For those who don't have 'icky' houses

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7September 14, 2007

I feel a little defensive right now, mainly because I cannnot live in any kind of disorder or lack of beauty. I have always been this way. I would stay up all night if I had to and tidy things up. Maybe I wouldn't clean! but I would straighten and wipe things down. I have stayed up to the wee hours organizing my closet.

It just does something to my psyche to have to look at mess. I must have something harmonious to focus on at all times.

It's not about money either, when I made minimum wage I had to scrounge more and pick a lot of wildflowers but I still had beauty and order.

It's not about decorating or being organized although they tend to follow beauty. And I am DEFINITLEY not saying that anyone who has a messy, disorganized or unfinished house is lacking anything.

I've been snidely called Martha for the last ten years by nearly everyone who comes over.

Anyone else similar?

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Yup. I even dressed up as Martha one Halloween because all my co-workers gave me that nickname. And thank goodness it was not done with rancor, but with care. And I agee that it has nothing to do with $$$, or lack thereof ;o) I tend to be very organized, clean, and neat, almost to a fault. But that's how I work best. I'm not comfortable working or living in chaos. I feel better when there's order around me. Not that I can't deal with disorganization, but I would rather it be the exception and not the rule.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 1:20PM
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I'm the same way about my surroundings...but I've never stayed up late/all night cleaning or organizing. Growing up my room was neat. My first apartment was neat. When I had kids there were toys but they can be picked up during/at the end of the day.

In our last home, friends would say "well, I can't have you over to my house!" because they thought I would think 'tsk, tks' at their lack of organization - which is far from the truth. As long as a house isn't gross nasty and I don't have to live there, I don't care. It's not my house!

Having your surroundings neat and organized does not mean your life lacks fulfillment, as posted in the other "icky" thread. To me, that's the same as telling someone who is not married or does not have children their life could not be fulfilled.

For some, it might be a control thing - they can't control other aspects of their life but they can control the cleanliness of their home.

I always say it's an illusion because, even on vacuuming days, you could take out a flashlight after dark and see dog/cat hair and dirt/dust that you don't see at night.

I've never been called Martha, but one of my best friends can look at anything and find out an inexpensive way to make /do it herself. We always say "Kim could do/make that."

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 1:21PM
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Multi tasking again.

Should have read "see dog/cat hair and dirt/dust you don't see during the day."

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 1:32PM
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I feel the same way about my surroundings as the first posters. Personally I feel at peace and organized when I have things the way I want them. It frees me up to be able to leave and come home to order. It doesn't bother me at all to be in someone else's messy or disorganized home, as long as I feel welcome. I don't pass judgement on what people focus on because it all comes down to choice. You should CHOOSE to do with your time what makes you feel comfortable. If an hour long routine has your house looking good all day long - great. If someone chooses to exercise because they feel good doing something healthy for their body - great. If you would rather read a good book than tidy - go for it! Spare time is limited with work, family and other obligations. Use it to YOUR advantage! Your choice - no one elses.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 1:42PM
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I can pretty much ditto Allison's response - except I don't have kids. I do have a pup with toys! LOL

I am organized, not excessively so, but it is how I work best also. In my job, my desk/office will get to a point where I say "THAT'S IT", no matter how busy things are, and straighten up and organize.

My home is *lived in* and you will almost always find magazines, books, dog toys, etc. but it's generally clean and pretty organized. It's just me. Hubby is pretty much the same way (luckily!). Again, to ditto Allison - what someone else does in their house doesn't bother me - what works for me works for me and what works for you, works for you.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 1:43PM
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I am organized, not excessively so, but it is how I work best also. In my job, my desk/office will get to a point where I say "THAT'S IT", no matter how busy things are, and straighten up and organize.

Me in a nutshell. If things are too messy and chaotic around me, I cannot work. This certainly doesn't mean all my drawers are alphabetically organized or anything close to that level, but I enjoy the look of a tidy home environment.

I had my revelation when I got my first apartment on my own. Came home one day from work, dropped my wet raincoat and purse on the floor by the door, headed for the kitchen, then came to a halt as my brain said, "you know, there is no Housekeeping Fairy. No one is going to pick that up unless you do."

Ever since then, I've been tidy. It's just easier for me to put something away now, organize it now, wipe it up now, than to wait and do it later...maybe.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 2:06PM
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I can relate to almost everything you said Alison....thanks.

Having our home neat and clean frees me to go on to do other things. I have a hard time doing creative projects if my house is a mess.....I've been out with a visiting friend every day this week but I have thrown in a load of laundry, ran the vacuum or dusted each day - made sure the dishes were done...only took 30 minutes each morning to make sure that things looked presentable.

When my husband comes home and I return after being gone all day, it is a breath of fresh air to walk into our home and have everything in I said, we find it freeing and relaxing to be neat and organized. Anyone can drop in any time and we are fine with it...but I rarely spend a day cleaning - I get up early and do a few things each day and then I'm off to garden or shop or go out to lunch or off with friends.

Being known for being clean and organized seems to be intimidating to some people I know...I don't mean it to be and I certainly don't pick my friends for how their houses look...I figure if snide remarks come my way or people are uncomfortable with me coming to their homes, that is really their problem and not goes on :-).

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 2:16PM
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I feel like reading this thread gives me a bit of insight into my Mom's thoughts/feelings. Very interesting. I wonder how it is that my sis & bro and I are so different from her? Duh! Dad, the messy pack rat...I blame him! HA!

Now I'm not saying we're as bad as the before homes I see on "clean house" or "neat" but my home is no where near as constantly clean as I'd like it be.

I haven't been back to he icky thread since it first started but I'll go back in to see why your feelin' a little defensive. I admire you guys and hope something will "click" in my head and keep me from giving up around 11-12'sh at night and plopping into bed even if everything is not in it's place, lol!

Nat (who feels she has been in a constant state of "organizing" since around '96 :) )

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 2:16PM
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Oh, gosh, there's nothing wrong with being neat and appreciating beauty!

My house isn't super clean, but it's usually quite tidy and organized. Clutter often makes me feel unsettled and distracted. I can let things get a little messy if I'm working on a project, but I like to straighten up as soon as I can. My husband is even neater than I am. He likes to clean the house and have it in order before we go away on vacation. He just hates coming home to a mess. While we were doing lots of home projects, there were often times he would get overwhelmed with everything topsy turvey. I would try to keep areas not under construction neat so we had clutter-free rooms in which we could relax.

