket, set the timer, go through every room looking for things that are not in their place, and return them to where they should go. If something does not have a home yet, needs to be cleaned or mended or donated or etc., then it goes in the laundry basket for later sorting, which usually happens about once a week.

  • #212973

    Irulan
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Unwashed dishes and pans sitting on the counter. For a few hours, or even overnight (I know, I know) it’s not too bad. Any more than that, and the whole place falls apart. Papers on the dining table have the same effect, which suck because I do my work at the dining table.

  • #212974

    chacha1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    For me, I think the root cause of clutteravalanches is “making do.” It’s trying to force a given location to serve a given need, when the need doesn’t really fit. Square pegs, round holes.

    One of the reasons I am constantly moving things around is that the layout and fixtures of our home were designed according to a formula that does not truly fit our life. (The other, of course, is that I am still figuring things out.)

    We make it work for the most part, but I really look forward to the day that we can live in a self-designed space!

  • #212978

    Sky
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I’m with you on PEEP. I also take a few minutes every night to tidy up and make sure everything is put away, the kitchen clean and I can start the next day without facing a mess.

  • #212988

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    The PE part is more annoying in my case. I’ll leave things out until I’ve found the ‘perfect’ place for them, which usually means I first will have to rearrange everything. Which obviously doesn’t happen. I just have a really hard time putting things behind doors to create even further chaos there, but on the other hand it’s not good to have the crap sailing around in clear view either, which of course also makes cleaning a lot more painful. Nice conundrum.

  • #213014

    lottielot
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Mine is leaving other people’s stuff where they left it. Cos it’s THEIR stuff. But I know that it is in fact easier to deal with it, hell will freeze over before the owner of said stuff does πŸ™‚

  • #213016

    TatiLie
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I found that the worse thing for us is to have a day-off. So, instead of our usual routine of washing dishes, putting clothes in the washing machine (with timer to start early morning), moping, ect… we just say “don’t worry, tomorrow I’m not working” and then seems that a hurricane passed. Very hard and time consuming to have everything done by one person only.

    For me works better to have a routine and do a little every day. The ten minutes before leaving home in the morning is great to keep stuff under control. I’ll try to create routines for everything else (like reading a book, brushing my cat’s teeth, keeping clothes tidy in the wardrobe).

  • #213035

    bandicoot
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    around here, there are two cluttervalanche triggers:
    1. laundry being pulled off the line or out of the dryer and not immediately folded
    2. my husband’s cooking

    the first snowballs diabolically in a matter of days, until there isn’t a clean folded towel, pillowcase or tea towel in the place.
    the second wipes out the entire kitchen in minutes. every surface is covered. everything needs to be washed. everything needs to be put away. and without one clear space to start from, i go into freeze mode and find it difficult to start anywhere.
    it is just easier to keep food rolling out at intervals than to unleash him in the ktchen.
    however if the laundry and kitchen are orderly and clean, the whole house is orderly and clean.

  • #213047

    djk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I think of it as the broken window theory–and it’s a dirty floor, and an unwiped counter. DH is a crumbs, sticky jam bits, and left-out food person, and I can’t keep up. “wiping” the counter for him means clearing a 4-inch square of his previous mess.
    Probably time for a talk, but I have to consider how to go about it for best results. He had a housekeeper before meeting me, and I think he honestly forgets that he doesn’t have one anymore.

    As we don’t wear shoes in the house, I have no idea how our floor gets so awful, so fast. I know DC is to blame for tracking litter and hair bunnies, but gah! The floor is a PITA for me.

  • #213086

    pkilmain
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Oh gosh, this time of year between DH and the cats (who go outside) I cannot keep the floors clean. The 3 of them track in leaves, small seeds, and dirt of all kinds! Though in theory we take off our shoes before walking anywhere in the house, DH often doesn’t as he “just needs to get one thing” and of course the felines never heard of shoes. πŸ™‚

  • #213098

    bandicoot
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    i cannot even start to talk about the floor here.

  • #213100

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I need a plan of action, but have no ideas other than to start a ten-minute organising frenzy every evening. It just feels like I have so many other things to make into regular habits that it almost would be too much to add yet another task into the cocktail. Which is probably why it’s still not a very attractive concept for me.

  • #213103

    sleepykitten
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Argh – the floor! I have cats who don’t go outside, but who still somehow manage to find dirty spots and drag dirt all over the place. At least I am not along, but it truly drives me nuts to try and keep the floor clean.

