There’s help out there for messy people

I don’t believe much in spooks or Halloween bad tricks that people say happen if we don’t pass out treats. Yet, for sometime now there’s strange stuff going on in my closets and file cabinets.

Yes sir-ree – every time I look the other way it seems more stuff takes up residence in my closet and dresser drawers. I object! Overnight they seem to get filled up and the clothes closet doesn’t have room for one more hanger. My 4-drawer file cabinet has put on weight fit to bust it open

This has to stop. But, how? “Write about something you know,” experts advise, and hanging on to possessions is right up my alley.

Is your “clutter” giving birth to more clutter too? When this happens my overwhelming urge is to hide out with lots of cookies and hot chocolate for comfort.

How does clutter start and grow and what is the effect on a family? Clue: If your kids get lost in the mess it’s time to get organized. If friends aren’t stopping by often maybe they can’t find a place to sit.

Some folks are just plain “Messy People.”

Enter “Messies Anonymous,” a system founded 26 years ago to successfully bail clutter-makers out of their self-inflicted dilemma. Clutter creates confusion, things get lost, so we buy more and that affects everyone exposed to it, especially our families.

Elizabeth, (Last name withheld by request) a local resident member of “Messies Anonymous” since 1997, talked with me in 2008 and recently said there is a no-charge 12-step group method that does work.

Folks are welcome to attend Messies Anonymous meetings at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 19834 8th Ave S. Des Moines, Wednesday mornings 10:30 a.m.-Noon. Contact the facilitator for details at 206- 248-2922.

Adult behavior in the eyes of kids is everyday “acceptable living.” But is it?

Do we want our kids to live in clutter and pass on that lifestyle as normal to grandchildren? They deserve a better chance at life and the buck of this self-defeating clutter habit has to stop. It’s not a shame to clutter; the truth is it takes courage to change habits. Messies Anonymous can help.

Elizabeth said she thought only she lived like a slob.

“Clothes were washed on a haphazard basis and dishes often washed only so a meal could be prepared. My children didn’t always have clean clothes or proper foods to pack their lunch. I was tired from running around trying to be perfect to the world because I couldn’t be perfect at home. Oh, how things have changed,” said Elizabeth after using Messies de-clutter methods.

Laundry is washed daily, the sink is cleaned before leaving the kitchen, and her home is calmer, cooler and peaceful. Advance hair appointments are made promptly rather than procrastinating, nice clothes are worn, she avoids garage sales, and she buys small amounts of on-sale items.

Elizabeth doesn’t stock up on holiday bargains, although she encourages people to start now checking on Christmas decorations, updating greeting card and gift lists, planning the holiday dinner menu and donating closet clean-outs to charities.

Messies’ system uses three 12x18“ banker boxes labeled, Give Away, Throw Away, and Store Someplace Else (away from home.)

Start at the front door, go around one room from drawers to cupboard, every nook and cranny and empty everything that doesn’t belong there into a labeled box. Put back only neatly organized items that do belong.

Empty the “Throw Away” box into trash immediately. Put the “Give Away” box in your car trunk for a thrift store donation. Famous words that guarantee clutter, “I might need that someday.” Sometimes, it’s hard to decide; yet it must be done.

Consider that if your house is in shambles it may be reflecting or creating a rocky marriage that confuses children as to what is “acceptable living.” Adult actions set patterns kids adopt as a life model.

Attending Messies Anonymous free weekly meetings will show how to change your home, lifestyle and children’s future while boosting self-worth and providing a welcome home from cluttered economy, political fickleness and personal challenges, Elizabeth said.

Meantime, my own over-stuffed closet may not be haunted after all. Just needs a cleanout, as do pudgy loaded dresser drawers, tightly packed file cabinets that are about to pop open. I’m gonna get on that right away!!

Of course, first, I have to go to the store, take the dog out, read the newspaper, visit friends, play with loved grandkids, write, etc….

Today’s Thought: “Talk doesn’t cook rice.” (Chinese Proverb)

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