I love Instagram and Pinterest! I love seeing home interiors and getting ideas for my own house. All those gleaming surfaces, trendy furniture and perfectly organized closets are just so drool-worthy.
But there’s a downside to these social media platforms. Some of my organizing clients get the wrong idea about what their home is supposed to look like. They assume that everybody else is living in perfectly organized homes with no clutter on the table, no papers on the counter, and not so much as a stray shoe on the floor. And this makes them feel bad about themselves. Not just bad, but guilty, lazy, and ashamed of themselves. Because they think, if it’s so easy to have a clutter-free house, then why can’t I seem to live clutter-free as well?
So I like to set the record straight about what’s normal and what’s not in a house when I go to client’s homes for the initial assessment. Reality check time. Here’s what I tell them:
Reality Check #1: Nobody lives in a perfectly organized home all of the time. You can live in a perfectly organized home SOME of the time, like during that hour just before all of your guests arrive for your dinner party. But no one, not even professional organizers are living in Instagram-worthy organized homes all of the time. It’s just not realistic to how we move, live and work in our homes.
Reality Check #2: Everybody gets a bit of clutter build-up sometimes, especially toward the end of the week when we’re all tired and don’t have the energy to, say, sort through the mail. The organizing industry in Portland is small, and I’m friends with many of the other organizers. I’ve been in their homes, and I can tell you most assuredly that even organizers leave some papers on the counters and end up with their kids’ half-way finished school project all over the dining room table. Clutter happens. Even to organized people.
So feel free to continue scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram. They’re fun and inspiring sites! But don’t let them fool you into thinking that that’s any homeowner’s 24/7 reality.
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