Back Off, “Mr. Clean”

If you are looking for me on a Saturday morning, you can be sure I am whirling around my house, running over anyone who gets in my way in the pursuit of one goal: clean floors.

In thinking about my obsession with clean floors I am forced to consider the obvious question: “What does a clean floor really do for me that I am so obsessed with this one aspect of my house?” It sounds twisted, I know. But, with 18 legs in this house (pets included), the floors are a constant reminder of the chaos that is my life. Littered with crunched up Cheezits, pet hair, random and lonely socks who have forgotten what it feels like to have a mate or be right-side-out, and way too many piles of stuff; it may be unrealistic but my floors must be clean.

For me, if my floors are clean, then my house feels clean. Happy delusion, I know. If there was an award for cleanliness, my floor is my ticket to the podium. While it is reasonable to want a clean floor, my love affair with vacuumed tracked carpet could be the inspiration for the next harlequin romance novel. Romantic, eh?IMAG2942-2

My loving relationship with my Norwex mop…

Here’s the truth, people: a clean floor is like a mirage. It represents a place I want to be and a way I wish I felt all the time. It represents a sense of order and control. That’s it.

My house is belongs in the circus. Not just because of the 18 legs running around but because it is like a carnival funhouse filled with smoke and mirrors. Ok, not literally – although I do admit there are far too many mirrors gracing my walls. Behind the facade of a clean house is all the crap and clutter that I just cannot seem to part with. Friends often tease me about how my house always look so clean and tidy. Smoke and mirrors, my friends. Smoke and mirrors. Open the first cupboard you approach and -BAM- chaos. I mean it. There are some cabinets that should come with their own insurance policy.  All of the crap that would clutter other’s countertops is really just tucked behind a pretty facade.

IMAG2945 (1)IMAG2946

The Hidden Clutter of My World…

I grew up in a clean house and my mother grew up in an even cleaner house. To say I have a strong bloodline of fastidious women is an understatement. As much as it occasionally drove me nuts that everything had its place in my house as a kid, I have recreated a version of that in my own home. Again, in my home it is just a mirage as behind the cupboard door is probably the best metaphor of who I am. The facade may be neat and tidy but the inside is a mess. The facade provides a false sense of order and control. Scary revelation considering the truth is that, metaphorically, a clean floor represents me. (Too deep for today? I had two cups of coffee so I am on a roll).

I’d like to think I am not alone in seeking a sense of order and control in my life by creating a space where cleanliness and organization rank so high on my priorities. While, with most character traits, there are strengths to be found. However, my realization that I am a mess on the inside is where the true project lies. How can I organize my insides? Time to go vacuum shopping.


Posted in ,



  1. Jennifer on October 3, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Nice post Erin and so true. A dirty floor drives me nuts too and hence how I ended up getting a roomba to help me keep up with the dog hair.

    • Erin on October 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      Oh, a Roomba. That might make my Christmas list, Jen. But, what would I do with all my nervous energy then?

  2. Mollie on October 7, 2015 at 10:58 am

    It is in the loss of control that we control what we can. Hair, diet, cleanliness…

    • Erin on October 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      So very true!

  3. Lois -- Amy's mother-in-law on October 13, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Love reading your blogs, Erin. It’s hard to change who we are — I wish I didn’t care so much about dirt! I know people are more important!

    • Amy on October 15, 2015 at 2:20 am

      It’s ok to care about people and dirt!:-)

    • Erin on October 16, 2015 at 12:30 am

      Me, too, Lois!!! Hugs to you.

Leave a Comment