How a Messy House is Good for Your Kids

(Inside: When you’re parenting, what is a messy house a sign of? Is a messy house normal? Your disheveled home tells an encouraging story. Read on…)

A clean house makes me feel like a good mom.

If my house is under control, then I feel like I have my life and motherhood under control…even if reality reveals otherwise. I love the idea of maintaining a catalog-perfect home where if a pillow is moved off the couch it is put back with the utmost care by the offender. Dreamy, right?

But there will be plenty of time to shoot for an all-the-time-tidy home when these kids are gone; because, right now…

A messy house also makes me feel like a good mom. Because the mess tells a story…

messy house
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The stray Cheerios and tiny drops of spilled milk from my kids pouring their own bowls of cereal speak of my children learning to be independent. The fort my boys spent hours on (especially the inside) shows they are developing their creativity. 

The mess from my children bouncing around the house in play is evidence that my sons are bending, jumping, and moving; their bodies are growing stronger.

The toys, play dough, Legos, and games remind me that my kids are building important fine motor skills, comprehension, and understanding.

As they strategically booby-trap our home with Spy Gear, they develop problem-solving and reasoning skills. And in it all, they grow their social skills.

The crumbled lime green curtain on the ground behind me that you cannot see in this photo – well, I am actually not sure of the benefit of pulling down curtains… But the rest of the disarray reminds me that as my children create and imagine, they also learn. Karin Bilich from Parents Magazine explains in her article The Importance of Play

“Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength,” according to the AAP report. It allows children to explore the world, practice adult roles, and gain confidence. And it improves children’s social skills as well, by helping them to “learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, and to learn self-advocacy skills.”

The mess declares that our home is alive with learning and growing. It tells the story of an education that happens informally in a place where kids can be kids.

So even though I like clean, I like messy too.

Fellow momma, grab your cup of coffee and settle comfortably in the mess. And if the mess starts bothering you – like it can me – just remember…

If we didn’t let them make a mess, how would we ever teach them to clean up after themselves? 

My kids are older than when I wrote this article, and my family uses this monthly cleaning list. It works!

A messy house is sometimes required when you entertain tweens and teens. For more ideas read more in the “Entertaining Tweens and Teens” series.

The other day, I saw of picture of when my kids were little (like when I wrote this post), and I thought I so deeply want to go back to this season of life. I miss it.

But just as quickly as that thought came, another thought followed Someday, I will see pictures of my current parenting phase (raising tweens and teens) and wish to come back to today. 

So, I want to do my best to enjoy this season of life. These ideas on how to connect with and entertain tweens and teens can help…


Entertaining Tweens and Teens Series

How a Messy House is Good for Your Kids

85+ Kids Activities That Promote Creativity

146+ Best Chapter Books for Tweens that will Also Build Character
Compelling Books That High Schoolers Will Want to Read

Home Exercises for Your Teens & the Whole Family (Feel Healthy & Happy)

messy house

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens.

Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?” 

You are raising tweens and teens and college-age kids – the unique parenting phase where everything gets easier…and harder.

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messy house
messy house