When I got my own apartment (well, it was a garage, an illegal rental really), my mess got even worse without my mother to nag me.
Part of it I think was just rebellion. My parents were sucky parents. I love them, but yes they were. Partially abusive partially neglectful, and totally focused on all the wrong things, they made one huge mistake after another. One issue was that they were neat freaks. Having every single thing in its proper place, exactly right, was more important than anything else going on-- it was more important than spending time with me, more important than my feelings or my interests.
When I was younger I never had to do chores. My mother did ALL the cleaning, always~ just stay out of her way. And pick up after yourself if you were done with something. A plate in the sink, a water splash on the counter, a smudge on the floor, or -- heaven forbid! -- the dish towel getting dirty or too wet-- well, these things were literally considered "disaster" (her word).
One time my friend knocked over a cup on the table-- the closest thing was my mother's clean, ironed dish towel hanging on the little rack. Before I could say anything, my friend grabbed it and blotted the red dyed juice to prevent it from spilling on the floor. I gasped and my eyes went wide, it was like she had just committed a felony right in front of me! And I knew, no matter what, I was going to get the blame big time (and boy, did I ever).
All they wanted me to do was watch TV and read-- clean activities. So if they came home, I could have the best news, like a great grade, or the worst news, like bullies had beaten me and stolen my lunch money-- but nothing mattered if the house wasn't perfect. Even though I was so artistic, painting was "too messy" and even drawing was messy because of the little eraser bits.
So between having no sense of responsibility and just hating the very idea of cleaning and chores, I was a total slob. I'm embarrassed to say it now, but I set my altar up and invited my Gods and guardian spirits and ancestors into my home right there in the middle of a real disaster area.
Somewhere down the line, I realized just what a drain this mess was on me. And I began to learn about energy, and how negative energy was like dust-- how it held onto things, built up, got stored in little pockets, trapped. Getting my life together largely involved getting my home and stuff together. I approached it not with a concern for aesthetics, but for convenience-- order. Drop-box organizing. A place for everything. Categories. Labels.
I had to be hard on myself to keep it up but eventually, it began to take. My life did get better when the mess got cleared and the negativity got cleansed-- it was like lifting a heavy weight off me, it freed me and it gave me more energy. By getting my environment in order, I was freed and had more energy to get my life in order.
My Tip for You Today:
Look around your environment-- is there any clutter or any chaos that is getting in your way of getting ordered, organized and progressing in life? Maybe it's time to tackle it. In Wicca we strive for balance-- and being too messy or being too neat is not very balanced.
What's too much? I don't know-- that depends on you. Everyone's balancing point is different. For some people, a space that's functional and attractively decorated is the ideal balance-- for others, just having semi-categorized areas for stacks and just cleaning up the real dirt is all it takes.
If you feel overwhelmed because it's a big job, and you've been too frazzled, depressed or stressed to deal with it (which, by the way, probably means you need it more than you think you do), then start small-- tackle a drawer today. A shelf tomorrow. One corner or one surface the day after that. Little by little it'll start coming together, and give you the strength and motivation to forge ahead.