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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  1. I love how simple it was to make this and has inspired me that I can do this.

    Your ideas and home decor are so inspiring to me. Love love.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. I love how simple it was to make this and has inspired me that I can do this.

    Your ideas and home decor are so inspiring to me. Love.
    Thanks for sharing.


  3. …..but your new shoe closet IS pretty! It is white with natural wood and has colorful, beautifully arranged shoes. It is pretty! AND functional!

  4. I think Pinterest and Instagram prevent a lot of people from just enjoying life! Just saw on Mel Robbin’s page: On average we will waste 20yrs scrolling through our phone!!! 20 YEARS!!!!!! Think of all the emotions we now feel because of what we see scrolling.
    I go to the library now. I dont want my brain to turn to mush! I give myself a few minutes with my coffee to look and then i put my phone down for the day!

  5. So many good points! I’d been thinking about the growth of pantry size as having to do with increasingly open kitchens driving the desire to hide more of the working parts of the kitchen in a room with a door (at what point does the pantry become the kitchen and the kitchen become something else all together?). But so true that pinstragram is ultimately driving that!
    I would LOVE for you to share more of these style of projects as you do them. It’s such a great reminder and such good inspiration (already thinking about how I could use the solution somewhere)! For me, pretty matters – but I also get hung up on the fear of spending money on the quick fix if it might be “redone” soon – but then ‘soon’ becomes years of living with the ‘no fix’ solution.

  6. I think of it as perfectionist brain. If I can’t do it perfectly why bother doing it at all? After all, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing right…right? But good enough really is good enough sometimes. And ESPECIALLY when talking about creative or hobby-related things, perfect isn’t the point. It’s the process, the journey, the FUN…not the completed project.

  7. How wise of you to recognize this phenomenon and it’s impact in your life.

    I think it’s beyond decor and “pretty” for most of us. Just finished a book with research about general info overload, negative drain on us, even more than any of us appreciate. Maybe it’s “media muddle”, “influence-itis”, “not good enough paralysis”. Probably marketing pressure and consumerism too. Not going to lie, it’s something I’m working and less media is a noticeable relief.
    Just last night my fella and I chatted about full circle of near all houses having pantries, flour bins, buffets or hutches with large food storage needed to prepare everything or hold home canning to the advent of convenience and processed foods, less gardening contracting kitchens & pantries. And now we’re back to more home prepared, homegrown and bulk storage with robust pantries and kitchens.

  8. You are SO correct…putting off making something that WORKS, is way worst than piling up stuff because we have to do it a certain, perfect, decorative way! Some things are just NOT that important, and maybe we should just leave it at that. Shoe storage could just be…storage for shoes to keep things neat and easy to find. OK…a plain closet/shelf/rack really does the job, looks fine, and WORKS fine as well. Maybe we just all need to take a step back. I think I might need to. Some of this very thinking is why my house looks like a hoarder house right now…still waiting for my husband to build what I want, me to do all the finishing touches, etc., when I could probably do it well enough on my own and have things put away and much more usable. I’ve been getting hints lately when I have to go buy something that I KNOW I have, but cannot find. Thanks Kristi for a wake up. 😅 I’m getting at it today.

  9. AAAAAMEN!!! Well said! In the end, practical and functional wins. I like all the ideas at my fingertips, but 95% of it isn’t helpful to a normal person with a normal relationship to “stuff”. Gotta keep that in mind!

  10. I get it! The fact is, social media has normalized extravagance and massive consumerism. The more pictures we see of beautifully styled extravagant homes, the more our brains accept those things as common and ordinary, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and depression. I already suffer from an anxiety disorder with OCD tendencies so it’s extremely important that I keep myself from spinning out over every trend that comes along. I make my home a beautiful place but keep things simple. Simplicity is beauty, at least for me!
    Also, I discovered years ago that extra storage space just invites excess stuff! When I run out of space, I don’t add more, I get rid of something I don’t need.

