Happiness is... a Pottery Barn Kids Catalog.

by Risa Green


A friend of mine sent me that book called The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, which is about one woman’s quest to become happier over the course of a year. In it, she devotes each month to a different theme (energy, friends, love, etc.), and then makes small resolutions for how to improve her life in these areas. The book is okay – it’s an interesting project, but I find her writing a little dull – although I will say that she presents some good arguments for why certain things, like taking time to do projects with your children, or throwing a party for someone you care about, can actually improve your overall level of happiness. But what really hit home for me the most was her chapter on de-cluttering your life.


Now, I have said before that my house is consumed with clutter, and that one of the things that drives me the most crazy is figuring out what to do with all of the crap that comes along with living a full life. I mean, I have near-sexual fantasies about clean countertops and organized shelving. Just reading about this woman cleaning out her closet or filling five jars with the plastic junky toys that her kids don’t want to throw away gave me a little thrill, like I was some kind of Peeping Tom. And so I decided, if this Gretchen Rubin could do it, then so could I. I resolved that for my own Happiness Project, I would try to achieve the holy grail of home organization: I was going to make my kids’ playroom look like a Pottery Barn Kids catalog.


Ahhh, the PBK catalog. I can’t really wax poetic enough about it. Those perfect bookracks that are never overstuffed. Those wicker baskets filled with toys that fit neatly inside. Those craft tables with the built-in roll of paper that always has a clean, straight edge. This catalog is my porn. The only thing missing from it is a Room-of-the-Month centerfold.


The thing about our playroom is, I already have all of the accouterments to accomplish my goal. I own the Sabrina wicker baskets and the Cameron Creativity Storage System. I bought the Carolina craft table with the cute little matching Carolina chairs. I even have a giant magnetic chalkboard with little hooks and cubbies that was discontinued three years ago. And yet, even with all of these things, my kids’ playroom does not resemble a PBK catalog.


Who can tell me where is the world famous links of london sale? My girlfriend wants to order links of london necklaces and links of london rings recently, it is a big deal for me.


LiGabs I highly enjoyed this blog! It was hilarious simply because PBK IS MY PORN TOO!! How funny!! I have also tried and (I have only one child)regardless of what I do -I NEVER come close to PBK perfection. So I stick with my obsession of keeping these catalogues for my private perusals!


Love the article title THE POTTERY BARN KIDS CATALOG IS MOM PORN. Sad but true.


How perfectly imperfect. That's my life's goal. Everybody has a different kid of mess -- that's what makes it personal. My son's room has 1/2 built legos on his desk, his dresser, his nightstand, his bookcase . . . I take a deep breath and think about his need to express creativity is more important now than my need for clutter management.


Aspirational is good. So is a little realism. What a perfect combination you have achieved. Oh -- and how funny that you mention the books that are too big for the shelves. We have movable shelves in my son's room and I just spent an hour last night adjusting them so big books would fit because the across the top thing was bugging me.


If I counted up the number of hours I spend combing that catalog it is probably more than time spent reading real books in the last 3 years.


Amen Sister!!! Haven't we all wished for a Pottery Barn house??? But I'll take my kids over the notion of perfection anyday!