My Saturday mornings have been freed up recently by a change in Alison’s math tuition timing. She goes for class at 12.30pm now instead of 10.30am previously, so I can actually sleep in if I want to. Unfortunately my body clock seems irrevocably tuned to waking up at or before 7am, regardless of whether it’s a weekend or a weekday. The girls are old enough not to want me with them at all hours, so I have stretches of time to myself after breakfast while they shut themselves in their room to play Lego or Barbie dolls together.
This morning, I decided to clean out our medicine cabinet. We have a big cabinet with several shelves, and they are chock-a-block with everything from a single child’s knitting needle to masking tape. Why these items are in there in the first place, I have no idea! There are also dozens of canisters and bottles, not to mention stray eye drop tubes and ulcer films. Also, nail clippers. Why does a single family need three nail clippers??
The Japanese have invented a system for spring cleaning or just generally keeping things tidy. It’s called 5S. In English, the Ss stand for Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. I have a system called 5T – Throw, Throw, Throw, Throw, Throw. I threw out anything that looked like it hadn’t been used in a long time or had clearly expired. Out went a tube of Betasone prescribed in January 2011, lipsticks that had been half-used and then forgotten, and rusty old hairpins that had been lying at the bottom of a contained coated in grease from a leaking tube of something or other. Gross.
I’m not quite done yet, but I’m happy that there’s some semblance of order on the shelves now and that I’ve managed to get rid of things that really should have been junked a long time ago. If nothing else, spring cleaning is a lesson in How To Choose Personal Care Products. Among the items I threw away was a barely used almost-brand new MAC lipstick in a very weird and unflattering shade of berry. I must have been drunk when I bought it, I think.
Keeping things tidy is a continuous process so this can’t and won’t be a once-off spring cleaning. Before long, the cabinet will resume its normal messiness. Then, it will be K’s turn to sort things out!