The House That Cleans Itself; Chapters 7 - 9

In chapter 7 of The House That Cleans Itself, Mindy writes:
"One of the most important observations I hope you make from all this scrutiny is that you may have too much stuff."
Um, yeah. So what are my excuses for the clutter? Sentimental attachments (often gifts), "I might need it some day," and "somebody might want or need it some day" are tops on my list. But I think a great deal of it is I just haven't felt like I had the time to sort through things. I'm big on putting something aside to deal with later...but then never getting around to "later." Another obstacle for me is my hubby is even more of a pack rat than I am...and a lot less interested in purging. Chapter 8 is especially helpful for me and I'm anxious to share my findings with my hubby. In this section of the book, Mindy suggests some more profound reasons we are messy. For me, the problems most at work in my little brain are: * Having a brain that's always working on something - therefore, I don't pause to pick up, like normal people do :) I personally call this "The Absent-Minded Professor" problem and it's a huge factor in my homekeeping skills. I like Mindy's idea of taking 5 minutes every day to stop and focus on picking up. Right now, of course, I couldn't even make a dent in 5 minutes time. * Not being able to remember stuff unless I can see it. This is another huge problem for me, especially with paperwork. It readily explains why I have lots of piles on my desk. I'm anxious to see what specific ideas Mindy has for this problem.

* Being a perfectionist. As Mindy puts it, "Are your standards so skewed that you would sacrifice average daily cleanliness for perfect occasional cleanliness?" Um, yeah. This is less an issue for me at the moment, but it's definitely how I kept house before kids. My house got pretty messy, then I'd swoop in and do a massive cleaning to make it spotless. I like Mindy's idea of raising her lowest standards and lowering her highest standards. I've already done the second - simply because my house is such a mess I can't possibly hope to get it spotless with two little ones running around. I was already thinking about just how very long it's going to realistically take me to get our home in order, when Chapter 9 brought up that topic. I'm embarrassed to give you my score to the quiz in this section: 10. Mindy thinks, then, it will take at least 6 months for me to finish the house. I agree. What about you? What keeps your house messy? And how long do you think it take you to clean your house?
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  1. Hee hee that post was LOVELY & right on cue :)

    The biggest (only) deciding factor to getting our house 'in-order' involved OUR plans of selling/culling everything except that which will fit in a van/4WD & caravan and travelling around australia. If it wouldn't fit in the van it HAD TO GO... I think it took about 2 months and all our packing boxes... but what does the Bible say? Mans plans are not always GODs plans?! Whoops...

    It was also the heart lesson of letting 'stuff' go and living ALL FOR JESUS... and giving to God.

    For Example... I was thinking garage sale/market sale and had marked all these things all ready for sale. Hubby says to me I am thinking God is wanting us to GIVE them away. Honestly I was distraught over missing out on that $$. Within the hour I did agree full heartedly giving what really belonged to God to God (Salvo's are our local Christian thrift shop that help the needy). I couldn't get the thought out of my head but did not manage to take them due to time/kids/space in the car. When I DID take the boxes down I prayed that the Lord may use them for the people who need them. Within 24hours a fellow church person had dropped us a card with $150 in it. They said God told them and just how much. Whilst it might not sound like alot the amount would have been the exact amount give or take a dollar or two had we managed to sell all we had given away.

    The only 'tip' I have is choose a big box... then go through an area of the house putting things to give away in the box... then when you finished sorting and the box is half empty make a quest to FILL the box. This was the way I managed to make all our packing boxes disappear (that I know need to move again) and empty our house so significantly that keeping it tidy is manageable (finally)...

  2. I use to hold on to things for different reasons, then one day I just got tired of it.

    I made this rule: If I haven't used it, needed it, or wondered where it was for an entire year, then I should get rid of it.
    I do keep some things, but it MUST fit into one box. I have a box for each daughter, one for me, and one for hubby.

    Once you get everything organized, you'll feel MUCH better.You'll just have to make yourself get rid of some things.
    Rent a Uhaul, throw some stuff in there and take it to goodwill. You don't want to be seen on Hoarders do you? ;)

  3. Thanks, ladies. Part of the problem is hubby is not as interested in de-cluttering as I am. We are both collectors, too, so some things I'd love to get rid of (like the two non-working antique TVs in our living room) won't be leaving any time soon. Still, I know I can make it better than it is. KEEPING it that way is a problem, though, so I'm looking forward to implementing the whole "change your house, not your habits" idea from "The House That Cleans Itself."