Stupid Habits Are Made to be Broken

Every other month or so, I pick a messy kitchen drawer and clean it out. Okay, maybe it’s every six months to a year or when it becomes so crammed that letters and extra wall calendars start sneaking out the back end and relocating into lower level drawers that offer more breathing space.

Don’t get me wrong. These are not cutlery drawers or those housing kitchen towels or spices. These are the ones specifically set aside for loose AA batteries, notes to myself covering all subjects from reminding Son to return a library book to writing down snippets of great lines I’ve snatched from eighties’ sitcoms, as well as renegade paper clips, rubber bands and anything else without a proper resting place. I believe these items may be of future use, however indeterminate. I shove them in the drawer so I can think about them later.

Why am I sharing this with you? To embarrass myself into stopping this stupid little habit of cramming nonsensical items into drawers that otherwise could appear tidy.

I am also partial to clutter. However, I pile my clutter knee-high, hoping these little towers of chaos will give off the impression of neat, carefully planned disorder.

I believe that these commonplace habits are not exclusive to stupers (short once again, for unavoidably stupid persons). And that they can easily be broken, provided there’s a willing participant.

Ways to break unruly habits:

  1. Acknowledge the habit, realizing that if it didn’t exist, you’d be one step closer to taking control over your life;
  2. Convince yourself that change is good. Ask: after the clutter is gone, will I honestly miss it? Or will I appreciate the fact that spiders and earwigs no longer have a multitude of hiding places inside my home?
  3. Visualize what your life would be like without the habit. For instance, I could open a drawer and actually find a pen when I needed to write down a phone number instead of frantically dashing about searching for a long lost writing utensil. And when guests come over and open a drawer in hopes of finding a notepad, they actually will. They shouldn’t fear misplacing a hand when searching;
  4. Join a support group or elicit the support of loved ones. Surround yourself by others who’ve successfully broken habits; and
  5. Pay attention. Know your triggers. Most of our habits come about when we’re not thinking clearly. I reach out to chocolate chip walnut cookies when my mind is cloudy with stress or otherwise preoccupied. And I don’t mean one or two morsels. A muddled mind also triggers my robotic penchant for picking up unharnessed objects and dropping them in random drawers.

Thinking is something we all have at our disposal. Use it or lose it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle


5 Responses to “Stupid Habits Are Made to be Broken”

  1. Reilly says:

    I’ve tried and tried to keep my drawers clean but I keep regressing. But I feel so much better when they’re in order. Thanks for giving me the motivation.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Well, my spare drawers are crammed full of such stuff and now the stuff is piling on surfaces. I think there are two kinds of people and I’ve lost all hope of being the other kind.

  3. Jillian says:

    Oh yeah, I’ve been battling insane laziness for most of my life. Sometimes I work through it… sometimes not so much. Bah.

  4. Habits, habits, habits. Got ’em, hate ’em, can’t get rid of ’em. You’re right though, visualizing your life without them helps. Smoking is the big one for me. I have attempted to quit 4 times now. I keep getting better and better each time so hopefully practice makes perfect. By the time I’m 30, I will no longer be a smoker. That’s my goal.

    I bookmarked this blog and I’ll be returning regularly to read and comment. If you need a laugh, check out my pop culture comedy blog. The URL is

    Have a great day

  5. Keli says:

    You’re welcome and good luck! I motivated myself too and cleaned one single drawer this weekend. I found my long lost, favorite CD that had gone missing.
    Never give up hope! All it takes is a little motivation or a complete lack of drawer space.
    At least you’re aware and admitting to your laziness. You’ve already conquered the crucial first step!
    Thanks! I enjoyed your pop culture blog! And believe me, there’s only one way to quit smoking: Stop. Cold turkey and never look back.

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