This is an essay FlyLady sends out every few months. She believes that clutter and money problems go hand in hand. Just replace money problems for clutter; the message is the same.
Why do we torture ourselves with our clutter? You know exactly what I am talking about. We have piles everywhere: stuff we are going to need one day and we might not be able to afford it then, so we had better hold on to it. Do you hear this “Oh, Poor Me” attitude? This stuff is going to kill you. Are you listening to me? All the piles of clutter are filling your life with guilt, and this guilt is hurting your body and spirit.
I have found that many of our members suffer from chronic illnesses, often immune diseases; stress and guilt are contributors to these illnesses. My mother had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20 years. I have studied this disease, and it is a result of an immune system going crazy. Many other diseases have the same basis: fibromyalgia, lupus, thyroid problems, and some types of diabetes. There are colds, flus, sore throats, and allergic reactions that are also caught because our immune system is not working well. The stress that is in our lives from our clutter, our chaotic homes, and our hectic lives is slowly and painfully killing us. Are you prepared to die this tortured death? Do you want to sit on the sidelines while your husband and children enjoy life without you, while you sit home and suffer with this clutter draining your life’s energy?
This clutter pushes your family away. Your home should be a safe haven for you and your family, but when it is cluttered, all of you find ways to be away from home. You dread walking in the door to face this wall of stuff and undone jobs. Let’s face it: it is guilt. So you enroll your children in extra activities, anything to get away from this guilt that surrounds you at home. You all know what I am talking about. With our lives filled with this clutter, we are unable to have anyone over. You all know the C.H.A.O.S. (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome). This pushes the people we love away. It also keeps us from taking care of things we need to have fixed: leaky faucets, heating problems, and stopped-up drains. We are ashamed to have anyone in the house to fix them because of our clutter. I had one member that would not call an ambulance because she was too afraid that if they saw her mess, that the drivers would report it to Dept of Social Service and they would take her children.
What are we doing to our children? They are growing up in a home that they are unable to have their friends over to play and do school work. They don’t want anyone to see how they live. They are embarrassed by their home. Do you know what happens? They end up playing at someone else’s home, and you won’t be fully aware of their activities — or even worse, you keep them secluded in their own home. You are keeping secrets, and these cluttered secrets are going to be the death of you and your family.
Now let’s look at our marriages. We have insulated our lives from the love that we need to survive. The clutter puts stress on our marriage. I don’t care how strong your love is, clutter, whether it is your husband’s or yours, is stealing the affection you have for one another. Fights, harsh words, and even abandonment have slipped into this once-loving relationship. Do you want this? Are you ready for peace? This is a decision that we have to make. If we want to live in a home that is not conducive to love, and I mean love of self, love of husband, love of children, and love of God, or do you want to clear your clutter so that the love that is in your life can bloom and grow?
Right now you are living a life of fear. Fear is the opposite of love, as far as I am concerned. God is love; fear is of the Devil: fear of being without, fear of not being understood, fear of not being loved. Fear is lack of faith in God. The Devil puts this fear, guilt, and worry into our lives. He puts these obstacles in our path so we will not find the peace we deserve. He wants us to suffer. Do you want him to win? Put your faith in God and get off your Franny and start to get rid of this clutter. I have given you the tools: All you have to do is listen and start with small jobs. I don’t expect you to get it all done at once, but you have to start somewhere. Many members need to see results immediately; this is our nature. If we don’t, we give up and go back to our slovenly way of life. I am here to tell you that your home did not get cluttered over night, and it is not going to get clean in one day.
We are working on changing life-long habits; this is going to take some hard work and consistent routines. It will not be a cakewalk, but as you start to see progress, you will want to go gangbusters. This is something that we have done to ourselves many times. We work until we are burnt out; then, we don’t want to clean or declutter anymore because we are so tired. This kind of turn-around in your life is like going on a crash diet. You get the house clean, and before you know it, the place is trashed again. We are putting our homes on a diet: a diet of behavior modification. I am teaching you a new way of cleaning, and it starts with establishing routines one habit at a time and decluttering your home 15 minutes a day. Anyone can do this, from mothers with children to members that work out of the home. It is so simple; you just have to start.
Are you tired of living this way? You must be, or you would not have joined our group. Kelly and I can’t help you, unless you want to help yourself. We can’t come to your house and tell you what to get rid of, as much as we would love to be able to physically assist you. All we can do is hopefully touch something deep within you that will get you away from the computer and the TV, and begin your new way of looking at your life. WITH NO MORE GUILT! You have found the answer. It is within each of you. Your clutter is suffocating your true spirit. If you will release this clutter, you will find the peace and health that you have been yearning for all your life. It is not just a matter of wanting peace. We have been WANTING all of our life. This is a matter of actively working toward our goal of a clean and peaceful home. You can do this by using the tools: your routines, basic weekly plan, zone cleaning, 27 fling boogie, the reminders, as well as all of my and Kelly’s essays on attitude adjustment.
Are you willing to work? Ask yourself if you ready to get your Franny out of that chair and change your life. We don’t expect you to do all of this right off the bat. You are only expected to get dressed to shoes everyday, keep your sink clean and shiny, and declutter for 15 minutes each day. This is it. Anyone can do this! I want for you what I have, PEACE. I received this PEACE from my routines. You have all read my testimonial. If not, it is on the website. It takes time and effort on your part. This is not a magic pill I am giving you. It is a recipe for peace, and you are the chef. So let’s get ready to for the biggest feast of all: A celebration of your love of God, self, partner, and children. Enjoy the preparation. It is not a chore; it is a gift of love! It’s time for you to FLY!