I’ve never liked cleaning. I probably should have let my husband know that before we got married. “Woman Seeking Position as Wife: Housekeeping Skills—Poor. Cooking Skills—Good. Snuggling Skills—Excellent. Wages—Negotiable.”

I may not like to clean, but I definitely don’t like to live in squalor, either. There’s a point where I look around and think, OK, time to put away this laundry before I get featured on an episode of “Hoarders: Buried Alive. But keeping a perfectly clean home is not number one on my list of priorities. After all, it isn’t just a house that we live in, it’s our home. We walk through it with wet shoes and muddy paws. We cook meals in it. We shower, brush our teeth, get dressed, and sleep in our home. Our house isn’t a pristine museum that you take tours through. Our house is a community, and communities tend to be a little messy.

I know my poor cleaning skills have driven people in my life crazy. There came a point during my childhood when my mom, tired of cleaning my room for me, finally said if she didn’t need to go in my bedroom then she didn’t care what it looked like. My husband and I have had more than one spat about the cleanliness of our home, and I have definitely made an effort to try to keep it more tidy and give it a good deep clean once a week.

I’m super thankful for the larger house that we recently moved into. Our last house was roughly the size of a Cracker Jack box, and even though it only took 30 minutes to clean, all of our belongings made it feel a bit crowded. Any time there were more than a few dishes on the counter or a few stray items that needed to be put away it looked like a disaster, and there’s only so many junk drawers that you can cram stuff into. Now, with a basement, three bedrooms, and a couple of closets, all of our belongings have a place to go and there are a multitude of places to put things when unexpected company comes over.

Needless to say, I’ve always been a bit envious of people whose houses are always squeaky clean. How do they have time to dust every day? Do they have helpful woodland critters that come when they whistle like Snow White? If so, I’d really like to know so I can put some of the local squirrels and raccoons to work.

In the end, I would so much rather invest my time in things that hold more value to me. I would rather cozy up on the couch than use those moments worrying about the fact that there’s a few muddy paw prints on the floor or a couple of dishes that need washing. My house isn’t immaculate, and I don’t care, because it’s our home.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Brenna Brimer

Brenna Brimer is an artist, writer, and wife living in southeastern Nebraska with her husband, Dalton, and "fur child", Gypsy. Now 22, Brenna enjoys sharing her experiences of being married at 19 and moving 400 miles away from home and hopes to encourage other young wives through her writing.