Understanding why you are disorganized is the key to changing. Here's a story of how one messy person finally got organized. Well, at least got better!
Two Proven Steps to Finally Get Organized: From a self-proclaimed “Messy Monster”
Two proven steps to declutter: The first step is always the hardest. Step 1. Repeat with us: “We admitted we were powerless over our clutter and our house, car, and/or office, has become unmanageable.” Join Dragon Drool Anonymous: admit you have the Dragon of Defect, Messy Monster. Step 2. Get drastic! “Simple: Don’t have a lot of stuff to organize.”
I had to take my own advice on this one. I am a personality style expert. I teach people to accept and appreciate themselves and others who are different. I even teach about personality traits from a playing card game I developed (Personality-Ville: 13 Clue Cards to Your Personality Treasure). In fact, Clue Card No. 2 ~ Two Ways: Messy or Neat, is one of 52 playing cards that teaches about our natural tendency to be either “Messy” or “Neat.” I teach this stuff. But having knowledge of “why” someone does something, doesn’t stop the behavior. I had hit bottom and was ready for a change.
Below: Personality-Ville (PV) Two (2) Clue Card. The Extrovert/Feeling Royal Circus card for organization (or the lack of it!) "It's exciting to start new projects all the time. I also may have two, or more of something, because I can't find it! I try and try to be neat. I never can on a regular basis." This is so me~Kimberly West.
You see, well... I might as well come out and just admit, “Hello, my name is Kimberly, and I have the Dragon of Defect--Messy Monster!” As much as I tried and failed to be neat; and as much as I understood my natural tendencies, I finally had to admit: I will never be neat. I have other talents, I told myself. I had to make some drastic changes in my life. I was so tired of taking endless hours and days cleaning up the same mess over and over, shuffling the same piles from here to there, and back. It also really affected my love life.
Many times we pair-up with our opposite. Let’s just say that if my boyfriend of 10 years, is a quiet data analyst, I would be the extroverted, fun one. Even though we are both pretty laid-back, my clutter was really getting to him. There always seemed to be big piles of laundry. And piles of dishes. I got so tired of hearing, “Where’s the forks; we never have any forks. Where’s the clean cups? How many dishes can you go through in one day?” And on it would go.
Now my boyfriend wasn’t super neat either. We both fought the clutter war. And finally, we have won the war: well, maybe a battle. I did something drastic. I hid almost all of our silverware and dishes. I said to myself, “Self, you live in a tiny house. You don’t even have enough room to have four people over for dinner at once. So really, how much do you need?”
So, I packed up the extra dishes and put them away. I kept two of everything else: plates, bowls, cups, etc. I gathered up all the silverware and “hid” it. I took out exactly four forks, spoons, butter knives, and two cutting knives. I figured it would last us about a day. Oh, and I put out our four best towels and hid the rest. I also got rid of every piece of clothes I didn’t wear on a regular basis. It was liberating, if not a little scary. I told him, we were going to pay a price for this in doing many more loads of laundry.
Below: PV Two (2) Clue Card. I recommend many times to strive to be like The Royal Observatory Folks~take on a few projects at a time. Then move on to the next one.
And do you know what? It worked. For the most part. We really were forced to stop and just do the damn dishes right away! It really doesn’t take that much time. It’s also been great having more room in the cupboard. No big piles of laundry, either. So the water bill did go up; we just kept washing the same clothes and towels over and over!
But I can’t celebrate complete success. One day, I got lazy and in answer to him yelling at me one more time, “Where the hell is a forking fork?” I broke down and got out the hidden stash of silverware. So, now it’s better, but not perfect.
Hey, isn’t that part of the Dragon Drool Anonymous 12 Steps sayings? “Progress, not perfection.”
Note: Dragon Drool Anonymous is a real “tongue-n-cheek” 12-step sharing game and part of the up-and-coming Personality-Ville Clubs.
Here are the other cards in the Clue Card Two set of Personality-Ville: 13 Clue Cards to your Personality Treasure deck.
Below: Extrovert-Thinking PV Two (2) Clue Card. "I need to organize things because of my Motto: Achieve. I am driven to achieve as much as possible, for as long as possible! Quantity!"
Below: Introvert-Feeling. "It just takes too much energy to have things all organized. And besides, I know where everything is. It's my 'system.'"
There actually is a Clutterers Anonymous; I just found it.
Hoping you have a neat year,
Queen Kimberly West
Important Personality-Ville Principle "In-Tune": T = Tolerance, U = Understanding, N = No, E = Excuses. Understanding someone's natural tendencies does not excuse bad behavior!
What are YOUR top tips? What's your messy or neat story? Any fun or helpful stories of others? What were your parents like?
Which Two Card is most like you?
Messy-Many Projects (Circus, extrovert/feeling),
Messy-Few (Cottage, introvert-feeling),
Neat-Many (Castle, extrovert-thinking) or
Neat-Few (Observatory, introvert-thinking)