Clean or Clutter: What Gives?

Aug Sept Oct 2013 1086                                                                          OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The fact is, we live in a fast-paced age.  An era where something must give in order to keep our priorities in order.  I believe most of us agree that it is important for a healthy home to keep our environments both clean and clutter free.  However, there are times when we must make a choice. Often times it boils down to time.  It requires a great deal of time to keep things clean. It takes less time to keep things clutter free.

If I do not have time for both, I must admit that I, personally, will choose clean over clutter free.  It is a thankless road because the men of my house do not recognize the time, energy, and love I have poured into scrubbing the toilets or cleaning the sinks: but I cannot help myself.  If the dirt remains, I cannot seem to rest or let down and enjoy the movie everyone else is watching.  Now my husband on the other hand, he can totally overlook the dirt in the corner, but a backpack on the ground or dirty dishes in the computer room – no way!

I must admit that I fought against my man for years.  I validated the need for clean over the need for clutter-free.  I spent much time justifying it, mostly in my mind: it is necessary for good health; it is the way my mom would do it; etc.  He would pick up and I would clean up: neither of us appreciating the other’s efforts.

As I matured in marriage matters, and as a child of God, I came to understand the importance of considering my husband’s needs – even ahead of mine! Yikes, that was a transition!  The truly amazing thing is: I learned that picking up was pretty quick and it had a profound impact on his mood and demeanor.

Because I love my husband,  I have learned to pay more attention to getting his sight-lines clear of clutter.  This is a big encouragement for him when he comes home because it is a stressor when he walks into a chaotic environment.

I FINALLY learned that it takes little time to clear the clutter, which leaves me time to do the deep cleaning that makes me content. Sometimes, due to time constraints, I do not clean the creases but let’s face it we are not eating out of the cracks!  So it turns out that balancing the clean with the clutter-free is a perfect mix to keep the whole family happy.

Which camp are you in: the clean or clutter-free?  How have you found ways to make a harmonious and healthy family environment?


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