ShuttersMy house is as close to picture perfect as I am going to get it in preparation for listing it for sale. It has been close to this state many times when I have hosted art shows as part of the local art tour. However for all those years, chotchkies, clutter, all extraneous items were shoved into boxes and stashed in rooms behind closed doors. The thing is when you sell your house people look in all those favourite hiding places, and they see if you have organized and aesthetically pleasing inner spaces.

It has taken me a month to purge and tidy. My whole art studio got shipped to the garage at the cottage, the potters wheel and massage table from various past lives were sold on Craigslist, an account was opened at the Elegant Garage Sale to move the “good” stuff and the Goodwill graciously took the ordinary stuff. Every nook and cranny has been emptied, sorted, purged, cleaned and returned to shelves straightened and colour co-ordinated.

This is soooooo not me. The biggest consequence of working on this month’s never-ending “to do” list is the huge energy drain. Details are not in any description of my ENFP type except to say “AVOIDS them.” I prefer keeping things open and fluid with just enough order to get things accomplished. A little chaos feels creative and a lot of order feels restrictive to me if truth be told.

While being focused on creating order (perfection) for these last 30 days I have created an neat-freak monster as I now go around measuring the bottoms of the towels hanging in the bathrooms, smoothing the linen on the bed to Architectural Digest standards, and adjusting the louvers on all 9 windows so they line up with military precision.

How about you? Can you think of areas at home or at work where you feel drained? Could any of this energy depletion result from operating against your natural preferred way of being? I will be thrilled to see the SOLD sign go up relieving me from this tidy hell.

Category: Personal
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2 Responses to “Working Against Your MBTI Preferences is a Recipe for Stress”

Laura May 22, 2010

I can’t imagine you measuring towels! That sounds constraining, even to an INTJ.

I end up drained at home/work when things are out of order. I don’t thrive in a little bit of chaos. When everything around me is tidy and “in its place” (i.e. where I think it should be and where I’m used to it being), then I feel like my space is clear and open, and then there is room for my brain to be clear and open too. I even do things like tidy and order my desktop, and use a minimalist extension on gmail to eliminate most of its sidebars and options – anything to clear things up and open things up and reduce the amount of stimulation coming at me.

I notice the impact when I’m in other people’s spaces, and I compulsively am closing cupboard doors and straightening stacks of magazines and can’t take my mind off the one pencil that’s lying alone on the table instead of grouped with other items.

Ok, this sounds like a bit much even to me…

Sandy McMullen May 22, 2010

Laura – I have tidy friends – indeed one just recently sold her house without needing any staging because she leads a “fluffed life”. She came over to help me “see” what I couldn’t see. It was so helpful. As for ordr ad being tidy – It is lovely to be in this when it is serene and I appreciate it – I just don’t appreciate having to do what It takes to maintain it. There are times when I ask my tidy friends to sit in the kitchen for a cup of tea because the living room is scary perfect and not that comfortable because the pillows might get messed. When I tidy it is often simply procrastination because doing anything else seems better than doing the task at hand.

As always thanks for your input. Part of the genius I see when working with you is how you bring order to seeming randomness and stray ends… an orderly mind – hmmm wonder what that would be like?