In the past few weeks, I’ve invited quite a few people who I don’t know very well into my home. Like many people, I start apologising for the state of the place before they’ve even set foot through the door, even when I’ve spent the whole day tidying up in anticipation.
To be honest, I’m a bit slatternly by nature. I prefer to read a book than to wash up, to play with the kids than to iron, and to basically do anything than the cleaning. I quite like vacuuming though, but only because I have a fancy-pants Miehle vacuum cleaner, bought in a fit of domestic extravagance to keep the cat hair under control.
When I look at the house through the eyes of a stranger, then I see the faults. The things that I’ve lived with for years and got so used to, that my blinkered eyes barely see them any more. Although I hate housework, I do love my little house. It is my family’s sanctuary against the world and it deserves a bit better from me.
So (and feeling a bit inspired by the 12 Days of Buffy Challenge being undertaken by @The_Last_Slayer) I am going to do something about it.
It’s not easy cleaning and tidying in our house. We battle against a raging torrent of plastic toys, children’s clothing, books and endless priceless works of art created by them on a daily basis, but there is one place that I might make some headway.
It’s not the first time I’ve planned for this one room to remain a sanctuary against the mess. I painted it in Farrow and Ball‘s French Grey, for heaven’s sake. There is no more tranquil, grown-up paint colour. The problem now is that the walls are disappearing under a pile of odd socks, which I appear to be collecting, photographs and prints that have never made it onto the walls, giant mail order cardboard boxes (most of which will disappear after Christmas) and stacks of un-read books next to my bed.
So, I am planning to turn the tide. I will remove everything that is preventing the room from being the luxurious and tranquil haven it was supposed to be, and turn it into something a little more like an advert for The White Company.
Once I’ve spent a bit of time improving that room, I’ll move onto the rest of the house, fingers crossed. I’ll post a little about my progress on this next week. I’ll even take some photos. To be honest, it’s the only way I might get myself started!