Making Space for the Mess


Simon on couch
I’m not one of those who can let my main house areas stay messy.  It’s not that I like to clean, but I just can’t think clearly unless our living areas are neat and tidy. I want all the throw pillows on the couches to be perfect, the floor clean, no toys strewn around the living room. But all too often, my demands for ME mean that I am not loving my family well.

Now don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing wrong with a clean and organized home.  (In my opinion, my kids seem more comfortable when the house is in order.) The problem occurs when I am more concerned with my “wants” and I don’t let my kids (or husband) feel comfortable just having fun- and living- in our house.

The thought of my three year old leaving all the throw pillows from the couch in a huge pile so he can play “trampoline” off the couch starts to get to me after two minutes of his game. My baby dumping all the Little People throughout the house and pulling all the toys off the shelves makes me feel unsettled. And even though I know my husband is loving our kids well when he builds a mega-fort in the family room, I get anxious knowing all the “mess” that is involved.

It’s exactly at these moments that I need to remind myself this mess isn’t always bad.  Mess means memories are being made, my kids are being loved on, my husband is bonding, and fun is being had.

So the next time you feel the urge to make your children keep the house perfectly neat and you don’t allow your husband to move the throw pillows on the floor, think about what you may be teaching your kids and what your actions are telling them. Show your family that you love them by making space for the mess. And then, at the end of the day, take a deep breath and pick up the house together; talk about all the memories that were made in the piles of pillows, blanket-strewn kitchen chairs, and laugh together at all the Little People you find hidden in the oddest places. This is the stuff of life- and trust me, you don’t want to miss it!

simon bailey fort


  1. Great post, Nicole! I also struggle with my space getting messy throughout the day. Some days are easier than others for me to just relax and let the play explode. 😉 I’m grateful that at the end of the day I can whip my home into shape and enjoy the order… just in time for the children to tear it apart the next morning. 😀

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