I’ve come to realize something about myself...I kind of like clutter. Not the hoarder type of clutter, but my-house-contains-a-family type. I promise, dear minimalist husband, this isn’t a ploy to get out of cleaning the house or purging unnecessary items. And, it isn’t that I don’t want to be organized, because I do. It just seems more appropriate that I refer to my method as organized chaos. I want all the things I love about my busy life scattered about the house in a cleverly structured fashion I've designed. This includes my never-too-many books spilling off every shelf, the kids many drawings hanging on any spot available, and my craft of the month supplies exactly where I left them. All the many bits-n-pieces of what makes our house our home.
This self-realization occurred as I perused the Home Décor boards of Pintrest the other night and found that although I appear fastidious in my selections, that isn’t what draws me to the photo. I may appreciate the color palette, the furniture design, an abundance of windows, and sometimes even just the layout of the room. Essentially, my pins all have elements of what I want in a home, but in reality, my favorites are those cluttered with all kinds of stuff. Isn’t that more realistic anyway? Well, it is for me at least. Items strewn about on the ottoman and stacks of papers on the counter? Absolutely normal.
My ideal desk, but with more books
I do have friends who not only prefer a spotless look, but actually achieve it. They have absolutely nothing at all on the coffee table that isn’t decorative or on their kitchen counters - I totally admire the dedication. And, I know deep down in places my husband would never mention after all these years for fear of impending death that he would prefer I be more like my OCD friends (again, I write that with sincere admiration). But, as I mentioned back in December, that's not me. Admittedly, I do aim for model-home perfection when I clean my house. However, when my kids arrive from school and the living room instantly reverts to cluster of backpacks, shoes, and notebook paper, all hope is thrown out the now finger-smudged window. I guess all I’m really doing is removing some dust and simply minimizing the mess with routine cleanings.
Perhaps this whole revelation is a defense mechanism to keep my sanity after having cleaned all day? Or, not ever wanting to clean all day? Perhaps I've somehow rationalized that despite carefully organizing every single aspect of my home it’s just not going to stay that way. I have three kids and unless I’m willing to devote my entire existence to following behind each them with reminders to put things away, it’s not going to happen. I really don’t need another thing added to my list of things to bark at them about and would like to keep it narrowed down to homework and basic hygiene. Besides, they know what drives me batty - a forgotten 450-piece Lego project in the middle of the floor, overly sharpened pencils left on the leather couch or an empty granola bar wrapper on the side table next to their juice box.
I don’t want to live in a house where my kids can’t feel relaxed or more importantly, where I can’t relax. Now my husband, if he hasn't relaxed by now, he never will. So, call it whatever you like when you have to kick three pairs of shoes out of the way to close the door, or when you have to stack the endless amount of drawings and classwork your kids bring home, or when you have to throw everything into a plastic container until you feel like going through it. You know what I'm calling it.
I know I'm not alone in all of this because of the many "pins" on Pintrest about how to organize your home, whether it be your pantry, hallway closet, underneath your sink or even your filing cabinet. In fact, if you do a search on Pintrest for "organization" you will find a hundreds of ideas that have been pinned well into the thousands. Kudos to those who are doers and not just dreamers - like me. Which one are you?
I came to realize this morning that it isn’t an obsessive-compulsive-disorder that makes me start scouring a cookie sheet pan to remove the those pesky little grease spots along the edge. It isn’t an OCD that makes me start scrubbing around the edges of the kitchen faucet to remove the water stains. And, it's definitely not an OCD that interrupts those two tasks to clean the onion skins stuck to the bottom of the veggie drawer in the fridge. I owe it all to my passive-aggressive tendencies. I have ignored these tasks so long that they annoy me - immensely. In fact, it seems that’s how all of my cleaning chores begin, by sheer aggressive necessity.
According to a really smart doctor at the Mayo Clinic, the following are signs and symptoms of passive-aggressive behaviors. I’ve added my thoughts on how they apply to me:
Unfortunately, for insurance purposes, it isn’t considered a mental illness. Fortunately, you still need therapy which may include mood-altering meds. Oh, wait...did I get that backwards?
Either way, I’ve apparently got a whole bullet list of New Year’s resolutions at my fingertips. So, maybe I’ll give some thought on how to change my “pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them.” Or, maybe I can simply not do anything until it really bothers me.
My photo adventures in Florida