Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Lesson from the Magic Kingdom

My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at Disney World. For those of you who have not been, Disney World is not just for kids. We had a marvelous time and I recommend it to anyone as a second honeymoon. But that is not the point of this post.

Disney World is a super clean place. Each year there are 17 million visitors through the gates of the Magic Kingdom and it always looks fresh, new and clean. How do they do it? I was a witness to one such event. They never let even a little mess start. If a mess starts, it doesn't stay long. 

Perhaps the worst time for mess is just after the parade. Thousands of people line Main Street with popcorn, ice cream cones, hot dogs in wrappers, etc. When the parade is over the street is jumbled with clutter - for a minute. Immediately after the parade, young men appear with noisy street vacuums, vacuuming the gutter. In 10 minutes time the street is pristine clean again.

I first thought that the roar of the vacuum was an intrusion on the fun of the Magic Kingdom. And indeed, it was. but so was the trash. So Disney World had a choice, 10 minutes of noise or the rest of the day of clutter. They chose to vacuum.

I find I am often faced with those kinds of choices. Shall I vacuum and disturb the children's TV or studies? Shall I clear the coffee table of cups and plates and disturb for a minute the visit with a friend? I think I have learned the answer to that at Disney World. The answer is to take a few minutes to restore order.

This is the way with housekeeping. If the house has an aura of neatness, hopefully no one wants to be the first to break the mood. If a little clutter comes, more clutter is soon to follow because the aura is already broken.

This is why it is so important not to let messes get started.


Founder, Messies Anonymous

Monday, November 19, 2012

Garden Principle of Time Use

I am not a gardener. I really don't understand why you can't have weeds among the veggies. Are weeds really that bad? I guess so. I'll take the word of those who know that they are.

What I really don't understand about gardening is the principle of thinning out crowded plants. Frankly, as a Messie, I tend to feel that more is better. So what if the plants are a little crowded! I can hardly bring myself to pull up those healthy plants just because there are too many. If five plants are nice, fifty are better. Right? WRONG!

The truth is that if there are too many plants crowded together, all the plants will suffer and keeping more plants will actually reduce the production of good plants at harvest.

This is the way it is with life too. When we crowd too much into our lives, have too many activities back to back, the activities become sickly. The quality of each activity becomes poorer. How can we raise the quality of our activities? One way is by cutting out many of them, thinning them out, so to speak. Then the activities we have left will be healthier and more satisfying to us. Remember, we also need time for quietness and reflection between our activities just as plants need space between each one in order to grow.

So don't crowd the garden of your life. You may have to weed out some of those perfectly healthy activities for the sake of the quality of your life. One of the activities which will improve in quality as a result, of course, is the housekeeping.  It won't be squeezed to death by all those other activities. So, if you are the treasurer of the garden club, have pottery and exercise classes, help out an elderly friend who needs to be taken places, plant a garden, and make all of your own Christmas presents - STOP! Stand back and look at your schedule. No wonder your house doesn't get done and you feel like you're on a treadmill.

Start thinning out some of those healthy, good activities which are crowding each other so much that life itself is less, not more, satisfying.  Remember, crowding doesn't work for your garden and it won't work for your life either.


Founder, Messies Anonymous

Thursday, November 8, 2012


"If we are no longer dreaming, we are no longer planning"

It is important that we keep on dreaming about how good it will be when our house is the way we want it.

Dream about how beautiful the house will be when you come back to it from a time away. Dream about how it will be so orderly that you will know where everything is. Dream how it will be neat so that visitors can drop in any time without your being embarrassed. Dream about all of the work being caught up so that you can do all of those creative things without guilt about leaving housework undone.

Studies have shown that those who achieve goals are frequently daydreamers. They do not use daydreaming as a substitute for work but as a help to setting goals and inspiring themselves to accomplish their goals.

Don't let the dreams you have for your house fade and don't be satisfied until the dreams become reality.


Founder, Messies Anonymous