Thursday, August 30, 2012

Home | Housekeeping revelations and reveal-ations.

I'm about to get real with you all.

Here are photos of our apartment—our messy, lived in apartment. And boy does it get so much worse than this, in case you're wondering. I just didn't share those pictures because 1) that's not what it looks like today, and 2) because, oh wait, those pictures don't exist because it's a state I'd rather forget about rather than memorialize in photos.

Now there are usually two reasons for sharing photos like these.

The first case scenario is a blogger sharing messy photos of her home to show everyone that she is, indeed, a real person with real messes, and that her home doesn't always look like a studio and her meals don't always look like they were photographed for Kinfolk.

When this happens, the reader (or maybe it's just me?) comes away thinking, "Yea, okay. So it gets messy like 1% of the time, but how to you keep it clean the other 99%? Because it sure does look like it's tidy and artful in all of your pictures except these.

The second scenario is worse. It's when a blogger shares photos of the same things and supposedly for the same reasons as the scenario one blogger, but what's remarkable about these photos is that they don't really look that bad. You know what I'm talking about. Her home is "messy." And in case you're new to the blogging world, "messy" in quotation marks means that the mess was apparently done in an artistic way. I don't know about you and yours, but I and mine never make good-looking messes.

My response to scenario two is always something like, "Wow, we must not just have artistic blood running through our veins..." Or, "Her husband must be artsy fartsy, too." Or, "Well she obviously is just more with it than me." Or, when I'm not feeling sorry for myself... "She totally tidied her mess before she took those pictures!"

And now you have the longest explanation possible of the two things I'm most assuredly not trying to say to you with these pictures of our messy apartment.

The whole point of showing you these pictures is to share with you something I've learned about housekeeping when you have little ones, or anyone actually living there and not just posing for artful pictures in a magazine quality studio-esq space that you just pretend to live in. I just learned this today, so if you figured this out in like second grade or something, be nice and don't tell me for a few days so I can glory in my seeming brilliance for a little while.

What I've learned is tidy vs. clean, and which one I like better. Ask Cody. He'll tell you that few things annoy me as much as a messy apartment, but the one thing that does annoy me even more than that, is a dirty, grimy, the-bathroom-is-gross apartment. And so, when I have a few minutes to do something, I no longer dedicate it to the messes, but to the grime. When you look past the messes in these photos, you'll find floors that have been freshly swept and mopped, a bathroom that is squeaky clean and smells like spearmint, and the dishes might even be clean (but they aren't right now).

The result of this is that 1) I'm not embarrassed when someone randomly drops by, 2) I'm not embarrassed when someone unexpectedly uses our bathroom, 3) I'm not frustrated when my toddler completely un-does all the toy-tiding I just spent my 15 minutes of allotted daily free-time doing,  4) I don't get dirt stuck to my bare feet, which is annoying, and 5) I'm bound to be a lot nicer to Cody when he leaves his laundry on the floor (unless it's in the way of the vacuum!) or has a pile of coursework on the table.

I don't know why I didn't think of this before...

Of course, I still love a tidy house, but I'll do that after the cleaning and/or after the toddler is in bed. You've got to pick and prioritize your battles.

P.S. In case you couldn't care less about the cleanliness of our apartment, and simply prefer to ooo and aaahh over my babies (I get it)... there is an ooo-worthy photo coming right up.


  1. I'm the exact opposite: I much prefer to tidy than to clean!

    Miss you.

    1. well the important thing is definitely knowing what you like. i was driving myself nutso. : ) man, miss you, too! i'm trying not to think about how sad the first day of bible study will be without you there. : (

  2. I totally agree about the artsy mess, especially with kids stuff, which I obviously have no experience with. Sometimes I look at blogs (one in particular, which I kind of think you might be thinking of) where the mom complains that she is so messy, and I think, "yeah, but when all your kids toys are from easy and impossibly cute and vintage and they are all over your perfectly it old apartment or on that vintage couch -- DUH YOUR MESS IS ENDEARING!!!"

    But I love your breakdown of tidy vs. clean. I hate cleaning, and much prefer tidying, but I am sure when I have little ones, I will have to pick one and forgo the other and I will go with clean any day.

    Also, your wood floors are beautiful.

    1. haha we probably are thinking of the same one. but i generally try not to get too judgy b/c i know we're all usually pretty genuine when we're being hard on ourselves for messes or whatnot. for example, when cody read this post, he said, "um, mary? the apartment doesn't even look that messy in these pictures. people are going to think that you were actually being one of those people you talk about even though you're not." well, i guess you just can't win sometimes. : ) nevertheless, a good reminder to our give ourselves some slack every once in a while. but i totally agree... if we had good looking toys, i'd probably encourage seb to throw them around! haha! and we do love our wood floors. thanks for mentioning them! they're a major perk of our apartment.