Messies and Cleanies:
Sandra Felton, author and creator of Messies Anonymous, believes that although you can be born one or the other, you don’t have to stay that way. She herself is a born Messie who has learned to act like a Cleanie.
Unlike Messies, Cleanies have mental schedules they themselves are not aware of. Their minds are like computers going down their list of things to do.
The power that activates the computer is in the eyes. Again and again they say, “When I see…” or “If it looks dirty, I…”
Their goals are visual and they become uncomfortable if something is out of place. Cleanies are not afraid to use shortcuts because they are confident in their own cleaning ability and don’t feel it necessary to prove anything by doing things the hard way.
They tend to get up with a bang and get going with purpose. They frequently have a time goal in mind and work fast to meet it. You might think they are uptight people. They don’t seem to be. In fact, they often are gracious, warm, and creative. They can afford to be because they have enough time to do whatever they want to do!
So, Cleanies have innate characteristics that differ from me, and possibly you:
- They are sensitive to subtle visual cues that tell them when something needs cleaning.
- They just do it. When something needs cleaning, they do it almost without thinking. They certainly don’t waste time thinking about how to do it.
- They don’t care about perfection. I like the observation that they have nothing to prove. If you are a born Messie, like me, you may often feel like you need to clean something perfectly because you have so much guilt and shame about being messy that you think there is a right or perfect way to clean something.
- They have more time in their lives to do whatever they want to do – they are not weighed down by shoulds because they have already done them!
Sandra Felton on Cleanies:
One thing my Cleanie friends have in commmon is that they don’t understand. They don’t understand at all. I can always tell true Cleanies by the way they react when they hear that I teach a class on housekeeping.
They look blank, very blank.
“Oh, it is a class on cooking.”
“Oh, I see, a class on interior decorating.”
“No, actually it’s housekeeping.”
Silence. How can you continue discussing the inconceivable? Why would anybody need a class on housekeeping?
One blank-faced woman told me soberly that if I did have a class on housekeeping nobody would come. Since I had been having well-attended classes, I asked her why she thought nobody would come.
“Obviously, if people have messy houses it is because they want them that way. And, if they want them that way, why would they attend the class? So nobody will come.”
If Cleanies only knew how we struggle! But housekeeping comes so naturally to them that they don’t understand at all.
Let me know I’m not alone here! Are you a Messy, too?
(***Note: When this was originally posted, I had two kind commenters. Unfortunately, all comments have been lost.)
I didn’t learn much from my mom about how to keep a home. She was a single mom working as a teacher and putting herself through graduate school, so she can’t be blamed for having her plate full. We also lived too far from extended family to gather much for the holidays. I don’t think my mom ever made a turkey and stuffing (but I did learn to make killer pumpkin pie from her). And to top it off, she suffers from Depression and as I’ve mentioned before, she is a (recovering) compulsive hoarder.
Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on Compulsive Hoarding:
Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding) is the acquisition of, and failure to use or discard, such a large number of seemingly useless possessions that it causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as mobility, cooking, cleaning, showering or sleeping.
- living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designed
- significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding (for all family members as well).
And from the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation website:
Living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were originally designed. Obviously, with many items coming into the home and very few going out, the clutter will accumulate. It does not take long for the clutter to spread onto the floors, counter tops, hallways, stairwells, garage, and cars. Beds become so cluttered that there is no room to sleep. Chairs become buried under clutter, so there is nowhere to sit. Kitchen counters become so cluttered that food cannot be prepared. For many hoarders, it gets to a point where there might be only a narrow pathway that connects each room, and the rest of the house is piled several feet high with clutter. It becomes impossible to use many areas of the house for their original purpose.
So you can see how difficult it is to maintain normal housekeeping practices in that environment. My mother wasn’t a slob and we didn’t live in abject squalor, but there was no such thing as a regular routine and I’ve developed a fear of housework that extends beyond vacuuming, sweeping, basic laundry, some ironing and dish washing.
Mopping? Toilet scrubbing? Shower and bath cleaning? Gag me!
Counter-tops, stove-tops, dust bunnies, the depths of the refrigerator…. and clutter, clutter, clutter! The list of things I avoid cleaning as long as possible is nearly endless.
But above all, I’m most deficient in home cooking. Or any kind of cooking.
I plan to master all of these skills in the coming year.
Enter The Homemaker’s Mentor. Here, Mrs. Martha Greene and Mrs. Rebekah Wilson, who are both homemakers, mothers, and authors, offer cheap and “helpful lessons to inspire you and expand your homemaking skills.” I could kiss them!
Unfortunately, my purse strings are a little too tight to pay even the small amount that they charge for something that I can get for free. They do, however, offer some free sample lessons, such as how to bake the perfect pie and laundry, so I’ll update you on how I like those when I read through and try them.
And check out their Curricula for 2008:
Deep Cleaning the Master Bedroom
Sew Simple Curtains
Growing an Indoor Herb Garden
Children’s Clothing – Storage & Solutions
Dried Beans & More Beans!
Sew an Apron
Family Home Cooked Meals
Well Stocked Medicine Cabinet
Crocheted Lace Edgings
Canning Blackberry Jam
A Sparkling Kitchen – Part One and Two
Really GOOD Home-Canned Pickles!
Long Term Food Storage & Emergency Preparedness
Pantry Principles – Organizing and Stocking
Sweet Dreams! ~ Homemade Pillowcases
Laundry Part One
Laundry Part Two
My kitchen – A Restaurant?
Apples~Apples and How to Use them All
Sew Simple Skirts for Mommies & Girls
Making a Memory Quilt
In a Stew! A Hearty Farm-House Meal
Rebekah’s Revolving Chore Chart for Children
Mother’s Master List of Home Duties
Lot’s of fun stuff there.
See! I told you this learning to keep a house business would be fun!
**(Note: When this was originally posted, before I erased my blog, it had 1 comment. All comments prior to June 7, 2010 have been lost.)**