Last night's dishes
"Mother, dearest, if the kitchen was tidier it would be so much more aesthetically pleasing." This was Posy's contribution to my morning today. And this from a child who literally has to wade through piles of clothing to get to her bed..
I am 47 years old and I still can't keep the kitchen tidy. I have, over the years, developed many elaborate and cunning plans and routines to keep my house tidy and clean. You can see the result up above on the Housekeeping page. These have been useful in that they are generally all that stand between me and the housekeeping apocalypse. I feel bad every time I look at that page, which is almost never, because I worry that it might look like I am an organised person who actually keeps the house clean. I am not. I sort of keep the house clean, mostly by remembering that it is Tuesday and I am supposed to be cleaning the bathroom, and I really ought to because I didn't do it last week. I haven't dusted for three weeks and I can't remember the last time I mopped the kitchen floor. I do like a sparkly clean and tidy house, but I don't really need it to be clean. I am pretty sure that germs are good for us in some way. You know, dirt and studies of microbiomes or something like that. I do keep our living areas tidy by sternly growling at the children periodically about removing their hockey socks from the lounge room floor, and by firmly removing everything from the dining room table nearly every single day..
..but the kitchen.. well, it works hard. There is very little bench space and what there is usually has Important Things on it, like whole cabbages for sauerkraut and bags of spring onions to plant and oranges that I can't think where to put, and all the mail from last month, and jars. So many jars. I have a problem with jars. I can't get rid of them because they May Come In Handy, so I hide them under my bed and Paul trips over them in the middle of the night when he comes to stay and scares the cat.
You may be wondering where I am going with all this, and is there a point? Well, there wasn't, but there might be. If I have tried hard all my adult life to be tidy and haven't managed it by now, then maybe it is time to stop fighting. I do have a tolerance for a certain level of mess - you know, somewhere slightly below lived-in but above actual squalor. It occurs to me that if everything I own is something I just love, then it won't bother me to see it lying about untidily. Posy kept bringing me autumn leaves a few weeks ago and I piled them onto the sideboard. They were still here until I added them to my autumn leaf mulch the other day, and it didn't bother me at all to have an untidy heap of autumn leaves in my house, because they were so pretty. Maybe if I throw away everything I don't like, then I will be left with a mess that is aesthetically pleasing.
First step would be throwing out every single thing in my plastics cupboard, then never letting anything with a plastic wrapper into my house ever again. That would be very satisfying. It would also require the superior organisational skills of someone who was capable, say, of cleaning the kitchen. And, you might ask, why not clean the kitchen instead of spending three quarters of an hour writing a blog post about it? Good question, I might reply. It is because thinking about cleaning the kitchen and coming up with a better way to achieve a clean kitchen are far more interesting than actually cleaning it.. because I am an Ideas Person. It would, of course, be more convenient to be an Ideas Person if I had Staff.
The floor-next-to-the-other-side-of-the-door mess.
Lacking staff, as the children are uncooperative and the cat just ignores me, I will have to resolve this issue myself. I think I will dispose of everything I don't like. This, combined with my resolve not to buy anything, will make my house very bare, which will make me even more happy. As I get older I get less and less attached to things, and more attached to space and light. What a joy it will be to have less extraneous objects hanging about, requiring me to look after them. Well, I will talk to you later then, after I have removed all the ugly and annoying things..