Save a Trip

close up of squirrel

“Take something with you ~ it will save a trip later!”

~Nana Mary

This is Axiom #2 for the Homemakers Guild.

I still hear my mother’s voice echoing these words as I cruise the house, room to room like a shark, gliding silently. Did I say shark? I meant squirrel, with pockets, hands and arms full of things that belong elsewhere.

Upstairs is a favorite destination. Piles of this or that draped over the handrail, and sitting on the lowest steps waiting for the next intrepid Sherpa to make the journey. Some people use stair-baskets to collect it all. (This one is nice because it is lined and not too pricey.)

Tidying up, especially other people’s messes, is still a surprise to me – despite the frequency of its occurrence.

Growing up an only child to my single mom, there was never any doubt about who left the mess, and who would clean it up. If you made the mess, you owned it. I tried blaming the cat, but that didn’t work. Wiggle room was not available.

But starting a family means compromise. This was a slippery slope for me as I noticed my soon to be hubby’s wadded up sock on the floor (so many years ago).

“Babe, you forgot something…”

I was not prepared for what came next.

He replied, “It would have taken a lot less time for you to just put it in the hamper than to make a big fuss over a dirty sock,” and did not pick up the sock. Heated conversation followed.

There was a lot of expectation wrapped up in both those sentences that took us years to work through, if we ever did.

And tidying up became my job for ever after. Just easier than starting another battle at 11:45 at night. But that was his point, right? Choosing your battles is an important energy saving strategy for Homemakers.

Hubby said I had the job of tidying up because I had a ‘lower mess tolerance threshold’. We even joked about it, but now I think it is a matter of being lazy vs. self-respect. Living in a mess makes a person feel overwhelmed, depressed, and more than a bit frustrated when car keys are missing. I’m glad to help avoid all that. Even happier when the kids figure it out, too.

Priority wise, it becomes more important to set the standard of an inviting domicile, than winning the battle of one dirty sock. I know it is my job to teach the kids how to do all this for themselves – but an unhappy home only sets the stage for trouble. Pick up the sock, and save yourself a trip. Have the conversation later. 😉

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  1. I love the way you write about your insights into relationships and the things you’ve learned. I totally understand about articles of clothing etc being dropped and left. Having raised three boys by myself they were always leaving things or walking around them or over them but not picking them up! It IS so important to pick your battles because if you don’t pick ‘them’ you’d be arguing all day! Thank you for your insightful post.🥰

    1. Thanks~ Your encouragement means a lot! Keeping house is like painting a sand mandala – the beauty doesn’t last long, and the art is in the doing, not the end product (since there is no end.) Still learning how to encourage keeping the home in Bristol fashion (a place for everything, and everything in its place.) But maybe that only works on a boat! 😀

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