This post contains images that may offend my mum some readers.  Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, it is difficult to distinguish between reality and fakery, especially in the online world.  How many of us can say, hand on heart, that we are completely honest about our online persona?  I present myself as an environmentally conscious person, nature lover, mother and artist.  My blog is called Reflections of an Untidy Mind, but some of my devoted readers, have been kind enough to comment that my mind does not appear as untidy as I make out.  Maybe I’m just using the old reverse psychology trick to make myself look good?  (That’s a rhetorical question, folks.)

I don’t aim to be, or to show, the perfect, but some version of myself, that while not perfect, is at least socially acceptable.  It is all a matter of perspective, of how you frame reality.  Sometimes, many times, it is just too painful to go to the dark side, so perhaps you choose to present mostly the bright side?  (Another rhetorical question.)

See this beautiful dog on the beautiful cover.


Please cease reading here, if you are not ready for the big reveal.

In an earlier post, I have shown you my tiny house from the outside.  Tiny equals good for the environment.  And, I’ve ranted about the need to reduce the use of plastic.  Also good for the environment.  The truth of the matter is that I’m an environmentally conscious, nature lover who is overwhelmed by plastic and lives in a teeny, exceedingly untidy house.  You might say I’m a sloven or loser (especially after seeing the photos below), and I suppose from some people’s perspective, I am.

Last chance to stop reading.

The kitchen/dining area.


Here is my study/lounge room.


I wish I could tell you that it is only surface untidiness, but it goes beyond that.  So much plastic on display!  And cherry boxes!  Every surface covered with stuff.  In my ideal world, I would have a clean house house; tidy mind; beautiful garden; perfect children; quiet, well-behaved dogs; no old canaries that need ladders; and time for blogging, walking, mosaics and managing my chronic medical condition.   Five out of ten ain’t bad, I suppose.  That’s a pass.  Just.  I could do better.

In my defense, most of that plastic will be re-used.  Not sure why I kept those cherry boxes though.  I’m sure I had a plan at the time.  I might just go and throw them out now, and clean up in the kitchen a bit so we can cook.  It’s time.


Response to the Frank’s Tuesday Photo ChallengeSurface, and Calmkate’s Friday Foto FunFramed.  Click on the links to find out how to get involved in the photo challenges.


55 thoughts on “Framing Reality – Looking Below the Surface

  1. I love the honesty of this post, Tracy. Most of us struggle or perhaps it is a generational thing. I’m not sure how new mothers in their Lorna Jeans get time to go to the gym and walking their bubs in expensive strollers these days. I was still in my PJs in the afternoon, shell shocked from lack of sleep! I’m going to post my pantry photos (before I discovered the Marie Kondo method of decluttering). It made a difference to my life, and not from a vanity/houseproud perspective. I found it a step in the right direction for reducing things I bought mindlessly or because I could not find them. (BTW I use those kinds of boxes in my car for hauling hiking boots etc or keeping grocery bags steady – helps to keep the car boot clean). PS love that painting on the right.

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    1. Thanks dawnbird. I don’t know how those young mothers do it either. I wasn’t in my PJs in the afternoon, mainly because I slept in my clothes. 🙂

      I do have the name of the aboriginal artist written down somewhere …. I don’t think I can access the actual painting at the moment. The other two paintings were done by my mother.

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  2. I so appreciate your honesty and share … Marie Kondo would be rubbing her hands in glee!

    I really like all your choices of artwork, we have similar taste …. thanks for joining in the fun. And your dog looks super cute and comfortable 🙂

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  3. I had to chuckle as I read this post Tracy. I think it is very much tongue-in-cheek and you are taking a big dig at the perfectly arranged and organised photos on social media were everyone presents life through their rose coloured glasses. 🙄 I love it….

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  4. Nice to see the clutter I find it very comforting. It looks like my kitchen table the day before getting the recycling ready. One positive revealed here is no stuff on the floor with narrow paths between items. I’ve been in shops filled with stuff to shoulder height with little paths running through but Ironically few of the items were for sale. My post arrives each day with a variety of advertising junk mail. It piles up. I also subscribe to a daily newspaper because I like the physical newspaper. My kitchen table usually has a small pile of newspapers. Around about you are many of the items that you need to hand such as; your camera, your garden basket, your laptop and the like. Imagine asking where is my camera or who moved my laptop? A positive your kitchen towels are neatly hanging. Clearly you home is a working space like my desk at work was always cluttered and the idea of cleaning up piles of marking and doing a tidy each day with volumes of stuff arriving hourly seemed to be a low priority.

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    1. I like to be able to get out if there is a fire. 🙂

      My work desk was really messy too. I used to say that my employer would have to fire me if they introduced a clean desk policy. I left just before they introduced hot-desking. Phew. Bet productivity declined.


  5. Every flat surface has a reason to be flat. Oh dear my office is rather a selection of piles of “important stuff” My place gets a good “tidy” up when I have guests. (this means hiding stuff lol)

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  6. I have to say – I really LOVE this post!!! 😄 I knew we had a lot in common but now it’s official. 😊 As much as I try to keep my space tidy it just is impossible when you don’t have much room in the first place. I’d love to have an extra space for making art, inviting friends, cooking but I’m afraid that all has to happen in one room – my kitchen. 😁
    I’ve long discovered that I don’t really mind it too, sure a palace would be nice for a change but I’m sure I would sooner or later make it look like my tiny flat. 😂
    And as I like to point out to everyone who disagrees on how my place looks: I don’t live in a museum so why should it look like one?!

