31 Days:: A Beautiful Mess

scroll down for links to each post from the 31 day series

I cannot BELIEVE that October is over. Tomorrow, November 1st, is literally the official first day of winter.  Well, not really but, doesn’t it seem like they have the seasons labeled all wrong?  Anyhow, today is the last day of our 31 day cruise through some ideas to help us get our homes a little less messy.  I in no way intended for anyone to do each day of the 31 days and by the end be the proud owner of a perfectly spotless home.

However, I do hope that by today we each have a less messy nest.  A little improvement.  A little less on our nerves, a little less guilt.

Each day our topic fell under one of two categories.   When you learn about saving money for the future, you figure out there are two ways to help the process.  You can spend less money and you can make more money.

It’s the same with having the goal of a less messy nest~there are two ways to get there::

1. You can learn methods and tips and tricks to help keep your home less messy.

2. You can lower your expectations and accept the fact that you will have messes and that each season of your family’s life will bring different kinds of beautiful messes.

I have no idea why just typing that last sentence brings tears to my eyes but, it does.  Most of what I’ve read about organizing and cleaning and stuff like that has always focused on what I need to change in my behavior to make my home better.  However, half of the message is that we just need to not be so hard on ourselves and bask in the total splendor of the life that we have.  And life is messy.

I love you all.  I love your beautiful messiness.

In case you missed any days here they all are.  You can click on the Less Messy Nest button on the side bar at any time and get to this page.

1. 31 Days To A Less Messy Nest

2. Square Not Round

3. Drawer Basket

4. Lunch Basket

5. Empty Tables

6. Gallery Wall

7. Laundry

8. Make Mine Pretty

9. Man Station

10. Simple Solutions for Everyday Issues

11. Group It

12. Hanging Clothes

13. Edit Much

14. Coffee Cabinet

15. Furniture

16. Bird Watching

17. Messy Organization

18. Lower Your Expectations

19. For the Right Reasons

20. Quit Apologizing

21. Enjoy the Beauty Marks

22. Accessories for People

23. A Review

24. The Floor is Not to Store

25. Don’t Put Stuff Where it Belongs

26. Enjoy the Seasons

28. Our Yard Sale

29. What’s Your Secret? {A Linky Party}

30. Change it Up :: Motivation to Clean

31. Today’s Post-Wrap Up

Lastly, I’ll end with a scene from one of my favorite movies, Life is Beautiful. In a big way, your life is what you make it.

Special thanks to my partners in 31 day crime Life With My 3 Boybarians, Reluctant Entertainer, The Inspired Room, Remodeling This Life, Chatting at the Sky, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, it’s been so much fun to do this together!


  1. I have enjoyed each and everyone’s series of posts this month!
    Great idea and learned a lot.
    Standing Ovation to all of you and the hard work put into your blogs

  2. Can I be sappy? I am sad it’s over. Love you and all you shared. Love that you let me tag along. Thank you.


  3. Thanks so much for writing these past 31 days! What a gift. I always look forward to your postings and I was very happy to visit you everday! Your last post definitely struck the same chord as I , now, cannot utter “beautiful messes” without tearing up….thank you. With five children and a DIY attitude, I have a new found prospective on our families’ “messes.” Have a wonderful day!

  4. I learned so much this month thank you very much!

  5. Christine Aldinger says

    i have enjoyed all 31 days of your post and hope you are brain storming for something new!!

  6. I really enjoyed your series, Nester, and I appreciate the time you took to put it together! I learned a lot and got less messy. ;)

  7. “However, half of the message is that we just need to not be so hard on ourselves and bask in the total splendor of the life that we have. And life is messy.”

    And life is beautiful.

    Sweet Nester, you rock!

  8. This was such a great series! Thank you!

  9. Wonderful this is really the time to enjoy life!to its fullest!

    Art by Karena

  10. This series has been really helpful. I’ve de-cluttered, bought baskets, organized a coffee cabinet, and I’m painting a chalkboard :D
    Thanks soooo much. I feel so much happier in my little nest now.

  11. I enjoyed your 31 days. I think one should have a balance between #1 and #2. But try to lean a little more towards #2. Time goes so quickly. My youngest turns 17 tomorrow. It is the memories you make in your slightly messy house that matter. It’s what they will remember and bring into their own families some day. Try not to sweat the small stuff.

  12. This month of posts has been wonderful. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom and inspiration! Thank you!

  13. Thank you so much for all you have given us this month but this last post may be the most valuable gift of all. Make more money or spend less money, make the house cleaner or accept the way it is.

    Thank you for the gift of insight, no wonder you had tears, the big Truths do that to us.

  14. Makes me love you even more that you put up that scene. Achingly beautiful movie. You’re wonderful.

  15. Oh Nester! I’m already feeling weapy today after learning that my daughter and her family including my two beautifully messy grandchildren are moving away and this reminder makes me feel even more so but I love the message in this post. I am an empty Nester now and would love to go back and redo all the beautifully messy days of raising my children. I was always so upset with the messes that I often forgot to capture the beauty and joy of those precious family times. Enjoy your messes while you have them. I have learned at this season of my life that there is plenty of time for a perfectly clean (but empty) nest in these mid-life years. Nice in some ways because it’s a new season in God’s plan but can’t help feeling nostalgic for the stage you are in.
    Enjoy every bit of your nests gals. Messes and all.
    Blessings to All

  16. Love your blog, love this series! Bravo! Thank you so much. I know this was a lot of work but I’m hoping you’ll do another month long series on something else soon. I just loved it.

  17. I’m going to have to go back and read the 31 posts since I only caught the last few. Thanks for offering practical tips for all of us.

