Does messy matter? In our kids’ rooms, in our front halls, in our kitchens?

We’re not talking about hoarder-level mess; we’re talking about the tendency toward entropy and chaos in any house with multiple children who play two travel sports and/or bring home backpacks brimming with loose slips of paper every afternoon.

Margaret’s house is pretty messy, and that stresses her out.

Amy’s house is pretty neat, but keeping things that way stresses her out.

In this episode, we talk about how to manage both our household chaos and our expectations around it. We discuss:

  • why keeping the toy room too neat may stifle your children’s creativity
  • the value of a decorative box
  • the importance of (once in a while) going “back to one”
  • why making beds is either the most important thing you can do OR the biggest waste of a daily minute

Here’s links to some further reading on the topic that we also discuss in this episode:

Laura Vanderkam: The Magic in a Messy Playroom

Alison Gerber for Apartment Therapy: Dirty Little Secrets of Tidy Families

Gretchen Rubin: Drowning in Clutter? Observe the One-Minute Rule

also Gretchen Rubin:  what she’s found to be the most popular happiness-making resolution

ABC News: Study Says Tidy or Messy Environment Can Impact Decisions and Behavior

Lauren Cunningham for Her View From Home: I Keep a Clean House. Can We Still Be Friends?

We want to hear from YOU for an upcoming episode! What’s the “how old is old enough to…” question you’re struggling with at your house?  Maybe it’s how old is old enough to get a phone… or how old is old enough to babysit…. or how old is old enough to walk home from school alone. Tell us in the comments- or click on the gray microphone on the right sidebar and leave us a Speakpipe message! 

(photograph by Sue Barr)