Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome

Giving people the benefit of the doubt, another viable reason people don’t have us over is that maybe, just possibly, their homes are a mess. It’s a thought. Flylady calls it CHAOS—Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. In fact I'm suffering from CHAOS myself right now.

Being married to a neatnik tidy husband, my sloppy creative approach to housekeeping had to be somewhat modified. Early on I realized that my scatterbrainedness temperament type was not going to work as an excuse for long. I read Side-tracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise by Pam Young and Peggy Jones, and made up my own system for tidying up the house without making Jim [dh*] insane.

I vowed to never again lose eyeglasses and keys. A huge blessing was having free radial keratotomy surgery on my eyes. After my vision was corrected, I no longer directed the daily game of “Hunt for Mommy’s Glasses.” When the computer fonts started mysteriously shrinking (once I hit forty), I succumbed to reading glasses, but I seldom lose them. I simply hide them everywhere. I leave a pair in every room of the house. That, too, makes my dh* a tad crazy, but he doesn’t complain [much].

In order to prevent lost keys, I systematically put them on a particular hook in the kitchen as soon as I walk in the house. When I am out, the keys go in my right front pocket. When I am in town using a parking garage, I always put the ticket in my back right pocket. My cell phone goes in my left front pocket. When I’m wearing a skirt without pockets, I am in trouble. At home I am almost as compulsive about where I put certain things. In fact, I never noticed this before, but I’ve become a bit obsessive compulsive to compensate for my tendency toward scatterbrainedness.

Until now, that is.

Dh* hired some guys to cover our ugly cracked cement floors with tile. This project required emptying each room and closet one by one while the men worked. We're talking seventeen years' worth of accumulated treasures. Ugh.

This month I realized how systematic I usually am. My little routines all went haywire. I’ve become a certifiable ADD scatterbrain again. No order anywhere. All my compensating techniques are out the window (while the flies and dust are coming in the doors the workers never close). How does a reformed space cadet slob keep from sliding down that slippery slope to old bad habits?

To stop the pendulum from swinging from ADD to OCD and back again, I am clinging to the Holy Spirit to again take control of my temperament. Impulsive and compulsive are both dangerous zones. Meanwhile I'm thankful for tips and encouragement from the SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) on their website, and from Flylady. (If only Flylady could help me get rid of all the flies in here!)

How about you?

IRL*Do you need Flylady to rescue you so you can be hospitable again?


  1. Isn't it good to know that the Holy Spirit can take our "ADD" and "OCD" and A or B-type personalities and work within, and through, and beyond!!? ...Thanks for your "clinging" words... and encouragement for me to cling again today to His power at work in me, unique me!

  2. I liked Flylady for awhile, and it did help, but I didn't like her long-windedness. I don't need a pep talk - just someone telling me "today, do this!". And she added clutter to my in-box, so I signed off.

    Someone needs to make a clutter free "Flylady" style e-mail system. And design it for living in other countries. "Wash all the canned goods before putting them away" would never figure on Flylady's list, but it was one of my weekly realities

  3. Thanks for your comments. True Flylady is geared more toward U.S. living. It's funny you mention it. I opted out of her emails because they cluttered my life, too. My kids laughed at me when I suggested we put the dirty dishes in a dishpan under the sink. Right. And shiny sinks? No way. We have such hard water and so many minerals in the water, the sinks always look corroded. Aside from that....


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