4. ...but actually, it's not one thing but a million different things!

Ilona T

2 min read

Track To Tidy Insights 4/6
In this series of blog posts I take you through the thought process that lead me to the game Track To Tidy. All these principles are common sense and were familiar to me already but I didn't really internalize them until going through this track of thoughts. I hope my insights will help you find a solution to your issues with clutter, whether it's this game of mine or a different one you develop for yourself.

Part 1. When schedules and checklists won't work for you...
Part 2. ...would minimalism work?
Part 3. Do this one thing and you'll have a tidy home...

So by now, I had concluded that putting everything where they belong is the key to keeping your home tidy. The process you need is the habit of Putting It Where It Belongs, which I ended up abbreviating as the PIWIB habit. But it is SO HARD for me! In fact, admitting that it was IMPOSSIBLE for my ADHD brain, made a huge difference on my self-esteem: it wasn't that I wasn't trying enough or that I was lazy and dumb, my brain just isn't wired that way.

I went back to analyze the advice my therapist gave me: "...you could start with just one pile of clutter and analyze why, how, and when the stuff ends up there." WHY, HOW, and WHEN? There are numerous different things in the pile but most of the similar items were left there in similar situations:
• mail after coming home from work,
• candy wraps, old receipts and shopping lists when purging my handbag in a hurry before leaving,
• hair brushes and hair accessories when doing and undoing my hair, etc.

Soooo, actually I should learn a different habit for each of these situations! Putting it where it belongs isn't one habit but a bazillion different ones!

Putting things away is a bazillion different habits!

I remember my heart missing a beat when I realized: this was it, I had cracked the code for tidiness! And "all" I had to do was to learn a habit for each and every situation in which I was prone to leave stuff laying around. That's a darn lot of habits...

My list of PIWIB habits to learn

I had tried to learn new habits numerous times without success. Habits and routines don't stick with me very well... But now I was full of hope and enthusiasm and my ADHD brain connected everything I had learnt about habits and behavioural changes over the years of futile attempts.

These next puzzle pieces came together in a couple of seconds like an avalanche in my mind and I knew this was a major breakthrough on my track to tidy...