this is life!

January 21, 2011

We are a normal and very messy family! Piles and piles of clean and dirty laundry await me, my bathrooms haven’t been cleaned in a month, my vacuum’s broke so there are a lot of little O’s strewn across the floor (in every bedroom), my daughters make a mess and don’t like to clean up, the mail is stacked all over the dining table, and don’t even let me get started on my craft room, but I think True and Brave’s room may be the worst of all (well, tied with my craft room). The mess is really maddening!
oh boy, their messy room! oh boy, their messy room!oh boy, their messy room!oh boy, their messy room!oh boy, their messy room!oh boy, their messy room!oh boy, their messy room!
True’s room has changed a bit from when I first did a room tour a couple years ago! They have accumulated more toys (though I get rid of things often), blankets, books, and she gained a roommate, little Brave! Though Soulie’s room has never been changed since it was Brave’s, but I got some ideas to make a wee bit brand new!
I have never done a room tour since adding a second teeny vintage bed in, but I guess you can see that I must do a little cleaning up before that happens! I try to tackle a little by little, but once something is cleaned up, another mess starts somewhere else. It is a never ending cycle!
Messes really stress me out, I try to not let them get to me, but they do! And then when it comes to cleaning up, I don’t even know where to start! I think a new goal will be to go thoroughly through a room a month and purge! I love to purge, it just feels so good!
Do you get mess stress too?
p.s. they sleep in this mess! we just push everything off the bed.

60 comments on “this is life!”

  • Jenn Girl says:

    Oh yes I do! Disarray is my main stresser! Purging does feel great! Going through the process myself.

  • oh yes!! i just started tackling a room a week. you cant even imagine the order and neatness that is happening. ohh it feels great! and, the kids are doing it too!

  • Jenny says:

    I could have written that last paragraph myself… so yes, messes do stress me out. I like to say that I'm the messiest neat freak you'll ever meet!

  • I really get stress mess, cause I often have guest at home and I live in a 2 bedrooms apartement, with my sewing and crafting thing and 2 kids, there is a lot of stuff around !

  • Julie Weaver says:

    Agreed. My husband makes fun of me because I always make the bed before I get in it…that's one little mess I can control.

  • Sara says:

    Here's my thing about the girls' room…Mom to Mom 🙂

    If it's an “active” and “purposeful” mess, I usually am much more forgiving…Jack's LEGO closet/desk etc? That's a purposeful mess.

    My kitchen. Not so much.
    Choose your battles 🙂

  • Morgan says:

    I soooo get mess stress. I always complain about he mess, but it's hard to get under control. My house is just like yours. I think it's just part of life with lots of little ones. Maybe we should just accept it? 🙂

  • Thanks for posting this. It made me feel better about my place. It makes me feel completely unapologetic for my messy house. I'm a mum and a student, so I'll get to it when I have the time, during Spring Break or something!

  • megan lane says:

    haha! i most definitely get stress mess. there comes a point where i just can't relax until the house is clean. and i'm sure it will be much harder to keep clean when we have kids adding to the mess!! i can imagine it would be frustrating to clean up a mess only to have it replaced by a new one! but a clean house is a sign of a wasted life, right? 🙂

  • RachelDenbow says:

    This is our house, too! I was going to blame it on lack of closets at our last house and then unpacking at this house but…I think it's just the result of happy kids and a lot of other work to manage.

    At least you have a colorful mess! I want to come over and play!

  • jane says:

    but at least your car is clean! 😉

  • Rubyellen says:

    rachel- come over tomorrow for lunch and we could let all the kids just jumble around the mess even more! 😉

    jane- true that!

    lin- haha! yup. don't tell anyone i am a slob for reals! haha!! okay, let's see your house!

  • Bethany says:

    It truly is amazing at how quickly little ones can completely destroy multiple rooms… I'm so glad I'm not the only one with craziness and the frustration that comes with living in it. I completely understand not even knowing where to begin.