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      1. ‘Hot-desk’ that was a new term to me so it was time to consult the on-line “Urban Dictionary.’ I could not work efficiently with no assigned work station. But when desks are in short supply pragmatic solutions reign.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I usually clean up clutter, but even so I have some. Why keep putting it away when I’m using it? Well that’s the idea except I haven’t colored in a month or worked on my needlepoint in three months, etc.

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  8. Thank you for providing us a picture of ‘my mess is my home’ that I see myself in the picture. Did you say plastic and boxes. I too have plenty of them to recycle or repurpose at home. We use the same cat food. Boxes are good to put all my cluttered stuff 🤗

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    1. I try to resist the temptation of putting my clutter in boxes. Because when I get more clutter, I need more boxes. 🙂 And so it stays until it eventually goes in the bin in a cleaning fit or it finds a useful purpose. It is nice to know that other people struggle with the same problem. 🙂

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  9. I can’t work surrounded by that much chaos, but I’m sure someone coming into my house would think it’s chaotic (I don’t). Not a judgment — we’re all different. My Aussie friend is simulated by walls full of art work, quilts and photos. My walls are very minimally decorated. I hate cleaning so I followed the lead of my Aunt Dickie and just minimized the surface clutter as much as I could (but not nearly as much as she did). My roommates are pretty dirty, so my floor is covered with pads and, this muddy time of year, a few towels. I think the big thing is a ‘nest’ in which we feel at home and productive.

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    1. It is a bit too untidy at the moment even for me to concentrate, Martha. I do understand that chaos also clutters up the mind. But that’s my reality. I live with three other people who are also messy. Actually the young mens’ bedrooms are not so bad. My dining room is near my front door, so the first thing people do is put their stuff on the dining table when they come home. I do it too.

      The veggie basket is a new innovation from a friend whose cooking shop just closed down. My husband bought it. But we have nowhere to put it! Still he is a grown man and I cannot tell him what he can and cannot do. Life’s a compromise.

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      1. It is. My ex used to make neat piles of random things and leave them everywhere, never even noticing them again. Dozens of neat piles makes a huge mess. When the kids were with us in the summer, it was another thing all together and when I was working, and didn’t know myself as well, I cleaned my room just to be a good example to my stepson. I get it.

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  10. Enjoyed this post very much. Familiar looking surfaces i have to say! I tried Maria Kondo…..ended up mostly just moving things from one place to another. I do keep a thrift shop box on the go, and occasionally toss in the unwanted….I use old tomato boxes with lids as filing cabinets for all the bits of paper that i can’t bear to part with…..I would use those cherry boxes for something! Photos perhaps, more files, art supplies, fruit, veggies from the garden. Flattened, they make good, weed suppressing garden path mulch bases. If one spends all one’s time tidying up, there is no time left to do anything else. Leave the tidying, do what you enjoy doing.

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    1. You’re right. Those cherries box stack really well. I might use them in the studio for some of my tiles. I’ve got some boxes there that are starting to fall apart.

      I’m growing a pile of pizza boxes and newspapers for weed suppression in a new garden bed I want to start. It all takes time. 😉

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  11. As my mother said, “I hope you are coming to see me, not my house” All that stuff is just surface stuff, who you are matters so much more. I love your forthright wit, and I connect with your nature loving environmental side. And we probably could compare clutter!

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  12. Tracy–I love this post. I tend to be minimalist, but I still have stuff….I’m not a crazy minimalist. I am guessing totally white kitchens are the ‘in’ thing, or have been for a while. I don’t know how people do it. I would be petrified cooking in that space. I need a place with comfort and if that means having my ‘things’ around me, then people had better not judge me for that. ‘Cause I ain’t listening.

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    1. 🙂 I find white kitchens sterile looking and can’t understand why they are all the rage. They look so virginal that I don’t think anybody actually cooks in them.

      I like a bit of colour. Still having a clean kitchen is a dream of mine. But apart from the mess, I really do like my kitchen. My husband and his father built it. They are not cabinet makers, but I think it will last longer than some professionally built kitchens. I love my blue benchtop and the Portuguese tiles.

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  13. Ditto. I have too much clutter too. Sighs. Easier to sit down and start typing, or lay down and start reading for that matter. Once I do that, it all fades away. It’s hard to be as honest as you. When I take pictures, I clear a spot so I can take a photo of the coffee cup or whatever. Usually the only clear spot is my stove as I generally keep it cleared for cooking — well at least half cleared anyways. Ah well. Love the art. Very cool.

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  14. Wow! You have guts showing your pictures. It’s not the easiest world to leave in nowadays. So many rules on recycling, especially if you live in a complex of apartments. We all have areas in our life even if you live in mansion. We all have an “untidy” something! I have heard or read and have finally started to handle my “over flow area” as I call them. Take one part of my “OFA” and do my best to organize it. Move, stack, toss, recycle. Remember you only look at the area you “OFA” and you will be so PROUD of yourself. 😉

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