Friday, November 10, 2017

Keeping the Scoop

As I finished up a can of whey protein, I stood staring at a little plastic scoop in my hand. And like every other human my brain quickly and frantically searched for a use, a home, a reason to keep this odd little item that can only be acquired by purchasing a (fairly) specific product.  My brain cataloged all the client’s homes that I‘ve found these in, in friend’s homes, in my own mother’s home (in the utensil drawer when I was growing up - awwww). I thought ”Everyone seems to have one in their kitchen - everyone.” My brain, feeling encouraged, continued falsely assuming that it was growing momentum, “I could put in the sugar, the flour, the baking soda, salt, and anything decanted really.” At last the fog lifted.

Why was my brain so frantically thinking of reasons to keep the little scoop? Because it knows I’m well trained to resist such temptations and it had better act quickly if the fate of that little scoop was to live in my home, possible accumulating other little scoops, maybe someday getting a whole scoops drawer. But that was not to be!

Once I took control my brain turned on a dime and began down the familiar, well-worn path: Where would it live? Doesn’t everything scoopable come with another scoop? There’s nothing different between this scoop and a measuring spoon (which has a lot more uses). Everyone has (at least!) one and I use the same reasoning on them all. Conclusion: Goodbye little scoop!

It got me thinking about my own habits. This is pretty much what I automatically do when I encounter anything that I might want to keep, a cute button, an empty sauce jar, the ribbon wrapped around my new dish towels, and the scoop in the whey protein. All trash, really. Oh sure, appealing, eye catching trash but trash just the same. So, what to do?

Everything in my home passes the “keep test”, using the following questions:

Do I need, use, or love it?
What (very specifically) will I use it for?
When will I wear it? Really??
Does anything I own do the same job?
Where will it live?
Is it realistic to my lifestyle?

So let’s take the items above and put them to the test:

A cute button:
Do I need, use or love it?
Answer: It’s cute.
What would I use it for?
Answer: ------
Where will it live?
Answer: My sewing kit.
Is it realistic to my (non-sewing, non-crafting, non-remembering that I have a cute little button in my sewing kit) lifestyle?
FAIL!!!! Goodbye cute, little button.

An empty sauce jar:
Do I need, use, love it?
Answer: ------
What will I use it for?
Answer: What WON’T I use it for??????!!!!!!
Answer: ----
Does anything I own do the same job?
Answer: Yeaaaahhhhh.
FAIL!!!!! Goodbye empty sauce jar.

The ribbon wrapped around my new dishtowels:
FAIL!!!!! Goodbye ribbon.

The idea behind all of this is that you put some thought into an object before it earns, that’s right, earns a place in your home. Without thought, you’ll probably keep something you don’t really want; you’re just not sure what to do with. 
Put everything to the test. It only takes an extra minute or so at first until it becomes habit.

Give a little thought to every little thing and before you know it you’re recycling bin will be overflowing and your countertops will thank you for it!

The scoop that stopped me in my tracks

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