Messy Drawers

Sharing our messy drawers. Brace yourself.

A very sweet young lady was at our house recently for a get-together. She was so polite and gracious, and even complimentary of our home. She went so far as to say that it should be in a magazine. I about choked on my hot chocolate, cracking up on the inside wondering what kind magazine she was thinking of. Maybe an article about how not to run an orderly home or something along those sorts?

Messy Drawers


You see our home doesn’t look like a picture-perfect magazine feature by any stretch of imagination, unless someone’s coming over for dinner or a get-together, then even still, if you open any drawer, cabinet or closet door you will find this …


Messy Drawers

and maybe this …


Messy Drawers

or this …

Messy Drawers


and some of this …


Messy Drawers

The truth is we live in our home. Really live in it. Things are going on, projects are happening, sometimes illness hits, and the laundry doesn’t get put away for days on end. Our home hosts two adults, two teenagers, and one large very shed-y dog. We love to hosts large groups of friends at the drop of a hat. Our large mess of a yard needs constant attention. We have jobs to tend to, school work, school activities, church and youth activities. Life is going on in our house whether or not the dust bunnies care to pause or not. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

So when I see images online or in magazines with those fairy-tale-ish blurred edges of smiling children prancing through flowery backyards with bubbles floating about, or a tidy, perfectly clean and organized home with a happy mom who I know must have all the clothes washed and folded and put away or she wouldn’t be smiling like that, so relaxed in her bright spotless kitchen with her small toddler chilling out on the clean countertop that dons a fresh bouquet of flowers, I have to think, that more than likely, that’s not real.

Real leaves room for messes. Real leaves room for bills and tax papers. Real leaves room for smudges, dog hair, and dirty dishes. But real also leaves room for fun and laughter and music and resting and movie time and game time and I’m being lazy time and I just want to talk time … time to chill out, time to read, time to recuperate, time to think, time to catch up on housework, time to hurry and vacuum all the dog hair up because people are getting ready to walk through the door …

I try to remember when I see the blurry edged pictures of the perfectly perfect family home life, the blurred edges are there for a reason: they cover up all the smudges and things behind the closet doors and drawers and stuffed underneath the bed.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had my druthers, the truth is I like things to be neat. I like things to be cleaned up. I don’t work well amid a mess. My mind doesn’t function at it’s best in a giant whirlwind of clutter. But another truth is, when life is going on, that’s what usually happens. Mess and chaos happen. Thankfully there are doors and drawers and closets, and spaces underneath the bed to cram the less important things of life until they can be tended to.

So is ours a magazine worthy home? Maybe not so much. But I’ll take our crazy mess—our crazy fun-filled, dog hair-covered mess any day to a blurred out, white-washed life.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Subscribe here to have all updates delivered to your email.


  1. 1


    Amen! And you know, I think that must by why God made cabinet makers, basket weavers, and the like. He knew that in the real world, we needed somewhere to hide all of our clutter so we could get on with living. And you know, my Grandmother even had one closet in her house where she kept her mess. So, if she could do it, I don’t feel so guilty. Although, the rest of her house *was* immaculate. Oh well. Progress.

  2. 2


    I love this post Amy; so often I feel like our home isn’t good enough because we don’t keep it tidy all the time. We most DEFINITELY live here, but at the end of the day it’s so much better to spend time with my boys than worry about every ounce of cleaning that could be done!

    • 3



      It’s so good that you understand that when your boys are young. It’s easy to miss out on the important while worrying about all the “stuff.”

  3. 4

    Chris says

    Love this! While I prefer everything in its place, that just isn’t reality. My reality includes 3 somewhat messy eleven year olds, two labrodors who shed and a husband that is a clutter bug. And then there’s me with food props everywhere. Like you, we really live in our house. :)

    • 5


      Hello Chris,

      The blog stuff! I didn’t even get pictures of that craziness. I can’t seem to get keep it all in one area. It’s bad.

