Monday, February 28, 2011

The State of our House

"You should see my house" has been my compliment comeback of choice for some time now because first, it's true--some area of my house is, at any given moment, likely to be in shambles--and secondly, I've wrongly assumed you're always supposed to shoot back compliments with some stupid self-deprecating statement. Just because someone tells you they like your dress doesn't mean you have to cancel it out with how disgusting your kitchen counter looks. It's okay to own a compliment and not everyone needs to be spoonfed the fact that if a woman is pulling it off in one area, there's another area falling apart. I'm now assuming this is a given, and from this day forth, any success in my life comes with the disclaimer that somewhere, something looks like hell. And if, by chance, it doesn't, don't say anything 'cuz, God forbid, you'll jinx a miracle.

The thing is, I'm not a good housekeeper, and snapping back with a forced laugh and a "you should see my house" is getting old. I'm tired of using heaps of wrinkled laundry for toss pillows and tripping over doctor kit pieces scattered like shrapnel across my living room floor. And I'm ready, when complimented on my red dress, to smile and reply simply, "Why, thank you. Red's my favorite color."

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But the house thing has gotta change. Over Christmas break, our neighbors came over and, while I tried the old company stand-by of room spray, candles and a lot of closed doors, their kid ran into our bedroom. I'm pretty cool with being up front that I'm not the Type A Cleaner, but we're still in the first impression stage with these neighbors and I wasn't ready for full disclosure or the explanation that our room is where we dump every pile that doesn't have a place two hours before company comes. You have to desensitize cool neighbors first--with my buffalo chicken dip and free beer and our whole hey-we're-really-cool-friends act, and we hadn't quite yet sold them for the second stage of here's-who-we-really-are. ...pigs.

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So, I run to close the door and shoo kids before anyone sees, but it was too late. Cool Neighbor Friend Dad walks in and, swear to God, couldn't hide the horror. If I recall, it went something like "Holy S@#t, what happened?" And I honestly considered two lies. One: We're moving. Two: We were robbed. Instead, I bailed. Ran out of the room in embarrassment without any explanation and, from another room, called my friend Laura laughing so hard, I couldn't spit out the punchline...the "Holy S@#t, what happened?" part.

And I say this all for two reasons. It might look from the blog like we get a lot done and I craft and I bake and take pictures of spring cupcakes, and yes that might be good and inspiring, but there's always not-so-fun stuff that gets left out here. Cleaning house is one of many. But also, sometimes writing about something helps me overcome it, and it feels good in that proclaiming-New-Year's-resolution way to publicly sign a declaration of Hey, I have a problem and Hey, I wanna fix it.

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I will never regret letting the house go to spend important time with my kids and that will never change. I couldn't care about fingerprints on windows if I tried (in fact, I kinda like them). But, there has to be a happy medium, and a love seat slip cover made of wrinkled t-shirts is not it. I'm confident in the fact my kids will grow up in a relaxed environment knowing we chose Candyland over dishes, but I also want them to feel the security and comfort that comes from order and the beauty of aesthetics. Besides, clutter in the home inevitably interprets to clutter in the mind, and I'm a better mama when I make efforts to avoid chaos and attempt simplicity.

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So, I'm going to try really hard to change this problem. This week, I'm weeding out, tidying up, and reorganizing some priorities. For my family, for my kids, but mostly for me. Because I'm really good with new challenges.

But oh, you should see my house.

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* And the best part about cleaning house is rewarding yourself afterward. Try an antiqued mirror, a vintage inspired soap for your guest bathroom, or some pretty glass milk bottles for displaying spring blooms from sponsor, Timeless Settings.


And the gift certificate winner for Tahnie's Stella and Dot shop is Comment #54, Jen Green:

1. Silly easter hats that I loved...they were hideous
2. The one year I got an easter basket
3. The first sunburn from a spring soccer tournament and going to church with crazy burn lines.
4. Smell of lilacs
5. Washington states spring rain showers...nothing compares to the smell.

Love your blog and I laughed out loud when you said you had to break your CD's...so close to home.

Jen, e-mail your info please to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net. Thanks!


Happy Monday.

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470 comments:

1 – 200 of 470   Newer›   Newest»
LeeAnn said...

Kelle - You should see MY house....I hire the housecleaning out!! xo

SarcasmInAction said...

I'm the same way! "You should see my house." :)
It's all piles of folded laundry not yet put away and half washed dishes and toy bins scattered and random lonely little girls' socks galore. I hate cleaning.

happygirl said...

I asked my husband if everyone has clutter and piles of papers in their house or were all our friends houses clutter-free, like I WISH ours to be. He laughed and said, you don't see their clutter because it's new to you. Your clutter is your arch-enemy and he haunts you every day.

the girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeeAnn said...

one more funny thought....does Nella's PT ever want to pull the couch cushions off to use them for various therapy fun stuff....? I used to alway cringe...I mean CRINGE when Chri's PT would suggest this at my house! Oh the horror of not knowing what's under there!

tablerbunch said...

Funny ;) Love those milk bottles from the Timeless Settings sponsor!

abby said...

Just posted a very similar post to my blog! www.akersoflove.blogspot.com

Good luck with your early spring cleaning!

Heather said...

I think you wrote the words I was thinking today. We keep busy with art and adventures. The house is chaos. Today I was thinking would be the day to start trying harder. But then we set up our cardboard castle and played Rapunzel...that is so much more fun then cleaning the counter! So maybe this afternoon??

Thanks for your post - it reflects our home perfectly!!

Becca said...

LOL - you've just made a whole lot of us feel a whole lot better! Thanks for that! :-)

Belladonna1975 said...

Thank you for this Kelle. You were seriously starting to give me a "Substandard Mommy" complex. What a relief! ;)

Rachael said...

You know, I think your post is great! It's good to see that hey, 'You CAN'T do it all' sometimes!
But I don't think your house looks that bad! I've seen worse! Hoarders anyone?...The show, not anybody I know.

leemeandthegirls said...

Thank you for taking exactly how I feel and putting it into words....again. :)

Bonnie said...

You are right that you will never regret spending time with your girls. I love a freshly cleaned house and things in their places but after my daughter was born it didn't seem as important. That said I think every woman can relate to this post. Thanks for keeping it real :)

j210209 said...

I love this!! It makes me feel so much happier about my home!

That last photo of Nella is adorable! Definitely one for a frame :)

steph. said...

you should've seen our house growing up, with 7 kids. let's just say my mom made us all "thelma's" by the time we were all 6. and to think, no allowance was given. oh, the horrors.

Nanette said...

Ha! I sooo know how that goes. My go-to excuse is "We're in the middle of ORGANIZING."

Molly said...

Thank you - and you should see MY house. We *are* moving, and I have an autistic toddler who is a sifter/ dumper. So all unsealed boxes get unpacked swiftly.

Cindy said...

I am domestically challenged. I try so hard. I bathe my girls. I pick up the toys each night, I wash the dishes and put them away. That is where it ends. Laundry is our problem. My husband is in charge of washing the clothes, I am in charge of folding/putting away. Currently, there are 6 loads of laundry waiting to be folded (sitting in my dining room for 4 days now) and 3 baskets full of folded clothes waiting to be put away(it's been 3 weeks - we have been living out of these). It's a struggle for me to get it done. Laundry is just not my priority, but I try.

The Hill House said...

It feels so good to know that I'm not the only one with a pile of laundry and a desire to do better. Sometimes I feel like all my friends have it together and I somehow or another just missed out on that "How to be Perfect" lesson. Thank you for keeping it real.

Cindy said...

Oh, and that picture of Nella is AMAZING. Kisses right back at you, kiddo.

Life with Kaishon said...

: )
Wishing you all the best in your cleaning endeavors.

Andrea said...

It always pleases me when you post picture of laundry heaps. Because I have the same heaps but I really struggle to... shall we say embrace them? My solution- buy more laundry baskets. :)

Caroline said...

See, I wish I could leave some of that stuff and just deal with it later. I am a bit OCD I have decided and need to let it go. It's all about balance.... Good luck & happy organizing!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for this. You should see My house! Just this weekend my husband and I were looking around at all the clutter, piles of toys, dust bunnies and he said "Normal people don't live like this!"
Glad to know there are other "abnormal" people out there.
Off to play Buzz Lightyear - forget the laundry.....

hollandk said...

My house was always the same way. The only clean room was the living room, because we never used it, having a family room. The family room was always totally trashed, and I didn't care. It was the one place where the kids knew it didn't matter if there was stuff everywhere, they could have fun.

Even the other day, I wanted to wear a blouse but it needed ironing. I dragged out the iron, set it up on the dining room table with a towel and the blouse... and there the towel and iron sit. Three/four days later.

Kimberly said...

