There is one thing I would like to change right now. One thing that I have worried about how I would teach it to my children.


I want to be a clean person. I’m not dirty, just messy. But, I want to have that house that is effortlessly "clean". I’m not talking about being magazine perfect, I am realistic. I just want to have the house where people can pop over anytime of day and it’s acceptable, lived in but clean. There are no dirty dishes in the sink up to the faucet, no piles on the counter AND table, no shoes in each room of the house, you get the idea. Right now, the inside joke is that D knows exactly what I do everyday. He says he can just follow my trail through the house. And, that’s mostly true.

I could walk over to my neighbor’s house anytime of day and it was nice in there. Sure there were toys on the floor, but there wasn’t clutter on most of the open surfaces too… they were open. My mother in law also has that house. Sure, by her standards it’s messy, but to me it’s sparkling, it’s clean and comfortable. I cringe at what they think of me and my house. Right now in my bedroom, there are 3 piles of clothes on the floor. Yes 3. 1 is folded, and two are not. I don’t think there is a direct path through the living room thanks to the toys. It’s not just one mess that’s the problem, though, it’s all of them combined.

All you clean people out there may not understand this, but it’s hard. I try all the time to be the clean person, the one who puts the scissors back after using them and not just leave them on the counter. I can’t seem to get the hang of it. It’s really hard for me. That coupled with the fact that we just don’t have a place for everything makes it even harder. Not to mention the marital strife this causes. He’s the clean one and I’m the messy one. It’s not pretty. Of course, when I remember to, I do put the scissors back, or my shoes. But I just don’t remember. I don’t know how to turn on that part of my brain.

Oddly, TV does help. TV shows like Clean Sweep and Clean House really motivate me. Over the last 3 years I have been really trying to be more of a minimalist. I try to figure out what we really do and don’t need. I have cut way back on my shopping habit. I put the scissors back 80% of the time. So there is improvement there. But how do I become that person? And how do I teach my son to be that person?

Is there hope for us?

This is a post is part of Week 3 of the B2B, B2B challenge.

Kludgy Mom

  • Keri

    Amber, that is my biggest struggle in a small house with the four of us! It is a constant battle against clutter, and if you ever figure it out, let me know.

  • Stephanie

    I have limited space and storage and try to make it work by having a place for everything (and yes usually everything in it's place). I am one of those clean people but I have messy days and sometimes the house seriously gets out of control (things are stuffed everywhere) and I start my 10 minute tidys and organize one thing per day. Set the timer for 10 minutes and clean everything you can and make time to organize one thing per day. A drawer, a shelf, a space.

  • Kristin

    Hi! I'm your newest follower!! And, I feel your pain…This is also a struggle for me. But I'm working on it. I also find that Hoarders and How Clean is Your House is great inspiration. LOL. But, it's not easy to become that person. I don't think they like "stuff." I mean, right now I have three books and two magazines on my coffee table, some mail that I need to address, etc. Where else can I put it? On the kitchen table? Ugh. Luckily people don't "pop over" much. 😉

    Keenly Kristin

  • crysalismum

    You now after 17 years of marriage, I have a 13 yo & a 3 year old and some of the lessons I have learned this time around, is that a happy toddler, a happy mumma and a tidy house are not the same thing. We have had a season of illness that has taught me that supermum is not the gal that has the spotless place and the pretty hair, she is the one with the tear stained face and the playdoh in her hair. Enjoy this precious time- they grow way too quick,
    My Biggest practical hint is buy some really big cane/wicker baskets from the thrift store and dump all the toys in them once a day (make a game of it to enlist a junior helper to learn repect for their things) and the rest of the time forget about it! Your lil guy is too cute to loose his mumma to chore-guilt!
    Hugs sweet sister,

  • crysalismum

    Ok one more thing- everyday set the timer for 15 minutes only- pick one thing- like getting the washing away/ cleaning the spot on top of the fridge/ somkething visible and Do It!! you will start to see a difference in the things that bug you- dont go over your 15 minutes as the job becomes overwhelming then, just have a crack at one thing and each day one more thing is done. But please please please dont beat yourself up over it- your first job is a mwife & mumma and your MIL isnt raising a toddler,
    hugs sweet sister,
    in His Grace,

  • crysalismum

    I did the madness under my sink and the plastic cupboard and everytime I open the cupboard I felt joy- from a simple job that had been condemning me so much- it is the simple things,

  • sue

    Im a new follower would love a follow back

  • JackieCross

    Ohh…. we are two of a kind! I swear I try so hard to keep things neat & clean, but for some reason it never, ever works! I clean and it stays that way for a couple of days and then the mess explodes all over again.
    I want to be the clean person too.

  • L. Eleana

    I'm dealing with this right now. I was the messy one before marriage. And my husband was extremely tidy. Now that we have children, I'm always trying to keep things tidy, but my family makes it so hard. As I'm typing this, I'm sitting around looking at pre-school artwork, baby clothes, toddler cups and this is my living room for God's sake. I think you've already taken a step in the right direction, acknowledging that this is a problem for you.

  • Katie Sexton

    lol, that looks like my house. I only do laundry and dishes during the day. I clean house at night. I got tired of vacuuming and sweeping then just as soon as I would finish there is a new trail of debris. My kids have this layer that slowly seeps and oozes from their rooms everyday. We clean rooms before bed every night but as soon as they are up, its like tornadoes have hit their rooms. Then as the day progresses, the muck and grime from going in and out and playing at the park makes its way out of their rooms.

  • Celia – Pacifier

    Love your blog here. I've enjoyed reading a few of your posts, and will be back for more.

  • MomRoad

    Buy a bigger house? Is that an option… lol

  • MomRoad

    My coffee table is the same!, well and I have a dish towel that a munchkin brought in for me. I like How Clean is Your House a lot too. I haven't been able to get into Hoarders. I think it's the fear of seeing my self lol.

  • MomRoad

    Thanks, it's so tough to fight against wanting to be a superwoman. Working and being a mom is a really tough balance, more than I thought it would be.

  • MomRoad

    That is a BRILLIANT idea! I am going to start using it tomorrow. Thanks so much!

  • MomRoad

    Good luck! I'd like to know how it works out for you. I'm going to try @Crysalismum's idea of 15 min per day and no more. I think it will fit my scatterbrain personality.

  • MomRoad

    We can always try together. I hear you're more likely to accomplish things in a group.

  • MomRoad

    Ha ha! I wish that were the fix for it too. It looks like you've started in the right direction also.

  • MomRoad

    Oh dear! It looks like I'm in for a looong road ahead.

  • MomRoad

    You both have great ideas! I can't wait to start the timer thing tomorrow. It's too late today though.

  • MomRoad

    Yes I officially have a new plan on how to learn to be cleaner. Thanks.

  • Vivobello

    If you find a solution, please email it to me!! I'm the exact same way!

  • Jennifer Barr

    I am more of a clean freak in the sense that I don't like dirt. Clutter doesn't really bother me. My hubby is the opposite, so we have that clash. The thing that we fight over most is the desk in our kitchen. It's my dumping ground. But I have one spot. He pretty much dumps stuff in every room. Sigh. My only suggestion would try to make one thing a new habit at a time. For example, shoes. Focus on shoes for a month. Every day try to keep the shoes however you want them. It will get better when the kiddos are a little bigger. At least that's what I tell myself.:) Hang in there!