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Just because you have reached the point where you know you want to effect a change in your home, you can't assume that your family will be of a like mind. They may have become conditioned to the squalorous nature of the house and resist the changes, since it means more work for them. If you have made several false starts in clearing out the clutter previously, it may also take some time before your current cleaning efforts have credibility in their eyes.

But you need to have your family members on board and at least maintaining the cleaned-up areas. Since they are part of the problem, every member of the family old enough to help must also be part of the solution. You need to communicate your vision for your home and enthusiasm for the new order to your family.

Remember you don't want to cause a mess in your family life while trying to straighten out the house. The house is for the family, so care is required to maintain love and good humor while making the change.Sandra FeltonThe Messies Manual

Let's look at this though from another point of view. Often when we live in squalor the very reason we got there was really because we are blind. We are blind and don't process the little things like the orange rot and hope chest clutter. However, these little things become one HUGE mess. Then we live just like that for a bit, sometimes days, weeks, and sometimes, years. Then one day it hits us, our eyes open, and we see it for what it is. blush Panic sets in, and we begin to cry, because it is too much. crap

Then we think, "Okay let's just clean it up." vacuuming

So we work and we work, all for naught because as with panic-cleaning, it only lasts so long, and we burn out. sleep

So we stumble across this board pray and it hits us thinks: it took us a long time to get here and it will take some time to get out, so we begin again. laundry We forgive our past mistakes, move forward, day by day walk

Then it becomes obvious to us that we are changing, inside, peacock we are digging out the reasons we are here, the reasons we couldn't "just get up and do it," we start to treat ourselves almost like we deserve. queen

However, those around us see the change too, but don't have the support system in place we have given to ourselves so they react to their new wife, mom, etc., mad eek with a whole range of emotions. They are scared, because when we weren't taking responsibility for the mess, they didn't have to either, see? Now it is their turn to either become part of the solution or perpetuate the problem. So we are forcing a choice on them they may or may not be ready for. This is hard for anyone. We know we started it all. So we go forward and try to be forgiving of their blindness, and hope they too will take responsibility. We know what we are doing is in their best interest. We know we are changing and why, they just know we are changing. They fear losing us, they fear we will become someone different, they fear they will not be able to change at the same rate, bottom line is they fear just like we did, only they haven't had the support and process we have had. They feel like we would have, had they started changing everything familar to us. Our homes, our environment, our attitudes, our lives, and ourselves. It is an upheaval. We too were blind, but when we were able to see we changed it.

Forgive the blindness and fear of your families and move forward.

Contributed by Mona

You did what you knew then, when you knew better, you did better.Maya Angelou