Sunday, October 4, 2009

Messy Monday: Is Your Home A Work Of Art?

Your first response when you notice something out of place in your home determines whether your home will look consistently tidy, or consistently messy. When you see something on the floor, for example, do you bend down and pick it up right away, or do you think, “Hmm…there’s a leaf from the plant on my floor. I’ll get to it later when I vacuum (Thursday).”

Clean people, or “cleanies,” as Sandra Felton describes in her book, Messies Manual: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home, view their homes as works of art. Anything out of place, even for an instant, destroys the overall picture, and must be dealt with immediately. “Messies,” on the other hand, notice the same things, but their perspective about those out-of-place items is vastly different, thus separating them—and their housekeeping habits--from “cleanies.” They, Felton says, tend to look at housekeeping in terms of the big jobs. So the loose items on the floor will be dealt with when it’s time to vacuum and not before, as a general rule. Stray items on the bathroom counter (and perhaps even the floor) will be put away when it’s time to clean the bathroom.

Lest you think I am criticizing the “messies” among us, I am the first to admit that I am one of them! Reading Felton’s descriptions of our behavior was like someone turned on the light for me. It made so much sense. Why do I wait, even procrastinate, when I see something that needs to be done? Instead of letting it sit for a few days until I tackle the “big job,” why not do it right away? My challenge to myself is to start to think like a “cleanie”: to view my home as a work of art and deal with those stray items that distract from the overall picture immediately (or as soon as reasonably possible with small children). Remember the 30-second rule: most of these jobs take less than 30 seconds to do.

How can we aim to make our homes look more like masterpieces this Monday?

And remember, even though old habits are hard to break, we can be different!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
--2 Corinthians 5:17


  1. hum. If you have this book I may have to see if I can borrow it sometime. I have a case of the messies. It kills me to keep the house clean! I try REALLY hard, but I pay in the process! HA!

  2. I KNOW!! Having little people who make big messes but can't effectively clean them up all by themselves never helps does it?! :) (I borrowed the Messies Manual from intra-library loan, but our library does have "Messie No More" except I have it checked out right now!)

  3. I remember when that book came out many years ago.
    Dr. James Dobson interviewed the author on his radio program.
    I'm a cleanie and my wife and kids are messies.
    Being out numbered I finally gave up trying to convert them to be cleanies.
    I'm retired now and the kids moved out long ago.
    One of my main jobs now days is picking up after my wife and grandchildren.
    Yes, God has blessed me with a whole new crop of messies to keep me busy in my old age.
    Ain't life wonderful?
    I'm going to post this on my blog with a link back to you.
    Thank You