Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Minimalist Tip: Let Go of Perfect

I was browsing Pinterest (instead of doing something useful, like laundry) and I saw a tip on how to make your whites white, not grey or yellow. The picture showed beautiful, fluffy towels and perfectly folded sheets. I started figuring out which container I would use to whiten my laundry.

Then I realized that I don't really care. I admit, the socks in my house (especially work-in-the-yard socks, and kids' socks) do tend to have a tinge of grey. But since the kids don't care, and they wear their socks without shoes a lot (which tends to make them grungy), spending the afternoon whitening all the whites in the house is not a good use of my time.

This works for a lot of things. Of course, some level of hygiene is necessary. When cloth napkins start showing grease stains, they need to be treated. But undertaking tasks that never occurred to me before may be anti-minimalist.

I had a friend many years ago who suffered with borderline hoarding disorder. (I am not a psychologist, so I can't diagnose her, but I am not using this condition as hyperbole.) She never could start clearing out her clutter (and trash) because she couldn't make it perfect in one go. She couldn't deal with the clutter in the kitchen because her dishes didn't match, so what was the point?

The point is: don't let perfect be the enemy of better. Get your laundry clean, even if the socks are a little grey. Wash the dishes, even if they don't match. When you have reduced the amount of clutter to a point where you have too much free time, then you can whiten grey socks. Or play a board game with the family. Whatever floats your boat.

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