Am I a Hoarder or Do I Just Hate Housework? You Decide.

My friend has a beautiful home. The kitchen is always clean and tidy even when she has been baking, each of her rooms are calmly uncluttered and I don't think I've ever seen a toy on the floor unless a child has been actively playing with it. I hate her a little bit.

She works full time and has children- OK not as many children as me but still. You'd never find abandoned crisp packets and popcorn boxes on her floor, water bottles, empty cups, game console controllers and battery packets for said controllers on her coffee tables, piles of laundry on chairs or granules of sugar littering the dining table.

untidy house

She must have acres of storage that I can't see, or maybe she is just brutal at getting rid of "stuff". That's half my problem you see. Not only am I stupidly busy every single day of the week, but I am a total hoarder too.

My Great Aunt was a hoarder. When she died we found clothes and beauty products dating back to the 1920's. Some people tutted - I just marvelled at the beauty of things she obviously also thought were simply too lovely to throw away.

So that explains some of my mess. Treasures the kids have made, found, bought or drawn. You can't throw memories away can you?

fridge art

Other things I keep-odd bits of plastic or metal I'm not sure about but I might remember where it came from eventually. Spare keys from goodness knows which doors, probably long gone cars. Blogger goody bag bits and pieces which might "come in handy" one day.

Things that might come in handy play in a big part in my hoarding. We've always had a tight budget so I almost never turn down offers of clothes or toys or shoes or bikes which might save us having to spend out in the future.

The trouble is finding space to store it, and remembering we have it when one child needs football boots and the other has outgrown school trousers.

I'll admit that upstairs does get so messy sometimes it's probably worthy of a Channel 4 documentary but I'll admit I actually feel physically ill at the thought of throwing out items which I might live to regret losing. Yes I'm aware that the prospect of a panic attack at throwing away someone else old trainers might sound bonkers but it is what it is.

Now, downstairs is slightly better, particularly during term time when I'm more organised. But in holiday time it can get ever more untidy until I reach breaking point and start screeching like a fishwife at the child who I spot walking out of the room without taking their mug with them, or the one who keeps leaving half a tin of beans on the worktop. You know who you are.

This screeching and stamping sometimes spurs my family on to help me tidy up whilst simultaneously eyeing me cautiously like I'm one of those scary Raptor dinosaurs who rampage round the kitchen in Jurassic Park.

Their cooperation doesn't last long though and next day I'll come down to find cereal boxes strewn, sugar all over the table and yet another half eaten can of bloody beans on the worktop.

Into the sitting room - a tin of chocolates containing no goodies but stuffed with empty wrappers, three different remote controls inches from the container I bought to keep them neatly in and a set of VR goggles. I'm not even going to ask.

untidy home

Trouble is, I don't blame them really. I hate housework too. I don't mind cleaning but generally trick myself into doing it by inviting people round then doing a massive and speedy panic clean. If you come round, don't open the oven door for goodness sake. Apart from ten new species thriving and fighting to evolve into the next dominant race on earth, you may find tea towels, dirty pans and one of the cats.

My husband is a much more efficient cleaner than me and I have lost count of the times he has saved the day by actually taking over and just getting on with it.

The trouble is you see, whether I am a hoarder or just a bad housewife it all comes down to my priorities. I honestly think there is more to life than a tidy house (no, I don't want another mug that states this!) and will drop the hoover in a heartbeat at the prospect of a cuppa, some cake or just a good chat.

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