Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kaizen Wednesday: The Gift of Order

When the house is messy and our lives are disorganized, we lose touch with what is peaceful and noble in our lives, and our self-image suffers.
~ Sandra Felton, founder, Messies Anonymous

It's a new month, a new theme for our Kaizen pursuit of continuous change through small steps!  I have to admit I was a little apprehensive when I saw what I had scheduled for our theme this month: cleaning and organization.  I am a "hopelessly" messy person.. have been from the time I was a young child.  I've tried so many different plans, made lists, given myself rewards, given my consequences, enlisted the help of loved ones, enlisted the help of professionals.. and still I am messy.  So, with that disclaimer, I hope you'll still join me on the journey this month, working with a new idea each week to assist us as we clean up a bit of the chaos and move towards a more simple and serene space.

A few years ago, in some article or other, I came across a very simple change of thought.  Begin to see each little step of organizing, of picking up, of cleaning out as a small gift to yourself  for it will be a such a pleasant experience when you come back to that place and have it in order.  At its root, lack of cleanliness and order is sign that one has difficulty caring and attending to themselves.
Ultimately, Messies deny themselves a life of  serenity and beauty.  They insult themselves with disorganization on such a regular basis that they are unaware of it.  The messy house is just a part of the picture of a person who consistently abuses herself.  Messiness is just the top of a very deep pile of problems.  At its heart, messiness is a problem of self-neglect. (Sandra Felton, Organizing For Life)
This week,  I am suggesting that we each take 15 minutes a day in organizing or cleaning our space.  Make your bed.  Fold your laundry.  Wash your dishes.  Clean out a draw.  Get rid of something that is clutttering up your space.  A small act, just 15 minutes a day.  We will see these tasks as an act of affirmation, just as one would write words in a journal or seek comfort in validation from a friend.  We will use organizing tasks as a way to say "I am worthwhile.  I deserve a life of order, simplicity, and comfort."  We won't get angry or disappointed in wherever it is that we are starting.  We will focus not on the past, but on each day, welcoming each day as an opportunity to learn a new thought pattern, and see the blessing in ourselves.


  1. I completely agree with this. As a matter of fact, I have been doing this for the past few weeks. Letting go of things that just made piles of clutter that I haven't touched in years. It feels wonderful to let go!!
    P.S. The first thing that attracted me to this post was the painting--love it, and then I read your post--just as good!

  2. How timely! I just spent 10 minutes cleaning out old scraps of paper from my desk drawer. And I have a desire to go clean up my neglected studio - it has gotten messy from working too many deadlines!

    I love a neat, clean studio. I work much better in that space. It is a very peaceful, spiritual place that better allows me to tap into the creative flow.


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