I actually cringe when people tell me they are going to pop over! We live in a VERY small flat, and there are five of us (well technically 8 if you count the cats)! Lord knows we try our best to ‘keep on top of things’ but unless I follow everybody around all day with a dustpan it’s just an impossible and thankless task! I should know I’ve tried it a few times.
I feel the need to paint a canvas with this phrase on!
I’ve been known to spend a mad three hours cleaning, polishing, re-arranging throws and sofa cushions, only to have the kids get home and within five minutes we’re back to our usual chaos.
Living in a two-bedroom flat with three children is hard! We do not have a garden to store large stuff like bikes, so the cupboard under the stairs is jam-packed with scooters, roller skates, tools, musical instruments – you name it, it’s probably in there. These bikes get dragged out on a regular basis and don’t always get put back – cluttering our open-plan living/dining/kitchen area. I don’t drive, so the school run consists of four miles of walking back and forth for myself and Fin (he’s only three) so I still use a pushchair. This also gets left out in the living room regularly.
Even just having one child you’ll gain masses of extra stuff (just imagine what three brings you) – throw pets into the equation and bam – goodbye tidy house.
I can easily do two wash loads per day – so our staircase doubles up as a “pile of clothes that I’ll put away soon area”. There are empty cups everywhere! There is a handprint on the mirror at the top of the stairs that is purple and looks like something out of a zombie apocalypse, which I’ve still yet to wipe away.
Pull out the sofa and you’ll find a safe haven for loom bands, marbles, socks and rogue biscuits. We sweep the floor often but to no avail. Drinks get spilt, food gets dropped, mud comes through the door, cats vomit and molt their fur and don’t even get me started on the bag of odd socks. It gets cleaned up, but by tomorrow, we’re back to square one.
I’ve visited other parents’ houses, who apologise for the mess, but their places are completely immaculate! How is this even possible?! I too have cleaned my home like a crazy person before someone comes over in the pretence that we actually live in a tidy home – but who am I kidding?!
So, I have come to the conclusion, that a messy house is a home – it is lived in – a beautiful mess! It drives us insane sometimes, but our kids are busy enjoying themselves. They draw, paint, cut, stick drop glitter, spill food, make dirty handprints on your nice clean windows, smear yoghurt on the floor, create masses of crumbs – but they are little and they are not going to stay little for long!
Sometimes we have to sit back and let the mess win – a messy house is a fun house!
Gulp! I am now going to tidy this mess - I have three hours before I pick my son up.