We went to see Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Live recently. I’ve mentioned him before, and I know he’s quite the popular guy here in the blogosphere.
We’ve read his book and I listen to his radio show most days, so I already had a pretty good understanding of the concepts he teaches, but it was nice, and inspiring, to hear it all together.
I was struck many times during the event by the similarity to what he was saying about getting your financial life in order to getting my home in order.
He talked about how many people wish they could do better with their finances. They may even come to an event, or read his book, but nothing changes until they start to apply what they have learned.
For years, I would tell myself that I needed to get my house under control. That someday I would have to change. I would cry about it, and pray about it.
I had read book after book and article after article and still, my house stayed in chaos. When I finally unsubscribed to Flylady, I had 3,560 unread emails in my Flylady folder . . . and my house was still in chaos.
It wasn’t until I decided that I’d had enough, and that even though I had no faith in myself to clean my house and then keep it perfect for the rest of my life, I was going to do something.
I started keeping my kitchen clean. Loading the dishwasher every night and emptying it every morning. Not necessarily being obsessive. Not trying to see myself in the reflection in the sink. Not even telling my family what I was doing. I just did the dishes. (Almost) every single day.
And then I started adding a task each week, choosing things that normal people seemed to do without thinking, but that never crossed my mind, like picking up dirty clothes off of the bathroom floor.
So, like Dave Ramsey said, although he was talking about finances, it’s really more simple than people want it to be.
Just start doing what needs to be done. Now, I’m not knocking the books I’ve read or Flylady. Those things helped me see that a system is necessary. They helped me see that I’m not alone in this. They showed me that it can be done, and they definitely inspired me.
But in the end, the big secret that has brought my home out of chaos is . . . me.
I have a long way to go. My master bedroom is still my deep dark secret. I still walk into the living room on occasion and see that there is clutter everywhere. I have months and months worth of decluttering still to do. And I don’t even want to talk about my purse or my car, or the playroom, or . . . .
But most of all, I have a lifetime left of staying consistent. I have years and years of doing the dishes every day, and cleaning bathrooms on Tuesdays.
Because being inspired is nice, but I’m the one who cleans the toilets.