Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Messy Me


I recently re-read a book called The Messies Manual. The author, Sandra Felton, writes specifically to those of us who are mystified and completely frustrated by the housekeeping tasks that seem intuitive to others. She calls these two types of people Messies and Cleanies.

I see myself in so much of what she describes that it's scary. Messies are easily distractable and see their home and the tasks at hand in a different way. Art calls this book my biography because of the sections I've read to him. For instance, the following piece about a typical Messie problem with boundaries:

"[Messies] fail to consider lack of space, i.e., that space has boundaries. They keep buying books without considering there is no place to put them. They don't notice where their responsibility leaves off in relation to other people. They keep trying to inappropriately take care of everybody else's needs.
They mingle themselves with their possessions in such a way that when they get rid of their belongings they feel as though they are losing a part of themselves. They also feel that the possessions of other people have a little of those people in the possessions.
They blur time boundaries in that they try to live in the past, present, and future all at the same time."

She says that her Cleanie friends approached everything about housework and cleaning in a different way from her and other Messies that she met and has helped. For example, a Cleanie will see a piece of lint on the floor and immediately pick it up and throw it away. Problem solved. A Messie will see the same piece of lint, groan and think, "Oh no. Now I have to vacuum," and keep on walking.

This is so, so true.

I'm working on it, and hope to improve as time goes on. After reading this book, and Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley, I've begun to notice where my problem areas are, and begun to find solutions for those areas.

All that to say, I guess, that if you're struggling with these same issues, or are curious about how the other half lives, I'd recommend these books.

7 comments:

Crissybug said...

The Messies Manual seems like an interesting book. I will have to check it out. I am definately a Messie...not a Cleanie.

Flylady is great. I just need to be better at incorporating her ideas into my life!

key said...

Today de-clutter one area and that will be a great beginning to incorporating routines into your life. (What about your sink? Is it smiling at you today?)

Wishing you much success one day at a time.

:) Paddi@flylady.net

aftergrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aftergrace said...

It was me that deleted my comment, sorry.
I am a messie, I wish I could be different, but I am what I am. (heavy sigh)

Tina said...

Without even reading the book, I know for sure that I am a Cleanie. However, the lint thing does not ring true for me. Yes, I will pick up lint and throw it away. BUT, I will not then forget about it. I will continue to think about it until I vacuum because I KNOW where there's lint, there's always MORE lint...and I must completely absolve my world of lint/dust bunnies/cat hair/filth.

Darla said...

hahahaha... As if having someplace to put it is ever a consideration when buying a book....

Obviously, I'm a Messie, but it's not all bad. My husband, the Cleanie, has been known to spend extra time picking lint off the floor mat in the car when we're already late for something. And I'm the one who's been slowly getting rid of the unwearable (for one reason or another) clothes in our closets. We just won't talk about my book habit. :)

Qtpies7 said...

I liked the messies manual, I have a copy somewhere................