Kelle, at least one area in my house is ALWAYS a complete mess! One side of my kitchen table is always covered in folded laundry (hate wrinkles) and the other side is always cluttered with dirty breakfast dishes, markers, and crayons. It's always refreshing to see a post like this. I think our priorities are in the right place, babies always come first! I laughed so hard when I seen you attempting to fold that badly wrinkled pink t-shirt!

Your post was beautiful and encouraging as always! Happy Monday to you, too!!!

Kristy said...

Same boat here. My husband can't handle it, but I am going with what a wise friend once told me: "Cleaning house while your children are small is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm." I will never, ever, get ahead of this mess as long as there are two little people making more messes while I clean. There is only so much one mommy can do!

Rik said...

I have seen how you can prep a home for company in 30 minutes. It is like a fast-forwarding movie. Everything is put in place with the frenzy of time-lapse photography. But sometimes you just need to ask Why? and possibly be comfortable with sharing the couch with clean laundry enjoying a layover on their way to the dresser or breakfast dishes still chatting on the counter before their morning shower. Waiting on those tasks is far better than waiting on your tinies who need you. In the end, you will not remember a house in disorder, but you will regret a child who felt shelved while you made pristeen a pretty house. And what would Dot and I do when we visit if we had no dishes to finish or countertops to wipe down? You are rescuing us from knocking off a bottle of Cabernet and ending up living in a box under a Naples overpass...which actually sounds appealing on another cold Michigan morning!

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

I have a room that every 2 hours before a party.. I dump all my things..too... don't feel alone there..

bcmomma said...

I too...have an endless battle with the laundry! Our babies won't be babies forever...slowly we will start having time on our hands that we never asked for, and we will inevitably fill it with a few cleaning sessions(this is how I make myself feel better). I am certain no child grows up remembering fond memories of their clean house. I will trade that for paper maiche solar systems, cardboard houses, collage materials from one end of the table to the other, and a soccer ball in the upstairs hall waiting for someone to come by and start a match! Enjoy, revel and continue to inspire!

jenilu2 said...

I am a horrible housekeeper too and hate laundry. And each week vow to get better. Thanks for the great post!!!

Patty said...

I don't think you can be a blogger and have a clean house...just doesn't happen :)

I took a picture of my apartment last week, I'd say I'm 80% done organizing and cleaning one week later. I'm not sure if I'll post the before picture until the after one is ready! :)

Do what you can, when you can. That's all we can do!

Maggie said...

My house was a total "Holy S@#t, what happened?" monster last night. Which is why I spent my morning and will be spending more hours during naptime cleaning the beast. But first, a picnic in the backyard with my two precious boys I've been neglecting.........because I need it as much as them. And, you are right, clearing the clutter does lead us to sweet simplicity :)

(I NEVER clean the fingerprints, drives my husband crazy, but I LOVE them!!)

~T Rae~ said...

HEY! This web site is pretty neat when it comes to helping you stay organized and cleaning your house!

http://www.flylady.net/

DebZorn said...

I just want to say that Nella is the cutest laundry I've seen in a really LONG time. :)

Adrien said...

Haha, I just blogged about "balance" and how none of us will EVER have it. I'm so glad there are mamas out there willing to admit it! I L.O.V.E your blog Kelle, and I drive my husband nuts with "Kelle does this" and "Kelle does that." :)

Oh, and I conquered my fear of laundry one day when I decided that I was no longer going to separate clothes into piles. We literally use our washing machine as a clothes hamper. When it's full I put in the soap and let 'er whirl. This pretty much means I do one full load of laundry a day, but I never get overwhelmed anymore! (I don't even use those "color catcher" thingamabobs and I've never had issues. Ever ever.)

Sharone said...

that last pic of Nella is my absolute favorite ever!!!!

I'm probably more like your neighbor in the "holy s*** what happened?!"... I'm type A and proud of it! haha!!

xoxo
-s

Michelle said...

Thanks for this post. I've been married a year and a half and don't have any kids yet and yet I still somehow struggle to keep things clean -- and even worse, struggle to be okay with myself when I don't have a sparkly house. I've been shooting for a happier medium. Thank you for your honesty. :o)

Melissa said...

I'm right there with you! I need to organize and de-clutter. Spring cleaning in everyway! Good luck!!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

You know, I'm thinking that if you've got to pick an area of life to slack in, this has to be the one, hands-down.

Every now and then I'm apt to yammer on about my quest for a lower grocery bill and people are always asking me, "But what about cleaning supplies??"

To which I say, "What cleaning supplies?" I'm sorry to say that a bottle of 409 will last me a year. Maybe longer. I'm good with that.

Shari said...

That last picture of Nella is just precious.

jennymariee said...

Your post has made me feel human...

I was beating myself up because I was excited about cleaning my bathroom and washing the kitchen floor on consecutive days but even more shocked that I couldn't remember the last time anything like that had happened.

I will work on keeping up with the cleaning but more importantly I will work on letting go of the guilt when the time is otherwise spent enjoying my girls!!!

Stef said...

OK, I thought this was only ME! I deal with this ALL the time. Not being able to accept a nice compliment and move on. Why do I have to say "oh, you should see them when they're naughty!" when someone tells me my kids are cute, or why must I blab about my mess bathroom when someone says "your home always looks so clean!" - why do we feel the need to shoot down a compliment and shoot ourselves in the foot all the time?! I'm just glad to see its not just me :)

AnnieBC said...

AS I aproached my computer to check blogs this afternoon, I used my foot to push the plastic farm animals out of the way and accidentially stepped on a tambourine in the process. You are in good company! Housecleaning shouldn't be your priority when your job is to spend time with your kids. If your house were too clean, we would all be worried!!! Either that, or we would know you have a service :)
Happy Cleaning.

Claire said...

Hi! I'm a new follower and now I love your blog even more. You really should see my house! ha! I've always strugged with house cleaning, while the rest of my family constantly keeps a neat home. I too have promised myself that things will change this year. Good luck!!

p.s. your girls are ADORABLE!!

Alex and Ashley said...

once again, a breath of fresh air and a reminder for me to come back to reality. My house looks HORRIBLE right now... but yesterday was Sunday... and Sundays are busy with church and instead of cleaning up our messes yesterday afternoon I lounged. I played with our son, I took a nap on the couch with my man, and when our son woke up from his... we played with him and lounged some more. This morning I found myself regretting 'being lazy' yesterday... until I remembered that I had sweet moments with my guys. A while ago I found myself trying to keep everything perfect and when it wasn't it stressed me out so bad... but I had to teach myself not to freak out over it... with kids, there will always be a mess somewhere... so... I remember balance is the key!! Now, off to clean up our messes from yesterday!!

IRWSMom said...

I totally feel you are in my home. We live in the boonies and get maybe one guest per month. We clean when we get company and if company comes unexpectedly, we sometimes hide! It's THAT bad! We do the whole swear thing that THIS time we'll keep the house clean. The longest it has lasted is a week. We both come home tired after work but even when I was home 24/7 it was the same way. Spending time with your girls is what's most important and I know you already know that. For us, I think if hubby and I were both disciplined after making a meal, at clean-up, we'd have the main kitchen clean all the time. It's just hard, but I think we were that way before 2 chitlins so we just go with the flow. Great post though. Of course blog about it if you figure out how to help yourself and the rest of us organize our days, cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry. Happy Monday, Kelle!

Abby said...

Kelle, You may think your house is bad, but it isn't....You have kids and people in and out and I think it looks darn good and so close to my own home. Puzzle pieces, a clean(at least it's clean) pile of laundry on the couch and kiddos that are happy. My mom always says a home where mamas stay home are always messier because you "live" in them. If you were gone all day at work, day care and school it wouldn't be messy. Feel blessed that you are *living* at home with your kiddos. And I think your house looks perfect and on another note....good for you in owning that compliment.
Blessings!
Abby

Wanda said...

Oh THANK YOU. You are a kindred spirit. I feel so much better now.
=)

Honey said...

From a different perspective...I am SO GLAD my mother made keeping the house fairly clean a priority because she taught me how to clean. We had fun doing it and there was always the reward of playing after we were done.

I'm not a great housekeeper- but man oh man, I've had some roommates who have shown me just how lucky I am to have the "how to" on cleaning under my belt!

Jenn said...

"We labor to make a house a home, then every time we're expecting visitors, we rush to turn it back into a house." ~Robert Brault

That is so me. When people come over, they get the "don't open that closet" warning. I love your neighbors response, too funny. He would probably call a HazMat team to my house :)

FEAS613 said...

Love love love!! You should see my bedroom!! I am a type a clean person at work and in the common areas of home... but my bedroom is a WHOLE different story! I call it my 'Monica closet' (from friends). It's the part I can just let myself not care about and let it fall to shambles before putting it back together...

Besides - it's one of those things- you wouldn't appreciate a clean house if you never saw it messy!!! Judging by the smiles on Lainey & Nella's faces they think you're doing just fine!

Happy Monday!

And I absolutely love this line: "It's okay to own a compliment and not everyone needs to be spoonfed the fact that if a woman is pulling it off in one area, there's another area falling apart." <-perfection :)

Betsi* said...

