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Cleanliness is next to … impossible

by on Mar 10, 2011

It’s 8:03pm. I just finished getting my daughter, in all her awesome, hilarious, incomprehensible terrible-two-ness, bathed and to bed. Before that, I whipped up a dinner of questionable-vegetable lo-mein for the two of us (her mom was at yoga), while practically holding the child in one hand. Needless to say, the kitchen is a mess. 

The dining room is no better, especially in the places where Ayla decided she didn’t like cabbage and dribbled partially-chewed gobs of it on to the floor. In the living room, the ceiling has sprung a leak (no kidding), and two bins of unfolded laundry sit awating their fate. Also, I’ve lost my voice somehow.

And then I think of the Kitchen Cleaning Cheat Sheet we put out this week, and the part where it recommends, under ‘Daily Cleaning’, that I scrub the sink, cabinets, countertops, and range vent, and I kind of want to pass out. 

So let’s make one thing clear. We are imperfect people in an imperfect world; let’s cut ourselves some slack. Curbly’s cheat sheets, like everything else on this blog, are meant to make your life easier, not harder. Lately I feel like too many design and home-oriented blogs just make you feel inadequate.

No, your house doesn’t need to look like the pictures in a Dwell magazine every day. No, nobody really scrubs their sink, cabinets and range vent every single day. Your bookshelf doesn’t need to be color-coded, or chronologically sorted, or organized in any way at all. Actually, you don’t even need to have a bookshelf.

Homes are for living in. Living is that stuff that happens when you’re with family or friends, or when you’re learning something, or enjoying the day. It’s not about maintenance. It’s not about looking good or impressing anyone. It’s not about buying things, owning things, or even making things.

Your home is here for your sake, not the other way around. Find your own balance; don’t let a Web site tell you what your home should look like. Do what feels right for you. And love where you live.


Let’s hear your thoughts; how much time do you devote to home maintenance? Is it overwhelming? Share your tips, tricks, or sob stories.