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250 Ways To Do This Simple Chore (Which is Right?)

If you were in my bedroom you’d see my nightstand stack of books sorted by color! The common theme among my books is personal development. I just can’t get away from all of the fascinating information when it comes to books on human potential! As humans, we are capable of SO MUCH.

One of the books I’m reading is the international bestseller “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it if you want to improve the quality of your life.

I was on page 126 and came across interesting research from family therapist, Virginia Satir.

According to Satir and the research she did, she found that “there are more than 250 different ways to wash dishes, depending upon who is washing and the ingredients used.”

Louise Hay goes on to say, “if we are stuck in believing there is only ‘one way,’ or ‘one viewpoint,’ then we are shutting out most of life.”

All of this got me thinking that it’s just like loading the dishwasher. And it’s also just like getting organized, too.

If you live with others, you may have discovered a while ago that most people load the dishwasher differently…

Some people put the utensils facing up while others face them down. Some group the utensils by type so they’re easier to unload, while others try not to group them so they don’t stack (thinking the backs won’t get clean). Some people only put glasses and cups on the top rack while others couldn’t care less.

And then there’s the person who constantly re-arranges the dishwasher after someone puts their dishes inside. Or the person who stopped putting dishes in the dishwasher because when they do it, someone else just comes around re-doing everything they just did, so “what’s the point?”

But is there a right way to do this stuff? Is there really a right way to load the dishwasher?

If your answer is yes, by whose standards? And can you trust that person’s standards? Who are we to judge right from wrong.

While you could argue that a person is just trying to be efficient in maximizing dishwasher space (to save water and soap), the person silently rearranging the dishwasher is also unconsciously making others wrong by re-doing their work. And the ego inside all of us thrives on the “I am right, you are wrong” mindset.

Everyone has different priorities and optimizes their efforts to achieve different goals. While one person tries to be efficient in maximizing dishwasher space, another may be just trying to “check the box” for washing dishes and couldn’t care less how the dishes are loaded! Although each person has different goals and priorities, both have good intentions.

If you can relate to what I’m talking about, for each person in your household, ask what is important to them when it comes to each chore. What’s their real goal? So much tension and conflict can be avoided with a little communication, and it can even strengthen the relationship.

The same challenges and conflicts arise from organizing. Is there a right way to make the bed? Is there a right way to fold t-shirts? How about folding towels?

The truth is, there isn’t just one right way for most of these household chores. While there will always be an efficient and more effective way, there isn’t just one way.

There is YOUR way, there is MY way, and then there are other ways! There are endless solutions out there. Many of which are excellent!

When it comes to getting organized (or just daily chores), keep your mind open and remember to focus on your goal. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

If someone in your household doesn’t do a chore “your way,” that’s okay. Focus on the big picture. Praise and appreciate them for their efforts and intentions. And if there is a more efficient or effective way to do something, educate the person instead of silently re-doing their efforts.

And if you have children in your home, by you silently re-doing their hard work (and their noticing) you could be unconsciously sending the message that they aren’t good enough. Even if this isn’t your intent, children can easily misinterpret these events and turn them into limiting beliefs, which can be difficult for them to unlearn later in life.

Sending lots of love your way,

If you know anyone that tends to sweat the small stuff with chores around the house, consider sharing this article with them. It’s easy to get fixated on these things.


    Alejandra Costello
  • About Alejandra

    Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and "The Decluttering Queen" by Good Morning America, Alejandra's expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah.com, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. You can read more about Alejandra here.


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