Column 06 – Clutter Alienates by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

 Clutter hurts our marriages. It affects the way we feel about ourselves and makes us sluggish. When our homes are filled with clutter, we just want to flee. We do everything in our power to not have to look at it.

Here are some things we do. We hide out in the bed, so we don’t have to see it. We leave the house for the day and don’t come home until late. We volunteer for things to keep us out of the house. A busy person does not have time to clean and declutter. This gives you an excuse. When you walk in the door after a day of running around, facing the clutter, stops you dead in your tracks. Since you don’t know where to start, you do nothing.

Clutter sucks the energy right out of you. This is why I have urged you to shine your sink. Just seeing one small area that is clean and clutter free, gives you the energy to do more; I think you are beginning to believe me. The same way that clutter tends to grow in our hotspots, clutter free areas are contagious too. With just a small area clean, you will begin to clean and clear the areas surrounding your bright spot.

Keep your counters clear as you cook. Don’t let things pile up. Clean up after each dish prepared. Fill your sink with fresh hot soapy water each time it gets dirty and cold. Put out clean dish towels and dish cloths. When you get an area clean, declare it a clutter free zone. Use your hot spot preventions twice daily to keep them clear of clutter.

Our husbands and children are pushed away by this clutter. We allow it to alienate our family from us. Husbands hide in the bedroom, the family room in front of the tv, tinkering in the garage or they don’t come home at all. These are places of refuge. As a result of husbands protecting themselves from the clutter, you feel abandoned. Lines of communication become broken because clutter can push people apart. You all know about this.

Look at what happens with your children. With clutter everywhere, they have a problem sitting still. Yes, I sincerely believe that clutter affects our ability to focus. This is a downward spiral. Clutter keeps us from focusing. This contributes to more clutter and chaos. We get depressed and want to hide. Things get worse and we become hermits. Our children are seeing our lack of structure and discipline. They do not want to mind us, when we tell them to clean their room. Why should they? Our room is not clean.

You will find that when you set this example, even just in one area, you will begin to see a change in your children. They will be more willing to help, when they see you doing something. The children want attention! When our homes are cluttered; we become overwhelmed, so we do nothing. Our focus is on the clutter and not on our children. Can you see this? Our poor children just want us to notice them for a while. This is when they make an even bigger mess. Any attention even negative attention; is better than no attention. You yell at them and get upset with yourself because of your mean voice and then you beat yourself up. This vicious cycle has got to stop.

You are not a bad Mom, a bad wife or a bad person! The only problem is that we have allowed the enemy CLUTTER to invade our territory. It is time to take back our homes and find the peace that I know is there. You will know this too, when you clean one small area of the clutter and keep it clear. This victory will be yours and your whole family will celebrate.

Set your timer for 15 minutes and practice our new habit for February!  Just grab a trash bag and start tossing; it is time to kick that clutter right out of our lives!

FlyLady.net "This is FlyLady's List that has grown by leaps and bounds..." Copyright 2001 - 2014 FlyLady and Company, Inc.