#OrganisedMess – My home is not a show home

This post has been written in collaboration with Furniture At Work and their #OrganisedMess campaign. They have published an infographic on your Organisation Type alongside your sign of the zodiac (see below). I definitely saw some alignment with my Gemini characteristics – there certainly is two of me! As for my hubby, a Leo through and through, he is definitely a fun first mess later kind of guy as proven by the bouncy ball that knocked the ornament off the shelf in the lounge, smashing the table lamp in its descent and shattering both to pieces. 

Organised used to be my middle name. Since having children it’s become somewhat double barrelled with ‘chaos’ and whilst some of my friends would disagree, I never thought my mind or my to do list could become so rattled by the presence of two small people.

Birthdays have been forgotten. Deadlines have been  missed. I have even been known to be late, which for me is a pretty big deal.

After all, it’s not like I have to factor in going out to work into the equation. Keeping a house running, cupboards stocked, clothes washed (never ironed) and the kids and house clean, well, hygienic at least can’t be that hard can it?

Yet somehow I find myself in a constant battle with two opposing teams in my head.

The old me wants my home to be calm, tidy, serene. With a scented candle burning and some strategically placed beautiful toys; an instagram worthy wig-wam, a wooden puzzle and a few high end soft toys. The reality is somewhat different, as I’m sure you can imagine.

I’m not great with mess, I confess. I don’t fit the stereotypical Mum who sighs in despair at the disarray of her home and let’s it go. Who hasn’t seen her floor in four years and who has given up ever reuniting a full set of any one jigsaw or shape sorter. I’m not great at leaving the washing up till later, losing massive points on the efficiency and environmental front by washing up ten times a day. I put massive pressure on myself to put things back in their place, and I feel my body temperature start to rise a little when a lovely play date goes a bit cray-cray on the getting out all the toys front. I generally don’t leave the house until it’s nice to come back in to – and did I mention, I’m never late.

I’ve always been this way – I liked my desk at work to look pretty, and at school my work would be in nice stationary with labelled dividers. It’s like my living space reflects my mood, and my mind feels as messy as my home when it’s not in order. A constant reminder of what it’s going to take to get it all back together, which in truth is never ever as long as you’d imagine. It’s not easy being a tidy Mum. In fact, it’s a downright waste of time and energy.

We once got a cleaner, to get to the real nitty gritty of the bits I hadn’t got around to, and quite honestly, he walked in and looked at me like I was insane. Maybe I am!

So what’s changed?

What has changed, is that I have two small people who need me to chill the hell out. I know more than anyone that toys aren’t much fun stacked on a shelf, or in a box. Our eldest daughter loves to draw, and paint, and draw some more. She leaves a trail of paper snippings and staples behind her like Hansel and Gretel leave crumbs, and I would never ever want to stifle her creativity.

Our littlest daughter is a rummager. She loves nothing more than to empty a box, a cupboard, a pile of clothes, a packet of wipes. Anything she can get her hands on. Whilst this is a challenge for my tidy obsession, I know she is happy, safe and learning and I need to let her explore the way she knows how. Just back off Mum, back off.

I genuinely adore nothing more than to see our home alive with squeals of delight when friends and their children come to play. I’d never ever want my ridiculous preferences for things to be tidy stop life going on. I genuinely mean it when I turn down offers of help to clear up, because it really really does only take a short time to bundle everything back into shape. I really do believe that the whole purpose of building a lovely family home is to share and enjoy it with the people you love.

I blame my Mum partly, there was definitely a time I remember groaning that she’d put clothes I was about to wear in the washing machine, and pinched half drunk cups of tea from under me. She’s definitely relaxed with age, and I’m sure I will too.

And so, like every Gemini, there are two people fighting it out inside my head. The old me, the person who thrives in organisation and order, and the new me, the Mum stepping back and encouraging her children to be little, to feel alive, and to feel free in their safe space to explore their ever growing personalities.

I live by a mantra; My home is not a show home. It reminds me that whilst it’s nice to look picture perfect, our four walls are to be lived in, to be used to create memories and share happy times. I like to see my dining table every now and again, but the rest of the time, I prefer to see the smiles on my kids faces, and the presents I’ve been lovingly drawn, cut and glued together, day after day.


What’s your star sign? Does your zodiac symbol reflect your organisation?

Disclosure: Collaborative post


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