Friday, February 03, 2006


I recently read a book called Messie No More by Sandra Felton. I once heard her speak on Focus on the Family and thought I might like to read one of her books. I checked out this book assuming I fell into the messy category, expecting advice on how to run a cleaner ship. As I was reading I kept thinking "okay, when does she get to the part that describes me?" Because -shock of all shocks- the messy description was not fitting me. Imagine my surprise when I finally found my the "average" section!

See, she divided housekeepers into cleanies, average (I think a better word is balanced), and messies . I thought I was a "messie" because I am sandwiched between two "cleanie" sisters, and that is who I compare myself to. However, the goal isn't to be a cleanie! Did you catch that? The goal is not to be a cleanie! Actually, they have their own issues, the goal is to be balanced. I might not always be ready for drop in company, but give me a few minutes and I can be. The beds might not be made, but they don't have anything piled on them. There might be cracker crumbs on the floor, but they will be vacuumed up in a reasonable timeframe.

The ideas in this book were recently confirmed. A few days ago, we cleaned the house spic and span, probably as clean as its ever been since Samuel was born. You know what? It was not. worth. the. effort. It really wasn't.

You don't want your family to walk on paths between all the clutter, but you don't want your family to worry about dropping a crumb or moving a cushion out of place either. The answer is somewhere in between. I admit, i'm on the messy side of average. I will work harder to be average but I will no longer hold myself to the "cleanie" standard of my sisters! :D Thats liberating!


Anonymous Sandy said...

I definitely think average cleanliness is great! Your house just looks like a house where people do a lot of living, and I personally think that's the most comfortable kind of house to walk into.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

I think I would be a cleanie too, but I wish I weren't!! lol I would like to be more relaxed, and not want to concentrate so much on the appearance of my home, but how the people around me are enjoying being there!! I know how being a cleanie can a negative thing sometimes!!!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Princess Ruby said...

I am with Heather...a cleanie. But, I feel that the more children I have I am getting better about it. This week the house has gone to the this weekend I'm going to be cleaning (plus we're expecting company). The balance would be not be such a freak would be wonderful for me! Glad you were liberated!!!

2:53 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

Amie - I think that is an awesome goal. Hey - you have four boys in your house! There is no way that you can keep your house spic-n-span all the time. Unless of course you run after your boys with the vacuum cleaner, a mop and a rag.
You know living in the desert, everything gets dusty within 24 hours. At first I dusted every single day. I don't think so, I have better things to do than that.
I think you are on the right tack.:)

6:06 PM  
Blogger DDK23 said...

I am with you Amie we usually fall somewhere in between especially depending on the day. However with having to sell our house now I will have to be a cleanie...argg! We are thinking of just packing up a bunch of stuff and storing it it would make things alot easier. I know I always feel comfortable when I go to your house. I honestly don't feel comfortable when I go over to people's houses where EVERYTHING is in place. One because I feel substandard and two because I am afraid to do something "messie". I will have to look at that book hopefully I will feel better about myself too:-)

9:42 AM  
Blogger Amie said...

were in the boat right now, which is why we cleaned the house spic and span. I told Jeremiah the level of energy it takes to maintain that is just not worth it (in ordinary circumstances, obviously we have no choice when were selling). There are just way too many better things to invest time in.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'll have to check out that book! After reading what you said, I'm definetly an average too. BUT, I'd like to have the energy to be a bit more of a cleanie. I've come to realize that until my kids are old enough to want ot keep their stuff in their rooms that we will NOT live in a 'clean' house, or shall I say organized.
I can't wait for the day when I realize how much extra space I have because all the toys are gone and the boys have their big boy toys in their rooms!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Kether said...

I read that book (and her others) years ago and do a lot of her ideas at home. Still, I struggle with wanting a picture perfect house all the time. I told D the other day, "Why can I never keep the kitchen floors spotless (the white tiles show everything!) and he said, "you have two dogs, five cats, a kid and us. they'll never be spotless all the time." that was kind of a liberating moment for me. I knew that in my head, but I think I needed him to say it.
I'm usually a 6 or 7 unless we've got chaos going on. Like rennovations..

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of those people who hates to "clean" but likes things picked up. So I luck out, because it looks more clean than it is. (Just don't run a finger over anything...) I'm glad you've been liberated from thinking you were a messie, lol.

(Thanks for your comment on Rebekah's post, btw - you wouldn't believe - or maybe you would - the way the majority of my kids' friends are not monitored. At 17 - we're getting closer to "make your own decisions." At 14? No. I make 'em.)

7:04 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Isn't it true that our perception of ourselves depends on who we compare ourselves with? I've lived my whole life thinking that I was a messie when most likely I could be considered pretty average too
:-) Woohoo to the average!

11:08 AM  

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