Truth be told, if I had my druthers, my home would look like something just short of a spread in House Beautiful. I relish clean well-appointed décor. Only a pair of shoes, kicked off for comfort would mar the pristine sweep of the carpet. A book left on the couch cushion is never considered out of place here. Nor do I consider a sandwich plate and a glass rinsed out in the kitchen sink offensive.
Alas, the hard reality is far different. I'm not a naturally neat person. I leave shoes everywhere. Four or five pairs beside the bed, under the kitchen table and my desk, in the living room and dining room. Where ever I sat last you're likely to find at least one pair. Paperwork propagates in my office. Laundry is always waiting to be folded and shirts breed on the to-be- ironed rod.
My husband has me beat by more degrees of messiness that I can count. He's a firm believer that no surface can go without a pile of something and bringing himself to actually deposit anything so mundane as a months old grocery receipt or used envelope in the trash is almost impossible for him to do.
Then there's my son. He loves to come to Mom's and cook in her kitchen. Terrific, except the whole idea of cleaning up his mess is foreign to him. And there's the granddaughters. They have their own room as Grandma's. Do the toys stay there? Not in the this lifetime. Add to that one baby boy. His blanket and toys have found a home in the middle of the living room floor.
It's the thanklessness of housework that I object to most. Housework doesn't last more than half a day if I'm really lucky. I spend days making everything spotless when we entertain or have houseguests, going so far as to declare the upstairs and downstairs baths off limits. My effort may last until the visitors walk in the door. I can spend two hours decluttering the kitchen and hubby comes home and my clean surfaces disappear in the blink of an eye. Mail and newspapers are the bane of my existence.
There's dusting... It's a simple task. But why bother? First is requires reaching and bending. My creaky body protests. In a couple of days no one would know I'd taken the time and effort. Oh, I could make the task easier by ditching all those treasures that grace my tables, but that only invites the clutter gremlin to take up residence.
If only I could keep the living room and dining room neat. That would help first impressions. Nope. The chair backs make too good coat racks and the big table...well you can imagine.
Besides housework being so much wasted effort, there's the magnetic draw of the computer. It's much more fun to read emails, take care of business and write books. I've reconciled myself to keeping the disorder somewhat reasonable. I try not to get too cranky--mostly fail--when someone else makes a mess. Martha Stewart, I'm not and will never be.