    @ninakk – I completely get what you are saying. I also think I need to make cleaning for some set amount of time a nightly habit, but there are SO MANY things that need to be a nightly habit that I am hesitant to add another one, especially when my existing habits are so tenuous.

  • #213174

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    After having observed myself for a day, I’ve noticed at least one thing I can quit doing immediately that isn’t depending on any specific time of the day. When emptying the drying cupboard of washed dishes, I tend to put them on the countertop as a mid-station, but should either put them into their home directly or not move them out of the cupboard at all. My friend mid-station… Ring any bells?

  • #213179

    Anonymous

    The Domino Effect

    Love this post. I have 2 new routines to get fired up about:

    Mine – put the crap on my desk away immediately. I tend to create compost piles.

    DH’s – clear away the trash from his end of the couch daily. I get to remind him to do this daily, as he has memory problems.

    BOth of these actions together create OURS – clearing off my desk reminds me to remind DH. Reminding DH reminds me to clear off my desk. It’s pretty handy that it works that way.

  • #213185

    Netleigh
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    So many of these ring bells.
    However it’s the summer that’s the problem for me. If you can call the weather that we are having in the UK at the moment summer?

    At this time of year we start having serious amounts of time away from home at the weekends and although I’ve improved with putting things back in place when we get home there is that urge to leave things out because we’ll need them again soon. Suitcases left in the kitchen after feeding the washing machine, instead of back in the loft.
    And the laundry! Things get washed but not ironed and put away, hence the back room has things hanging from all available points trying to remain in a relatively uncrushed state for the time I can iron. At least I can shut the door on it.
    Plus the daily before work routines get out of step with long weekends, perhaps I need to work out a diminished routine week plan when there are only 3 or 4 before work days.

  • #213198

    lottielot
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Netleigh: could you not give the suitcases a temporary home under a bed or something? We use rucksacks instead of suitcases nowadays, and they squash up small in a cupboard, but having to put things back home in the loft is very inconvenient if you need them again soon. I hear you on the upheaval though.

  • #213204

    Netleigh
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    lottie, Actually we have a huge kitchen so the suitcases are not a problem there, they just look visually cluttery. It would be no more effort to put them up in the loft as under a bed, it’s just ‘home on monday’ need them again by thursday or friday laziness.
    However I’m definitely thinking of doing a 2 week list of routine cleaning and tidying to run when life gets summertime hectic, the weekly list works quite well the rest of the time.

  • #213207

    pkilmain
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    @ninakk – mid-station is a friend of DH’s as well. It’s his “I don’t know where this goes” routine. πŸ™‚

  • #213226

    Netleigh
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    mid-station woes, how can dh, who’s been living here for 12 years, still not know where some dishes go?

  • #213235

    The Domino Effect

    Here, it is definitely being too tired/annoyed/busy/in pain to put things away or create a system for where they should go if it’s an unresolved pile.

    It does require energy and time, but if you don’t do it all it does is suck more energy and time. Bit like exercise and healthy eating – it’s a pain to do, but far more of a pain eventually if you don’t do it.

    I’ve never had a problem with dishes or laundry. Those are things I do automatically. The things that pile up are the things I don’t like doing (requiring phone calls) or things I’m limited on doing (anything requiring sustained physical effort) or things I do not have a clear plan for (possible art projects).

  • #213245

    The Domino Effect

    PEEP, definitely. I agree with Ninakk — if I have a place for something, I am pretty reliable about putting it there. I something doesn’t have a home, or if the home isn’t working out (too inconvenient, no room in the file cabinet, etc.) things can fall apart quite quickly.

    And as Netleigh said, changes in routine can throw me off. For example, I haven’t been taking MIL to her hair appointments on Thursdays (others have — don’t worry — she is appropriately washed and fluffed!) I routinely clean out my car early Thursday morning so it is tidy for her. Until I realized what was happening, that fell apart when the triggering activity stopped.

    And I confess — the worst is when DH’s routine is disrupted. He’s messy under the best of circumstances, but during this past month of focusing on his mother’s needs any routine he ever had has disintegrated. It’s hard to vacuum when you can’t find the floor in the bedroom πŸ™‚

  • #213291

    Irulan
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    lkh, I hate making phone calls! I’m fine if I’m representing business stuff, but when it’s for myself I get weirdly nervous and I put off the calls. I’ve gotten better at doing it by pretending that I am a business and I’m representing myself. That probably doesn’t make any sense, but it helps.

