1. You are denying disorganization is affecting your life in a negative way.
2. You are comparing your organizational skills to reality show hoarders.
3. You are blaming your family for the mess you’re in.
4. You are minimizing the problem and the gifts you possess to solve them.
In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) it speaks of the four defenses an alcoholic uses while he/she continues to drink. In Get Your Act Together, I wrote how SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) use the same defenses to remain in a mess.
There is really no difference except for the outcome… drunk or disorderly.
Like an alcoholic, once a SHE stops using the four defenses, she is then able to change. Could one of these defenses be holding you back from the life you want to live?
You probably don’t deny you’re in a mess, but I know when I was living in chaos, I acted like it didn’t bother me. Haven’t you heard the classic messy person’s excuse for a messy desk say, “I know where everything is on my desk!” Yeah right! Denial!
I also remember a constant desire to get out of the house and go play. My three kids and I spent much of our time outside where I didn’t have to face the mess in the house. While at the park it was easy to deny I had a problem, but I always had to come home to the truth.
If you find yourself making excuses by comparing yourself to someone you know who is more disorganized than you, it probably makes you feel better, but it won’t help you change. Don’t watch those reality shows featuring hoarders and extremely messed up people. You are not like that. (If you are, my writing will not help you very much. The hoarders I’ve seen in my career helping SHEs have severe mental disorders and I’m not a psychiatrist so I have no business trying to help those people.)
I think you just want to be organized just enough to have a neat, cozy, peaceful home to play in with your family.
Blame is a great defense. "I didn't do it, he did it!" Blame the mess on the kids. Blame it on your husband. Blame it on your mom because she didn’t teach you. Blame will give you years of status quo.
I’m guilty of minimizing disorganization, but mainly because I’ve learned that most of us SHEs make such a big deal about it, we can afford a little of this defense as long as we seek to be organized just enough to please us.
On the same subject, we SHEs tend to minimize our talents and God-given gifts of creativity, and fun-loving spirits. I knew in the depths of my pigpen days that if I used my creativity, I could get out of the mess I was in and have enough money to hire a person to help with the housework.
If you’ve made the decision to get organized (I hope it’s going to be just enough to please you) and you drop your defenses, take on the project with joy. Decide to have fun on this project. Treat it like a hobby. Ask for help from BOs who come by it naturally. Don’t’ allow anyone to cause you do doubt your ability to succeed. Change for selfish reasons…to be free to play, and enjoy the liberation of knowing you are on top of the game, not floundering somewhere underneath it.
P.S. In my latest book, The JOY of Being Disorganized, I have many tips, hints and ideas on how to be happy with your situation just where you are.