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"Do you live here?"


It was a simple question, but it completely threw me. What did he mean? Of course I lived here. Hadn’t he been here just yesterday?

We were living in faculty housing and the maintenance man was sent to repair something. We had only been in the house a few weeks, but they were a busy few weeks and I was completely and utterly homesick. When Steve, the maintenance guy, came in that morning, I apologized for the way the house looked. He needed to work in the dining room and the table had all sorts of paper on it, homework, mail, you know, the usual.

“I’m sorry for the mess.” I said. That’s when he said it.

“Do you live here?”

“Yes” (????)

“Yeah. We live in our house, too.”

I could have hugged him. I confessed my (self-imposed) shortcomings and he offered absolution.

Do you live in your house? Yeah. We live in our house, too. No one should expect you to live in a museum. There should be shoes at the front door and dishes on the counter and mail on the desk. It’s okay.

But what if it’s more than just shoes at the door and dishes in the sink? What if it’s dishes at the door and mail on the counter and shoes on the desk? There is a difference between living in a home and living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome - kudos to the Flylady for that one.)

When we live in our homes, we may have clutter, but there is still a system in place to keep it under control.

Do you live in your house? Yes. There is mail on the desk, but it’s contained in a basket and we FAD (File/Act/Discard) through it every night or so.

Do you live in your house? Yes. There are dishes on the counter, but they get loaded in the dishwasher after supper and the pots and pans get washed and dry overnight in the drainer.

Do you live in your house? Yes. There are shoes at the front door, but they are contained on the throw rug and when that gets a bit out of hand, they are hauled to their proper closets.

Real life happens. We actively live in our homes. Is too much clutter keeping you from living your best life in your home? Can putting some simple systems into place keep the clutter at bay? Absolutely.

What systems work for you? What’s not working for you that you want to ask about? I would love to help you think through solutions for your home, so that you can live in your home and love doing so. May your home be filled with peace, joy, grace, and love.




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