August 24

Yesterday morning I got up early, as is my custom, came downstairs, blogged, perused other blogs, read the news, and decided it was high time I took a shower.

I do not like clutter. I don’t really care if everything is dusty, I don’t mind seeing other peoples clutter, but clutter in my house…drives me nearly insane.

I am always telling the chips “a place for everything, and everything in its place”, and as I was going upstairs, I turned to look and saw a mess on the table.

I began to get frustrated.

I paused to see who’s mess it actually was. The boy’s 2 drinking glasses, receipt from a pair of exchanged dress pants, and his fair book, the girls book, her reading glasses, some lip balm and my Netflix envelope.

As I was standing there, it occurred to me that, all the clutter on that table signified that there was life in this house. Someone lives here. The people leaving those things on my table create noise, they create laughter, they create a purpose, and they help turn a house into a home.

It struck me then, that in not the so distant future the only thing that will be on that table will be droopy flowers and dust.

Dust from unuse.

There will be no one living here to sit at the table and read, or put on lip balm. No pants to be bought and returned, no fair entries to be looked over and decided upon. No library books that need to be returned, and no one for me to say to “put your glasses on while your reading, you’ll ruin your eyes”.

Nope…the clutter doesn’t bother me quite so much anymore.

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Just an average wife, mother, and homeschooling woman

19 thoughts on “August 24”

  1. I totally agree. My MIL (who lives with us) is totally OCD. You can hardly put a glass down and she’s got it washed and back in the cabinet. It’s maddening!!! I always tell her, “Six people live in this house and it’s gonna look like six people live in it!”

    You’re right. That clutter is a sign of life.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  2. Clutter is generally accepted and tolerated around here for much the same reason, CC. It is a sign that something productive happens here! Enjoy your clutter! Carpe de clutter!

  3. Oh Honey, you have just learned what I’ve known since childhood, a bit of mess means people…..who live, love and bring meaning to our lives. Cleaning will always be there but our time with our children is fleeting. My mother is much like you on the whole clutter thing but I”ve always hated it. To me it looked as if no one lived there. One day it will just be the husband and me and I hope there will still be a bit of clutter there giving meaning to our lives, different meaning perhaps but meaning all the same.

  4. Hi there. I just found your blog and I already look forward to it daily. 🙂

    I, too, don’t like clutter as my house is teeny tiny. But I, like you, have finally realized that sooner rather than later, my house will be “empty”! I have 4 kids; already one is married, one is a college senior, one is in the 2nd year of college and the youngest, my baby….(gasp) is a high school junior!!!

    I don’t think I’m going to like it very much when they only come to visit…God, can I have a do-over??

  5. OMG thank you for loving your fam. You are right about the clutter as I sit at my island talking to you with two in college and a HS freshman. I just moved my middle baby, only girl to her dorm 1 week ago. I miss her even though (we live in a University town) she is right here in town. I know she is forever different, as in, on her own now. Boo Hoo Always neat to watch their progression of life. So don’t worry! Its nice they give you something to stress over. Soon you will wonder “What to Do?”

  6. What a poignant lesson!

    You know me…I like everything neat and in it’s place, but I have learned the mess can be cleaned up and their is nothing more precious than the life and the people you share that life with.

    Will I ever get over being neat and orderly…I hope not! At the same time I find it isn’t a big deal to me anymore. As long as our home is clean when people first come to visit, the mess can stay until they leave. Then, I will have the time to put things back in place…while I am cleaning through my tears:)

  7. Thanks for a very valuable lesson. I try to keep things in perspective and enjoy my kidlets. Somedays their clutter makes me crazy. And how many times must I ask people to clean up the table after meals? Still, I’d rather be crazy and have my sweet little ones near.

  8. I love signs of life! I’m people-y. For several years my tabletops were clear and spotless. Now I have grandsons. My tables sport flecks of peanut butter and matchbox cars…which sends me into bouts of my happy dance!

    Clean tables smack of boring.

    I vote for cluttered life and shiny love!

  9. I have a theory on a clean house – if it’s too clean, one tends to be manic about things being out of place. If it’s lightly cluttered (see your dining room table photo), then it’s just a sign that people live there. *sigh*

    I, too, have to remind myself that there will come a day that the house will be picked up and tidy – because there will be no one around to mess it up.

  10. I’m sorry dear, but that was not a mess.

    Just think… in the not too distant future, you will have grandchildren over making a mess, leaving clutter, and turning your heart to mush. Get used to the clutter and mess. You are right, it can be a sign of life and love (as long as it’s not toooo much clutter 🙂

  11. Oh my. Your post today is so beautiful, thank you. Take it from the mom of a 31 year old, the time flys.Enjoy every moment.
    And can I just say this? How cool is it that Patsy Clairemont reads your blog? Miss Tanya, girl, you are good!!!

  12. Oh my dear, I too realized one day that my children will not be here forever. You know how I used to be with putting up things. Grandpa told Uncle Jim when we first got married not to get up in the middle of the night or I would have the bed made before he got back. I have since tamed down. The mess will still be there after the kids are gone.

  13. Aunt Cindy I remember when we were growing up, dad would get up to go to the bathroom and you would put the magazine he was reading away. He used to say he couldn’t even get up to take a leak without you putting things back in place…LOL

  14. I enjoyed your blog and all the comments. I love a clean house but rarely see it that way. My husband and I are older now and I’m going through disability where I am unable to do a lot. So, while we try to keep it picked up I do see dust at times.

    Loved all the comments.

  15. Grandkids will make the clutter worthwhile again. I can see you in about 10-15 years sharing pics of the grandkids, wonder what you’ll be calling them, as you teach them to make cookies, scramble/fry eggs and all that other stuff you’ve done with the Boy and the Girl.

    Your house reminds me a lot of my parent’s, lived in but not cluttered. Mine…..well there is no doubt people live here. 😆

  16. I agree wholeheartedly. We hosted a BBQ at our place yesterday, and I was stressing out over the place “not being clean enough” – my husband told me, “honey, unless a person is majorly OCD it doesn’t look dirty or cluttered, it just looked lived in”. Turns out that with the exception of one OCD person at the party who criticized everything left and right, nobody else saw the place for anything other than it was – a normal home. They were more concerned about enjoying the food and the company.

    I know it’s hard to fight the urge to pick it up, though. 🙂 I nearly passed out yesterday from trying to cook and clean and fight off a cold all at the same time.

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