Friday, May 16, 2008

On housekeeping: dusting off the motivation (part one)

About a month ago, the disorganization in my home bubbled up to be the number one annoyance in my life. It even transcended the cheery "have you dined with us before?" remark that waiters now ask in many restaurants, as if you just fell onto the planet and couldn't figure out how to order off from a menu. (I digress...)

And so, for the 98th time, I carped about the disarray to my coach. Her response? "Throw a party!"

When she said that, I looked around the living room with wide eyes. At that moment, the only appropriate event to throw in my home was an intervention. My tax paperwork dangled precariously from the arm of a chair near my desk because the desk lacked any place for the stuff to balance. Oh, and a sweater languished on the shelf of my bookcase. It didn't land there during a torrid tryst (unfortunately!). Rather, to remind myself that I wanted to give it away, I put it there. In February. As the Flylady would say, I had CHAOS -- Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

But Jen's intent was to provide me with a larger goal to reach for. Picking up stuff would allow me to feel comfortable having people over, which was something that I really wanted to do. Although keeping it picked up for myself is a noble deed, I don't really notice that things are disorganized until they are extremely out of whack. But if I know that company's coming, I see my surroundings in a different light, and my motivation to clean, organize, and declutter blossoms.

I hadn't thrown a party in a couple of years, so Jen's idea enticed me. But, reflecting on the hilarious vodka tonic-fueled late-evening chorus of "Wonderwall" at my last soiree, I decided to plan something on a smaller scale. Before I could give the matter much more thought, I emailed a couple of friends to come over for dessert on a weeknight.

After picking a date far enough into the future to give me ample time to gear up for the festivities, I immediately found that my motivation paid off. The mere thought of having people over compelled me to round up four shopping bags of clothing and housewares and donate the stuff to charity. Yeahhhh, I though. I'm so ahead of the game.

What happened next? Stay tuned!

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