Happy homes get messy ( but not gross!). Homes that don’t get messy are usually unhappy — unless the family who lives there is so wealthy that they can have at least one live in maid.
Where professional cleaning and tidying up help is not available, there are three types of homes that don’t get messy, and they are all unhappy ones:
- Homes of people who work long hours and only come home to sleep. I remember serving a client who had lived three years in her home and had not even tested her stove to see if it worked. The children of parents who lived like this tend to clutter as adults to “fill up” their lives.
- Homes where there is one family member who kills herself to keep everything spotless, and has no life of her own. One of my clients kept seeing her health failing from being overworked and overwhelmed with house chores. She’d be doing 7 loads of laundry on weekends while her husband and teenage kids played outside. The children of parents who did this tend to clutter as adults because they were never taught how to organize a home.
- Homes where there is someone who stops everyone else from enjoying life — dictator style. A young man once told me he had very strong legs because as a child he would get beaten if his clothes got dirty from playing with his toy cars, so he had learned to play while squatting so he wouldn’t get any dirt on his pants. The children of parents who lived like this tend to clutter as adults because they want to rebel against the “Order Nazis” that controlled their lives when they were younger.
Happy homes get messy, but messes are not always clutter.
Clutter Means Stagnation
In Feng Shui, the term clutter only applies to objects you keep but do not use or love.
- If you use an object, it is not clutter.
- If you love and object, it is not clutter.
Your house can be full and messy with things you use and love, and you can still be very happy.
Clutter, in Feng Shui, refers to stagnation. Stagnation is the first step towards unhappiness.
Stagnation is Gross
When things get stagnated, gross things happen:
- Spiders build spider web condos.
- Dust mites thrive.
- Ants have field days.
The Hidden is More Important that the Visible
When my kids were younger there were times when I would have felt embarrassed if a friend stopped by to visit unexpectedly. Our place got messy! but I would never have felt embarrassed to show anyone my closets.
My closets are always in order, because I do not keep clutter. When your closets, cabinets and drawers are uncluttered, it doesn’t take long to make a messy home look beautiful and tidy, because all things in your home have a home of their own.
Do Something for Me
Do this for me:
- Think of the most hidden closet, drawer, or cabinet in your home.
- Go there and identify 4 items that you could put in the trash, donate, or sell.
- Get these 4 items out of the closet, drawer or cabinet, and put them on your dining table.
Invite other family members to help you decide what to do with these 4 items.
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