Monday, November 22, 2010

Restored to Sanity

Some have questioned how step one of Messies Anonymous that states we admitted we are powerless over clutter and our lives have become unmanageable can work. Some have even stated that admitting we are powerless is discouraging and takes the heart out of any hope of getting the house under control.

Whoa, fellow Messie! Let's look at that further.

Stand firmly on that first step. Internalize the fact that, as we are, the clutter that follows our lives consistently lets us know that we indeed have no power over clutter.  Bravely admit that just trying harder and longer has never worked and won't work.

But don't stop on step one. Go to the step that states about being "restored to sanity." We must be willing to give up hope of going our own way and seek sanity, graciously given to us by God.

Once we do that and begin taking personal inventories and dealing appropriately with what we find by abandoning those thoughts, habits, and feelings that have kept us powerless over clutter, then the house will begin to change. Clutter and disorganization will start to melt because we are being restored to sanity.

It doesn't come easy. It doesn't come fast. But it does come to those who concentrate not only on changing the house but themselves. Many have experienced things similar to what Katherine shares:

"I have had to make certain changes in myself for the house to change. Now that I see progress, I realize something else. As the house changes, I am changing.
My self-esteem is improving. My confidence in myself is growing as I become more competent at this. I wake up & walk into my clean kitchen every morning and I feel GOOD. I look around and feel proud of how far I've come."
Keep coming back. It works if you work it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Impotent Messie

It's a strange phenomenon -- the feeling of helplessness many Messies have about housekeeping.

The Messie sees a sock on the floor and thinks,
 "What a shame! A sock on the floor. It really ought not to be there." She sighs and continues on, momentarily saddened about the sock.

Why doesn't the Messie pick it up? I think it is because her mind is tired when it comes to housekeeping. Years of trying and failing have destroyed any sense of success, so she avoids the situation instead of doing something about it. And, besides, the mess is so out of hand everywhere else, what difference does one sock make? It is much like lifting a motorbike. It may be hard but it can be done by trying. But if you have to lift a truck, you may feel that it is really not worth the effort to try.

That's why it is important to have a plan. The big job of "housekeeping" would be impossible if it weren't done one job at a time. This is the principle behind the Mt. Vernon Method (or Mt. Vesuvius Method) and the Flipper System. They break housekeeping down into small attainable goals. They alleviate the mental overload that caused the impotence to begin with.