May 25, 2013

Keepin' It Real

I have to let you in on a little secret.  Most of the time, our house is kind of messy.  And most of the time, we're not doing any home improvement upgrades.

Those photos you typically see posted on this blog?  They're usually taken when things look their best, like right after a deep clean or the clean-up from a project wraps up.  They're also usually taken in a short time span- we'll do one big project or several little ones over a three day weekend or a week when we happen to have the time and energy to do projects- and post about them quite a bit after they've occurred.

Steve and I love fixing up our home to make it a place we really like to be.  But there's a reason I've been averaging less than 5 blog posts a month during the school year.  We both work full time.  We have dogs that leave toys and hair (and the occasional other undesirable item) all over the house.  We get tired and don't always clean up after ourselves.  We help out our family and friends on the random evening and frequent weekend.  We attempt a social life.  We don't have kids, so I know that gives us more free time and less kid-created "tornado factor" than you parents out there.  Don't get me wrong, we're not entirely slobs when there's no cameras around.  And I know that different people feel comfortable with different levels of tidy/clean.  My version of "kind of messy" may look like your version of "really clean" or your version of "hazmat suits required for entry," and that's OK.  I merely intend to say that what you generally see on this blog is a representation of the best version of itself not our everyday life.  Reality means that I realize having my version of perfectly kept home, besides being an unwinnnable battle, is something that would not add value to my life or the lives of others.  I'm just fine with our house being kind of messy most of the time and squeezing in projects when we have the time, energy, and finances to do it.

Let me show you what I mean.  Call it Truth in Advertising.  The photos that follow were taken as I walked in the door from work on a Wednesday night.  The photos haven't been altered in any way.  What you'll see is completely typical of the usual state of our house (and some less than stellar photography).

The hallway.

Note the dog toy in the foreground, and the cable box waiting to be returned at some point.  It's been sitting unattended in the hallway for three days.  It's hard to tell in the photo but there are a dirty pair of flip flops stationed under the bench by the front door.  I'm supposed to put them in the bench cubby, but I'm usually too lazy and just leave them right where I step out of them.

The office.

Ah, the center of productivity.  On my side you can see two separate days worth of coffee cups, chocolate blueberries that I didn't bother to put away, a used paper towel and jello cup, a coupon book, receipts, hair ties, three half-eaten dog toys, and counting chips.  Steve's side features several soda cans and a dirty spoon.  The side table has one of Steve's fleece pullovers draped on it.  It's probably been there for about a week.  I spared you a close-up shot of the dust that has been accumulating since... maybe around spring break?

The kitchen.

Dirty things everywhere.  At least we managed to push in the chairs after dinner the night before.  All dirty dishes seen here (on the counter, in the sink, on the stove, on the coffee robot) have been left unattended for up to three days.  And FYI- after this picture was taken, two more days' worth of dirty dishes accumulated all over the counters and stove before they got cleared off and put in the dishwasher.  The plastic bags in the foreground and the clear bins against the far wall have been there for over a week- we can't figure out what to do with them now that we've had to replace our fridge (it died a slow and painful death).  Two days' worth of mail is languishing near the plastic bags.

Living Room.

The pillows are wonky, the blanket is in a weird spot. Other than looking a little disheveled, we're not doing too bad here.   Probably because we haven't watched any Netflix for about a week.

I didn't bother to take any pictures of our dining room, guest bathroom, or guest bedroom for the simple fact that unless we've had company over, none of those rooms get used regularly.  And since we don't have kids, things pretty much stay the way we leave them.

The bedroom.

I'm impressed that I bothered to straighten up the comforter a little before I left for work.  It was probably to give me room to sit on the foot board while I put my shoes on.  My PJs are in a heap on the floor.  So are a pair of jeans I wore four days ago.  Oops, is that bra on my nightstand?

The bedroom.

This actually looks better than normal.  Typically there's a stack of T-shirts waiting to be put away piled on Steve's highboy.  Here we only see the piles of clothes that were worn for the last three days.

The bathroom.

I tried to get a nice wide shot and spare you some detailed agony, people.  Towels are askew, rugs need to be washed.  On the counter you'll find cleaning products, two bottles of lotion, used tissues and soap, all of my makeup (some of which is spread out over the counters instead of in the wicker basket- and hidden under the sink- where it belongs), beard trimmings, long hairs that fell out of my hairbrush.  I didn't bother to photograph the toilet or shower, but neither have been cleaned  in about two weeks (yuck).

Obviously, my blog life is somewhat divergent from my real life.  And I'm so happy that's the case.  Although I think improving our home is fun and keeping it tidy is nice, our home is ultimately a tool to serve our needs and let us recharge enough to help serve the needs of others- not a showpiece.

Thanks for showing me a little grace for our imperfections.  Isn't life so much more pleasant when we try our best but still cut ourselves some slack?

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