My favorite moment when I work with a client is when I walk in their house for the first time. I have them give me a tour and show me their trouble areas. I watch their body language as we walk and talk. I will ask a few questions, but most importantly I listen. And then we get down to business.
Welcome to summer! This is a note to all of you moms and dads who are spending your summers home with your kids. When my three boys were little, I loved our summers spent together. I was the mom who counted down the days until school let out because that would mean my boys would be with me all summer. I was excited. I was thrilled. I had well laid plans. But then life would happen and all those plans would be forgotten.
Did you ever read a children's book and have it still impact you as an adult? For me, that dang Dr. Seuss book "The Cat in the Hat" seriously traumatized me. How I run my house is because of the lessons I learned from that naughty cat! Here are a few of the lessons that I learned: • When your mom isn't home, keep the door locked and don't answer it. The cat didn't even knock; he just let himself in. To this day, if I am home alone, I don't like to answer the door.
Two weeks to go before the high school graduation for my youngest and I keep wondering if he knows some basic life skills. Yes, I am happy for him to start his next chapter. Yes, I am sad and a little overwhelmed that this fulltime parenting thing is almost over. I have put myself out of a job. When I read statistics that state you spend 90 percent of the time that you are ever going to spend with your child before they leave for college it makes me cringe. I really hope this statistic came from a fake news site!
The more I work with my clients, the more I realize that our homes are metaphors for our inner selves. While my business focus has been on the entire home, I am now narrowing my focus on kitchens and closets. These two areas of the home can hold us back on living our best, healthiest lives.
My mantra of late has been "good enough." I am struggling with facing my empty nest. I wish I would have done so much more with my kids. Did I teach them everything they will need in life? Do they even know how to fold a T-shirt? What about when they get a ketchup stain on their shirt. Will they know how to get it out? Yes, I do sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a minor anxiety attack. And I repeat the phrase that it is all "good enough."
FARGO — Paper. Paper. Paper. The universal item that most people struggle to organize. There are papers that come home with kids from school. There are papers that come in the mail. There are papers that you are given when you do banking. And then as we get older there are papers that we really need to have well organized in case of an emergency. So, if we were just going to focus on the essentials, what would you place in a file?
Sadly, this is the last year I am writing about having an organized graduation party. My baby is graduating this spring, and I am unofficially retiring this topic. The invites have been designed and placed in the mail. I am now up to the nitty gritty party planning mode, the stage that often derails me. Having completed two previous graduation parties, I think I have the perfect formula down.
Before I make a purchase I always have one thing go through my head: how will I dispose of this when I am done with it? Sure, I make those impulse purchases. I had that unicorn sweater hanging in my closet for at least 10 years and never wore it. Yes, it actually had an appliqued unicorn on the front of it. It was glorious. But I never wore it. I eventually donated it, and I am sure it is making the rounds at ugly sweater parties. But the idea of thinking about where your purchases will eventually end up should give you pause before you pull out the debit card.
FARGO — As I near the 50 year mark in my life, I have learned a few things I wish I could tell my 30-year-old self. Here they are: Create a welcoming home Too often we are stuck in perfection. We look to the pages of catalogs and magazines for inspiration but instead of just becoming inspired we get stuck in perfection. So, we do nothing. Learn to just create a welcoming home. A home where your best friend comes in unannounced and can sit on your couch after making a cup of tea. Mail can be on the counter. Your bed can be unmade.