I get it! I used to have the opposite problem, I was the fastidiously neat, following the kids around cleaning mama. Then I decided to get over it because it was all about being a people-pleasing perfectionist. Now I fear I've swung too far in the other direction!
Here's something we do in our house: Blitzkreig Cleaning. I set the timer for ten minutes and the kids and I each pick a room or mess to clean. When the timer goes off we stop and have a little reward, like a board game or bowling game on the Wii.
Good luck!

Kelly said...

Just dance, the laundry can wait! Who cares, we can't all be June Cleaver, such is life. I just want to be ME.

Sarah Stewart said...

I'm type A....my house is ALWAYS spotless. However, I agree that balance is key and sometimes after reading your blog, I'm jealous that you have the ability to not let it bother you so much! :)

Chantelle said...

I love the honesty! You seem like such an incredibly genuine person, and it is fabulous that you find humour in those awkward moments to make them a little less mortifying :)!!

OK, I have two pieces of advice, if I may? One, we bought big collapsible laundry cloth buckets (you can get super cute ones, and decorate them with felt flowers too) or functional ones, and chuck all the toys and randomness into them. Very easy, Lainey will love to help with the daily clean-up, and they are perfect for us clutterbugs who don't want things away and out of site but somehow organized and piled. The other is.... there is no shame in hiring someone to clean your house :) Think of all the great things it would leave you time for....your littles, your crafts, and photographing oodles of cupcakes :) !!!

p.s. You really didn't need to feel embarrassed, I'm sure your neighbour was less intimidated by the 'realness of it'. I'm sure everyone will laugh over it some day.

Veralynn said...

Kelle,

I felt like you were talking to me! Honestly, this is one of the things I struggle with! I want our home to always be "company ready" but I don't usually take the steps every day to keep it that way. I've just now started convincing myself that whatever it is I'd prefer to do instead of cleaning (magazine/blog post/Real Housewives) can wait fifteen minutes while I choose one area of the house to clean. It's gotten a LOT better...but still a ways to go!

Just know we're all out here fighting the same battle! And we can totally win!

-Veralynn

Joie de Veralynn

bobbiebrownphotography.com said...

This is so true! All of it! I don't consider myself the best or the worst housekeeper, but I sure know I feel a lot better, more relaxed and inspired when my house is somewhat clean! Love the pictures... that one of Lainey sitting on the pile on the couch seriously made me smile! And Nella... oh she is cute!

Jennifer said...

Sigh, my house looks like yours ALL THE TIME! It's worse actually, because my house is a lot smaller and the messes seem eve more out of control.

tarynddavidson said...

Kelle! Kelle! KELLE! Oh how you just turned my frown upside down! I feel so much more confident as a mother, especially when my baby bug is having therapy and I have to "excuse the house" to her therapists time and time again... but I do know that we live in a lived-in house... and for that I am forever thankful!

Mandie said...

Ahhhh...how I love to see a pile of laundry piled on the corner of a couch! I wish I could post a little photo of the laundry piled on the corner of my couch,and the Nerf darts strewn across my living room floor. =) Thanks-I feel normal!

Team Lando said...

i just told my husband, "no wonder i relate! she's a slob too!" LOVE the honesty!!

Sarah Broadus said...

i love you-please lets be friends. we have a rule when friends come over (if a door is shut don't open it) =)

Liz said...

Cutest picture of Nella ever! Love it!

Sunny Sue said...

It is so nice to have someone like you that so many of us look up to (because of your incredibly refreshing view of life, etc) to admit that you aren't perfect. I know that you have done it before about other things, but sharing about your messy house hits close to home for a lot of people.

I CRAVE organization. I didn't say that I was good at it, but that I desire it so much. I also have fun when I do get something organized and clean. However, I miss out on things because I carry that guilt of "I should be cleaning/organizing" and it is such a tough thing for me to let go of.

I will use this post as encouragement. That not everything has to be perfect and that it can wait while I enjoy my family.

LOVE the last pic of Nella!

Lisa said...

Oh Kelle, I laughed out loud when I read your neighbors response to your room! Wonder how their house looks!
Two short stories... The other week my son was sick and I HAD to go to work. So, I had to have my oh-so-neat-and-organized mother-in-law come over to our house to babysit. I vacuumed and dusted (quickly) the downstairs never thinking she would have to go upstairs for any reason. I came home that night and asked my five year old if "grandma went upstairs" never thinking he's say yes! And my immediate reaction was, "WHY?!" and he told me he wanted to show her his new entertainment center in his bedroom! I can only imagine her reaction!
And on one other occasion,we were taking a walk and our new neighbor happened to be pulling out of her driveway as we were approaching her house and asked if we wanted to come in quick and see their new house. We're like, "sure" (cause I was secretly dying to see the inside oftheir house)! She took us through every room of that house, including the basement and not one single thing was out of place. It was beautiful. When we left my husband said, "I don't know that there has ever been a time where we could pull anyone off the street and say, "Hey, wanna see our house?" I'm glad I'm not alone. I figure my house won't be nice and clean for "tours" like that until my son is grown and out of the house! Which, really, is fine with me!

Kara said...

One of my favorite parts of spring is the crazy turn-everything-upside-down-for-a-good-scrubbing craze I get into. It's like nesting without the baby!

Oh, and I loved the spray painted mirror in your last post, by the way. I'm on a hunt for paintable things in my house right now. Ha!

jcooper said...

So good to know that I'm not the only one. Laundry is my nemisis, I constantly struggle with it, I continue to wait for the laundry fairy to visit our house, but she just never shows up! I keep telling myself that I'm going to get better at it, but who knows. I would much rather play with the babies that put away clothes, so we live out of our laundry baskets, o well. We also have an area where all the piles get thrown a few minutes before company comes over, hope no one ever sees those! Happy Monday to you all!

jcooper said...

oops, I meant to say I would much rather play with the babies than put away the clothes, not play with kids that put away clothes, haha!

Rachel said...

LOL!! I just finished vacuuming our house and straightening up quickly as we have someone coming over! I, honestly, can not believe how similar we are sometimes and that we tend to go through phases at the same time. :) my husband would tell you I'm not the best organizer or cleaner-upper. Vomit is not cool with me. BUT, he constantly reminds me when I'm all amiss with the current mess, that he is glad I'm focused on the right things (loving him and our kids) and that always makes me smile and take things one at a time again! OF course, I still get the,"What the hell happened here?" comment from him sometimes!! Your post made me laugh soo hard and that last photo of Nella could stand alone. Amazing.

Jamie said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I tend to be like you. It helps to know I'm not the only one who struggles with housework. I blame in on my creativity. :)

Grandma Ellen said...

I haven't achieved a "clean house all the time" yet....and I no longer have littles..just a teen who is home on weekends who could care less if it's neat..however, if you are interested in great ideas for putting some housecleaning/laundry items on "autopilot" with a routine, check out www.flylady.com That was the best move I ever made when my son was young. If some of it becomes part of your routine, it makes everything else so much more bearable!

Jill said...

Okay Kelle...loved this post! I love what you said about finding a happy medium. I am a neat freak, obsessed with order and cleanliness and I very often make my kids suffer for it. I seem to always be searching for a happy medium too, but in the opposite direction of you. I'm always reading your blog and thinking..."I need to be more relaxed like Kelle, quit cleaning and play with my kids more, make more cupcakes...play more Candyland!"

I love how we are all different and can learn from each other.

p.s. I think we need your chicken buffalo dip recipe. Pretty please!

Mama Marchand said...

Oh, girl ... I WISH my Type A-ness would let me leave the clutter but it can't. I get twitchy. So, every single day (and even more than once a day), I'm picking up, cleaning up, wiping up ... only to have my child make a mess again. I actually need to cool it when it comes to trying to keep my house clean ... so, maybe you and I can meet in the middle? :)

Sara said...

So you are human afterall huh? ;-)
Kidding--I don't think anyone, ANYONE can always have everything in perfect order. In fact, if the outside seems perfect, guaranteed the inside (THEIR inside--emotionally usually) is way out of whack! So just be glad your junk is on the outside. ;-)
Mine is too thankfully!
I love Nella's face in the pic of her sitting in the laundry basket--she looks surprised. Too cute.

Jen said...

Thanks for this post. Sometimes it is nice to know that you are a real person :)

Cheryl said...

Oh no! What's wrong with using t-shirts as slip covers?
My house is always a mess too. Whether it's lego pieces, far more Star Wars figures than I care to count or Cheerios, the floor is never free of stuff. Looking around, neither is the furniture or accent tables.

Kerrie said...

Thanks for sharing...I feel the same way about housecleaning. I just think to myself, "We LIVE in our house...our house isn't dirty..just "Lived in"!

Victoria C. said...

