I remarked on Mindy‘s blog yesterday that I was good at tidy but bad at clean. In my house, things are often where they’re supposed to be, but there tends to be dust and cat hair. In contrast to a friend’s house which is cluttered toy chaos, but everything from the bathroom fixtures to the baseboards are sanitized. The reason that it happens this way in my house is because I can’t think in clutter. I can’t. I become a dysfunctional single-celled distraction organism. Grime? I so thoroughly don’t care. (Ok, I will care eventually but it takes more than lime scale on the shower door to reduce me to a fidgeting babbler over my email.) I am content to be a mediocre Martha when it comes to clean as long as the clutter levels stay below neuro-disruptive levels.
As a service to my readers who may find themselves confused to the particular distinctions of tidy versus clean for various household circumstances, I offer the following:
Clean: Dressing the children in freshly laundered, pressed clothing.
Tidy: Knowing where the children are.
Clean: Groomed, brushed cats with trimmed claws.
Tidy: Cats with some fur and claws shorter than an average prison shank.
Clean: A bathroom with gleaming, disinfected surfaces and clean towels.
Tidy: A bathroom where the bacterial colonies have not yet unionized.
Clean: Kitchens with wiped counters and grease-free appliances.
Tidy: Kitchens without yellow crime-scene tape or obvious smoke damage.
Clean: Streak and spot free windows.
Tidy: Windows that are glass and not plywood.
Clean: Vacuumed, stain-free carpet.
Tidy: Carpet that started out brown.
Clean: Floors that gleam and have no crumbs.
Tidy: Floors that let you have your foot back after you have stepped on them.
Clean: A desk with organizers for bills, correspondence and office supplies.
Tidy: Remembering that you have a desk.
Clean: Furniture and bookshelves that are free of dust.
Tidy: Furniture and bookshelves with dust that does not warrant a chisel.
It really all comes down to standards.
Mine are just broader than most.
Broad in the way that First Amendment protection is interpreted broad.
Perhaps next I should write my own personal Constitution. I feel that some of those amendments need special re-writing to meet my specific domestic needs.