Reality Check: The Messy House Tour

I’m pausing the DIYs and thrifty tips today because I think the time has come…

…for a real talk.

It’s one of those I-love-you-so-I-must-tell-you-the-truth kind of talks.

In the past couple of months, I’ve gotten emails from moms, much like me, who ask, “How do you keep your house so clean and pretty with a three year-old running around?” And then I laugh and laugh and laugh until I’m blue in the face.

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

Okay, not really but I do get a good chuckle out of it and set them straight.

I don’t show the mess much because let’s face it…you’d probably stop reading this blog if our typical chaos was in every single post, right?

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

My pastor Steven Furtick has this saying, “The reason we struggle with insecurities is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

If you’re an avid DIY/home decor blog lover, you need to know this. We all have the mess behind the camera lens. Maybe some are better at hiding their crazy than others, but it’s there.

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

Don’t for a second look around your home that is in dissarray and compare it to the perfect homes you see on Pinterest. They’re. not. reality.

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

Pretty much 70-80% of the time our house is not camera-ready. And I’m glad it’s not! How annoying would it be to constantly worry about every single crumb on the floor?

Don’t get me wrong; we do clean. I promise, we’re not animals. But ya know…we take the phrase “make yourself at home” quite literally around here.

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

For goodness sake, live in your house. You’re allowed. Make messes, have adventures, wait until tomorrow morning to tackle the dishes in the sink because you deserve a relaxing movie night with your family. And don’t you dare feel guilty about it.

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

You. are. enough. And I mean that in everything, not just the house stuff. If I had to choose between a clean, beautifully put together home or one that had love and laughter, I’d pick the love and laughter every time. And well…love is messy in so many ways.

Reality Check: The Messy House Tour |

If you’re wondering if I’ll ever get to the point of explaining some of the things happening in these room shots, here’s what you might have noticed:

  • About our dining room– Yep, it’s getting a mini makeover. We sold the buffet table because it was so ginormous, and I found a replacement French Provincial china cabinet at a flea market that is in the middle of a makeover. More on that later.
  • Our playroom– It’s probably dead last on the list of room makeovers just because our daughter can make a mess in here and we don’t bat an eye. We do clean it, but it doesn’t stay that way for very long. A playroom makeover is definitely a 2016 goal. I’m ready to donate all of the madness!
  • The living room– Olivia’s idea of play is just opening the coffee table top and throwing her toys everywhere. Oh, and then she finds something super exciting like a cardboard box that will entertain her for hours. Makes total sense.
  • The office–  I have some awesome visions to organize this room and do an actual full room design in here. First thing, deal with the craft explosion.
  • The master bedroom–  Confession time: I realized after uploading that photo that my baby blanket is crumpled up right in the middle of the bed. Don’t judge me. πŸ˜‰

So now the question is… are you going to be thinking about all of the craziness that might be lurking behind the camera lens in my next makeover posts? Just pretend you never saw this and embrace reality. Life’s too short to have a spotless house all the time.



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  1. This post is fabulous Lauren. I love your blog and have been following for a while. I don’t usually comment (and I really should because I love every post you publish) but this post just makes me happy because it’s REAL! Too many bloggers try to portray the perfect home and life and though, yes, house and lifestyle blogs should look pretty some people still forget that behind the scened it’s not like this. No one keeps an immaculate home unless they have a full time maid or are obsessive about cleaning in a bad way. Loved this post SO much. Thank you! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Maria! You completely made my day. πŸ™‚ I totally agree. Immaculate is impossible. In my world at least that’s the case.

  2. Best blog post I’ve read today! Excellent advice, especially for bloggers who are being overrun with all the fall home tours, now we’re into Christmas tours soon….breathe people! Right?

  3. Thanks for being so open and honest and reminding us to not only live in our homes, but not compare our home to others, especially the ones that are always “magazine worthy”! I LOVE the hutch that you bought for the dining room and can’t wait to see what you have planned for it!
    Enjoy the weekend,

    1. Thanks, Lanita! It’s refreshing to highlight the not-so-perfect reality sometimes. Messy homes are more beautiful than we give them credit for. πŸ™‚

  4. I love that description of your daughter’s play habits…throwing the toys everywhere then actually playing with a cardboard box instead. That made me laugh! My 13-year-old son does the very same thing. Currently, every stuffed animal, fake brick, and small toy he owns are scattered in the hallway upstairs, but we’ve spent most of the week making things out of cardboard boxes.

