Tolerations- What’s Draining You?

The plug in my bathroom sink is broken. You know… that round silver thing in the bottom that allows you to plug the drain. It stays closed by default and will no longer magically lift when I pull on the lever behind the faucet. This unhappy fact become true a few weeks ago after several months of annoyingly trying to prop it, turn it, lift it to make sure that my toothpaste water would actually drain.

Why am I telling you about this? Because it’s a perfect example of a “toleration,” one of those slightly annoying issues that most of us just pretend to ignore every day. As organizers, we see them all the time. Other examples include :

  • The closet door that’s a pain to open and close.
  • The old wooden chest of drawers that you have to lift and haul at to get to your underwear each morning.
  • The file drawer from the era “pre-hanging file folders” that requires you to wrestle manila folders every time you want to deposit or retrieve something.
  • The kitchen drawer whose front falls off every time you pull to open it.

You know the type of issues I’m describing. A colleague of mine named Denslow Brown, years ago taught me the term “tolerations” as a name for all such minor annoyances that we spend our days pretending to not care about. The problem is that if you spend every hour of the day moving from one toleration to the next, then eventually it starts to feel like you’re TOLERATING your whole life!

That is no way to live. So, I am on the quest for a toleration-free life.

Think about your daily routine. What do you regularly do that doesn’t quite happen the way it was supposed to? What minor annoyances have you been tolerating in your home, your office, your daily life? Can you count them? Think about how much energy you would regain if you made your home a “toleration free” zone!

Pick one thing you’ve been tolerating and identify the specific next action you could take to get it resolved.

For me, it’s time to email my landlord and ask for the plumber to come replace my bathroom sink plug. GOOD LUCK!

1 comment on “Tolerations- What’s Draining You?

  1. OMG, Erin. I go from “toleration” to “toleration” all day long, starting with my bathroom sink and ending with closing my bedroom double doors that stick. (There are many in between.) I did order new sinks for the master bath (the existing ones are too small, water splashes from the faucets in the tiny oval sink, and I splash water on myself and the floor when washing up), but I neglected to put the sticking doors on my long list of “tolerations” fixes. I love this way or organizing my thinking so I can better organize my solutions. Brilliant.

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