20 Ways We Procrastinate at Home

An unmaid bed with a wood headboard and nightstand.

Organizing homes from top-to-bottom, we cull through physical clutter, create automated systems + streamline routines while navigating any emotional roadblocks that unexpectedly pop up along the way.

After working, hands-on with reluctantly overwhelmed clients for over 10 years, we’ve seen (+ heard) it all. And today, we’re spilling the beans.

Here’s an eye opening round-up of the Top 20 Ways We Procrastinate Around the House as well as some of the lies we tell ourselves.

Folding Laundry

When it comes to folding laundry, I’m pretty sure we’re all guilty. You know, the scene with an overflowing basket filled with clean laundry that gets reluctantly push aside because — ‘i don’t feel like doing it right now.’

Incoming Mail

As you stare at the towering stack of mail (or if you’re John you’re avoiding eye contact with the mail-lady who brings it to the front door because she couldn’t fit it in the mailbox *wink*) you say to yourself — ‘if I move over here it’ll be out of the way for now but I’ll go through it over the weekend’ even though we both know that won’t happen.

The Junk Drawer

As you open the drawer to your home office in search of a pen so you can jot down a quick note on the back of an envelope, you think to yourself — ‘shoot, I know it’s in here somewhere?’ but truthfully what’s even in that office junk drawer? Instead of making a point to go through + empty it out, you toss a random rubber band, the extra battery from who knows what + a pair of scissors into the drawer + shut it. Shhh, I won’t tell but you need help with office organization *wink*!

Purses + Handbags

This one’s the worst. When you’re running out the door only to realize that you forgot to swap bags — are you kidding me? I’m already running late...I don’t have time for this! So, instead of grabbing the handful of things we need (i.e. security pass for work, medication, cellphone) we hastily dump it upside down shanking everything but the kitchen sink into a heaping pile on the floor, because we’re in a rush. Not to worry though, ‘I’ll clean it up when I get home tonight’ — ha! After a long days work that’s exactly the thing to put you in a good mood when you get home ;)

The Coat Closet

You know, the place where your favorite jacket from college is hiding along with a million pairs of shoes + dozens reusable grocery bags you never remember to take with you when you go. Instead of tackling it head-on we shut the door quickly while trying to convince ourselves that  — ‘if only I had more time.’ you know ‘so, I wont get interrupted.’ A closet organizer is most definitely in need but perhaps a few hours with a personal organizer is too?


A woven nightstand with paper, earrings and a plant on it.

Luggage Leftovers

The grim side of every fun + relaxing vacation is… Coming. Home. After navigating people, fighting lines + the bumper-to-bumper traffic leaving the airport *yikes* by the time we get home most of us need to book ourselves a mini stay-cation just to recover.

The last thing have energy to do is unpack. Instead of putting things away, we tell ourselves — No big deal, I’ll do it tomorrow. After all, I can live out of my bag a few more days...right?’ Fast forward to next week + our suitcase is still lying on the floor with clothes spilling out of it for gawd knows how long.

To-Do Lists

With places to go, things to buy + anything else that needs doing, we have a crazy amount of s-t-u-f-f rolling around in our brains. But instead of checking even the simplest task off of our to-do list, we turn a blind eye to everything on it because ‘I’m exhausted. Plus, it’s never ending + honestly, it’s easier to ignore it.’ — humm?

The Refrigerator

Gross containers of leftovers bounce from shelf-to-shelf. Stuffing more groceries + more leftovers into it until there’s no more room or we find ourselves saying — ‘ewww...what is that smell?’ Honestly though, other than me (the crazy Home Organizer) who likes cleaning out the refrigerator?  

Dirty Dishes

Nothing drives me up a wall faster than leaving even a small pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Instead of giving them a quick rinse or loading them into the dishwasher because, ‘there are other things more important to do.’ — they pile up one after another. Now, the sink is overflowing + before we can make dinner we have to dig through gawd knows what in order to wash that darn pan.

Almost Empty Bottles

Lordy, Lordy. The almost empty shampoo, conditioner + lotion bottles that are taking over your bathroom. You see it. I see it but for whatever reason, a little voice inside whispers to you —  “ that was expensive… there’s still a little bit left…. let’s not waste it.” Meanwhile your counter, under the sink + every nook in your shower is overflowing with basically empty or unused bottles.


An organized closet with wood hangers.

Your Clothes

You’ve looked everywhere + still can’t find the super cute blouse you bought last weekend + wanted to wear with your new jeans. Meanwhile the armchair in your master bedroom is being swallowed in clothes. So, instead of organizing your closet (or hiring a closet organizer) + making room for the clothes (so you can actually sit down + read a book in your chair) the piles keep growing because — you can’t remember ‘are these clean or dirty??’

Piles of Paper

Covered in paperwork… the system of where to drop action-items before filing them away is broken + there’s not a square inch of your desk that’s been spared. Fed up with the whole thing, you ponder the thought of getting rid of everything until the mere thought of accidentally making a mistake + shredding something you’ll need later stops you dead in your tracks.

