My kids call me a neat freak, and while that is my tendency, if you’ve had a chance to visit my house in the last year, you wouldn’t agree with them. This house is anything but neat. I honestly can’t blame anyone for the lack of neatness. We are all really busy and have tended to just put stuff down on the bar counter, coffee table, stools, ottoman, etc. as we’ve walked in the door. We’ll plop down on the couch, rearrange pillows for comfort’s sake and pull on a blanket because we are chilled. When we get up we throw off the blanket, and go to our rooms, to eat, to run errands, etc. and leave the messes we’ve created behind. I understand that we’ve left stuff on the coffee table because we aren’t quite done with what we were doing and plan to get back to it hours/days later. I get that we throw our bags down and plan to take them up to our rooms when we go upstairs the first time, but that rarely happens. After a tour of Pinterest, magazine homes, and old pictures of my apartment in Turkey I was fed up with the clutter I was seeing around me. I told my housemates…you know…kids and partner…that I was throwing everything not in it’s proper place in the middle of the living room floor. What wasn’t claimed was being thrown out or sent to goodwill. So far we’ve done the living room and kitchen. Today I will tackle the dining room and gameroom. We had visitors all the time back in Turkey and I never worried about whether or not my house was presentable enough. I just made sure it was. I know I shouldn’t care so much what my house looks like, but I do. I don’t want people to walk in and wonder if they should have had a hepatitis shot before they showed up. And I promise I have no problems with a house that looks lived in. I expect my house to have some stuff out of place at times. It’s just the piles start adding up and it looks junky. And I won’t judge* you on your house either. It’s just my house that must be neat and clean.
I do see a pile of something unidentifiable on the table along with a soda bottle, but even so…not too bad.
I do feel that using the fact that we are all working and busy is a bit of a copout. It doesn’t take that long to pick up after ourselves. And while those living room pictures might give you the idea that we didn’t live in that room, I promise we did! There were usually kids laying around on the couches, and a toy or two in the floor. Homework was done on the dining room table as well as the kitchen table. This picture was taken during the day while the kids were at school. I usually made sure we picked up any mess or stray stuff at night before we went to bed. That way the house was ready for any unexpected visitors the next day. In Turkey, we had lots of unexpected visitors so this was a necessity.
I don’t expect my house here to have this same look. We have 2 dogs and the hair and dog toys are a daily battle. Our schedules here aren’t as consistent as they were there. Here, there is a lot more individual coming and going. That makes it harder to keep it picked up I think. What I am going to expect is for everyone to pick up their stuff when they go to bed. When we get up from our cozy spot on the couch, we will put the pillows back where they go and fold the blanket we were using. Our shoes will be brought upstairs with us instead of thrown about the living room. Dog toys will be put back in the basket nightly. Picking up after ourselves will add about 2 minutes to our day, and we all have 2 minutes to spare.
*Or at least I try really hard not to judge the cleanliness of houses or cars. I did ride with this one catering person once when I worked for Panera and her car was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen. There were melted crayon streaks on the front passenger seat. I was wearing black pants and every time I got in her car I had to feel the crayon spots to make sure they wouldn’t get stuck to my butt. There were unidentified masses in the cup holders and so much random crap in the floor that I had no choice but to rest my feet on it. She had so many old food wrappers, half eaten chicken nuggets, books, toys, moldy food, and trash in the back of her car that I didn’t see how she could even begin to take food for delivery in that car. Honestly, I was so totally grossed out by it, but she didn’t seem to mind at all that I was seeing that mess. The most amazing part was that she talked about being so excited when her husband bought her that car because she had always wanted a Mustang. And it was so nasty!!! Ok…done judging.