Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Psychology of Cleaning (and the importance of framing)

The reason people hate to clean house is that they're looking at the job wrong.

Those of you who know me in real life will find it hard to believe that you could learn anything about cleaning (beyond cautionary tales) from this space, but bear with me.

With the advent of Nevada County Voice(s) I've been reading Shawn's streamlining/organizing/efficiency blog Project Simplify regularly. So when on top of her indoctrinations I read in Paul Graham's excellent essay on Stuff his belaboring of the obvious (to everyone but me) fact that:
One reason [a cluttered room saps one's spirits], obviously, is that there's less room for people in a room full of stuff... triggered an insight - namely, that I've been looking at household entropy reduction the wrong way.

Cleaning is not serving and caring for your home. When you clean, you are not your house's servant.

Cleaning is defiantly reclaiming space that the vile (but spineless! so easily beaten back!) god Entropy thought it could slyly claim via adverse possession, while you were otherwise occupied.

It seems to be working, so far...
(and Shawn, if you already made this point and it's only now springing back out from my subconscious...thank you!)

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