My house seriously is a disaster almost every day and usually it’s days before I can properly clean up after the tiny tornadoes I call my children. Not just one room either but my ENTIRE house. You see Chaos and Mayhem (those are the code names for the Gentleman and the Diva) play EVERYWHERE and they leave a huge mess in their wake.
Before you start thinking they get to make a mess and I run around cleaning it up freeze because they DO pick up their messes. They just don’t pick up their messes like I would. I try to keep their toys organized into pretend play areas (which have 4 bins for things like accessories, tools and small weapons), a Lego area, a craft area and a toy play area also known as Imaginext City (we have a LOT of Imaginext toys…)
So when I clean up I dump all the pretend play bins and sort everything, remove broken crayons from our art easel, dump all or most of the toys from the bins and re-sort those, and even set up all the Lego buildings again. I do not have OCD despite what some people might say…but I probably come close. However, I don’t have the time or energy (or compulsive behavior) to keep it sparkling clean all the time….or half the time.
As far as the kids are concerned they get the toys off of the floor and they are done. Which is fine because they are kids…and not OCD. The problem is though when they pick up the house still looks like it was ransacked by tiny thieves who took nothing.
There are usually blankets on the couch, food crumbs on the floor, the kitchen table usually has papers from school on it along with mail and anything else we had to quickly set down and the toy room has any number of toys still out to play with the next day or that were forgotten. We try to catch the Lego’s though…every parent EVER knows how much it sucks to step on a Lego.
Glitter, perler beads and stickers usually line the floor in that room too. The kids rooms always have toys on the floor, stuffed animals on their beds and clothes that seemed to have missed the laundry baskets. My bed has their stuffed animals or a blanket on it and their bean bags next to it.
I think the ONLY room they haven’t taken over is our bathroom and probably only because we don’t let them shower in there ever. My children own this house, it is basically designed around them. It is important to have your own space though and we try to make sure everyone does.
My husband has his space in a game type area in the living room now but it has THEIR games in it too. Our bedroom has MY craft area in it (which is messy enough usually) but they have a small table in there to use to color, or play or eat at if they want to be with me while I work.
So yes, my house is a mess almost all the time and no one has the energy after all the stuff we do in a week to keep it looking immaculate. When people come over we vacuum again, pick up big things and make room for people to sit or play games but we stopped trying to super clean the house a long time ago. It’s exhausting and unnecessary.
Most people who come over either have kids and understand the futility of trying to clean that much or have been over enough that they know we aren’t gross. I don’t apologize for my house being a mess and I don’t stress over it. My kids play…a lot and everywhere and we have fun. That is the most important thing to me that they have fun and they learn and become good people.
I used to clean the house spotless before company came over. I mean I acted like we were cleaning to sell the house and it would drive everyone crazy including me! It wasn’t worth it and it turned out no one cared if our house was messy. I also used to get super jealous of other houses that were clean when we visited.
You know those people who have 2-3 kids but still have that perfect carpet with no stains and feels so soft? They have rooms that only have a few toys lying around and their bathrooms look brand new and shiny? Yeah…I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Why couldn’t my house look like that? Ever?!?!
I am still friends with those people and their houses still look like that but I don’t get upset, jealous or stressed about that anymore. I have learned that people will still be friends with you, will not judge you and generally don’t care if your house is messy. Let me clarify…if its messy because of kids. I am sure if you have pets and let them just “go” wherever people would be a tad upset and might not come back. But kids…everyone who has them or has been around them understands that where kids are a mess is sure to follow.
My house is “lived in” well technically it gets “played in” every day. I heard a saying I liked from that remake of “Yours, Mine and Ours” “Homes are for free expressions, not first impressions.” and I absolutely love it and think its true. My house is our home not a show room. Once I realized that and learned to let go of that dream carpet (I will wait til the kids are older and less clumsy with drinks) I was happier and less stressed.
So if you ever visit my house remember it will be a mess. There will be toys around the floor, juice boxes still sitting on tables from earlier in the day and possibly some laundry and toys on the stairs waiting to be taken up. Also remember that we will have a great time and the kids will clean up (as best as they can) when they are done.