Creating Peaceful Organized Homes

How to Create Peaceful Organized Homes

I was having some trouble trying to decide where to focus my attention on the blog in 2014, when out of the blue my 8 year old son brings me a piece of paper with some writing on it.  He’d found it in one of the books he’d inherited from his older siblings and I’d never seen it before.  It was my daughter’s (16) handwriting and when I read it, it took my breath away.

Ahhh home

It says:


I like my home

My home is great

I love my home

Ahhh! home.

My daughter must have been about 8 years old when she wrote that.  It makes me so happy to know she felt that way.  I immediately knew that that’s what I wanted for all of you….that feeling of walking into your home, exhaling and saying Ahhhh! home. Doesn’t that sound grand?

To confirm I might be on the right track I asked my Facebook readers what one word they would use to describe their homes and while some of the answers were about love and warmth, too many included words like this:

  • sad
  • pitiful
  • chaotic
  • disaster
  • cluttered
  • over-stuffed
  • ugh
  • overwhelmed
  • overwhelming
  • crowded
  • messy
  • disorganized
  • horder
  • neglected

None of that says Ahhh! home to me.  I think it’s time we changed that, don’t you?

It’s time to create sanctuaries in whatever spaces we’ve been blessed with big or small, house, apartment or condo, owning or renting.  Whatever the situation, what if we could be content with what we have right now?  What if we could turn clutter and chaos into uncluttered and calm?  What if when we walk in to our homes we felt at peace and comforted by our surroundings rather than frustrated and discouraged by what we see.  It is possible you know, it most definitely is.

My goal is to help you turn those words above into new positive ones:

  • warm
  • cozy
  • calm
  • comforting
  • peaceful
  • organized
  • decluttered
  • simplified
  • relaxing
  • peaceful
  • neat
  • happy
  • homey
  • inviting

Will you join me on this journey to loving our spaces and creating peaceful organized homes in 2014?  Will you respond in the comments by sharing what one word you would use to describe your home now and the one word you wish your home reflected instead?

I want everyone to be able to walk into their homes and immediately think “Ahhhh! home”.  Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?

Let’s do this!

See all posts in this series:

We Can Do Hard Things

6 Things You Can Do to Bring Peace to Your Home

Prioritizing Chaos

Love What You Have

Getting to the Root of Clutter

Are Your Expectations too High?

Our Attitudes

Take a Picture and Edit Your Stuff

The Clutter Creep and Why We Allow It To Happen

How to Stop Clutter Before It Even Happens

Creating Peaceful Organized Homes in 2014

Filed under: Organizing Basics, Simplicity


126 Responses to Creating Peaceful Organized Homes

  1. 1
    Debbie says

    Welcoming but would like to be organized

  2. 2
    carol says

    I would describe my home now as cluttered but I would like it to be relaxing

  3. 3
    Amber Courreges says

    A disaster but i would love clean and calm. Always

  4. 4
    Kj says

    Lived in….unorganized…not peaceful bc of clutter

  5. 5
    Kate says

    Now: Love
    Later: Same

  6. 6
    Laura says

    Now – overwhelming
    Looking forward to – Retreat

    Can’t wait!

  7. 7
    Stefania says

    Now caothic
    Then relax

  8. 8
    Windy says

    Scattered —- Progressively Peaceful

  9. 9
    Nicole says


  10. 10
    Susan C. says


  11. 11
    DeDe says

    Now overwhelming
    Want peaceful

  12. 12
    Amanda says

    Now: Stuffed
    Later: Comforting

  13. 13
    Heather says

    Now- disheartening
    Later- relaxed

    I have an almost 2 year old and almost 4 year old, and I feel so stressed trying to keep up with basic housework that I feel like I never have the time and freedom to enjoy them.

  14. 14
    Jeanna says


  15. 15
    Rachel says

    Now – chaotic
    Would like it to be – peaceful

  16. 16
    Tiffany says

    Now: potential
    Hoped for: sanctuary

    I’d like to keep plugging away at those projects, both small and large, that make our home prettier, cleaner, more organized, and more comfortable.

  17. 17
    Rachel @CommontoMoms says

    Now- dirty
    Would like to make it- Blissful, Spacious and Happy! (couldn’t keep myself to just one word- whoops 🙂 )

  18. 18
    Karen says


  19. 19
    Cheryl says

    Sanctuary…….. My home is my sanctuary, in every respect. It is our home, nest, place of love and comfort. Our sanctuary………. Ahhhhhhh!

