Tyler Moore - school administrator

One October afternoon, while sitting in a meeting with the other administrators at my school, I realized I needed a life change. I noticed my heart begin to race. I felt the areas around my eyes tighten. I could barely swallow.

The voices of my colleagues at the table became muffled. I stood up from my chair. The conversation stopped and everyone looked in my direction.

“I need to speak to you privately,” I firmly said to my supervisor, interrupting the meeting.

“Is everything okay?” she asked.

“No,” I replied.

We walked out the side door of the school to the play yard.

Tyler Moore - school administrator

“I can’t do this anymore,” I said. “I don’t look forward to coming to work. I’m literally running around all day trying to help people, but for what? I’ve been hit, kicked, bitten, and slapped. I have no energy left for my girls. This is all too much. I think I’m done.”

As I spoke at stream-of-consciousness speed, I realized that for the first time in years I was explicitly stating my thoughts and feelings to my supervisor. For far too long, I’d held back my feelings. I was scared to admit how dark my life had become.

classroom desks

In the weeks leading up to this play yard conversation, I’d cried almost daily while walking to school.

Huge crocodile tears would stream down my face as I’d think about the day that awaited me. Anxiety and stress would build as  I crossed each street.

At school, my schedule was not my own and there was little I could plan for. Parents, students, and teachers all had demands, and there was little that I could do to keep all three groups happy at the same time.

To attempt to manage my stress and anxiety, I poured myself deeper into my work, often working 10-12 hours per day. I would wake up early to review scheduling plans for the upcoming day. During school hours from 7:30-4:45, my work responsibilities were almost completely “reactive”. Once the students had left for the day, I would open my computer and try to respond to the countless emails I had received during the day.

Tyler Moore - ready to make a life change

As soon as I could, I’d rush home to the girls at the end of the day. My excitement to see them would quickly fade as my anxiety levels also rose at home. If the house wasn’t perfectly calm and tidy when I walked in, I had a hard time coping.

More often than not, I walked into the apartment and expressed judgement to Emily for what she had done or not done during the day. If she had dinner ready on the table, I’d complain that the apartment was a mess because the girls had played with toys on the floor while she cooked. If the apartment was tidy, I’d complain that laundry wasn’t done. If laundry was done, I’d complain that dinner wasn’t ready. It was an endless cycle.

I also found it painful to listen to the squeals of delight coming from the girls when they saw me enter the door. They would want to play, but I’d say, “Let’s get the girls to bed early, I’ve got work to do.”

Tyler Moore - making a life change

After finishing the conversation with my supervisor in the play yard, I walked home from school and had an honest conversation with Emily. I decided that I was ready to make a life change. I wanted to enjoy going to work each day. I wanted to be more present at home for Emily and the girls. I wanted to do more to help out around the house. I wanted to feel joy again.

After making the big decision to step down from my administration job and return to teaching in a classroom the following school year, I began making other little changes. I began to tidy up my life.

Tyler Moore - classroom teacher

Here are some things that I decided to do:

Reach out for professional help. 

After the conversation with my supervisor, I began individual therapy. I realized that I was emotionally depleted and was ill-equipped to process my feelings alone. Through therapy, I have learned how to name my feelings and articulate why it is that I’m feeling what I’m feeling to others. I’ve learned how to establish boundaries at work and at home. I’ve developed strategies for managing my anxiety and my desire to control my environment and the actions of others (see Control in the Classroom).

Take a break from social media. 

Comparison is the thief of joy and I stepped back from social media for nearly 8 months. I realized that my anxiety would rise as I scrolled through the feeds of others and I’d often feel jealous. I didn’t suspend my accounts, but completely logged out of them and stepped away. It was very refreshing, and it wasn’t until I developed the concept for “Tidy Dad” that I returned to social media at all. I guess I have my tiny closet to thank (see Closet Maintenance) and the friends who encouraged me to share it with the world!

Journal about the types of work that I really enjoy doing.

