Should you feel guilty about your closet?

No, stress authors Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch in their book Pretty Neat.

If you’re closet is messy or you have a pile of papers on your desk, you might want to read this book. It includes the usual helpful hints and real-life examples, but, best of all, the authors reassure you that you’re an okay person even if your closet is messy.

First, you’re not alone. These authors have interviewed hundreds of women and talked to them about organization. “An astounding 80 percent of them feel they fall well short of the mark when it comes to getting organized,” Rockmore and Welch conclude.

Second, they explain why we all feel so guilty. We feel guilty because magazines, coffee table books, advertisements and TV shows are filled with “org porn.”

Rockmore and Welch define org porn as “that glossy, airbrushed fantasy world where everything is pristine, serene and perfectly in order, sort of like Playboy, but with chore charts and name-plated cubbyholes.”

You can’t and you shouldn’t try to measure your own home against this standard of color-coordinated closets and pristine kitchens. “An airbrushed land of perfect organization cannot be sustained in this messy, unpredictable world called real life,” the authors emphasize.

Third, there is no reason to feel guilty. Everybody has a touch of “cluttertosis,” say Rockmore and Welch. “Clutter is simply a fact of life, and regardless of our good intentions to tame it, items have a tendency to multiply like rabbits and take up more space with each passing season….We’re hugely in favor of ditching the guilt.”

Instead, they suggest that you set your own standards somewhere between being a hoarder and being committed to org porn.  You don’t have to be perfect. You can be “pretty neat.”

We’ll share more of Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch’s practical philosophy in our next blog post.

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