Justin Tadlock

The life-changing magic of organizing buckets and cables

My hand holding an old telephone wire in its original plastic with a background of more cables.

Exciting stuff. Buckets and electronics cables. Right?

With Marie Kondō as my tidying angel, I had major plans for the weekend’s organizational sprint toward the glory of having a perfectly tidy home. But, my body had other plans. I came down with a bit of sickness. It was nothing major—just enough to make me feel unmotivated to do much of anything.

I know one of the best ways of forming good habits is to always perform the habit when you’re supposed to. No skipping. No cheating. After four weekends of using the KonMari method to tidy my home, tidying is becoming more of a habit for me, but it’s not yet ingrained. I didn’t want to blow my current progress by missing a planned tidying opportunity. So, I went for two smaller categories: buckets and cables.

Over the years, I’ve somehow accumulated about 30 or so buckets. I garden, so they come in handy. Buckets sound easy. Get rid of those with missing handles or those with other breaks. Organize them. It’s the cleaning that’s hard. Most of them needed a good washing. That’s when I realized how weak my body was from whatever ailed me. I muddled through the job and feel great that the problem is out of the way.

I kept about 15 buckets. That leaves me 12 for covering my cabbage plants in the event of a late freeze with a few to spare.

The electronics cables were a breeze in comparison. How many old USB-to-some-device and telephone wires does one need? I started with four small boxes and knocked them down to a single box. I also managed to find two missing Nintendo game system cables that has kept me from breaking out the old SNES or N64 for retro game nights.

Most of the things in these categories were less about “sparking joy” and more about needs. At this point in the process, it feels natural to know what things I need to hold onto, even in these oddball categories.

I’m coming off a three-hour nap as I wrap this post up. I feel a bit rejuvenated for the moment. Maybe come next weekend, I’ll have the energy to tackle something bigger.