So cleaning and organizing have never been my favourite things to do.
I hear from some people that cleaning for them is fun, and if that is you, I say: awesome!
Clean away 😉
But for a lot of us, these tasks can feel boring, tedious and a bit of a waste of time… when we get to it.
(I just want to add the caveat that I do keep the main area of our house looking okay… when guests are coming over, anyways.)
My Personal Excuses
I have plenty of excuses. Here are some of them. Can you relate?:
Excuse #1: For one thing, some personality types are less excited about cleaning and organizing than others.
Mine, for example, is described as follows about tasks like organization:
“When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, [these personality types] are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.” (www.Personalitypage.com)
See? It’s inborn! (Well that’s the excuse I make to myself, anyways).
Excuse #2: A lot of times I think I have so many other much more important things to do… and cleaning and organizing take a back seat (way back).
For me, this is a biggie.
Why organize the broom closet, when I can write another blog post?
Why clean out the fridge, when I could read a life-changing book?
I wrestle with these kinds of emotions a lot subconsciously. To me, it doesn’t seem like many people are going to notice the state of my basement, but a lot of people may be impacted by my next coaching program…
But I think there’s more to it than that, as I will explain below.
Excuse # 3: Another excuse I have is that my husband also has a “messy-tendency” personality type.
There’s a good side and a bad side to this.
The good side is he doesn’t mind if the house is a disaster when he comes home, so I don’t feel stressed about having everything in it’s proper place before he gets there.
The bad side is that this can cause our house to keep looking like a disaster, as both of us just “step over” the messes on our way to other things.
Excuse #4: The fourth excuse I use is that I have a toddler.
Of all the excuses, this is probably the best one.
But did my two-year old make the mess on my office desk? Okay–maybe a few things, but not so much.
Did he neglect to do the dishes? Well, yes, but he can’t really reach them at the moment.
So, there are plenty of messes I can attribute to him, but when it comes to most of the house, I do have a lot of control over the state it gets.
So what am I to do?
Am I destined to have a super-messy home for the rest of my life?
Do I just need to just endure the tendencies of my in-born personality and situation and give up?
I don’t think so.
[Do you want to makes some progress in this area of neatness? Join the free “Loving My Actual Life” challenges–this June the challenge is to set and complete some goals in organizing our homes. Just sign up on this blog post.]
I think it’s actually all about my priorities.
If I don’t get these tasks done, it’s not because I don’t have enough time or I don’t have the ability, it’s because I don’t find these tasks important enough.
…But maybe they are more important than what I’ve been admitting to myself?
Here are some reasons I’ve come up with for why a neat(er) house may be important:
A. Less Stress About Guests
I’ll feel less frantic when I know people are coming over.
If there’s a lot of cleaning up before guests come, it can be very stressful, and I’m tempted to take my emotions out on my husband who “should” be helping me more (this is no matter how much he is or has been helping me).
Instead, I’ll be able to put a few things away, do a few wipe downs, and plan for more important things, like what we’re going to eat and talk about. 🙂
B. An Open Door
b. Tied to the previous reason, if I’ve maintained a relatively clean and organized home, I’ll feel like people can drop by whenever and I can welcome them in without embarrassment.
Although a bit of a mess isn’t an issue for me, if I can make sure the dishes are done daily, the floor swept and things generally put away, I can feel peaceful as I go about the rest of my day, not subconsciously getting stressed about all the cleaning tasks yet to do or the possibility of someone dropping by unannounced.
C. My Witness
Really, the state of my home sends a message.
As a Christ-follower, I want to show that I do have the self-discipline of the Holy Spirit, and that I do care about my surroundings and how others feel when they are in them.
This is a great reason–maybe the best– to get control of the tidiness of my home.
D. More Personal Peace and Enjoyment
I will feel more peaceful.
When my office is clean and organized, I can sit there comfortably and work away, rather than find another less-messy place to work (for example, I’m writing this on my recently tidied office desk, rather than on the kitchen table, as I’d resorted to for a while).
I can also spend time there with the Lord, and not be subconsciously distracted by all I need to do.
E. Faithfulness in the Little Things
It says in the Bible that if we are faithful with little things, God will reward us with bigger things (Luke 16:10).
Now, if that meant that if I clean my stove, I’ll be rewarded with lots more things to clean , I wouldn’t be very excited about that.
But I think it means something different than that 🙂
I think it means that if I’m faithful to do the seemingly inconsequential tasks that God wants me to do, I’m developing self-discipline. I’m doing things in secret that God is proud of, even if no one else ever notices.
And I believe God will reward me for that by giving me responsibilities I DO want to do. I’ll have (with His help) developed enough self-discipline to handle greater things– ones that may make a more obvious impact.
Okay, Now How?
So how am I doing to to master this area of my life better?
In the next post I share about the strategies I’m doing to make progress–and even enjoying it!
And in my last post in this series, I suggest some resources you might want to get that have been helping me get more organized.
For now, what category do you think you’d more easily fall in: messy-tendencies or tidy-tendencies?
What reasons can you think of to have a more clean and organized home?