At the moment I'm in despair over the state of our house. We're a messy lot at the best of times, but because we moved home a couple of weeks ago we have the added chaos of tripping over half unpacked boxes. Plus it's hard to use something and put it back in its correct place if you haven't yet worked out where that perfect place is.
Some people say that tidiness doesn't matter. “You don't lie on your death bed wishing that you'd done more washing up,” they say. Or “your children will remember the time you spent playing and reading with them rather than the messy floor”.
Both these statements are true, but I somehow feel that we could have more fun as a family if we weren't wading through this chaos. It takes so much time to live in chaos. Everything – from a cheese grater to a particular game to a piece of clear table to play the blessed game on – takes longer to find. With the consequence that by the time you find them you're actually too tired to grate the cheese or play the game with great gusto.
A sense of heaviness looms over you, as though the weight of the clutter is drawing you down towards its level. I've had some other friends say that's exactly what the clutter does in an energetic, feng shui type way.
I'm not sure what the clutter is. Books yes – 100s of these including a burgeoning collection belonging to DS, aged 5, who has his own burgeoning collection. He has caught our hereditary bibliophilia. (Hurrah!)
Board games, well, yes. But you need board games don't you? (Don't you?)
A couple of ukuleles and a few guitars, yes. Okay we don't play them yet but learning to play is on our to-do lists. And when we do learn we will need a few so we can all play at once. (Right?)
Then there's the art and crafts materials, although we aren't too bad on organising those. And you do need stuff accessible so that you can play and paint and mess at will.
So what tips do you have for reclaiming our home? I've tried fly lady (pep talks by email and cleaning lists of military precision), the excellent Home Routines app, which I do use but which I never get to tick everything off, sticker charts for everyone…
How can I turn my home onto one of those shining organised examples you find on Pinterest? Please tell me…suggestions below please…