There are two types of work: paid work and unpaid work. I’ve spent quite a bit of time journaling about the types of work that I actually enjoy doing and I’ve devoted myself to pursuing those types of work. I enjoy teaching. I enjoy caring for the girls. I enjoy  cooking meals. I enjoy cleaning our home (see Why I Clean On Weekdays). I enjoy writing. I enjoy working with others (but not managing others). I enjoy working on home projects (see Bedroom Redo and The Great Bedroom Flip).

Spend more time doing the things that I love. 

I’ve discovered my love for baking (see Baking Beginnings). I’ve come to believe that baking is a powerful way to physically show love for someone and it is a beautiful and tasty artistic outlet. I love to wake up early and bake sweet treats for the girls (see Weekday Morning Baking) and I love to invite them to help me. Baking has become a part of our family rhythm and truly brings me joy.

Take a class.

I have always dreamed about writing a children’s book. The summer after my final tumultuous year as a school administrator, I took a class from Gotham Writer’s called Introduction to Children’s Writing. During the 8-week course I wrote a series of short stories about a girl named Mabel who was learning how to express her feelings to her dad. It was cathartic to pour myself into writing, and it helped me to unearth some of my own issues with expressing and sharing feelings. I still have a notebook filled with my writing ideas, and I’m determined someday to publish stories about our everyday adventures (see Summer Bucket List).

Forget about a straight-lined career trajectory. 

I’m learning that life is full of ups and downs, left turns and right turns. My previous belief that I would follow a straight-lined career trajectory was incredibly naive. Returning to classroom teaching has been invigorating (see Tidying Up My Work Life). I feel like I’ve proven to myself that I am in charge of pushing the reset button at any time and that I can make a life change. Sometimes it is necessary to step back from positional power. I really have no idea what the next few years of my career will look like, but I’m learning to lean into the unknown.

Photos by Abigail Lewis Photography

Tyler Moore - making a life change

Thanks for pinning!

I'm Tyler Moore 

My wife and I live with our three young girls in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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November 18, 2019

Tidying Up My Life

Tyler Moore - school administrator

One October afternoon, while sitting in a meeting with the other administrators at my school, I realized I needed a life change. I noticed my heart begin to race. I felt the areas around my eyes tighten. I could barely swallow.

The voices of my colleagues at the table became muffled. I stood up from my chair. The conversation stopped and everyone looked in my direction.

“I need to speak to you privately,” I firmly said to my supervisor, interrupting the meeting.

“Is everything okay?” she asked.

“No,” I replied.

We walked out the side door of the school to the play yard.

Tyler Moore - school administrator

“I can’t do this anymore,” I said. “I don’t look forward to coming to work. I’m literally running around all day trying to help people, but for what? I’ve been hit, kicked, bitten, and slapped. I have no energy left for my girls. This is all too much. I think I’m done.”

As I spoke at stream-of-consciousness speed, I realized that for the first time in years I was explicitly stating my thoughts and feelings to my supervisor. For far too long, I’d held back my feelings. I was scared to admit how dark my life had become.

classroom desks

In the weeks leading up to this play yard conversation, I’d cried almost daily while walking to school.

Huge crocodile tears would stream down my face as I’d think about the day that awaited me. Anxiety and stress would build as  I crossed each street.

At school, my schedule was not my own and there was little I could plan for. Parents, students, and teachers all had demands, and there was little that I could do to keep all three groups happy at the same time.

To attempt to manage my stress and anxiety, I poured myself deeper into my work, often working 10-12 hours per day. I would wake up early to review scheduling plans for the upcoming day. During school hours from 7:30-4:45, my work responsibilities were almost completely “reactive”. Once the students had left for the day, I would open my computer and try to respond to the countless emails I had received during the day.

Tyler Moore - ready to make a life change

As soon as I could, I’d rush home to the girls at the end of the day. My excitement to see them would quickly fade as my anxiety levels also rose at home. If the house wasn’t perfectly calm and tidy when I walked in, I had a hard time coping.

More often than not, I walked into the apartment and expressed judgement to Emily for what she had done or not done during the day. If she had dinner ready on the table, I’d complain that the apartment was a mess because the girls had played with toys on the floor while she cooked. If the apartment was tidy, I’d complain that laundry wasn’t done. If laundry was done, I’d complain that dinner wasn’t ready. It was an endless cycle.

