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  • Ilona

track to tidy - a tester review by Sanna

This is a guest post by Sanna, my friend and the first tester of the game Track To Tidy. She found a way to tweak the game to best support her individual situation - you'll find her tweaks included in the game instructions!

"Since I was a kid, I've had trouble keeping things organized - I can't even the see the mess I've created until it has become a total chaos. I've tried numerous different methods to tame the chaos - at first, all the methods have seemingly worked because I get easily excited and organize everything, but the chaos has always returned no matter how well I've cleaned and tossed all the extra stuff away.

Getting diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's syndrome made me realize that maybe I need a different method - one that isn't just organizing or getting rid of stuff, because the problem is triggered by the small daily things that start to pile up. It was something as mundane as daily mail that triggered the chaos, as I didn't have a dedicated place for it - not to mention a habit to put it there.

I started with the earlier versions of the game before other testers and I did get some clutter categories under control, but the chaos in our house was so overwhelming I kept concentrating on the wrong things. I noticed myself focusing on things that weren't a real recurring problem but instead I spent my time on secondary one-time clutter that had accumulated over long periods of time.

With the help of my occupational therapist, I tweaked the game a little bit to fit better my home and needs while still following the game rules and principles quite closely. Whereas the original game rules tell you to ignore all the rest of the chaos and focus on one small area and one category of clutter at a time, my occupational therapist helped me to purge and organize an entire room at a time, and only after that, I observed the clutter categories that started to pile up and analyzed what I should do with each of them with the tools the game provided.

I chose kitchen for my first Mission. This is what it used to look like, picture taken right before we organized it with my occupational therapist:

And this is two weeks after the purge, when I rewarded myself with my favorite flowers:

And to prove the tidiness is now a new normal in our kitchen, this is six weeks after the purge, when Ilona did a random control check and asked about the status of our kitchen:

After two weeks of learning to keep the kitchen in order, we started my second Mission: the fireplace room next to our master bedroom. This is what it looked like when we started:

This is how we organized it:

And this is what is looks like a month later:

With Track To Tidy game I've been able to identify the rootcause of the chaos, that tossing and decluttering haven't fixed, because the problem has actually been my habits not the amount of stuff I own.

If you've been living in chaos for long and have tried everything, I can tell you,

changing your habits with small steps and slow pace, concentrating on only one area at a time, isn't making your overall situation any worse like you might feel first. In fact - and you might not even really notice it - you'll adopt new behavioral models for controlling clutter in other areas, too.

Give the change time; you won't see results right away, but in a couple of weeks you'll realize that you actually can keep the area in order without a struggle - it's the beginning of a journey that will take you towards your goal one area at a time.

If you can, share this journey with someone who's in the same situation as you, but don't try to do the same area at the same time - it's better to move forward at your own pace and following your own plan. This way you'll have support from a fellow messie and another perspective to process the change from."

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