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SF Blog: Is This the Year?

Will I get organized in 2017? If history has taught me anything, probably not. But that's OK.

The Timehop feature on Facebook is really fun for seeing photos of my kids as toddlers and remembering special events with family and friends. But sometimes, it’s depressing.

The other day, this post showed up in my feed from five years ago: “I have one year to get my life in order before I turn 40. Setting some goals and getting a plan. I feel like it’s now or never!”

I looked around my house, with football cleats, school papers, and backpacks everywhere, and realized I’m 44 and still a mess.

Even when I sat down to write this column, I was bombarded with my past failures at getting my house in perfect order and organizing my life.

I wrote a few blog entries on this subject for, and I found one from January 2014. It outlined my resolution to be happier, after reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which I loved. The idea was to focus on one area of life for each month. At the end of the year, my already happy life would be off the charts. 

I dedicated my first month to tackling the clutter in my farmhouse, which was built without closets in 1890 because people then didn’t accumulate junk like we do now. “Once the clutter is contained,” I wrote, “I’m moving on to time management, making family memories, maintaining and fostering friendships, and other areas that need a boost.” 

By February, however, I confessed in my blog, “I had planned to spend one month getting my house decluttered and completely organized. As it turns out, I seriously underestimated the amount of clutter in my house, as well as the amount of time and energy I would have to dedicate to this project.” I felt a huge sense of failure then, and knowing three years have passed and my house is still a mess most days, my first reaction is that I’m still a failure.

But you know what? I’m happy anyway. Would I be happier if my bedroom looked like a hotel room and my house was guest-ready all the time? Maybe. Probably.

My plan for 2017 is going to be different. Instead of resolving to achieve some unattainable Pinterest-style goal for my house and my life, I’m going to savor, appreciate, and enjoy everything.

I know that someday I will miss the football cleats on the porch, the turtle tank on the kitchen table, and the school papers on every surface. Those things mean my house is full of life and love and the bustling activity of my children. Nothing could make me happier.

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