My journey of acceptance that I am a slob.
I grew up in a do-not-touch house. It had a museum feel to it. It was the kind of house that was always immaculate – even minutes after a huge party ended. Josh thought an impulsive need to keep the house spotless must be a genetic trait and was surprised to find out that I am a slob.
Let me repeat that: I am a slob. Not the dirty kind whose home you are afraid might have things living in it besides the immediate family. I’m the breed that can’t be bothered with keeping every little thing in its place. In fact, few things in my house actually have a designated space which admittedly makes it hard to find things. For example I recently wanted to tape something to the wall and could not find my scotch tape. Would you believe this is where it was:
I used to have clean house envy. I’d walk into another person’s home and quickly note how much neater, cleaner, shinier, and better organized it was. I’d wistfully wonder if I’d ever become an adult and do things like have fresh flowers in every room like Becky, learn how to fold sheets so they stack neatly in the linen closet like Erica, and keep all my kids toys in organized, labeled bins like Rachel. I’d imagine the time when overnight visitors would be welcomed with petite soaps in the bathroom and chocolate on each pillow like Kiersten does.
Instead I walk around my house thinking “what is THAT doing THERE?” Another recent example:
Behind this properly place coffee maker something was hiding:
When I try really, really hard I can make my kitchen picture worthy:
But on a normal day (read: just hours later) it explodes into something more like this:
I’ve come to accept messiness as a feature of being an adult. It’s a conscious choice I’ve made because there are a lot of things that are a hell of a lot more fun than cleaning. I’d rather be (in no particular order): spending time with Josh, Marlee, and Lila Pearl, knitting, reading, blogging, facebooking, tweeting, shopping, exploring, exercising, eating, learning, and plotting how to prevent my cats from stealing my yarn stash…
When my house is immaculate it’s usually because I’m bored, having a short-lived-moment of germaphobia, or someone I don’t know well is on their way to visit. There’s also that brief period of time when I have a baby who just learn to scooch or crawl and spends all her time with her hands and feet on the floor.
That’s a way to know our level of friendship: if you come over with advanced warning and my house is in a state of shock we’re really good friends. If it’s spotless we are either acquaintances or I’m having one of those moments listed above. [For more information on the friendship hierarchy read my blog One is Silver, One is Gold] Warning to my acquaintances: open closet doors and cabinets at your own risk as everything that was on the floor before your visit is now crammed into any enclosed space.
I know I’m not alone when I think that every other person’s house is neater than mine. Who is often embarrassed when someone unexpectedly comes to visit and discovers my messy ways. I’m not the only one that sometimes gets confused and thinks my time would be better spent keeping my house tidy.
Tell me your story. Rate your house on a scale of 1-5.
1 = My house is so clean you could lick any part of it and be confident it’s germ-free.
2 = My house is only messy after a party, play date, or other activity that involves many people in my space.
3 = I can live with it and you probably could too.
4 = The average person would notice the mess and recognize it as equal to how their own house looks.
5 = I am having way too much fun to worry about a few stacks of paper and shoes strewn about.
On most days I am a 5 on this scale. How about you?
P.S. Find out how I came to terms with socks on the floor in my essay that was recently published in “Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude”.