There’s a reason that the 1977 Stevie Nicks song “Dreams” has been covered well over 100 times by artists from Richie Havens to the Electric Peanut Butter Company. There’s even a Rock the Baby lullaby version for hip parents. Who doesn’t love dreams, whether they be day dreams or nighttime REM sleep happenings? Lots of cultural advances through history came partly from dreams, including Einstein’s theory of relativity. Using dreams to identify home or office organizing issues can lead to some unique and effective solutions.

If you think you don’t dream, try setting an intention before you fall asleep that you will remember your dreams and set a notepad and pen or have your phone handy to voice record your recollections in the morning. The intention is important but the pen and paper tells your brain that you mean business. Also, when you do wake up, don’t be too quick to move or get up. We remember our dreams best if stop to recall them in the same position we were in while dreaming, according to several experiments on the subject.

Colors are important and symbolic in dreams, so if you think you don’t dream in color (men far outnumber women in thinking they don’t dream in color) set an intention to remember colors. On awakening, try to recall even one color in your dream. It will often trigger remembering other colors and pretty soon you will be dreaming in technicolor (which you were all along).

Dreaming of buildings and homes is really common. Most dream dictionaries and interpreters of dreams say that dreaming of a home represents the whole of ourselves and the rooms represent different aspects of ourselves. The other night I dreamed I was living in a clutter filled trailer. The clutter was mostly paper and was all white and (thankfully) didn’t belong to me. But it represented a situation in the past that I was still “hitched” to like I was bringing along a trailer full of stuff that didn’t even belong to me.

Dreaming of a childhood home is especially common. What aspects of the childhood home do you miss and want to incorporate into your current home? Or what is still bothering you about your childhood home that you might have unwittingly repeated in your current home? For years I dreamed about exploring the scary second floor of our landlady’s mansion, next door to my childhood home. Dream symbol websites tell me that the upstairs of a building represent higher consciousness (and basements represent the subconscious).

Dreaming of home can symbolize protection, so if you have nightmares about home invasions it might be a signal that you feel unsafe and need to put up some cameras, motion sensor lights or better locks on the doors. If the home is in disrepair or falling down in the dream, you might need to deal with some real maintenance issues or it could symbolize a need to work on your finances so that you feel safe and secure. A leaky roof could symbolize some leaky boundaries in relationships or just be a reminder to fix an old leak before the rainy season is upon us.

The thing about dream interpretation is that only the dreamer can know what it means. If you get familiar with some of the general symbolism of numbers, colors objects and events in dreams you’ll start to get a sense of what they mean for you.

The color white, as in my dream about the trailer, might mean purity and cleanliness to one person, a blank slate or opportunity to another person or even death, as that color does in some cultures, to someone else. For me it meant that I’d cleaned up that situation as well as I could and it was an opportunity to unhitch that trailer. I’ve also literally had an abandoned camper-shell and a beat-up trailer on my property at different times and their removal was a huge relief, so the trailer symbol was easy for me to figure out.

If an interpretation doesn’t resonate with you (and you’re being honest with yourself—it’s easy to fib to ourselves about what our dreams may mean if we don’t want to face something) then that’s not what it means for you. A plaid skirt is going to mean something different to a man from Scotland than it is to a woman who went to a Catholic girls’ school. But an organizer will always interpret it as a reminder to clean out the closet.