Do You Suffer From Pinterest And Instagram Brain? (I Do!)


Yesterday, I shared that I had finally taken the time to clear out one of the closets in the bedroom so that I could use it to store my shoes. Previously, I had outgrown my one closet, and my shoes were spilling out onto the floor in front of the closet. I had been living with a pile of shoes in front of my closet for an embarrassing amount of time.

But I finally decided to do a quick and easy organization project, and in a matter of two hours, I was able to get rid of the pile of shoes that I had been living with for far too long, and I had a neatly organized shoe closet.

Again, I had been living with a pile of shoes since I finished the room and we moved into the room in 2021. And again, this organization project only took me two hours to finish. In only two hours, this area of the room went from being an absolute headache, with me having to step over and through a mound of shoes to hang up clothes or choose an outfit, to being an absolute delight. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve walked into the bedroom and opened the closet just to stare and marvel at the organization that I now have.

So why did it take me so long to do this project? Why have I been stepping through a mound of shoes since 2021 to get to my closet?

I think it’s because I suffer from Pinterest and Instagram brain. I’ve become so used to the ordinary things in life having to be extraordinary and extraordinarily beautiful because that’s the content that we see continually on Pinterest and Instagram. I think it’s because I suffer from Pinterest and Instagram brain. I’ve become so used to the ordinary things in life having to be extraordinary and extraordinarily beautiful because that’s the continent that we see continually on Pinterest and Instagram.

I remember the days when a pantry was just a pantry. A pantry was a closet in the kitchen with a closed door, and when you opened up the door, there were some utilitarian wire or wood shelves. On the shelves sat various and sundry items like boxes of Raisin Bran and Cheez-Its, packages of Oreos and Nutter Butters, some bags of chips, a 12-pack of Coke, and on and on.

And then somewhere along the way, along came Pinterest. Then the utilitarian pantry that was perfectly functional didn’t look all that pretty on Pinterest, so someone came along and decided to put wallpaper in the pantry. People on Pinterest really liked the wallpaper in the pantry, but the food boxes and bags really distracted from the pretty wallpaper. So then somebody thought it might be nice to empty all the cereal and the cookies and the chips out of their original packages and put those in pretty containers with pretty labels so that they would look pretty up against the pretty wallpaper. And then the next person came along and thought that maybe the pretty containers with the pretty labels didn’t look so pretty on wire or utilitarian wood shelves, so we had to upgrade the shelves so that they look like something made by a professional cabinet maker. And on and on that trend went.

And then Instagram came along, and it became Pinterest on steroids. And now people have the most elaborate pantries that are bigger than my kitchen.

And of course, I’m well aware that I’m part of that. When it came time for me to do my own pantry, I wanted my pantry first and foremost to be beautiful and have custom tile and open shelves and teal cabinets and a tiny sparkly chandelier and all of the other things that make a pantry beautiful, including the dog treats in pretty glass canisters.

So when i needed shoe storage, the idea of just doing some utilitarian shelving somewhere to serve a very basic purpose seemed unreasonable to me. How could I do simple utilitarian shelving when Pinterest and Instagram tell me that my shoe storage has to be beautiful and inspiring and Instagram worthy? How could I do something less than this?

And if I can’t have that, then why bother? I mean, the only two options were (1) a mound of shoes in the corner of the room in front of my closet prohibiting me from getting to my clothes, or (2) cabinetry that looks completely customized with glass doors, glass shelving, lighting, and a beautiful rug. And since I don’t have time (or space) right now to do Option 2, then clearly Option 1 was the only option I had, right? That’s Pinterest brain. That’s Instagram brain. That’s my brain that has been conditioned since 2009 (the year that Pinterest started) to believe that if something can’t be beautiful and Instagram-worthy, then it’s not really worth doing.

But my new shoe closet really has me motivated. It’s purely practical. There’s nothing pretty about it. There’s no fancy shelving, no awesome lighting. It’s just a couple of metal tracks, some metal brackets, and unfinished pine stair treads used as shelves.

And yet, I’m more excited about that shoe closet right now than anything going on in my studio. I really need to keep reminding myself that not everything has to be Pinterest and Instagram worthy. That mindset keeps me from getting things done, especially when it comes to organization. And sometimes getting things done and organized, even on utilitarian shelving, is reward enough in itself.

I can always go back at a later date and add custom shelving and lighting and all the fancy bells and whistles if I want to. Or maybe stair treads are enough. But what I do know is that that feeling of having things organized and decluttered is one of the most rewarding feelings there is, even if it’s not Instagram worthy.


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