It’s time for another Half-Baked Thought Thursday!
In our rapidly-developing suburban area there are lots of model homes, houses that builders decorate and furnish to help buyers imagine the glorious life that awaits them with this brand of house. I find it incredibly inspiring to visit model homes (when I’m not making a complete, utter fool of myself, that is). Every time I’m in one it reminds me of the power that a beautiful, well-ordered home can have on one’s mental state. It’s not even the perfect decorating or the expensive furniture that attracts me — just the tranquility of an uncluttered and clean yet homey environment.
Thinking about this reminds me of something I’ve never really found clarity on: How important is it to have an orderly house? Obviously keeping a house tidy is neither a family’s highest or lowest priority…but where does it lie on the priority spectrum? (I’m not thinking here of whether or not it should be sanitary, which I think we all agree is critical.)
Here are my various trains of thought:
“It completely depends on the family…”
One part of me says that there are no objective guidelines at all. This line of thinking is that each family should optimize on what brings them the most peace, and that as long as their living conditions aren’t unsanitary, if it would cause them more stress to clean than to live amidst clutter and mess, then they shouldn’t worry about it.
“Objectively, keeping an orderly house should be a high priority…”
Another part of me says that, perhaps especially for natural slobs like me who have a high tolerance for mess and disorganization, it is an important exercise of discipline to keep your environment orderly. (I notice that there are no convents or monasteries where it’s acceptable for the place to be a wreck.) Also, per the model home example, I suspect that it is a universal truth that everyone is more calm and at peace when their surroundings are tidy. This part of me says that it’s an inherent part of our responsibilities as parents to keep our houses as clean and orderly as possible.
“Objectively, keeping an orderly house should be a medium to low priority…”
And then there is yet another part of me that says that it just doesn’t matter. In my life I’ve known plenty of people whose houses always seemed to be messy and overflowing with clutter that seemed to do perfectly fine in that environment. This line of thinking isn’t that keeping things in order doesn’t matter at all, just that it should be way on the bottom of the list of the things parents try to get done in a day.
For whatever reason I find this subject fascinating (I know, I’m boring). But, obviously, I have not been able to clarify my own thoughts. What do you think?
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