How do you treat your home space? 3

One compatibility indicator for a couple or roommates is how you view home and the upkeep of said domicile.  While for most of us home is sanctuary, an oasis in the desert of the world, a shelter from the storms outside, we differ greatly in how we treat and maintain it.

For me – home is a place for order.  I try to make my home warm, inviting, and beautiful.  Except for a few dust-balls (dusting is one of the last chores I’ll do) and the clutter of papers in my office (filing is another of the chores I delay), my home is fairly neat.

For some of my friends and family, home is a place to be messy and let it all hang out.  They don’t rush to straighten or clean.  Sometimes this attitude is in direct opposition to how they were raised.  Being grown to them is not having to clean up after themselves.  Neat-nicks and devil-may-cares aren’t compatible.

Other friends keep to the same routines their mothers taught them growing up.  One friend, whom I admire, cleans her home top-to-bottom every Saturday.  I mean it when I say she cleans her home:  she mops, waxes, moves furniture around to sweep, etc.  You could eat off her floor.

I have other friends whose kitchens I won’t eat from.   They have piles of unwashed dishes in the sink and on the counters and containers of mystery foods in the refrigerator One of them steps in the outside world like the fashion diva she is, everything put together and not a hair out of place, but her home looks like a tornado struck it.  I once had a roommate who bought new underwear for her children because she refused to wash – lazy heifer.
I was determined to get one friend on Clean House but they only take people who live in California.  Her place is a mess!

I wash clothes once a week and put them all away. (So what?  Hey, I’m just saying…)  I can’t stand piles of laundry.  Piles of anything seem to stare at me, call to me, and demand that I attend to them.  (Although I’ve been ignoring the piles of paper in my office, they are almost shouting at me now so I know I’m going to break down and attend to them soon.  Since the current project I’m working on is winding down, it presents a good opportunity to clean off the desk and start a new pile of papers with the next project, which is coming, yes it is, any minute now, right?)

While I don’t view home as museum and would never want a home that looked as austere as some of the photos in the high-end decorating magazines (and I will never be mistaken for a feminazi), a bit of order, a smidge of beauty, some regular attending to is how I roll in my home.  My home.  I try to make it the best it can be…for me.  I straighten and fuss everyday because it is mine and its ambiance is important to me.

On the other hand, some of my favorite places to visit are friends homes that are chaotic and overflowing with treasures from their travels – whether to distant lands or local places.  Most of the time, they can’t remember what they have and so when I visit and proceed to tidy up a corner or investigate a box, it  is an adventure.  I admire their ability to live happily with clutter.  Just can’t have it in my house except for that one room of his own. 

Does the state of your home reflect your state of mind?  Can a neat one live happily with a messy one?  To be continued…


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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3 thoughts on “How do you treat your home space?

  • Chrystibella

    I used to be a neat nick until my husband came into my life as he is a pack rat. It drives me crazy sometimes. Especially when he crams shit in the closets and I can’t get in there to find anything. So, the stuff that I use and should be able to put in the closet can’t go in there because there is no room.

    Mostly, I’ve had to learn to live with the mess. Between him and my son, I’m out numbered. =) My son doesn’t clutter so much as he spills when he’s in the kitchen and doesn’t clean up after himself. I seem to be forever going behind him and wiping up.

    I used to get on my hands and knees and clean my kitchen floor to make it shine and my place looked like it was out of a magazine. That was before I had a family. Now it’s lived in. =)

    They both know better than to leave anything in the kitchen sink sitting there with water in it. If the dish isn’t rinsed off and sitting on the counter, I go off. Can’t stand to put my hands in someone else’s gunk or to have to scrape a dish that has dried food on it.

  • Sarah

    About 90 percent of the time, these days, I walk into my home and think “not bad!” because I have been working hard to keep my home consistently picked up. The other 10 percent of the time, I have gone running out the door leaving toys strewn about and dishes to be washed. And when I walk in the door, it just fills me with dread. I hate those days.

    Having a picked-up home is so much more inviting for the soul.