My house is completely overwhelming me. Let me be honest about something here — I’m a cluttered person. I make piles (of mail, books, and mostly clothes), and available surfaces, be it a kitchen table or a ledge, tend to never stay clean.

It’s something I’m aware of, and I’ve worked hard to get better at it, especially since Michael is the complete and total opposite. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to break the clutter habit, no matter how many organization blogs I read or storage totes I purchase. I don’t like this aspect of myself, but I can’t seem to break free from it.

It’s genetic. I’m not blaming my mom here, but there really is no question that I inherited the clutter gene from her. She often complains to me about how she just can’t get it all together and her house is overwhelming her — and I TOTALLY get it. My sister has it too — possibly worse than the rest of us (her bedroom floor is a mine field of laundry. Thankfully I’m not that bad!) and I’m starting to worry I will pass it on to Owen.

Like I said, Michael is the opposite. He is so neat. His closet is immaculate. When I met him back in college he was living in the tiniest room I’ve ever seen and everything had a place. So specific a place, that he would notice immediately if something was in the wrong spot.

He has been so patient with my clutter and while he does eventually snap (there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve found my piles dumped squarely in the middle of our bed. Basically, deal with it now, or don’t go to sleep), he loves me despite the fact that I just can’t get it together.

Our house isn’t gross or anything. I’m not a hoarder and having a dog like Kodiak means the vacuum comes out multiple times a week. But I just can’t get a grip on the clutter.

HELP ME.

Are you organized? How do you do it? Where do I start? I have a small goal: we are hosting a holiday party in just nine short days and I’d really like to feel in control of the mess. I know everyone says do a little at a time, but as soon as I start I just want to stop again and curl up into a ball of denial.

Michael is reaching his breaking point again; I can feel it. I might be sleeping on top of Clutter Mountain next week if I don’t get my act together.

Please, please, please share your organizational tips with me. I’m begging you!

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