A lot of my efforts to delutter correspond with efforts to tidy. I clear the clutter off the bar in the kitchen (the prime flat spot in the house). I clear up the not-quite-dirty clothes on the bathroom counter. I clear away the school books on the sofa.
Many of the things I move have proper homes, although some do not. Some of the things I move in my quest for minimalism and simplicity need to be kept, although some can be disposed. But is it possible to have a home that looks like a magazine spread?
Probably not. Nate Ware discusses the expectation gap, and why we are unhappy. We see perfect images of perfectly airbrushed people, or perfectly designed rooms, but they aren't real. It is not realistic to expect to look like a supermodel, it's not realistic to expect my spouse to look like a supermodel, it's not realistic to expect my home to look like a supermodel. Expecting my home to be free of dog hair and unfinished homework is unrealistic.
Sadly, although I recognize this for myself and my husband, I keep working toward a home that is perfectly groomed at all times. I need to cut it some slack, and appreciate my home for what it offers.
My home provides safety and security. It protects me and my family (including dogs) shelter from the elements -- heat and rain. It is spacious enough to hold birthday parties, study groups and gaming nights. There is room for my family to gather together, and room for us to embrace our introverted natures separately.
So, I will try to remember to be respectful of the reality of the nature of my home. It is not a fantasy. (Although if brownies wanted to come tidy my home in exchange for milk, I'm willing to accept that, too.)