Clean kitchen using programming techniques

Feel like you always have a dirty kitchen? Try this idea.

Last updated on 5 June 2022. Created on 11 December 2020.

What does keeping your kitchen nice and tidy have to do with coding?

As part of the domain intersection series, I write about cases where I take a concept from one domain and apply it in a different one.

I would guess that, for anybody who uses the kitchen extensively, keeping it organized and clean can be a challenge.

So how can I make this better, I thought?

Let's take two ideas:

Idea A: keeping your kitchen clean;

Idea B: making small changes in your code to improve it over-time;

Idea B is simple: each time you read or edit a file, make one small adjustment to it. Over time, this will lead to big gains. It has an official name too: incremental build model.

Keeping your kitchen clean (or any room for that matter!) is a two step process:

  1. [one time] Have one big cleaning session: take some dedicated time to clean everything from top to bottom. Also use this time to think about how things are organized and what could be improved.
  2. [recurring] Apply incremental changes: each time you enter your kitchen, make one small and quick adjustment.

The second step varies quite a lot.

Most of the time it usually means taking an object and dealing with it (for instance, putting a dirty dish in the dishwasher or moving a clean dish to it's proper place).

Other times, it might mean moving all your spices from the kitchen counter to a designated place in your cupboard.

It doesn't matter that much. The basic idea is that simple: Each time you enter the room, you leave it a little bit better.

And here's the punch line: it works even if you sometimes have a lazy day. Which, admit it, we all have those.

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