I think being organized and having a place to store things makes it easier to keep a home picked up. If an item has a spot where it belongs, it's a lot harder for me to justify setting something down vs. putting it away when I'm done with it. I'd rather take the extra few steps to put something away right after using it than having the task of putting a bunch of things away later.

I think one of the things that drives me to keep my home to certain levels of tidiness and cleanliness -- and this is not a judgment on anyone else's standards by any means -- is that it reflects the notion I have about taking care of the things I own. I'm sure this goes back to what I was taught as a child, but as an adult there's a very real sense of the time and money I've invested in my home and things. Not that I place a great importance on material possessions, but just that if it's worth owning, it's worth taking care of.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with people living how they prefer. One of my best friends is super creative and bright, yet he is the most disorganized and messy person. I wouldn't want it any other way because it makes him who he is. An interesting point -- he is very much interested in design, but in creating it. He doesn't care about a perfect environment to showcase the things he makes. It's more in the doing for him.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 3:05PM
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I just don't get the morality that's associated with being messy versus neat. It's not quite as set as eye color mind, but it's a trait, not a issue of good or bad.

I dunno.

I would love to be a neatnik. Alas, I am not. ...If only because it would be so easy to find things if I were. : D

Snaps to you hardworking neat-freaks!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 3:13PM
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Chicory - I don't see why morality would be involved at of the messiest and dearest friends I have is a very spiritual and morally upright has nothing to do with the other at least in my mind.

I raised my boys to be neat - and one of them is a total slob in many respects - his apartment is a disaster, his car is a mess...he keeps himself clean and neat and that is a good thing, but it isn't in his make-up to keep a clean living he is getting married in a couple months so that may change - hee hee....not my problem.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 3:21PM
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I didn't have a response for the icky thread but enjoyed reading how everyone is so different. I have to say it is only DH and I so our home is always clean and tidy. We put it away after we are finished with it etc. Anyone can drop in anytime and it always looks good. My SIL was here about a month ago and passed a comment, more like a dig, about how everything was in an EXACT spot. Oh well! To each his own. I don't tidy up before I post pics, but sometimes your room looks different in pics and I can see how this would look better over there.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 3:45PM
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There is something very cathartic about cleaning. I like things clean and orderly. I do not go into a neurotic fit if they are not, but I could not stand (nor could my dh) to have piles around the house, dirty floors etc. Why today I vacuumed above the entertainment center. Not because I can see the dust but because I KNOW IT IS THERE!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:14PM
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The world would be very boring if all people were the same.... that's why we differ from each other in a lot of ways. That's why some of us like to keep their houses clean and neat and some of us don't care. I'd love to keep my house neat, but don't really have a chance. Not that my home is not clean - it is. I just don't spend enough time in my house to be able to pick-up after the kids or my husband. I'm working full time and DH is staying home at the moment. I will not say that he or the kids make mess, but there is always something I need to pick-up or put away where is belongs. If you miss this part one or two days in a row, you're in trouble.... and I do sometimes :-( I have a lot of respect to all the people that can keep their homes in perfect condition. I'm getting a lot better with this nova days; you don't want to know what my house looked like when my first child was born (several months of haos....LOL). I promise myself I'll improve and my house will be spotless when I reach 50! :-)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:19PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I don't feel bad being this way said above, to each his own.
I never mind going over to anybodys house that's messy but it does bother me when I go over somewhere and everyone is sitting around watching tv ,and there is laundry Everywhere and people are sitting on the clean laundry with their dirty feet and eating french fries, dropping crumbs all over the clothes. Yes, I've witnessed this.
These are the kind of people who think I'm a neatnik freak. :-)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:28PM
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gonldeneyedaisy...I had to smile at your remark that you promise your house will be spotless when you reach 50. I just turned 50 and I was thinking as I read this thread that it actually does get easier. I'm not a neat-nick and I keep too much "junk". My closet gets a little out of control and my computer desk gets piles on it. But for the most part, as empty nesters, our house stays WAY neater than it used to. I remember needing about 30 min to an hour in the old days to HIDE stuff if someone was coming over. Now I'm fine if someone drops in. My personal desk space can be a bit cluttered and I don't care but the common areas I keep clean and straight. I'm not a natural born cleaner though and sometimes I look down at the dust of baseboards and sigh...then dust it a few days later :-) Interesting thread.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:16PM
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"There is something very cathartic about cleaning."

Yes there is. I tell my DH that to me, cleaning is therapy. And it's alot cheaper than a shrink ;o)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:21PM
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I love this thread. Thank you to everyone who has posted.

For me, the most precious thing I have, or will ever have, is TIME.

If my house is so messy that I can't find something, I have to waste my TIME to try and find it.

Organization, to me, is time. Organization is life.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Why are people who are neat considered "neat-freaks?"

Does that mean messy people are "messy freaks?"

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:35PM
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It's freak like fan, like enthusiast, not like "bites heads off chickens". : )

I don't think messy people actively seek to be messy. I for one actively seek cleanliness, just not with much success.

I really am impressed with people who just integrate neatness into every part of their day. Given the choice of chatting on the phone for 10 more minutes or folding up that laundry sitting over there, I'll take the silly phone call with a friend any day. Maybe not the phone call with the one I call "Mr. Creepy Drawers", but that's another story...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:44PM
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I don't think anyone aspires to a home of mess, organizational anarchy or dirt, or conversely, anal retentive neurotic cleanliness. But where you fall on the spectrum and where you judge others to fall is entirely subjective. I still believe most people who have a messy home would rather it not be messy, but maybe that is just me projecting.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:44PM
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I was a big poster on the other thread and I applaud you as well. I love it when my house is neat. I feel so light. It just doesn't happen too often nowadays, but I am trying to work toward it and it will happen as the kids get just a little older and I'm not in the middle of tired back-achey pregnancy quatro. I suppose I was feeling a little defensive myself!

I agree w/ mclarke: Organization is time. If I can't find something it ticks me off and makes me want to be more organized.

Don't feel badly for keeping a neat house, Bumblebeez! It's awesome!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:19PM
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My house is clean, but mostly a mess. Right now that is due to my lack of storage. I can't store things where they should go, but where there is a spot to put them. This gets tedious and requires lots of walking. I made sure my new house was equipped with lots of storage so I can organize.