I could have written you entire post. I am the queen of throwing everything in our bedroom or the laundry room at the last second and shutting doors. There is pretty much always a basket or 2 of wrinkly laundry just witing to be folded. And sometimes my living room floor is a minefield of legos and matchbox cars.

I have made it my resolution this year to make a better effort of staying on top of the clutter (thank you IKEA), & I knew I was doing good when last week my BFF walks into my home and says "wow, this is the cleanest Ive seen your house in a long time!"

mistene said...

I love the cute pic of Nella at the end!!! So adorable!

I too hate cleaning the house. Our problem is that we are trying to get ready to move. So the house is chaos because everything needs to be packed up to make it look cleaner... Ugh!

Sandy said...

Thanks for reminding us that you're human, too. My house and yours would be good friends--they want to be clean and neat and tidy and straightened, but it's so hard when other more important things await....

Something we've found that helps when the laundry gets overwhelming: we put a DVD on (we don't have a TV, so this is a treat), and my husband and I tackle the laundry together. It's a race, since we watch a 25 minute show, and it is amazing how quickly the laundry gets done when two of us fold (and while the kids aren't around to bounce in it and turn me into the yelling laundry monster).

Dee said...

Two tips that helped me tremendously: Got rid of toys with small parts, got rid of excess clothes. I had 4 kids and always tried to simplify. Believe me, it gets better with age. Get tired of the crap :)

chantelle said...

I love this post.It is sooo true..I find woman are way too hard on themselves sometimes. Yes it may look like a tornado hit your house today but your kids are happy and that is all that matters. Be proud that you chose Candyland over dishes. I know you kids will be:) But your right,there does need to be a happy medium and I I know you can find it. xoxo

Farm Wife said...

Girl, you should see MY house. It is well lived in just like yours :-) Except we don't have kids yet, so I really don't have an excuse.

I am the same way about compliments. Can't take one. My famous trait is to point out all of my ridiculous flaws.

M said...

Kelle, I don't have any children, and I still have a messy home. My husband's parents came over for an inpromptu pizza night, and as my husband stared blankly at our messy kitchen, I said "just dim the lights, it will hide the mess." I'm full of tricks like that! Sometimes, we'll do the whole "act like company will be here in 30 minutes! Go!" cleaning, and it's great! Thanks for making me feel better about being a "messy."

Michelle said...

I love you for this post!

Julie said...

No, you should see MY house!
Actually I think mine is much better after I return from friend's places but my husband came from a house where mom was home and had nothing to do but clean...you couldn't even take a brush or comb into the kitchen! I grew up with something in-between and mine is something below that. I'm not really dirty, just messy!

And, I have just learned to go with it - knowing that a happy middle is fine, when it comes to a clean house.

Erica said...

I am opposite of you...I am OCD about my house being clean and everything having a place but I feel I have no creativity at all...I wish my decor was like yours! Wanna Trade? Your girls are stunning BTW...Happy Monday!

Andyfaith said...

Please know that it is OK to be messy! Take it from me, the girl who would sometimes rather clean her kitchen than go out for a day of shopping with her girlfriends. I'm too much the other way...the clean freak way, and while I don't yet have kids, I worry that my proclivity for everything to be neat and clean will majorly impact either myself or my kids. I get anxious when things are in disarray or dirty. But, I'm slowly working on it with my pets so that by the time kids come, hopefully piles of laundry won't send me into a tailspin.

On the other hand, a good tip is to fit a tidying-up routine into your schedule so that the mess doesn't become completely overwhelming. You wouldn't believe what a difference 5/10 minutes here or there makes. Some people do a quick 15 minute pick-up before bed or before they get their shower in the morning. It really helps to keep it manageable. Good luck in your new quest to keep your house company presentable at any moment!

paige said...

k, i laughed out loud. So funny :)
i just wanted to encourage you - my husband is that type A personality & i'm the passionate creative type... we got married as teenagers & early on in our (almost 15 year) marriage, one day i just decided, "i've gotta be done with the mess"... i had 2 little girls just like you & every day, my sweet patient husband would get home from work to find boxes & bags ready to be purged at the door. It honestly took me about a month... i purged & organized & changed my life & my perspective. "Get rid of stuff to make room for people" became my new mantra. Don't get me wrong... i now have seven little ones & we homeschool & make a crap load of messes - but chaos doesn't win... our belongings have homes... and there is room for all the sweet little people in this tiny house.
(but you should how crappy the pictures are that i take... *wink*) You can do this - & you'll thank yourself...
i love your blog - i think you're changing the world. xo.

Wally said...

Completely laughed out loud with the neighbor story...I do the same thing with our room..

And, I also do the , "you should see my house" bit.

Thanks for posting this & helping me to realize that I'm def. not the only mom that does this.

Hang in there with your cleaning..I'm still working on my mess over here.

Esther said...

I love your honesty. I think life is too short to be uptight about everything.

redheadreverie said...

Was just musing over this myself during a harried weekend of vacuuming and mopping.

My solution...

I'm hiring a housekeeper...we've gone through a couple (I'll be blogging the horror stories soon), but this time I think I've found the perfect person. Because I'm sick and tired of telling my three year old, sorry I can't reinact Toy Story 3 because I need to clean a toilet...bad mommy!

And thank you for showing us the ugly underbelly, sometimes it's nice to see reality in all it's glory.

Melinda said...

Ha ha! I understand. We have an apartment, and there isn't much place to 'hide' things when people come over. So I stew over what to do next and what should be cleaned and what honestly doesn't matter. lol. I agree - I will never regret spending time with my kids over the chores...any day. Ever. But there are days to where I am like, "Gonna spring clean. NOW." Ha ha. By the way - I love love love the milk bottles! So cute! I sort of have a think for those right now. ;)

Nursey_MJ said...

kelle, i have been following your blog since reading nella's birth story. you have been such a source of strength and inspiration. i am now expecting my first child after a long struggle with infertility and have the same laid back approach to house cleaning. except for now i have gone into crazy nesting mode and have my poor husband helping my clean the whole house top to bottom. i know that i will always choose time with my son over doing a load of laundry or cleaning the kitchen. thanks for letting me know that i am not the only one!

The Mac's House said...

Oh reading this post had me laughing and looking around behind me as if you had just stepped into my house and was referring to what you were seeing here. But one of the best comments you posted was this one: and a love seat slip cover made of wrinkled t-shirts is not it.

From time to time I think we all go thru this.

merlin said...

I love your honesty. My trick is that I am "rude" to the neighbors, no one visits and it is lonely. That response to your reality is what keeps me from being warm and inviting. With age I am starting to think, "Holy s--t, what is your issue with judgement?" to folks who want to make such comments. Another blogger posted something to the effect of visit anytime if you want to see me, but if you want to see my house you better give me a weeks notice.

I hope, if having a tidy house makes YOU happy then that is what you achieve, but can I tell you that a whole LOT of HAPPY exudes from your home through your blog and for that I am thankful.

The answer by the way is "Life is happening, dude, 24-7 life is happening"

Stephanie said...

You have no idea how "normal" this post makes me feel. I thought I was the only one who couldn't keep it all together! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

Variety said...

Piles of clean clothes make fine throw pillows. And the cedar chest at the end of my bed and the chairs under my bedroom window double as a closet. They're perfectly acceptable lifestyle choices. I do clarify it with the occasional "hey, at least they're clean" comment.

Wren said...

I always read but rarely comment....but this time the finger prints on glass got me! My house may be clean but there are ALWAYS finger prints on the glass doors and always kiss marks on the mirror above my bed and my full length mirror...I will NOT wash the kisses off because I love them, they are kisses from my babies to my babies so they stay!

Happy Monday!

http://eachdayisanewjourney.blogspot.com/

Lindsay said...

Good God, I am so happy to see this. My husband and I actually spent 2 1/2 hours "having it out" about my lack there of cleaning. Or how I don't care if the dishes are piled right along with the laundry :) My defense, I'm not nasty, I consider myself to be a clean person...now messy, well you got me there! Guess he could have realized it 9 years ago, ha! But like you I pick time with my little princess over scrubbing dishes. And who am I kidding, let's face it I hate that $#&%! Really I do. I am however trying to work on it as well!
xoxo

racheld said...

One sentence: Fingerprints on the underside of the glass dining table, from when the two three-year-old GRANDS were still little enough to walk under it.

oursweetstory.com said...

im glad im not alone! the laundry is the one thing i cannot for the life of me keep up with. I LOATH it. But have also promised myself to get better with it. I also had to say that after a week at stay away Christian camp I came home and very dramatically broke my Weezer CD. Still wish I had that CD!

My Secret Rooms said...

That's so funny! Oh, I still remember a very similar thing happening to me many years ago: horrific.
I just started what you're attempting and it works out quite OK actually. The house looks better more often which gives more balance, I think. Somehow I feel it gives more time to socialize also, since I'm not always cleaning...
Of course you should accept the compliments!! Easy for me to say now: I've had 9 more years to practice.
But you look fab - stop mentioning your house when they tell you, please!!! :-D

Siri said...

