Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a messy house can be a happy house.

"Excuse the mess...the children are making memories."
For the past 17 years in every place I've lived at I've always been a bit of a neat freak, and meticulous with how my house looks. They say the spirit dwells in a clean home, and I do believe that it does. It's just that lately with Noah being two he is as boyish as they come. Climbing on walls, coloring on the walls. Climbing on the piano, and chairs. Scooting the chair so he can gain access to anything and everything in the kitchen which could be dangerous. We have a wide entrance into the kitchen that I'd have to make my own childproof gate big enough to guard it. Luckily we do have childproof locks on the cabinets, and refrigerator, but he's figured out how easy it is to hold down the white gadget, and open it. One great thing he has done is throw away the trash in it's proper place instead of throwing it on the floor, or underneath the armoire waiting for one of his sisters to pick it up.

What I've come to realize is that messes are okay. I don't have to tidy up the toys that are scattered all around the living room floor every ten minutes, or neatly put away the flip flops in the corner entrance. I actually like the image of a slightly clean living room with colorful toys scattered around. Our house isn't too big, and our living room is the only place in which we entertain, and are entertained by our daughter's musical talents.
playing with dad

the living room in which the girls entertain guests, and themselves!
It doesn't bother me that as I'm sitting on the couch, I can see a cheerio, or a part of a banana peel underneath the armoire (even if it's black and hard!) I don't immediately pick it up like I used to. I will eventually, but if I'm in the middle of doing something with the kids I'll wait to clean it up. The coloring on the walls. Hey...they can always be painted right? Cover it with wallpaper right? Use a lot of scotch erasers right? Hardwood floors can always be swept, and polished right? There are so many alternatives in how to recover from your toddler doing his artwork on the walls.

Noah has gotten a lot better at throwing the trash on his own in its proper place, and if I happen to step on a cheerio or a pretzel on my way to the kitchen... that's okay. It'll get swept up eventually (or get eaten up by some critter.)

There have been many times when I've had an unexpected visitor and my house wouldn't be as tidied up as I'd like it to be. They'll comment that my house is so clean, and it makes me feel good knowing that they are saying that when they've accidentally stepped on a flip flop as they enter in while Noah is on the living room floor playing with his toys.

Truth is that I'm such an organized person, and because I don't have much furniture (our pianos are our furniture), or knick knacks there really isn't enough to clean up. People probably wonder how we manage to live in our house with four children. "Very easily" I'll say. I've just taught them by example, and we don't buy everything under the sun.

We've been in this house for four years now and the Bishop asked us the other day if our basement looks the same as we moved in (meaning if it was still bare, and if we have accumulated anymore boxes) I said, "yes Bishop...it still looks the same, and no we haven't really accumulated anymore boxes!" He was surprised and seemed very impressed! Apparently he saves things, and doesn't really throw anything away. We've moved so much in the past, and the fact that I was raised in a small house with a very neat mother...I have learned to be organized, and to only live with the necessities of life. I am teaching our kids to do the same thing.

Still...I want our home to be a clean haven while they build memories. I want to teach our kids that being messy is okay at times, but being clean, and organized is even better. I always want to have the spirit dwelling in our home. I want those who come into our home to feel warm, cozy, and happy. I'm sure that having a few crumbs, and cheerios on the floor won't make them want to leave.

After all...the authenticity of a family is what makes a house a real home. 

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