10 Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Tidy my HouseMarch 2, 2011
This blog post is dedicated to the ardent denialists of the Local Schools Network.
Looking around my house, I really think it is a mess. I haven’t vacuumed upstairs for months. There are bags of worksheets I intended to file just left on the floor in the spare room. Letters from the NUT and the GTC sit unopened on my doormat. In the kitchen there is washing up waiting to be done and let’s not even mention the state of the bathroom.
Looking around the education system I really think it is broken. Behaviour is out of control. Academic aspirations are sidelined. Managers actively obstruct effective teaching. Now, plenty of people have told me that I am wrong about this. Perhaps I should consider the possibility that I am also wrong about the state of my house. Perhaps there are good reasons to think I don’t need to tidy up.
1) As an anonymous blogger I cannot be believed when I say my house is a mess. If it was true that my house was a mess I would be willing to say who I am and where my house is.
2) Wanting a tidy house is an unrealistic aspiration. It might seem plausible to the privileged middle classes but it is not actually practical to tidy it.
3) There hasn’t been any peer reviewed academic research that says my house needs tidying and anecdotal evidence is worthless and should be ignored.
4) There is nothing new about people saying my house needs tidying. People have been saying it for years. In fact a recently discovered, but unverified, quotation from Socrates says “Andrew’s house really is a mess. That lazy bastard should just tidy up”. This proves that fear about the tidiness of my house is a moral panic started by the Daily Mail and not a real problem.
5) Just because I am experiencing a mess where I am now, it doesn’t mean the whole of the house is messy. I have probably just tipped the bin over on the floor in front of me, and rather than taking responsibility for my own actions I am simple seeking to make out that it is a more general problem.
6) Other people have visited my house in the last few years and many of them have said it isn’t messy. This is particularly true of people who gave me advance notice and who didn’t go upstairs (or use the bathroom).
7) I am obviously writing with a particular ideological agenda. If I wasn’t biased by ideology then I would see that my house is actually still clean and tidy.
8) Moaning about how messy my house is won’t solve anything. It is just negativity, and my negativity is probably what causes any mess that I observe.
9) I may have experienced tidy houses when I was growing up but this was in an outdated world. Technology and social change have changed the meaning of “tidying” and will continue to change it for years to come and I simply need to adjust to progress and abandoned archaic nineteenth century notions like being able to see the carpet.
10) A house where you know where everything is, and where everything is clean, is a form of totalitarianism. I need to allow the dirt and clutter to clear itself up and stop being so intolerant of differences between where everything is and where I want it to be.