Making peace with your space.

door-516731A friend came to see my first home in NC years ago, and I’ll never forget what she said. “You don’t have anything…it feels a little cold.” Some people might find that insulting, but I took it as a mark of pride! And yes, we’re still friends .

Now that I have a family and kids, things have changed. A bigger number of people (four of us and a dog) with diverse needs (a toddler, a teenager, and two adults) all living under the same roof just need more stuff. So this year, when another friend came to visit, she paid a compliment to how we’ve managed the growth. “It doesn’t feel too minimal, it just feels peaceful.” That felt just right for me, for where I am right now.

How your house functions and how you need it to work for you will constantly change as your life and family change. Your tastes will change, your needs will change, your income, your tolerance or desire for stuff, the amount of space you have, will all change, forever.

I have great news…that’s TOTALLY OKAY! When it comes to taking care of your home, it’s like laundry: there’s only continual progress, not a finish line. What’s important is that we adapt to where we are at any given time. We need to pay attention when things aren’t working for us and make a plan to address it. This might include taking some time off to work on it yourself, or hiring a professional organizer to help you make and execute a plan.

Here are some ways to identify when it’s time to revisit if things are working:

  • When you walk in the door, does your home make you feel relaxed and peaceful or stressed and angry?
  • Do you consistently lose stuff?
  • Do you have lots of unfinished projects such as unframed photographs or house repairs that need to be addressed?
  • Are you out of space to put new things you’ve purchased?
  • Have you created junk drawers or entire rooms to store stuff?
  • Do you dread picking out what to wear because you don’t like any of your clothes?
  • Does it take you a long time to tidy up because you don’t have a consistent home for your things?

Once you’ve identified that it’s time to make some changes, you’re on the right path. Next, spend some time deciding if you want to take on the work yourself or hire a professional. If you take it on yourself, you can either take a dedicated week or two, or choose to spend 15 minutes a day. Whatever you do, write out your goals and what you want to tackle to keep track of your progress. Be realistic about what you can achieve—continual progress is more important than “getting it all done.” Find ways to keep yourself honest, like making a verbal commitment to your spouse or your family … and engage them in the process!

If you hire someone, find an organizer that works well with your personality. You need to place a lot of trust in an organizer, and getting a sense of their suitability to your style and temperament is important to developing that relationship from the first meeting. And make sure you enjoy being around them; you’ll be spending a lot of time together. Besides, getting your home and your life back under control can and should be fun!

Happy Organizing!


Has the warm weather got you thinking about the dreaded task of swapping your kids seasonal clothes and sizes out? Work with Erin Barbot & Co. to take care of this project for you and set up a system for the future!