Tegan, I have a penchant for rearranging furniture, perhaps inherited from Grandma and Mom. I wasn't around when they reorganized their homes, but I always loved the reveal. They'd explain why the new couch position was best and I'd nod in agreement. These makeovers sometimes coincided with new furniture or updated television sets. In Mom’s case, I think Saturdays, when we were at Dad's, inspired her to imagine life without us underfoot.
Loved this post! I relate deeply and I wish I kept my space clean and tidy for longer than I do. Funny, I recently moved my bed to the other wall of the room before I left for a trip so I would come back home to a "new" bedroom lol and unrelated but kinda related, whenever I visit a friend or a place that I use the bathroom, I take a picture of the ones that stand out to me for whatever reason, I have a folder of these pictures on my phone 😂
What a beautiful post Sara. (And space). You write so eloquently. I very much relate to the cleaning part of this. My mom keeps an impeccable home. My dad always knows when she (or I) are upset, because we rearrange the furniture. She taught me everything I know.
But she’s in awe when I clean. She says when I’m done the place looks ready for a magazine shoot.
I normally don’t tell people this, but I struggle with OCD. Diagnosed at 7. Perhaps this has something to do with it. Control. Processing. Keeping order. An outlet. But I also enjoy it. I enjoy every chore (except scrubbing floors).
I get the enjoying an empty room after you’ve just cleaned it. A satisfaction. You revel in it. Perhaps some people take it as a judgment from you that you keep your place so clean and they don’t do the same. Just my observations in my personal life.💁🏻
loving your imagining of the story behind the screen. and the idea that the fascination with a stranger's space really reveals more about oneself, like a mirror reflecting back on itself. which reminds me, i need windex.
This post is fantastic and I even find it inspirational 🤗 We recently purchased a giant lint roller (the size of a paint roller) and it is a furniture game changer. We have four cats and things get out of hand from time to time. I think I’m gonna get on YouTube now and do some more cleaning!
PS - the Seattle show was so fun and I hope you are having a nice little break before your next round of shows ❤️
Being “performative” to myself is my forever mood. Nobody knows and nobody has to see/hear it.
As someone who isn’t like that but wants to be, I love how you have a real desire for cleaning and having everything spotless. I also love how you created this whole world for the guy with the cleaning account. 😊😂 A particular favourite detail was the girlfriend who broke up with him, “After graduating from design school she moved back to her hometown to open a Scandinavian inspired homewares store” Incredible, I want to know more about her. 😄
All joking aside though I love this post Sara, and I am envious of how clean you have your home.
I too, do love a redesign from time to time though, although unlike yourself I am never happy until I have it right, but when I do find what I like and feel is the right layout, I do tend to end up settling and can keep it that way for years honestly.
I envy your commitment to keep things clean and tidy. It seems like more of a hobby to you and it obviously brings you great satisfaction. I find it’s easier to navigate life when my space is free from clutter.
Unfortunately, my roommate happens to be messy, so no matter what I say or do or how much I clean up, it’s always messy. Sometimes, I’ll take a big box and put her stuff in it, but then the box fills up more as she throws her clutter in there. I’m a clean, neat person as well, so what does one do??
Thanks for the post. Grover (my dog) was throwing up last night (he’s fine, we went to the vet today) anyway the point is I’m very tired.
As someone who likes my space to be clean-ish and has things that have all their own places I found this post really interesting. I have what looks like a semi cluttered bedroom (the floors have Grover’s fur and toys and the occasional shoe) but no clothes as I would’ve had previously before Grover, you see when he gets bored he eats clothes. He’s not 2 yet so we’re still working on it. That was a long winded way of saying, to someone from the outside my room looks like a semi-contained mess, but to me everything has it’s place. It doesn’t bother me too much when things aren’t in place though, it just helps me find objects. My mum’s a self proclaimed hoarder (not a bad one, just likes to keep things) and my goal was always to be slightly neater than her but not in a way that I nag my partner about it like my dad used to. (My dad likes a very clean house). I think I hav3 a happy medium of both of those, I hope I do.
It’s funny though how much having a dog (particularly a Labrador) is also like having a 2-year-old, there’s always toys on the floor to try not to step on, and he puts almost everything he deems is food in his mouth, and he sometimes throws tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants (eg: dinner right now).
Thank you very much for reading! (And for posting)
Is the picture at the end of the ‘where does the good grow’ house? Love the greenery you can see through the window!
Phoenix, he/they/it, 16, Australia
PS: I already told Tegan but I’m finally on testosterone (as of 3 and a bit weeks ago)! Finally getting the trans affirming care I’ve needed for ages! 😄
Relating a lot to this one, in Virgo season no less 🌚
That picture looks like a nice space! Very white, but nice kitchen with plenty of lighting.