  • dana says:

    you have a talent for making messes look pretty! I always love your photography.

  • I'm totally fine with mess, as long as 1) I can find what I need, and 2) there's nothing crawling under there. I can handle piles and stacks, but I can't handle dirt or old food. Some of the most creative people were real slobs. Probably. I'm just guessing here. I say let it be, as long as you can stand it!

  • CarleeKajsa says:

    you know what that says to me? it says that you value creativity and your kids more than cleanliness, which is appropriate values, if you ask me! with 3 littles there will be messes! especially if you have a hubby that works! i like to help tackle messes little by little, but i too take things as they come and value the sanity more than trying to keep a spotless home…that and i hire a housekeeper every other week for the chemical cleans…cause i can not seem to stay on top of that!
    you seem to be an amazing mom and i am sure your girls will look back and remember that before ever thinking about a messy home!

  • Bek says:

    Thanks for posting your real mess (though it is a pretty mess- I guess other people's mess is always more tolerable than one's own!)

    I totally get mess stress, I have it right now (which is why I am on the computer haha!)

  • Ashley says:

    Even with the mess your home still looks so bright and colorful and fun! My house is a mess but it all seems so dark and yucky and depressing. Maybe I need to start opening the curtains? But then it's so darn cold!!!

  • Marilyn says:

    I get grumpy with my family when the house is messy. I know I shouldn't let it get to me, so it's something I'm working on. Patience!

    My children are older 9, 11, 14, 15, and it's still difficult to maintain the house.

    Thanks for sharing your life, for reals!
    I adore your blog 🙂

  • Dee says:

    even your mess looks pretty!!


    and yes, mess = MAJOR stress for me. the endlessness of it mostly…

  • m says:

    i love it!!!!!! this is life!!!! this a wonderful happy life!!!
    sweet day!!!

  • Renee says:

    Yikes,finding little Soulie was almost like where's waldo in the picture. 😉 I think the problem is that you don't pick up as you go…for example,if you're leaving one room to go into the laundry room…just pick up a few clothes off the floor and take it with you.Trust me,every little bit counts & your girls should also be helping clean up their messes since they are old enough now.I'm the one with 3 girls 2 yr apart each and I never had a messy house…yes,my kids had fun but I would pick up a few things as the day went along so I didn't have one huge mess to clean up b/c that's the worst thing i think is to have one huge mess to deal with.It's much easier to tackle with smaller messes.I would even teach my girls to help save the toys in the totes.You can make cleaning seem really fun to them…really! I just get worried that with al the toys on the floor they could trip and get hurt or that open drawer could fall on somebody's head. 🙁 Please don't take this comment as an insult…you know how emais can be misleading since you can't see emotions…just thought I'd give my advice that worked for us. I do love their rooms,though…you made a white room that would normally look boring look so pretty & lively!I wish I had their room when I was little and I'd still love to have their bed! 🙂

  • You can at least feel better that even your messes are pretty!

    Messes stress me majorly, too. My kids (ages 5, 3, and 1) have way too many toys (thanks to my thrift habit!), but here's a new thing we just started that you may be interested in.

    Once a month, we go through their toys and choose ones to “give to Emmanuel” (we sponsor a child in Africa named Emmanuel). For every toy they give away, they get one dollar to spend at the store. In the end, they usually earn enough to buy one nice new toy.

    So, it works out for everyone- We pare down the toy collection, the kids get a reward, and they also get to feel like they're helping a friend across the globe (even though obviously, their toys secretly go to Goodwill instead of to Africa)!

  • Asha says:

    I wish I could say we are messy but me and my husband are neat freaks, our house is usually tidy but the living room gets messy from time to time. I just clean as I go all day long. I can't concentrate unless it is clean so I think that's why i do it. We have two kids, 4 & 6 who love to make a mess and we teach them to help out and pick up their messes.

