Yesterday I finally had my first meeting with a Professional Organizer. I think she’s my new best Friend, yet she’s promised that she will be my worst enemy. Someone that I’ll want to call the cops and put a restraining order on. You know, the Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser Trainer) of Cleaning. So I think that puts her in the Frenemy category right? For privacy sake – let’s just call her Ms. Passion. Ms. Passion wants to make me mad, don’t know if she can do that, but she wants too.
So, Ms. Passion showed up on my porch yesterday and I was expecting her to take me to lunch and tell me about what I should expect through this whole de-hoarding process. Or at least that’s what she told me on the phone. Wrong! She’s deceived me already. Instead, she wanted a tour of my Hoarding Nest. And she got the full,normal, unprepared-for guests, treatment. Which is exactly what she wanted.
Of course, I kept trying to explain, rationalize, excuse my poor cleaning habits, and the general reasoning behind my huge mess, and un-made decisions. To her credit, she stopped me, and told me she wasn’t there to judge me, she was just there to understand so that she could devise a plan for retraining my brain.
Her first bit of homework, I did not expect. It was to…
1. Enlist the help of the
family herd. I know the whole Hoarding/Cleanliness failure is my own and I thought I would learn the steps for treating myself and then, when my brain was okay, then I could teach it to my mini me’s kids. Wrong! They are to learn the process right along with me. Here’s the hardest part – I have to wear a new hat. So, as Ms. Passion is to me, I will have to become for my kids. I will have to do something I’ve NEVER been good at doing – Be Consistent. Let’s just say that the only thing I’m consistent about, is being inconsistent.
When Ms. Passion told me this I showed her my ugly face. The Scrunched up expression where you try and hold back the tears but realize that you’re failing. I failed and probably made Ms. Passion happy because I cried. Wow, this is going to be harder than I thought.
I’m a non-confrontational type of person and my kids know this. I’ve trained them, well, poorly. My big fat excuse - I have a special 14 year old that’s been diagnosed (Bi-polar, Depressed, Oppositional Defiant) messed up. Years ago his counselor told me chore charts would never work with him. Because, viewing the items he doesn’t accomplish will fuel his depression and spiral his manic side. And he can’t accomplish much without help. In a totally unreasonable way, I then took responsibility charts out of the mix for the rest of the kids. My stupid way of trying to treat them all fairly. They know he’s different and I know they understand the whole situation, yet still I slacked. I’m really good at slacking.
But, if I want real change, I can’t slack any more. And for Heaven’s Sake, I want Change!
Ms. Passion is going to help me one room at a time. Once the room is perfect, and she’s taught me how to keep it that way. I have to teach my kids how to keep it that way. I have to be their Happy Drill Sergeant until these new habits are engrained in their normal behavior.
Maybe I should get one of these?
This might not hurt to have as well.
And have stiff consequences for the kids when they muff up.
Here’s the rub! I have a consequence too. Ms. Passion Promises to stop by unannounced, when I least expect her to show up, AND if the room is in any way a mess – she walks out. She has guaranteed me that she will only come back One Time, after humble groveling. The second time, I’ll have to find another person to help me. Tough Love – I guess. Motivation, to finally take the steps I’ve been yearning to take since forever. I’m 100% sure I want this.
So Step 1: Enlist family and friends to help. DONE!
My sweet friend Ethel has also promised to back Ms. Passion up, chew me up and spit me out if she see’s me slipping. Had a sit down with the whole herd last night, explained the rules, consequences, and reasons for undertaking this adventure. I was expecting the typical whining I get when I ask for help. However, They shocked me with their willingness to be drilled. They want this dream home and have just been waiting for me to get with it. My girls are especially excited about not hearing the excuse that the house is too messy to invite friends over.
I have Hope! This WILL happen.