I have some things organized, i.e.,junk drawer, that's it. HA!

I will admit to being messy and I think that comes with being cretive, no kidding it is a trait of creative people. When I was in the work place my desk was basically a mess all the time and it made my bosses very nervous, yet I knew what and where things were. One time I cleaned my desk and my boss called me and asked if I was resigning. HA! HA! She said she'd never seen my desk so clean and was concerned.

At another job my boss called me in and asked that I clean my desk because it made him nervous seeing it in such a state. LOL

I can only take disorder so long and then I go "crazy" tidying up. Unfortunately, it doesn't stay that way long.

When I use to have just 6 pets my house was a lot neater. At present I can be cleaning a room and the cats or dogs are in the previous room I cleaned, making a mess, knocking stuff on the floor, etc. It's like have a number of 3 yr. olds.

I'm more concerned with keeping things clean then tidy, i.e., the sink, bathroom, laundry, floors, animal bedding, etc.

Have any of you read the book "Organizing from the Inside Out?" It's by a Ms. Morganstern (hope I spelled that correctly). She was on Oprah years ago. She makes a lot of sense in telling why certain people are messy and the reason for specific mess (clutter). I learned a lot by reading it.

One thing I am not is a collector of things. My propensity to throwing things away has gotten me in a little trouble in the past because I don't like holding on to things forever. Of course after I get rid of them I need them.

When I have adequate storage maybe I'll stop throwing things away that I'll need down the road.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 11:43PM
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Oh I see now, us non-creative types must be the neat ones then.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 11:53PM
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I'm a neat person...I wasn't while I was growing up, but as soon as I got to college I became neat. I also find it hard to work/think/relax in a space that is messy. I do admit there are a few textbooks on my floor right now, as I'm fleshing out my unit on cells, which I will begin teaching in October. Other than that, the house is pretty organized.

I don't think it is necessarily true that neat people are not creative and messy people DH and I are opposites - he is messy and I am neat - but we both are creative in our own ways. I just can't create with mess around me and he can.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 8:12AM
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I"m not extremely clean and can handle a little disorder (like a pile of papers on the counter or my craft stuff sitting out in a spot or a few kids toys, etc) , but look out because all of a sudden, at the blink of an eye, I will have had enough and then I get busy. I blame it on my mother because she was a total neat freak when I was a kid and I can blame that on my grandmother and the list goes on. I have somewhat of a hold on it though, so it's not taking over my life as much! LOL

Now if you ask my friend, I'm a neat freak because her house is not nearly as tidy as mine. I was just there yesterday and I just don't get how you can walk over papers, books and the kids shoes and not want to pick them up, at least sit them in a pile or put them together. Other items in her house are really dirty and I think to myself, "My can opener never looks like THAT!" But is it because I would clean it off or is it because she's just messier at things than I am? I know my Mom taught me to wipe down your counters and clean up as you go when you are cooking and she doesn't do that.

I think I'm a nicely balanced person when it comes to order and cleanliness. :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 8:52AM
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Given the choice of chatting on the phone for 10 more minutes or folding up that laundry sitting over there, I'll take the silly phone call with a friend any day."

I can, and choose, to do the same time. Cordless phones with a headset are a gift from above (or at least the techie whizzes).

As far as being messy and creative vs. being neat and not creative, I beg to differ big time. I am creative, with an art background. I'm a local artisan who has been involved in many local juried craft shows, so it's been determined by others that I am creative, as well. And let's look at someone like Martha Stewart. Would you say she's not creative (whether you like her or not)? I don't think so. And is she messy? No, she is definitely very, very neat, clean, and organized. She has built her empire on those exact principles and has done very well for herself. Please don't use the old "well I'm messy because I'm creative" card. It just is not valid and sounds rather lame.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:08AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Not so cattknap! I'm very creative and have worked as a professional artist for 25 years. At one time I designed clothing patterns for a big children's manufacturer.

And, I think you can talk on the phone and fold laundry.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:09AM
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I normally really like a clean, neat home environment that includes objects I enjoy aesthetically, indoors as well as outdoors in the yard, so the rehabbing has really been a test of my flexibility/adaptability! I started out trying to maintain my customary cleaning standards, but found that I simply could not keep up with the pace of the messes produced by the demo's and other construction and repair projects and also have time for the rehabbing projects, and time with my husband doing non-rehabbing, leisure activities as well as outside obligations and other necessary activities. I'd have to be spending all my nights cleaning and straightening up while my husband slept! So I've really relaxed on some things, and I know when we're done with many of the current in progress projects I'll get things back to where I like them. I keep thinking of that saying: "Clean house, empty life," and I hope to find a satisfactory balance!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:50AM
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Brutuses said:

"I will admit to being messy and I think that comes with being cretive, no kidding it is a trait of creative people."

Absolutely not true. Mrsmarv you make a great point - Martha Stewart is a great example of someone who is an extremely creative and artistic person who is also neat as a pin. I have some incredibly artistic and creative friends who are very organized and neat.

Making such a statement is a slam on those of us who are creative and neat also and it is also a cop-out - implying that one can't be neat if they are creative.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:08AM
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I am more comfortable with this thread. I am highly organized, love to organize as an activity and enjoy cleaning. I have been working from home for the last two years; the challenge has been to stay focused on business when my house isn't in order. I will get up from my desk to make adjustments to something in the house that is nagging at me before I can get back to work...and it might be a very minor thing.

I am a creative person and take Neat Freak as a compliment. I recently replaced my white tile and dark carpet with travertine tile which doesn't show the dirt the tile did and the cat hair that the carpet did. This bothers me because as someone said previously, I know the dirt is there.

Yes, my spices are alphabetized and my refrigerator shelves are labeled.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:09AM
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If it makes all the messy people happy, my spices are not alphabetized (I usually pick up 5 before I find the right one) and my refrigerator shelves are not labeled. ;)

I'll have to disagree with the neat/messy/creative comment also. I am also creative. DD1, who is probably the most creative of my three creative children and is THE neatest of the bunch.

Neat Freak doesn't bother me either. I take it as a compliment also.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:24AM
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I think we need a Goldilocks thread. I'm neither a neat freak or completely messy. I have much more storage now recently and that's helping tremendously. For awhile DH was reallocating storage space to have other purposes. The downstairs addition has helped so very much.

