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The Rule of Two: my housekeeping principle

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Last year, I had a great opportunity to move out and live on my own for more than half a year. As such, I managed to discover many things that didn't allow me to live happily before, one of which was my non-existent daily routine. However, it turned out there was a solution.

Note: you can safely skip this section.

Houses usually have a lot of things in them. Especially houses in not quite the richest regions of Russia. The house I was raised in happened to be possibly one of the worst offenders when it comes to hoarding useless garbage.

Human brains have limited memory capacity. Especially neurodivergent brains powering an extremely lazy person. Unfortunately, I'm this exact kind of person.

As you've probably already guessed where I'm going with this, these 2 things put me in a perpetual loop of losing stuff, mismanaging stuff, and not doing stuff due to the sheer volume of shit I had to keep in my head to get through the day. Upon my gradual realization of that, I also realized the core problem.

Having too much choice discourages actually making a good choice. Or in other words, if you limit the number of ways you can fuck up, you'll fuck up less.

This principle is one of the core design decisions in many software products like the Python programming language or virtually any UI design guideline set released in the last 10 years (or well, at least on paper). As it turns out, for me, it's also applicable to housekeeping. I'm probably not the first person to realize that, and it also probably doesn't work for normal people, but I guess it shouldn't stop you from attempting it as well.

Now with theoretical bullshit out of the way, let's get into attempting to solve it. Basically speaking, The Rule of Two entails the following: don't have more than 2 sets of something, and use the placement of items in your house to encourage yourself to actually put effort into something.

Here are the ways I used this rule in everyday life:

I've always sucked at it, and I still do. To avoid that, I always just used more dishes to cook/eat food instead of cleaning the dirty ones. This created many weird situations where I'd used 5 different knives to cut something and made me wash literal mountains of stuff afterwards.

Don't fucking do that. The easiest way to actually make yourself wash dishes and avoid this mistake is to have no choice but to wash dishes. In other words, get yourself 1 plate, 1 fork, 1 spoon, and 1 knife. Get yourself another set of these items, but hide it away from your sight in a way that's difficult to undo. This way, you'll have only one set of usable dishes that need to be washed after use + an additional set of redundant dishes in case you accidentally break yet another plate.

I've always been known for always wearing the same kind of clothes, so this one came naturally to me. If you have only one set of clothes, you rarely wash them and end up wearing dirty clothes. If you have a ton of sets of clothes, you either accumulate mountains of laundry or pick one set and get the same problem.

There's an easy way out of this: have 2 sets of identical clothes and swap them weekly, doing laundry right after. You can do it at the same time as your other weekly routines like cleaning up your house (which you hopefully do). Let's call this day the Maintenance Day. Mine is on Friday.

You can also apply the same solution to managing your bathroom and kitchen towels, bedroom fabrics, etc. It's not like you really need more than 2 sets of each.

Don't. Carpets and rugs can both go fuck themselves. The aesthetic value and marginal warmth they provide is nothing compared to having to regularly vacuum them or breathe dust all day long.

Limit the number of places you can put your things into. It doesn't have to be 2, but it's a reasonable number. Avoid buying furniture that gives you additional storage space, and especially desks with shelves. This doesn't mean you shouldn't partition your stuff into meaningful categories, however. Just make it so the things you don't want to see are right in your face so you don't lose them at the most inappropriate moment.

Obviously, this solution implies you don't have tons of stuff that requires the aforementioned storage space. If you do, it may be a wise decision to reconsider your life choices and eliminate some of them one way or another.

The same thing can be applied to the management of consumables, electronics, papers, and probably something I couldn't have thought of. Use your imagination.

While this principle worked for me, I should warn you that it does require some determination not to give up and some commitment to routine. I don't know how to help you with that, but I do know that this approach will ease your efforts somewhat.