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From Messy Nest to Empty Nest

I have a shoe storage system by the door from the garage into the house. It’s not pretty, but everyone has a place to keep their shoes so that I don’t have to trip over them.

This need for order, this desire for everything to have a place and be in its place, is deep rooted and admittedly very Type A/OCD.

I assure you, I use these powers for good not evil.

How hard can it be?

No shoes in the house!” is a rule from my Chicago suburb upbringing that I have taken with me to all seven homes in all seven states that my family and I have lived in. If you cannot wear your shoes in the house then, you need to remove them, this is Phase I. This part of the process my children embrace, so much so that they will remind their friends that we are a “shoe-free-home”. As every Mom knows, it does not take much to make us happy and so my heart swells with pride every time I hear one of my kids offer this rule reminder.

Interested in Fairhope real estate? Contact Carrie Mackey at 303-396-5808 or visit:

Once shoes are removed it should come as no surprise that the footwear now needs to be put somewhere and thus… the shoe storage system. I will refer to this as Phase II. Everyone has a bin for their shoes with some additional storage for athletic shoes, work shoes, and dress shoes.  I will confess that I have never labeled this various shoe storage locations, perhaps this is why Phase II is where the confusion sets in. I happen to find the shoe placement part of the process pretty straight forward. Apparently for my family, this concept is incredibly difficult to understand and as a result, on a daily basis, I find myself cursing under my breath as I pick up shoes and put them in their appropriate bins.

Apparently very hard.

This is just one frustrating example of many. I have spent years (no exaggeration) of my life picking up the messes of my family….and dreaming of the day when my messy nest would be an empty nest and consequently, a clean nest. In my darkest, SO-HELP-ME-GOD-I- MIGHT- HURT- SOMEONE moments, the mere thought of cleaning my home and having it remain clean for hours, or maybe even days, would squelch my rage and have me giggling wistfully (maybe maniacally) to myself.

Are you picking up on the fact that I hate picking up? Good. Because lately, when I’m bending over (while struggling to hold the six bags of groceries, from the pit stop I made at Publix, for two things that turned into twenty) to pick up these $&%*!^ shoes, I find myself wistfully thinking about all the shoes…I’m really going to miss this.

It’s almost like I’m beginning to feel grateful for the stinky footwear I am relocating!

Sick isn’t it?

Please tell me there is a nice bottle of Cabernet at Red or White and a masseuse at The Grand that can cure me! Seriously, and feel free to tell me this therapy will need to be repeated weekly if symptoms persist.

My far-off dream of being an empty nester is not so far off. Our first little bird spread her wings a few years ago and has her own nest in Daphne AL In August our son will begin his first year at UAB and our youngest will begin her Senior year at Fairhope High School…and this time next year my last little bird will be preparing to fly… AND, my house will be clean and stay clean.

What I failed to consider when dreaming my dream is that half the reason for this new-found tidiness will be because half my house won’t even be used!

On to a new dream…A smaller nest.

What kind of nest are you dreaming about?

tiny house in the woods

Carrie Mackey
Real Estate Consultant

JWRE Fairhope
154 North Section Street
Fairhope, AL 36532
Phone: 251-929-4444



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