I appear to be nesting.
It is a curious instinct, especially for someone like me who subscribes to the idea of a “clean enough house” and to the philosophy of “the least amount of effort for the most impact”. For example we very rarely iron anything. Instead we do what we call the “hot and fold”: we put the clothes in the dryer and fold them the second they come out. That way only my husband’s shirts and work trousers need an iron, and he takes care of that himself.
Sure, sometimes this means I dry the same load more than once, in much the same way as I (ahem) occasionally re-run the washing machine with a bit of extra softener. But the bottom line is the laundry gets washed, folded and (nearly always) put away… eventually.
Don’t get me wrong, I DO clean. I just don’t clean obsessively. Or with any enthusiasm at all. In fact I find it useful to invite at least one person round for a coffee each week to give me a hook around which I loosely hang my efforts. Even then, there’ll be something astray… a basket of washing, the dishes stacked waiting for me to empty the dishwasher, piles of crap on the bottom step waiting to be taken up to various bedrooms. But living is a fun AND messy thing and too much cleaning and tidying can get in the way.
And yet here I am in an immaculate kitchen. The dirty washing basket is completely empty (the last load currently undergoing the “hot” part of the “hot and fold”). The spare room is ready for my mum a full five days in advance of her arrival. The tupperware drawer has been sorted out. The shoes are organised on the shoe rack under the stairs. My son’s craft box has been overhauled (he has a craft box? Who knew?). I've even gaffer-taped one of his jigsaw boxes as it was splitting a little. And from where I’m sitting I can see that one of the doors on the dresser is open… it is really bugging me.
I should probably take a picture. We don’t plan on having any more children so I imagine that this is the cleanest this house will ever, ever be. In a matter of days the nesting urge will leave me for good and the catastrophically messy business of looking after a toddler and a newborn will begin. So to those of my friends who enjoy a really really clean house, now’s the time to visit, because after next week, well frankly anything goes round here!