Neat & Tidy with a side of butter

I have two of my nieces (my Brother’s girls) staying with me this week. That brings the total of FOUR girls in our house this week – aged 7,6,5 and (almost) 4. With myself, Rosie the guinea pig and Snowy and Strawberry the chooks, that makes 8 ladies. Poor Rob.

Last night before bed, Mia, the 7-year-old FOLDED her clothes from the day and lay them at the foot of her bed. She quickly became my favourite, and I told her as such, but I marvelled at the precision and made a little wish that my girls follow suit. I very much doubt it.


When I was a little girl, I was a little the same. I made my bed like it was nobodies business each day. I always had a little plant in my room – like an African Violet or some indoor number. Everything had a place, and there was a place for everything. Sure, I made a mess too, but I always made sure that things were just so before I went to bed at night. I do believe I also over cushioned my bed back then too. And you can bet there were some fake gerbera’s placed in vases as well – because it had to LOOK NICE. Beginning of School term was especially exciting for me: shoes shined, bag packed, uniform out. Good. To. Go.

This morning I made the girls breakfast and Mia informed me “you make raisin toast just like Dad. With LOTS of butter. I like it.” I laughed and sent a message to my brother who told me that a love of butter is in our DNA. Maybe it was just because that’s the way that our Mum did it.

How much do you think of our behaviour is conditioned? Or is it just IN us?
Were you neat and tidy? Or a bit messy and disorganised?
Is it still the case today?


  1. I reckon it is totally in the DNA or passed on possibly as I am just like my Mum, an OCD nutter where everything has a place and has to look nice. We can’t leave the house messy and I of course am passing this on as I make the kids clean up certain areas before we leave the house.

    I as a child left a trail of clothes to mark where I had been and so does Kitty.. I will give myself until she is a teenager to talk her around to folding like a shop assistant and having a highly organised cupboard obsession

  2. I was a total pig when I was younger. My room was always horrendous, never made my bed and my mum was always closing my door because of the floordrobe situation going on. However I’m the total opposite now. As soon as I moved into my own place that sense of pride kicked in and now I’m SO house proud. So much so that I tidy the place each morning before I leave for work.

  3. Both my parents are a little more than OCD neat freaks. Dad washes and irons his sheets…every second day!!! I am more like them than I care to admit. But both older and younger sister are happy to live amongst the dust bunnies and mess.

  4. I remember loosing my shit at my older sister on more than one occasion because she’d leave little pieces of scribbled on paper all over our bedroom floor. I was a neat freak with a colour coded wardrobe who folded her undies. I’m still a neat freak and she still scribbles on paper except now she’s a journalist. Funny how we end up being a version of our younger selfs…
    Enjoy your girly week xx

  5. Oh my heart! What a beautiful post.

    I was messy, Beth. So uncontrollable, unruly, undesirably messy. Chaotic. Still am, really. But motherhood makes you tighten up in a lot of ways, to be organised. I wish I was tidy like you!

  6. Lisa Mckenzie says

    How lovely Mia sounds like a perfect child ,I think a lot of our behaviour is just IN us but also when we get our own house it becomes more important to keep it looking neat and tidy.I had plants in my room as a child too!Enjoy having 4 daughters Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I think some of it is definitely in the DNA. My mum is a clean freak and so am I. Now my five year old cleans up all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. wow… what a tidy little girl you were! Always forever messy here, even when ‘tidy’:) x

  9. MotherDownUnder says

    I cannot stand to leave the house with the bed not made…this becomes an issue as some days I leave the house before my husband is out of bed!
    I went to boarding school which I think only served to enhance my OCD…I had a little space that was all mine and it was going to be clean and tidy and look good! I have actually relaxed a fair bit in my old age…but yes, tidy is definitely my normal modus operandi. Tidy and heavy on the butter!

  10. I am such a messy person – I didn’t get the neat genes from my parents (who are Crazy neat). I did get a love of all types of food from both of my parents – thankful I didn’t inherit the bland English palate. Phew!

    God I could go some buttery raisin toast right now.

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