Today we had a lovely day at the Children’s Discovery Garden at Thanksgiving Point in Sandy, Utah with our grands. We had lunch with our daughter at the nearby brand new Firehouse Subs and then took the boys home. Summer put Nicholas’ drink in a small drink holder next to Michael’s car seat. On the way home, Michael tried to lift the drink from the holder by the top, the lid came off and the entire drink spilled into the drink holder. When we arrived home, I discovered the spill, (aka a real mess). As soon as the boys were settled in the house I went back out to the car with a plastic bag, paper towels, and an all-purpose cleaner. In less than 5 minutes the mess was no more.
Often when confronted with a mess we leave it for later. Messes do not improve with time. The moral of this story:
- Take care of it now, take care of it quickly.
- Pick it up, don’t pass it up.
- Do it now.
(Oops that’s several morals!!)
One of the first home organization books I read years ago was The Messie’s Manual by Sandra Felton. The book described different types of messies. One was the perfectionist messie. The perfectionist messie cannot do most tasks to their extremely high standard and so they put it off until they have the time to do an absolutely stunning job. That time rarely if ever arrives.
Confession: I was a perfectionist messie. The tendency to hyper-micromanage kept me frozen in indecision and my home and life in chaos. One of my sweet daughters is just like I was. Perfection or nothing at all. That usually works out to be pretty much nothing at all. Perfectionism is an awful master. If you are a perfectionist messie let go of your perfectionism. Let’s work our way out of chaos to good enough and then go on from there to better, if we must. Let’s seek after progress, however small, instead of precision and perfection. Let’s decide on a minimum standard.
My minimum standard is:
- at least one load of laundry all the way from laundry basket to washer to dryer to folded and put away a day—if I have a load of laundry,
- beds made,
- bathrooms sanitary,
- dishes done including counters wiped down
- mail dealt with as soon as it comes in the house
- house in good general order
With the basic standard in place then start to get rid of anything that doesn’t improve the function of your life and home (aka clutter). Be consistent and persistent and you will get it done.
Two of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar:
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well.
A perfectionist is one who takes great pains and gives them to others.