  18. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series, but of all I’ve read, I think I needed to read point number two the most. We’re about to enter a new season in our family’s life, and it will include a move over the course of a few weeks. Both our current home and the one we are going to will be in a state of disarray for a while. I’ve been dreading it and stressing about it. Point number two so beautifully gives me permission to live in this moment and enjoy every bit of this season.

  19. Loved your series, love your blog. Thanks for all you do.

  20. Here’s to beautiful, messy living!!! Thanks for all of the great tips.

  21. I have loved this series…this is one of my favorite movies too! Thanks for the beautiful message~it’s just what I needed to hear today :)

  22. I love that #2, too. It’s my life in all of my busyness, but things that I love.

    It’s been a wonderful experience joining you, Nester. Thank you!

  23. Love this! I love that you got teary typing that one sentence – about embracing and loving the beautiful mess children and husbands (and mamas) bring! Thanks for that encouragement!

  24. That is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time!! Thank you being our “translator” and giving us permission to define what a beautiful home is!

  25. What a wonderful 31 days it has been with you all…no pressure just pure encouragement, fun, laughter and beauty. Like a bunch of fresh garden herbs you have all added wonderful flavour and dynamics to our lives and reminded us to just brush off the bugs and dirt and enjoy to the max. I will reread all these posts. Thankyou is not enough for all your efforts..but thankyou…..x

  26. Oh, Nester. Thank you. Thank you for being real, thank you for your insight into how to have a less messy nest. And thank you for the encouragement to bask in the glory that is a mess-filled, beautiful LIFE. May God bless you and yours (including Finn–does your husband think of him as a puppy-in-law, or just as a nephew?).

    Love you.

  27. Life is a beautiful mess! Thank you for permission to enjoy it as such. Great series!!! Great job!!! HEART you!!!!!!! Blessings!

  28. Thank you for a wonderful 31 days. I can’t believe it is already over! I have learnt a lot from this.

  29. Hi Nester, compliments from the other side of teh world (The Netherlands). I found your blog just after you started the 31 days to a less messy nest and I enjoyed your posts a lot. I’ve been following and reading a lot of the 31-days blogs and really enjoyed it. It inspirend me with quite some ideas now me and my wife (yes, I’m a guy!) are preparing our nest for our firstborn in december. Thank you so much for you inspiring ideas!

  30. What a great reminder to have perspective.
    I don’t want to be the messy house.
    But even more than that, I don’t want my kids to remember me consumed by that either.

  31. Thanks for the amazing series. I enjoyed it so much and got so much out of it. I may have to reread some of it from time to time to keep me on track :)

  32. I can’t believe Finn made it to The Nest. Now all the other dogs will be jealous. Or maybe just the birds will be.

    Great series, sister. Thanks to you, my cabinets have baskets, my closets are rainbowized, and my mind feels a little less messy with worry of perfection.

  33. Great post. I’ve really enjoyed this series. Thank you for posting a link to each of your posts. I know I missed a few so I can’t wait to check them out.

  34. Amy Burnett says

    I am fairly new to The Nest and I just wanted to say how encouraging it has been too me. In my quest to make my house a home it has given me new visions. It is a blog that I feel has such attainable ideas and info for a sweeter life. Thank you!

  35. Thank you for including me in the mess. I mean, the series. I heart you and cannot wait to see you again. Soon, right?

  36. Where have I been? I saw Emily at Remodeling this life mention you. I am in love with this blog! I will subscribe!

  37. Yes, they have labeled the seasons wrong, and now I am going to go watch that movie… because I bought it awhile back, but never actually watched it.

  38. Nester, You are Beautiful!

    Thank You,


  39. I have really enjoyed and learned from this series. And yes, looking around my house right at this moment (even though I just finished breakfast and getting the kids up and going for the day and haven’t had a chance to pick up the living room), I am more content than I was a month ago. Both because my nest is less messy and I’ve altered my expectations.

    “Life is Beautiful” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I first saw it on the big screen with my husband, on our very first date.

  40. I just want to say the last 31 days have been great! AND, I love ‘life is beautiful!’ Such a great movie!

  41. Ah yes, a wonderful scene in a wonderful movie. I’m looking forward to reading your organisational tips and I like your philosophy on the subject! I oscillate between accepting that there will be mess and being a ridiculous enforcer..there must be a happy medium! Rachaelxx

  42. Just found your blog and thought it was wonderful and inspiring. I am a teacher in NZ just starting out my own website

    I would love it if you could take a look and help with any suggestions!

  43. You have really inspired me! I used to be a decor lover with my first couple of kids when they were young! Then we ended up with seven total and six of which are boys! I got into a real fonk with several moves and the crazy life that comes with 7 kids! Did i mention six were boys!:) Any how loved the 31 day inspiration and found I love baskets!!! I have also now developed a not so healthy love for IKEA, which my husband thanks you for! LOL! O did I mention we live in 900sq ft? You have really inspired me to live in my home again and not just be in my home!

  44. I have a random question!! I notice you have beautiful plates hung in sets all around your house, how do you hang them safely?!?! I have a set I want to hang but have no idea how!! Help!!

  45. I just found this and it is the first post I’m reading. The first lines brought tears to my eyes. I lost my father a little more than a week ago and as I sit here completely overwhelmed with sadness and staring at the disaster that is my home…it is amazing what a reflection that is of what is going on inside my heart. There are emotions strewn like dirty laundry and I don’t know where to begin sorting them. Just seeing your words about our lives in seasons and calling a mess beautiful, well it was a hug to my heart and I thank you for that.

  46. That looks great. Good job.

  47. Very good, I think I found the knowledge I needed

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