What A Beautiful Mess

My magazine shelf covered with the last project I was working on. Even so, this isn’t so bad…sometime soon I’ll show you ugly messy. ;-)

You guys…can I just say something? Wow! I mean WOW…the “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You” blog challenge has become so much more than anything I ever could have imagine it would be. I guess I had a feeling that this was a conversation that should take place because of how many times the topic has come up when I’ve spoken with other bloggers and blog readers, but I just had no idea how profound it would become, or how amazing the response would be. Thank goodness for Jess Constable starting it all! One of the most amazing parts of this all has been to read each of your personal stories shared either in your own blog posts, on comments left on mine or other blogger’s posts, or through the emails you’ve sent. Thank you…each and every one of you for sharing so bravely and candidly. I am humbled beyond my ability to describe it.

My DIY idea wall. Not glamorous, but handy when I’m stuck in a creative rut.

I wanted to highlight one of the emails I received because in it Iren was kind enough to share a link to a post with me that Weekday Carnival had written. In it she and several of her blogger friends bravely reveal their real-life home…you know the lived-in, messed up, hurry-and-tidy-it-up-before-company-comes-over reality, and I found it utterly refreshing (Iren also shared a similar post on her blog too). Because you know what…I’ve admit that I’ve been guilty of visiting her blog before and sighing enviously aloud as I page through post after gorgeous post of her ethereally white and artfully arranged pristine space. I’ve wondered what it is that I’m lacking that makes it imposable for me to have a similarly spotless home such as hers…so reading/seeing the human side of her life (and her friend’s spaces) basically shattered all that for me (in the best way possible). Now I find her space to be doubly inspiring, since I know that it goes from looking like a clothes-bomb went off, to looking like this. I mean how awesomely brave is she?!!

My messy desk (you should see how high the piles sometimes get). And why yes, that is a binder clip holding my curtain closed. Jealous?!

Anyhow, I’m hurriedly trying to get ready for my trip as I write this, but I couldn’t help but think that I’d like to show you what my office looks like right now. No tidying, no arranging…just the not so pretty true life state that it’s really in (I wouldn’t want you thinking that it’s always looking like this, when the reality is that it looks like today’s photos a lot more than these ones). Lately I’ve been making a huge effort to pick up more regularly, so please know that a lot of the times (especially right after a DIY making project) it looks about 10,000 times worse than it does here (I’ll share photographic proof sometime soon).

The spot I’m most embarrassed to show…my supply shelf. I always have grand plans of organizing and making it look photoshoot worthy, but somehow it never happens. Honestly, I’m just glad to have all my stuff in one spot! And that exercise matt…yea, that’s only been used twice. Somehow I never have the motivation to workout at home. Oh well!

Does seeing the unfiltered behind the scenes look at things make you feel better, like it does for me? I hope so (or else I probably just scared you away). Thanks for being here today and for all the lovely ways that you make my day brighter. xo Ez

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47 Comments

  1. mandie / / Reply

    Oh goodness! It's so much better than mine! My husband & I live in a one bedroom apartment right now, and mt sewing supplies and fabric take over our little living room and dining area! It's so bad that there's little motivation at that point to clean any other clutter up!
    I, too, try to organize the shelves I have, but somhow they always end up cluttered. It's hard to find everything if it's actually in it's place. ;)

  2. indreams / / Reply

    that honestly makes me feel SO much better! i try to keep our place as clean + edited as possible, but somehow things keep sneaking their way onto my desk/the floor/the bed/the table…and they build up so quickly it almost seems impossible that they'd ever be perfectly tidy + organized again! and y'know, a lot of bloggers talk about how 'messy' things are 'behind the scenes'…but then never show it, so it seems like their messes are maybe our good days…! thanks for being brave + opening your (true!) space to us. :) (ps. thanks for also linking to weekday carnival's 'reality check' post…i giggled so hard at those messes, because i know exactly what they're like!)

  3. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  4. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  5. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  6. EB / / Reply

    I think your space is lovely! I'm in a small one bedroom apartment in NYC and what I would do for (stocked) shelving like that! t I think your space looks really interesting and inspiring!

  7. Laura / / Reply

    Thank you for that link! It is so refreshing to see truly lived in and messy spaces in all their glory! And I love, love the Things I'm Afraid to Tell You posts. I've been having ongoing conversations with my husband about the appearances of perfection that people put out there on blogs, facebook, pinterest, and it felt so good to learn I'm not the only one that has been having these conversations and thoughts. I think the blog world needs a bit more of a balance. There's a way to highlight beauty and inspiration, but also to keep things real.

