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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

a messy home

Anyone that really knows me is well aware {and has probably mocked me} for keeping such a tidy home.

What can I say? It's my thing. Clutter stresses me out. I enjoy our space so much more when I'm not stepping on legos and the pillows look nice and fluffy. Before I wind down for the evening, I do a little sweep thru of the house to make sure things are put away. I can't truly relax until after the dishes are done and all the dog hair has been swept up.

It echos into other places sometimes too. The other day, Jake and I had a play date with some friends at the local children's museum. When the other moms saw me absentmindedly tidying up a play area, they just chuckled. They know how I am.

But let's face it, I do share a home with a husband and toddler that don't necessarily echo this same sentiment. And there are times when I'm just. too. tired. So yes, every now and then you'll find my house looking something like this...

Are my friends gasping right now? 
"I don't even know her anymore!"

My perfect house is one that stays picked up. Our spaces would look just like the photos in our home tour at all times, where everything is in its own place. My perfect house is cozy, tidy, and clean. But even for those of us that are on the neater side of things, life just doesn't always work that way, does it?

Not long ago, I sincerely enjoyed reading Myquillyn Smith's book The Nesting Place.


Spoiler alert: It's pretty stinkin' great. Parts of it truly hit home for me. Quite literally...

"When I walk into a house, my eyes immediately dart around hoping to find something imperfect so that I can know this is a house where I can be real. The truth is I’m just not comfortable in a house that seems perfect. I get distracted and start thinking all about myself. I wonder if I can move this pillow to sit down. I’d better have water to drink instead of wine in case I spill it. Instead of enjoying the company of the hostess, I worry about how to act in the presence of a person who seems to have it all together. I wonder what she must think of me and the mess that I am when her house is so beautiful.
It finally dawned on me that if I’m not able to let my guard down in a perfect house, maybe others feel the same way. And if other people feel that way, why the heck was I working so hard to make our home appear to be perfect? True, I want our home to be welcoming. I want it to be comfortable. But welcoming and comfortable do not have to equal perfection."
- The Nesting Place 

Woah. Color me called out. What a bold challenge - to focus on comfort and living life together before aching for perfection. We all strive so hard to appear "put together", but isn't it our flaws and imperfections that draw us closer to one another? Myquillyn makes the point that the same can be true of a home. Her lovely blog has the fabulous tagline that "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". How incredibly truthful.

I love my home. I love decorating and revamping our sweet spaces. I love fresh flowers and clean floors. And I seriously doubt that will change. But in a world that focuses so heavily on the outward appearances of things, its truly refreshing to be reminded that a little mess is okay. It's human. At times, its even inviting. The same is true of our lives. Realizing that the we don't always have to wear our thick coat of armor allows us to open up to one another, be a little vulnerable, and hopefully create some genuinely wonderful relationships.

Gosh, that's good stuff.

Grab a copy of Myquillyn's book. Pretty sure you'll love it too.


  1. You and I are very similar. I have always hated the phrases/advice "sleep when the baby sleeps" or "the messes can wait" and similar type things. I can't relax until my house is at least semi-clean. So I couldn't sleep when the baby slept because I couldn't relax enough to fall asleep (I'm a horrible napper).

    However, like you, there is a toddler and a husband in this house. A husband who works in tree care and comes home filthy. And....there are usually dirty dishes in my kitchen. Maybe only 1 or 2, but almost always there are some. I hope my house is a mix of clean/uncluttered for me and "lived in" for my friends. :)

  2. I just gasped like 10 times reading this!! I do tell Gabe every time I come home from your house, "Sarah's house is ALWAYS so perfect! Why can't ours be like that?" Of course, you know me too...those pictures look like my house every day!! -Caroline