This is what “completely clean” looks like in our back living space, looking out from the kitchen over the island.
It involves toy storage, and a booster sticking out of the dining area, and Cozy Coupe parking.
And Elmo. Always Elmo.
Birthday cards and baby monitor and Little People buildings tucked in every corner.
In my kitchen there are sippy cup valves and snack trap lids drying in the rack along side my crystal wine glasses. Finger painted masterpieces and preschool info adorn the front of our refrigerator.
It’s not what “clean” used to be.
Gone are the days of perfectly arranged vignettes of breakable, ripable, pretty little such-and-sos on low tables.
Artfully “chopped” pillows carefully placed on completely straight sofas and chairs are fairly well a thing of the past at this point.
There are families in our life who confine the toys to playrooms and snacking to highchairs. Those who have perfectly coordinated family command centers to tastefully display artwork and schedules and information.
I kind of thought that would be us. The Mr is such a clean freak that for the first year or so of marriage, I took my glass if I left a room, because he would put it in the dishwasher if I left it sitting while I went to the loo. (Not. Kidding.) We have space for a playroom, and I do have frames in my office where I swap Jr’s art projects in and out to show them off.
Here’s the kicker.
I love seeing that “stuff. ” I like the toy cubbies and extra dish drying rack (hello- ours looks like fake grass! Cute!) and the Cozy Coupe parked by my dining table.
I like knowing that the things of our family surround us day-to-day; a place for everything, but it’s ok if things show while in their place.
Soon enough Elmo and plastic Easter eggs and tiny tricycles won’t be needed or wanted anymore.
Soon enough vases and plants can find homes on lower shelves, and protective blankets won’t be needed for sofa snack times.
Soon enough our family things will be very different, indeed.
I hope those things will find their places in our day-to-day decor as well, and reflect each of us to those we welcome into our home. Not gratuitous, but always gracious.
That’s the perfect kind of “clean” in this house.