Let’s just start with a statement: What ever you are doing is NOT wrong. If your house is perfectly tidy, you are not wrong. If your house is messy, you are not wrong.
I’m talking about how you FEEL about your house.
I sometimes get called in to houses that look Pinterest Perfect in every way. When this happens I know something else is going on.
It might simply be Hidden Clutter. You walk into your friends house and boggle at the perfectly tidy, organised rooms and feel terrible about your own. But what you don’t know is that every cupboard is stuffed solid. Completely packed rigid with junk, more useful things than they could ever use and things-that-might-come-in-handy. You text to say you’re coming over and she’s freaking out at the thought of visitors! Moments before you arrive she’s yelling at her kids and frantically shoving toys and laundry into the hall cupboard.
You might work SO hard to get things to look the way you want. You’re exhausted but it never seems to be good enough. Maybe you’re starting to hate your house. Or you feel unsupported and alone.
Your house used to make you happy. It was so satisfying to decorate and tidy and rearrange things. But something has changed. Maybe your relationship isn’t what is once was. Maybe you’ve changed. Maybe your unhappiness has made you feel like just giving up.
I sometimes get called in to houses that are completely child-centric and seem to be Kid-Heaven. But something else is going on.
Complete chaos or just a bit crazy, either way, you’re not happy. You thought you would be. But your home is making you unhappy. You adore your kids and want them to have everything you didn’t. But you’re feeling like there’s an imbalance somewhere.
It’s not easy to keep a tidy home with kids (having A LOT less stuff, especially toys will make a massive difference.) They are walking mess-makers! And that’s ok! You have kids, people who visit are just going to have to deal with that. It does not make you a bad parent! It’s when the kids have completely taken over that it can become a problem. Your friend that’s a bit afraid of her 7 year old? That’s a family dynamic that that’s going to cause problems. Not just messy kid clutter.
Kids (and grown-ups) with different ways of being like ADHD can cause extra challenges. The energy you have to invest in managing your home when you’re also managing different behaviours is huge!
I sometimes get called in to houses that are pretty messy and it’s causing conflict. Something else is definitely going on!
When I hear a client tell me that their partner is a bit of a hoarder or a bit messy or a bit of a collector, alarm bells start ringing. It usually means my client is upset about their partners stuff. When they say ‘a bit’ it means they feel like it’s a LOT.
When you share a house with someone, relationship dynamics can seriously affect the environment in that house. Not just the physical environment, but also the emotional atmosphere. When we get together we bring our own personal expectations, often unspoken. Resentments build up and there can be a lack of understanding, respect and equality.
Chronic disorganisation, collector-blindness and poverty mind-set can have a negative impact on relationships. It can be heartbreaking. It can feel completely overwhelming. It might seem impossible to resolve.
Feeling embarrassed about your home is not unusual. Often we feel judged by everyone, about everything. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter. Something in you is telling you that something is not right. Not how you would like things to be. There’s not right or wrong way to feel. But it would be great if you felt better wouldn’t it?
There is always a way to change how you feel about your home. You could hang a kid made sign on your front door that says “Warning, free-range kids. There will be mess!”. Then declutter like a Mother (there’s nothing like a motivated mum for getting rid of junk.)
You can start conversations with your partner. Or start new behaviour expectations in your home and the systems that goes along with that. Or you can change your perspective about your home. Change what you think other people are thinking about it.
Maybe you could start on the path to making some big life changes.
The Tidy Lady
Declutter & Life Coach. Tidyness Expert.