  20. 20
    Susan says

    Cluttered….. I am the pile queen–piles everywhere. I would like my home to be simply peaceful.

  21. 21
    Susan says

    now: in progress
    later: relaxing

  22. 22
    Stephanie says

    Now- cluttered and chaotic
    Later- organized and relaxing

  23. 24
    Karla says

    With my ADD I am disorganized which makes me uncomfortable about inviting anyone over.

  24. 25
    Vanessa c says

    Now: chaotic and cluttered
    Want: calm and restful

    I am queen if piles! Stuff everywhere and it’s overwhelming and disorganized.

  25. 26
    Kim @ Homesteader's Heart says

    Years ago I would have said my house was cluttered. But over the last few years I’ve had people say that my home is welcoming and cheerful. I must be doing something right. *smile*
    Your blog is always a source of inspiration. We think very much alike so I can always relate to what you’re talking about. Thank you for the time and effort you put into your blog and for caring for those you have never met.

  26. 27
    Christine says

    Now: embarrassing
    Goal: inviting

  27. 29
    Carolyn says

    Very well written blog article. Thank you for encouraging us and challenging us.

  28. 30
    Steph says

    Now: MANCAVE
    By 2015: Peaceful Mommy Heaven

  29. 31
    Sarai Brock says

    I would say my home is in transition….. I’ve been busy raising my 4 babies, but they’re all finally old enough to let me get back to keeping my house together… I started a few weeks ago and won’t stop until I find my zen… 😀

  30. 32
    Rebecca says

    Now: Thrown-together

    Goal: Serene

  31. 33
    Jeannie Jones says

    Spacious and open. Want inviting and cozy

  32. 34
    Lisa says

    Now: unorganized and messy
    Goal: tranquil and enjoyable

  33. 35
    MelanieL says

    Now: Organized and uncluttered
    Goal: to clean more regularly and be more efficient at doing so

  34. 36
    Carolyn says

    Sanctuary… me that embodies all the wonderful things such as warm, safe, neat, organized, etc

    Happy 2014 everyone !

  35. 37
    Mary S says

    2015- Clean

  36. 38
    Mavis says

    Unorganized and cluttered

    Organized and calming

    (Couldn’t just pick one word! ????)

  37. 39
    Julie says

    2013: full
    2014: peaceful

  38. 40
    Catherine says

    Now: Cluttered & Dirty
    Goal: Retreat

  39. 41
    Elizabeth Byler Younts says

    Cluttered (like a lot from our 10 days holiday trip)

    What I want…LOW-MAINTENANCE!!!!!

  40. 42
    Lisa Gehring says

    Semi-cluttered- now.
    Fluid- after

  41. 43
    Arden says

    Now: Deceptive

    I need to explain – My home looks nice and inviting. But if you look in my secret places like the lovely decorative storage boxes or under the gorgeous table with the ruffle skirt or even the dryer at times (I once stashed some unclean dishes in there when company arrived unexpectedly!), it is an unorganized stash of craziness. Guest may walk in my home and say, “How inviting!” But I want to walk in to my house and say “Ah…home” without the voices reminding me of hidden messes and the guilt of procrastinating to take care of it.

  42. 44
    Dawn says

    Now: cluttered, disorganized, yet welcoming
    Later: light, maintained, serenity (still welcoming)

  43. 45
    Sarah says

    Now: A place of Relief
    Future: A regularly cleaned place of relief 😉

  44. 46
    Aggie says

    Now: overwhelming. Goal: peaceful

  45. 47
    Vonda H says

    Now: Messy/cluttered.
    Future: Aaaahhh!

  46. 48
    Kristie says

    Now: hidden messes, overwhelmed, unorganized
    Future: welcoming, peaceful, organized and NO hidden piles

  47. 49
    Connie Baum says

    Our home must be inviting because lots of people seem to enjoy popping in on us for coffee or lunch! I feel it is cozy and warm and that its furnishings reflect who we are. I joke that the living room looks like the Day Room of a home for Seniors but that’s ok; we ARE Seniors! The one word I’d choose to describe our home is “DELIGHTFUL”. I am sooooo very grateful.

