A rant about normalizing blogging … and tidying up … for actual real-life humans.
I have no idea how the heck to categorize this post. But I’m breaking rules today, so forget categories, forget SEO (search engine optimization), forget how many words I “should” have in an article. In fact, forget hashtags and trends and everything else that weighs down blogging in 2022. Let’s start fresh.
Hi, I’m Andrea.
I founded this blog. And while I’ve been kind of quiet here, for the past couple of years or so I’ve been sending weekly decluttering and organizing tip emails every Tuesday(ish) for my Tip Tuesday series for everyone who signs up for my email list.
If you’re on the list, you’ve been getting my freshest content weekly. If you’re not? You’ve been visiting some of my more popular posts, probably found via a Pinterest pin or a Google search, or maybe even TikTok or Instagram. (But I’d invite you to sign up for those encouraging Tip Tuesday emails, and get a bonus decluttering checklist, too!)
I don’t have my act together all of the time
In full transparency, if you’re wanting to follow someone who does have their act together all of the time, you probably shouldn’t listen to me.
My bathroom counter is a wreck right now after our family spent a week recovering from the flu, but who am I kidding, it was a wreck the week before that, too, simply because I was ignoring it.
But if you’re looking for relatable decluttering content from someone who’s been there, done that, then keep reading.
I’m a walking oxymoron
I’m definitely neurodivergent, probably ADHD (just like my husband and son). That means I have a predisposition to piling things in random stacks on my counters, or ignoring my laundry for days on end … and then I feel crippling guilt and anxiety about it afterward. I’m not a neat freak, and I’ve come to terms with that.
But I’m also a professional organizer, a first-born, a lover of a Pinterest Pretty Pantry, and a little (okay a lot) type A about some stuff, it’s just I lack the executive function to pull it all off quite as I had things in my mind some of the time. (See: crippling guilt and anxiety.)
I can struggle with decision-making or getting started with projects. But I also love organizing things AND I hate cleaning. (So if you’re here for cleaning tips, the best you’re going to get from me is grab a visual timer, pump some music, and race yourself so you can do what you REALLY want to be doing sooner. Or visit my friend Lisa over at Your Mom Village. She’s got cleaning down!)
Also, because of how my brain works, I’ve had to hack my way to what I like to call “stupid easy” ways of making my home work for me instead of against me. I have to make it easier to do the tidy thing then the lazy thing. And I love helping others like me figure out how to do the same in their homes.
I started This Modern Mess because, well, I’m a mess. And this modern life’s a mess.
So, if you’re a hot mess, too, and something I share helps you feel seen and reclaim a little more of your home and sanity? It’s worth it.
Sometimes I suck at blogging
There’s a lot of pressure to pump out content and use the right “terms” and solve problems for people. But what if the problem is you’re just overwhelmed and don’t know what terms to use to find a solution?
What if the “optimized content” loses its edge in the name of searchability?
For the past year, I’ve felt frozen in place. Wanting to share here, but not knowing the “right” things to say. Just writing how-to’s felt cold and clinical. But I also felt like Google wouldn’t like it if I just rambled about feelings and personal stories. (Remember: neurospicy. Getting started is sometimes the biggest And, let’s be honest … I skip straight to the “recipe” and ignore the personal story at the beginning when I’m short on time, don’t you?)
What the mess?
But today I felt like saying, “forget this” … Or, to quote my Southern born-and-raised bestie, “What the mess?”
I’m not a cold, clinical impersonal person and neither are you. I’m a human being. You’re a human being. And we both want to spend less time moving piles around in our houses and more time just enjoying life.
Let’s talk about THAT.
Let’s talk about how homes aren’t built with how we actually live in them in mind. How pretty design isn’t functional all the time. How having trouble with organizing multiple-step processes gets our brains muddled and ultimately ends up in frustration and feelings of self-doubt or defeat. How “just do it” isn’t helpful advice when you’re struggling. How irritating it is to “be so smart” yet still not have cracked the code on having an empty sink and dishes put away each day. How seemingly insignificant details (like a sticky drawer, or an aversion to the dryer cycle completion sound) can sometimes bring the whole system down.
Let’s talk about how it’s exhausting to spend all your time trying to keep your house clean like society says you should.
Let’s talk about how past generations had a bigger community of support and how technological advances to “make women’s work easier”, has, in many ways, just made us more capable of burning out because we can do MORE, FASTER, and with LESS help, but that doesn’t mean we SHOULD.
Let’s talk about how we’re not LIVING in these houses we keep. We’re just … caring for them.
So, let’s start living. And let’s start letting go of basing what we do on what another person (or Google!) thinks.
You with me?