12 July 2012

So why is the house messier when Matthijs is gone?!?

Last week when Matthijs was gone the house was more often messier than normal - and messier longer than normal. It was something that somewhat puzzled me.

It's not that Matthijs is a messy person - he's not, for which I am thankful. But he does tend to leave things lying around (different things than me), and he's been so busy lately that helping with cleaning up around the house has been something I've done more often than him. So when he is around, I notice that several times a day, I clean up around the house.

So considering there's one less person in the house to leave things lying around, how can the house become messier? Do I simply become messier when Matthijs is gone?!?

I think that the answer is yes, I do become messier. Or I pick up less. If cleaning is about love and hospitality, then when I'm alone and not planning on having guests, I don't mind my own messiness. It doesn't matter to me so much if I leave the dishes for 2 days or I leave my shoes lying around or the newspapers all over the table. After all, I know that they won't be in any one's way.

I clean enough up at least every other day, but otherwise, it's a small disaster area without Matthijs here (so stay away!). Certainly, I take care of the cat and clean his box (we're both happier when it's clean!), and food gets put away so that it doesn't go bad, but the hospitality I show myself is less that of a clean house and more to allow me to clean up later and continue now with life. When there's someone else around, it doesn't feel fair to assume I know what won't annoy them, so I feel that things ought to be neater, and sooner. That seems the best way to show love and hospitality; yet, not complaining about or being annoyed with messiness and disorder could also be a way to show love and hospitality, so my messiness of the past week gives me something to think about as I strive for cleanliness and order.

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