Move-it Monday: A Different Kind of House Tour

Blogging is a funny thing because there’s a whole lot of lying by omission that goes on, intentionally or not. For example, I could tell you that, last weekend, I: had a date night with my husband, sewed some curtains, did 4 loads of laundry, made a bulk grocery-shopping run, went to church, cleaned, prepared blog posts, exercised, spent an afternoon visiting with my mom, played with my children, and had a family cookout on the back patio (and all of that on top of keeping all 5 of my children alive, {relatively} clean, and fed).

And you might be impressed. After all, I sound so balanced. So full of life and productivity.

But what if I told you that: the curtains still aren’t hung, the laundry isn’t folded or put away, the cleaning was strictly limited to the kitchen, the blog-post preparation consisted of some picture-taking, the exercising only lasted one hour, the visit with my mom was after I picked up my boys (whom she has sleep over at her house every single Friday night; yes, she’s an angel), the “playing with my children” was all too brief, and the family cookout was almost entirely my husband’s idea and execution?

Oh yeah. And that, as of 7 PM last night, my kitchen looked like this.

Warning: If you are a neat-freak and/or easily made squeamish or uneasy by messy spaces, please avert your eyes and come back tomorrow.

messy kitchen

As my hubby and kids were roasting weenies on the back patio last night, I walked through the kitchen to grab the mustard, saw that mess, and thought, “Good grief! I should snap a shot of that to show my blog-readers. They’d be much less likely to say things like, ‘You sure do have it all together.’”

I almost kept walking, but instead I grabbed my phone and went click. Why? Because, even though this blog would be nothing but a big mess-fest if I stopped to take a picture every time I had a chaotic space to show you (hello, 5 small children?), and that’s not something anybody wants to see regularly…taking the time to talk every once in a while about the fact that

a) I do not have “it all” together…

and

b) I don’t want you to think I do…

has its place, I think.

So, in the interest of banishing any unrealistic impressions you have of me and any level of “perfection” this blog might have inadvertently conveyed that I have obtained, we will move on from the kitchen to the living room, which looks like this:

messy living room

And then there’s the upstairs sitting room:

messy sitting room

The playroom/family room:

messy play roon

The breakfast nook:

messy breakfast nook

And—the grand finale—my disaster area of a craft room (aka, storage area for all things which currently have no place):

messy craft room

Now, to be fair, my house does not always look like this.

This is Spring Cleaning mode for me…which usually translates to: Make large piles of things that need to be sorted, gone through, and otherwise made orderly and neat. Give yourself a pep-talk about how you’re going to tackle all of those piles today (ha!). Proceed to be annoyed by piles as you live regular life, which tends to take up most of the minutes of a regular day. Finally begin to pick through piles bit by bit until everything is, if not perfect, at least much closer than it was before. Breathe huge sigh of relief and work kink out of shoulders.

As such, although my house does not always looks like a hot mess, it has been a hot-messish for at least a week now.

So, this is me ‘fessing up to my tendencies to over-commit, then get over-whelmed by projects. And also my visual kick in the bum to get those piles SORTED, dang it.

I may be able to tolerate it for longer than some, but I still despise messes.

Interestingly enough, a while back one of my favorite bloggers did an “Ugh! Look at my messy house” post after she’d been gone on a trip. And she mainly had two responses to it:

1) Guuuuuuuuurl, if you think that’s bad, you should see my ____________. (I pretty much fell in this camp; because it really wasn’t that bad).

2) Honey, what you need to do to avoid this happening again is ________________. (Even though she had already acknowledged that the reason things were a little messier than usual was because they’d been gone and busy and she needed to get back into her habit of routine pick-ups).

And, if she’s anything like me (I get the impression she’s not, actually, which is one of the reasons why her blog is so much fun for me to read), then both of those responses made her cringe—#1 because it meant that some people didn’t get that, for her, this was messy and frustrating and #2 because it meant that all some people saw was a cry for help.

