Room for Imperfection

Organization does not equal perfection. 

The idea behind creating simple space in your life is not to become enslaved to maintaining a perfect home. Rather it is to establish helpful systems so that you can live and use your home well. If we are vulnerable and honest, usually our own internal thoughts are our worst critics. Mine certainly can be. As a professional organizer sometimes I worry that my home should always be perfectly clean and tidily organized, but here is the truth. It is not always. Often at the end of the day there is a room that could use vacuuming, or unpaid bills laying on the table, some laundry that needs folded and put away, my husband's coin collection spread out on the dining room table, dishes in the sink. I could look at these things as failures; but they aren't. They are simply signs that my home is a lived in place. And the truth is that when I get up in the morning I know where to put all those things away. I have systems established for where things go.

Those systems can be a tool for my benefit, not something that controls me. 

Recently I refurbished some old dresser drawers and transformed them into a shelf for my living room. It took longer than I would've like. Each step of the process seemed to pose a complication I hadn't considered before. First I had to figure out what supplies I would need and where to get them. Then the painting process took longer than I anticipated and took up space in my home for a couple weeks. When I went to assemble the shelves I realized that lips on some of the drawers would prevent them from lying flush, so I had to find a friend with the right tools who could help me sand them down. Afterwards repainting needed to happen. Both my husband and I are novices with woodwork. We broke a few drill bits assembling the drawers. Some of the screws didn't lie flush with the wood. One of the drawers cracked a bit. There are still some small scuffs that didn't get covered up with paint.

It would be easy to dwell on these imperfections.

But in the end, when it was all done and braced against the wall, with some books and coffee mugs displayed, it looks great. No one notices these imperfections (and if they do, well then, they can keep them to themselves). More importantly my husband and I enjoyed the process of putting it together. And afterwards I got to rearrange my living room, taking out an old shelf and putting it to use somewhere else, which led to rearranging furniture and purging my sewing room and well, what can I say? I'm an organizer at heart. It was fun.

Maybe you think that you won't ever have an organized home because you won't ever be able to reach the level of cleanliness and perfection you see on Pinterest or displayed on television or magazines. My encouragement is that while that kind of living works for a select few, for most of us it is an unrealistic ideal. If I were to come into your home to help you, my goal would be to find realistic and functional systems that help you live in your home better. My goal won't be to help you achieve perfection. I'd be a hypocrite if it were. 

Within simple space there is always room for imperfection. It's called grace.