An Imperfect House

I am pretty sure that by now you have all seen the proof to confirm my self-diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  No, it is not debilitating like so many that have the true diagnosis, but it is a big part of who I am. I really believe that I have a mild case of it. I like my routine. I like things organized. I like order. My introverted, type A personality comes in to play with it as well.  I am very methodical.  I don’t like change.  I need a plan and schedule. It’s just who I am. I know it about myself and I try to not let it affect my daily life too much. 

You have already seen several of the ways that I keep my home organized with the tips and tricks I have shown you.  I have recently had a couple of people message me asking how I manage to keep my house so perfect after seeing some of my organizing posts.  Is my house perfectly neat and clean all the time? Absolutely not! I want you all to know, that I am far from perfect and my house is far from perfect. There is no perfect solution or magic wand I can wave to make my house neat and tidy or to tell you how to make yours perfect. I just showcase things that I have found that work for me that you can take and use however works best for you. You would think that someone that prides herself on her organization skills would have the perfect house, but that is far from the truth.  Yes, I try to keep things very neat and organized. Most things have a home somewhere in the house.  Most rooms in the house are usually neat and organized. Now, my kids’ rooms are a different story, but I have pretty much given up on keeping their things organized. I go in there and spend hours organizing only to have it destroyed in a few days.  It is clear that neither of them inherited the organization gene from me. I just try to avoid their rooms because it gives me anxiety.  I will say that right now, this house is definitely not in the order that I prefer it to be in and it also gives me anxiety.  We are in a constant state of limbo right now. We have not fully committed to this house that we are in now because we know that it was only temporary.  It’s not our home. That means that there are still unopened boxes all over the basement.  The office is a mess because it still has boxes in it and things that never really got put away because we knew they were going to get packed back up soon. There are opened boxes where some things were pulled out to find the one thing in there that we needed that never got put back in the box.  My husband and I have both said that we can’t wait to get in our new house and can finally be settled.  Living in limbo like this makes us all crazy. 

There are two areas of my house that I struggle with the most and those are the kitchen and laundry room.  I have mentioned before that the kitchen table and bar are the dumping ground for every member of my family.  Things just seem to collect there all the time and there will be mounds of stuff. It drives me nuts. There also always seems to be a dishwasher full of clean dishes and a sink full of dirty dishes. I am trying to hold my kids more accountable now that they are older and try to make them help with unloading, reloading, and washing the dishes.  The problem comes when my oldest is never home because of practice and my little one gets upset because she thinks she does all the work.  It’s like a never-ending cycle.  Everything in the kitchen has a place and things are organized, but the kitchen is still a mess. I have shown you the pantry and drawers and how they are organized. You would think that would help the mess, but it doesn’t. My youngest daughter takes a lot of medications for all of her medical issues and my oldest takes a lot of vitamins since she is so active.  No one can ever seem to put the pill bottles back in the organized cabinet designated for those things. They just sit on the bar and it makes me crazy. Despite my organizational efforts in the kitchen, there is always stuff everywhere. The laundry room is tough because there is a constant need to wash and never enough time to fold and put away.  Clothes get immediately sorted into each individual family member’s basket as soon as they come out of the dryer, but sometimes those baskets will sit there and not get folded right away; or I will fold everything and put it back in the baskets for each person to put away, and they never get put away because there is not enough time.  Time is the biggest downfall at keeping the house neat and orderly at all times. I know I need to be more intentional with my time and stay on top of everyone to do their part.  It has to be a team effort.

Even though I feel like I am a pretty organized person, I am constantly seeking out more ways to keep my home and belongings neat and tidy. I can scroll through Pinterest all day long looking up organization. I love it. I am currently reading through a book by Toni Hammersley called The Complete Book of Home Organization (Amazon). She also has a book entitled The Complete Book of Clean: Tips and Techniques for your Home (Amazon) that I plan to get next. I have followed her blog, A Bowl Full Of Lemons, for a long time and am currently in a home organization challenge in her Facebook group, 2019 Home Organization Challenge with a Bowl Full of Lemons.  It is neat to see and hear what others do to organize and how they interpret the suggestions from the challenge and book.  It excites me! I know; I’m weird! LOL! There are some great tips and tricks you can find in the book, on her blog, or in the group.  I have also recently watched the much talked about series on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.  She has a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Amazon), that I plan to read soon as well.  I enjoyed watching the series because I was able to see that many of the things that she recommends are things that I have already been doing for years.  For example, they way that she recommends how to fold t-shirts and other clothes and line them upright in your drawers is something that I have been doing for years and never knew that I was following the KonMari Method way of doing things. The thing that really strikes me about her method, though, is the one thing that I am going to commit to doing in the coming weeks. She encourages you to go through all of your things, hold them in your hands, and ask yourself if that thing sparks joy for you.  If it doesn’t, it is something that you should get rid of. One of my biggest flaws is holding on to things when I don’t need to.  This is especially true of clothes (not just mine, the girls’ clothes too), books, and memorabilia or sentimental items. I have a hard time letting some things go.  For example, I have one big tote that is full of memorabilia from elementary and middle school.  Why am I keeping all that stuff? I have a tote full of my dolls from when I was a kid. Neither of my kids ever played with them.  Why am I still holding on to them? I have books on education from college that I will likey never look at again and that are way out of date, but I still keep them just in case. Even though my house is organized, there is still a ton of stuff that I don’t need to keep. This is something that I am going to work on in the next couple months leading up to our move.  Kind of piggybacking off my post yesterday, I need to clean out and get rid of things that we don’t need.  I need to not be ruled by the things I own. Those things don’t need to go with us to the new house. I need a fresh start. I am going to try to use Marie Kondo’s method of sparking joy to help me.  If you haven’t seen the series or read her book, I highly recommend them to help you get on the right path to a neat and tidy home.  I will bring you all along on my journey to purge and get even more organized in the coming weeks.

So…to answer the questions of those that have messaged me, I do not have the perfect neat and tidy home.  I am a constant work in progress.  I always see room for improvement.  As long as you are growing and changing, you are moving in the right direction.  That’s my philosophy.  I wrote this post today for those of you that are struggling to keep your house in order. I want you to know that you are not alone.  Even the most organized people struggle.  You can only do your best and commit to trying.  You have to figure out what works for you and your family.  Try taking small steps.  Marie Kondo says to start with clothes.  Toni Hammersley says to start with the kitchen.  Neither way is wrong.  You do you! That’s what I am going to do.  I’ll tell you where I am starting next week once I figure it out. I can assure you that my OCD self will have a plan and schedule for the next 2.5 months soon so that I can make sure I get it all done. Feel free to join me in my journey to purge and get rid of things that don’t spark joy for me and getting my home even more organized than it is now. I would love to hear how it is going for you. Keep me posted.


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