Know Thyself

While reorganizing a closet last week, I thought of something important I wanted to reiterate here: When choosing where and how your things will be put away, always consider--and if necessary compensate for--your PUT-AWAY STYLE (PAS) and that of your family.

For example, what’s your PAS when it comes to extension cords? When you finish using one, do you neatly wrap the cord up before you put it away? Or do you cram it somewhere in a big messy wad, thinking you’ll get to it and straighten it out later?

If you’re housekeeping impaired like me, chances are it’s the latter. So if your PAS means that nine times out of ten you cram it away in a wad, then instead of beating yourself up about that why not just anticipate it and create a space for it? That way, your usual behavior becomes the correct method and you’ve just taken another step toward engineering cleaning convenience in your home!

Years ago, I kept my cords on little hooks inside the mop closet. The problem was that the cords wouldn’t hang from the hooks unless I neatly wrapped them first. Since that wasn’t happening, the cords were getting thrust blindly into the closet to “fix later”, falling onto the floor and creating a jumbled mess in and among the mops and brooms.

Once I turned my house into a House That Cleans Itself, however, I acknowledged this problem and planned for it. Nowadays, if you need an extension cord, just look inside my mop closet—not for the hooks but for a bucket that sits on the floor for just that purpose. We cram the cords into the bucket when we are done with them and pull them out from the bucket when we need them again.

This method would give a neater person a heart attack. But for me and my family, it’s our PAS when it comes to extension cords, so it’s okay.