by Melinda Massie | Featured Contributor
Prepare thyselves for a redheaded rant, Sunshines.
I recently saw an article titled, “Get a Spotless, Organized Laundry Room.”
This, my darlings, is bullsh… A FULL-BLOWN LIE.
Unless you move out of your house, or never actually live in it ever again, you will NEVER have a spotless, organized ANYTHING in your house for more than a few minutes – ESPECIALLY if you actually use it!!! (Though you may get a few hours if you’re lucky, leave the house, or never enter the room – but what’s the purpose in that??)
Have I just burst every perfectionist’s bubble? I sure do hope so!
Sunshine, perfectionism will get you NOWHERE. Or as it says in one of my favorite videos, “An invocation for beginnings” (a great kick in the tush if you’re stuck and need a jumpstart, and also language warning if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing):
“Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes but he’s a little bit of an asshole and nobody invites him to their pool parties.”
Now if you’re a perfectionist, I get it. I’ve SO been there. Putting off writing papers until the last minute, waiting for the “perfect time to start” or the “perfect idea,” “perfect words,” perfectPerfectPERFECT!!
I’ve told myself that failure wasn’t an option. And guess what??? Failure is ABSOLUTELY an option! In fact, it can be a FABULOUS option because if you fail first and then learn from the mistakes you make, you’re on your way to a better option that much faster!!!
What especially sets me off about article titles like this is is that they encourage the cluttered to strive for the unattainable: that mythical, spotless perfection. Then they’re disappointed that they don’t get it, and usually beat themselves up because it seems everyone else can achieve perfection easily.
Sweetheart, it may as well be a glittery unicorn. And I’ve been in everyone’s house. NOBODY’S is spotless or perfect – not even mine. However, the homes I work in–including my own–do become great spaces that support your life and needs instead of adding extra burden.
This impossible search for the “perfect” home can actual spiral to a really nasty place – sometimes literally. You wait for the perfect time. While waiting for said perfect time, the clutter piles up. Then the “overwhelm” starts to set in. The overwhelm coupled with desire for perfection only cements the inaction more and the clutter continues to pile up. This all compounds until next thing you know, you’re literally up to your eyeballs in all the things.
And if that’s not enough, this whole vicious cycle can also drastically deteriorate your home. Tiny, routine home problems grow into larger, more serious problems because you were too embarrassed for a repair person to come over. The things themselves decay, because all things break and decay over time. Even worse, it can become so bad that you don’t even see it anymore and the clutter continues to pile up, drastically diminishing your quality of life. Next thing you know, your family and friends are calling me (or, in the most extreme case, an intervention-style hoarding show) because nobody knows what to do.
Did I just take it to the very worse scenario from a simple headline?
You bet your glass of champagne I did.
These tiny, seemingly harmless article headlines slowly and silently erode us,emotionally and psychologically. We see the perfect pictures and hear the stories of perfect organization and want it for ourselves.
Yet what you don’t see is what I do. The tears of not being able to keep up when it seems everyone else can. The frustration of the home not being “spotless” when this article said it would be. The disappointment that nothing seems to work for them.
Thankfully, what I also get to see after we’ve worked into the process is the relief when I tell them that those headlines and pictures and tales are just the “perfect” fraction of the story and not reality. The lightness of being that comes with letting things go. The joy in creating a space that maybe isn’t perfect for a magazine, but supports my client in the exact way they want and need.
My darling Sunshines, please do not be swayed or dismayed by the crap put out into the mass media that claims you can have a perfect home. There is no finishing line in an organized home. Once you let go of your clutter and create the systems that work for you, you must still maintain your home on a regular basis. And as your needs change, so should the systems. I always like to say that organizing is a living, breathing thing because in a sense, it is. Your life changes. Your needs change. Or maybe you just want to the joint to look different. So you mix things up, change things up, PLAY with it until it makes you happy again.
It will never be spotless. It will never be perfect. It should, however, always make you happy.
Melinda Massie – Professional Organizer of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous – Ft. Worth, TX
Melinda is the sassy, redheaded best friend you always wanted. Called everything from slave-driver to life-saver to organizing ninja, her natural organizing skills and vivacious attitude will make getting organized suck less.
She’s on a mission to prove that being organized has nothing to do with bins and labels. And it definitely isn’t about perfection. Organization is about addressing what is standing in your way so you can let go of the excess clutter and create the home that supports your dreams and goals. Her education in advertising and marketing means she can guide you past the common traps in today’s mass consumerism “stuff” culture (you know, the b.s. that leads to unwanted purchases and excess clutter) while her former careers in professional ballroom dance and event planning means she still likes to make everything sparkle.
Melinda works with mildly cluttered to mildly hoarded people all over the country. She’s also teamed with extreme-cleaning crews to safely clear out massive clutter situations. She was named “Best Personal Organizer” by Fort Worth, TX Magazine and her tips have been featured in Shape, Woman’s Day, and WeTV as well as many other local and national publications.
When not clearing clutter, Melinda enjoys performing as a supernumerary with the Fort Worth Opera, yoga, cooking and eating indulgent food and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.