Thursday, August 07, 2008

How a massage can help you get organized

Yes, I really do intend to prove to you that getting a massage can help you get and stay organized!

It's a simple premise, really. One that I often suggest to my clients: Schedule something in your home on a regular basis--like a party or tea with a friend--and you will find yourself "cleaning up" more on a regular basis, too! The threat, uh, I mean pleasure, of having someone over and in the house, is always wonderful motivation to clean.

This was proven to me once again, and with my own home. I've sort of relaxed my "maintenance," this summer shall I say, and had let my bedroom go a bit. Last year, after a minor neck injury, I had semi-regular massages by a wonderful massage therapist who came to my home. Now, professional organizers have a reputation to uphold, and I certainly wanted to continue the illusion that I keep my home perfectly neat at all times. She would set up her table in our bedroom, and yes, I found myself tidying up that room and our master bath before her visits. I really enjoyed having these rooms so nice and neat during this period.

However, since my neck has been feeling better, I hadn't had Kelly in for months! And it showed! Tasks in the bedroom were a tad behind--laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc. All the things that my mind's eye had been blocking, came into focus as I looked at it with a fresh "eye" knowing someone was coming over and would be seeing it.

I tidied up and enjoyed the fruits of my labor--and a wonderful 1.5 hour massage.

That's how a massage can help you get organized!

I'm also sure there are other factors working here--namely, that when you indulge in self-care, you are a happier and healthier person who is better able to focus. And when better able to focus, organizing and tidying up are also much easier.

So, yes, while massage can be seen as an "expensive treat" (although well worth it), the idea that scheduling something once a month or maybe once a week that might motivate you to tidy up is a solid one and can be less expensive or even free.

Here are some other ideas and their approximate costs. They are sort of in descending order. You may want to try the last ones first and work your way up.

1. Hire a housekeeper once or twice a month to do just the floors and counters in the kitchen and bathrooms. Cost: $25-$100. (More if you have a really big kitchen or lots of bathrooms. Most housekeepers in this area charge about $25/hour.) The idea here is that you will motivate yourself to get all your stuff up off the floors and counters so the housekeeper doesn't waste her precious time (and your money) moving things off them or putting things away. You want her to do the stuff you don't want to. (Ok, this is the stuff I don't like to do--sweeping and mopping.) You get a nice clean "base" and if she's coming on a regular basis, you are motivated to do your part before she comes.

2. Plan a party once a month. Cost: $0-$??? Obviously, if you make this a potluck, you reduce your own costs, and if you serve Russian caviar and imported champagne, it will be pricier. But you'll get two things out of it: motivation to clean your house before guests arrive and a nice time with friends or family. (Even nicer if you have friends and family who will help you clean up after the party before they go home!)

3. Have just one or two friends over for something very simple like coffee or tea, a game night, or watching a movie. Cost: $0-$10. Simple things like this keep the kitchen from exploding into a mess. Serve a simple cake or cookies or make microwave popcorn. DVR a movie, watch a DVD you own or rent one. Close the doors on the rooms you haven't quite gotten to. If you have nosy friends, maybe post a sign on the door that says something like "Sammy the Snake's Room. Just ignore him, he likes to crawl on people but he doesn't usually bite.")

4. Invite one friend over to go for a walk. $0 (Unless you need to buy new walking shoes.) This one sounds like it wouldn't help, but really, it's a nice way to break yourself in if you haven't had friends over in the house in a while. You may only have to meet them at the front door (you only need to clean up what they can see from the front steps), or depending on your level of progress in the house, let them in a little farther each time. So, maybe just the front room has to be tidy, or if they might need to "use the facilities," tidy up only the rooms enroute to the facilities!

And if all of these seem out of your reach right now, then please, at least go out and get a massage at a spa. The whole part about being good to yourself, self-care and massage helping with focus still stands.

And in case you are ready right now for an in-home massage, and you live in the Sonoma County area, my massage therapist has recently "left her day job" as they say and is taking on new clients. Give her a call and you will thank yourself. (And maybe me!) I've always felt so wonderful after her work on me and she helped me keep working after a neck injury.

Kelly Nelson (based in Petaluma, CA)
Holistic Massage Therapist

No comments: