We are now on Chapter 16 ‘Clutter No More’ from Lori Alexander’s confusing and disjointed book on being a stay-at-home wife “The Power of the Transformed Wife”
The subjects still jump around like a frog addled with ADD and amphetamines in a confusing writing style.
There’s just one big problem with the chapter, worse than the hopping around. There is not one real strategy or idea on how to unclutter, even if Nancy references as a very important thing to do repeatedly in her book and on her blog. The majority of the chapter has been written by another blogger and all five pages can be reduced to this – keep your home immaculate, you lazy woman! Not one possible hint or clue on how to do that and not a darn thing to do with cutting the clutter. In other words — completely useless leavened with copious amounts of blaming and shaming.
This is followed by Lori’s going on and on about the A&E network television reality show ‘Hoarders’. If you’ve not had the chance to see ‘Hoarders’ it’s a reality show where at the request of friends and family they confront the person that has been hording possessions and professionals come in to try and help the hoarder change. It’s not a show for the faint-hearted as some of the situations are beyond unsanitary and sad. It’s a tough watch. One of the few episodes I saw had the cleanup crew finding the desiccated corpse of a cat beneath all the food wrappers on the kitchen floor.
Here’s what’s interesting and very illustrative of Lori’s world – it’s always either / or. There are no shades of gray. Either you keep the house immaculate enough to dine off the floor or it’s filled to the ceiling with old newspapers and dead cats. Which is so far removed from reality for I would guess 99% of the people out there. Most people don’t fall into either category and find their levels of household neatness somewhere on a shifting continuum between those two states. Depending on the day, the activity levels and the needs of the family. As it should be.
Here are the only two helpful things said in the chapter:
- ….if you haven’t worn something for a year or so, toss it or give it away…
- “Clutter’s Last Stand: It’s Time to De-Junk Your Life!” by Don Aslett -available at Amazon – Clutter’s Last Stand: It’s Time To De-junk Your Life!
That’s it. Short chapter. No advice.
Here’s what is more helpful that Lori skips, missing the opportunity yet again to dispense real advice. Here’s what I have found helpful and have seen others use.
Some people find the minute to minute organizational skills of the website The Fly Lady to be helpful to staying on track – Flylady.net She also has several useful products for conquering the paper monster of documents that pile up and other issues on her site. She’s also written a book on the subject that is more encouraging and uplifting than anything Lori has ever said about keeping organized – CHAOS to Clean: in 31 Easy BabySteps
Many websites have organization, declutter and household tips. One of my favorites that I consult a great deal is the Life section of Buzzfeed.Com. They have everything from recipes to DYI decorating, lots of free great advice. The magazine Real Simple has good ideas available online and in their magazines, along with a number of other women’s publications. Every January most every publication involving the home puts out a guide on the best ways to declutter and organize.
A little Googling will bring up a wealth of information on how to keep from ending up on ‘Hoarders’ Recently while cleaning and packing for my move I started using some of the principles listed at websites like Becoming Minimalist – 10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home along with other methods. The methods recommended there can be done quickly each day and do not require a huge marathon clean/throwaway like Lori recommends and are easier on your psyche as you make the gradual shift.
Example: The idea that you must get rid of clothing you do not wear for a year isn’t always feasible for everyone. You might need to hang on to that one or two formal gowns for weddings or dinner parties, along with the good black dress you wear for funerals and other less casual events. You might not wear those every year, but you cannot risk getting rid of them either because chances are good you will need them. We all have different types of clothing for different events that we may not need every day. That does not mean we have to get rid of everything but the everyday items.
So those are only a few of the ideas on reorganizing and decluttering, but still more than what Lori put in her book. With no shaming if you’re more messy than neat. Definitely no bragging about keeping a messy home either. Add your favorite tips or sites in the comments if you’d like.
Next week’s chapter is titled ‘Serving Healthy Foods Means Healthy Families’ and is filled with so-so recipes on making your own detergent and cleansers, spurious health claims and only a little of the basic information on nutrition. At least it’s as short as this chapter. I’ll provide several better recipes for making the things Lori cites in this chapter. Hers are basic, not exactly the best for cleaning or your skin, and as usual, rather incomplete.
ETA on Saturday morning April 1st – It looks like Lori’s squad of MRA Red Pill swallowing male commenters like Trey are all over her Amazon page attacking anyone that gives Lori’s book a one-star review. I thought Lori’s teachings were supposed to be only for younger women, so why is she teaching these men? Also, in the world of Evangelical Quiverfull ‘Emo-Pure’, like with Mike Pence and his inability to dine/converse/be along with women all these interactions with male commenters definitely violates the emotional purity thing. Wish this was an April Fool’s joke but it is not.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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