“Often we leave a room a bit messier than when we entered. We think, ‘I’ll clean it up later.’ Later never comes, until the mess is unbearable, and we become irritated enough to undertake a thorough cleaning. How much easier if we take care of things right away. Then we don’t have to feel growing annoyance at the gathering mess.”

-How To Train A Wild Elephant

Hoo boy, this was a tough one for me. I’ve had the phrase ‘Leave No Trace’ in my mind all week, and all week it’s been a struggle to keep rooms as clean as they were before we used them. It inspired a bit of a purge (which was pretty successful, but I want to do more), and it made me realize that I can be lazy about cleaning things up right away.

“This task helps us become aware of the tendency to turn away from doing certain things, even small things that we could take care of during the day but somehow don’t have the motivation to do.”

Yes, this is often my problem. I think a large factor is that I work from home and I therefore become quite used to the state of things around here. When I had a job outside of the house, I would come home, immediately notice some areas that needed cleaning and just do it. But when I’m surrounded by it all day, the motivation just doesn’t seem to be there.

This ‘Leave No Trace’ business is something that I want to keep trying. I want to get better at cleaning up after myself right away – don’t toss my jeans on the floor, but instead put them in the laundry basket; don’t let the dishes pile up, just do them right now; don’t let papers and miscellaneous junk pile on the kitchen table, sort through it and either toss it or put it in its place.

I want this to become a habit, because I know that I always feel better (mentally, emotionally) when my space is clean. A clean house can calm the mind like no other.

The exercise for this week is: Filler Words

“Become aware of the use of ‘filler’ words and phrases and try to eliminate them from your speech. Fillers are words that do not add meaning to what you’re saying, such as ‘um,’ ‘ah,’ ‘well,’ ‘like,’ ‘kind of,’ ‘so,’ ‘sort of,’ ‘anyway,’ etc. In addition to eliminating filler words, see if you can notice why you tend to use them – in what situations and for what purpose?”

Happy Monday!