There is a common misconception that because I’m a Professional Organizer my house must be in perfect order. In the pantry, my soup can labels are pointed out and lined up like a supermarket isle. My clothes are hanging in the closet sorted by like a beautiful rainbow. My linen closet is full of sheets and towels, folded with crisp corners. And of course I must be well put together and always prompt for each occasion.
To this I say: Bahahhaha! Hell no!
Not to say I don’t have a handful ofType A qualities about a few things but I am like every other mom out there with a busy household, messy teenagers, meals on the fly…you know what I’m talking about.
So I’m here to confess to 3 of my not-so-organized qualities and what the hay, a few that scream Martha Stewart just so you can get in your daily eye-roll.
1. I am messy in the bathroom. Hmm…that sounds kinda gross, doesn’t it? I mean that I tend to spread out my make-up, toiletries and crap (not crap) across the entire shared his and hers bathroom vanity. The funny thing is that I don’t really use a ton of beauty products and I own very little make up…yet, to my husband’s daily annoyance, I use up the entire counter and only clean it on the weekends.
2. My mismatched sock bin could double as nest for a Bald Eagle…or two. I’m not sure the exact physics behind how the sock pairs get separated and then disappear between the dirty laundry pile and the dryer’s end cycle. I think it has to do with the mix of grime and static forming a wormhole or something…I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. I am, however, an optimist and I like to hold on to that recently widowed sock in hopes of its partner’s safe return. I mean who doesn’t love a happy ending?
3. My closet is a disaster half the time. Now I need to be careful here because this is a sore point between me and my wonderful husband (much like my bathroom mess). My hubby is in charge of putting away our laundry. I wash and fold – love that part – but he puts it away. It’s a pretty sweet deal. When he is done, everything is hung, my jeans are stacked in perfect columns, and my closet is an organizer’s dreams. Unfortunately, I come in, and like a teenaged girl, I am sifting through, removing items, trying things on, changing my mind…and through this painful process I usually lay the items across a chair or sometimes…gasp…piled on the floor, instead of putting them back. So just to be clear. The mess in the closet…that perhaps spills to the bedroom on particularly indecisive days, is mine. Not Hubby’s. MINE (see that Hun, now the world knows).
Now, I do have other not-so-organized qualities but I’m not about to put myself out of business.
Point is: I’m not perfect.
Now for the slightly OCD qualities I may encompass.
1. I lied. My linen closet is a breathtaking vision of colour-coordinated, perfectly folded goodness. Yes, even the fitted sheets. I don’t let anyone else fold towels because I like them folded a certain way and no one in the household has mastered this. True – I’m not exactly fighting over the folding exclusivity. To add an extra level of way-too-much to this, I check and straighten everything in my linen closets weekly. Sometimes refold a few things just for funzies. Yeah…I know…It’s sick.
2. My spice cabinet looks like a Pinterest photo. It’s so strange that I went as long as I have without putting some sort of system into my spice cupboard. Really strange considering how many systems I have installed for other people. I really only have a handful of spices that I am using daily so as long as they were at the front I was satisfied with my mediocre spice storage. But now…sigh…so pretty. I can grab the garlic without 5 of his pushy friends falling out behind. I can see everyone in there and they can see me. I’m like the conductor of a little spicy orchestra.
3. Total list freak. You may be thinking; ‘oooh me too, I always make lists’. Like most Listers (new lingo right there, folks) lists make me happy. They get me organized. They keep me sane. But I have perhaps fallen into the dark side of list making. I have a folder in my office of laminated lists.
Just the important ones…about…um…20 or so…
I have packing lists that I love. The camping list in particular is a three part series: Initial pack which includes everything we need to load into the RV in the spring followed by the regular pack which is all the staples that we need for each trip (this is also broken down by family member). Then (of course) there is the end of season checklist. Who doesn’t have this list? I also have seasonal ToDo lists, the chore schedules…
Wow look at me. I could talk about lists all day, but I digress…
Whether you are catching me with one of my not-so-organized moments or one of my nearly-needing-an-intervention moments, organization is about how it WORKS not necessarily about how it LOOKS. Yes, I am storing a rather large sock orphanage but guess what – they are contained in one designated place and everyone in the household knows where to find it. My lipstick is in the sink-ish vicinity and will not travel beyond the confines of my bathroom counter. What I want for myself and my clients is a household that functions well. This means that we need realistic systems that are maintainable. Don’t strive for perfection if perfection is going to be impossible for you to upkeep. Strive for ease and function and you will win every time.
And hey, everyone is different. Embrace your imperfection. We love you that way!