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March 30, 2014

Your home could be your castle!

Your home could be your castle!

Living with other human beings can be a tricky thing. We’ve all grown up in different homes. We’ve had different mothers and fathers. And we’ve all developed various skills in the living department. I’m talking mostly about how we organize a home that we share with others. One person’s idea of a comfortable home is another person’s mess.

Your home should be a place where you gather your energy to go out into the world. It should be your sanctuary. It’s the place where you can gather courage; relax; and share space, food, humor and support to renew your soul.

So who gets to take care of all the homemaking that goes into creating this wonderful place? This is where the battles often begin. They are so often not out in the open. You may notice that no matter how many times you ask for help in the picking up, clearing of piles off counters, desks, and tables, you seem to be the only who cares. And that you wind up being the only one clearing the mess.

If this sounds familiar, you might be dealing with someone who just doesn’t see the clutter. It also might be about some bigger questions. Whose work is valued? How do we value each other and how do we pull together as a family to create a common vision for our home? These are some great questions and topics for discussion that might lead to a happier existence together.

Depending on when we grew up there could be issues of gender discrimination. Housekeeping was traditionally women’s work. Some might view being organized as rigid, not creative. (Actually, being organized can allow us to be more spontaneous and creative because we’re not wasting our time looking for things.)

On the other hand, some people prefer doing everything themselves. If you often find yourself thinking that you can do a task better than your partner or child, then you’re doing them – and yourself – a disservice. Allowing people to learn how to take care of themselves is a valuable skill. And, in the process, they may find that they’re also learning how to live well!

If you want this to change, start by having a conversation with the people you live with. Be sure to respect everyone’s opinion and feelings about what’s going on. Rome wasn’t build in a day. So start small with tasks that will help get everyone moving in the right direction. Bed making, taking out trash, putting laundry in the basket, and picking clothes up off the floor are all good places to start. Start small, but keep in mind that the goal is to convince your housemates that housekeeping and organization are important to everyone’s well-being – and self esteem!

It may take some time, but eventually you should start to see movement in the right direction. So if you’d like to get started, try these tips:

  • Tonight before bed try getting things ready for the next day.
  • Try putting on some great music and just clean up for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • If you live with other people, make this a joint effort.
  • Regularly give away used and unused things.
  • Expect some setbacks, but be patient. Change takes time.

Remember, allowing your family to learn to take care of themselves and the actions that go with it is a gift!

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