old country house blog

What is TIDY anyway?

…sometimes when I look at the TIDY homes in magazines
 On TV …and even…
on Blogs…I have to laugh. 
Especially at the pristine Nurseries and Kitchens.
 All devoid of the one thing that makes a room – well – a room,
 and that would be…duh,
 ~Wheres the baby? 
and the diapers 
and the toys 
and the mess?
…where are all of the dishes and the food?

I adore this kitchen and I bet I would even love it with a sink full of dishes!

I wonder how legos would look here!

Legos always sneak downstairs…in our house!

    I  have  managed to have my OLD COUNTRY HOUSE spotless, 

perhaps only 3 times in the 
7 years we have lived there
…and the moment my people,
 3 kids, 3 dogs, 3 cats and  one husband and me…
enter the Perfect Picture, everything goes out the window. 
Or rather onto the floor, or the back of the sofa or under the table.
 It is I suppose an inevitability… but it bothers and frustrates me all the same. WHY can we NOT keep it picked up?

     Over my years as a homeowner and especially , a MOM, I have found there to be some decorating choices which serve to help offset this inevitability,
 this fact that we are at our cores – like my Mom used to say, 
“plain old slobs”. 
Here are some of our TOOLS, perhaps 
weapons in our WAR against 
living like pigs”.
 Again, my Mom’s words.

1. The 5 B’s -Baskets and Buckets, Boxes and Bins and  
even Bulliten boards!

our laundry room
 a few years ago, I made over 200 of these and sold them!

 I cannot have enough Baskets, I have them 
everywhere and for Everything, mail, shoes, towels.On the floor on the countertops.


Country Living Magazine
unexpected storage receptacles are a
welcome departure from the usual bins and buckets.

source – I love these buckets!

2. Rubbermaid type Bins with lids, for storage, packed and hidden away, under beds, behind sofas, in cabinets..where toys and clothing and linens and whatever can be rotated in and out….However, do NOT leave the bins out. I am sorry to offend, but nothing grosses me out more that big rubbermaid bins, stacked next to the wingback. I think I might actually even prefer those things on the floor! 

3. Regular purging – clean out toys and clothes regularly, rotate in and out, get rid of stuff, “one in and one out” as my Mom used to do.

4. Toys stay in bedrooms. When my youngest was about 7 or 8, we made that rule. talk about making a difference!

5. MUDROOM! My Old Country House does not have a mudroom, but we have the ingredients for one, and you can too : lots of hooks, a bench to sit on and to set things on, and storage baskets underneath for rotating out seasonal items, scarves and hats in the winter, goggles, towels and sunscreen in the summer. and each child has one for their sporting items.

my dream mudroom,
I cannot find the source,
 but I do remember that this was built during a renovation.
 I think it is the BOMB!
6. Limit accessories over the years, I have eliminated any room accessories that are purely decorational. anything that sits out needs to have a purpose, and if it’s purpose is storage…better yet!


….here are a few more unique clutter busters that I have stumbled on recently…



Southern Living from the home of Christy Ford,
one of the Owners of
“And George”

Southern Living Mag
 The message board behind the adorable girls
 is by me!

So I think it is safe to say that “TIDY” is a relative term. 
A REAL home is a bit messy, even when it is clean, 
but there are ways to offset the mess…even a little…
having all of these handy dandy receptacles easily accessible for quick storage allows us to remain the slobs we are, 
and then we can easily blitz the place when people come over, 
stashing things here and there.
and no one is the wiser…

2 thoughts on “What is TIDY anyway?

  1. Love your pictures, and ideas! I found lots of grace in your words, as I am tackling “keeping up” with my 4 children, dog, cat, bird:) and hubby. Thanks for the early morning inspiration! Do you still make the message boards? I REALLY would love 2 for my girl’s room if you do!!!

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