Dear Peter Walsh,
It seems as though I've been fighting this battle since I moved out on my own. My mom always preferred to clean up after us than teach us to do it ourselves, so once I was on my own...
My biggest issue, I think, is that I'm not well organized, I don't have a home for everything and instead of putting things away when I'm done with them, I put it off. Next thing I know, I'm overwhelmed with the amount of things that need to be put away before I can even start my cleaning. By the time I'm done putting stuff away, I've run out of time for the cleaning!
I do have three kids—10, 8 and 5—that I homeschool, which adds a whole new dimension to time management and staying organized. I do have some stuff that needs to be thrown away, given away, but that's not my main issue...
If you can help me change my bad habits and get more organized—if I can get to a place that I am proud of my home when someone comes by unexpectedly (instead of cringing with embarrassment)—I'd love you forever, Peter Walsh!
Louise, this will sound harsh, but you are asking me to do the impossible! You already know what the issue is here, and it's not the clutter.
You are an adult and a parent now, and you need to commit to living the best life you can for you and your kids. The organizing skills that you didn't learn from your parents you can learn now, but you have to want to. Without them, your space is cluttered and you are not teaching your own children skills they need to live decluttered and organized lives. Only you can change what you call your "bad habits."
Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour is just for you! Commit to making a change. Next, sit with your family and decide what your vision is for each space—the kids will really get into this if they can see you're enthusiastic, you're committed to this and that it'll transform your home. Then, follow the tour each month as together we declutter and organize each space. Get on board, kick those bad habits and get organized!