“Your home is your special place to live life. Whether you’re living in your dream home or a small apartment, the same rule should apply to getting yourself organizing: Make the most of the space you have.” – Melissa Michaels, Simple Organizing

As many of you know, I’ve spent the last year writing “Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation.” I’m passionate about encouraging women to embrace a life of welcome in their ordinary, everyday lives, but it’s so easy to allow the notion of social entertaining to hijack the true heart of hospitality. We assume we have to spit-shine our lives, our homes, our stories before we ever invite anyone over and I don’t know about you, but that will never happen for me. It’s a vulnerable place to be – opening our doors to those places that most represent us, but I’ll take real, authentic everyday life over perfection any day.

Ever since I first started opening our door to family, friends, and yes, even strangers, the aspect of cleaning for guests and organizing has been one of the more difficult obstacles for me to overcome. I’m a free spirit and I need some of my Type A friends to come help me. I’ve always dreamed of a perfectly clean and organized home where everything has its assigned place. I’m still in awe of my friends that seem to have been born with the orderly gene where everything falls into place effortlessly. My mom has it and somehow our eldest daughter received it, but it may have skipped me a bit. I’ve tried. I’ve even done a “Clutter Countdown” series, which I re-read as I keep preaching to myself.

As a young mom, I believed that lie that our house needed to be deep cleaned and perfectly spotless before anyone came over because heaven forbid, I wouldn’t want it looking like five children lived here right? (Even though they did.) Wrong!

A warm and welcoming home where others feel comfortable means different things to each unique woman. Through the years, I have embraced the “good enough” mentality. Our home needs to be clean enough that your family and guests know you care about them, but not too perfect that they’re uncomfortable.

Since Just Open the Door  is the heart behind welcoming people into your heart and home ( a very vulnerable place, I might add), I’ve realized simple organization in my main areas isn’t about making everything perfect or Instagram worthy spaces, but rather, it’s about taking action in simple ways to create a home that inspires us and works for our needs. 

In this world of Pinterest perfect photos, getting organized can feel like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember, real life happens in the everyday, messy moments. Like a sink full of dishes that seem like work but they remind me of the life giving dinner I hosted this week where guests joined us at the table.

So while your home can be a comfortable and beautiful haven for the people you love, we don’t have to wait until we think everything is perfect or that door will stay shut.  I make sure my bathroom, kitchen and mail living areas are clean and picked up. That’s it. Don’t stress about all the rooms. Close doors so people don’t want in. 😉

My friend asked me to share a clutter confession. She knows I’m all about being real since I’ve shared both my beauty and bedlam moments for a long time now, but this is pretty pathetic. I can’t believe I am actually sharing this photo with you of the worst place in our house. I mean some of you may go running for the hills, but I hope it reassures you that everyone doesn’t have picture perfect closets either.

Yesterday, we hosted about thirty people for Easter and this is my Simple Organizing tip for hosting.

“Kids, grab everything you see laying around, and run it up to the hall closet.”

The beauty of this is that you really can clear a space quite quickly when company is coming and no one every sees it, but I know. 😉

When I look at the reality of this much stuff out of place, it causes me to feel disorganized, stressed and overwhelmed in where to start tackling it. (Are any of you uncomfortable for me when you see this picture?) I know it’s all about taking baby steps and hopefully, seems worse than it is. I am actually having heart palpitations looking at this, but it’s my unfortunate reality of our hall closet.

(This picture is my ministry of making you feel better about yourself. We’re all in this together and if you need a good laugh, read “How to Clutter Your House in 12 Simple Steps.”  :))

No one wants to live long term with spaces like this, but I share this to help you take that baby step of opening your door. We all have messes. It may not be as noticeable like this crazy closet but we aren’t meant to live life alone, so let’s link arms and take a step of community, of honesty, of welcoming others into our hearts and homes.

I’m off to declutter that closet because we all want an orderly vision for our home, and my desires is to create a warm, welcoming sanctuary that is functional and beautiful.