Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keeping it Real


Dear Rie,

My question, and I suppose I don't really expect an answer (maybe this is a rant or sorts, lol), is HOW do you keep everything so clean and beautiful? I'm the mother of three boys. Where is the mud from that awful orange North Carolina clay? 

And the fur from the cat? And the crayon marks from the two year old that sneaks away a green crayon and colors all over your favorite ottoman when you aren't watching? And the stinky litter box for the kitty? And the toys given to your kids by every family member known to man?

Oh, how I LONG for a simple home like this. I throw away paper after paper and thing after meaningless thing tracked in by my kids from grandparents and church Sunday School projects and coloring sheets from the restaurant and plastic toys from McDonald's.

I feel like such a kill-joy, and have even had other parents ask if I let my kids keep **anything** at all. And after all the tossing, my home is no where near the simple beauty that your home is. ***sigh*** Please tell me you have really big closets that are stuffed full of everything LOL.

A Reader


Dear Reader,

Oh my, if you only knew how much pictures hide!!! I don't show rooms messy because I don't think anyone would be inspired by them. :)

messyhouse10Our island top at 8:30 a.m. this morning

I know I wouldn't be inspired by my decorating books and magazines if everything was shown in disarray. But of course, our house is not always like the pictures.

messyhouse4The “relaxed” state of our sofa most of the time.

Like everyone else, we make a mess, and then we clean it up. Our house is in a relatively messy state throughout the day, but the children do chores before dinner time, and things get back in order around that time.

messyhouse11A common sight on bedroom floors.

As to the specifics: mud. Well, our floors hide a TON of dirt! They really look dirty all the time because they are distressed and the dirt blends in. I hardly ever mop. Really!

messyhouse8Our stovetop does double duty as a drying rack.

The fur *is* on the furniture. It just doesn't show in pictures. There have been crayon marks, pen marks and marker marks on various surfaces throughout the house but Magic Erasers are my friend. Also we have a rule that the children do art at the tables and desks only. That helps.

messyhouse2Our banister after a few weeks of neglect. (yuck)

messyhouse7Our banister after a few swipes with the Magic Eraser. MAGIC.

The cats are outside and inside, so we have no litter boxes. The toys given to the kids go away very soon after they arrive. Really... we don't keep a lot of toys. I find the standard building/creative toys are the ones that keep, and the rest go. (legos, playmobil, dolls, art supplies, pretend toys, etc.)

Trust me... I toss constantly!!!! If I didn't, then things would get out of control, and then *I* would get out of control, and that's not a good thing.  So, I'm providing preventative maintenance. :)

messyhouse3The girl’s animals-making a scene in the armoire.   i.e. deprived kids being creative ;)

I don't have big closets… the secret is that we purge often. The kids will help with this. I'll tell them to take two bags in their for garbage, one for giving. They are quite good at filling them. I find they lose interest in a lot of toys, and they very easily part with the ones they’ve grown bored with.

Welcome to our reality!


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