Showing posts with label De-cluttering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label De-cluttering. Show all posts

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Messy Nessy

Hello again! I have finally madeit back to another Friday Reflections link up. I'm sure you've been beside yourselves missing me. What's that? You hadn't noticed I was gone? How rude. Sniff. Oh well, I'm back, anyway. I did expect trumpets, streamers and exclamations of joy to mark this momentous occasion. But you're right. A quiet and graceful return to the fold is much classier. Though I can't help thinkng, couldn't you even manage just ONE balloon? Some people.

Enough about that. Let's get on with it.

The prompt I have chosen is this:

 Are you messy or neat? What about your family/people you share your house with? Does it work well?

Here goes...

Have you ever looked around at your surroundings, the place you call home, your sanctuary, your precious abode and beamed with satisfaction and pride? Have you surveyed the gleaming surfaces and pristine rooms while a surge of sheer euphoria engulfed you at the blissful state of Konmari perfection you have created? Yes?

HMPH. Well, good for you. I'm sorry to say, I'm not sure we'd get along. For I am your worst nightmare.

There is no doubt about it. I'm a messy little minx.You can call me Messy Nessy if you want. I've been called worse things.

It's not that I don't TRY. Honestly, I do. No, TRULY!  Sometimes I try SO HARD. And the harder I try the more ridiculous it is.

It's a funny thing about me. Like a lot of things. I seem to be all or nothing. Either I am going batshit crazy and cleaning ALL THE THINGS like a possessed person, or I literally have less than zero interest. It's like trying to motivate myself to dress in a chicken suit and run down the street singing bah bah black  sheep at the tops of my lungs. The idea is absurd, repugnant and I just CAN'T EVEN.

Luckily, Mickey Blue Eyes and I are similar. We're both fairly messy and disorganised. Although, to be fair, he does do all the clothes washing. He washes and hangs it out it, while I have the unenviable task of folding and putting away. This seems to work for us. And we take turns doing the dishes by hand because we don't have a dishwasher. I know! What are we like?

Meanwhile, the boys are fairly typical of most teens/kids. Cleaning is not high on their list of priorities, but they will do it if we insist upon it. The only thing is, I have to admit I struggle to teach them to be something that I am not. How do you teach another person to be neat, tidy and well organised if you're not any of those things yourself? It's a tough one for me.

As I've mentioned before, I struggle with executive functioning due to my ASD. I have this weird dichotomy where my actual preference is for order and cleanliness but I am ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS at being the person who can create it. It's super frustrating and depressing at times. Sigh.

I've tried various techniques. Lists, online sites or apps such as Evernote and Todoist and read a tonne of books. I even attended a de-cluttering workshop which I talked about here.

For the record, I'm not a hoarder. My house doesn't resemble something off an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive (books don't count!). Tables and lounges can be used for what they are intended for and there is no climbing over things. However, it's just not as neat and tidy as I would like. Sigh.

 After attending the above workshop, I did come to the conclusion that I'm doing reasonably okay for someone who has ASD (officially diagnosed) and ADD (self-diagnosed). So I guess I've kinda sorta made my peace with it. But not really. It does upset me. I often wish I was one of those organised, meticulous people who have towels that match and spotless white furniture and fittings.

It's just not going to happen. Sorry, Mickey Blue Eyes! Sorry, Mum!

On the plus side, there is indisputable evidence that messy people are, in fact, geniuses.
Articles on the internet are concrete evidence, right?As Einstein was alleged to have stated: If a cluttered desk a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

So there you have it. I'm a messy monster and not a neat freak. Messy Nessy. But I'm also a GENIUS. Though why a genius can't figure out stuff that is basically menial tasks is curious...

HMPH. Details!

Right, I'm off to be all genius-like and, erm...make mess. Or something.

What about you?

Are you a genius/messy monster or a neat freak? 

Friday, 4 November 2016

The Month That Was October

Another month done and dusted! I'm glad something is. Dusted, that is. My house certainly isn't. But it's all part of keeping up with the trends now that Halloween is apparently a thing in Australia. Cobwebs and dust FTW! 

Anyway, what can I say about October?

Well, curiously it is the only month of the year that begins with an O.  It comes after September and right before November.

What is the point of this meaningless information? I'm glad you asked. The thing is, I'm trying hard to think of something remotely interesting that I did during this illustrious month and what have I come up with?


This reminds me of that phenomenon known as small talk. 

The scenario goes like this. 

I am busy doing all the numerous things that we call life.I get a phone call or bump into some one I know.

Them: What you have you been up to?
Me: Um..... 

My mind goes blank and I forget every single thing I have ever done in my entire life. 

It can't be just me. Can it? 

Suffice to say that I'm sure I did some something worthwhile in October. 

This blog was dutifully updated each week for your entertainment.

I shared what I've learnt about blogging and pondered the difference between being tidy or organised. 

Related: my de-cluttering mission has been kind of on again off again. But slow progress is better than no progress. Isn't it? 

I attempted to become all zen and mystical, to calm my manic mind from its swirling thoughts. From over thinking about my dubious attempts at de-cluttering and numerous other pointless ponderings.

I considered taking up yoga and transcendental meditation.  Pffffft. Yeah, RIGHT. That thought didn't repeat itself, oddly enough.

Instead, I turned to yet more distraction like a normal person. This involved watching a plethora of programmes on my laptop. 


The Wrong Girl

The Secret
Home Fires

And many more. 

This ongoing quest to avoid reality also meant I continued to read up a storm. And since I was on a roll, I decided to participate in triathlon!

Well, MY kind of triathlon, anyway. Sniff. 

There were more appointments, including my first ever with a dietitian. 

