We're moving down the street! Someone in our ward called us this weekend and asked if we wanted to rent their home. She said, "I noticed that you haven't destroyed your current rental," which everyone knows is code for "You're not slobs." How flattering. She must have visited our house on a good day.

You know how most people worry that their underwear won't be clean if they accidentally ended up in the hospital? I worry that I will be in an accident, and someone will see our messy house. I thought about it non-stop after visiting Alchoholly's house when she unexpectedly ended up in the psych ward and she was somewhat clean. A mess always looks different to the one not living in it.

Despite still feeling messy and unorganized, I have come a long way as far as cleanliness is concerned. I'm sure that any of my pre-mission roommates would agree that I was very messy.

Alpine Ridge at NAU
Flagstaff, Arizona 1996

This is a picture of the front room of my first apartment in college. What you can't see is the dead fish hanging from the ceiling fan! Those cardboard cutouts in the front window are Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt (why?.... just because). At this point all of our beds were in the front room and we had a back bedroom devoted just to laundry. In that room all of the roommates laundry was mixed up together and separated into piles: Clean, Dirty, and the Point of No Return. I'm sure my memory has blocked out the worst of it.

A few months after this apartment, some roommate drama, and a doublewide trailer later, I moved into a small one bedroom apartment that I shared with just one of my roommates from the previous apartment. Of course, we immediately established the same laundry system as before (all over the floor in piles). Since this was an older apartment, we clogged the kitchen drain. Instead of unclogging it, we started using the bathroom sink. When that clogged, we did our dishes in the bathtub. That is - when we did our dishes. We used these cheap plastic forks and knives that should have been thrown away after 3 or 4 uses. Instead, when they would break on us, we would continue to use them. I specifically remember trying to eat ice cream with a 2 inch plastic handle from a broken spoon. The low point of this semester came when a friend's little sister asked us if she could clean our house for her Laurel project. We weren't offended that she asked.

I took a semester off, supposedly matured, and moved in with 5 other girls.... nope, still slobby.

Except living with 5 other girls, there are bound to be some clean freaks, which was good for me. I was that roommate, you know the one who would get notes on the refrigerator like, "Clean out your nasty crockpot or die." In this lovely picture, I clogged up the sink by shoving all my potato and carrot peelings down the drain and my roommates made me clean it out. It's hard to be 20, I tell you... especially when you want so badly to exert your independence by being a total slob and other people are holding you accountable for your messiness.

Cleaning out the Garbage Disposal
Flagstaff, Arizona 1998

Now, here's the part in the post when I'm supposed to show you a picture of my sparkling clean home and say how grateful I am for the lessons I learned in college.

My Beautiful and Clean House

Yeah right.

I have a messy refrigerator, there are toys everywhere, folded laundry still not put away, and a floor that desperately needs to be mopped. The difference between then and now is that I actually am embarrassed when someone sees it this way, as opposed to thinking it was totally awesome when I was 20.

Sometimes it really is good to grow up.


  1. At least your laundry is folded. My clean laundry has been sitting in the basket for three days. Oh well, we all have our weaknesses... But yes, I do feel extremely embarrassed when I'm caught with a messy house!

  2. This is one of your better posts! Great writing and story line. I want to use it as an example in my class on lifestory writing. Thanks!

  3. Your house looks lovely - just like mine!! :) Good Luck with the move.

  4. Seriously....
    Where do you get these things????
    I'm reading and looking at the picture and then it hits me! That was my living room!!! The only thing I recognized was the creepy cardboard cutouts that we snagged from video city that freaked me out everytime I walked by them!
    Incredible that you even have a picture. I ask again...where do you come up with this? :)

    I don't claim anything else..just the cutouts...the messiness I have no recollection of...but the spoon does jog a memory. All I can remember is the Joe B. paper morning.

    AND...I have the same wall color as your "new" house...does that count?

  5. I just love LOOKING at the picture of your "new" house. You're moving!?! What? I need to call to get details...

  6. I always think it would be fun if friends moved next door or close by, and then I realize that it would be way to easy for them to see my nearly always messy house and my in my PJs at noon. Yikes.

    You don't really seem like an award collecting person, but since I do frequent your blog multiple times daily and you crack me up on a fairly regular basis, I gave you an award. You can check it out at my blog.

  7. yeah, so are you moving or not? Anyway where have you been hiding those pictures? I've never seen those before... and REALLY... that is disgusting!! I guess you save money on cleaning supplies by not cleaning your house much, and we all know you are into saving money.

  8. Oh man - we're moving this month too (but haven't started packing or anything yet) and our landlord brought SIX separate parties over at the same time to look at it w/o any prior warning (he called Zack who was in school). My house was beyond disaster and I have not been so embarassed in a long long time.



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