I'd be interested to know if the lack of organization and messiness comes with smaller houses with lack of storage.
I have ADD and I can and am quite organized *if* I have a place for everything. That has always been the root of the problem for me. I had a 3,000 sq ft home and it was immaculate. After the divorce and downsizing to 700 sq ft cleaning was a nightmare. Now back to 2,200 sq ft and a second home; life is easier for me. Things have places again. I obviously still have too much if I've also have a second home that's furnished too. :~/

You neatniks though, are truly my heroes. I have to work to be organized and for some of you it comes naturally. It's a God given gift that you should never take lightly. It has nothing to be with being creative or not, in fact I think it's easier to be creative and focus if you don't have so many distractions.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:37AM
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If I lived by myself things would be neat and organized. However, I live with DH who comes from a long line of clutter hounds.

I have a question for all you tidy people. Do you pick up after the other people in your house or do they do their share? I can't keep up with DH's ability to cover any horizontal surface with crap. Right now I am in the great room. The chair he usually sits in is draped in clean clothes (why?). The ottoman is piled high with magazines and books and he actually brought a TV tray into the room to cover with more junk. In the kitchen my baking counter is COVERED with belts, hunting knives, binoculars, paperwork, etc. You can't see the counter. I am tempted to take a large box and sweep all the crap into it and put it in the garage. But of couse, I don't want to start WWIII. When I was designing the kitchen I did cabinets to the ceiling specially to avoid him putting stuff up there. And the fridge has panels so it can't be covered with photos, magnets from every National Park, etc.

How do you manage the messy people in your life?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:08AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

What a good question! I clean up after my husband all the time. Sometimes weekends are a little stressful because I have to let things go somewhat but I try not to concentrate on them. He is basically clean, however, dropping things where ever is common. I straighten the pillows on the sofa every night after he's done on laying on them, for instance.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:31AM
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All my messy ones grew up and moved out - fortunately DH is a neat freak - Sue, it would drive me a little crazy to have DH leave his stuff all over...I would probably just pick everything up and put it in a box and stick it his closet - that is what I did with the messy boys when they were growing up...I wouldn't make it a source of constant contention in the household though - tough situation.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:36AM
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blue velvet, I didn't say all cluttering was due to being creative. I said mine was and I'm specically talking about my desk clutter. There are different types of cluttering as noted in Ms. Morganstern's book I referred to. Read it, you'll see what I mean.

I'm not a clutterer who keeps things that aren't useful. I just don't put things away where they should go. I throw away all non used items immediately. For instance, I go through my mail immediately and throw out all junk. I mention this one clutter item because I know it's a major clutter issue for some people. I don't leave clothes all over the house. Everything is piled on top of my clothes hammer. A personal thing I have, I don't like putting my clothes in the hammer. I think it's too harsh an environment for the clothes I wear. I know, I'm nuts. So I pile them until they are washed.

I never put anything on the floor, i.e., shoes, newspaper, etc. The only thing on the floor is an accumulation of cat and dog toys.

Thank goodness my DH doesn't add to the clutter in the house or we'd really be in trouble.

Sue, your idea of taking a big box and sweeping all the mess into it is not a bad idea. I do that when I get "enough" of my desk mess. Then I take the box with me in front of the TV one night and go through everything. In the interim my counter is clear.

You know I'm sitting here thinking about DH and the fact is he is a "hoarder" of things. I just realized, the reason his desk is so clean is because he's able to close it (roll top.) I on the other hand does not really have a functioning desk, just some half-a$$ computer desk and door as an extension. Don't have any drawer space at all and have to rely on plastic drawers for storage of my files, etc.

DH likes to keep "things" from his work that he'll "need" later. He does renovation so that's lots of little pieces of wood and half gallons of paint, etc. He has both back yard sheds full of stuff he will never use again. Every garbage day I throw out a little bit of his collection of scrap wood, etc. When we bought the latest shed to put all his stuff in he said it was stuff he needed for the building of the new house. Guess what, the house is more than half way finished and he hasn't opened the shed once to get anything out of it! I really do need to jump on that mess next week and get serious about clearing it out. If I don't throw it out he'll be trying to move it to the new garage and I'll be darn if he'll make a mess of that space. I have plans for making that into a nice work room.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:41AM
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When my three children were at home, they were responsible for making their beds and keeping their rooms clean. They were not perfect, by any means, but that was fine. I only expected them to keep them orderly (nothing on floor, no dishes left in room, etc). DH is a little messy but not that much. He likes to cook. I like to do the dishes. His side of the closet is worse than mine but not bad. When he comes back from being out of town I realize how many little things he leaves here/there, especially in the kitchen/great room area.

Like Brutuses, I go through the mail as soon as it comes in the house. Some magazines I keep after reading. Most I tear out pages and send on their way. I can't work in a messy desk environment. That would bother me. I'm not ADD or OCD, but DS teases me that I am. I can put off cleaning if necessary, it doesn't freak me out.

I think someone said above a neat/clean environment allows them to think clearly....and relax. Same with me.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 12:06PM
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As I mentioned, my husband is very neat and a dream to live with. He actually cleans more than I do -- in fact, he's cleaning right now as I sit typing!

I did, however, live with a boyfriend who was the exact opposite. Sometimes I would straighten up and make the piles on tables neater. It was a real pain to have to lift and replace all his crap lying around, esp. the stuff on the floor, in order to dust and clean. Later, when I went back to school, I paid someone to clean so I didn't have to deal with it. I just mentally turned it off so I could focus. I was so relieved when I didn't have to live in that kind of environment any more.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 12:10PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I had a boyfriend once was who a slob (a dental student too) and month after month I watched how he made everything except cleaning a priority and that helped cinch the decision to break up with him. There were other more critical reasons but I knew I didn't want someone I had to clean up after forever.
He was a serious slob, nothing like my dh.

Kinda funny since he was cleaning teeth a lot!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 1:43PM
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I love my house to be neat and clean. Unfortunately I'm not very good at keeping it that way. That's why I hire a cleaning service!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 1:55PM
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My mother was so anal-retentive about housekeeping and unfortunately we all started out like that. It was not until I had three very ill children, all at once, one with pneumonia, one in a coma with meningitis and one with a lifelong illness that was diagnosed at a very early stage that I realized it was time to stop and smell the roses, get down in the floor and play Monopoly, let the dishes sit in the dishwasher, and if I was allowed to keep these children, I would neglect washing that load of silks until another time if I needed to take them to a baseball game, play pitch with them or whatever. There is no time that my house is in such disarray I would not allow anyone in but there are a few dog's balls and babies lying around the laundry room and some cat toys on the coffee table that I picked up so as not to step on them that will be used again today. New stage in life, new kids (now furry ones).