I feel your pain and I did the best thing I have ever done: housekeeper:) She comes every two weeks so not too bad and it forces me to at least tidy! It changed my life and my marriage!!!! Good luck we have all been there. (btw I am a stay at home mom too!)

Kathryn said...

When my house is perfect, there is usually something else in my life lacking (bad). When my kids are getting the just perfect Mommy - my friends are getting a not so great friend, when my husband is getting an awesome wife my...well, that one always seems to pay me back without anything else lacking..perhaps I should think more on this, hmmm...
Love this post, and all the great pics!
Congratulations to your winner!

Becky said...

This literally made me laugh out LOUD, so hilarious! I had a moment a few months ago, like this. I made myself a really nerdy google doc and have my cleaning on a schedule now. Don't always stick to it, because, ya know, a game of Memory might have gone too long one day or whatever..but at least I can go back to it and get back on track pretty easily.

So, so, so, funny to read your stories!!

Here's a link to my post with the nerdy, color-coded google doc in it, hahaha! Seriously, love your blog, thanks for sharing!

http://ifthesewallsspoke.blogspot.com/2010/09/getting-it-together-aka-boring-post.html

Cat said...

An hour before reading your blog I was sitting home with two girls, neither of whom have any special daily requirements other than to be loved and entertained, wondering how the hell you do it!?! Thanks for this post.

The ONLY way I can manage laundry is to make sure all kids clothes are in the right way before washing, and to fold and put away one load at a time as it's done. The minute there is a second load added to the pile it ends up as five loads and just an unbearable task.

Speaking of which.... Off to the dryer. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

haveFaith said...

Oh, geez. Something I can totally 100 percent relate too. It may not be my house that gets that way, but my ROOM in my house? That would be my compliment slap-away if I ever saw one. No matter how much I could look rockin, my room being a complete and utter disaster is still sitting at home waiting to be judged....or better yet, CLEANED.

I'm a totally throw-it girl. I don't neatly put away, I move onto something else and the last thing I was doing (clothes, books, games, nail polish, anything...) gets set where it was and forgotten. This makes it an issue when I try to get into my room, or worse, get up in the middle of the night. Sure, it's funny to see my mother play the "try not to step on something valuable game" 'cause she can't see the carpet...but I've broken way too many things I didn't want broken because of this habit of mine.

So last week I rearranged my room, something I haven't done in years, and my room feels new and inspiring. All I need to do is clean up the mess on the floor and we're ready for spring to come upon us! And I don't have to worry about my poor mother tripping and falling into a messy abyss or breaking her neck.

Lainey seems pretty comfortable in the clutter, chilling out on a pile of tshirts. I find that hilarious and adorable, and so cool that she's down with mama leaving it go for a while. Sometimes you need a bit of clutter in one area so you can have fun in another, but you always gotta go back and clean up. That's not the fun part, sadly.

~Jenn~ said...

It's so refreshing to know you live a real life, too! You seem like an amazing woman, and though you show little tidbits of your house in photos every now and then, and we know you aren't "proud" of it, it's good to know it's something you want to be better about. I hope you post a follow up post (maybe one in a week or so, and another in a month or so) letting us know how you're doing with your 'resolution' of sorts! It's not easy to keep things tidy when you're a busy momma. Maybe you could call the follow up posts "The State of our House - NOW" or "Look at My House, Now!"

And, you SHOULD own every compliment! You're beautiful and have a gorgeous family! I'm envious :)

Jill said...

Gurl- I hate cleaning but something about it makes me feel better. I hate cleaning over playing w/ my kids so twice a day I set the microwave timer for 15 min and do as much as I can in that time. I run and the kids chase me and I clean and sort and they grab crap and throw it in bins too. My other fav thing I did with toys recently was to sort them into bins. So I took all the toys in the house and dumped them out. I took 6 bins and in each bin I put an assortment of dolls, sensory toys, dress up, sport, sorting, puzzles, cars/trucks, etc. so each bin has one of each category and I rotate them each week. Then there is less toy clutter and my kids think the bins came from heaven each week when they see their old toys become new again. : )

Tammy said...

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing. Just the other day I was a bit down b/c it seems like all the bloggers (you included) I read are so perfect while I struggle to keep things together.

mrsruiz101089 said...

I used to feel the same way. Until I found another awesome website. I think you might like it. Totally helped me get my life together lol

www.flylady.net

Amy :) said...

I always joke about how we clean before people come over because we don't want them to see the way we *really* live! My "stash" place when company is coming over is the master bedroom closet. (Usually the kids don't open it when guests are here.)

Still, my life feels SO much more orderly when I have my kitchen all tidied up at the beginning of the day. It's a constant process, this trying to keep things tidier in the midst of our busy life.

Amy :)

JCF said...

I'm glad to see other people's houses aren't always pristine!

My secret weapon against the mess is to set a timer a couple of times a day--maybe right at the beginning of naptime, even though I feel like collapsing myself, or maybe when I see the kids are playing nicely together and I know it will spoil it if I get involved. I set a timer for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 15 minutes, and then I race myself to get as much done as possible during that time. It is amazing how much better things can look after just a few minutes, and if I do this a few times a day, it helps a TON.

Tiffany said...

I feel the same way, you are not alone. My house is a wreck. I try to keep it neat, but with 4 boys, its a never ending cycle. I'm not a "neat" person by any stretch of the imagination either. My older boys room looks like legoland threw up in it, and part of me wants to care, but i don't. I always have clean clothes on my couch too. I really am trying to do better though. I know you will also!

LJ said...

I had to smile when I read this because I too am a crafting, baking, photographing, MESSY housed momma.

Tonya said...

I could have written this post! I actually just got off the phone with my Mom crying about how horrible my house is right now! I am a terrible housekeeper, but feel very out of sorts if my house is a mess. Not a great way to be, that's for sure! Plus, I am raising a bunch of little piglets! Your blog made me laugh and feel better about myself.

"Holy S$#@, what happened here?!" STill laughing aloud about this LOLOLOL

The Full Nelson said...

I do a bit of cleaning everyday to try and keep this place under control...but I'm in an apartment so I don't have as much space to clean. Good lucK!

Linda K said...

I'm a newbie to your blog. Stumbled across it courtesy Libby Ryder's blog. I follow a handful of blogs, yours the latest. I'm way beyond where you are in life - kids are 25,21 & 19. But, I read your blog and reminisce and think. . ."man, I want a do-over with this whole motherhood thing." Not saying I didn't do a good job myself, but you've really got your priorities straight. The time you spend with your kids is by far the most valuable thing you'll ever do, certainly the most rewarding! You got it going on. Never doubt that!

thedomesticfringe said...

I LOVE that you put these pictures up! I have a neighbor that is a clean fanatic. I mean she's really, really clean. Even when I think my house is clean, it seems dirty the minute she walks in the door. It's hard for me to not feel like a pig when I see her.

Good luck with all your efforts to tidy-up!
-FringeGirl

Sharon said...

That story was so funny! I live in a small apartment and I can barely keep it clean with just one baby! I've gotten to the point where I'm just getting rid of "things" but I feel like our home really needs some inspiration on the decor end of things!

Erin said...

haha Our room is also the dumping ground for everything that does not have a place. It's the room that holds folded baskets of laundry that has been waiting for days (ok, sometimes weeks) to be put away. If you were to walk into my house you would see a clean house, but please no peeking in my room.

laurieg said...

It's a curse that I also have-that "cancelling out a compliment thing" and I too know when I do it and in my head do the "slap forehead and say idiot, idiot" because we should just own those compliments.
Good for you for recognizing your need to change. You seem to pull off anything you set your mind to. I have faith!! Good luck :)

Hannah Joy said...

Oh my gosh I totally laughed out loud reading this, thank you!

Laura said...

Oh baby, you should see MY house! Ha ha

I may have missed it here, but I remember your Dad posting a comment some time back about how one day, your house will stay clean, items will always be right where you left them, and he might have even said the vacuum lines will stay in the carpet for days - and he said you will miss the days of endless laundry piles and dishes on counters and toys scattered underfoot.

Some women really can keep it together better than I, but I sure appreciate your honesty, your stating "I have a problem and I'd like to change it" - because so do I. And judging by all the posts here, you and I are not alone.

Love and spring cleany thoughts to you, my friend!

And if your readers are looking for more honest writing about mess and children and love and a baby with Down Syndrome who rivals Nella for cutest baby in the world, drop in on us at:

little feet in my house
lauraluyt.blogspot.com

Jess said...

I am the total opposite when it comes to my house. But I need people like you in my life who remind me to stop and enjoy the little finger prints on the glass and that the dishes can wait because Candyland is not always going to be there. Thanks for this post, I needed it today.
Ps. That last picture of Nella is awesome!!

Mel said...

