Color & Control:

Sticky floors, messy kitchens, and happy kids

We’ve all heard the saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness” but, quite frankly, I’m not a fan of this modern day tidying talk.

With a busy house full of kids and day jobs, it’s “mission impossible” for most mums and dads to keep things spick and span. Of course, we’d all like a simpler life without the pressure that over-consumption brings. And, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being mindful, exploring sharing economy, getting rid of gently used clothes and equipment and tidying up from time-to-time.

All of these things have merit and an arguably lower impact on our battered environment. But, isn’t it okay to keep some of the worn out things we love. So what if there are still a few boxes sitting around from your last move, or several pairs of extra boots and running shoes in the breezeway? Who is it harming that those flea market mismatched cups and old books are past their expiry date? The kid’s artwork from
grades gone by is still fine in an old computer box and the camping gear isn’t rotting in the storage, is it? There’s a point, I think, where leaving some of that stuff right where it is, ready for a rainy day clear-out is better than the time commitment and daily stress, (read “nagging”), it will cause to tackle it now.

When you’re one of those families that’s full of fun, thrives in chaos and is more interested in loving and learning, why beat yourselves up when the stuff piles up? A kitchen counter full of cereal boxes that haven’t found their way back to the cupboard, an overflowing laundry hamper and children’s artwork all over the fridge, sounds all right by me. The scents and sounds of family life, more often than not, don’t fit with pristine empty surfaces and place-for-everything style. It’s the laughter, joy, pitter-patter of little feet and a furry friend or two that make a house a home.

Sorry Marie K, we’re heading out for a picnic in the park. The clutter will have to wait.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall, Editor

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