Do you ever wonder why we seem to care more about our homes being neat and clean for guests than for ourselves?
I had a girlfriend over a few weeks ago, and a familiar cycle played out once again…
Hours before she arrived, I’m going full speed, straightening up and organizing everything I can get my hands on. I’ve got Doug scrubbing baseboards while I reorganize under the bathroom sink.
We’ve got to sweep, we’ve got to Swiffer. Ahhh!!! What about that corner I’ve been meaning to organize but haven’t got around to? It’s gonna have to go in the closet for now.
You might think this only happens to you, but even as a professional home organizer it happens to me too.
The struggle is real!
The blessing and the curse of living in a 550 sq. ft studio is that there aren’t a whole lot of place to hide stuff. If I lived in a 3000 sq. ft house with nooks and crannies everywhere, I totally understand how the problem becomes too big to handle.
Doug’s always saying, “They’re our friends, why do we need to impress them with such a clean house?” He clearly doesn’t get it.
Vain or not, I do care what people think when they walk into my home.
Especially because they know I’m a professional organizer. I’ve got a reputation to uphold :)
All this got me thinking about the holiday season, and how the anxiety of hosting is coming up in a lot of
homes. Another year passed, life got crazy and the holidays are right around the corner.
When you mix the interesting family and in-law dynamics with the pressure of hosting, things can get dicey. We’ve all been there at one point or another…
Closets stuffed floor to ceiling with stuff to worry about later.
Drawers loaded with junk you don’t have time to think about right now.
Andddd, we’re just going to go ahead and lock the door going into the garage so no one accidentally ends up in that disaster zone!
Here’s my realization:
The problem isn’t just at the holidays.
It’s just most visible during the holidays because you have potentially judging eyes of family and friends in your space. You’re seeing disorganization issues and challenges from the entire year come to a head in a few days.
So what’s the fix? It’s as simple as being proactive vs. reactive.
Reactive is working on your space last-minute, for the benefit of other people. Proactive is when you do it for yourself, before things get out of hand.
You want to feel proud of where you live. Not just for other people, but for yourself, too. For yourself especially.
If we let outside circumstances dictate our lives, we’ll constantly feel like we’re behind, hanging on by a thread, out of control. When we care more about what other people think than we do about how we feel, we give up control of our lives.
I’m just as guilty of this as the next girl. It’s easy to workout every day and eat healthy when you know you’re going on beach vacation in a few weeks, right? But then your diet gets shot with all the amazing food during your trip and it’s tough to pick up the good habits again once you’re back home because that outside motivation isn’t there anymore.
You know what I’ve noticed with the majority of my organizing clients?
They’re actually organized people in many ways. That’s why the clutter and disorganization in their home bothers them so much. If they were disorganized at heart, they wouldn’t really care.
So, as an organized person (or one that values organization) you deserve a space that speaks to you - the whole year, not just when family’s in town. Because what they think for a few days while they visit isn’t nearly as important as how you FEEL the entire year where you live.
Sure, that ideal space gets created partially by pretty baskets and containers and other organizing solutions. But the bigger part of the equation is YOU. Your mindset and the way you think about your things throughout the year.
This year can be the last time that cleaning and organizing before the holidays seems overwhelming.
Yes, you’ve got to stay on top of organizing throughout the year to keep a mess from building. But I hear incredible stories of progress and growth from my clients all the time. They tell me about how easy things have become by following the systems we put in place and internalizing a new simplified and decluttered way of life.
All of a sudden, staying organized becomes their rule rather than the exception.
It can happen for you, too, if it hasn’t already.
I’ll be spending the last three months of 2016 working with families on their space, but also on how they think about their space so that new habits are created.
If you’d like an organizing partner in this department, I’d love to help you too :)
The holidays are a special time of year that should be spent relaxing and connecting with the people that mean the most to you, not stressing out about household stuff.
One thing I love about my work is that I’m constantly forced to improve myself so I can give you new, valuable ideas to use in your life. In a lot of ways, we help each other grow :)
Here’s to being on that journey together!