My House is a Mess!

piles collageOkay, I’ll fess up: my house is a mess! With this change of season I see piles everywhere and they’re not left over snow banks. They’re soccer cleats, science projects, outgrown winter outfits, and maybe a few Christmas presents that haven’t found their home yet. Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, they often say  “Your house must be so organized!” It is true — there are aspects of my house that are really organized. After all, it is what I do and where I find my flow. I spend time building organizational systems, and like in Field of Dreams, hope that if I build it they will come. The “they” in my life is my family, of course, with whom I share my life and space.

Clients will often express frustration that “stuff” is everywhere. Their kids are like wind storms as they move through the house, leaving socks here and empty dishes there. And just like in my own home, we work together to build systems to help corral those socks and dishes while at the same time leaving room for living. What does room for living look like? Well, it doesn’t usually look like a magazine page. Room for living looks like the tide of everyday life washing school papers, mail, and domestic debris onto the shore and also requiring that things going back out to sea are in some semblance of order — permission slips signed, lunches packed, and water bottles refilled.

The key to being organized in this “room for living” is in what’s underneath. If you build a smart foundation and enlist help to keep the major things in place, then re-setting when things get hectic will be much, much easier. Tidying (when you want to) won’t involve overhauling or major sorts, cleaning will take less time, and even in the ebb and flow of daily life you’ll feel lighter and less stress. So yes my house is a mess. But for now it’s a rather orderly mess and in my space for living it’s time to go out and play!