I think it’s important to understand the subjectivity of advice on organization.
Take Michele Connolly’s ten tips for everyday neatness. Even she says this: [T]he strategy that’s likely to be the most effective, that will keep your inner perfectionist under control, and that will last, is to decide on some daily organizing tasks that are pretty much non-negotiable.
She offers her own ten to start, which… I don’t know. I think I need to tweak this list. If I tried these ten specific tasks, my life would look a little different:
1. Consider making the bed; settle for flipping the covers back into place until naptime. And there will be naptime.
2. Put things away if, by the time I’m done with them, I haven’t exhausted myself. Or I’m not in too much pain. Or getting them back up the stairs is just as simple as getting them down. Mind you, when I’ve been painting, there is no good place to put away my art. It kind of has to stay where I was working or get smudged. I should designate a do-not-disturb area that does not have to be picked up.
3. If I notice something broken, I am not at liberty to throw it away. I live with two other people, remember? So I have to make sure neither of them cares before I get rid of it. Sometimes I need their help, as with broken-down electronics and hardware. I know very well you’re not supposed to pitch printers and scanners into the dumpster. The recycling center is ten minutes down the road. I should write down its hours and become one of its best customers.
4. We have a whole room of “not used or loved”. The last time I tried to muck it out alone, I had a CFS flare for my trouble. For some reason, neither of my housemates wants to help me there. Huh. Well, I’m aware of it, at least.
5. Our counter spaces tend to be pretty full after dinner, so the first step is actually pile the damn dishes in the sink or the dishwasher because I can only wipe what I can see.
6. I totally anticipated this step. Fine. If I’ve managed number 5, I can wipe down the counter.
7. We do not own a cordless vacuum. We do not own a vacuum I can lift. Someone buy me a vacuum or else accept my dirty carpets as they are.
8. I do try to write down what needs replacing when I notice. Of course the actual purchaser of groceries has her own system. Look, it’s something of a miracle that I’ve got her to write on the calendar whether the dishwasher wants loading or unloading.
9. I am no longer allowed near the coffee machine. I always forget the proportions. I just don’t drink coffee. I could write them down and tape them to the wall, so I can pre-load the coffee machine, if the actual coffee drinker will tolerate this disruption to her routine.
10. Some nights, all you can do is hang the clothes where the cat won’t pee on them. I do aim for the hamper, though.