  8. Colleen / / Reply

    ah we all have those messes…so nice to hear it shouted out!…..
    p.s Iren's space is not that bad for my thinking… I can not see the floor sometimes..love her honesty!

  9. lamina @ do a bit / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this post… it's made my day! Looking at all those "reality spaces" over at "weekday carniva"l totally cracked me up!!! I would feel right at home living in any one of those places! All I can say i,s thank goodness people do come over to visit or my place would never get tidied up :)
    ps. my supply cupboard is 1,000 times worse than yours and I am always "threatening" to sort it out… ha ha ha!

  10. Leslie / / Reply

    Mine area is a complete disaster. I am looking for shelves and I really like yours. Where did you find them?

  11. Danielle T. / / Reply

    This is SERIOUSLY refreshing! I feel so much more "normal" after reading these past few posts and seeing the evidence. I cannot go a SINGLE DAY with a clean room… I try so hard and it always ends up back at, well, status quo. Thanks for showing me that I am not alone!
    - D

  12. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  13. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  14. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  15. erin (aka bow & sparrows) / / Reply

    Thank you so much for this new take on blogging. I was just talking to my coworker about how I couldn't understand how some bloggers seem to live in such pristine conditions…especially those who have kids. It's so refreshing to see the real, behind-the-scenes photos of your space. I thank you so much.

  16. Didi / / Reply

    No! Are you kidding? You haven't scared me away. I always wondered how you keep it all together anyway — raising your daughter, putting so much into your blogging, all the mundane duties of every day life. Here's the thing, EZ — your first "home" may not look as you would want it, but your second "home", your blog, is sooooo gorgeous. Always.

    Hope you have a wonderful trip!

  17. justasiam |(Just As I Am...) / / Reply

    I just loved seeing the photos of all the "messy" rooms; I laughed out loud to see all the yarn strings laying on the floor etc. Sure I see a mess but you know what? I saw more than that. I saw the love for children, the comfort and ease of feeling "at home" and so many creative pursuits and artistry. Kids make our lives messy but the rewards are worth it; creativity is messy but it is so infinitely part of our expressive selves; feeling at home in our skins can be messy; but it is really what life is all about. If we don't impact our spaces, we haven't really lived, have we? Thanks for that refreshing little glimpse of how the other half lives!!

  18. Miz.November / / Reply

    Your messes aren't that messy, babe. And your home looks so bright and pretty. But I am very glad to see that I'm not the only one who doesn't clean up my work area immediately.
    The link was great! Thanks for that. Other folks leave dishes unwashed and have very naughty messy pups, too. This does make me feel better.

  19. Katrina / / Reply

    For what it's worth, I think your home is beautiful, Ez — warm amd cozy. And as for your supply cabinet, I think it's PERFECT, just the way it is!

  20. Casey / / Reply

    Your supply shelf looks pretty organized to me! I probably have a craft stash about the same size, but my is sprinkled throughout my entire apartment… That reminds me, I should go do some organizing. :)

  21. Emma / / Reply

    Love the neon yellow and pink tape on the DIY wall. Where did you get it? I have been looking everywhere!

  22. Leanda / / Reply

    Hehe… I'm so enjoying these posts EZ! I still think that even the messed up homes seem to have all the right 'stuff' with which to create a feature-worthy home. Still dreaming of my Eames Rocker etc etc! Love the yoga mat… of course I have one too… used twice :)

  23. Kirsten / / Reply

    Hah! You see to me your supply shelf IS perfectly organised and tidy! Everything looks like it has its proper place. I would love my shelves to look that tidy!…and cupboards, surfaces, boxes, floors… :)

  24. Deb Prewitt / / Reply

    I do like seeing that other people actually use their space and work in their space. I know that photo shoots aren't real life, but it is still nice to be reminded of that. And actually, your space looks pretty darn clean compared to mine!

  25. Iren / / Reply

    Hi Ez,
    I'm happily surprised that you mentioned my comment and made a new post out of this topic. That's great, many thanks! Because this is what we need, after having seen so many beautiful so-called design homes.

    Well, one further step would be to open the fridge and make pictures from there… But maybe this goes too far… ;-)

    Have a wonderful trip!
    Iren

    PS: I love, love, love all your colour inspirations!

  26. Maria / / Reply

    Your mess is pretty!! I wish I could be this organized! I see all these great food pics on blogs and always wonder how do they keep their kitchens so clean. Mine is a mess after preparing a meal and never mind trying to take pics during a party. I'm still a newbie at blogging and lots to learn but think I'll post something about all my lollipop disasters! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Nicole / / Reply

    I personally love seeing lived in spaces! Specifically craft storage.

