It’s commonplace to hear about the different types of people in this world. “Type A” personalities are those people that have a knack for keeping everything in place, for being on time and for feeling best when living a clutter free life. The other personality types, are essentially carefree (or careless depending on how you see it) folks who seem to be able to manage just find among environmental chaos. Is there a right or wrong way to live? Is the neat freak better than the messy tornado? Does it really matter….really matter in the scope of things that everything in your home (and life) get put in its place?
The answer of course, depends on whom you are talking to. But realistically speaking, there is truly no excuse for a messy home. Television shows such as Hoarders, and My Secret Obsession and Clean that House have been making a mockery (and a mint) out of ousting people who live in squalors. Obviously, the people on these shows are living in pigsties to the extremes. However, millions of other people aren’t engaged in cleaning on a day-to-day basis. They aren’t fazed by toothpaste dripping from the walls in the bathroom, shoes all over the hallway, toys strewn across the dining room and kitchen, or piles of grimy dishes in the sink. In fact, they can walk in the home – see the mess, step over the crap all over the place and simply throw their jacket or purse or keys in some random place without thinking much about it.
The easiest way to avoid living in a pigpen is to stop making excuses for it. Sure, you worked all day. Sure, you have kids. But that does not mean that the people in your home (or you) should have an excuse to simply make matters worse. If folks would simply take the extra five seconds to take the extra step and put their stuff away, or clean up after themselves – slightly messy homes would not be turned into certified disaster areas. And if you didn’t have disaster areas, the Type A person in your life, who likes things neat and tidy – wouldn’t have a panic attack at site of the kitchen table.
Research also supports the fact that organization is important in life. It shows that people who maintain order, and organization in their home are less stressed, have MORE time to relax, and are sick less often. Living in utter chaos, often referred to as ‘environmental chaos” is also not healthy for children and can lead to non-medical signs of diseases such as ADD. Regardless of age, when there is too much going on in the environment around you, it IS difficult to focus and maintain a positive outlook.
And let’s be honest. Keeping a house clean and tidy, actually takes less time than living in a disaster area. When you know have a place for everything and everything in its place – you find things more quickly. You can get out of the house easier. And it makes every day chores such as cooking, taking a shower, or putting laundry away a cinch. The trick is being consistent with the chores and with the people that you live with. If you have children, it’s important from a young age to get them used to putting the legos back in the toy box, teaching them to put their laundry away when it’s clean, and making sure, they are responsible for the little messes that they make. Unless you have a full time maid, teaching kids to be tidy is a matter of self-respect and respect for others. Plus, it prepares them for the future and for their independent life.
In a perfect world, you would be able to welcome visitors into your home any time night or day. You would never be embarrassed about the ‘state’ of your home – or be worried that the mother in law might come in and visit. Cleaning, when done daily isn’t really a chore at all. When you become organized inside your home, and commit to keeping things that way, everything becomes easier. The work of course comes in trying to train the people you live with to breathe the same sigh of relief from living in a tidy home that you do.
A messy home speaks volumes for the people that live inside it. Take a minute and think of your home. What does it say about you? Does it scream lazy? Are you disrespecting the space that you work hard to live in? Is it unhealthy? Is your home in such a disarray that it causes frustration and stress that often bleeds into your relationships? If you answered YES, to any of these questions – chances are you need to take a minute and take inventory of your home’s cleanliness and your lifestyle habits.
When you live with other people, it is important to be respectful of maintaining your home. Bottom line, there ISNT an excuse for a messy home. It just means that you are lazy, or that you don’t care – or that you assume someone else is going to pick everything up for you. Making changes can be difficult at the onset, but as time goes on – you will find that keeping things orderly, makes for a much happier family.
House rules should apply to everyone. Taking care of your home should be as important as taking care of yourself. Your home is an extension, and a reflection of YOU. And certainly, it can be just as disruptive to be completely anal retentive about the organization of your home. The trick is finding balance between tidiness and messes and making sure that everyone living under your roof is responsible for taking care of their own stuff.