Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Make Your World a Better Place

Wherever you are, make it better.

My chosen bathroom book is a little hardback by Donna Smallin titled, The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple. I flip through looking for inspiration, even though most of the suggestions are things I will never, ever do, like taking pictures of my shoes and labeling my shoe boxes with them. But that doesn't mean I'm not serious about my quest for organization. It is my obsession despite its slipperiness. So I skim through Smallin's book periodically, in hopes of finding a tidbit I haven't yet considered.

Because I sometimes get rewarded with an "A-ha!" moment. One that changes the way I view not just my personal possessions or my home, but the way I view my life. For example, one of her suggestions for staying organized once you get there (as if that is a destination where anyone stays for very long) is to never pass through a space without making it better or improving it somehow.

I tried it. As I passed through the kitchen, I took a dish out of the sink and put it in the dishwasher. Walking up the stairs I grabbed a belt thrown over the rail and put it away. Resting for a moment on the den sofa, I plumped the pillows. I started to feel like I was making a difference, if not a remarkable dent, in my clutter. It was reward enough, since my family had failed to notice.

And it hit me, while wiping the top of the dryer with a rag, that this wasn't just a method for finding satisfaction in my immediate surroundings. This was a method for living - to make a small improvement where ever I am. To put a misplaced can on the correct shelf in the grocery store. To pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk. To write a thank you note to the housekeeper who cleans my hotel room.

Isn't that how we picture ourselves, we southern belles, making grand entrances and exits, sweeping gracefully through rooms, changing the world as we go? And aren't we brave enough to do it, even if we have to actually sweep, even if we are not dressed in a flowing ball gown, and even if nobody notices?

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: Stop where you are right now. Do one thing to make it a better place.

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