Thursday, January 21, 2010

The shuffle game

Remember this little puzzle from years gone by? I haven't seen one of these in a long time. The idea is to slide the numbers around until they are good and scrambled, and then put them in order again. I sat through many a church meeting entertaining myself with one of these. I remember reaching a point where it was no longer a challenge as I knew every trick needed to get a number into place.

This is sort of what I've been doing in my house since finishing the kitchen. Office supplies belong in the office, not the kitchen. Food belongs in the pantry, not the linen closet. Towels belong in the linen closet, not in the armoire. And so on. As one thing gets moved to its final place, its former space is opened up and something else can go there. The whole goal now is 'a place for everything, and everything in its place'.

Just like with the number puzzle, this means sometimes things will get moved to a temporary place to allow some organization elsewhere. So some things are getting moved temporarily to the downstairs bedroom. Eventually that room will get my attention.

I actually started this whole process a number of years ago after my kids moved out and left rooms full of stuff for me to deal with. At first I didn't want to get rid of their things. But they didn't want them--they had no room for them in their new digs. So I stored many things. I finally figured out it was only necessary to save a few meaningful things and not their entire childhoods. And little by little I've dejunked and decluttered. And now I'm nearly to the end of it. It has been a long haul. Along the way I've improved the house in big and small ways and tried to maintain everywhere else.

These past two weeks have been all about organization. I keep too many things in too many different places. For example I have DVDs in three different rooms. Why? I guess when things were more crowded, I just stuck things where there was some space. A cupboard here, a drawer there.

However, remember that number puzzle? How easy it was to do the first three rows. But oh my, finishing the job required some real thinking. I believe this organization step will be like that. Just like everything else, the 80/20 rule applies here, too.

Want a little fun? Here's an online version of that number puzzle. Sadly I've forgotten all my tricks.


Bill S. said...

Great post. I remember the game and we are painting the inside of the house and getting rid of a lot of old stuff. DI here comes a load.

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

I am still doing some of this. During the studio project, after the carpenter fell through the ceiling, I had everything in two rooms upstairs.

When I finished the studio the shuffle game but then I got busy playing in the studio and there are still numbers sitting in corners I have not shuffled.

Catfish Tales said...

Clever you to liken that little number board with your 'shuffle game' that you've been playing with your renovation. But doesn't that kitchen look lovely? You must walk into it now and just smile!

I used to love a little peg board game, leaping over pegs with your own and discarding them till making it to the middle and winning. Stupid game, I know, but it captured my interest back then too. We travelled a lot and played that along with yours and Etch-a-Sketch. But I think I loved Etch-a-Sketch best of all. Oh, and remember giving hair and beard to the man with magnetic shavings? LOL

Becky Stauffer said...

Ah, I see my blogger friends know just what I'm talking about with this shuffle business. Glad to know I'm not alone.

Shers, I remember those games fondly. We had so many fun games as kids and I still enjoy games to this day.

Nicholas V. said...

Good analogy, Becky! I used to have one of these shuffle board games, but not with numbers, four human figures of different colours and heights.
Cleaning out cupboards is something I have been doing lately, though I have not been getting rid of much... (hanging head in shame).

Becky Stauffer said...

We could take that one of two ways, Nicholas. Either you have a hard time parting with useless stuff. Or you have done a very good job of keeping useless stuff from accumulating. Let's go with the latter. :)