  11. I had to laugh at your description of the pantry! My daughter has an upscale 2 story 4500 sq ft house that has a 30″ pantry with a 24″ door and no lighting. I’m building a duplex for us to share. She said she wanted a BIG pantry like a walk-in closet! So when the plans were drawn, she has a 10′ x 13′ pantry with lots of outlets 4′ above the floor and a 3 x 3′ solid glass window for daytime light. She just saw it the first weekend in May and was absolutely thrilled with it. There is even a ceiling outlet for a fan! Lots of puck lights in the ceiling. She also thought he MBR closet was bigger than her current one. I had to tell her no, it was exactly the same size. (I measured it when I was visiting her!) I pointed out that this new closet was empty! Hers is overflowing with her & hubs clothes, shoes and boots. Of course it looks small!
    I love the shoe rack! I’m looking for something like that myself for my closets. I have 2 7′ traditional closets with 5′ doors so a rack like this would be perfect at the end of each closet where you can never get to the hanging clothes. So apparently, I have to deal with Pinterest, Instagram and Kristie for inspiration! 2 of them are not that inspirational due to price! However, one is my favorite! Guess who?

  12. I’ve only been following you for abia years now, but this is by far my favorite post in that time.

  13. Your closet now is perfectly great. You are not going to post in on Pinterest or Instagram so don’t worry about it. Your blog is full of inspiring ideas. I read it all every day and look at all your pictures. I share many with my husband, as hints!!
    Get into your own mindset! Simple can be charming and very satisfying.

  14. All I can say is YAY, YAY, YAY!!

    YAY because I understand the need for so many shoes, and YAY because this is a project that even I could do! Or have my husband do.. I love it and love the functionality in that the shelves can be adjusted for other uses if needed. And, I think it’s plenty pretty!!

  15. I’ve always loved shoes too. Now what I would have done if I was your age is look at my shoe organization….smile real big….and go right out and buy myself some more shoes.

  16. And that is all that matters Kirsty tidy organised shoe & boot cupboard what you have done upto yet is nothing short of amazing and incredible and 98% of on your own ,they have done nothing to what you have achieved , designed , remodelled and built , what they do on Pintrest and Instagram is nothing that can compare to what you have done and achieved all the time looking after Matt you have done and are doing a whole house plus Extension & Garden you wont see anybody posting anything like that on any of those sights what you have designed built & decorated is nothing short of amazing, fabulous and beautiful and I love following you on this journey anybody can stick a bit of wallpaper up in a cupboard but they can`t do what you have done on your own oh by the way I have on occasion had Youtube brain ,,lol..

  17. Never thought of it that way – makes sense, and I’m sure I’ve fallen into the same issue of not getting a project done because the quick and practical isn’t IG/Pinterest worthy.

    Another thought I had is this is a temporary solution in a temporary living space – not your permanent bedroom. You may easily want it back as closet space for guests and what you installed now can easily converted back.
    Do the big, glass, beautiful cabinetry in your new bedroom closet!!

  18. I have been on Pinterest I think maybe 3 times…and that was in 2011 when my daughter forced me to view when I bought my current home. She was a Pinterest enthusiast. Yet she was very creative. I did not use any of what I saw, because I like doing my own thing. I only thought of one thing I’ve seen on blogs, YouTube, etc. and that is having a grand decorative items over a picnic table. I may still do it, but I have not yet. Life is too complicated to always compare your design or ideas with someone else and after seeing all you do, I would follow a few of your ideas for my own home. As for your pantry, if it is as usable and practical as you need, then it is perfect. Everything you do is you and colorful and brings you joy…enjoy that and I agree not everything needs to be perfect (I hope not, as my home is not perfect for all, but I love it! Of course, I am in my 70’s and have seen almost every imaginable style anyone could devise…I love homes and see how people decorate or what is in style…I don’t usually change my own and every home I’ve had, I’ve done a little differently,,,always keeping some element of what my son calls junk??!! Keep doing you!