And yes, I work about 60-80 hours per week on a job from home, have multiple sclerosis and only a few months before I reach social security age.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 2:12PM
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Do you pick up after the other people in your house or do they do their share? Valid question. My DH (we call him the house guest) is a pig. While he is very clean in his personal appearance, he has no interest in and makes no contributions to the domestic scene. When he leaves for work in the morning, my groundhog day routine is to: close toilet lid and flush (that's right, he doesn't even flush, says he doesn't want to wake anyone with flushing)
put cap on toothpaste and put in drawer
hang up wet bath towel
close microwave door, kitchen cabinet doors and drawers
put his breakfast dishes in the washer
wipe down the counter top that is smeared with breakfast residue
close the back door (he lets the cats out on the porch)
close toilet lid and flush in the guest bath (he doesn't close or flush that one either)
straighten newspaper so I can read it, the pages are opened to the inside so I can't start reading from page one
go to the garage and close the back door

At this point, I am ready to start MY day.

*In his defense he does his own laundry. I made him a and put it above the w&d.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 2:40PM
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mustangs, I couldn't be married to your DH, no way! He'd make me crazy.

Mine does his laundry if I'm busy and forget and he's running out of work clothes. He usually starts the first load of shirts then I take over with the pants, drying, folding and putting away. If he dries a load of his clothes, the next morning he'll take what he needs out the dryer and leave the rest there. I left them there for 3 days once and then I realized he would just take what he needed each day out of the dryer till they were all gone before he'd take them out and fold and put away. LOL Now if I tell him to take them out and fold them, he will. Sometimes I think I'm living with a child who doesn't do anything until given specific instructions. Makes me nuts sometime!!

When I was younger I remember an aunt of mine who hated housework of any kind. She worked out of the home and was no housekeeper. She would wash and dry the clothes, but they never made it to a dresser drawer. The kids would take just what they needed from the laundry basket till it was empty. I think my DH lived with them. LOL

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 3:28PM
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There is the question- How do you manage the messy people?

I, personally am not a slob. Although I admit after picking up my house every free minute, I often am the last to pick up my earrings and put my clothes away. I keep up daily with the dishes,laundry,bathrooms, and clutter. After working all day I will come home and purge the mess, start dinner, and laundry. My weekends are spent the same but with bathrooms and floors thrown in for "fun"!

My two children have chores that are done daily, dishes, clothes,and pets. My 11 year old has a list he can pick from to earn $$$. Just the other morning he yells up the stairs before school,"Mom, do I have time to vaccum the stairs?" ( I LOVE THIS KID!) My husband will help upon occasion, but not regularly and not during the week. And my youngest boy-well...hmmm...imagine "PIG PEN" meets "FAMILY CIRCUS" He is a non stop messmaking machine! Yes this the child who cried non-stop until the day he turned 2. If anyone will spill milk it will be him. If he gets a drink, every cupboard in the kitchen is left open, along with fridge, and the front door, where he will leave his dirty socks and some remnants of his snack. Yes, he also takes baths with the 3 catepillars he finds in the morning and the rocks he has discovered in the afternoon. Trying to help he will take his dirty clothes into the tub to wash too! This is a fight I can never win. I've tried, am trying, and hope for the best. After 7 years I've thrown in the towel and just work faster!

If my husband helped, and my youngest had his own maid, I would be golden. I find it very frustrating some days that no one seems to care but me (and the 11 year old) but not every one knows that wooly bear catepillars come awake in the warm tub, and that very messy little boys have a huge amount of love in their hearts for mom's who don't get mad every time an accident happens, or they come in soaked from head to toe in mud from the puddle. my heart I'm organized and neat, but in real life I only get passing glimpses!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 3:30PM
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I think "neat" and "messy" mean different things to different people. I can stand a little clutter, but overall, I like things to be in their place. What's more important to me than anything is that my house be clean. To that end, I vaccuum, on average, about 3x/week; when I clean my kitchen floor, I don't use a mop, I scrub it on my hands and knees (because if I use a mop, I won't be able to get effectively into those little nooks and crannies!) once/week (my kitchen is tiny, though, so it's not a big deal); I wipe all baseboards and molding every other week; and damp-mop hardwood floors every other week; dust once/week. I think this is "normal" (in my view of the world). Some clutter or light "messiness" in other people's homes doesn't really bother me at all. If their home isn't clean, however, it does bother me a bit. Not in terms of judging them as people, but in terms of how it makes me feel--uncomfortable. Once, when I visiting my sister (who is a good housekeeper), i noticed that her kitchen floor was dirty, so I snuck downstairs at 6:00 a.m. to clean it. I can remember when I was a toddler: if the floor felt dirty under my feet, i would walk on tip-toe. Of course, I also remember waiting impatiently one afternoon for my parents to say their goodbyes to friends outside the house. They were taking too long and I couldn't stand it any longer, so I ran outside, upset at my mother, because my diaper was dirty and she was talking to people instead of taking care of the problem! Probably something Freudian. :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 5:19PM
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organic, please come stay at my house for a week, will you? LOL

I'm with you on the clean thing. I can live with a little clutter, but my house has to "smell" clean. When I walk into someone's home it can be straight as a pin, but if it doesn't smell clean I am a bit put off. Clean is something you can smell. At least I can.

Every time I vacum and mop I pull out all the furniture. That's why cleaning takes so long. I can't do a half way job or it bugs me. Although lately I've been giving it a lick and promise and not keeping the promise!! My fingers hurt so badly I just can't help it.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:28PM
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After reading this thread and a tiny bit of the other, I'm glad that dh and I live somewhere inbetween. I grew up in a house that was always immaculate. I think that was one of the few things that made my parents happy. My brother inherited those "clean" genes, but my sister and I sort of learned to look the other way. I don't live in filth, but dusting is nowhere near the top of my list of things to do. It's crazy ... you do it one day and it's back the next, lol.

Curious how many of you have indoor pets.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:35PM
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Four indoor cats here, lots of dust and my house is fairly neat-and-tidy. Has to be that way or I feel very out-of-sorts with the whole world!

