While burning a few hours in the airport last month I picked up a copy of Good Housekeeping and read an article on the ‘Five Golden Rules for Tidying.’ It highlighted Marie Kondo who is an ‘organizing guru’ and shared some of her ‘genius tips.’ Given that spring is in the air, I thought I’d take the tips from ‘Declutter Queen’ to the corral as we sorted heifers today.
There were some nice pictures in the magazine of Marie siting on a chair in white linen pants and a kimono cardigan. I didn’t feel white pants would be appropriate for cattle work in the corral after ¾” of rain this week, so I skipped that part of the outfit. However, I did have a sorting stick, clipboard, and 8 pages of data for my decision making that Marie was missing, so I figured we’d just have to go from there and start with Marie’s tidying rules.
Apparently, my mother is an organizing student well before her time as right away she pointed out that we had heifers in heat on one side of the fence and enthusiastic yearling bulls strutting and bellaring just across the fence of the sort pen. Marie’s first rule is to to sort things by category and it seemed that after 39 years on the ranch, mom was concerned that if the facilities didn’t hold true, we might have more than one category to sort during afternoon heifer sorting.
Next, Marie says to make this a onetime event. “If you tidy just a little every day, you’ll be tidying forever,” Marie says. Apparently, we like to tidy on the Rimrock Cattle Company. Either that, or we just need more pen space this time of year. Sort 1 is the registered heifers from the commercial heifers. Sort 2 is the commercial heifers to ship from the commercial heifers to sell later. Sort 3 will be the half dozen heifers who lost their ear tags and are unable to be tidied at this point.
The third rule for decluttering is to keep only items that, “Spark joy.” That fence crawling heifer certainly does not spark joy, so she was easily decluttered. Next, I tried to relate this concept to rancher terms by asking Dad if he really loved all the heifers in his keeper pen. Dad gave me a look and said, “It’s not like we’re married to them, they’ve just got to hang around here a few years!”
Next, Marie recommends to, “Apply Gratitude,” and thank giveaway items for their service before you let them go. So far, these heifers service to the ranch has been pretty limited to eating expensive hay and testing the fence for green grass. We decided to instead apply gratitude to the idea that someone else can feed and breed these girls and the haystack might make it till green grass.
The last decluttering rule of Marie’s is to, “Use what you already own.” Now this rule seems doable given that every heifer we’ll be keeping has been bred, raised, and developed on the ranch. Maybe we’re more fashionable than we realized? Or do we still need white pants in order to be fashionable?