I also found it painful to listen to the squeals of delight coming from the girls when they saw me enter the door. They would want to play, but I’d say, “Let’s get the girls to bed early, I’ve got work to do.”

Tyler Moore - making a life change

After finishing the conversation with my supervisor in the play yard, I walked home from school and had an honest conversation with Emily. I decided that I was ready to make a life change. I wanted to enjoy going to work each day. I wanted to be more present at home for Emily and the girls. I wanted to do more to help out around the house. I wanted to feel joy again.

After making the big decision to step down from my administration job and return to teaching in a classroom the following school year, I began making other little changes. I began to tidy up my life.

Tyler Moore - classroom teacher

Here are some things that I decided to do:

Reach out for professional help. 

After the conversation with my supervisor, I began individual therapy. I realized that I was emotionally depleted and was ill-equipped to process my feelings alone. Through therapy, I have learned how to name my feelings and articulate why it is that I’m feeling what I’m feeling to others. I’ve learned how to establish boundaries at work and at home. I’ve developed strategies for managing my anxiety and my desire to control my environment and the actions of others (see Control in the Classroom).

Take a break from social media. 

Comparison is the thief of joy and I stepped back from social media for nearly 8 months. I realized that my anxiety would rise as I scrolled through the feeds of others and I’d often feel jealous. I didn’t suspend my accounts, but completely logged out of them and stepped away. It was very refreshing, and it wasn’t until I developed the concept for “Tidy Dad” that I returned to social media at all. I guess I have my tiny closet to thank (see Closet Maintenance) and the friends who encouraged me to share it with the world!

Journal about the types of work that I really enjoy doing.

There are two types of work: paid work and unpaid work. I’ve spent quite a bit of time journaling about the types of work that I actually enjoy doing and I’ve devoted myself to pursuing those types of work. I enjoy teaching. I enjoy caring for the girls. I enjoy  cooking meals. I enjoy cleaning our home (see Why I Clean On Weekdays). I enjoy writing. I enjoy working with others (but not managing others). I enjoy working on home projects (see Bedroom Redo and The Great Bedroom Flip).

Spend more time doing the things that I love. 

I’ve discovered my love for baking (see Baking Beginnings). I’ve come to believe that baking is a powerful way to physically show love for someone and it is a beautiful and tasty artistic outlet. I love to wake up early and bake sweet treats for the girls (see Weekday Morning Baking) and I love to invite them to help me. Baking has become a part of our family rhythm and truly brings me joy.

Take a class.

I have always dreamed about writing a children’s book. The summer after my final tumultuous year as a school administrator, I took a class from Gotham Writer’s called Introduction to Children’s Writing. During the 8-week course I wrote a series of short stories about a girl named Mabel who was learning how to express her feelings to her dad. It was cathartic to pour myself into writing, and it helped me to unearth some of my own issues with expressing and sharing feelings. I still have a notebook filled with my writing ideas, and I’m determined someday to publish stories about our everyday adventures (see Summer Bucket List).

Forget about a straight-lined career trajectory. 

I’m learning that life is full of ups and downs, left turns and right turns. My previous belief that I would follow a straight-lined career trajectory was incredibly naive. Returning to classroom teaching has been invigorating (see Tidying Up My Work Life). I feel like I’ve proven to myself that I am in charge of pushing the reset button at any time and that I can make a life change. Sometimes it is necessary to step back from positional power. I really have no idea what the next few years of my career will look like, but I’m learning to lean into the unknown.

Photos by Abigail Lewis Photography

Tyler Moore - making a life change

Thanks for pinning!

November 18, 2019

Tidying Up My Life

About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our three young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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About me

Hi, my name is Tyler Moore. My wife and I live with our three young daughters in a 700- square-foot apartment in New York City. I began my tidying journey when an early-30’s crisis invited me to reflect upon, challenge, and change my patterns of daily living. I quit my job as a school administrator, returned to teaching, and started Tidy Dad to help others tidy, simplify, and find joy in their lives. I firmly believe the tidying process can transform your life. I’d love for you to join me in exploring ways that tidying can make room for what’s important in life. 


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