My recommended eating plan is low fat and low GI.Talking or writing about diets is terminally boring, so I won't say anything more about it. Furthermore, each time I publicly announce these things I always spectacularly fail. Oops. Moving on...

So that was a very underwhelming October. 

BUT... if this time last year has taught me anything it's that boring is good. God I love boring. 

I hope you do too. Because this post was certainly a good cure for insomnia. Ahem. 

And with that I am now all over November.  Game ON. Actually pyjamas still on. Maybe I better get dressed...

Linking up (late!) for The Month That Was

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Organised Or Tidy?

A month or so ago I went to a de-cluttering workshop. It was quite interesting and worthwhile. So I thought I would share some of my thoughts about it. 

I've alluded to the fact before that I struggle with housework and organisation. However, I'm trying to be somewhat better at it.  Or, at least, as good as I'll ever be.

The workshop was held by my local council. There was a professional organiser who spoke for about two hours. Her name was Susanne Thiebe. You can visit her website here and her Facebook page here

One of the most interesting things I picked up was that de-cluttering, organising, tidying and cleaning are all completely different things. This should seem obvious, but to a scatter brain like me it was a revelation.

In fact, you could say I had a bit of a light bulb moment. I realised that while I am not tidy, (and probably never will be) I'm relatively organised. Or, at least much more organised than I originally believed. 

Now, I'm not saying that I'm organised in quite the same you may be. My version of organised probably looks like a horse's arse or dog's breakfast (or insert whatever hot mess you can think of) to the more anal efficient among us. 

However, I have to take into account the fact that I am an Aspie. This means that I struggle with executive function issues. Additionally I believe I have ADD.

Therefore I'm a person with ASD and ADD who is in charge of running a very small house with five people living in it. You could also argue that all five of us have varying degrees of ADD-like personality traits, plus a tendency to be borderline hoarders.

Not to the point where we need to climb over all the clutter or require a massive intervention, but still... we have semi hoarding tendencies. But I've always told myself it's NOT hoarding if it's books...ahem...

Anyway my point is, I now believe that I'm reasonably organised when all this is taken into account and I'm not comparing with others. 

The analogy that was used in the workshop to demonstrate how tidy and organised are two different things was this: 

If you have a bucket or crate full of shoes sitting in your front hallway, is it tidy or is it organised? 

The answer: it depends.  For some it would be neither. For a family who is always looking for their kids shoes, if it works and they can find them there most of the time; it's organised. Not particularly tidy, but organised. 

Another example Susanne gave was of her own mother. She explained that she uses her coffee machine two or three times day. Every single time, she cleans it and puts it away in a cupboard, only to have to lug it out again. See? Tidy, but not organised. 

She also voiced something I've thought in the back of my mind for many years: the lifestyle programmes (Better Homes & Gardens, The Living Room etc) do as much damage to our minds as looking at the supermodels in fashion or women's magazines.

Realistically you know that the model is a freak of nature to start with. Furthermore the images are retouched. But there's still that little part of you thinking: but wouldn't it be great to look like that? 

Likewise with lifestyle programmes. We're all seduced into thinking that our homes should always look like the homes we see on these shows.

According to her, (and she is an industry insider) these de-cluttering 'gurus' have a team working with them.When a segment is filmed it often takes input from the entire team and a good week (at least) of work. This is all edited into a neat little nine minute segment where we see before and after shots.

The infamous KonMari Method was also brought up during the session. This is a de-cluttering method that was invented by Marie Kondo. I had borrowed her book  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up from the library and started reading it the day before I attended the session. I was trying really hard to keep an open mind about it, hoping to give the method a red hot go.

But only a few chapters in I was already beginning to see flaws in it. I know there's a whole community of eager converts who'll heartily disagree with me. I suspect there's a reason I never make any mum friends. Or any friends, really. Sigh. 

First of all, Susanne pointed out that Marie Kondo is a Japanese woman with no children. (Although a quick glance at her wiki page reveals that she does have one child). The simple fact of the matter is, the more people that live in your home the more stuff there will be and the more mess. In saying that, it doesn't mean that I totally give up and raise my children in squalor. But it does mean that any expectations of gleaming white perfection are unrealistic. For me.

Truth be told I'm not a fan (of gleaming white perfection) anyway. We visited some exhibition homes recently and I honestly didn't like all the bright shinyness. I don't know if it's a Ness thing or an ASD thing. but it makes me seasick and headachey.  Anyway, I digress. 

Secondly, some of the Konmari advice is a tad dubious. The idea is that you keep only the things that 'spark joy'.  The thing is, my boys passion for Lego has never particularly sparked any joy for me. But it does for them. So whose joy are we supposed to spark?

Plus, apparently when you're de-cluttering you're supposed to not tell your family or let them see. How does that work? They live here. Suffice to say, I don't quite get it. But considering that this book and method is a sensation and all the rage at the moment, I guess I'm the weird one. Oh well, nothing new there...

Moving on from the Konmari Method...

Another notable piece of advice during the workshop was that storage systems/solutions WILL NOT make you organised.

We were told DO NOT go out and buy more containers/stationery/pretty bits and pieces thinking they're the answer. Also don't buy any of the books out there on the subject.

Just like the Konmari method, a lot of these books are written by people in different circumstances and cultures than we have. For example, Americans typically have basements and attics which are generally not a thing in the majority of Australian homes. 

We were given an information booklet covering these areas: 










You can find out more about these workshops and where you can attend one over here. This is not sponsored at all, I just found it interesting and thought others might as well. 

Meanwhile, I suppose I had better actually take some of the advice and JUST START!

Right, I'm off to shift some stuff! 

Linking up for IBOT. 

What do you think?

Are you tidy or organised? Or both?

Do you believe they are different things? 

Do you have any de-cluttering tips?