Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: I am not a Martha-hater. In a perfect world, I would have oodles of time and money and would while away my days making exquisite, hand-crafted gift tags to adorn all the homemade scented candle and potpourri favors that I'd pass out at my deliciously-catered garden parties. But the reality is that I have neither oodles of time, nor oodles of money. What I do have is a husband who works a demanding night job, two school-aged kids with lots of homework and extra-curricular activities, a house to clean, and a business to run.
When I was young and single, I used to subscribe to Martha's magazine and buy her books. I'd watch her show religiously and even take notes on ideas I wanted to try. I started a "someday" idea folder of recipes I'd make for my future husband and activities I'd do with my future children, presumably with all the oodles of time and money that would naturally come with the "someday" family of my dreams. I'm sure you can guess how those plans worked out. The family of my dreams I got, and it turns out that was all I really wanted.
But acknowledging Martha's profound creativity, I recently perused her website for some clever and unique organizing tips I might try out on some of my clients in my job as a professional organizer. Indeed I was impressed by how attractive and decorative her ideas were, until I considered that the point of organizing is not in getting organized but in being organized. If it's craft projects you're looking for, Martha's your gal. But for most of us working moms, orderly living is too urgent a need to waste time making your own clip-art calendar freezer labels when we can just as easily write the "use by" date right on the freezer bag with a sharpie. Sure, Martha's solutions may look nice, but these days, I'd rather spend the extra time and energy I save from being organized by laughing with my friends and family than laminating my to do list.
I recently came across my someday idea folder as I was organizing my storage area and chuckled at the level of skill my single self thought the someday me should have acquired by now. Thankfully, life has a way of changing your perspective and your priorities, and the present me is okay with having "failed" the Martha test. In fact, I even tossed out that idea folder to make room for the keepsake memories of things my kids and I did do together instead of using it for ideas I may someday do on my own.