  • #213298

    pkilmain
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Gosh, I’m not alone. I hate making phone calls, and in general I don’t talk on the phone much except to family. I’ve gotten in the habit of making appointments when I’m in the place, i.e. schedule my next haircut before I leave the salon, same at doctor’s and dentist’s office. I prefer email to phoning.

  • #213317

    Joless
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    My routines work well until something throws them off and everything falls to pieces! That can be as simple as ‘the weekend’, sigh. I also loathe making phone calls so those linger for ages and that really annoys my GF. I’d rather take a drive or email.

  • #213367

    liag
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    My first domino of late has been having to leave town on nearly no notice. Sometimes, also, it can be fatigue that starts it. In ordinary times I have no difficulty because of a nearly neurotic congenital aversion to clutter. I tend not to dust, however!

  • #213402

    chacha1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    @liag, I have been known to go months without dusting. Or without “dusting” … just with swiping my hand over a surface. At least I keep clutter off the surfaces!

  • #217603

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    How is your Domino Effect doing? I’ve tackled mine during the past couple of days starting from the kitchen. There’s not a dirty dish in sight, third day in a row. Pleased as punch here.

  • #217613

    The Domino Effect

    yay Ninakk! well done.

    All my dominoes feel like they have toppled at the moment due to the bedbug situation. Everything has come out of drawers and closets and sealed into plastic bags. All the bags are piled on tables so our cat cannot gnaw on them for attention (fave trick of his).

    So, we have bags everywhere, empty closets, and WE STILL HAVE THE $%#&ing BEDBUGS!

    And I made the mistake of being diligent and mopping the floors to get rid of stinky summer feet stench. It didn’t occur to me that I also mopped up all the residual pesticide that I paid $$$ for. So now I’m covered in bites and waiting for the tech to come back tomorrow and spray again.

    I’m trying to force myself to do 15 minutes of phone calls and family administration each day so that at least I can keep everything else in life ticking along even if the house is upside down.

  • #218470

    PJ
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I just had a domino effect moment … well, I think it’s going to be one, anyway! I’ve never really had a place I was happy with for my stereo (boombox/CD player type thing). There are only a few options for where in the house it should go for optimal access, storage of CD’s, and hearability while working in other parts of the house. Plus, we don’t have huge numbers of electrical outlets in the house. The stereo has tended to live on one of my end tables in the living room, where I do *NOT* think it looks nice, or I move it into the kitchen while I work and then end up leaving it sitting on my stovetop for weeks. No, I don’t cook much, LOL! In both places, it becomes a magnet for other junk, or gets in the way of cleaning the stove top, etc., which also doesn’t look nice.

    With my recent project of setting up a craft room in the den, I had to move around some other furniture. I’ve ended up with 2 nice bookcases, and all my personal (rather than school/work related) books in the living room. I was reading one of the other recent threads, about re-arranging furniture, and it suddenly hit me that the stereo could go on top of the bookcase that is less visible in the room, and conveniently happens to be right next to the only outlet on that wall.

    Oh, I really think this is going to help me so much in terms of keeping those other surfaces clear – I’ve had this feeling in the past of a puzzle piece fitting into place – “Aah, so that’s where this one goes!” And every time I’ve had that feeling, that one defined area of my house has been so much easier to maintain.

  • #218471

    Netleigh
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Dominoes are falling all over the house due to assisting ds with another university room move at the weekend.
    Various packing boxes are back home needing to go back up into the loft, the laundry is clean but not ironed. Last night I just did coming in from work and ironed just the essential one outfit for today, sometimes it takes a while to get back into the swing of things!
    However while I was away dh decided to tackle some of his ‘office/wire and electricals’ room and is using the upstairs landing as a staging area for the stuff partially blocking easy access to the loft ladder. I’m not going to complain as I’m really pleased he’s doing this and the pile of boxes will have to lurk around until next weekend when I should manage to negotiate a path to the loft.

  • #218532

    Rosa
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    my house has just fallen apart the last few weeks, along with my sleep schedule and my mental health. I started tackling a bunch of things this morning, it’s sort of all dominos.