Just that way by nature (generations of house-proud Scots women in my family! LOL!) and nuture --- Mum (now 87 and still cleans like a pro) simply would not put up with a mess!

I like when the house looks nice -- and things are in their place. We have an EBay store -- and our garage is now our warehouse so sometimes our house looks like a store! That part of the whole deal does drive me nuts -- and DH is fairly tidy too BUT I do tend to clean up after him!

But I hate ironing (with a passion!) -- and the dust bunnies and the cat hair are threatening to take over the house (they're organized!! LOL)

And people do tend to say some "interesting" things about our house ....... sigh.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 2:13AM
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Bruteses I am married to your husbands long lost twin brother. He squirrels things away here and there that he "might" need for later. On the off chance he actually uses something he has to find me to show me that all my protests of his "collections" were in vain and we just save 57c by him not having to go to the hardware store.

He also is a person who organizes things by leaving them out all over in plain view. I put things away in drawers to find easier when needed. If he had his way he'd cover ever surface in the house. As it is now, we still have the guest bedroom to finish mudding/taping and painting and the guest bath to do the same with and he has all manner of tools out in the place my plants are supposed to go for the winter by the big downstairs patio doors. Big sawhorses filled with tools that he could like fit neatly in a tool box or two AND give me room for my plants. So, instead we are having "discussions" about why my Meyer's lemon tree is in the kitchen and my crape myrtle which won't winter over anyway is in the living room, the colors are lovely though.

Yesterday, he took all of his many boxes of accumulations out of DD's room. He was using her closet for his stuff and she had no room to put things and her room was a sty. We spent a day of going through both of their things and purging.

Even though my husband is her step dad, she is still very much like her "Daddy". She might "need" this or that later and it was a long day of assuring her that we could get more if need be or that she had to let things go to make room for something better. Today, we're going to Tuesday morning to see if we can find a nice comforter set for her bed. We're going to try to do the room in a Caribbean theme, so some of the beanies will be pared down in anticipation. Only "tropical" ones to be left out.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 7:38AM
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Interesting thread.

I stay in limbo with my house. It's rarely disgusting, but it's rarely pristine.

My problem is that I can deal with dirt more than I can deal with clutter. I desperately want to see "clean lines". Pillows on the couch in the right direction. Nothing on the coffee table. No piles of book bags or shoes by the door, etc. In the new kitchen I designed a hutch *just* to catch the daily clutter of mail, keys, cell phones, pencils, school forms, etc. Now when I walk into the kitchen, all I see is "kitchen stuff". It's as it should be. No stack of papers, etc.

But my floors haven't been mopped in a while, and they're getting gross. Need to remedy that!

My MIL is just the opposite. She keeps the house cleaner than I do, but it's so cluttered all the time! Stacks of magazines, papers, afghans draped over chairs, glasses on the countertop *next* to the sink, but not in the sink, jars of candles, lotions, plant cuttings, etc. Oy. It hurts my head just thinking about it. When I'm in her house I just want to put everything AWAY!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 8:51AM
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I have a friend who is an obsessive neat and clean freak. I love her to death but frankly it can be a bit boring. Hey how was your day, weekend, night and
I hear ALLLL about how she cleaned out all her kitchen drawers. Mind you this means taking out all the stuff in them and washing the stuff, wiping out the drawers and organizing - and happens once a month. That's just an example.
She has lots of good qualities and I certainly prefer visiting a neat and clean house to a filthy one but hey, there's all sorts of stuff going on in the world!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:38AM
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I pick up after my children yet (planning on just one in two years or so). I also pick up the cat toys (we have three cats) that they move around the house during the day and in the middle of the night.

I think I've finally gotten it through my husband's head that he ought to help clean, as we both have full-time jobs and we both make messes in the house. However, he views cleaning as a once a week thing, while I do the day-to-day jobs.

There were times in the past that he would leave his dirty clothes in the bathroom behind the door, etc - unlike the patience many of you seem to have, I threw out his clothes (where he could see and retrieve them, but it got the message across).

All of this comes from my mother, I think. She is a neat woman and I grew up with cleaning chores around the's just one of those things that needs to be done.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 12:45PM
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Too funny, throwing away clothes. I drop my husband's apple cores that he leaves on the living floor in his shoes! That may seem petty to some, but it really gives me a small lift. Take that Mr. Lay-on-the-couch!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 1:29PM
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I kinda taught myself everything I Do because of medical reasons either get depressed and feel sorry for myself or get busy and skip depression.Any craft that came out I Did,I can go to say a fair see something I want and go home and make it.MY hubby is a builder so when I Have a problem he helps .Especially with internet just study what you want to do.Thats the problem people just think oh I cant do that.Give it a try youll surprise yourself and be so proud you did........

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 5:25PM
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Vtchewbecca, I have a similar strategy with DH's clothes left on the floor. I pile them-shoes, caps, belts, ets., on his side of the bed. He has to address the issue before getting in bed. Which sometimes is taking the entire pile and throwing it his closet.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 6:34PM
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Mustangs: Hilarious!

Reno Fan: I'm in your camp. It feels so much more moral to say I can stand clutter but it has to be scrubbed underneath. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. I won't deny that cleanliness is next to Godliness, but clutter is the the devil itself.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 6:50PM
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I love my house to be neat and clean. Unfortunately I'm not very good at keeping it that way. That's why I hire a cleaning service!

Hahahaha! Ohhhhhhh boy! I am in the process of getting off a medication, and the withdrawal is creating some rather unique visual disturbances! I read that last line as "That's why I hire a cleaning squirrel!"

Yes! A cleaning squirrel! That's what I need too! ;-D

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 5:11PM
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My hubby and I are pretty much on the same track, he is neat although I wouldn't say that either of us are fanatically so. It's just a matter of putting things in their place. With just the two of us, it's not that big of a deal. He does help, not to say I never pick up anything after him and vice versus. We do have a small indoor dog, she is of the non-shedding variety, so hair is not a problem. I have had a cat in the past though - different story!

We do have dog toys around, but we have a basket that they go into each evening. She has a couple she likes to have in her basket/bed. Like I said, our house is lived in and things out of place here and there don't bother me, but usually at the end of the day or before I leave in the mornings, I pick up and put up.

