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Mess Makers and Care Takers

One of the ironies of life is when neat-nixs and slobs are paired together as life partners, at work or on committees. How do you live/work peaceably with a slob? Here are a few suggestions if you find yourself in that situation.

1. Don’t stuff it state it. Rather than stuff your frustration, state your position in a positive manner and with a pleasant attitude. Use “I” statements and know your reason for complaining. Focus on things that can be changed and do not stack attack. Have a suggestion for resolve in mind before gripping. Be specific and communicate with the person in a way that he/she understands. Be open and honest. Don’t beat around the busy or use illusive innuendoes.

2. Ask for change without demanding change. Even though you may have a resolve suggestion in mind, you cannot control another’s ambition or lack of ambition. Do not respond negatively to negativity.

3.Make suggestions to eliminate, delegate or simplify. To eliminate - box it up, put it in drawers or behind cabinet doors, throw it away, give it away or recycle. To delegate – give it away, ask for help, hire resources, or outsource it. To simplify – reduce the amount of times an activity is done and see how much can be pared off.

4. Everything needs a home. If it doesn’t have a home, it becomes clutter and you cannot organize clutter. A lady come to me out of frustrated with her husband and children because they threw things down and the home was constantly cluttered. After assessing the situation, we purchased a variety of sizes of baskets and organizational items. We labeled the baskets and placed them in strategic locations. A large basket by the den door and a coat-hanger strip became home to sports equipment. Baskets on the kitchen counter became homes for mail, coupons, pens/scissors, keys and pocket change. A basket was placed on the fireplace with each child’s name. As the room became cluttered with shoes, books or toys, the wayward items were temporarily placed in the child’s box for him/her to return to its original home. Even though the husband had previously been a major contributor to the clutter, he told his wife, “I am so glad you did this. All that junk made me nervous.”

But what if they will not cooperate? How do you continue to be nice when things stay messy?

It’s more about you than them. Keep your area neat and do not obsess over their messes. Be more concerned with developing a relationship with the offender and he/she may be more willing to follow your example of organization. I love the Catholic prayer, “For the sake of Your passion, grant us grace.” Grace received is enough for you to become a gracious giver.

“Oh, Lord, You’re Beautiful. Your face is all I seek.
And when your eyes are on this child, your grace bounds to me.” -song

DON'T COPE - OVERCOME: Here is a round-robin for you: We choose the emotions we experience and we experience emotions through the thoughts we think. To change emotions, change thoughts. Just like the front wheels of a car point in the direction we travel and the back wheels automatically and dutifully follow, so too, are our emotions hard-wired to our thoughts. Change your mind and change your emotions.

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