When I first wake up in the mornings, this is what I see:
Well. This is what I see now. A few days ago, it was a whole 'nother story.
Because, you know, life happens.
- Bowls that were once full of grapes - my favorite midnight snack - are cast aside on horizonal surfaces.
- Sweatshirts that were necessary at 4 a.m. but too much at 6 a.m. are tossed on the floor.
- Books and magazines pile up in drifts, like fallen leaves.
- And speaking of natural debris, Ranger accidentally drags in bits of flora from his early morning trips to the backyard.
And when I would peep open my eyes to start a new day, and take in this post-apocalyptic horror, I just wanted to roll over and sleep till noon.
But fear not. On the fateful morning in question, I bounded from my bed like the Tasmanian devil and jumped into action. Wasting no time, I busted out my never-fail, always-satisfying, three-point plan for rescuing a room in crisis.
1. Declutter aggressively.
Get rid of anything annoying. And I mean anything. Start with the obvious offenders, like clothes on the floor and dirty dishes, but I keep removing items until I feel Zen. If that means I end up taking art down off the walls and tossing all the knick-knacks into boxes for a one-way trip to the garage, so be it. Do whatever it takes to make the room feel calm.
2. Clean enthusiastically
My weapon of choice against dust, dirt and grime is a damp fiber cloth. The end. Years of experience have taught me that it will wipe away any and all routine messes. If the crime scene is especially grievous - by which I mean pet-related - I put all my trust into Clorox wipes and my miraculous odor-eliminating vinegar spray bottle.
Honestly, I usually complete Steps 1 and 2 concurrently, which is a nice way of saying that I run around like a crazy person, wiping and tossing and picking up and wiping some more. Rather than respecting these as two distinct processes, I declutter and clean in a hazy blur and that's how I like it.
But once the frenzy wears down, I'm ready for the last step:
3. Line stuff up.
Now, this suggestion may sound a little offbeat, but I vow that it works every time. Whatever I've decided to leave on display in the room...I just line it up.
See the books on my bookshelves? I lined them up.
Those four baskets could have been placed in any of the sixteen compartments of the bookcase, but I chose to line them up along the bottom row.
And blessed be these three little succulents living in their glossy white pots. They would look pretty darn cute in any arrangement, but I lined them up on top of the bookcase and I nearly fainted from the satisfaction of their tidiness.
Now don't get me wrong - a space that is clutter-free and clean is pretty darn good. But when I intentionally create an extra dimension of order and calm by lining some things up, the room goes from good to great.
And that is a lovely sight to see when I wake up in the morning.
P.S. A careful observer will notice that I don't line things up perfectly. A few of the books on the shelves are kitty wampus, and the three white pots are not evenly spaced. Yeah. I do that on purpose, just to prove to myself that I'm not completely OCD. Not yet.
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Succulent stories aplenty:
Bringing Home Baby