#WayTooRisky

Instead of thumbing through EVERY paper to figure out what to keep because it’s important...you do nothing + the desk stays looking like a hot mess because — ‘it’s easier.’

Sentimental Belongings

Memories, keepsakes, photos, art + your kids old toys. Deciding what to keep vs. what to get rid of is a g-i-norm-ous challenge + you want to be in the right mindset to address this mess. Without a plan, you keep everything because — ‘it reminds you of (insert memory!)’ Now fast forward.

Year after year, you accumulate even more stuff. The anxiety continues to compound + every time you look at the jenga-sized tower of memories you shrug it off + say — “eh…I’ll get to it later” …but you never do.

Old Magazines

Holy leaning tower of magazines…do we really need that 2014 issue of Real Simple, Rue Magazine or Domino? Of course not, but — ‘I really like (insert excuse) + don’t want to forget about it.’ So, instead of finding it online or going out + buying whatever it is that got you so excited in the first place so you can get rid of the magazine... we keep collecting.

The Pantry

It’s a thorn in your side every night when you cook dinner + each time you make a list for the grocery store. Whether it’s a cabinet or an entire room, there’s no rhyme or reason + you — ‘have no idea what’s in your pantry.’ So when you get to the store you end up buying things you really don’t need. (psst…we keep no secrets! Here’s our go-to Creative Closet Organizers in Seattle for custom closet systems).


An organized pantry closet with a rag, broom and dust pan.

Outdoor Gear

Seasonal stuff like outdoor camping or snow gear gets tossed + thrown into the strangest most difficult to reach nooks + crannies of the garage because — ‘it doesn’t get used very often.’ So aside from being hard to get to, it’s also out-of-sight out-of-mind which means that before your next big adventure, instead of checking to see what we already have we’ll likely purchase all new gear when we need it. Hmm, need help with garage organization?

Things to Donate

Hi-5 sista...you stuck to your guns + made time to organize the entire house (after all, you’ve enlisted in the help of a fantastic Clutter Therapist *wink*) but when push comes to shove + you’ve finished your organizing homework in between sessions. So the question becomes… what to do with everything that needs to be donated? Instead of putting them in the car to take with you next time — ‘because it’s too far + I’m already exhausted’ you pile them next to the front door + convince yourself that you’ll grab them on the way out the door.

Projects

Be it gardening tools, lawn equipment or your binge-worthy craft supplies when we’ve finally finish a project but miss the mark in terms of cleaning up because — ‘there’s too much stuff.’ Unlucky you, the next time you go to work on a project it’s going to take longer to get started because we get to clean up first.

Holiday Everything

I love the holidays let along any other excuse to celebrate tremendous moments! To deck the house with holiday cheer + year round seasonal decorations but have you noticed that come time to put things away... excitement  fizzles. Instead of packaging things up + putting them away the right way remind ourselves that — “the party was a whole heck of a lot more fun than clean up.”

The Drop-Zone

We grab everything we from the car + bring it inside but instead of putting it away, everything gets dropped.. literally in stride. We promise ourselves that we’ll empty our gym bag +  put away all of the shoes when we get home (because what toddler wears shoes in the car...right?) But in all reality, after a long + exhausting day it gets de-prioritized because there’s million other things that we need to get done  before doing any of that.

A walnut end table with perfume, a designer watch and white flowers.

Sometimes it feels as though these clutter excuses are hardwired into our brains.

Instead of creating the beautifully organized stress-free lives we crave, admire from afar + obsess over waking-up to everyday — because there are certain things in life that fit for a queen!

We. Avoid. Dodge. Side-step. Ignore.

Sound the alarms, if that’s not an eye opener?!

Much of the stress [we] feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what [we] started.
— David Allen

Considering we already live in a crazy stress-filled world, I challenge you to pay attention to your daily habits + routines.  Look for the procrastination-bug + where it tends to pop up in your world —- it might surprise you!

Remember that the longer we push something off + avoid doing it because... there’s not enough time…I don’t know how…we’ll get to it l-a-t-e-r.

Procrastination my friend (+ all of our clutter excuses) have a compounding snowball effect that drags us down the path of feeling helpless, overwhelm, embarrassment, guilt…especially when someone drops by unexpectedly.

Instead of focusing our energy creating the clutter free + organized life that we spend hours pinning online, our procrastination habit actually does the opposite. It tears us down + negatively impacts the way we perceive ourselves. #NoBueno

Promise me…

The next time you find yourself making an excuse. When things around the house are spiraling out of control. When you’re in the middle of a crazy cycle. When you recognize that you’re dragging your feet + putting things off until later -- do the opposite!

Embrace the life-changing shift that happens by getting it done in the moment. Don’t allow your future self to feel the negative repercussions of procrastination + just declutter your home (or) call your personal organizer; friend to do it with).

— Sherri


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