Articles (Blog), Decluttering

Are You Struggling With Perfection Syndrome?

Does this sound a bit familiar?

~ What will people think! I have three kids, a new baby, I’m studying/working, my partner works long hours, the dog is sick and my mother has moved to Australia because the weather is better!! I have visitors coming and my home isn’t perfect!!


~ I give up! I can’t do this. No one is helping me, this is never going to look the way I want it too! I may as well throw it all in a heap and drink ALL THE WINE!

You may be suffering from Perfection Syndrome!

Note – If you are happy with your home, life and stress levels and pride yourself on your beautifully tidy home you probably DON’T have this syndrome.

However, if you are stressed out by any mess in your home, feel anxious or upset by the thought of unexpected guests and push yourself hard to do EVERYTHING yourself… you might be wrestling with this syndrome.

Interestingly, some people don’t realise they’re a perfectionist, and the people around them don’t believe it when this is explained.

Do you have the following symptoms?

  • You give up on projects half way through and it looks worse than before.
  • You think about but don’t start big jobs you know you really need to do.
  • You avoid trying new things or abandon new things half way through.
  • You keep trying and failing to get your family to stick to new behaviours.
  • You think you’re a naturally messy person, but it drives you crazy.

The end result of these behaviours is partly organised, frustrating messes. The people around you might think you’re unorganised, messy, and a bit of a ditz!

What they don’t realise (and you might not realise either) is that you might be a perfectionist! The mess happens because you have a fantastic idea, concept or vision in your mind, but you just don’t know how to make it happen.

Often perfectionists are so busy fixing so many things to make all of them perfect they run out of time to really tackle a big job properly.

Perfectionists often lose patience and give up! Why?

Because it’s not looking the way you imagined it.

Because you know it’ll never be how you want it.

Because it’s just too hard and no one is trying!

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash
Take a deep breath…

Working with your perfectionism.

Use your perfectionism.

Because you’re in hurry to make it perfect you may not have planned properly. This is an opportunity to really make use of your natural temperament. Do some research, ask friends for their thoughts, gather and install all the things you’re going to need before you start. Set your project up to succeed!

Know your limits.

If you’re a busy mum, get bored quickly or are easily distracted it is so much better to organise and declutter a little bit at a time. Unless you’ve hired me to get a space sorted it’s best to not start by emptying or pulling everything out in one go. Or if you do, only empty one small space at a time.

Schedule it out.

So, you want to declutter your whole house. Instead of feeling completely overwhelmed, attacking an entire room in one massive tidying binge, plan to tackle a part of each space at regular times. You can even plan it out over a year, but give yourself a break, it’s fine to schedule for a specific time if that works, but if it doesn’t it’s ok! Just move it to a different time, or give yourself a whole week to tackle that one small area. You will get there!

Break it down.

Let’s say you’ve decided to declutter your plastic containers and move them to a drawer. Start by just pulling out the takeaway containers. Sort them, take the ones you don’t want to your recycling bin and stack the good ones back in the cupboard. If you get distracted it’s not a calamity! If by some amazing chance you’re not interrupted, tackle another kind of plastic container.

Make it easy.

If you have trouble getting your family to stick to new habits of tidyness it might just be too hard and too perfect. Try to make it super easy and see if that makes a difference.

Please remember one thing though…

Perfection is not a requirement for a happy life.

The most important thing to remember is that it is OK to NOT have a perfect home. It is OK for family stuff to be laying around when someone drops around unexpectedly. It is ok to have some cluttered spaces. Life is not a tidy competition!

If you and your home look perfect every single time someone comes over, they’re going to judge themselves harshly for not coping. They have no idea that you nearly gave yourself an aneurysm screaming around the house like a sweaty maniac to get it to look like that.

Be real and be kind to yourself.


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