Category Archives: Organization

After You are Sick

One of the common challenges with Messie Families is that they don’t have clear cut habits. So it’s normal to have a house of chaos after you are sick.

 Being ill is no fun. If you are like me you have to deal with guilty feelings of not getting things done even when you know you have a perfectly good excuse.

When you feel well enough to get back into the swing of things what are some suggestions? What do you do?  If it is overwhelming first fix yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage and make a list.

What is needed to keep the house running? Have you paid bills?

What are critical items that need attention: Overflowing trash? Spills or broken items? Errands?

 Next what is keeping any workflow from progressing. Are you out of soap? Items dumped where they don’t belong?

What items/tasks can you reasonably expect other family members to do?

Things not to do are multitask projects that you might not finish. OK let me give you an example. Our family likes to soak the silverware before washing. Usually they pick an item needed for cooking such as the rice cooker bowl (yeah I know) or a special mixing bowl and then they go off and forget about the soaking silverware until someone else needs the space or the bowl it is soaking in.

Another danger is making piles of laundry when you know you can only get one or two done. If you can sort it discreetly then fine but often my house ends up with 8 piles of laundry either waiting to be washed or folded taking up all the sitting space in the living room.

So after you are sick it’s not only critical to take things slow and easy – but its also a good time to reflect on your organization and cleaning routines and see what can be tweaked.

Sometimes Organized isn’t enough

In an ideal world, the one we wave a magic duster at, our lives run smoothly. Everything is in its place and there’s a place for everything.  Why that isn’t so is the eternal question.

We should celebrate every small step we take, every area we clean, every item we find the right home for, but sometimes, not often, it isn’t enough.

When you study psychology you know that change takes place from one of two reasons. We change because we have to (external) or because we want to (internal).

Some of us also deal with people who have a different opinion of what clean and organized is.  I can acknowledge something is out of place but if it isn’t hurting anything I may not put it back until I need or want to.  Some people “have” to put things back. They either can’t stand it, have made it a high priority habit or just choose to do so.

OK let’s face it – Stuff Sheds. Yeah like dogs and cats stuff gives off dust or fluff or hides it. So having more stuff, even if organized, creates more cleaning challenges and  . . . AND if you have a high tolerance for “stuff” you can run into some major backlash from the “cleanies*”.  Does this matter? If you are living a fulfilled life (as much as one can) and getting things done and not breeding the next super germ is it that big of a deal?  Should it be? No, but can it be? Unfortunately and with a big sigh I have to say yes it can.

Not everyone understands recovering “messies*”.  Not everyone is going to see how far you came – only how far you have to go (in their minds).  Last of all, if you are in a situation where someone is trying to get some “dirt” (pun intended) on you it’s easy to take owning a lot of possessions and spin that into a dirty or unhealthy environment.  Is it fair, ethical or moral to do this? Heck no, but they still do.

Always be good to yourself. Stuff happens and unfair things happen. But if you have a moment of weakness, that fuzz just doesn’t call you to pick it up and dump it in the trash, just think that a “cleanie” on the way over and use a little external motivation to keep fighting the good fight.

*”Cleanie and Messie” are terms I read and adapted years ago from the books by Sandra Felton. Check them out! Sandra Felton Books on Amazon