Trading In Cleanliness For Chaos Is The Best Choice I Ever Made

Photo by Igor Starkov on Unsplash


Kitchen counters are clean, floor is picked up, and every room is meticulously free of clutter.

This is what the home looked like prior to three kids.

Now, stepping on a random toy is part of the daily grind and the counter is used to store science projects, items you don’t want the toddler to get, and bills you are going to get to in your “free time”, but it is all well and good.

How can this be?

Having a mess unattended to and clutter in any part of the home is against my nature.

I used to cringe when my husband didn’t clean up right away after making a sandwich, or when my son went from Legos to costumes in his room without cleaning up one before the other.

A lack of order was just not my cup of tea, and I spent countless hours making sure my home was never in disarray.

One thing is for sure, I am not a slave to that ideology anymore.

General cleanliness and sanitation is surely a goal in the home, but the perfectly organized room is a treat I only get on some weekends when the kids are occupied outside with daddy and I have silence and a large cup of coffee to aid me.

Messes mean something else for me now. They mean game night with the family, laughter as as a science experiment goes wrong, making muffins with my little girl, and reading books while cuddled on the couch with my toddler.

Jenny Erikson put it well when writing for Café Mom, “if there’s one thing I care more about than maintaining order — it’s my kids.”

It may seem like it’s hard to ignore the dust on the floorboards long enough to enjoy coloring princess pages with your daughter, but studies have shown why this is possible.

The Happiness Research Institute found that 73% of people who are happy with their home are happy in general.

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Their research has unveiled not only how our home can be a place of joy when we are happy in general, but that this had more of an impact on our overall happiness than our mental and physical health.

Perspective can change a lot of things. There are only so many hours in a day, and how we choose to spend our fleeting time will shape the quality of our lives and our children’s lives.

Am I saying to ignore that sticky spot you have stepped in twice now on the kitchen floor, or to let the dishes pile up to unsafe altitudes? Not at all!

Just allow the toys to hang out in the living room a little while and enjoy your little rascals a bit.

Kids are dirty little balls of fun and unexpected smiles, and I wouldn’t trade their chaos for all the cleanliness in the world.