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Neat Freak or Neatness Lover

The Neat Freak“Mom, I really like it that you’re anal”, M, my psychology major daughter told me the other night.

The word “anal” sounds deregatory but I’m pretty used to my family teasing me with my neat freak attitude. Haha, I just laughed.

“And that’s a compliment!” they chirped..

I was touched.

I never thought I’d hear the day my daughters and husband would appreciate the effort I put into my household.

So I asked my 2 daughters “Why do you now appreciate my being anal?”

The two girls then narrated to me that their dormmates have even messier rooms than their own. Often the thoughts running through their minds are “If only mom can see this mess”. The girls can’t stand disorder in their own rooms but still I raise my eyebrows whenever I pass by their rooms. I just give a one-liner like “You have a lovely bed that cost me $___. Too bad it’s messy” or “studies are not an excuse for being sloppy” or “you have so many drawers . Use them to organize your things”

Whenever I drop by the dorm, I never step into their rooms simply because I want to avoid lecturing them on neatness. One time, I had no choice but drop some important items inside their rooms. Know what I did? I closed my eyes , opened the door and dropped the bag on side of the door.

The other day, I noticed that my husband folded his towel the way I wanted it to be. Aww, I never imposed that on him. I don’t bother him with little details like these. Since we moved in, he showers me with praises on the renovations and organization of our household. Before you think I am such an evil homemaker, my neat freak attitude is this: Create a peaceful and calm household that brings joy and comfort to the family.

I am not a neat freak in the strictest sense of the word. I am more of a neatness lover. Neat freaks live under tremendous stress and spend a significant time, sometimes several hours a day, trying to maintain immaculate neatness, precise order and faultless arrangement of their immediate environment.

I don’t nag my family to the point that my neat freaky attitude drives them crazy. If they are messy with their things, that is their problem. If an item gets lost because they were not organized, it’s their loss. “Don’t come crying to me that you lost a book , a CD or something”.

The most important thing is that each family member knows what their own space is for and my definition of clutter control. I don’t want to develop stress-related disorders because of a compulsive obsession for neatness. My overall goal is to find order and peace of mind in their busy lives through easy to maintain solutions that will help them get and stay organized.

My comfort lies in seeing my family member’s contented faces as they relax in their respective private spaces.

10 thoughts on “Neat Freak or Neatness Lover”

  1. Whenever I am in turmoil, the first thing I do is clean my room, my desk or the house. The neatness of the house relaxes and brings peace to my mind. Thing is something I discovered all by myself. It seems that I have doing something right. Thanks for sharing, noemi. 🙂

  2. like your hubby, my dad’s more productive with his own mess. he feels more “organized”.

    weird. hehe.

    i hope to meet and greet you in the flesh during this event. sayang i didn’t get the chance to talk to you in person during the PWA. 🙂

  3. I try to keep my home neat and clean but with a 5 year old who can create something that looks like a storm had just passed by in less than 1 hour, sometimes I feel like it’s a loosing battle. I take solace in vacumming the carpet, I like to see clean and combed carpet. It’s great that your daughters appreciate your being “anal.”

    There’s just something invigorating when a space has just been cleaned, it’s funny but you can actually feel it.

  4. @roxie- yes a cleansing process. Feels good after decluttering

    @KK- ah is your 5 year old a boy? I don’t know how I did it but when Luijoe was little, I used to say that if he doesn’t clean up his toys, they go to the trash bin.

  5. Ate Noemi,
    I have a girl. It’s not just toys. She likes to draw and cut out stuff. It’s great that she entertains herself with her crafts but she does generate so much trash. I have been threatening to put her stuff in the trash bin too.

  6. It’s amazing how much cleaning and organizing your room, and especially when you clean your whole house, has an effect on your state of mind and makes you feel at peace with yourself and relaxed. I am happy I am such a neatfreak for this reason.

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