Give Me a Space and I Will Fill It

Give Me a Space and I Will Fill It at

Last summer, I bought a new purse.

I went to a home party and the salesperson logic just made so much sense. And I needed a new purse.

Really. I did.

It had one feature that’s a must for me. The cross-body strap. When I lived in Thailand, my purse-buying habits changed forever. When the only way to get from place to place is public transportation, scatter-brained people like me need purses that stay attached to the body. We can’t use purses that require remembering to grab them before getting out of the taxi.

But this other strange thing happened when I bought my first no-hands purse.

I realized I liked a small purse.


The kind that makes most people say, “Oh. I could never have a purse that small” and assume I’m a minimalist.


So for the past 15 years, I’ve been rocking the micro-purse. Just big enough for a phone and a wallet and maybe some lipstick. Oh, I manage to stuff more in there than any Normal Person you’ll ever meet, but there was a limit.

Because it was small.

So, even though this purse is cute (it has DOTS!) and meets the where’s-my-purse-oh-right-it’s-hanging-on-my-body requirement and it’s not HUGE or anything, it’s too big.

Because if you give me a space, I shall fill it.

With enough stuff to completely fill a plastic shopping bag.

With enough stuff that I could no longer find ANYthing I actually needed. Enough stuff that I was embarrassed to have to dig for my wallet because randomness emerged and fell to the floor. Enough stuff that when my daughter was carrying a purse, she grabbed a receipt, got a zoned-out look on her face, mindlessly wadded it up, and stuffed it in her purse.

And then laughed.

And said she was doing what Mom does.

You could be totally logical and say I could apply the same Can’t Keep This principles that come naturally when I have a small purse to my big purse.

But that doesn’t happen around here.

Ooooohhhh, space!!!! Must fill!!! happens.

I just have to go with it.

Meet my new teeny-tiny purse. Honestly, it might be too teeny-tiny.

I’m nervous.

Edited to add:

I wrote this post earlier in the week. Now I know that blue “purse” IS too small. I’m using it, but looking for one that’s small but not teeny-tiny.

Edited to add:

I went back to the big purse TEMPORARILY because I needed to stuff it with my Kindle and some snacks for a track meet. Hmmmph.

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Hiding Solutions from Myself

Hiding Solutions from Myself -

I can come up with some great solutions.


But the hidden ones rarely work.

While I’d love for my house to look perfect at all times, some of the ways we make things work keep it from looking perfect.

Half-full (or worse, ALMOST full) water bottles grate on my nerves. I try to avoid letting them happen, but they happen. To keep from wasting the nobody’s-gonna-to-drink-it-now water, we use it to water the plants.

Actually, Hubby does. In our house, he’s the one who handles NOT killing plants.

When one of the irritating bottles appears, everyone knows to take it to a certain spot in the breakfast area.

But as I found when I decluttered/switched-out-old-storage-containers-for-new-ones recently, I once had the really great idea to put them in a less obvious spot. A logical spot.

Logical + Less Obvious = Doesn’t Work ‘Round Here.

Really, it would be so nice if those eyesores could be two feet away, hidden inside a cabinet.

Oh well.



Go declutter something, ANYthing, right now! Take a picture and follow the instructions here to enter to win a $500 Home Depot giftcard from Extra Space Storage here! No before pictures necessary!!


Not Feelin’ It

I’ve been in a funk. A funk that makes me feel like I have nothing worth writing on here. I’m hoping that if I just write about the funk, the funk will go away.

Here goes.

I’m tired. And a little stressed. I’ve mentioned my mother-in-law’s health in passing, but it’s not a passing thing. It’s a thing that is greatly affecting our entire family. She’s 82. She has osteoporosis. I never knew what that really meant until she started dealing with the horrible effects of it.

Basically, almost two years ago, she started having severe back pain. She’d been in the hospital for an asthma attack right before the back pain started so we thought it was a muscle thing related to being in the hospital bed.

Finally, when it didn’t go away, we found out she had a compression fracture in one of her vertebrae. Thankfully, there’s a newish thing called kyphoplasty that helps. But it involves time in the hospital because she has to go off her blood thinners before the procedure and then be monitored for blood clots after the procedure.

It was a relief when she got relief. But then it happened again. And again. And again and again.

The poor woman used to be 5’8″. She’s now, maybe, 5’2″. Any little thing can cause a fracture and we often have no idea what happened.

And now, in the past month, she has been in ICU for almost three weeks and on a ventilator for almost two. The lack of mobility combined with what would be normal everyday illnesses for most people brought about severe breathing issues to the point where we were told we “need to be ready.”

Thankfully, she’s doing much better and we’re hoping they will take out the ventilator tubes soon. (If you’ve never seen what it really means to “be on a ventilator,” just know it’s awful. So much worse than I ever imagined.)

Now, the challenge will be to figure out what’s best for her to get the care she needs.

But that’s life.

It’s just another example of how planning exactly how things will work in an ideal, house-is-perfect-all-the-time world is pointless. Life happens. It throws crazy things my way. I want to live those crazy things, though, because they’re usually the things I’m so glad I did.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all the craziness, I’m doing the dishes. I didn’t do them last night. Honestly, I just didn’t want to. I was exhausted.

But I did them this morning. My dishwasher is running right now. I’m thankful for the focus I’ve been able to place on my home through this blog for the past five years. It has allowed me to fully UNDERSTAND that in the midst of crazy, out-of-my-control times, that one simple routine will go far in the quest for sanity.

Thanks for listening.



If the craziness of life makes you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and you don’t know where to start, I recommend my e-book 28 Days to Hope for Your Home (Not for the Mildly Disorganized).




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