My home is not a showhome


Interior of modern living room with beige corner suite


After yesterday’s post I received a comment in response from my friend, Sandra.  She said something like all of us having aspects which multiply at crazy rates.  Mine being children and hers being mess.

I read the comment and laughed.

Then I looked around me.

I stopped laughing.


My home is not a showhome. 

The carpet needed hoovering again – it had been done once this morning already.  I’d already put my fourth load of washing of the day in the machine, hung one load, dried one load in the drier and had thrown another load in after.  There’s another basketful of clean laundry waiting to be hung outside once the first outdoor lot is dry enough to bring in and the dishwasher had a whole new load to whirr away with.

The bathrooms had been cleaned.  The living room dusted, the mirrors and tv screen wiped of sticky fingerprints.  The kitchen had been breakfasted in then cleaned up afterwards yet still nothing looked like it had been done.  It all looked like it needed doing again even though I get up at five every morning to ensure that all these bits and pieces are done.

Yet still nothing looks like it has been done.

It’s just gone ten am as I’m writing this post.  There’s a whole day of mess waiting to be created on top of the mess that is already present.  My living room looks like a cross between Twister and Toy Story.  My kitchen looks like I should be donning a nylon overall, what with the amount of laundry taking up room in it and the downstairs bathroom… well, what can I say except why can’t boys aim straight?

I always feel I need to apologise if people come over.  My eyes see what they must see, mess and dust and heaps of toys and books everywhere. 

I look at people’s photos and wonder how everything looks so neat and tidy in the background.  You are unlikely to see a photo of mine unless a) I can crop all the crap from it or b) it is taken in the one corner that is decent at that moment in time.  More likely “a”.  I look at some people’s pictures and think, “Oh come on!  You have got to have cropped that!”.  Is it wrong to admit that it makes me feel better to spot a picture tilted on the wall, or a laundry basket peeking in a corner of the background?

Let me demonstrate.

Here is a photo taken about an hour ago of the kids settling down to lessons (you can click on the picture to make it bigger if you want to take a closer look):



This would normally be kept private.  It wouldn’t be for the public to see and certainly not on the www. Can you understand why?  Can you see it all?

Let me help you:



And I only didn’t continue labelling it because I ran out of room.

Now I need your reassurance.  Please tell me your home isn’t a showhome either.  And what would really be welcome are photos. I need proof of cropped photos.  The neat version where you’ve chopped the mess out and the real life, let’s-make-Tania-feel-better version of the same pic before you’ve doctored it.

Go ahead, make my day.


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23 thoughts on “My home is not a showhome

  1. Ohhhh I do worse than crop…I actually photoshop crumbs out of the carpet before I post pictures… 😀 Digital vacuuming is nice! ROFL

  2. I cant post photo's at the moment, something going on with my blogger. But I only have 3 kids and there's no way my house is ever gonna be a showhome!! It's amazing how quickly spaces can become cluttered right after you've cleaned. So frustrating at times! But a home is to be lived in. And people come to see you not your home.
    Sal. X

  3. People wash their seat covers? No seriously…

    I think you're being way too harsh on yourself. My mother had 4 children, not huge but above average. I considered her very image concious when people came over. And I think we only vaccumed once a fortnight! We dusted at the same time, and only mopped about twice a year. Our house was clean. It was never a showroom! But it was clean enough to be lived in and to be comfortable in, as I am sure yours is. So what if all your books aren't lined up perfectly on the shelf? Or something is sticking out of a box. Do you think your guests really sit there thinking "ooooh, that Tania, look at those crooked books, and that bag of clothes right there, what a terrible housekeep!" I'll bet they don't. Lighten up on yourself 🙂 Believe me, I've seen much worse in the houses of people with far less children. A house is for living in, how can you live in a showroom?

  4. hahaha, the only time I do a deep clean on my home is when there is a birthday party coming up. Then by the end of the party, its 10x worse than before I cleaned it! You are normal. My home is clean where it needs to be clean. My bookshelf has papers and books and its a "catch all". I clean that up about once a year. Our homes are for living in, so don't sweat the small stuff 🙂

  5. I guess the thing that caught my eye was one kid smiling away and 4 others content to study. I probably am over looking the diaper covers because I am used to seeing them in our house hanging everywhere! I guess I see houses through how warm and welcoming they are by the people that live there, not by the stuff inside.

  6. Oh Tania your home is LOVELY! Its lively and lived in and clearly filled with love! My home is a horrific mess and I don't have nearly the size family as you! I have no idea how anyone with children keeps a tidy, clutter and dust free home! You amaze me…I also like to say I don't ever get up at 5am! Xoxo

  7. I thought it was a lovely picture of a happy homeschooling morning. 🙂 Children won't remember a pristine house, but they will remember the time that we spend with them.

  8. My house is not a showhome. My house is usually a disaster, too. Although it goes in cycles, sometimes decent, sometimes embarrassingly atrocious. Never actually a threat to health or safety, but a terrible mess nevertheless.

    Every day, crumbs and worse on the kitchen floor, a sticky table that needs to be wiped, and dishes stacked from the night before. Handprints and smudges on the windows and mirrors. Bathrooms that are better left with the door closed. Mounds and mounds of laundry in all stages – dirty, dry, wrinkled – and nary a laundry basket to be found. There are three large heaps of clean clothes in my bedroom, awaiting attention. I vacuumed (hoovered) yesterday, but the light blue carpet is so spotty that it never looks clean, anyway. And toys, books, paper and crayons.

    You would think that with all these kids, there would be enough hands to manage. But we're always on the go, and when we're here, our schoolwork takes top priority. Having an infant in the house also makes life unpredictable.

