Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Ten second tidy?... or time to pillage the village?"

Like many youngsters, our daughter's pre-school years were influenced by PBS programming such as Sesame Street and Arthur. But I think it was Big Comfy Couch that taught our household about the ten second tidy... simply a conscientious and focused neatening of those things that are out of place. It's a tactic that I've always tried to adhere to during the construction of the layout.

But even ten second tidies only go so far. It was time to call in the cavalry. In the early years of wedded bliss, my wife and I used New Year's day to re-organize and re-energize our first home. It was a tradition that Gina deemed, "pillage the village." Closets, cabinets, drawers and shelves were scrutinized. Not all items escaped the fate of our local environmental engineer's pre-dawn visit.

It was time for the railroad room and surrounding areas to experience such scrutiny. I was guilty of storage build-up. A lot of extra stuff that had been saved, "in case I ever need it," had to go. Other items were more sensibly stored and/or consolidated. It may not have been a cleansing of the heart, mind or soul, but it was of the basement, and that's all that mattered.

Empty boot boxes, scrap Gator Board and bagged weeds were combined for better storage through a quick fabrication of dividers that will better protect these crafted trees as I experiment with several harvested varieties. Win, win, win.

My supply of boxes, which measure 12" x 20" x 5", will grow each time one of the ladies in the house buys boots. Scraps of cardboard, styrene, wood, foam and other assorted materials were either tossed or consolidated in larger boxes. And lots of household papers, knick-knacks and unused items were tossed too, just for good measure.

Ultimately, I concluded that for me it's psychologically more costly to continue storing items that pretty clearly will never be used. They unnecessarily take up space, create visual noise and are just too much of an inconvenience. And yes, I know that next week there might be something that I could use that I just tossed. But I'm willing to take my chances. All things considered, it's just cheaper.

I also realize the time may come where I need to use under-the-layout as storage space, but until all electrical is done, and skirting completed, I will make every effort to keep that area uncluttered so as not to distract from the layout above. Of course, we still have quite a way to go on that front.

More on that, and a rather major development, in a few days.
What development over the Labor Day holiday facilitated such a cleaning/organizing effort?

A) The layout has been expanded.
B) The layout has been contracted.
C) The layout has been modified.
D) The layout has been dismantled.


  1. This is definitely something I have to do. I have a lot of "in case I ever need it" supplies that I'm pretty sure now I never will...
    Thanks for the post - very inspirational and I"m looking forward to hearing about the "rather major development".
    - Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

  2. Replies
    1. Mike - I'll give you this much... it ain't D! - JF

  3. I believe you're right about a psychological cost to keeping lots of stuff. I get that nice "weight lifted off your shoulders" feeling when ever I toss a bunch of crud I thought I needed.

    I sense a possible "B" ...

    1. Chris - I sense that you've been paying attention... JF

  4. Outer Order, Inner Calm. Let productivity soar!

    1. Hey Galen - I like that!... I need some calm... sure beats what a co-worker said to me years ago... "A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind!" - JF