Ask UfYH: It’s Clean — Now What? The Importance of the Reset

So you cleared off your dining room table! Or possibly your bedroom floor, or that kitchen counter that seems to breed random crap. It’s nice, right? Gives you a sense of accomplishment to look at? And then, even though you try to stop it, that obnoxious little voice tells you to enjoy this moment, because it’s just going to be covered in crap again in a day or two. I know you know that voice.

Here’s the thing: the accumulating crap doesn’t happen on its own. It’s a passive phenomenon, in a way, but only in that you’re the one being passive. A cleaned area is not going to remain that way by itself. And that’s where the reset comes in.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Figure out your most problematic surface.
  2. 20/10 it into submission until it’s clean and cleared of everything that shouldn’t be there.*
  3. Then take two to five minutes every day and reset it back to that perfect state.
Picture of a messy dining room table
Dining room table: before
Picture of a clean dining room table
Dining room table: after the reset

Those messes don’t generally happen overnight. And they usually only get worse the longer you leave them. So by taking just a few minutes every day to reset the surface back to clear, you never give it the chance to accumulate the multiplying crap. And by sacrificing a handful of minutes (do it while the coffee’s brewing, or during a commercial break) each day, you can pretty much guarantee you won’t have to face a mountain of crap on that surface again.

And admit it, there’s something so satisfying about seeing your worst surface completely clear. You should be able to feel that satisfaction every damn day.

*A 20/10 is 20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break.

[This post originally appeared in Feb. 2013. Images are author’s own.]

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[E] Rachel

I punctuate sentences with Oxford commas, and I punctuate disagreements with changesocks. Proud curmudgeon. Get off my lawn.

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