Really love this post. I feel much the same way. Inside there is clean/neat/orgnizing freak who just has never really been able to bust out. I just find that time filled with babies is so much happier. But, at the end of the day when those babies are asleep and I have to try and relax for once it's hard when nothing is in, or has a, place. There must be a happy medium.

And that last picture? Be still my heart, so sweet!

Lillian said...

SO with you on the house cleaning and LOVING all of these comments of everyone else who understands:) There's a reason that the FlyLady has so many followers, that's for sure! It's recently knocked me in the side of the head that if I really do just spend 15 minutes most days and a half hour to an hour a few days picking up and cleaning that it's all it would take to get us to a more decent place. We're working on it:)

Valerie said...

Loved today's post...hilarious!

I sooooo have that goin' on in our master bedroom when friends/neighbors/family comes to visit! I get so mad at myself for trashing our bedroom everytime company comes over, but seriously...where else do you put it?!!! LOL

Have a great day!

Mama Ezra said...

You should get housekeeper, problem solved! :)

heather said...

kids are more important then clean dishes !!
love and blessings
the doughtys

Paradise said...

Oh, yea, I know where you're coming from. Here are my 3 suggestions: (1) take 15 minutes every morning to clean up your room. Make it part of your morning routine. At least that's one room that will stay clearn. (2) take 15 minutes every night to throw everything around your house back in it's place. You'd be surprised what that 15 minutes can do for clutter. (3) leave the laundry in the laundry room. Nuf said :)!

Loralou said...

This is by far my most favourite post of yours EVER! LOL

Amie said...

See? I already knew that about you and I love you still. XO

Teresa said...

Hey, I have the same problem! Do I want to fix it? Yeah... but obviously not enough! LOL

Great post!!

Jenn said...

My house seems to constantly be in a state of disaster lately. For a couple of reasons: No one else cares if it's tidy and I have almost given up on it being tidy. I am a neat freak and it drives me nuts to see clutter but one can only pick up the same toys or a pair of dirty socks so many times before they no longer care. But if I am honest with myself. My house really isn't all that bad in the grand scheme of things!

MelissaKeaster said...

I have the opposite problem. Sometimes, I allow my task-orientation to take the place of spending quality time with my son. Over the past few weeks, we've been hit hard with illness, so the house has been left mostly untended (comparably, anyway). And yet, my world hasn't fallen apart . . . I wish I could take that free spirit bit of you, and exchange it for some of my Type A neat freak. Then we could both reach a happy medium. Thank you for inspiring this Type A to seize a few more moments.

Angi said...

I love you. Seriously...I love you! You have made this catastrophe addled woman very VERY happy. My hubby swears I am the only woman on earth who does the 2 hour shove. I now have proof to show him that it's not just me!! There is at least ONE OTHER HUMAN BEING on earth that does it too. That officially makes it NOT weird!!! *insert happy dance here*

thenestinghouse said...

You know what always works for me? A nice full episode of the hoarding show. I'm telling you, one episode of that show and you'll be scrubbing your floor with a tooth brush!

E vie said...

Well I have to admit that I am type A cleaner! Good luck and the peace that you will find after removing the clutter will be so worth it!!!

Kelly Cach said...

Kelle~

You are making me LAUGH! I LOVE that feeling!

We are too hard on ourselves, though I DO understand there needing to be a balance. Did you happen to read my comment on a previous post of yours? About how clutter in my home leads to clutter in my brain??? I sooo get that!

But I always tell people, "If you're coming to see me, come right on over. If you're coming to see my house, give me 2 weeks notice."

PLEASE....let me come right over. I'd be coming to see you, because it's the person I adore...not the house!

With no judgment here,
Kelly :)

happynester said...

i didn't bother to read any of the other comments, so i'm sure its been said...
i read your blog and i'm silently annoyed at how beautiful you make everything seem.. i can hear my child hood jewelry box music playing in my head when i read your posts.. so this post was a wonderful dose of "but you should see my house" perfect. and i get it. i'm fantastic at keeping a clear mind and spending hours playing with my kids, but my house is a never ending disaster of clutter and chaos and 'where the heck am i to put this?'.. my bedroom is the dumping ground for everything and my laundry lives on top of dressers and floors and sofas.. with bare drawers.
ive considered a cleaner but im too embarrassed for that.. i would have to clean first. and really when she says "where do i put this?" i wouldn't have an answer.

i wont reach the point of being called a hoarder, but the cost of being called a slob is okay if the kids had fun today.

CozyComfyCottage said...

Kelle,
I love your blog. I love the music, the inspiration, the way you lay it all out there, the beatiful photographs, just everything. Thank you for making life more beautiful.

I have never been the extremely clean type but after children my cleaning drive went out the window! I do a couple of 15 minute clean ups each day but rarely get to the deep cleanings that make a house shine. We go for a lived in feel around here!
Blessings,
Olivia

Sara said...

WOW the comfort I feel here!
I mean look at us all: Declaring we are not June Cleavers!
I always tell my mom: "You are not getting first in line in heaven because you cleaned your house every week with a toothbrush!"
In my head I'm a neat freak, but for whatever reason the hands just did nOT get the memo!
Slobs UNITE! Can we get t-shirts or something?

enmouton said...

oh man... i've so often thought about calling Merry Maids... and then realize that they would probably just start throwing stuff away... or walk away from the shear massive coronary of the job... the thing is... if i have someone here with me to talk to... i can clean all day... like a machine... just go go go... it's when i'm alone... confronted with the reality that i need to organize that i find oh so many other things that i could be doing... like painting... or reading... baking cupcakes... one day... one day i'm taking this monster on...

rebecca said...

,,,i'm happy to admit i am a "type-A" personality and a believer that everything has it's own resting place in my home,,,though i'm mindful not everyone thinks and does the way i do and that's good too (smile) i love weeding out and purging and organizing belongings,,,my mantra: "less is more",,,love the final photo of nella, she's such a doll!,,,

Scrappin' Chicks said...

This is one of many of my favorite posts. Gosh, I love you and your blog!! I am constantly checking to see if you have another post! Thank you for this. You have inspired me to do some spring cleaning. <3

Kate said...

I had a crazy dream that you hired me to be Nella's nanny/therapist, and I moved into your bathroom and you were really sad about it but I convinced you that it would be okay. Apparently my subconscious isn't satisfied with being just an internet fly on your wall!

Teresa said...

I had a similar moment last week. After our next door neighbor's 6 year old asked to come over, I said, "well the house is a wreck, but you can play in the backyard." Inevitably, she ended up inside with my son and she exclaimed: "you were right, Ms. Teresa, your house is really messy!" I spent the rest of the afternoon straightening up as she and my son were busy in the backyard.

Ashe's said...

Hilarious! The hubby and I would go back and forth about the cleaning until we came up with a solution that works great for us. Every Thursday we have "Date night clean night" As soon as we put the kids to sleep (8:00ish) we get started. He sweeps and mops all tile and vacuums all carpet downstairs. I clean all the bathrooms and dust the furniture. It takes us 1 hour for what would normally take me FOREVER to do. Of course, I still have to do laundry every other day and upstairs cleaning but it is no way as tiring as when I had to do it all myself. We chose Thursday nights because we like to enjoy our weekends and just in case we have those "cool neighbor friends" over ;) I feel for ya! I am all for pretending the dishes aren't there to do a craft with my kiddos.

Liesel said...

I LOVE this post! I have a hard time being "real" in the online world. I want to cover up all my messes. You're so cool :) Usually I like to do my projects in an all or nothing kind of a way, but the one thing that has (sort of) worked for me is finding 10 things everyday that go in the donate bag or the trash. I figure that adds up quick...and each one of those is something I'm never going to have to pick up and put away again :) Happy Monday.

The Dugan's said...

thanks for this post. glad to know i am not the only one.

Adri Hunt said...

Oh my goodness! This was hilarious.... I can't keep up with my house and wonder how other people do it. It's hard to balance everything... I love how you find joy in everything you do!!

Joann said...

Love your blog..and this post...at least I know I am not alone:o)

Tara said...

One of the things that I have always enjoyed about you is how honest you are. I know I'm not alone. So many bloggers use their blog as a place to hide the places of their lives where they fall short and instead give off a vibe of how perfect their life, their home and THEY are.
You are real and honest and I love that so much-it's refreshing. Good for you for making more of an effort! I have started this lately too and I find I feel much happier and presentable knowing I have mostly-tidy/clean house. I hope you'll feel the same!

Amy said...

I'm not the first to say it here, but check out flylady.net... the best step there = 15 minute declutter. Set the timer, and don't go a minute over. I end up doing it twice a day because my house really is THAT bad.

Makenzies Miracle said...

I feel ya on that one. I have had my mom walk in my house numerous times only to tell me that " no one lives like this!" I promptly replied... "I do!" That statement did not mean by any means that I like living in clutter but while taking care of 4 kids one of which has many special needs, picking up is not my highest priority most days.

