I have an issue. One I’ve kept secret for far too long. Since we know each other well, it probably isn’t a secret to you, but I do really try to be discrete about it. I am sure I am not as clever as I think I am.
I really can’t stand clutter in my house.
And by clutter I mean, random books, papers, toys, clothes, dirty socks, old boxes holding some keepsakes from my childhood that my mother brought to me last week, crumpled artwork made by my kids, crumbs from a drive by eating in the hallway, and that special ugly ceramic mug that was hand-made long ago by my sweet husband that looks like a monster and sits on the desk holding pens. I want to throw it all away- especially when it is out of place and not cleaned up!
In fact, sometimes I do throw perfectly good things away simply because I am tired of them creating clutter!
Clutter makes me want to curse!
It makes me want to scream!
It makes my mind anxious!
It usually results in me yelling at someone about the mess, then rage cleaning it all myself!
I have long known that this problem plagues me. It often causes me grief and frustration, but at times I have to admit that I actually enjoy a good rage clean- well, as much as one can enjoy being rage filled. I get things done at least!
But I have to say, since I’ve been going over to your house, dear friend, I have felt a bit more peaceful about my own.
Let me explain so that that sentence above doesn’t come off as rude.
What I mean is, when I walk into your house to visit, there is the smell of your dogs, and the dog hair scattered here and there. Your laundry is all over your couch, and wrappers of your kids’ previously consumed cheese slices on your end tables. There are shoes scattered by the front door, and a pile of mail on your stairs. Your bathroom is in the middle of a renovation and is missing a sink. You might think that this would bother me, being such an anti-clutter fanatic, but it really, and truly doesn’t!
By this point, both of our kids are running feral and it’s sometimes hard to have a conversation about our lives. One of yours stops to hug you before running after her brother and we get another few seconds to talk before the furry of kids returns. There is love in your house.
You apologize because when I ask to use your bathroom, you realize that there is a pile of dirty laundry on the floor, and and that there is still the sink issue. But I don’t care. I can wash my hands in the kitchen!
To me, your house feels like home, and there is love and acceptance there. Your home smells like sweet home life. I see the mess, but I don’t. I see past it because the love and comfort in your house is so much bigger than the mess.
I hope none of this makes you feel bad, me pointing out your mess. Because the truth is, when I come home, I am much more willing to let my own mess go and see it for what it is. Just a mess, from a family who lives here, who is full of love and life. I see the crumbs from my children who are healthy, and eating and thriving. I see the toys from my toddler who is smart and active. I see the artwork from my kids who are creative and kind. And I see the animal hair from my dogs who we share our lives with.
Seeing your life helps me to appreciate mine as well.
So dear friend, please don’t clean before I come over because I love your beautiful mess! Please don’t ever apologize to me for the state of your house. I am happy to be here, and yes, I will simply move the pizza plate off the couch if I decide to sit and stay awhile.