How To Begin, First Steps For Messies

You feel overwhelmed and are seeking a way out of this mess. That's the way we all felt when we started.

Let's simplify the M.A. program into FIVE powerful steps. You have already done an important first step by visiting this website and navigating to this page!

You can start out easy, but you do need to start by doing something every day.

Step-by-Step, this is a marathon, not a sprint to the finish! If you follow these steps consistently, you will notice that little by little your life and your house will change.

Please click here to print a copy of the daily steps.

STEP ONE
Make a strong take-off every day. A good take-off sets the tone of the day. When you:
WAKE UP - set a time
JUMP UP - don't lie in bed, there's a wonderful world waiting
MAKE UP - the bed immediately, automatically
EAT UP - something nutritious
WASH UP - bathe body or wash face
BRUSH UP - take care of your teeth
DRESS UP - completely from head to toe including hair, shoes, and makeup of some kind on your face
LOOK UP - sometime during the day (morning is great) turn your heart upward to God
Add any other steps you may need to your flight plan, like TAKE A WALK. They don't have to end with UP.

STEP TWO
Change habits one at a time.
Let's start with The 30-Second Rule. "If it takes thirty seconds or less to do a job, do it immediately."
This applies to putting up packages when you come in, putting the scissors (or whatever) back where you got them, hanging up the clothes you take off and other things like that.
The second powerful habit is this: when you get something out, put it back, right away.
Remember to "STOW AS YOU GO"
Commitment to these two habits will change the condition of your house immediately.

STEP THREE
Attack the mess - bless the house! We don't attack the house. We attack the mess that is hiding the wonderful possibilities of our house.
Use one of the three methods below to get rid of the junk and organize the house.
Further information is given in books by THE ORGANIZER LADY®, Sandra Felton.

Mt. Vernon Method
This is the backbone of the Messies Anonymous program. Get three Banker's Boxs®, or that type which are stored flat and about 12 X 18 inches in size when assembled. Label each box, GIVE AWAY, THROW AWAY, STORE SOMEPLACE ELSE. Starting at the front door, go around the inside periphery of the room from drawer, to cupboard, to nook or cranny emptying the contents of things that don't belong in that area into one of these boxes. Organize neatly what does belong in that area and move on to the next area. Throw away or recycle trash quickly. Give away what needs to be as soon as possible. Group like items you wish to keep into a container of some kind and store them together near where they will be used. Label the box or shelf indicating what grouping is stored there - makeup, spices, bathroom items, small toys, work tools, etc. This is a slow but sure method and can be done by one individual working a little each day..

Mt. Vesuvius Method
This is an emergency method to use if your house is a shambles, your marriage is in trouble because of it, you fear the health department or your landlord, your adult children are distraught about your place, or you face some similar emergency. This is a quick and powerful method. It avoids the hang-up of decision making and clears the clutter quickly.

What do I do with all of this stuff? Clear all surfaces starting with the floor and working up by standing in the midst of the room with several of the banker type boxes assembled (they come collapsed flat) and the tops off. Begin throwing or quickly putting items that are alike into their designated and labeled boxes (shoes by person, books, magazines, CDs, clothes by person, toys, office supplies, etc.) Do it as quickly as possible. Obvious trash has its own box or trash bag. Since there is no decision making about discarding things involved in this step, others can join you in clearing the surfaces. If you wish, clean and polish the surfaces you have cleared so you will take pride in them. Guard them strenuously from further clutter.

Take the boxes into the rooms they belong in and stack them neatly against the wall or in the closet to be emptied as you make room for their storage in your organizing progress.

Mt. Rushmore Method
This is so named because you RUSH through the job of organizing and it requires MORE people to do it. Gather a team. Divide up the house into rooms or areas to which members of the team are assigned. Provide white boxes which will be labeled as in the other methods. Give the members clear, perhaps written, instructions of how to sort and let them at it. Supervise as they work. Take any items to the rooms in which they will be stored.

You now have the basis for organizing by clearing out and storing the items that are in the boxes which are now placed in the rooms in which they belong.

When all of the surfaces of the house are cleared, have a celebration which may be a trip to a fast food place, a party, or what-not.

STEP FOUR
Get adequate support. "You alone can do it, but you can't do it alone." Choose from the following helps.

A free daily reminder from THE ORGANIZER LADY® to keep you moving forward. Strongly recommended. Sign up now.

On the support group page, look for a local group in your area or join one of the many on-line support groups you see listed.

Where appropriate, get on-site help from friends, family, or a professional organizer in your area.

STEP FIVE
Make a smooth landing.
Again we need a check-off list. After you EAT UP (you did have your meal planned ahead?), it's time to CLEAN UP. this is a family thing, everybody sticks around until the kitchen is completely done. You may need to work into this to create new habits. Start slowly. Now STRAIGHTEN UP, have the family do what one children's show calls the ten minute tidy. Set the timer and all rush around tidying for ten minutes. This will work miracles.