    The WORST is all the bags from errands, traveling, transferring things that belong to other people to them, and the camping gear. Every time I go into the back yard for anything I have been bringing another thing in from the car (we camped with my parents this weekend and lent gear to my stepsister, so we had 2 tents to dry out, 5 sleep pads, etc.) I’m chipping away at it but it’s slow.

  • #218536

    irishbell
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Rosa, this is why I’m not a camper-between the prep and the put away-
    it is SOOOO much work!
    While I love the fresh air and sunshine, flora, fauna, mountains, deserts, oceans,
    when it comes down to eating and sleeping, etc.- I’m a room service kinda girl.

  • #218540

    Rosa
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    We’ve actually got it pretty down – everything stays in one part of the attic in between trips, and there’s a duffel just of camping equipment (flashlights, hammer, bug spray, whatnot). It’s just physically schlepping it all the way up to the attic is like a million trips. I got it half done this morning (1/3 done? Last night it almost all got up to the 2nd floor from outside, and this morning half got up to the attic.)

  • #219919

    Netleigh
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I was in London and DH was camping at the weekend, the camping gear and airers full of washing have exploded all over the house. Just needed to scream about how chaotic it all feels. I know it will probably all make it’s way back to proper homes tomorrow evening when airing and ironing are done, both of us are busy tonight.

  • #232076

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    My mid-station tendency is still flourishing in certain areas, but laundry is put in place these days, quite miraculously. I’m generally more aware of stuff that floats around too, which is positive.

    The reason for resurrecting this thread, however, is my success of washing dishes every day for about a week now. Mornings are so quietly wonderful, because cleared countertops greet me every day, unless some dishes have dried over night on a kitchen towel. I feel like I’m invited to use the kitchen, cook healthier food, etc., not just be passing through so to speak. And the good energy is spreading into the rest of the flat.

    I thought of this thread whilst swiping the sink with a lemon peel, which juice was put into a batch of tzatziki. It is amazing how good it smells now! Any domino effect successes at your end?

  • #232079

    chacha1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    I have actually been nibbling away at the issue of defining spaces, and most importantly working on my own tendency to take the easy way out around the house. It is currently looking the best it has in quite a long time!

  • #232090

    ninakk
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    That is terrific, chacha!

  • #232166

    Lounger
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Receipts! They’re everywhere! And I think they’re the main reason why I struggle to keep my desk clear: if they don’t get dealt with the moment after they get emptied from my purse they just drift around (and multiply, I’m sure) on my desk. Then I develop house-blindness whereby everything else is looking great but the desk remains a mess because I just don’t see it any more.

    Yesterday’s rummage for Fifty-by-Friday junk actually extended to the desk for once, and so it’s now mostly clear except for the receipts. Reading the posts on this thread got me thinking about how to avoid receipt-ification so I’m going to do this:

    1) Sort the receipts for work expenses and actually submit them.
    2) Sort the receipts for photography projects and log them.
    3) Everything else checked and chucked.

    And then:

    * Do a daily purge of purse in office and submit expenses immediately.
    * Any photographic expenses get put in a PEEP, yet to be decided, and logged when I do monthly money checks.
    * Receipts for big purchases / things that might need to be returned etc also will get a PEEP on the desk.
    * Everything else, groceries etc, keep in yet another PEEP and check / chuck monthly.

    I do stuff with money once a month, and the next time will be 25 Feb, so that’s my deadline. Just occurred to me that the less I buy the less receipts I’ll accumulate. The penny just dropped.

    Two domino moments come to mind. One when I bought a great big clothes airer that I can fit an entire load on – no more tripping over several inadequate little airers and smothering radiators with wet washing. The other was when I realised that the bin in the bedroom for non-recyclable things should go next to the dressing table instead of under the desk.

    Oh, the desk. Receipts. Piles and piles of them.

  • #232167

    bandicoot
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    lounger…i have a lot of incoming receipts too.
    and it isn’t always convenient to drop everything and attend to them the second they land on my desk (from their various sources…my purse, the car, my husband, email, fax).
    i have an IN tray though.
    the whole lot gets corralled there initially.
    and when i have a bit of time, i take the first one off the top of the pile and i deal with it…pay it, file it, return it in an envelope, send it to the bookkeeper….whatever is the next action required.
    to make that stage easy for myself, i have a filing cabinet, with files already set out; and envelopes and stamps; and a printer, ready to go at all times; and my phone and computer up and running (for online or phone bill payment as required).

    if you have a structure already set up to deal with the incoming stuff, you will be a lot less likely to have a hellish bottleneck.
    it will be very easy to send things flowing on effortlessly to their next destination, which is OFF your desk.