  • just came across a post today about housework. it's pretty deep but it definitely spoke to me. hope it blesses you too 🙂

    Is this housework a picture of entering into Redemption? To bring restoration to that which has fallen… This housework, this kitchen work, a picture of prayer? To bring the ordinary life to the Omnipotent God…. Where else do we meet God if not in the everyday work?

    Housework is really being about the work of God — praying, serving, praising. And in these domestic chapels, God, The Very Person of Peace, offers Himself to the congregants.

  • The perspective of the second photo makes me think of a dollhouse. It looks like you could play with it!
    Funny thing is, it all still seems so pleasant, because you have great stuff…! And sometimes bathrooms go without, and sometimes the crumbs stay on the floor, and sometimes, often-times, the laundry mills about wherever it deems fit. That is life! Don't stress; enjoy the time AND space you have with your little people…I know it can feel like chaos and be overwhelming, too. Try a sorting game: sit on the floor and see who can help you put all of the books in one pile, then ask for help in putting them where they belong. Then move on to the dirty clothes. “Let's all carry it to the washer together and toss it in!” I know it won't solve everything, but it might help meanwhile and give everyone something to keep busy with!
    Hugs, from a household in FL with a stay-at-home Mommy and three kids…whose chores always need to be done, too! 🙂

  • Erin says:

    At least it's really colorful! I can't really function in my bedroom until my bed is made. It's weird but something about a made bed makes me feel better.

  • crystal says:

    thank you for being so honest! really, though, it is nice to know that i am not the only one. i read about a momma the other day that cleans up every night so that she wakes up to a tidy house. that is my new mission 🙂

  • Ms.Tips says:

    hey, at least it's a cute mess! lots of pinks!

  • Mary says:

    In my house, the books would have been thrown from the shelves too…so at least you have that going for you!
    We live in a small house, so our messes are usually out in the open which makes it all the more frustrating for me.
    3 kids are hard. Hard to clean up after. Especially when they're small and you have to clean the mess for them.
    I guess as mom's we have to realize this time is fleeting and we should embrace this stage in our children's life, however frustrating it can be!

  • you are my absolute favorite read! thank you for being so honest whether it be about messes, arguments w. your husband or your story about your beautiful girls. 🙂 love.

  • At least it's a really pretty mess! 🙂

    I designate different rooms for different days of the week: Monday – bathrooms, Tuesday – bedrooms, Wednesday – downstairs rooms (living room, front room, dining room), Thursday – kitchen, Friday – Upstairs rooms (craft room, guest room), and weekends are for laundry.

    Now, it doesn't always go as scheduled, but at least if I get behind, I have a place to start up again.

    Thanks for being real!!


  • Emily says:

    Mess Stress! Yes! Lord help me!

    But what a lovely, colorful mess strewn over your house. :o) A lovely mess is quite the accomplishment.

  • Rubyellen says:

    i know in pictures it looks all kind of pretty and colorful, albeit messy, but really it is so bad! haha! it isn't pretty in real life! just life i guess!

  • kendall says:

    You just made me feel so normal. If only I had kids to partially blame the mess on! But, nope, I'm just too lazy to open to mail. Ha! I love your posts when you keep it real!

  • lula honey says:

    even through the adorable messes, your house is just all sorts of cute 🙂

  • Grace says:

    Love the reality. 😉

  • Messes totally stress me out. my mom and i were just discussing this very subject this morning. I'm gonna have to get over it if I have kids though!

    p.s. the natural light in your house is wonderful! then again, we haven't seen the sun in what feel like forever around here!