However, we are now getting ready to put our house on the market so I took a couple of weeks and had a massive purge of a ton of "clutter in my home. I will say that it was one of the most liberating things I have done in the last 10 years. Keeping the house clean is SO much easier and way less time consuming! Also I haven't missed a single thing I got rid of!

Go get em girl!

Marisa T said...

You should see my house...lol! I love the picture of Lainey sitting on top of the laundry pile and that last picture of Nella is AMAZING! She is such a beautiful little girl!

Valley Girl said...

Thank God you are human! I was starting to question myself **laughing! My special girl has sent us into a whirlwind and I can't seem to reclaim my home! I feel so much better about me now that I know I am not alone!

You still freakin' rock even with the "laundry Pillows"!

Big Hugs from PA!
Valerie and Madigan

heather said...

I was laughing through this entire post but especially at the part about the neighbor and his glimpse of your bedroom. Still laughing about it! I feel like this every Monday. It's amazing what we can do to a house in a weekend. Maybe amazing isn't the right word, disturbing? I tend to be more type A with clutter and order and spend way too much time cleaning instead of playing. I once had a friend who said, "Your kids won't remember having a clean house but they will remember having a mom who played with them." So true. But that logic isn't gonna work today. My kitchen floor is one big cupcake (covered in cupcake crumbs) and it honestly can't wait one more day.

xo

P.S. Sweetest pic of Nella blowing me a kiss! Right back at ya, Nella bean!

Bulldogma said...

Yeah... I was going to clean today... but it would have cost too much to rent the necessary bulldozer.

Stunningly Sweet said...

Ahhhh, I totally get where you are coming from, but in this very moment I wish I could leave toys and clean laundry sprawled...we are trying to sell our house and you wouldn't believe the effort it takes to keep this place spotless for any given moment when someone might want to take a look see. I can't shove anything- even my cupboards and closets need to be clean and tidy. Lets hope this place sells before our new baby arrives next month because I don't know how clean I can keep this house with a 14 month old and a newborn!

Angela said...

Your house is loved, and so is your family!

It's too bad I don' live in Naples - I love to clean, and would volunteer my services for free... Or in exchange for a spring-decorated cupcake!

Angie said...

Kelle,

So, so good to hear. Seriously, I'm staring at breafast AND lunch dishes as I sit here and type. Plus, I'm pretty sure my elbow is stuck to the table via peanut butter. From one pig to another, oink.

Happy Cleaning!

XOXO,
Angie from Ohio

Oh, and I wanted to mention a few of my favorite things you've ever, ever, ever written on here:

I absolutely loved what you said about fingerprints on windows. I love 'em and I always will!

I love what you said in a post a couple weeks ago about the Meet the Fockers movie. I forget the exact quote but I love, love, love the 'fockerizing' method of lovin' it out as opposed to cryin' it out :)

And my favorite Kelle quote is written in the front of my son's journal...."My 'this is it' moments...they are witnessed by none and felt in the dark when I'm holding you tight and our souls are one."

You have written so many things on here but that last one really sums up what I think it means to be a mama. It's what I couldn't wait my whole life to experience. It's what I'm living this second and I can't get enough. Glad to know you're with me :)

JennyD said...

Hahaha!!! I am literally laughing hysterical at this post and the "holy sh@t" comment from your neighbor...it is a "misery loves compnay" laugh...like my room looks the same exact way...and i wouls DIE if someone I didnt know that well saw it..lol...so funny! Youve inspired me to go fold some laundry that ive been postponing all week!!!

The Craun Family said...

You mean, I'm not the only one who does the "shove & shut" routine! This entry was therapeutic for me. Now I know I'm not alone. I always try to prevent myself from feeling guilty that my house with 2 small children feels lived in. My friend's house is always so clean and put together when I visit (even if I drop-in for a last minute playdate with no shut doors; maybe she has a magic door that I don't know about!?!) and I wonder how she gets the time to make it look that way. Which makes me even more self-conscious when they come over to our house. Here's to little steps towards less clutter.....
Cheers,
Patricia

FitForAPrincess said...

Lol! I say that when I get a negative comment. Like, "Don't you ever brush his hair?" Then I laugh and say they should see the house.
I do brush his hair, it's that the brush does not help.

Someone actually told me I should hire someone to watch the kids so I "can actually get something done around here".
Excuse me?! O.O

If I were to hire anyone, it would be to clean the house, not watch my kids while I clean it!

Lisa said...

I laughed out loud when you revealed who you really were... pigs. Because of course you aren't. My kids used to always ask "who's coming over?" when we would clean. I'd like to say I'm so much better now that they're grown and gone but not so much. I think the spit spot cleaning gene skips every generation because you could eat off my mom's floor (which she had me wash by the way). As always, you make me smile and your girls are beautiful. Have a good day.

Angie said...

Oh, and one more thing. I heard this somewhere...

"A clean house is the sign of an unlived life."

...and we all know how you LOVE livin' life!

XOXO,
Angie from Ohio

Ann @ I blog, therefore I am. said...

LMBO with the neighbor's comment! That's how our house looks all the time and I so envy my friend's whose is always clutterfree. But then again, she has no life, no hobbies. I'd rather be creative and a slob!

viv said...

Bahhhhahah hahah your new neighbours comment cringeingly (not sure thats a word but it suits) hilarious ! thanks for sharing I am with you on everything cause living out of laundry baskets does get boring and very wrinkled after a few days

Helene said...

My house is a mess because we just moved in, and we have built the house so its not enterly finished...

Lisa said...

Every time we have a party/company, my husband says we should have a party/company more often if the house is going to look this good!!

Val, Mike, Brax and Harper said...

i am the polar opposite of you in this area (and it's NOT a good thing!)... i catch myself wasting so much precious time repeatedly cleaning up toys throughout the day (and i mean i will spend like 8 minutes looking for one missing piece to my daughter's purse set) or repeatedly wiping crumbs off the floor... stuff that i know is pointless because it just gets messy again 5 minutes later. i think i'm a little OCD! so i'm trying to work on cleaning LESS and spending my time on the more important things like you do! i agree, that being organized and somewhat clean is a good thing, but as with anything, there has to be moderation right?!
you do a great job of balancing the two. you'll feel so refreshed after this bout of cleaning up, but like you said, you will never regret all the times you chose the kids over the house.
and btw, i am so jealous of your spring. it was sleety and cold here in KC all wkend, now the sun is finally shining but it's 42!!! brrrrr.

Mel said...

You have no idea how happy it makes me that you have piles of laundry and STUFF all over your house, just like we do! What a relief, LOL! I will never be someone who sweats the small stuff or is crazy about making sure the house gets cleaned all of the time, but there does come a time when it starts to get to you.....which is why we've hired a cleaning lady. Best. Thing. Ever. Now we are forced to at least tidy every two weeks and she takes care of the rest. Heavenly!

thedreamcalledlife said...

I'm sure many of your other commenters are saying the same thing, but you're so not alone! The state of our house gets me stressed out sometime, but I know I'll never look back and think, "Oh, if only our laundry wasn't always wrinkled because I didn't fold it as soon as the dryer buzzed..." And with my little baby boy coming on Sunday night/Monday, I have a TON of cleaning to do right now, because I know it'll be months until I feel like I can get anything done again. But in the meantime? I sure will love playing with my toddler and kissing her baby brother!

Unbelievably, I always thought I WANTED to be a '50's housewife. I always thought Lucy Ricardo's clean apartment, cooked dinner, puffy dress, and pearls were the life for me- minus the bonbons down her dress and the mule in her living room when she turned the place into Cuba for Ricky. Turns out, that's so not me. I can't do that even if I try.

Good thing my hubby didn't marry me for my cleaning skills!

Katie said...

Haha, this is so true! It's totally MY house. Makes me feel better. :)

Juls10 said...

Oh, I love the throwing-your-crap in the bedroom (or for us, it's the walk in closit) before company comes. We do that all the time!! I used to be horrified by my behavior, but now i'm totally fine with it. I can relate to you on so many levels, Kelle. You are my little invisible friend - I feel like you're in my head all the time. Thank you for that1

Missy said...

My house is the same way. I am trying to develop a home cleaning system where I do a little each day, but I've had little success so far!

Kate said...

Oh, I was so thinking of a messy house post for my blog today. You've given me a good nudge. Be brave, put your reality out there, I tell myself.

I like you even more now Kelle!

Juls10 said...

That last picture of Nella is exquisite! Oh, I want to kiss her...

Mands said...

I'm not the only one. Thank you.
BUT it is so timely that I am reading this today because I just told myself somethings gotta change. There has to be a better way than this 'let it pile-up till it becomes so overwhelming that it gets even worse before I do anything' thing. And I would like it be a daily thing that the kitchen is in order not an occasion to say, 'Hey, honey, come look at the kitchen!'
haha

Callie said...

Ha! Come on, it feels good to confess. It's all so much better that you're not perfect:)None of us are. Good luck with the spring clean I need to do it myself.

