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Perfectionism – ugh!

Organization: As a professional organizer, people expect to come into my home and see every cabinet, every drawer, every closet absolutely perfect order.  They expect vacuum lines in the carpet and shiny mirrors.  Much of the time, that is what they find, but let me tell you a secret:  That is not always the case.  Life happens.  In the past couple of months, I have had hand surgery and threw my back out, not once, but twice.  I have spent more time in bed than ever in my life.  Despite, labeled shelves and drawers and meal plans, my family doesn’t always follow keep things the way that I like them.  It happens.  I can freak out over it or I can accept it.  With me “out of commission” they are taking on more than normal and I have to appreciate that.

I am a classic “Type A” person.  I like things a certain way.  While that can be an admirable trait, it can also lead to perfectionism and that can add stress. I’ve had to learn to let go of perfectionism – even though my livelihood is organization.

Achieving an organized home (and life!) is not a quick fix.  We have to move from one room and closet to the next to get organized and then strive to stay that way (often with little or no help from our family members). So while we can’t snap our fingers and have our homes perfectly neat and organized, we can let go of certain mindsets that make us think everything has to be done right away or in a certain way.

Organization Doesn't always equal perfectionism


 Focus on Finding Solutions First

Instead of worrying over the condition of clutter or your overwhelming to do list.  Focus on what you can solve immediately.

If you are frequently missing appointments, focus on getting your calendar organized. If you don’t use one, find one and start using it.  If money is tight, you can use free calendar printables that can be found online.  Write each family member’s appointments on it (include sports practices, Dr. appointments, etc.)  You may choose to use a different colored pen for each person.  Post it in a central location.  Each Sunday, take a few minutes to review your upcoming week and prepare anything needed (permission slips, forms, sneakers, etc.).  Taking a few minutes once a week will save you time and stress later.

Don't Miss Out on Any Home Organization Posts & Tips!

Perhaps, you are always losing your keys or cell phone.  Focus on finding a convenient place for these items and establishing routines to get you in the habit of always putting these items where they belong.

If dinner is always a game-time decision resulting in frequent take out or late meals, focus on establishing a system for meal planning.  I do this each Monday and prepare my food shopping list as I go (You can read more about meal planning HERE).

Letting go of Perfectionism on the Road to Organization

Perfectionism can be debilitating if it is causing stress in your life.  Things don’t have to be perfect.  In fact, they won’t be when you get started on the road to organization and they won’t always stay that way.  Here are a few ways to let go of perfectionism from Psych Central:


Organization Doesn't Always Equal Perfectionism - And That's OK


  • Become aware of your negative self-dialogue.
    Harsh and critical self-assessments reinforce perfectionism and procrastination.
  • Practice self-compassion.
    When we are compassionate with ourselves, our fear of failure is not exaggerated. Mistakes are understood as being a natural and normal part of learning and life.
  • Take the time to examine whether your goals and expectations are attainable.
    If they are not, give yourself permission to change them.
  • Break goals down into smaller steps.
  • Examine your irrational fears of failure with a professional. 
    A professional can help with putting your irrational fears into prospective and help you to reach your full potential.

Are you a perfectionist?  How have you learned to let go? If you haven’t let go, what is the result of your perfectionism?  How can you get that under control?

These resources below are amazing and will help you let go of perfectionism and start holding on to faith.


Because of Him,


Don't Miss Out on Any Home Organization Posts & Tips!

For the link between clutter and depression, see this post.

Susan is a writer, speaker and the creator of Women of Noble Character ministries. She is passionate about helping Christian women live a Proverbs 31 life in today’s world. The Lord laid upon her heart to serve women to grow in Christ, improve their marriages and manage their homes stress-free. She provides tools and resources on her website for Christian women to grow in their faith, deepen their relationship with their husbands and manage their homes well.

She lives in rural North Central Missouri with her handsome and hilarious husband and a myriad of dogs, cats and chickens.

Susan runs on Jesus, coffee and not enough sleep.