• Clementine Hacmac

Clutter isn't a bad thing.

Sounds counterintuitive for a home organizer to say that clutter isn't wrong, right? Hear me out.

There is a lot of visual content out there telling you that clutter is "bad". From perfectly labeled and lined up pantry items all in matching mason jars, to monochromatic minimalist closets in tones of cream and pastels, to a pristine dining room where the only thing on the table is a single flower in a designer vase. It looks so easy, all you have to do is "XYZ" and then you too can have the amazing home of your dreams. Yeah, right. Tell that to your cat who keeps jumping on your perfectly styled desk and batting your office supplies to the ground, or to your partner who just can't quite seem to get their laundry put away on a timely fashion and instead leave it in a pile on the floor in your oh-so intentionally curated bedroom.

Life is messy, and that's okay.

Clutter and mess is inevitable and we have to stop thinking about it as a "bad thing." What happens is that we internalize it, and we become "bad" at taking care of our homes. This can escalate in a lot of different ways. It can create an environment of constant distress or anxiety: "My house is a mess and I always feel like I have so much to do, I can't relax." Or it can just become apathy: "Fuck it, I'm not good at this so I guess this is just how it will always be." It can also leave to exclusionary behavior: "I don't want anyone to see this, and I'm too ashamed of what people will think that I will just never invite anyone over." Everyone has a story about what clutter means about them.

Here's the thing. It's impossible to live clutter-free. And it's not about you. Mess happens and while there are steps you can take to prevent it, it's just an inevitability. The first step towards getting organized is deciding that you want it to be different and that you deserve change. Sometimes that looks like taking a DIY approach, sometimes it means hiring a professional.

Either way, it's time to ditch the past stories and rewrite a new narrative.