Musings of a Recovering Clutterbug, Episode 2: Be Realistic

OK, let’s just say it: Martha Stewart went to jail.

Yeah, my living room is messy, but Ha.

Pottery Barn catalog, Living magazine, House Beautiful are like the celebrity photoshop of home décor:  it’s a magazine, don’t be fooled.  There are some who will achieve this, however, if you have kids forget it (Mommy Dearest), and even if you don’t have kids it’s really a fantasy for most, rather than real day to day living.

I know, there are people with kids out there who are saying right now, “this person knows nothing, my house is flawless Pottery Barn and I have three lovely, well-balanced children.”  No.  Most likely, the first part is not true:  you may have Parent-modified Pottery Barn, with various art projects, toys, kid videos and parent stuff scattered around, but you do not have true Pottery Barn.  You think you do, because in your parent-centric life, you haven’t seen true Pottery Barn in person in forevs and you don’t even know what it looks like any more.  That’s OK, that’s what a house with kids is supposed to look like.  Otherwise, your kids are not well-balanced.  Even if you don’t have kids (at home or otherwise), it’s OK to be a real person and have a real life, which means sometimes dishes sit in the sink, sometimes you make an old saggy couch last a few extra years (because rent/mortgage, student loans, commute costs come first), sometimes the bed linens don’t match.  It’s real life, not a catalouge.

The Old-School rule is try to create a welcoming, relaxing space in one room that can be used for receiving guests.  In otherwords, keep the living room tidy, at least, and try to steer any chaos toward private spaces—family rooms, the kitchen, bedrooms. This works provided your home is large enough.  If you live in a studio, well—one of the rules of living in small spaces it try and get and stay organized (even if it isn’t catalogue elegant), making use of closets, storage furniture and keeping possessions to a minimum.  Storage lockers (on site or otherwise) can help for those who live in small spaces, and if you are younger and still in the launching years, try to leave as much as possible with your parents and only keep the things that are relevant to you current life with you in your tiny home.

The point of de-clutter and organizing is to make your life better and more relaxing by making what you need accessible, making sure you know where everything is, and by getting rid of possessions that no longer make sense, and creating spaces where you can express yourself or selves through home decoration.  Impressing the Joneses is not the point and should not be the goal.

Speaking of, time to clean the living room.

About missbodie

The Dragon Lady is a life long tea drinker. Her first coffee shops were Big Boy and the Oriental Diner in downtown Milwaukee. She lives in our Nation's Capital with three bicycles and an energetic tabby cat.
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