Decluttering My Life With Tetris
How I went from being a messy child to a well-organized adult with a little help from Tetris.
In the past, I’ve talked about various ways to clean up around your home using skills learned from playing Tetris. The reason why stems from the way I learned how to clean as a child. While each example of Tetris organization from luggage to groceries showcases how amazing Tetris is, the main theme connecting them all is organization.
To this day, organizational skills are one of the most important things I’ve taken away from Tetris (aside from those nifty T-Spins). To explain why I feel this is such a crucial skill, I want to share the story of how I was able to declutter my life with Tetris. I was a pretty messy kid growing up, and nowadays I regret how I struggled with basic cleaning duties.
At school, my desk was filled with stray papers, unsharpened pencils, and books I intended to read but never quite got around to. At home, I had the bad habit of kicking things off to the side to create a “path through the mess” in my room. I’m embarrassed to even think about the little trail through the junk I used every day.
My mom never missed an opportunity to remind me to clean my room, which she dubbed both a “pigsty” and a “fire hazard.” However, this was the one chore I simply couldn’t bring myself to do. If there was one quality I sorely needed to improve upon as a child, it was organization. Unfortunately, I struggled with coming up with ideas on how to tackle the mess and where everything should go. All I saw was hopeless junk.
When I discovered Tetris, however, everything around me started to transform into Tetriminos. When my mom asked me to put the dishes into the dishwasher, those dishes became Tetriminos. When my mom asked me to vacuum the living room, the furniture became Tetriminos I was carefully navigating around.
Eventually, these mental pictures transferred over to the clutter in my room. Looking at the floor, I saw a mess of Tetriminos that had topped out of the Matrix, and I saw grey garbage blocks sent over in multiplayer. I would never let things get so out of control in Tetris, so why let my room get this way? I remember plopping down on a clean section of my floor—which wasn’t easy to find—and immediately getting to work.
The first step was to isolate each different Tetrimino. What items were similar and paired together, and what items were oddly shaped like Z-Tetriminos?
I located my hamper (under a pile of clothes, again, I’m not proud of my former habits) and isolated my clothing Tetriminos. Dirty clothes into the hamper, clean clothes folded and put away in my closet. Next, I located all of my book Tetriminos. In my closet, there was a bookshelf area where I could display my books rather than having them strewn about on the floor.
I was overjoyed to find some novels I thought I’d lost, while also feeling guilty that I’d neglected them in the first place. I was grateful to Tetris throughout the entire cleanup process. It was funny, how things “disappeared” as I cleared away line after line of clutter. It was like I’d reached a turning point in my life where cleaning made sense.
Overall, it wasn’t any different from building stacks in Tetris. From that point forward, I never allowed myself to create a mess whether that be in my desk at school or in my room. Each and every facet of my life changed from being disorganized to neat and clean. I think Tetris resonated with me because it helped me think outside the box.
I had a very wild imagination when I was young, and being given the opportunity to picture things as Tetriminos helped me see everything in a new light. If you stop to think about it, I’m sure you can picture at least one unique way in which Tetris has changed your life. What are you better at now that you’ve become a Tetris pro? What areas of your life could you add Tetris to?
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