Patricia - I so agree with you on the priorities in life and it rarely bothers me to leave a chore to go and do something fun! That is why I could never be like my MIL and have a set day for cleaning, a set day for laundry and ironing everything up at once. I do not like to spend my off days cleaning. Those are our fun time. I do a bit each evening, maybe a little more gets done on the weekends, maybe not. I think it's about not letting things get out of hand, getting into the routine of putting things into their place that helps keep things neat overall.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Let me start by being thankful that my husband DOES FLUSH most of the time, unless he's particularly absentminded. However, he believes that we divided the tasks up once upon a time and that's why I do the laundry, the dishes (including picking them up from wherever they were left), the cooking, the shopping, organize whatever needs organizing, and file all the mail. He agreed to pay the bills each month, because he needs to go through every receipt and make sure they match up with the credit card statement. He also does all the flight arrangments when we go out of town, which we do pretty frequently. He appears to honestly believe this is an equitable division of labor.

In his mind I do all the gardening except mowing the lawn because that's my hobby. I do 90% of the baby care because I work from home /I'm equipped for that/ she prefers me these days.

My husband & I both work full time. I pay people to come and clean any room that isn't full of stuff I'm still trying to unpack and organize. I would love to keep my house clean, and I keep thinking if I finish the unpacking and have a defined place for everything that it might get that way.

I would say that being messy is a sign of being creative for me just because I would never have time to do anything creative if I had to finish climbing out from under the mess first. But I would really prefer to be creative and clean, and maybe I'll get there someday. (DD will only be 12 when I'm 50, though, so I don't know if I'll get there by then.)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:01PM
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I love this thread.....I have 2 teenage sons that are messy....they drive me crazy....they also work messy bails hay therefore when I do laundry I turn something righside out and hay and dirt falls all over the laundyroom floor...then I need to vaccuum. I am of the camp that I cannot relax until my surroundings are tidy.....I will pick up or clean up at night and then relax with tv or a magazine. One of my pet peeves is sticky...anything sticky, salt and pepper shakers....sugar bowl.....microwave (from the kids) husband can use the sugar bowl...and I have to wipe it off.....I don't know what he does to it...but he always leaves it stickey...why it bothers me I don't know. Others houses don't bother me if their not tidy...I don't have to live there. My sister has a horse barn and 5 dogs...we are the total opposite...she calls me the bleach queen...I bleach all my whites and when you walk in my house you walk through the laundry room...therefore she smells bleach. I call her the mud queen....she has a lot of mud where she boys love it there!!! But to each their own!!!
When I go on vacation I have to leave a tidy house....I can not come home to a mess! My brother is worse than's funny how the gene pool works!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:04PM
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I didn't respond on the other thread, but I guess I am somewhere in between.

Having clutter and junk laying around really does bother me, but sometimes it can't be avoided. I work a very stressful job and sometimes I can't get myself together enough to keep everything in its place. When I was stay at home housewife it was just so easy!

Now, sometimes I'm too exhausted to care. I try to keep everything picked up on a 2 day cycle. Day 1 it is great, day 2 there are a few things out of place, day 3 I clean everything and try to be perfect again.

That being said, I live out in the country and have horses and 2 indoor rabbits that eat hay. There will be no time in my life where there isn't hay, grass, or pet hair in my house. I could vacuum and sweep the floors everyday and it wouldn't make a difference. I make DH take his shoes off, but even then, in the hot Texas summers we wear flip flops and our feet get grass and dirt on them. We do not have a mud room, so we can't clean up right by the door.

This stuff happens when you live in the country. We have beautiful land, no noisy neighbors, fresh air, and wildlife around us. We don't live in a sterile, concrete world and I'll take a little bit of dirt and dust for that!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:31PM
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I try to keep my downstairs clean and de-cluttered all the time because it really makes it hard for me to relax when everything is a mess. My kids have their bedrooms, bathroom, two gamerooms and my husbands office upstairs and I avoid going up there at all costs. I can tell myself that the whole house is clean if the downstairs looks good.
Tomorrow a friend wants to go shopping with me. She SO does not need to go shopping. Her house is a disaster zone. Crap piled everwhere, no place to put anything. I can't stand being there. Plus, she just got a dog that is not potty trained. I think she keeps her life filled with kids extra curricular activities and other obligations so that she does not have to deal with the mess. I'll bet everyone knows someone like this.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

For the record, I have a non flushing husband also....sigh.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Loved your post. I wish I lived in the country!

My husband flushes and puts the toilet seat down. How lucky am I???? He doesn't do dishes or laundry or sweep or vacuum. Welllll, maybe the last two if I am about to blow a gasket. But, hey, I must commend him on his etiquette du toilette.

This has kind of turned back into the "icky" houses thread again, hasn't it !?! No maybe just the somewhere-in-between thread.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 11:40PM
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I wouldn't call myself either neat nor messy - somewhere in between I suppose. I do try. I live with the three little pigs though, my dh being the messiest pig.

When he leaves clothes strewn around the house, I pile them on the floor in his side of the closet. Once upon a time I thought that someday this might "teach" him to pick up after himself, but it didn't work. But I still put them there because I don't want to look at them. I won't put them in the hamper, whether he learns a lesson or not. I'd feel very taken advantage of if I did that. I do sometimes feel like I have three children, not two.

My kids both leave clothes on their bedroom floors and I have to get on them to put them in the hamper (also in their rooms).

I do insist that EVERYONE take their dishes into the kitchen and put them in the sink as well. They are getting better at it. Why? Because if they've left a dish out they won't eat again until they clean it up. In other words, if dinner's ready, but ds has left a cereal bowl on the table, he won't get his food until he's cleaned up after himself.

Last weekend I came downstairs to find that the three of them had made lunch and left food all over the kitchen counter and all over the table, including plates, bread, condiments (including perishables like mayonnaise), wrappers, you name it. The three of them were asleep on the couch. I absolutely LOST it. I mean LOST it. It didn't help that I was PMSing either.

We too have a cleaning lady and if we didn't have that, I can't imagine the state our house would be in. It forces us to do a major declutter every two weeks. The house being clean is our #1 source of arguments, much higher above money, sex, kids, in-laws, anything. And I'll tell you this - the cleaning lady is much cheaper than divorce. ;)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 2:02AM
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I was brave enough to post on the "icky thread" but I am far from a slob. I too live in the country and I'm not sure my mudroom will ever be perfectly neat and clean. Most of my house stays pretty neat but I do have a full time job and have other priorities such as a granddaughter and gardening that are more important to me than a perfect house. I can closely identify with Candicno. I guess as long as you are happy in your home that's what counts.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:58AM
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I haven't been following this for awhile. Have to find some free time to puruse it at my leisure. What FUN!

sue36: When I was in school there was one couple who had 2 kids--3 if you counted her husband. He was one of those absentminded professor types. Their entire dining room wall was covered with a chalkboard and his mathematical equations. This was 1973 when no one was doing chalkboards except in classrooms.

