The Reality of Our World at Home: My House is a Mess, and It’s OK


This is the second post in a series about reducing stress at home.

Before I dive into all of these great ideas and “Time saving shortcuts to make your life awesome!” I want to focus this post on the reality of our world at home.

I know when I read articles and blogs about keeping life more organized, cleaning schedules, or general housekeeping tips, I am interested in the topic but I also cringe and think, “I bet their house looks amazing, tidy and nothing like ours.” Even though I love reading about these topics, I often feel mom shame, and I am SOOO anti-mom shame! I want to be sure to include MY reality into this series before I get into the tips.

My reality is that our house is not well organized much of the time. *gasp! clutches pearls*  Our house typically has toys and clothes strewn around, and the kitchen is cluttered with dishes (some clean, some not). 50% of the time I’m ok with that.  

My actual kitchen status.

I say I’m ok with it 50% of the time because I wish it wasn’t this way. If I let it stress me out and force our family to maintain this house as the perfect organized space I desire, our collective lives would be much less happy for it.  I have my days when I want to pull my hair out with the mess (today, for example). Then there are days I just exhale and move on to a task that is more important to me than maintaining a perfectly kept home.  

I really wanted anyone out there who reads my future posts, about reducing stress at home, to know that these posts are meant to REDUCE stress and not eliminate it.  I do not have it all figured out, but I am pretty good at finding ways to work smarter instead of harder, and I love sharing those tips with others.  I hope you find the coming tips useful.  

Now, for those who do keep a well-maintained and organized home with kids, bravo!  I do not mean to imply that you sacrifice other life joys to maintain your tidy home.  As always, to each their own. Maybe one day I will be able to do both, but for now I live in a messy-ish house, and it’s a happy one.

Watch for my next blog post on tools to help reduce the stress of meal planning and grocery shopping. I’ll focus on minimizing chaos in the kitchen. 

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Tara Elder
Tara grew up in Jasper, IN, graduated from Indiana University with a degree in psychology and moved to Indianapolis where she met her husband, John. Over the next several years, Tara worked from sun up to sun down, racing toward professional burnout before realizing that there had to be another way. The chaos was maddening. In 2011 She hired a career consultant that told her she would be an excellent entrepreneur. Within the year and with the help of that career consultant, she started her own company, Simply Helpful. Tara’s goal with Simply Helpful is to reduce stress and minimize chaos for others in their businesses and organizations. Visit to learn more. In April of 2013, Tara and John had their first son, Jack and in January of 2016, Tara and John welcomed a second son, Wesley to the family. Tara has found the work/life balance she was craving for all of those years and loves helping others discover ways to ease their crazy. For the last 10 years, John and Tara have lived on the east side of Indianapolis in the neighborhood of Irvington, which is not just a community; it’s a state of mind.