  48. 50
    Amanda says

    Chaos ~ Serenity

  49. 51
    Amanda says

    Inconsistent –> Reliably calm
    (we have moments of ahh & moments of overwhelm – 3 kids 4 & under & chronic health issues for me. I’m being patient (sometimes) with myself & taking baby steps. Would like to turn routines into habits. )

  50. 52
    Sharla says


  51. 53
    Paula says


  52. 54
    Donna says

    before: a work in progress
    after: comfort and joy

  53. 55
    Lynn says

    Now: Messy

    Future: Organised

  54. 56
    Helena Alkhas says

    What a wonderful note to find from your child (sign that you’re doing an amazing job!) and also what a great theme for your blog. So often we focus on “just organizing” when the real goal is to have a peaceful home. Thank you for sharing the note. Wishing you a wonderful 2014!

  55. 57
    Page says

    Now: chaotic

    Future: a haven of rest

  56. 58
    Tania says

    So sweet! Have you heard of Apartment Therapy’s January cure? It’s all about curing your home in the month of January. I usually don’t participate because my January is crazy at my day job due to year end closing but I’ve decided to this year.

    Hopping over from Smart & Simple Matters, listening to your podcast with Joel right now.

    Happy 2014!

    • 58.1
      Tania says

      Oops forgot to include my two words.

      Now: Abundant
      Future: Minimal

  57. 59
    Shay says

    Now: Chaotic
    Later: Like Home

  58. 60
    Sarah says


  59. 61
    Cynthia says

    Now: Cozy. (We don’t entertain a lot and actually want the house to be comfortable for us, not those who would visit for a couple of hours. Call us anti-social but we don’t mind having people over, but just prefer not to feel like we’re putting on a show for others benefit.)
    Later: organized. (Clutter isn’t a huge problem, but a few more systems to deal with the extra that we need to keep would be lovely! As would the energy to set them up! LOL)

  60. 62
    Heidi says

    Now: cluttered
    Later: peaceful and organized

  61. 63
    jennifer says

    Now – overwhelmed
    Latter – organized/ peaceful

  62. 64
    Kristie says

    Ahhh—Home!!! I love my home!!! There is always room for improvement–organizing and decluttering is an ongoing process, but I do love my home and caring for it!! 😉

  63. 65
    Elizabeth says

    That poem is awesome! I am totally in on this!
    Now: Overwhelming
    Goal: Peaceful
    To help me work towards that goal I am getting rid of 365 things this year and posting about it on my blog. Thank you so much for your continued inspiration!

  64. 66
    Allysgrandma says

    I’ve been back to work for 18 months….it’s been a while since a picture of my dining room table appeared on your blog. Many more possible changes this year…..but most of all I want a ……Refuge.

  65. 67
    Dana says

    A cluttered mess! Would like it to feel comfy, warm, inviting and organized. I’m excited for your input and assistance as 2014 is the year I will make this happen!

  66. 68
    Melissa says

    Now: Neglected

    Want: Comforting

  67. 69
    Angie S. says

    My home now is embarrassing (unorganized, messy, a decorator’s nightmare)

    I want my home to be inviting (warm, decluttered, a place where I wouldn’t be uncomfortable if people dropped by uninvited)

  68. 70
    Beth says

    now = vanilla
    desire = pistachio!

  69. 71
    Irene says

    What it is: chaotic
    What I’d like: restful

  70. 72
    Julie says

    Now: post-Apocalyptic
    Then: Cozy and mindful

  71. 73
    Brooke says

    Now: survival
    Want: peaceful and fun

  72. 74
    melissa Teets says

    inviting minimalist

  73. 75
    hsmominmo says

    Now: pell-mell
    Desire: Haven

    I’ve been wondering what wonderful inspiration you would have for us in the new year 🙂 the last few years you’ve motivated me to tackle things I had been avoiding, helping me to make life better for my family. And you have not disappointed! This is just what has been on my heart. Thank you, Laura. It’s going to be a wonderful year!

  74. 76
    Heather says

    Now – overwhelming
    Then – inviting

  75. 77
    Kathy R says

    Now: cluttered, unorganized, too much stuff!

    Then: less stuff so I can have a clean, organized and peaceful little home.

  76. 78
    Raye W says

    Now: Overwhelming/disaster
    Soon: Sanctuary

  77. 79
    carol says


  78. 80
    Melanie says

    Now: cluttered
    Soon: cozy but airy

  79. 81
    Pam says

    Now: Messy/unorganized
    Soon: Comforting

  80. 82
    Correna says

    My home is my safe haven but I would also like to say Ahhh home! because then it will be organized as well as safe. Thanks

  81. 83
    Colleen says

    Now: stressful
    Later: calming

  82. 84
    Dawn says

    Now: chaos
    Goal: haven

  83. 85
    Amanda says

    Chaotic, unorganized, cluttered, stressful

    I want the opposite of what it is now…. An Ahhhhhh relaxing home!!!!

