My Life the Makeover Show

I hate maintaining things. I prefer to let it all go to pot then sweep in and do a big transformation. It’s much more satisfying.

Yes, maintenance is easier, and I try to clean as I go, but I can’t make myself do it. I’m just not interested.
It’s like the project I worked on here in Spain. I didn’t end
up pruning in the orchard. Instead I reclaimed a three level terrace garden from seven years of neglect. I pulled a mountain of grass, clipped a forest of shrubs and divided a field of irises. I was a one-man garden makeover show. In six days I transformed a savage land into a domestic haven.

Okay, the grasses and clippings pile was big, but not mountainous or forest like and the 300 divided irises fit in three ten by ten gardens, but it did take six days and the result was pretty spectacular (and if I had remembered to take before pictures, you could see the difference).

This sort of thing is why I went into organizing. It’s all about the big changes, the ooh and ahh of seeing it made over. I couldn’t have been given a better task. It’s how I approach almost every physical task in my life. As I’ve talked about many times, I nest in my apartment, letting things build up past disaster, then either because I have someone coming over in twenty minutes, or because I get sick of seeing the place messy, I put everything back to rights and it looks great again.

The key to a successful makeover attitude is to have places for things, even if you don’t put them away right away. A mess stays a mess when you have nowhere to put stuff at organizing time.

And of course if you have others sharing your space with you, being messy in common areas isn’t respectful.

Someday Lessons:

  • Procrastination can work, as long as you do get it done before it gets too big of a project.
  • If maintenance isn’t your thing, make sure you at least know where things should go, even if you don’t always put them there.

5 thoughts on “My Life the Makeover Show

  1. I know how you feel Alex. I am SO much like that “big makeover thing”. I don’t know what will happen to my psyche when my husband retires from the military life and we don’t have to move every 2-3 years (15 years of marriage, 7 moves, 4 provinces, 2 kids, 3 schools). I will probably expand my business to move other people and just re-arrange my own furniture once in awhile.
    Gros Bisous

  2. Amy Mowbray says:

    I totally get what you’re saying. I wonder if my kids will be upset if I get rid of all their “stuff!”

  3. Alex Fayle says:

    You are almost as nomadic as I am these days Jacki!

    And Amy, one great way of dealing with your kids’ stuff is to have bins (one for each person in the family – including yourself) and when people’s stuff is everywhere, just put it in their bin. If they complain that they can’t find something your answer is “It’s in your bin.”

    To keep the bins from overflowing, schedule regular (weekly, bi-weekly) bin emptying. If they don’t do it, then have a consequence of they don’t get to use anything in the bin for a period of time.

    And of course by having a bin yourself, the rest of the family feels that you’re being fair and that they can put your stuff in your bin if you’ve left things lying about.

    Good luck!

  4. Janet Sandberg says:

    Great job on the garden project!

    I am so much like you, Alex, when it comes to cleaning up and to gardening! Glad I’m not the only one who lives like that! (Unfortunately my husband is the clean as you go/maintenance sort of person…)

    I also love the bin idea for all the stuff that gets strewn about the house. I’m going out to buy some bins this weekend!

  5. Alex Fayle says:


    My ex (who was a total maintenance type) and I had an agreement. He knew that I would tidy up before too long, but if he felt he needed to tidy before I got to it, then that was his choice. He agreed not to feel resentful because it was his choice and I agreed not to feel judged by his actions.

    It worked very well, surprisingly!

    Good luck with the bins!

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