  • #232215

    glossta1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Receipts are a big bugbear for me too. Big ‘invoice-type’ receipts go to the filing and aren’t so much of a problem. It’s the annoying small till receipts that spill over everywhere, in handbags (purses), in the car, on the kitchen work-surface, in odd corners, on DH’s bedside table.

    Reading this thread reminds me that BC we had a spike for these silly little receipts. It was a wooden block with a 10cm hooked spike protruding. New receipts got spiked. Once a month the spike would be unloaded and the receipts for that month threaded on a bit of string and bundled into a labelled envelope. That way, if something broke and needed to be returned, the right envelope could be reasonably guessed at, and the receipt found. The trick is to use the spike only for things with a return limit of about a year. That way, envelopes more than a year old can be shredded. How did I come to let such a good system slide? Having kids and feeling overwhelmed, that’s how.

    Now I need to go spike-shopping and get the system going again. Anyone know if they’re still available?

  • #232218

    The Domino Effect

    glossta1: receipt spike at Jasper Morrison: http://www.jaspermorrison.com/shop/receipt-spike.html

    Good idea!

  • #232236

    s
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Glossta, you could skip the spike and just start an envelope each month…

  • #232250

    glossta1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    True, but the spike prevents spillage and keeps them in date order. Because some are stapled to card payment slips, and some are long and have to be rolled/folded, and all are an assortment of shapes and sizes the spike seems the best way of exerting control. I guess there’s some habit involved too – we did it for a long time before we lapsed.

  • #232255

    clutterbug22
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Glossta,
    Since the beginning of the Feb Paper Cure thread I’ve been looking into ways of filing/coralling my incoming paper and what i came up with last week was a small plastic envelope with 12 partitions in it where I can file all my incoming little receipts straight into it and get my purse clear. They are the size of a cheque (I think the envelope had a name sticker on it naming it as a ‘cheque-size file’, peeled it off so can’t quite remember.) I think it’s going to work really well, it has little month tabs to put in as well. I got mine from Wilkinsons for about Β£1, I expect WHS do them as well. I’ve also got another cheque size envelope which is just an envelope, no partitions (about 60p from Wilkinsons) and I was toying with using that to keep specific receipts that may warrant possible returns but i don’t know whether that complicates matters, whether it’s best to keep them all together. Shall see how the system works.

  • #232292

    glossta1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Well, not only did I (when I had a spike) take the receipts off onto a string at the end of the month, but also I use ‘treasury tags’ in some of my filing – how old-fashioned is that?! Loved your research. String ’em up! I will go in search of a spike this afternoon, and I’ll post progress.

  • #232388

    glossta1
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Found a spike on Amazon, but hope to get one from Staples or The Range on my way home tomorrow instead.

    By the way, does anyone else find that just as mess and muddle breeds more mess and muddle, the opposite is also true? If I have nice leather folders and nice woven baskets, I am much more motivated to file and store things properly, revelling in the neatness of things.

    The same applies to the bathroom shelves – I keep them so much neater now I’ve upgraded to a nice skincare range I love using and that is packaged attractively too.

    Even odder – now that I have treated myself to lovely leather covers for my home and school planners, I am using them more effectively and getting knock-on benefit in time management and not forgetting stuff. It’s illogical, because the actual planner content hasn’t changed one jot, so how superficial must I be? (Don’t answer that)

  • #232401

    Rosa
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    glossta, that’s never worked for me, but I know that’s pretty common – and it’s obviously true for you, so go with it!

  • #232420

    liag
    Member

    The Domino Effect

    Glossta–No denying that pleasure from appreciation of beauty and the sensual will move us along more easily. I wonder if we can use tis to oil our way through dishes and scrubbing up?

  • #233740

    Lounger
    Member

    I like Glossta’s phrase too and completely understand that nice covers etc lead to more neatness.

    My receipt-domino-thing is going well so far. And I found my spike on the floor under the desk, so that’s where receipts I need to keep go. The others get clipped together and just sit on the desk waiting to be dealt with, but so much easier when they’re all together…. apart from a few stray ones I’ve just noticed. How did that happen?

  • #234296

    Lounger
    Member

    Uh-oh. Just read this and glanced at the mess of receipts to the side of my desk. Something must be done….

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