It is the beginning of a beautiful new week ~ a week chock full of possibilities, I can feel it – can you?
I have known for many years that if I was not an artist, there is something else that I would be, and for goodness sakes, I love it so much that it is possible I was an *organizer* in my past life, or will be in the next life
When I was 8 years old, I would attend play dates and slumber parties and I would encourage my friend to let me help her clean her room. Really! If she let me, I would sort and organize, stack and shuffle. I remember visiting my younger cousin and spending time cleaning up her room for her.
As a child of 10, I re-organized my bedroom on a weekly basis – urging to make it more “business-like” and clean, then alternating to make it more “fun and creative”. One of my very favorite childhood memories was moving the furniture around the living room with my mom, making a new space, a new atmosphere and a new energy flow. And I have read that rearranging the look of a room encourages creative thinking.
When I was 16 and babysitting frequently, I would play with the kids, then while they napped or watched a cartoon I would frantically go to town on the kitchen or piles of toys in the kids’ rooms. Need I say my overwhelmed mama clients liked me?
It is possible that my freakish organizing habit really blossomed when experiencing the chaos and blocked energy living within the walls of some of those homes I sat at – not to mention the effect it had on the behavior of the children.
Some know that I have attempted (and will continue to over the years) combine my necessity for clean, clear, open spaces with my love of painting in my Interior Landscape paintings.
Now that I have my own home and family, my obsessive tendencies come in very handy (too handy sometimes). For me, peace is found in being able to see the corners of the rooms, the baseboards and being able to walk around in the pitch dark knowing you will not run into anything. Also, not worrying about *who* or *what* lives behind my stuff.
I have googled to try and find others like myself, and several years ago I discovered Fly Lady http://www.flylady.net/, and felt at home. It was Fly Lady who helped me to put my thoughts in place, giving me logical and valuable reasons for my compulsions
(and it goes beyond the physical, but that is another post).
I want to help but it is hard, being among adults now instead of children,
to know how to not overstep the line, or offend.
I have a dear friend who recently accepted my willingness to intervene, as I felt her frustration over the chaos of her surroundings – her beautiful home is hidden by *things* that need a new home besides hers.
Eager to help, I offer this advice to her, and it occurs to me that it may spark something in someone else, so I share it here:
1) Get out your big garbage bag (or 2 or 3) – for donations – enlist a trusted and non-judgmental friend.
2) Allow your friend to take your kids to the park for 30-40 minutes (you hide your laptop and turn off your phone) JUST 30-40 minutes, though!
3) You have just 30-40 minutes to fling 50 things – I’m serious now – 50 things (or impress yourself with 75) – do it quickly and think of the people you will be blessing – the people who have next to nothing, people who would love to have that toy/book/kitchen thing/or whatever it is blocking your peace.
4) You have to do it quickly using your first impression of each object, don’t take the time to get attached or remember where/when you got it – just use your instinct and get an immediate feeling from each thing – if it doesn’t bring you happiness, fling it into the bag.
5) When your friend returns with your kids let her/him take your bag to their trunk – hopefully they will promise not to look in it. Allow them to then take it to your chosen charity for you (or wait a week to do so if you’d like, just in case).
6) Repeat as often as necessary until you find your peace
A variation would be:
1) the kids play (or allow your friend to take them to the park) and you (or your friend helps you) tackle one area at a time (very important: laptop and phone must be silenced to avoid distraction)