  4. 6


    Your drawers are not too bad compared to mine. But compared to the other photos of your home I saw, I am a little taken by surprise to see a beautiful house like your can have some messy corners. Now I don’t feel so bad about my own mess. lol My apartment is worse… lol. I can’t even make my apartment look like a magazine spread no matter what. I therefore never invited anyone to my apartment:)

    • 7


      Ordinary J,

      When we lived in an apartment it was soooo difficult to make it presentable, BUT I do think it’s important to have people over if that’s what you like to do.

  5. 11

    Angie Brooks says

    THESE are the blog posts I love the most. The honest, open, here’s my life and welcome to it, let’s chat about real stuff post! You are awesome and your house is beautiful–who needs perfect? That isn’t real, and it just makes people feel bad because no one can do it and everyone thinks they should be able to.

  6. 12

    Tracey @ Cooking with Love says

    Thanks for sharing! Nice to see I am not the only one with dog hair on the floor everyday. My dogs are super shedders. I have an office desk piled high with stuff and a voice in my head that repeats “I’m gonna file all that stuff this weekend when I’m off work!” All in due time I say! :-)

  7. 13


    Adore your honesty! It’s so refreshing to see a home that is loved and lived in. All I ever see are these pristine and sparkly homes. They are beautiful, but they’re missing heart. Heart is the dings in furniture, dog hair tumble weeds that always evade the vacuum, and hidden messes and marks. Every now and then those sparkly photos can make me feel bad about my own home and then I remember that a HOUSE takes great pictures…. A HOME is meant to be lived in. Thank you so much for this post!

  8. 14

    Vicki says

    Thank goodness, I thought it was just me who threw everything into drawers so it looked tidy on the surface! I live in France on our farm where we have been having a lot of rain recently which means a lot of mud for our 2 German Shepherds to track over my floors… I am just sitting down after mopping the floors for the 4th time this week. However much it smells of dog and has cluttered worktops, home is where the heart and your family is, which is more important than magazine-worthiness. I’m really enjoying your blog, keep up the good work….. Bon dimanche!

  9. 15


    I’d die if someone opened up some of my kitchen cabinets. The counters look clean but the drawers/cabinets are filled with all sorts of craziness! I swear, it sneaks up on you! I wouldn’t trade the cat hair balls of tumbleweed rolling around here for a picture-perfect home!

  10. 16


    I LOVE this post, Amy! It was great to read that someone else lives like we do. We have 2 teenage boys that are on the go with school, church, sports and just life in general. Years ago, Rob and I decided we wanted to LIVE in our house, enjoy each other and our friends. It sounds like you all do the same…way to go!

  11. 19


    Thanks for this, Amy. I’ve been struggling lately because I have a hard time working in a mess. With six of us in just over 1,000 square feet, I feel like there’s nowhere to put things sometimes. I needed to feel not so alone in it today.

  12. 20

    Wenderly says

    Totally needed to read this today! My cabin fever, sub-zero, snowy, salt encrusted self needed to read this.

    *deep yoga breath*

    I am now embracing my much-to-messy-at-the-moment, fun-filled, four person one dog, chaotic, crazy home.

    • 21


      Your home is lovely no matter what it looks like! You’re gifted in that way—to make anywhere a special place to be!

      Last night, I actually got around to FINALLY switching my summer clothes out for the winter ones. They’ve been sitting in containers in the middle of my floor for months. AND moved on to the rest of the closet AND the bathroom drawers. It was one big time Saturday night, let me tell ya. 😉 Got a little done, much more to do, but just getting one thing taken care of has made me feel so much better.

  13. 22

    Isabelle says

    thank you….simply thank you for making me feel OK about LIVING in our home as well :) Well said. :)

  14. 24

    AnitaNC says

    I know I am late with this comment…

    My elderly aunt used to say “a messy house is a happy house”!

    I think I should get a sign made and hang it in my house!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *