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  • Gareth Ellis

Tidy v Clean

When it comes to owning a home, you want it to be clean and tidy. When you add in a child you’ll take it just being clean.

J is a stickler for keeping the house tidy. She’ll wash and wipe up and clean the kitchen sides after every single meal, whereas I prefer (most days) to just do the bare minimum and then have a proper clean up at the end of the day.

However, since having Rupert I’ve certainly come around to Jess’ way of thinking and I want to keep the house both clean and tidy.

The thing is, keeping a house clean is relatively easy. You can polish upstairs and downstairs once a week, clean the bathroom a couple of times a week and do the regular chores like hoovering, washing up, etc every day. But when it comes to keeping the house tidy, you can fight it all you want, but that my friends, is a losing battle.

J and I tidy up Rupert’s toys what seems like a hundred times a day, we clean food, dirt and various other things off him at the same rate and don’t get me started on what he’s started doing with his version of ‘helping in the garden.’

I look around the house and where we used to have clear corners we now have walkers, our cupboards – previously easy to get into – are now covered in safety catches, and at the end of a day I have no idea what I’ll find down the side of the sofa.

One day, I went to work and opened my bag to get my laptop out and found a pair of Rupert’s socks and a glittery sponge he plays with. Of course, he’d been helping us ‘tidy’ the night before and had adopted Daddy’s ‘hide it and deal with it later’ mentality.

There is a huge difference between a dirty house and an untidy one. Dirty for me would be stains on the floors and food on the walls, not one that hasn’t been hoovered for a day.

Although sometimes we flit between the two. If we know we’ve got guests coming, even when it’s family, we will clean everywhere and have it looking as close to pristine as possible.

Jess and I are so different on things though and our opinions on what we want for the house change daily too. Some days I am desperate to get things done and I’ll clean anything and everything. Other days I just want to chill and tidy up as I go.

As a parent, you will at some point find yourself being judged for something or other. But if the worst thing someone can ever judge me on is that I have a few of my son’s toys lying around and a couple of plates in my sink then I’ll be happy.

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