So, What Does YOUR Office Look Like?

I have recently been asked the question that all organizers are asked at some point or another, which is: “So, what does your office (and home) look like?” Fair enough. I mean if I’m claiming that I can bring my bag of tricks and we can work some magic on your “in need of some TLC” desk, then it’s only fair that you want to know I can deliver what I promise. It goes back to the old adage “Practice what you preach!” It would seem a little questionable if I were to offer you freedom from stress and in turn I was a basket case myself. I suppose that would be a definite red-flag! But when you ask me “what does your space look like?” I have to wonder what answer you are truly looking for. Would it be more impressive if I said I’m a minimalist, everything is orderly and nothing is out of place…EVER? Or would it maybe seem a little more reasonable for me to tell that my home is functional, everything does have a home, and on a good day, most things are close to their homes?

Let me share a quick story. Before December 2003 (when my first son made his way into the world) I was completely OCD. That’s right, obsessive compulsive disorder, with a capital O-C-D. To give you a little perspective here I have snapped at my mother for not pulling the shower curtain closed after she took a shower at my house. And the towels, well they had to be hung a certain way with the tags out of sight. (I realize now that the easiest thing to do would be to cut the tags off, but that is completely beside the point.) After December 2003, and with a little baby boy in the mix, I made a real concerted effort to continue my path of perfection. I quickly found it to be exhausting, time consuming and down-right stressful. Imagine, causing yourself undue stress – sound familiar to anyone? Over the years, and two little monkeys later, I am proud to admit that I am a born-again organizer. There was a time when I thought of organization as perfection and to be brutally honest, would not rest until everything was organized…perfectly! The reality is organizing and perfection don’t even belong in the same sentence. In fact if you look up the definition of organized there is no reference to perfection at all.

So, when you ask me if my office or home is organized I could easily say ‘yes’, but if you are asking me if it’s perfect, well then the answer is a big ‘NO.’

What’s your preference? Functional or perfect?



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4 responses to “So, What Does YOUR Office Look Like?

  1. My preference? Functional with some attention to design, since I am a designer. I don’t like the word “perfect” and I actually avoid using it, especially with my kids. It’s too stressful, as you found out.

    • Thanks for the comment Dawn! Yes, I can see how as a designer you would pay attention to the design as well. I agree. I don’t like using the word perfect with myself, or with my children. It adds a lot of undue stress at any age!

  2. Great post Michelle! And thank you for being so honest with us. I definitely prefer functional over perfection because I can get to functional. Perfection is a goal I will never attain.

    My favorite quote from your post is “The reality is organizing and perfection don’t even belong in the same sentence.”

    • Thanks Alicia! I think you make a great point. You know you can get functional and that perfection is an unattainable goal. When we make a realization like this we free ourselves from a tremendous amount of unwanted stress!

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