Home Is Where The Mess Is

There’s nothing more exciting than buying a new home, moving in and updating it to reflect your own personality.  When Cam and I bought our current home a few months ago, we had visions of a beautifully manicured backyard with a vegetable garden and each room perfectly decorated to fit into the theme of that room.

The house was beautiful by itself, and it was the first house we viewed with our realtor.  I had eyed it for months while we saved the down payment.  When it was finally ours, we changed as much of the interior as we could.  Repainting, redecorating, undoing the little mishaps from the previous owner who fancied himself a handyman (but was clearly not).  We knew we were going to make the house even better than the previous owners.

As it turns out, it’s more like we’re “those neighbors.”  With two large dogs, they’ve gnawed on the edges of the deck.  We tell ourselves, “it’s ok, we were going to build a bigger deck anyway.”  My garden didn’t last their desire to dig (even with a fence around it and a separate digging box for them). That’s ok.  We will build a bigger fence next year.  With the late summer and autumn rains, their muddy paws streaked the siding of the house.  We just keep saying that we’ll fix and our home will be perfect.  We have a beautiful patio right off the deck with a lovely fireplace.  Until we moved there, I wasn’t aware that stones could be dug up from a patio with little doggy paws.

A month after moving in, I locked our cat in the closet and she clawed at the carpet.  No worries, we need new carpet anyway, because the dog got sick in the hallway and that won’t come up.  This morning, a huge gnawed hole in the carpet in our bedroom showed up.  Hmm, I wonder which of our four-legged critters did that?

I also keep reminding Cam that if we had kids, it might be worse, with Kool-Aid stains, crayon drawings on the walls, or even more vomit-y stains everywhere.  It could always be worse.

Now, I’m not saying we ruined the house.  It’s still in perfectly livable condition.  I’m just gonna say, we don’t really need that new carpet anymore.  What’s the point of new carpet if our cats are just going to vomit all over it too?

We had an idea of what the home was going to be when we moved in, but really it’s just a little bit bigger than the house we just came from.  It’s still a bit too messy all the time.  We blamed it previously on the lack of space.  Now we blame it on crammed schedules.  The beautiful kitchen I have now rarely gets cooked in.  I used to blame that on the terribly small kitchen we had at the condo.

Originally, we had the idea that the home would reflect our personalities, or maybe just the personalities we wanted.  Keeping everything spotless, cooking all the time, having regular parties were all things we envisioned.  In real life, we’d rather take the dogs on a hike or sleep in and read.  As it turns out, our home reflects who we really are–two people who have better things to do than worry about how perfect our house looks.

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The Best Cure for a Messy House

  1. Watch the new episodes of Hoarders on Netflix
  2. Wait for a good snow so you’re unwilling to leave the house
  3. Let Mom visit

I was aware I hadn’t done my share of the housework in a while.  Cam was doing his best.  I got a bit spoiled while I was working two jobs through Christmas.  The deal was he was to do all the housework while I was at my second job.  Now that job is over, and I knew I needed to pick up the slack.  It was just so much easier to spend that free time in front of Netflix.

Then, my parents dropped by.  The excuses began.  We have 3 cats.  We’re busy.  What’s the point?  We’re buying another house soon!  My favorite is the weather.  I’d rather hibernate under my blankets between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. and only leave when the bill-paying job requires me to leave.

The second push was finding the new episodes of Hoarders on Netflix.  There is nothing that motivates me to clean more than watching that show.  It doesn’t take long to clean our little place.  We just needed the motivation.

The show also inspired me to purge.  There’s really nothing like purging yourself of the things you’ve needlessly accumulated.  (Well, to begin with, there’s nothing better than not accumulating the things you don’t need anyway, but that’s probably another topic for another day.)  It really is hard to get rid of the things I have kept from before Cam moved his whole life into my place.  I can still remember the conversation we had about my bed.  I was determined to keep it.  I was worried something would happen, or I thought it would be great if someone was going to be visiting.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  So, we have maybe too many mattresses here.

I didn’t want to let go of the home I created for myself.  I lived in a two-room hut in Africa, so I know I can live with less.  I felt I worked hard for this home.  I made it comfortable.  I made it mine.  Now it’s ours.  It’s time to let go of things to make room for each other.

With the snow coming down outside, Hoarders on the t.v., and my mother’s voice in my head, I decided last night was a good night to start my purge.  Spring cleaning started in January this year.