I need to break a bad habit – what do you need to work on?

I have this really bad habit. I let the surfaces in the living area of our house (lounge room floor, coffee table, kitchen table and kitchen bench (actually add the top of the microwave and the top of the fridge)) get really messy. We all know roughly where something is when we want it, but judging by my heart rate when a visitor’s car pulls up in the driveway, it’s not the way a house is supposed to look.

I set Elsie and Maeve to work in the lounge cleaning up: ‘Elsie, you’re on books, find all the books and put them in the bookshelf. Maeve, you’re on drawing things. Go.’

And I get from the garage a big 90L tub that I bought to store fabric in and I fill it with everything off the kitchen table and bench.

Bam, tidy house. Instantly.

I pop the tub somewhere out of sight and make coffee for the visitors.

My friend and I were talking about how when you’re going to vacuum the car, you first empty the contents of the car into a plastic bag, and you sit the plastic bag just inside the door of the house while you get the vacuum. And there its sits, holding rubbish, kinder paintings, a Barbie shoe, a cheque from Medicare and an empty brown paper bag. My friend calls these ‘elephant bags’. And the elephant bag sits there for a week until you clean it out, hoping you’ll find a phone charger.

I’ve taken the idea one step further and developed the ‘elephant tub’ concept. Only catch is they can sit for months (yes, months) and because you go on living your life, totally unaffected by the absence of whatever is in them, there’s no incentive to ever go to the tubs (yes, there are more than one) and empty them out. The newspapers in them are old, reminders have already been received for any bills that are in there, and if there’s an invitation amongst it all, we will have missed the event or birthday party.

Today’s prompt in ‘Sentence A Day’ is ‘What do you need to work on?’ I liked this prompt because we all need to work on something, and it could be anything; breaking a habit, forming a habit, ringing old friends, being for others, writing more, reading more, exercising more, eating less.

I need to work on my elephant tubs. Emptying the ones I have so I can reuse them. How about you? What do you need to work on?



6 thoughts on “I need to break a bad habit – what do you need to work on?

  1. But your table top is full of such pretty things – home décor is what it’s called isn’t it?? My bad habit is online shopping/browsing – totally addicted and time consuming when housework/paperwork/cooking are beckoning.


    1. There’s no home decor on that coffee table, Christine! It’s all of Maeve’s 5th birthday presents from ten days ago (the tall brown paper bag is Elsie’s party bag from the party!). Cute little birdhouse made of cardboard is yet to have all of the things stuck to it, so not featuring in the photo is the PVA glue and all the bits and pieces that will possibly never make it to the outside of the birdhouse. Probably only to the inside of the vacuum… Glad to hear you have a fun, I mean bad, habit that takes your time away from boring matters.


  2. Wow Larissa, you make me feel normal! Such a relief to hear I’m not the only one with “elephant bag/ssss” lying around!! Thank you! I need to work on sorting and folding my washing as it comes off the line or out of the dryer – instead of sitting in 3, 4, 8 baskets on my bedroom floor for a week (or 3)! Bless the kids, they no longer go to their drawers to find some clean undies and socks – straight to the baskets in hope they’ll be at least 1 clean pair. And then I have a terrible habit of finally sorting the washing into massive ownership piles on the bed but then never quite getting around to folding them and putting them away. They’re in piles on the bed now… But it’s late so maybe I’ll transfer those piles to the baskets (again) and continue tomorrow


    1. Oh the old ‘move the washing from the basket to the bed and back to the basket’ manoeuvre! I’m so guilty of that one and the double-handling gets to me after a while, so then it goes on the floor. And from there, probably back into the washing machine. Thanks for you comment and for reading, Sam, I’m breathing easier already that others are the same! 🙂


    1. I’m so glad to hear, Jules! It’s a bit like Christmas when you do eventually go through them and find a necklace or something you didn’t know was missing! Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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