Wednesday, February 27, 2008


: to form into a coherent unity or functioning whole
: to arrange by systematic planning and united effort
: to arrange elements into a whole of interdependent parts

For those of you who can't make it through your house without tripping on something, who can't get ready in the morning without a 10 minute search for... something, keep reading because we may be able to help each other.
The rest of you, take another go round in your living room with your vacuum because you're not going to understand a word I say.
People who have the "cleaning gene" can't understand those of us who don't. It's not in their way of thinking. They see a messy room and instantly know how to make it perfect again. Efficiently they sweep through the room and devour the mess as if it were a chocolate cake. This goes here, that goes there, everything has a place, everything in it's place.
That's not me. I cannot look at a room and instantly decide where to put something. I look at a room, see it's too messy, give up and try tomorrow. Tomorrow the room is even messier, so I take the kids to the park and wait for another day.
Another day comes, I have friends coming over for a playdate, the mess has grown so big that I don't even know where to start, I'm overwhelmed and stressed to a point where I get terrible pains in my stomach.... and I cancel my playdate. Defeated, I crawl into bed and wait for a new day.
Clutter, mess, trash... they rule my life.
In my family there is a saying, either spoken or unspoken. Typical Peggie. All my life, everything I've done, all the procrastination, the messes, the losing things, the being late for everything I go to... Typical Peggie. It gets tiring being Typical Peggie all the time. My shoulders get heavy from the weight of it and my heart gets heavy from knowing what people think of me. Okay, yes, I do realize that what "other people" think doesn't matter. But it does if that's the only thing they see. If all they see is my Typical behavior, and they don't see the good stuff, it does matter. We all have our faults, unfortunately, mind define who I am.
I've had enough. This little red head is ready to move on from being typical, and make the change to ..... un-typical. Ya, I've got no witty word to insert there. Un-Typical will have to do for now.
In my epiphanic moment, desperate for help, I found this website called Seemed to have everything I needed to help get me started. Including all these cool printable charts and calendars.
There is also a book written by the lady who started the website, Cynthia Townley Ewer, called House Works: Cut the Clutter, Speed Your Cleaning and Calm the Chaos. I went to amazon, bought it, and now here I am a few days later, a little smarter on how to organize and get rid of the clutter that's swallowing my house, and with a (somewhat) clean living room I haven't been able to walk in for months.
I didn't expect an overnight change, but I expect to *learn* how to clear out clutter, and keep it out. How to look at a messy area and be able to organize it. This book does that! It's not a miracle worker because we all know that you won't make a change in your lifestyle unless you *really* want to do it for yourself. And I am ready. But this book really did help put things in perspective. I'm not even done reading it yet! It gave me an idea, and I ran to a room or messy area and tried it out. The whole time I'm envisioning myself inviting friends over for lunch on a whim, not dreading the sound of the doorbell ringing, and letting Louisa have all the sleepovers she wants!
This book stresses baby steps, which I intend to adhere to. I'm a baby step kind of person. I may be spontaneous, but I do prefer to approach projects, especially ones this big, in smaller steps. It will also sink in better for me if I go slow. Tackle a project a day, not even necessarily a room a day. Maybe just the out of control entertainment center today, then tomorrow the dining room table, then the next day the counter piled to the ceiling with mail and other odds and ends.
There is hope for someone as seemingly hopeless as me. And when people give me the "pft... ya right!" when I tell them I'm going to change, I have to let it roll off my back. I will change, but I have to be ready.


The Fisher Family said...

Right on Peg, you could be talking about my house right now. I am so checking out the site and the book. Thanks for the tip.

masterdisaster said...

hahaha thats mee too. i look at a messy room say its too dirty give up and try tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you started taking some baby steps. Baby steps are good. It feels good to have a clean room. Now to get the kids to understand that clean is good.