You are alright just the way you are right now.
I am a reformed slob. I made the decision to be organized more than 40 years ago. I was 35. I learned a lot through that transformation. The most important of which was to understand that before I did anything to organize my chaotic life, I was alright just the way I was. That backed-up laundry didn’t make me a bad person. That unmade bed and a sink full of dirty dishes didn’t mean I didn’t love my family or my home. Having to re-inoculate the children because I couldn’t find their medical records when we moved to a new town didn’t mean I was a bad mother.
My reason to change my ways came from a deep desire to have more fun; to be able to play guilt-free. To feel the freedom of taking care of the routine and mundane tasks that make a household run smoothly, so my family and I could really enjoy this delicious thing called life.
I think being organized or disorganized is ultimately a choice, but I also think we each have a natural inclination to be one or the other. My mom was born organized. My dad was the donor of my disorganized gene.
I had three children and two received my penchant for mess and one was washing the floor at 18 months old. Once I asked her if she wanted a doll house for Christmas and she replied, “Oh Mom, it would just be one more thing to keep clean.” You know where you fall on the scale of order: one is a Martha Stewart without a staff and ten is the person who can’t dust or vacuum because she doesn’t have clear surfaces.
A little organization goes a long way.
My mom used a Girl Scout calendar that she looked at every day and a watch that she looked at every hour and a clean 8x11 inch sheet of paper daily for her “to do” list. Everything ran smoothly and I remember her saying, “If we get our chores done by 10:00 we can go play.” And play we did. Mom made being organized look so easy; which it was because she never let anything pile up. She had a natural ethic that she didn’t get to have fun until her work was done. She let the “carrot” of fun hang over her.
Feeling like a failure was not the truth about me.
For me as a wife and mother I got overwhelmed and buried as the responsibilities of motherhood and a bad marriage sapped my energy. My husband (we divorced when I got organized) and I fought every day over the mess. I felt like a loser, a failure and an embarrassment to my family until it struck me that feeling like a failure was not the truth about me, and that until I turned that thought around I was stuck. I knew better, but in the chaos I had just forgotten. That was my turning point.
Don’t allow anyone to cause you to doubt your ability to succeed. If you’ve made a decision to get organized keep it a secret so you don’t get negative feedback you don’t need.
My latest book, The Joy of Being Disorganized is enjoying rave reviews on Amazon. It reflects the culmination of all that I’ve learned helping SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) get organized.
My prayer for you is that you will be easy on yourself, love who you are just the way you are right now, and get organized just enough to please YOU.