I've never held the need for rearranging. I think where it would be most functional and set it there until something forces the change. My wife disagrees and definitely likes to refresh things, so I can live vicariously through her. More power to you, and her and everyone who does so.
Sara, this is a fantastic and descriptive post and I related to it almost immediately. You and Tegan are master storytellers.
My poor mom would always have to answer my repetitive question if there was something different about our home when I arrived from school. I totally get where you are coming from.
Now that it’s my house, however, the cleanliness and orderliness of it reflects my prevailing energy level. Of course, we primp and fluff when company is coming over but otherwise, not so.
As you admire TT man for his apartment space, I admire you when you post videos or pictures of Sid with you living room or whatever in the background. “Her house is squared away,” I always tell Kate. 😊
Does your eye start twitching when you’re in a disheveled space? I asked Tegan but she wouldn’t tell me. Lol.
I don't think I've related to a post on here more. If things don't get rearranged at least annually on a large scale or every month or two on smaller scales, I feel like things are...more dusty? Not actually covered in dust, but the idea of it not being new and fresh and taken care of. Having some room or space be entirely empty and clean or filled but organized and ready for a magazine photoshoot gives me a sense of peace most people I've met only find with "lived in" spaces. I definitely do allow myself to actually live in the spaces, though, as I've had older relatives with those rooms you weren't allowed to even sit in. The perfectionism runs deep, but the picturesque room is just soooo satisfying.
Rearranging and cleaning is nice to help clear the mind. Since having to medically retire as a teacher. I find making sure that cleaning and adding small details in our home helps me relax and be able to breathe when I do finally get to reading. It also helps calm some anxiety. I grew up cleaning peoples homes and offices or doctors offices since I was a child, helping out in my parents cleaning business. I think this is why doing chores is sometimes annoying to me, 😂.
Have you ever considered indoor design as a hobby? Perhaps writing a book about your favorite aesthetic looks. I love the attention you pay to your environment. It so matters on the daily! Thanks for sharing Sara!
Is it possible that your place is even more clean now because there's an extra set of hands (lil' man) to help? ;) Which, by the way, is very counterintuitive, since you'd think having another being occupy the same space would create more of a mess. Maybe Sid is in fact especially special. =)
Okay, first of all, and I hope it's okay I'm writing this here, I have an extra copy of Junior High because I attended two events. If anyone is reading this and for some reason couldn't get a copy, be it a financial reasons or otherwise, feel free to reach out! I'm happy to give one away.
As for this post, oh, Sara. So much resonates with me here. Except for me, I think at least part of it is my OCD. Can't speak to your mental shenanigans of course :D Mostly, it's my leveler. No one told me bunny zoomies meant him running straight into walls, but on a weekly basis I find tilted wall pieces and do a walkthrough with my leveler. I find it so soothing even though it's so clearly a chore.
But I also really do like before/after photos of spaces. It's its own ASMR I think. And if it's your own doing, it feels empowering, too.
I've been in my current apartment for nearly a decade, but because it's NYC, and I always figured it was temporary and I might move, I never invested in making it truly mine, even though the space itself felt like home. So for years it just looked like a collection of random hand-me-downs. Except then I realized it was rent-stabilized and that if it's up to me I'm never leaving. So I found myself, a couple of years ago, starting, for the very first time in my life, at 34, to design my own space.
It very much included a list of things I want to get gradually and links to certain products. It's an ongoing task to achieve that perfect home, but I have a feeling, like you said, that once I'm done, there will be more. In fact, the list is growing rather than shrinking. But I enjoy that relatively new aspect of self-expression. I also truly enjoy the space more.
And now there's a whole new challenge. How do I make the space bunny appropriate while also stylish and clean, when this guy wants to chew on furniture, dig into rugs, and run in such intensity that he will drag rugs with him? Also, what do I do to make sure the floor is covered enough so he doesn't slip and get sores, but also not overdo it with rugs? Just when I was starting to be happy with the appearance of the space, a wild card shuffled the deck. I'm assuming that's what pets do, and I'm sure a kind adds to that even more. How have your home maintenance/design choices shifted since Sid?
As for your not-American-Psycho guy - whatever his story is, this portion of the post made me really excited for any fiction work you'll be releasing in the future. Obviously, you're a storyteller. And one that we all love and appreciate.
In the first apartment I had with a roommate, we changed the look of our living room so many times. It was the same with our bedrooms. When I moved in with my boyfriend, he liked to keep the whole place cleaned. Everything had a spot. I changed the bedroom to make more room for my stuff. Now we've moved a few times and finding a place for everything is my favourite part of moving.