Thirty-Ten Cubed

November 9, 2006

The Six Goals of a Quality Life: #6 – Declutter the house.

NaBloPoMo 2006Chris Baty, the creative energy behind NaNoWriMo, suggests a plan for productive writing sessions. Work for thirty minutes, take a ten-minute break to stretch, have a snack, or do some other refocusing activity, and then repeat the sequence twice more. Two hours will have elapsed, you will have about 5,000 words (if you’re just typing what comes into your imagination and not going back to edit), and you can then go about other activities with a sense of accomplishment. Do this for ten sessions, and you have your 50,000 words for winner status.

I haven’t tried that yet with the fiction I’ve begun moodling* with this month, but today I applied it to the task of getting my house ready for the holiday season. I tend to be a haphazard housekeeper. Although I like order and predictability, I often let household tasks slide in favor of reading, writing, and gallivanting. There’s always food in the refrigerator and clean underwear in the drawers (not necessarily by my doing), but other things tend to pile up. Literally so, sometimes, as when my stack of magazines rises to a height twice the depth of the basket I keep it in.

In the two weeks before Thanksgiving I want to give a thorough redding out to the living room, the kitchen and breakfast room, the dining room (AKA the walk-in closet), the library (AKA the family room, where we keep the television and Ron’s computer work area), and the entrance hall.

I made a chart of the rooms, drawing the floor plans and dividing each room into three sections. Today I did the 30-10 cubed on Section 1 of the dining room. In the interests of full disclosure, I should state that while some of the clutter that found its way into that section has been dispatched to its proper places (including the trash bag), some of it has been relocated temporarily to the living room in an operation Ron calls “restacking.” But I made some headway, and I’m pleased.

Tomorrow, another 30-10³ session in the dining room, and one for the novel.

*moodling — writing meandering prose designed to create a beginning draft of a piece. I am indebted to Susan Tiberghien, a gifted teacher, for the image.

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