    (I currently clean one room then go to clean another and when I go back to the first room, my children have already messed it up… frustrating!)

  84. 86
    evi says

    Due to two small kids: chaotic, but full of love.
    I’d love to have: in order AND full of love

  85. 87
    tracey chippas says

    Now it is Cluttered and I would like it to be relaxing.

  86. 88
    hayconsmom says


  87. 89
    Judy says

    Now: sanctuary-in-progress
    Soon: total peace and order

  88. 90
    Sheila S . says

    Now – Haven
    Soon – A tad more organized Haven

  89. 91
    danae says

    now: disorganized
    want: useful

  90. 92
    Lindyloufromo says

    Total disaster

  91. 93
    Lisa says

    Diasteresqe want ahhh home

  92. 94
    Nina says


  93. 95
    BethM says

    Now: Tired and too much stuff
    Later: Welcoming and simplified

  94. 96
    Jenni W says

    Now: Cramped
    Later: Peaceful

  95. 97
    Kelly says

    Hmmm, right now my one word is stuff (aka, too much stuff). The one word I would like for it to be is open. Oh and warm…really can’t have one without the other in my opinion. I don’t want my “open” to be sterile because that is one of the first things to come to mind when I use that word so I have to match it with warm. Hope that is not breaking the rules too much :).

  96. 98
    Michele says

    Current word: Crowded
    Desired word: Tranquil

  97. 99
    Erin says

    Unfinished but want cozy!

  98. 100
    Michelle says

    We just moved 12/22! So the goal is a sanctuary for the family!

  99. 101
    Brittney says

    Now: Remodeling-unfinished, unorganized, crazy

    Want: DONE Peaceful

  100. 102
    SarahJane says

    My home, right now, is a constant, never ending chore. I want very much for it to be a sanctuary for everyone, including myself

  101. 103
    Kay Burnett says


    need – STRESS-LESS

  102. 104
    Maggie says

    Now-Cluttered, chaotic, messy, unorganized

    Future-organized, peaceful, relaxing

  103. 105
    Crystle Monahan says

    Now: Chaotic
    Someday: Harmonious

  104. 106
    Carmen says

    Now: transitioning clutter
    Future: Harmoniously settled space

  105. 107
    Cindy says

    Now: stressful and uninvitting

    Future: relaxing and inviting

    Going to be first grandma soon and so got to get organized

  106. 108
    Angela says

    Now: cluttered and stressful

    Future : peaceful and simplified

  107. 109
    Suzanne says

    So very overwhelming! I have the most terrific organizing ideas and most of the products needed to complete the organizing projects, however I also have a very large family, a disabled husband, and three elderly relatives for which I provide much care. I’m an only child, as well as my husband, and we have no other family to help us. I just need encouragement and support to keep moving forward and to lovingly give to these family members all they need. First, however, I have to find my keys, step over the pile (many) of clothes, remember where I placed my purse and then try to figure out why my wallet isn’t in there…and then once I get out the door to start my day, wish that I would have put gas in the car before the blizzard arrived…where’s my coat???

  108. 110
    Leigh says

    now: stressful, chaotic
    future: inviting, love
    it was hard to narrow it down to even 2 words! lol I’m just getting starting reading your POH series & am excited about it. THANKS
    our family is me, DH & 4 kids (3yrs to 13yrs) & we’ve gone from a relaxed, company-enjoying, active couple to a stressed out, overwhelmed, never-have-company, stay-at-home-to-hide, buried-in-mess family & I am at my whits end 🙁 help!

