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Clean That Table!

–Kate Andres– On Reigning in the PILES


I think we should make a group. We can call ourselves Pilers Anonymous.


I am a piler. I pile things everywhere. It seems to be a learned thing. My parents are pilers and that is fine. Their piles are much smaller than mine and I always have a place to sit when I visit them, so their piles are not an issue. My issue is that every flat surface in my house has a pile. I know what is in each of my piles–It’s the other 5 people in my house who, when looking for something in said piles, topple them over. Or worse, they move my piles (gasp!).

I’ve been working on clearing out my piles and I figured there are other pilers out there. I felt encouraged to reach out and see if we can rein in the piling. Maybe even break this habit and get things to the places they belong. So, I need you to do me a favor. Walk away from your phone, computer (or whatever device you are using right now) and unstack a pile. Get those things where they go. Don’t get a grocery bag and stick it in that (-cough-) I am admitting nothing. But the grocery bag method does not work because then you will have grocery bags hanging on  doorknobs, chair handles, etc. (Again, I admit nothing.) If we all work on unstacking stuff  this week then we should have relatively clear flat surfaces by Saturday.

Helpful Hints: Don’t be this Lady:

grumpy grandma

Hint number 1

Don’t set that thing in your hand down unless the place you will release your grasp is in the place it belongs. Stop moving things around. None of your things want an endless    tour of your house. They want to go home and hang out there until you need to use them.

Hint number 2

Follow hint number one and you should be fine. But go to number 3 anyways.

Jenga_distorted (2)

Hint number 3

Now that you have stopped making your piles look like towers of Jenga, let’s work on making your current piles smaller and then nonexistent. Go find the oldest pile you can make eye contact with. Deal with everything in the pile. When that is done, go to the next but only do it for the next 30 minutes. If you only have 5 minutes before you have another obligation, then do only one pile. But don’t start cleaning only to discover that you had a meeting 15 minutes ago and now you are really, really late and your house is more messy than when you started.

Hint number 4

Tackle a few piles a day, one at a time and only start a pile that you can finish in one sitting. (If you need to divide a big pile into four little piles, then tackle those one at a time–that works too.)

I hope I have given you some helpful hints. Please let me know how it goes for you–and if you have defeated piles in your life–Post your Hints in the comments!

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