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The Little Things

The Little Things                                                                          April 27, 2024

"Where's my lip balm?" (stuffing my fingers into the small alcove under my dashboard and glancing down quickly)..."what's that! It was right here, I always put it here, where is it!?"

After some more fumbling, and rising angst, I shove my hand all around more insistently as if the lip balm will be cowed into revealing itself to my alerted fingertips. I KNOW I should be able to tell by feeling it, and there's this paper thingy in my way. A receipt. And then, a plastic package of tissues that's nearly empty. A pen I forgot about, some loose change and a beaded chain for my reading glasses...WHERE is my lip balm!?

Okay. You get the gist of this true-to-life circumstance.  It's not an imagined scenario. It's my reality on this particular morning.

How is it that this tiny little space in my car, could become so stuffed with everything but my lip balm, seems unexplainable to me.

The fact is, that although I love, yes LOVE to declutter, to create order and have everything in its proper place so that I can find it, this is an ongoing process. It never ends for most of us. It's the little things that left unattended, morph into some dark labyrinth of clutter without me even noticing.

Have you experienced this clutter creep? I have cleaned these small spaces countless times. You know, the nifty little squares, rectangles, pockets and compartments that you imagine will be just right for your lip balm (or glass breaker in case you go into a river, or some wet wipes, a pocket knife, the lighter you'll need if you get lost in the woods and...). Yes, those places.

What I can tell you and with authority, is that this will not happen (or at least not often) if you assess these little spots each morning or evening. That's it, just a few minutes while you start the car or when you get home. Check your super special car space, and keep it simple.

No doubt, you'll find something. A wrapper from your cough drop. A receipt from the coffee shop, the drugstore or gas station. The spare change you never use, but just toss into this hole "in case". 

Now, you can throw away the trash first. It should be easy to recognize if you just take a moment to look. Is there something that needs to go back into your house, your workplace, a friend's home? Put things where they belong now, or pull them out, put them into a bag or box to drop off in the morning or in the afternoon.

The more often you take a quick survey of these little spaces, the less often you'll find yourself fumbling and grumbling as you reach for what you know SHOULD be there, and find everything BUT that thing. The little things make a difference.

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