Are You There Max? It's Me, Katy

by Katy on November 3, 2008 · 6 comments



I’m a mixed bag.

I am extremely self-disciplined in some areas of my life, and embarrassingly lax in others.

For example, it should come as no surprise that being good with money is a strength for me. I certainly see things I want to spend money on, but I know that not buying them will help me in the long run. So I’m able to intellectualize purchases and keep myself in the black. 

Keeping my house clean and tidy is not a strength for me. I’m good with laundry and cooking, but I really do hate doing dishes and appear to secretly enjoy cluttering up horizontal surfaces. I am aware of this issue though, and have worked very hard to get better. I’m light years better than I was even five years ago, but I’m still far from perfect.

Sometimes I get down on myself about my less than pristine house. And I can work up a grade-A funk if I let myself wallow too much. I want my house to look cute, like in a magazine. (But a cool, hip one.)

My friend Max, who I wrote about earlier in the summer sent me an e-mail this morning that included this line:

“Organization is about making your life better, not cleaner.”


Wowie, wowie, wow-wow!

That is so much more balanced. Organization is not about color-coded closets, alphabetized organic cleaning products and a perfectly clean house. It’s about having your home organized in a way that complements your activities, whether that be reading, sports, cooking, playing or art.

To be able to find what you need for what you’re doing. Without all the detritus of clutter.


Sometimes I need the guidance of a cool decorating magazine, but other times I just need a quick kick to the tuchus!

Thank you Max.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up wear it out, make it do or do without.”

P.S. — VOTE!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

LeAnna November 4, 2008 at 7:21 am

I don’t like EVERYTHING this lady does/says, but it definitely helps keep me on track–check out (or .net, who knows.) Helps with the decluttering issue, helps figure out routines for keeping the house livable, etc. Just a thought.


thenonconsumeradvocate November 4, 2008 at 8:14 am

I’m familiar with Flylady. My mother loves her and gave me her “Sink Reflections” book.

It didn’t really talk to me, although there was certainly good stuff. The bizarre rules such as wearing shoes that tie and always shining your sink aren’t for me.

I like cute shoes, and frankly — they aren’t lace-ups.

Perhaps I should re-read the book as I know she’s helped many people.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Emily November 4, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I’ve determined that one of my reasons for living is to make other people feel better about their housekeeping. My house is not neat and clean all the time (though I do try to stay away from major health hazards). So, if someone stops by and sees our mess, that’s OK, because then maybe they won’t feel like they need to clean up before I stop by their house. That said, I’m going to clean now before my photography clients come over tomorrow – I do clean for clients. Just not friends!


BohoBelle November 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Hi Katy,

I once read a book review about Organising for Creative Types (aka clutterers, messy types). These types like to have things where they can see them ie. pinboards, sorting bowls, piles!

I just did a google search, there seems to be some pretty cool and inspiring blogs about being tidy etc. which might give you direction or some new ideas.

I think this might be the book:

“Creative people can be just as organized as anyone else, but only if they arrange their desks, time, and lives in a style consistent with their unique way of perceiving the world.”

Hope its at your library.

Take care, BB


thenonconsumeradvocate November 5, 2008 at 8:25 pm


I think I may have sold myself short in the name of trying to create an semi-interesting blog.

Most of the clutter in my house is from the menfolk, (both big and small) that have inhabited my home.

It’s a good thing they’re all cute.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley
“The Non-Consumer Advocate”


Magdalena Julie Bragdon Perks November 7, 2008 at 1:44 pm

It’s tougher dealing with someone else’s clutter! I’m one of the creative organized types, and so is Husband. But there are times the place looks a little more creative, shall we say. You have to pick your battles. I gave up on clean floors when we raised sheep, so some mud doesn’t bother me now. I like the kitchen clean and the countertops clear. I don’t own a lot of kitchen gear, so this is easy for me. Sewing stuff, though, tends to get out of hand in the bedroom, but no one sees the bedroom but us and the dog!


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