12.8.08

Rethinking Mess

It's been getting very cluttered and chaotic around here of late. In a drive my clutter hating self crazy type of way. I can ignore it to a certain extent but then I'll step on something trip over something, the doorbell will ring... and a white hot hatred of all things clutter will be ignited. But don't be fooled into thinking that because of this my house is always clean. Oh no. See, I also hate cleaning. I used to really like cleaning, back in the days when whatever I cleaned stayed that way for a while. I would get it all tidy and then sit down for a celebratory cup of tea and a good read, content in the knowledge that I wouldn't have to do that again for another week.

And then there entered into my life other people. A husband, to begin with, who shocked me after we were first married by dropping his clothes in a trail that led all the way from the front door to the bathroom floor, every day after work. I could not, and still can't figure out why he can't wait until he's in the bathroom to start stripping.

And then entered children, 3 of them, 3 creative exuberant children. Three little clutter whirlwinds. I can leave a spotless room, spend 15 minutes in my bathroom and come out to a floor that looks like the toy box just vomited. Living in a small space doesn't help.

Even though I do make them pick it all up once a day, just before dinner so that the GH and I can enjoy a relatively toy free evening after they are in bed, it's enough to drive me nuts some days tripping over things.

So the other day I was looking at everything on the floor, feeling overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of tiny pieces that were scattered everywhere. And then I decided to try rethinking some of my attitudes toward all of this mess I was tripping over. And I took pictures, to share with you.

This is not hundreds of little pointy pieces scattered all over the table and floor. This is a little girl learning about shapes and spatial relationships. Also practicing for her future career as a tile layer.

This is not every puzzle we have all pulled out and dumped out together. Why can't you remember to work on them one at a time and put them away? This is advanced puzzle making. This is challenging not only her memory and manual dexterity, she is learning to sort and categorize as well.

This is a child using his imagination and building stuff on the TV instead of watching it.

These are boats carrying the survivors of a volcano wracked island to a new mountain home atop the TV. And that is the tousled hair of a child who has been rolling around on the floor all day having fun. There is also an abandoned princess cape in the picture.

Some one started a weaving project. Maybe they'll finish this time. I can be optimistic.

This is me biting my tongue. This is me choosing, daily, not to nag my husband about the giant mess on his desk that he rarely touches. There are more important things in life.

This is what I do so I don't have to look at it. And to keep out of sight when company comes. This some days is the price of peace and I don't mind paying it.



Now, don't you feel better about what's going on in your house too?

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Awww thanks for the pics but it doesn't look any worse than any other child friendly home I've ever been in. :) I have come to the conclusion that if you have kids -and- a tidy house, you're not doing your job right as a mother. At least that is what I'm telling myself :) Keep up the good work.

    Rachel D.

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  2. Looks just like my house. Especially all the puzzles dumped at the same time. I'm an INSANE neat freak, and lately I've just had to surrender to the mess...if I don't I'll just make everyone in my life miserable.
    Good job ignoring the husband's clutter; that's always the hardest thing for me:)

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  3. I like your perspective. We all need to realize there are more important things than stressing over stuff we can't always control even when we try.

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  4. This does make me feel okay about the clutter in your house, but honestly, it doesn't make me feel better about the mess in my house. Unlike you, I have 3 ADULTS that make clutter. The toddler really is the neater of the 4.
    Okay, so I over exaggerated a little. But it's really frustrating nonetheless.
    I love your new perspective on things. I think you're neat.

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  5. LOL....if the sign of a clean house plus kids is a sign that I'm not doing my job right, then I am super mommy! LOL Our house looks better than it has in months because we decided we had to steam clean (well....the cats decided we had to steam clean by taking their frustrations with the dog out by peeing on the carpets. YUCK!), so the living room and den are now squeaky clean, and my 7 year old's room looks fairly presentable....now normally I would relax and smile at my three nice, clean rooms....but unfortunately my in-laws arrive tomorrow and my parents on the weekend (somebody's turning 4), and both sets are a little less....understanding....about my super mommy status. So now I am stripping myself of my superpower cape and scrambling to finish the kitchen, wipe down the bathrooms, do the rest of the laundry and [gulp] shovel through MY room.
    Trying hard to stop being annoyed with Hubby's sloppy ways and the little tornadoes he helped create, aged 7 and nearly 4.....but struggling horribly still.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures and the story behind each.:)
    Debbie

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  6. Scuzzlewump-You crack me up :)

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  7. LOL....I try. At least now, 17 years later, I am not staring wide eyed at you going "you have SIBLINGS?!?" Hard to believe I have been cracking you up, in one way or another, for that long!
    My room (hubby's and mine) is still a disaster....never quite got there. So in the coming hours before my in-laws arrive, my goal is to stuff what I can in a nice invention called a big cardboard box (or three) and hide it all in our walk in closet.
    I know, it'll take me a week to sort it all out after, but desperate times and all that. :)

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  8. Stephanie1:20 PM

    I've come to think that the trail of clothes is a gene built into guys. Perhaps it is like laying a scent trail . . . but so far it isn't really working. My DH does exactly the same thing and I can't figure it out. Then when he is wanting to leave for work and can't find his pants (we don't have kids yet) he gets annoyed. Usually I try to help trace where he went right after coming home.

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