  • Jillian says:

    i get massive mess stress. it really stresses me when my apt is cluttered or my boyfriend doesnt put away his things. i realize im going to have callllm it down when i eventually have children–hopefully i can keep their toys contained to a playroom. ah well that's life i guess. xoxo jcd 🙂

  • Tanya M says:

    I thought this post was funny. I knew you'd get a lot of comments of people going, “Yikes,” and you did. I agree that your mess looks exceptionally good because you have all these cute floral fabrics all over the place with pretty wood toys. It almost doesn't look bad! 🙂 We have a play room that's the biggest room in the house, actually, and every time I clean up in there, they play in there nonstop. Until there's a gigantic mess in there again. And when it's messy, they don't want to be in there anymore, and stop going in. Then I clean up again, and it's like, “Hey, come in here, it's so clean, make a mess!” It drives me crazy! We have a huge amount of toys in there, it's so easy to make a mess!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I think so many of us have messy houses…I have been trying to come to grips with this for years. Always wanted to have the kind of house that looks like a model home at all times…but I really have the kind of home where you have to move a pile off of the table to sit and have a cup of tea!

    We go through and do a mad cleaning when we want to have a dinner party or such and it just seems to get messy again so fast…I found a quote by an artist in a magazine once…”I try to put things away, but they come back out!” Love that!


  • messes stress me out like no tomorrow!!

  • Jenni says:

    yay! you're real humans! 🙂 lol! i feel the same way. i try not to let it bother me, but then i can't find something and i think i'll go crazy! i love to purge, too. it must be a trait of our generation because my best friend has 3 kids (and a fourth on the way) and she's the same way (plus, your house is only so big, so you have to get rid of stuff sometime, you know?).

  • Likely says:

    mess stress must be the newest virus going around. I just blogged about how I am going crazy. read the comments because there is some great advice in there!!!!

    sending nice, clean and folded love your way :)))

  • irene says:

    Althougt messy… your home looks lovely… thank you for posting this… tomorrow I'm not giong to clean… I'll try the “messy look”.
    read you soon. Irene from Barcelona.

  • Jacki says:

    well, God bless your mess! Kids lives and stuff are fun to be around. Especially yours with so many colors.
    It is indeed a challenge to not mind it on some days, and then feel nuts about it all!

  • Three.20 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Three.20 says:

    I deeeeefinitely get mess stress.I cant stand seeing the sink full of dishes or the laundry piling up. Its a super stressor. But then again, there can be a HUGE mess in our bedroom, but as long as the bed is made, I feel like its all under control. Jajajaja!, I've even made the bed while my husband is still sleeping it in!!

  • Edie S. says:

    I think having a chaotic house stresses me out more than anything else. Purging is so freeing, except for feeling guilty for getting rid of perfectly good things! I love seeing “real” photos of your rooms!

  • jonahliza says:

    i love how colorfully messy this is! beautiful shots <3

  • Nikki says:

    I was the messiest child in the world. It is my life's work
    To figure out how to deal with it now. My kids are awful
    And my husband is the worst! I fInd watching a few minutes of Hoarders puts me in the right frame of mind.
    Try FlyLady for help with a daily regimen.

  • lexylou says:

    Gosh, this look's just like my house with 3 little ones too! You made me feel better, I get mess stress too.

  • KNWill says:

    Thank you so much for this! I tell my mother that cleaning up after my boys (4 & 15mths) is like herding cats and impossible sisyphean endeavor.

  • KK says:

    I don't see mess – I see inspiration all around!

  • AH! My house is JUST that way too, why does it weigh on our minds so much? Your mess actually looks lovely and homey to me – I think most kids would love to live in the warmth of it! I am trying to tackle and weed out each room and let go of the messes I can't control because if you try, you just know another mess is being made in the next room!

  • Misha Lulu says:

    yes I hate mess and my house gets messy every single day!!!!!

  • Rosalind says:

    he he that was brave 🙂

  • Poor girl! I completely understand how you feel!! My house feels like it's always a disaster. I've been working on my craft room and wowie! I have a lot of junk in there. Not only that, the rest of the house has to go to pot because Mommy is concentrating on one space. Then the kids love the newly cleaned space and get in there and start messing, I mean playing in there. Vicious cycle I say. Probably will look back it and think that it really wasn't that bad and maybe even miss it. I said maybe. 🙂

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