  109. 111
    Marsha says

    Omg, in a word, not possible..but I was able to cut it to the Top 2 feelings I get when I wake up & look around, or heading home for the night and another when someone knocks at my door, and they are
    1. Anxiety
    2. Embarrassed
    My apartment is small, and decorated Primitive and it CAAAN be cozy, but bc I’ve somehow went from ‘collector & crafter’ and contain mess to bedroom to total (to use another posts description) pile queen!! Spread out in various spots, and flat surfaces! I have a huuge beautiful dining table we (my lil one, 4.5yrs old, and I) can’t even eat at, it has sooo many of my ongoing projects that I DO work on every night when he’s in bed, but bc I’m a sucky shelf hanger, and my craft closet is so cluttered w crap that can go on shelves…that are piled in the corner awaiting the magical shelf genie to mysteriously appear & hang them for me…and hooks so that my works in progress CAN go into the craft closet without falling over & spilling or breaking!! My bf refuses to help bc his OCD overwhelms him now & he can’t deal w any of it, he’s a great organizer…if u don’t mind ALLLL ur stuff being tossed out and living like a minimalist in a sterile mental institution like environment! Lol! So, I just stumbled onto this and after reading the posts, wowwwww, I feel like I’m Not alone, or a loser, or a shameful woman who neglects her ‘womanly duties’ or IS less of a woman…and I will make myself commit to reading these posts and following advise written here, bc I WANT to open my door again, and invite people in, and hear them say Ohhh its sooo cozy in here’ again, instead of Wow, ur really into crafting or Wow, look at allll this stuff, how can u stand it?! Uhhh, I caaant, I’m just so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to start….so, what I want:
    1. To feel like “there’s NO place like home” without a huuuge sigh & eye roll after!
    2. To have friends and neighbors look around in amazement bc they can SEE my finished crafts, and Primitive deco, and let that be why they say Wow…followed with “Its sooo cozy in here, I can see how u can hang out at night and do ur crafts”!!!
    So, thanks again for waking me up from the nightmare of being a future Hoarder show, and mayyyybe a DIY magazine cover…hey, one can dream, right??!! Lol! ????

  110. 112
    Marsha says

    Oh, and OMG I can sooo relate to what Suzane wrote about tripping over piles of clothes, box of drying crafts, shoes, and the general I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO W THIS STUFF, BUT its important papers I can’t toss yet, to the bottomless pile of coupons that expire before I even reach halfway thru, to the pile of Uhhh,WTH ISSS this crap anyway, and WHYYYY do I save this juuuunk!! And then there’s also the totes of stuff my child has outgrown that I sell on CL site or FB uard sale sites that I do well with…when I can stick w it on a constant basis…between taking care of my son alone, looking for another job BC mine ended when my private duty clients family decided to mover her 2 stayed away to be closer to family. And, the endless apts daily, and my son dealing w his dad living apart from us right now, having anger issues regarding it, and lashing out at school to where I have to go get him, and my mother demanding to have me come clean her house 1x a week BC I’m out of work & can’t pay her the weekly loan payback amount like I did when I was making $18 an hour, to zero income!! So, ya, I lose keys, have to put EVERYTHING back down to find them, pick it allll back up,head to door and wait…what did I do with my stupiiiid phooone?! Ughhh…!! Lol! Its so so so so helpful knowing I’m not alone in this! On top of it, I have ADD, and thankfully my medication helps…when I REMEMBER to take it ????

  111. 113
    Elsjebe says

    Where to start

  112. 114
    Zoey says

    House of Horrors & in desperate need of some TLC to create a warm & welcoming Haven

  113. 115
    Jennie @ A Welcoming Heart says

    My home is organized and decluttered which makes it very cozy, comfortable, and welcoming. I’m looking to bump it up a notch and add those extra special things that would make it into a sanctuary or retreat like place for my husband and I along with our family. I would like to have that bed and breakfast feeling of being pampered.

  114. 116
    Peggy says

    Upstairs is à stuffed garage!
    Only THE nessasary stuff on THE updatings rooms, please?

  115. 117
    Peggy says

    Sorry: upstairs rooms …

  116. 118
    Jennifer says

    I currently live in “a house.” I feel overwhelmed when I come through the door everyday.
    With your help and some hardwork on my part it will become “my home.” A place where I can walk in and say, “Ahhh, it feels so good to be home. ”
    Thank you! 🙂

  117. 119
    Sherrie says

    Now: chaotic
    later: relaxing

  118. 120
    Paige says

    After our 12/29/13 wedding, moved into my husbands house…….total bachelor pad. As Steph said above, MANCAVE………..I would like less manly and more ahhhhhhh.

  119. 121
    Kaylyn says

    Currently- Wreck
    Future- Relaxing

  120. 122
    Kathy says

    Now scattered
    Later warm, inviting and comfortable

  121. 123
    Emma says

    Now – work-in-progress
    Later – Santuary

    We have been trying to redo our kitchen for a year and had other major works done, so I’ve constantly been cleaning up after tradespeople and dust. Not much time for organising really. Just patching up after major problems. Now all big problems are done, so hopefully can get back to being a home.

  122. 124
    Nicole says

    Lived in with chaotic, love! After I read and bleed.. (Ha!) Simplicity and Serenity


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