Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to Live Graciously with Messy People

Believe it or not, I was a slob as a teenager. I can still hear my father walk up the stairs, open my door, and say, "Bev, you're grounded!" because he couldn't see the floor of my room. Honestly, I had much more important things to do than keep my room neat and tidy. 

That changed as I got older and got my own place. Now it bothers me to have things out of place because it accosts my senses.

But I could understand when my girls' rooms were messy or now when our foster daughters' rooms are messy. It doesn't mean, though, that we just go on in messiness. We have regular cleaning times when they need to clean their rooms and bathrooms. In the meantime, I encourage them to put things away so they can find them or walk across their rooms without getting injured. 

They are also responsible to pick up their belongings, put away what they took out, or clean up what they messed up in common areas by bedtime. Otherwise, it goes in the "yellow bucket" a Rubbermaid container in our coat closet where earrings, stinky shoes and socks, important papers, etc. all go to live until someone can't find their stuff. 

In all of it, though, I try to remember some things were more important than pristine or even acceptable rooms. When my own daughters were teenagers, they were involved in great things: youth group at church, sports, service organizations, etc. In a perfect world, it would all happen - good activities and a clean room. But in reality, I had to choose my battles. And having a continuously clean and tidy room was not worth battling over.

And I try to remember that the state of their rooms is not a reflection on my mothering skills. For me, it definitely takes more effort to graciously allow their rooms to be in disarray than to become Sergeant Mom, demanding clean rooms at all times. I try not to twitch.

One of my biggest pet peeves is being taken for granted. And that makes me feel like a maid. And that makes me angry. So I have learned to calm down and say what I want in a nice way. "Would you please put your dishes in the dishwasher?"

There's a balance. Home is a refuge if it's pleasant and peaceful. Visual clutter is not peaceful. But it also needs to be a place where people are comfortable. The challenge is figuring out what works for you and your family or roomates. I hope what I've learned along the way is helpful to you.

More on decluttering:

Get Organized Month 2009 - Family Five Minute Challenge

How Personality Style Affects Organizing - Sensing/Intuition

Declutter Any Room in 3 Weeks