“We should just wait until after our kids are grown and gone. It’s futile to try and create the home we want now.”
“My house will never be beautiful, toddlers live here.”
“Why would I waste money on our house when our kids color on everything?”
“A beautiful home is clean and orderly. My house never stays that way for more than 15 minutes.”
“The cycle is never-ending. Every time I turn around I need to move/pickup/clean up the same thing!”
All complaints, concerns and questions we’ve heard before. People who like the beautiful homes pictured in magazines. But roll their eyes and say it is never possible in their current situation. It’s made me stop and wonder:
Where did we come up with the idea that perfectly staged is the ultimate standard? Everything else is just too embarrassing to show. We want to blame Pinterest and Instagram. I know I have. But is that actually the problem? Did the notion that perfection is expected originate 10 years ago? You and I both know the answer to that one.
Currently, I am sitting in my home office. Half looks acceptable. The other half looks like someone may be getting ready to move.
No one is moving. The mess is just piles that need to be sorted for trash, donating and storing, the result of resurfacing my work table. The new table however looks beautiful. I’m loving the colors I selected for paint and the portable storage drawers make it practical. So while there is a mess in here, there is also beauty.
In my quest to come to grips with my house, and it’s constantly evolving state, I have settled in on two statements that I believe to be true. These two things help me keep a sane mind as I work on improving both the look and functionality of our home.
First statement I’m working on embracing:
I know, I know. That was profound.
But hang with me for a moment. If you really begin to accept the truth that people are LIVING in your home, you will begin to see the mess a little differently.
The reality is: Beautifully decorated homes are a mess after hosting a dinner party for 30.
Extra large family homes can still be overrun by toys, sporting equipment and empty go-gert tubes.
Homes being redecorated on a budget may be half done for a year, while saving for the rest of the project.
I want you to take a minute to say this and actually mean it: People live in my house. It will never be 100% picked up 100% of the time. And that is okay, because it means I have family who live and love here.
Understanding that you and your family lives in your home and it will never reach a constant state of Pinterestness is liberating. You are no longer held to unattainable standards. BUT, this does not mean that all is lost.
It means you get to figure out a way to make your family live and survive in a house covered in white walls (if that’s your thing). Or you can figure out how to help your family thrive in a 2 bedroom house (if that’s your situation).
It means you can teach your children routines that keep the after-school mess to a minimum. Or you can figure out how to reduce the number of toys, and then how to store them stylishly.
Your current mess, whatever that may be at the moment, is a reminder that people live in your home. Beautiful things can come from messy places. So don’t lose heart if you are currently looking around at a home that isn’t quite what you’ve envisioned. The clutter can be reduced. The walls can be painted. The furniture can be rearranged. The home is an expression of you. It is there to meet your needs. Those people who walk through your door are what matter most. Don’t forget it.