In the world of social media, it’s easy to become entranced by the curated, filtered, and edited images we see every day.
How many times have you logged into your social media account only to find the perfect family, the most beautiful home, or a mouthwatering meal that looks like it was prepared by a chef?
Instagram is Not Real Life
Instagram has created a culture of perfection, where users constantly compare themselves to others and feel inadequate if they don’t measure up. Even I am guilty of this! I have cleaned off a space on the kitchen counter for that picture-perfect setting to show a meal I’ve prepared or moved a pile of clothes on the couch to take a picture of our precious golden doodle pup lying beside them.
This culture of perfection often leads to a desire to create an idealized version of ourselves and our surroundings, sacrificing authenticity.
While a cluttered space may not be aesthetically pleasing to some, it can also be a sign of a life well-lived. A space filled with books, souvenirs, and sentimental items can tell a story of a person’s travels, hobbies, and interests. A pile of laundry or a stack of dishes can be a sign that someone is busy, productive, and focused on other important things in their life.
These messes, while not pretty, can be a source of pride and should be normalized, not rejected. After all, we ALL have messes!
Instagram’s fantasy world promotes an unrealistic standard of living. We see images of perfectly clean and organized homes, spotless and clutter-free workspaces, and pristine color-coded wardrobes on uniform velvety clothes hangers. While these images may be aspirational, they can also be damaging to our self-esteem and our sense of self-worth. They create an unrealistic expectation of what our lives should look like and can make us feel inadequate if we don’t measure up.
The normalization of clutter, however, can be liberating. It allows us to embrace the messiness of life and the imperfections that make us human. It encourages us to focus on the things that truly matter in life, like spending time with children or aging parents, pursuing our hobbies in which we are passionate, and truly living in the moment each day.
Create a space that works for you and your lifestyle, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s idea of what a perfect home should look like. Organize your belongings, so they are easily accessible and don’t take up too much space.
Embrace Clutter, Not Filth
Normalizing clutter doesn’t mean living in filth, however. It’s about finding a balance between living a full life and maintaining a clean and functional home. It’s about recognizing that messes are a part of life and it’s okay to let them pile up sometimes. It’s about giving ourselves permission to relax and enjoy life, even if it means letting the dishes sit in the sink for a few hours or leaving the laundry unfolded for a day while we pull out a pair of clean socks to contain our smelly feet that day.
Normalizing clutter means giving ourselves grace when we’ve had a difficult day and just don’t feel like cleaning.
Embrace the power of imperfection. Instead of trying to create a picture-perfect home, embrace the messiness of life and find beauty in the imperfections.