Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oh The Dirty Little Secrets of Tidy Little Families

Dirty Little Secrets of Tidy Moms And Dads

I have a friend who has more kids than me, whose husband works longer hours than mine, who cooks and bakes more than I do, and yet her house is tidier than mine, always tidier than mine. What gives? I decided that this week, it was time to get to the bottom of it: what are the dirty little secrets of those tidy families?
I have been watching all my tidy friends and taking notes. Here's what I have observed that is common to them all.
1. Their whole family has less stuff. And by less, I don't mean "boy, I really should get to cleaning out that coat closet": I mean, drastically less stuff. Think of all you own. Now halve it, and you're getting close. A friend of mine with four kids lets each kid have one shelf above their bed for toys and books. The kids share one closet. They are some of the happiest, most well rounded kids I know, and their room is always clean.
2. They surf the internet less. Pretty much all of my friends who admit to spending too much time online are also in the messy camp. Pretty much all of my friends who are completely clueless about the latest meme and who I rarely see on Facebook are tidy. It's easy to have valuable cleaning time slip away while you're hanging out online.
3. They do let their kids watch TV, but they choose the time wisely. I know, I know: "Argh! Who uses TV to babysit their kids? Not me!" etc etc. Well, honestly, from time to time, we all do. The question is, when? I recently caught one of my friends, who I would never guess in a million years ever has her kids watch TV, setting up a DVD while she was prepping dinner. 30 minutes of TV for older kids is okay. Tidy Moms think carefully about how to use this time to their tidy advantage.
4. They are sometimes messy! However, binge messiness is always followed by fervent cleaning. Sometimes the house gets messy, and I wallow in it for days, feeling overwhelmed about how on earth I will get it back to a state that's livable for the family. Tidy Moms and Dads get messy sometimes, too. However, just like healthy eaters understand that they need to cut back on sugar and put in the time at the gym after a crazy dessert party, tidy Moms and Dads seem to get up in the morning after a messy night and clean it all up. Mess doesn't have time, then, to hang around and turn into other mess.
Tidy folks out there, have I got it right? What is your secret to a tidy family home?
This article borrowed from:

And now for real life and ME:

I read this article and thought it was interesting. Just looking at the picture makes me wish I was a minimalist - for all of about ten seconds, the length of time it takes me to remember all of my books and my tea pot/cup collection that I love using.

I do have loads of stuff. In fact, when I look around my house, and I mean to literally stand and make a circle, most of the "things" are mine (and yes, I'm married but, he has a man cave (and a workshop and a barn.) Almost every time I think about dusting, I am tempted to clean my possessions out, but then I don't. 

Behind that pretty plate? Books!

I am attached to my tea cup and tea pot collection. I hope to one day pass it down to my daughters and grand-daughter. It took me a long time to collect each and every piece, and then an even longer time to work up the courage to actually use these precious pieces. And, now that I have gotten used to using them (and even letting friends deign to touch them) I find myself enjoying my collection. So, this collection is not going any where any time soon.

I also have many (how many 'many's' can I use here?) books. I do, on occasion, donate books to the library but not many. I know all of you book lovers out there identify with this collection. Hubby doesn't understand this side of me, but that's okay. I love to just run my fingers over my books. I remember reading each book and sometimes enjoy pulling the book out and perusing it. So, I don't think I'll be getting rid of my book collection any time soon. I am also a book reviewer, so the collection has taken on a life of its own.

My third collection consists of my passion for pictures and frames to put them in. I was never big on picture albums (that was before all the scrap booking came into being). A large portion of my framed photos are sitting in the storage under the daybed in my office at the moment; their space taken over by books. Will I be getting rid of those? No, I won't. They are keepers too. I hope to one day have additional shelves in my office on which to display my beloved photographs.I treasure looking at each one of them and the happy memories they invoke. 

So what does all of this have to do with being tidy? I think I got a little off track. My house is tidy. It should be, but not because I love to clean and stage my idea of the perfect "setting", although I do like to clean and stage the perfect setting. It is because there are only two people who live in our home. Hubby's man-cave is a totally different story. He loves music so his guitar is always out and his keyboard, AND his music. He likes everything on display. It makes him happy to be able to pick up his guitar as he walks through or turn on the keyboard. He always has a song in his head and he loves stopping to play a song or figure out a new melody. His man-cave is not tidy, but that's okay because my desk isn't always tidy. We all need that one little area where it just doesn't matter. (And, we won't even get into all of the hunting and fishing gear laying around - where's my treadmill?)

So...while the family in the article above is tidy because they made a conscious decision to have less, I manage to be tidy with my loads of stuff. Dust free? Not a chance. I live in the country where we grow dust. I've yet to find that farmer, but when I do I plan to ask him to change his crop this year.

Are you a minimalist? Or, are you a collector?
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