You know how sometimes you read something that really, completely changes the way you think or do things? And then, if you're me, you know how you immediately forget who the brilliant person was who presented you with this particular ephiphany?
Well, some years back, I read something somewhere by someone..and it changed my life. In a small way, but very much for the better. Said someone somewhere was talking about decluttering and cleaning, and basically suggested that you were better off working within your habits than trying to change them, especially if they were ingrained. So, for instance, if everyone in your family drops their coat on the floor right inside the front door, put a coat rack there. Maybe you don't want a coat rack there...but wouldn't that be better than constantly fighting the battle to get people to not drop their coats there in the first place?
It is for that reason that I put a wicker basket by the front door, which leads out to the garage, where the laundry room is. When someone pulls their socks off in the living room, they just toss 'em toward the basket by the front door. When I notice that a dishtowel has gotten dirty, I put it in that basket. Then when I walk out the front door, I see those bits and pieces sitting there, and I will either add them to the laundry basket I'm carrying out, or toss them into the garage as I go past. I no longer have to yell about clothes laying all over the house; there's a quick, easy and obvious place for them now.
Similarly, that's why I bought a coffee table with a shelf under it. Baroy and the kids always take their shoes off while sitting on the couch. The coffee table is right there. So they just place their shoes on the shelf, and voila. They're not scattered all over the living room.
I, on the other hand, have gotten into the habit of taking off my shoes in the kitchen and piling them all up right at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to my and Baroy's bedroom. When I come down the stairs in the morning, I just step into the shoes of my choice, and I'm good to go.
But having a pile of shoes in the kitchen--even in a relatively out-0f-the-way part of the kitchen--can be unsightly, and I've been fighting my own tendencies for years now. (Why I never think to solve my own problems the way I solve my family's is an entirely different psychoanalytic session.) Invariably, this means that, the day after I've dragged all the shoes back upstairs, I'll come down and realize I was expecting them to be in their regular kitchen spot. Going up and down stairs seventeen times each morning? Makes me pretty cranky.
All of which is prelude to this, which I found sitting in the usual pile-place by the stairs when I came home from work last night:
Baroy made it for me out of scrap wood in the garage, and leftover paint from the wall behind where I stood to take that picture.
I almost literally swooned. If I have a "love language," this is it. Something cheap and simple that solves a problem for me. Just like that. And at a time when my stress levels are so high that any release of the pressure feels like a new lease on life.
He's a keeper. And so is that shoe rack.