Is a clean house a moral issue? Is it wrong to live in a mess? Or is it simply a mess?
I like to clean. Really. It is instantly gratifying. Picture a sink full of dinner dishes, crumpled napkins and crumbs and spills all over the table, food prep mess all over the stove, a little of all of it on the floor. In 20 minutes it can be washed away and sparkling again. If only all of life’s messes were so easy!
Last week I was having some friends over for dinner. I love the time before company arrives when I can clean and fuss and make everything pretty and inviting. While I was cleaning I kept thinking about this question of the nature of cleanliness.
Am I crazy? Is it a waste of time? Are there good people with messy houses?
When I was a teenager the house at which everyone loved to hang out was a big mess. It wasn’t a creative mess or an interesting mess. It was just a mess but we always had a great time there.
I once spent a few weeks helping a young friend of mine get her apartment clean. I would send her a text message each day of a task to perform. Every evening she would send back a photo of the results. The before shots were full of piles of stuff. You could see that the piles were all nice things. The bed wasn’t made but the coverlet, blankets and sheets were lovely. The floor was covered with clothing – all of which were the ingredients to cute outfits. The kitchen counters filled with nice but dirty dishes and groceries. The living room floor had no less than five pairs of cute shoes among the debris. The bookshelves were filled with pretty teacups, books, and other keepsakes along with lots of dust. She worked really hard and got it all cleaned up.
It didn’t work, though. She still lives in messy rooms. It must not give her the same thrill it does me. I know she is a lovely person. A good person. A messy person.
Is there an answer? Is there balance? When should one begin to worry? It drives me a little nuts. I want to say very loudly, “Just clean up, people!”. But I won’t because they won’t. As long as it isn’t a health issue I guess it is just a matter of taste and style. I do believe that the condition of one’s soul is reflected all around and can’t help but think a really messy home means more than a different style.
Cleaning tips (in case you were wondering):
1. Maintenance is easier than playing catch-up. Cleaning a little bit of dirt everyday is easier than the long, tiresome deep clean once a month.
2. Don’t let your clothes touch the ground because they are sticky. It seems where ever one’s clothes end up they seem to be stuck there with glue. Put them on your body, in the hamper, back on the hanger, back in the drawer, not on the floor.
3. Wash your dishes now rather than later. Come on, how hard is it to wash a plate, fork, knife and cup?
4. Have your cleaning supplies easily accessible and cute.
5. Take time to admire how pretty your home feels around you.