Filthy or Lived In?

While toting rocks across our property in the bucket of my hubby’s CAT (landscaping project of the moment), I got to thinking more about our housekeeping thread in the comments of my First Impressions post. Several of us were throwing out descriptions of homes, such as “filthy” or “lived-in” and now I’m wondering, just where does the line blur between the two? (Not that it matters, right?)

To me, filthy is stepping on some sticky, dried-on mess and not knowing what it is, only that flies are living off of it and probably have been for a few hours or more. Filthy is not realizing that your kitchen floor tiles were originally white. Filthy could be a moldy-smelling laundry room with no visible floor space under all the mounds of clothing. Or a back porch full of shoes and dirt and dust on everything you touch (raising hand sheepishly on this last one, this has been my back porch on more than one occasion!).

Lived-in, however can include many things. Toys on the floor. Clutter on the end tables. Clean laundry on the couch or bed waiting to be folded. Fuzzy lint on the carpet. A little toothpaste scum in the bathroom sink. All forgiveable, right? (Unless this is your version of filthy. Do tell in comments!)

What are your definitions of “filthy” and “lived-in” as regards housekeeping, just for the fun of it?

After two days of being busy outside, and because of three girls keeping busy inside…my house was a wreck! My oldest has discovered the joys of sewing Barbie clothes…so she’s all set up with my sewing machine on the card table (thread and fabric snippets everywhere) having a BLAST…and her little sisters turned the living room and kitchen into “Barbie resort land”–actually, they had two things going on at once, Barbies b/c of all the new clothes big sister was turning out, and babies b/c that’s their ultimate when it comes to playing together…so anyway, can you imagine? The funny deal is, we usually have them pick it all up before supper, but last night with a storm rolling in, I was up to my elbows in garden dirt with my rock project, hoping to get done before the dark skies and lightening unleashed their fury overhead. Dh, similarly, was working with our oldest on getting our big inflatable pool set up. (We had no idea it was going to storm, it really caught us off guard, going from ninety-some degrees to 67*F in less than an hour!) So by the time we got our respective projects wrapped up, and ran for the house…the electricity was flickering and then poof, lights out. So tripping over baby dolls and chair forts, we made our way to the matches and candles.

Fast forward to today. Too muddy and humid outside to want to paint, etc, besides, my poor house! If any of you had dropped by I would have been mortified. Eek! The real problem was the toy mess, which somehow morphed into a disaster that took us ALL day to clean. My oldest was only concerned that it meant putting away the sewing machine (grin, she’s my #1 helper when it comes to clean-up time) but my younger two were so sad to have their glorious play-area eliminated. 3 yo was in tears. So what does a mommy do?

She throws a tea party. (Hands up in the air) We had an early lunch, called it a brunch and served it with English Breakfast tea in the teapot and mommy’s fancy teacups and real silver. What a mood booster. Then the younger two had a half hour to play one last time in their chaos of make-believe, while oldest and I split up the kitchen, bathroom, and chicken duties. Then it was *get serious* time on the girls’ bedroom. Everyone pitched in, we unloaded bookshelves, rearranged beds and dressers and gasp(!) I even condensed the overflow bulge of drawers full of clothing to the point that now my middle and youngest can share a five-drawer dresser! We even turned up a missing ice pack and youngest’s favorite mini-dog (stuffed, I assure you).

This was a room definitely past the blur of lived-in to filthy, and we try to clean it every Friday…but yeah, we’ve been busy, what can I say?

So, it’s time to share your thoughts. What is “filthy” to you? What is “lived in”? Are you harder on yourselves in this area than you are on other people? I sure am!

Looking forward to your thoughts on this!