Sheila said...

We have that same dollhouse (in pic #1). I got it for my now 5 yr when she was 3 or 4 but have found my 2 yr old likes playing with it much more than she ever did! House looks great to me! At least you have lots of pictures and matching furniture!

jennyfreckles said...

Oh, I like you even more now!

Zeller Family said...

Thank you for this post. Today I was thinking about how I felt like I was lacking. I work full-time in an intensive job with 2 babies at home and a hubby that travels. I try to be everything to everyone and pretty much I can stay on top of my game. But just this morning I posted on my blog about feeling like I was lacking. Glad to know I'm not alone and all us Mom's are the hardest workers I know. Sometimes the housecleaning has to take a backseat. I called my cleaning lady just this morning asking her to come Clorox my entire house and charge me double because we've all been sick for months passing it back and forth back and forth. And I bribe my mom to come over to do my laundry :) So....I feel more normal today :) I'm not fabulous at everything! Enjoy your day!

Allison said...

Ok. I have been reading your blog for over a year and have never commented. I'm just not the commenter type. I guess I'm more of a stalker type. Ha. Before I begin, I must say thank you. I have been putting it off for years, but I have put in about 200 hours this winter and finished 2 years worth of books for all three of my kids. Yep. That is 6 total books of over 200 pages each. I'm slowly working my way back in time. Thank you for inspiring me to do more.

I think I can help you.

Up until three years ago, I was just like you. Outside playing with kids. Overnight campouts in the living room. Laundry piled so high in the spare room that I couldn't open the door. Dishes in the sink.

Then, our house caught on fire. I didn't have time to clean up quickly. We just ran out. I found myself explaining to firefighters why the living room floor was covered in melted plastic sleeping bags or why the drawers were all open in the bathroom causing the makeup cases to melt together. That room filled with laundry? They couldn't get the door open to make sure it was safe and had to beat it down. As I sat in my car covered in soot watching smoke pour out of the windows of my home, I stared at my three kids and everything went through my head. All the what ifs. I made a promise to myself that everything would be different. We were thankfully all alive and well, but it so easily could've been different.

Since that day, I have forced myself to be organized. The day of my fire helped me to see that it really has more to do with safety than with embarrassment. The bonus is that my house is always clean and it is easy to do because my kids help me.

This is how I keep my toys organized. I have different colored bins for each child. One of the closets in my house is nothing, but shelves. The higher shelves are for the older children while the younger ones take the lower shelves. I take pictures of the items that belong in the bin and label it. For instance, I have a picture of Darth Vader and Batman with Action Figures written underneath it. I have pictures of Barbies with Barbies underneath it, etc. Doll Clothes. Legos. Cars. Remote Control Items. The works. Everything has a bin and place to be stored. The kids can easily pick up and enjoy taking 10 minutes before bed to put away all their items. My daughter was 2 when I started this, so I know Lainey will be a huge help. We spend just 10 minutes before we read books at night and grab all the toys from around the house and put them back in their bins. I have similar bins set up in my craft room with labels on them, too. This lets my kids play with paint, glitter, stickers, but they can also put them away easily when they are done.

Laundry. Hate it. I am proud to say that for the last 3 years I have NEVER fallen behind on laundry since implementing this method.

I have a three bin laundry sorter in my laundry room. At night, I put one load in the washer and take one load out of the dryer. I do the same in the morning. My daughter likes to help me. She calls herself "the pusher" since she pushes the clothes in the dryer. HERE IS THE KEY! I fold the load as soon as I pull it from the dryer. It isn't a big deal to fold the 12 items. It is when it is 8 loads worth (96 clothing items) that folding seems horrible. In my laundry room, I have 5 wire shelves. One for each family member. As I fold, I put the folded laundry on the appropriate family member's shelf. I put all my son's shirts together, pants, socks, etc. The kids have learned that when they are out of clothes or when their shelf is full, they simply take their clothes and put them away. For some reason, my husband can't ever take his clothes up to his room, so I have to do it for him. Oh well. It is so easy and doesn't take, but maybe 15 minutes a day.

I hope this wasn't too much. I was just so excited that I could possibly inspire you as you have inspired me in so many ways.

Happy Monday!

Katie said...

Our house is the same way! I have made an organizational list that breaks up tasks so I don't feel so overwhelmed. It's working...slightly :)

Young Family said...

I laughed and laughed and laughed when I saw your first picture. I hadn't even really read that far and when I saw the picture my first reaction was, "I feel ya girlfriend!" Glad to see I'm not the only one that can get carried away with letting the house go!

Michelle said...

I love your blog and this post is absolutely awesome! I have been a ghost reader for well over a year. I have enjoyed every bit of it! I can totally understand where you are coming from and I like you even more now. I am a momma to 3 school age kids with a full time job and a travelling husband, plus I volunteer at the kids school. I totally feel your pain, I never seem to have enough time for everyone and everything! Have a great day!

Lorena M said...

Oh Kelle, I could not stop laughing. Everything you said is exactly how my house is and I always wonder how other moms do it. I totally get you on the laundry thing, I use it as pillows too, and toys are everywhere in our living room. Our dining table always has stuff on it, from papers to tissues to toys, you name it. Our bedroom is always where we throw things in a hurry and nothing ever has it's place I swear. I am so glad you are normal, I was beginning to wonder how you did it all, LOL. I love this post, and I totally love your neighbors reaction. How I wish I was your neighbor, at least you have visitors. I tend to not really invite anyone because that would require at least a month of me really cleaning and organizing to get all the shit where it belongs, and really I just rather sit on the floor and play with the kids.

Maria said...

Maybe not meant to be, but this post is so damn funny! "here's- who-we-really-are...pigs". I really did LOL.
There's something really comforting about a mess to me. I think it's that lived in, no pretense, off with the heels kind of comfort. My house is usually really neat but...you should see my bedroom. In fact, two nights ago there was a do-it-yourself plumbing accident (courtesy of friend, not me)& both bathroom & bedroom suffered the fallout. I vowed that today I would tackle both rooms but as of right now...I just woke from a nap & I'm watching Oprah & have to do some bills but I promise, I will get to it later (& I mean LATER today)!!
Hey..it happens. Don't sweat it.

Catherine R. said...

I hear ya. Though cleaning up in my house is not that bad only because we live in a 700 sq. foot apartment. It gets messy fast with little munchkins but also cleans up pretty fast.

The thing is, cleaning is boring and tedious, but it doesn't have to be. It's all about perspective. Dishes and laundry are acts of love and service to bless our families. I mean playing is fun but it gets to the point where it's so dirty and disgusting that there's nowhere to play and it's not fun. And fun is good but I am learning that fun is not life's chief end...to me, it's about being a grown-up in a good way.

Of course there's got to be a balance of priorities. And really, teaching kids to clean is a good investment, from what wise experienced moms tell me. My oldest is 2 but I let him "wash dishes" while he makes a mess in the sink so that one day he'll be a good helper since he's used to it, and associates it with something fun now.

Bakography said...

all I'm gonna say is... AMEN sista!

Danielle said...

Kelle - the reality is that everyone has their "dirty little secrets". Mine is that I have a cleaner (actually a team of cleaners) come once a fortnight. So chances are... if I invite you over... I strategically have you come on the afternoon or the next day after their visit. You will NEVER be invited the day before.

It actually give me incentive to have the house"picked up", laundry all away, dirty dishes done... so when she arrives, she has a "clean slate" to do her work (she does my bathrooms, kitchen, windows, all dusting and all floors.

Give yourself a break babe... You are not the only one with piles of washing and dishes in the sink. Anyone who says they don't... are lying!

Beth said...

kelle - you're an amazing momma. I think there are far more of us 'you should see my house' mamas than there are those who live in show homes. I don't have the pick-up-as-you-go gene, however hard I try, I just can't do it. Organising is great, if you can do it, and if it makes life better for you, then go for it. But don't beat yourself up about it if you don't get there because really ... you should see MY house ;) xxx

The Halbert Home said...

I am an awful housekeeper but I've appreciated that you're willing to post pictures of your home in real time b/c I often don't take pics or post them on my blog b/c the house is messy.

These blogs really helped me with housekeeping:

The Reasonably Clean, Fairly Neat, and Comfortably Tidy House. This year.

http://ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com/2010/01/reasonably-clean-fairly-neat-and.html

Which I found on the nester's 31 Days to a less messy nest:

http://www.thenester.com/2010/10/31-days-a-beautiful-mess.html

oliver said...

I have the same problem. I try, really I try, but I can never seem to get it all together.

Maybe we should have an accountability group.

Owen & Jackie said...

Can I join the 'I'm not such a good housekeeper' club too??!! Ah, your place looks like home!! :)
I have been thinking the same, that I really should try a little harder at keeping things cleaner. Playing games and reading books always seems to seduce me!!!

PS - Lainey is looking all grown up!! And Nella is just getting too cute!!! :D

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