    1. Haha! It’s so true, isn’t it?! In all fairness though, I remember loving cardboard boxes too. I built many a playhouses in them. πŸ™‚ DIY starts early, I guess.

  5. You know, I never would have noticed the baby blanket (or known it was yours) if you hadn’t mentioned it. Now I’m cracking up!
    I think your house doesn’t even look half bad when it’s messy, because you have so much beautiful furniture and decor.

    1. Haha! I mean…might as well embrace it since it’s right there for the world to see. Thank you so much, Heather. You’re so sweet.

  6. Thank you so much for keeping it real. It’s difficult to keep everything clutter free at all times. I don’t even have children, just the fur kind. It means a lot to know that I’m not alone in the battle.

    1. Hey the furry children are messy little boogers too! I know mine is. πŸ˜‰ Every time I make the bed, she climbs right up and sits on all of the pillows and burrows under the covers. Can’t win.

  7. Lauren, first of all, I love following your blog, you are amazing and talented! I noticed in one of your pictures above that it looks like you’re refinishing a hutch. I have one that was my mothers that I want to refinish, but it has a veneer finish and I don’t know how to go about ‘painting’ it!! Does the hutch your’re doing have a veneer finish or do you have any suggestions that would help me know how to successfully redo my mom’s hutch?

    1. Thank you, Kristie! You’ll be seeing more about that hutch next week, but I’m currently in the middle painting it. I wiped it down with liquid deglosser to get rid of any wood oil or residue that might be on it. It helps a LOT because the few little spots I missed with the deglosser didn’t work so well with the paint so it’s definitely key. After the deglosser, I used Fusion Mineral Paint. Works like a charm, veneer and all. πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you! I can’t wait to see your hutch finished!! My mom died 4 years ago and I got her hutch, it’s so dark you can’t really see the dishes inside, so I want to lighten it up and make it my own ya know?

  8. Thank you so much for the reminder. I’ve been in a tizzy lately trying to do some redecorating, getting rid of so much stuff, (just ordered “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,”…can’t wait). It seems like I am constantly struggling and I don’t have any children at home anymore. I am overwhelmed some days!!! lol!! I just rented a storage building to take all of my unwanted items to and it’s in a location where they have weekend flea markets so I can set up my tables in my little building and sell from there and then close up when I want and everything stays nicely arranged until the next time. Hopefully, I can get my little home back in order and at least have the normal clutter occasionally instead of mounds of plastic totes with stuff I am trying to rid myself of. After a divorce and moving from a 2500 sq. ft. home to a 1000 sq. ft. home, well, needless to say, it’s been rough. Thank you again, for letting us know it’s not always picture perfect for everyone. I love your blog, it’s my favorite and I love your home!!!

    1. That’s perfect! And so true. I saw a sign once that said, “Pardon the mess. Our children are making memories.”

  9. You are such a blessing! Thank you for being so real….and my preacher says almost the exact same thing. <3

  10. You grew up with this poem on the wall in our house for a while, whether or not you remember it. I looked it up on the internet but still don’t know who wrote it. I guess this is where you got your philosophy and that’s not a bad thing. Enjoy! Love you

    Excuse This House

    Some houses try to hide the fact
    That children shelter there.
    Ours boasts of it quite openly,
    The signs are every where.

    For smears are on the windows,
    Little smudges on the doors;
    I should apologize I guess
    For toys strewn on the floor.

    But I sat down with the children
    And we played and laughed and read,
    And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
    Their eyes will shine instead.

    For when at times I’m forced to
    Choose the one job or the other,
    I want to be a housewife . . .
    But first I’ll be a mother.

  11. THANK YOU for showing this!! We all need to know that even the pro’s only show you what you want to see. (I can’t count how many recipes I’ve shot and thought “just don’t look 6″ to the left!”)

    We’ve all got messes and it’s okay! πŸ™‚

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