So, whether your messes are considerably less or more intervention-worthy than mine (or, even if you have no messes at all; GO YOU!), I’d like to make it perfectly clear that this post is neither a “fake reveal” (not that anyone would ever think that after seeing my craft room) or a cry for help.

Instead, it’s an acknowledgement that I’m just a girl, trying to live her (very filled with mundane busyness) life for the glory of God each and every day, and falling woefully short much of the time.

Sure, I show you my successes and my completed projects. Of course I pick up the living room before I take pictures (today being the exception, of course).

But just remember that there just might be a pile right outside the reach of the camera lens.

P.S. Lest you swing to the opposite end of the spectrum and think that I am nothing but a slob, here’s what my kitchen looked like by 9 PM last night.

clean kitchen

As for the rest of it…

Well, I guess we all know what I’ll be doing today all week long.

Good thing it’s Move-it Monday, because it’s time to get a move on!

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21 thoughts on “Move-it Monday: A Different Kind of House Tour

  1. After spending a while trying to create a blog with lots of pretty projects, I decided to try my hand at a “lifestyle” type blog. I got so sick of getting my house together to take pictures or trying to be so super awesome at decorating when it wasn’t really my passion. Do cool projects happen occassionally, yeah. But I am enjoying keeping it real with my blog. Keep it up girl!

  2. Thanks for keeping it real, I have a 5 yr old, a 2yr old and an 11 mo old and #4 is coming in Sept! I can SO relate :) this is why God invented naptime, so we can catch up on cleaning, organizing and even paint my master bathrom :) although I have lost track of how many naptimes it is taking :-)
    your blog and Mandy’s are both SO encouraging and uplifting, Thank you!
    -Hannah H

  3. Thx so much for sharing! I totally sympathize and I have a hard time trying not to compare myself with other moms (bad!). When I’ve shown up at some of my friends houses without notice, they are neat & tidy???? Mine is neat & tidy at times & too messy at others. I have a sewing craft room right now that needs some serious attention. It looks like all of your pics put together…..yikes! I really need to “move it” for sure! Thx for always keeping it real!

  4. Well, for those of us who are also “moms of many,” we know that no one really has it all together. It’s all part of God’s refining…just when we think in our little finite minds that we might be close to having it all together, WHAM! He throws in a bit of something extra special we have to deal with. Keep on keeping on, you’re doing awesomely.

  5. Abbie, I enjoy reading your blog every night. After a busy day it’s always a treat…like a literary piece of chocolate.
    Today’s post is like chocolate with a cherry on top. Somehow it’s comforting to know that we all have days when our homes are a little unworthy (okay, a lot unworthy) of being featured in Better Homes and Gardens.
    I’m off to do the dishes….looking forward to tomorrow’s post.
    Mary

    1. To have my blog called “literary chocolate” is a crazy huge compliment, Mary!
      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! It’s so encouraging.

  6. luv it and thanks! makes me feel normal. i decided some time last year that i was done with putting people off, putting events off, putting (fill in the blank here) off do to my everything needs to be perfect before such and such happens. and you know what? noone blinked an eye, it was all in my mind

    1. Yeah, I’ve definitely found that other people don’t mind nearly as much as I think they will if everything’s not just so. Go, Michelle!

  7. I think a big part of it, though, isn’t that you’re trying to make your life seem perfect for the internet. It’s a lot of remembering the things you want to remember and why remember a big mess? If there’s no documentation, it’s like it never happened, right?

  8. Your kitchen looks very real. As the mother of 4 kids, the only time my house is completely neat is when we are having company…and that’s not too often! The kids are pretty grown now but they still eat a ton and never pick their stuff up. My life seems to consist of a rotation of cleaning out, sorting and purging, one room at a time so there is always a big mess somewhere.

    I don’t think this is a cry for help…I think it makes all of us feel a little unified. Your home is a place to live and love, not a shrine!

    XO,
    Jane

  9. My spring cleaning consists of large unsightly piles all over the house…and then they become large unsightly piles in the shed, until I finally get around to hauling it off or having a yard sale. Totally understand. :)

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