The Dust Bunnies are
By Colleen Langenfeld
And they're watching us
Look, we need to talk. If you are still cleaning your house the old-fashioned
way, you need my help! What do I mean by old- fashioned? I mean the way you've
always done it. B-o-r-i-n-g, time-consuming and probably high on the nagging
scale. Which is why you always put it off as long as you can.
Until your mother is coming to dinner.
Hey, I'm a mom. I know how that works.
Personally, I am tired of having to declutter my home every time I turn around.
Or every time my children walk through the door. Take your pick. So...I realized
I needed a system that will get a nasty, boring job done fast and that I can
repeat easily, week after week after week after week...okay, you get the point.
I discovered the answer to my declutter needs is (drum roll, please),
I've lost you, haven't I?
That's okay. I was there with you once. But as a recovering clutter-holic and a
reformed knee-deep procrastinator, I am on a new path in life and you can be,
too. It's a clutter-free path, clean and orderly.
And, the funny thing is, I discovered this path starts in my head.
That's right. I discovered my *thoughts* were cluttered. Messy. Disorganized. So
I began thinking about what I was thinking (yes, I agree, too much thinking -
but stay with me) and realized that I avoid organizational solutions AT THE VERY
MOMENT I need to address them.
I walk in the door with the mail. My head thinks 'what do I do with this stuff?'
My next thought is profound. 'I don't know.' (Sigh.) So my action is to JUST
DROP THE MAIL ON THE TABLE AND DEAL WITH IT LATER.
Have YOU ever done that before?
Now, translate that into your entire house. No wonder we struggle with ongoing
messes and never really get the job done.
So, I decided that instead of practicing my frustration (which I believe I am
approaching the High Holy Expert Level of Frustration due to my many years of
focused practice), I would use it to fix the problem and be done with it.
Then I made a plan.
- Every time I was confronted with the thought 'what do I do with this?' I would
STOP and come up with one possible organizing solution.
- I would immediately put the solution into action.
- I would observe whether or not that solution made things better in my home.
- Not better? Out the window that idea went.
- Better but not enough? Look for ways to tweak and improve.
- Frustration level on that issue gone? I've hit my mark. I would celebrate,
reward myself (oh yah), and turn my focus to the next Dust Bunny who was
The secret to this organizing method is to tackle one frustration at a time. Not
five or ten or twenty-nine (which in my perfectionist head sounded like extreme
efficiency). Just declutter one area of my home until it begged for mercy under
my newly discovered organizational prowess. Then have a joy-fest and move on to
the next area.
Hey, I'm starting to like this. This is beginning to look like...fun.
And more importantly, this is working. I am feeling in control of my home
instead of being beaten up by it. So I take this to the next level and start
teaching my family members this organizing system.
Just a simple rule.
If I have to pick up someone else's stuff twice, then I realize that lovely
piece of stuff is looking for a new home. And I give it one. The local thrift
shop or the garbage can, depending upon my momentary whim.
My children shudder at my whims.
Hey! Suddenly everyone else in my household is cleaning out the cobwebs in their
Would you like to be free, as well? Then join me on this quest to declutter our
homes, our minds, our world.
(Oops. Sorry again. Getting carried away is something I've become an expert at,
also. You know, I'll bet there's a super-system I can figure out for this, too!
Maybe if I just...)
Listen! There's another Dust Bunny calling me. Gotta go!
Colleen Langenfeld has been parenting for over 24 years and
helps other busy moms at
http://www.paintedgold.com. Get more of her help with organizing at