  28. Emily K / / Reply

    Love it! I have a constant mental struggle with clutter around my house and longing for my rooms to look as polished as the ones I see in blogs or on HGTV. My husband is constantly reminding me that, however pretty and clean and organized, those rooms don't look lived-in. And as much as I love them, he's right. I'd rather be in a lived-in room/home than on a cold, impersonal set.
    My office space feels about the same right now – we recently moved into our home, and my office is very unfinished – my desk is currently housing my indoor plant collection, a tape measure, sketches for built-in bookshevles, etc. There's an IKEA light fixture sitting on my floor, and miscellaneous items crammed into temporary bookshelves. But I still love every square inch of it!
    I also envy your supply shelf! Wow! That is awesome! I wish I had that many crafting supplies!

  29. Abigail / / Reply

    I'm absolutely loving the "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" posts here and throughout the blogosphere. Above all, it's made so many bloggers more relatable to me than ever before and I'm appreciating the new-found sense of camaraderie. Bravo and keep 'em coming!

  30. Bec Nolan / / Reply

    This made me giggle so much, and feel OH so much better about my own home, truly it did! Thank you thank you thank you. I am loving this new "truth" movement so much. I feel like it's really something huge. I notice how you sidestep taking any credit for it too.. we know the truth though!

  31. tiffany / / Reply

    indeed a beautiful mess. i like it when my little working space looks messy like that, it means something's being created, which also means i'm walking around with a big fat smile on my face :D
    p.s. your blog is very inspirational :)

  32. steffi-h / / Reply

    Isn't ironic that the area you are most embarressed of is in fact one of the spots I'm most envious of?! OOOOOOOO the things that could be made with all that stuff…HEAVEN!

  33. Tricia / / Reply

    What a great and inspiring banner to look at as you work. I think your space is perfect, lived in and a great space to be creative.

  34. V / / Reply

    OMG… I have enough fabric to cover all of Texas. I have never thrown away a button or a bead. I've never met a scrap of ribbon or a colored pencil or a bit of charcoal that didnt feel like a personal friend. Additionally, I live with swine. All of my children have inherited their father's filth-blindness and inability to bend over and pick ANYthing up off the floor. And every stray, lost, sick or neurotic animal in a 50 mile radius is drawn to my gate. I am compelled to care for them and find them better accomodations, leading to an accumulation of animal detritus to rival the Chicago zoo. If my house EVER looked as good as yours I would throw a freakin' party RIGHT AWAY before it got dirty again.

  35. Barbara / / Reply

    I love your posts and the ones you are linking to lately. I have been following your posts for about half a year and never have I felt so happy to read it.
    I have always rated the relationship to my friends on how much of a faccade I am keeping up for them. How superclean and organized my home has to be to let them inside my apartment. (maybe also to let them see inside of me?). But the best evenings usually start with: "Let me move that pile of laundry out of the way, so you have a place to sit!" :) So you and the other bloggers opening their homes in a 'normal' state is wonderful, brave and such a delight to read and look at. Thank you!
    Also thank you for the confessions and the lack of perfection. We like that your design and your photos are somewhat flawless, but by all means you should not have to be! After all… have you ever met a creative person that is highly organized? I have not, because creativty needs mess, crazy and getting your hands (and your workspace) dirty!

  36. Theaxx / / Reply

    Definitely! Like you say, though we've all talked about how blogs only represent a one dimensional perfect side of ourselves, one can't help feeling that teeny bit inferior to all the amazing bloggers out there. I confess, you're a person who inspires me greatly (blush) and I always wonder how you do it all. Your home your workouts your tutorials, I always feel I could never produce so much beautiful work and live in such a beautiful way. It's very comforting to know you're normal and your desk looks a bit like mine. Like you say too, somehow it's MORE inspiring as I can see what's possible! Thanks for the honest post!!

    Thea.
    (spoonfulzine)

  37. Sasa Torregrosa / / Reply

    I like this kind of post. The tidy houses of the magazines/pics makes me feel like no one is living there! Thanks for sharing it :)

  38. Denise / / Reply

    I just love your blog! Just wanted to let you know!
    And where are those awesome shelves from?
    I wanna cover my house in them! :)

  39. Ez / / Reply

    Thank you so much for all your sweet comments friends!
    @Denise – Thank you! The shelves were purchased at IKEA a couple years ago. They have been so useful!

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