There is a common misconception that I hear a lot when it comes to being organized. Thanks to beautiful magazine spreads and Martha Stewart-like Pinterest posts, most of us envision the perfectly organized home as being super clean, tidy, new, fresh and perfect. We often envision something that is far outside of our budget, capability and reach.
As a professional organizer myself, I want to be the first to dispel this myth. I have 2 kids, 2 dogs and 4 guinea pigs in my home. It is NOT perfect most of the time. It doesn’t always look orderly, and the laundry is usually piled a bit higher than I would like. It is not uncommon for my kids to pitch objects that they no longer want into the hallway outside of their bedrooms. I find wrappers stuffed in the couch and escaped Cheerios in places where they should not be. It’s not always pretty! Our homes need to be comfortable and functional, and living in one that resembles a museum is not achievable for most of us.
While it is important to have organizing strategies that reduce stress and enable you to bring your home back to “normal” when the mess gets too overwhelming, you will drive yourself crazy trying to achieve and maintain what society envisions as perfectly organized. Fellow professional Organizer and Author, Anne Blumer, said it best in her book “Get Rich Organizing.” She said “organization is not neatness. In my experience, stress does not come from clutter. It comes from not knowing where to put the clutter away.” She went on to also admit that her own home gets messy at times, so I urge you to give yourself a break and instead follow these simple rules to get and maintain a realistic balance of organization in your home:
Getting and staying organized is an ongoing process that will likely need to be revisited and tweaked over time. Once you find a routine that works for you and the others in your household, remember to keep it going, but to maintain perspective. Remember that life is not experienced to its fullest if we are constantly stressing over a little clutter. It’s okay to step over that pile in the hallway and go play with your kids if you know that cleaning it up will be a cinch when time allows.