    You must know that many of the women who post those pictures do stage them, or at least tidy up before posting anything unflattering. And there are some women who clean compulsively, whose sense of self worth is tied up in how their home looks.

    Although I do not like to be embarrassed by our mess, anybody who sees my home has to realize that it has a truckload of children in it, and should understand. It will get clean, eventually.

    Here in the States we have a saying – maybe you've got one, too – Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

  9. lol my house with 6 is a perpetual MESS. Yours looks tidy. yes I am often embarrassed to post real life pics and do only post cropped ones usually only because i don't want the judegment of others who don't understand. My mom had 2 children together and they were daycared all day…so her house was neat. Then she had me 10 years later. i was like an only child. She doesn't understand my mess at all and thinks my mess is horrible. To me its not mess really, but just life. She says, oh if it were me I would scrub floors at 1am. WHAT??? I am sorry i have 6 kids and one is an infant so I am ehausted at 1am I am not scrubbing floors then. Sillyness!

  10. well, feel better! i think your house looks great…and mine is way worse…with only five children!

  11. Your house is amazingly tidy – as I look around me in my living room right now there is a chair that can't be sat on (full of stuff to be put away) a carrier bag on floor toys scattered around, a car seat on the floor shoes that the children haven't put away, dust everywhere – I could go on…… lol – I'm working on it though – but no intention to get up at 5am haha

  12. haha, i took a picture of the inside of my coat closet this weekend and plan on posting it next week. too funny, I always think how do people have such clean floors

  13. Tania…your home is a beautiful home with lots of beautiful life! When I taught in the public schools and taught kinder, I would always tell my parents, if you son or daughter comes home after a day at school with me and his/her clothing looks exactly the same as when you dropped them off in the morning, there is a problem. Please expect your children to come home with paint (we had art today), dirt (we had recess today), marker (we had a fun lesson), and ready for a bath because that means they had a great day full of learning. Now that I homeschool, I think of my house as those children I taught, if my house looks like a show home, I didn't have fun nor teach my kids today, lol! My only complaint is that I bent over so much to pick up toys and things off the floor and I don't have the waist to proove it! 😉 Blessings e-friend!

  14. I think most people clean their houses up quickly before some one comes over. No one with kids has a perfect house. We sure don't. I just try to keep the bathrooms cleaned and things fairly dusted to make up for the stuff piled EVERYWHERE.

  15. Tania your house looks wonderful. I always read nappy wraps drying like that as a virtue (eco-drying), not a sin. Your floor looks very clean, the kids look interested in what they are doing and I can't see any smears of jam or marmite – not one! And not a single child leaning back on their chair (a pet irritation of mine from my own children).

    Have a great weekend with your brood. S xx

  16. I have areas that are always a mess. I have actually just taken pictures to blog about to show you. I never crop pictures, I just don't take pictures of that area! I was amazed though as I went to an aquaintances house the other day and for some reason expected it to be really tidy….it was not and it just made me feel human and normal for the messy areas we have in our house. Maybe it is time to relax and not worry about the mess, it will get there eventually, in the mean time I am just going to keep growing my 2 little boys and love them more.

  17. Our house is small, or that is the excuse I use for it being messy. I read your blog post and found myself shaking my head.. Having 4 kids (in Japan that is considered a HUGE family) I don't think my sofa will ever not have clothes, and my washer is always running…

    I spent an hour reading (in lovely quiet) your blog.. What a great family you have!!!

  18. Keeping my house spotless is NOT a priority… not in this season of life:)

    I am blessed to have a friend who welcomed me (and everyone else) into her home with the phrase "welcome to our real life". I always enjoyed her presence and hospitality… the few toys and floors needing vacuuming… real life… and I barely noticed since I was enjoying the fellowship!!

  19. I feel exactly the same way most weeks. And I have only one word to say to you. Cleaner. I have one. We both work full-time (although I finish in the office at 3pm to do the school run and work again after the children are in bed. It's a good compromise) and with the kids' activities, we've made a choice. We'd rather spend a little money and spend more time with the children than cleaning the bathrooms (4 boys, and I agree, the aim is not so great!). I'm frankly impressed that you homeschool and have a house which looks like a HOME.

  20. I post all my photos as-is, mess and all (and there is usually plenty!!) I do clean when and how I can, but if its not perfect I dont mind, there will be plenty of time to clean when I have no children to grow.
    From experience a messy lived in house, is more often than not a happy one.

  21. lol my hubby goes mad as i have stuff everywhere and only 3 children 😉 for example the toys from yesterday are not picked up. 2 wash baskets full 1- clean nappies to be folded. 2- clean washing to be put away. floor needs hoovering baby is eating dust again. you are not alone. 🙂

  22. lol, by my house standards that looks fab ! we have 7 children , 5 still live at home (4 boys and 6 mth old girl) i haven’t seen my kitchen table for quite some time as it is ALWAYS burried under the clean washing (some of which ends up on the floor then back in the wash again having never been used !) i can manage the washing , drying and folding but it takes alot more to actually put it away and of course as soon as the first lot is gone it is quickly replaced with a new pile ! (we need a laundry room ) my living room carpet is a constant sea of toys and crumbs , i’m so tempted to take pictures when i’ve tidied it just to prove that i actually do tidy …. to be honest a clean carpet that can actually be seen is just providing the boys with a clean canvas to mess up again ! the bedrooms are much the same , ours is a sea of clothes, post and stray toys and the boys is beyond rediculous but hey, ONE day they will all have left home and the mess will be gone , but how dull that will be , my house is frustratingly messy but my children want cuddles and attention so i would rather give my time to them than the pointless exercise of constant cleaning… i have accepted defeat , i do what i can and if thats not good enough then thats tough, the children are all healthy and happy and thats what matters 🙂

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