I’ll be honest with you – I don’t keep a perfectly clean house. Nope. Don’t do it. Partly because, well cleaning is akin to cooking for me – I’ll do it if I really, really have too. And partly because I prefer using my time for fun stuff – like running around playing fairies with Little P. So keeping a house looking like it’s ready for an inspection by the Queen – it ain’t happening.
However, it’s not hoarder disgusting either. I mean, could I dust a little more? Sure. Could the bathrooms (I HATE cleaning bathrooms) get cleaned more than once every 10 days? Most definitely. But can we live with it? Yup.
And, to quote the fabulous Phyllis Diller:
But should we have people turn up unexpectedly I don’t feel compelled to keep them standing at the front door while I madly run around throwing things into a basket and then dumping that into our bedroom and slamming door closed (the entire time thinking that they haven’t noticed a thing – delusional? Nah). I may need to move the pile of ironing from one of the chairs and maybe try to discreetly push the Cheerios that are on the floor to under the couch with my foot, but other than that, what you see is pretty much what you get. And I’m okay with that.
I do however have friends who fit on either end of the scale. Ms. K is OBSESSIVELY neat (think Monica from ‘Friends’ – on steriods). Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) her two girls have developed the same desire to keep a neat house. It’s actually kind of freaky. The last time I was over there with Little P, her eldest practically hovered over my three year old, picking up and putting away anything that she had stopped playing with. Regardless of whether or not P was going to go play with it again. And while I appreciate her need to keep a clean house and love her dearly, I think our playdates will be confined to playgrounds from now on.
And then there’s Ms. M. Granted, she has four (that’s right FOUR) boys, ranging in age from 6 to 16, which pretty much means she’s given up on being able to see the floors, and has thrown up her hands in frustration after all her unsuccessful efforts to stop two of the four bathrooms in the house from constantly smelling like pee (they are boys after all). And while I adore her and her boys, walking into her house is like walking into an area that has been declared a disaster zone by FEMA. It’s that bad. What’s worse is that she knows it, and I know it drives her nuts. But at some point you just have to throw in the gloves and go with the old adage ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’.
She has however, managed to tape off a space for her, a place where the boys and hubby don’t dare to tread – her craft room. And that my dear friends is immaculate. There are labels on boxes on shelves with labels that are color coded and are arranged in size. It’s in her craft room that you get a little glimpse of what her house looked like pre kids, and what it will no doubt look like once they are all out of the house.
And even though my parents seem to think our house is always tidy (it’s not) and that it looks like it belongs in an edition of ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ (it doesn’t), our house is a HOME. It’s open and inviting. It’s warm and has good vibes. If you want to sit on the floor (watch for the Cheerios) or the couch you can. If you want to hang out in the back yard and just shoot the shit for hours, you are welcome to.
And if, on a cold night, you’ve gotten comfortable after a great dinner, good conversation and maybe a little too much wine, you know that there’s a spare bed with your name on it – and you are welcome to stay.
And I think at the end of the day (or night) that’s really what matters – that your house is a home. Cause home really is where the heart is.
Till next time, whether you can see the floor in your house or not, may it always be home to you.