Whether you find yourself for the first time completely overwhelmed with disorganization, or have always had trouble with keeping things orderly....
There will be complaints
They might come from one person...or several.
When the complaints do come in...what is your reaction?
It's not a good feeling when others are unhappy or uncomfortable and its because of something you are doing or not doing..
You feel frustrated, sad, guilty maybe you feel a bit defensive.
Maybe the complaint came in the form of yelling and resulted in humiliation.
Maybe you didn't notice it to be a problem at all.
Recently my husband voiced his frustration about the state of our laundry room.
My first reaction was a want to defend myself and let him know that he too is at fault!
But I didn't.
I did something that I ordinarily don't do.
I listened and then I shared with him how hard its been for me.
I let him know that I too am frustrated, and tired, and sometimes I feel so defeated that there are days I don't even want to try.
I felt a bit embarrassed trying to explain why I now had so much trouble doing what so many can.
I did once.
I tried before.
I used to be successful at this.
and now I'm not.
I feel guilty.
About 20+ years ago (in the age of Mommy chat rooms on the very new Internet) a woman confessed that her husband was about to leave her because of the mess in their home. It seemed that since the birth of their babies their untidy home had become a mess of epic proportions. She had tried everything she could and nothing worked. She wasn't hopeful and she was sure divorce was imminent.
I remember thinking how can it be so bad that a marriage could end over a messy home? She was extremely lonely, sad and seemed overwhelmed all at the same time. How could her husband not see that it was much more than a dirty house? This young mom blamed herself and only herself and the shame of it all paralyzed her.
On the other end of the spectrum...I saw an episode of one of those hoarding shows and the Mother of the family blamed everyone and everything, but herself. She took no ownership in the problem. So it was no surprise to me that at the end of the show (when they have the big reveal) everything was clean, except around her favorite chair... there were already signs of clutter. Her family got the push to action, but I don't know if the mom did. Her own husband had moved out of the home long before leaving the kids to deal with the horrendous mess. I wonder how the Mom in the chat room fared. Did she get help? or did she and her husband throw in the dirty towel.
When things are really bad and you are buried in clutter it isolates you. The worst thing it does is force you and your family into a bubble of isolated secrecy. Kids can't invite friends over. Family get-togethers are far and few between. Extreme clutter can cause a family to be in a constant state of stress and unhappiness.
Then there are the complaints...
The blame game.
It becomes a lonely cycle of defeating shame So If you find yourself in the middle of a complaint storm....
When others point and clear the cobwebs to expose the mess beneath...
take a breath.
Try to hear what they are saying
Instead of reacting loudly and retreating.
Face this monster head on. Take ownership.
Have a conversation.
Share your heart and hurts.
Maybe you'll find an answer, or help.
Maybe the veil will be lifted and you'll see how it affects others too. Maybe they'll see that they may also have had a part in it no matter how small. Or maybe after the talk they'll realize that you need their help and together you all can climb out and claim long standing victory over the heap.
And if the complainers still can't understand, or persist in the blame game until it feels like they can't see that they are talking to a real live person with feelings...
or can't see the progress you've made when you try... and say it's still not enough...
It's OK, they will. They might. and even if they never do...
Keep moving forward.
Stick with it.
Everyday try to do something to make it better. You will feel better.
Even if it's the tiniest thing that only you alone see.
Keep moving. Don't stand still and expect things to change. Move...even if its only for a few minutes at a time. You'll be surprised at what a few minutes can do.
Through one of the youtube channels I follow I found out about an app...30/30
You fill in the tasks bars with whatever you want to do. Then you select the amount of time you think you'll need to complete the chore.
It really helps to keep you keep on task. If you need frequent breaks then you just type in a rest period in every other slot. Rest for a few minutes until the alarm (of your choosing) rings. You could set it to be on a loop too.
Here is a Youtube video that shows you how to use this app.
I highly suggest this app. It's an incredible tool to help keep you on track. It is free to download from the App Store and I would love to know how you like it if you decide to use it.
And remember you can do this!
Have an amazing day!