They often hosted our academic department's parties because they had a house--most of us didn't. Once, after a lot of cheap wine, we got around to how she tolerated living with him. She dragged out a huge cardboard box, about 4 ft. high by 2 ft. square. She said "It's the only way I can do it and work, go to grad. school and raise the baby and my teenage son. I simply drag the box around the house and pile all his stuff in it and drag it into the closet. That way he always knows where to look for his missing stuff."

What a hoot! I know what you mean about starting WWIII, but I've got to use a system like that. Not only the cleaning, but the perennial question, "Where is xyz?" Aarrghh!!!

I'm living with DH's mess till the new house is ready. Then I need a daily cleanup plan. I've given him a walkin closet just for his coats, daily gear, and "stuff". (He has a separate closet for clothes.) My plan is to make a daily sweep with a basket and put it inside his closet on a shelf. He has expressed missing his family of origin's "junk drawer", so I think he needs a column of those inside his WIC, too. For the basket's overflow.

Do I have any hope of this working? I've designed an entire house to try to accommodate a compulsive organizer (me) and a junk-drawer guy. I want us to both be happy. I don't want to have my serenity disrupted by all his stuff. But I want him to have a pigsty, with a closeable door, where he can go and wallow, rummage endlessly, discover longlost treasures, etc. He also will get his entire side of the garage; we've picked the side each of us wants. Mutually used items go in a long closet on the back wall. He also has his end of a 16 ft long garden shed, which he is currently rehabbing and building a walled-off end for me and MY stuff. He also will have a 16' x 24' woodworking shop in a separate outbuilding. And a pigsty yard area between the shop and the garden shed. If that's not enough space for him to wallow, well, then, I just give up!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:22AM
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If I see "stuff" repeatedly left around the house, I've been known to throw it away in disgust.

Kids' toys, clothing, shoes, movies...I've thrown them in the trash. I know that's not the best thing to do, but sometimes I just get sick of seeing a certain item laying around. Especially if I've moved the item to it's proper place, or had the kids put it away, and then I see it left out again later. Just grates my nerves.

The funny/sad thing is that I can only remember once or twice that someone has actually asked or looked for a tossed-away item. They must not have missed the other stuff!

When I'm at MIL's house, I have to fight the urge to go around with a big box and just throw away all of her piles and clutter. It physically makes me feel bad to sit around in that much clutter. I can't stand it!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:34AM
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Cleaning out my bookshelves for a Goodwill run, I ran across a little humor book, Porn For Women. It will become my first coffee table book in the new house. The format is a photo of cute, sweet looking guy on one page and a caption on the opposite page. Umm, sometimes the guys are wearing an athletic undershirt or have their shirt open or something. A few samples:

* Guy cleaning out cat litter pan. Caption: "Who could object to cleaning up after the cutest thing on four legs?"

* Guy dusting on TOP of the kitchen cabinets. Caption: "D---, I always miss this spot."

* Guy scrubbing the toilet bowl. Caption: "I wouldn't dream of letting you do this job."

* Guy folding the laundry, working on a knit camisole. Caption: "This is the way you like the shirts folded, right?"

* Guy folding laundry. Caption: "As soon as I finish the laundry, I'll do the grocery shopping. And I'll take the kids with me so you can relax."

You get the drift. And there are some more personal ones, but nothing obscene. One cute other topic is guy saying, "I know, let's take you shoe shopping!"

And no, this isn't a men never do housework party here. But, let's face it, men create far more messes than they clean up. I came of age in the sixties and never believed that men would play a major role in running the household. In fact, I was amused when my bearded hippie boyfriend and I went to a couple's house one night to talk politics--some organizing meeting (it was the sixties protest years) and the wife, who BTW, was working while he went to school and dabbled in saving-the-world, did all the meal preparation for the group. And all the cleaning up. The other women felt sorry for the wife and helped clean up in the kitchen while the men talked Big Talk and rolled joints.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 2:32PM
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Love this thread and Mustangs, I couldn't relate more!

My morning routine is so much like yours. I have to have the house straightened and organized before I leave for work. I get up at least 90 minutes earlier just to "straighten up" from the night before and all of my kids are out of the house!

I, too:

close toilet lid and sometimes have to flush, too(I once resorted to placing notes on the open lid, but that didn't work either);

put cap on toothpaste, wipe up the dribbled toothpaste and put in drawer; untangle the used piece of floss from the sink and throw it in the trash and then and shut off the faucet;

hang up wet bath towel from the flour and the one draped over the sink and put the wet facecloth in the hamper;

close microwave door, kitchen cabinet doors and drawers and sometimes shut off the coffee pot or the kettle;

put his breakfast dishes and coffee cup in the washer left either in the kitchen or the bathroom;

wipe down the counter top that is smeared with snacks from the night before;

close the back door if he checked on the yard, the pool, etc. in the morning or make sure it is closed and locked before I go to work;

close toilet lid in the downstairs bathroom and remove his coffee cup and place it in the washer;

pick up the newspapers from the night before;

close the tv cabinet in the family room and pick up all the pillows strewn across the room;

go to the garage and close the garage door and shut the light and the lights left on the porch;

make sure the cat is fed, has fresh water and a clean litter box;

empty the trash;

Then it's off to work :)

My husband organizes and pays the bills and is extremely fussy about his work, the work in and around our home, but he has this awful habit of leaving anything on or open that has to be shut! I've asked him hy he leaves doors and cabinets open; why the lights aren't shut or the coffee pot turned off and he doesn't view this as a concern. When I arrived home one day to find our front door open, and I mean wide open, and the cat still inside, that was when I said, "I give up! I guess I'll have to remember all his wonderful qualities and forget trying to change the bad ones!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 3:14PM
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I guess I missed the other thread? What was the name of it?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:15PM
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Yep, I guess it has turned into the "in between" thread. Honestly though, there are very very few people out there on the extreme clean end of the spectrum. Many of us that are close are such perfectionists that we wouldn't ever admit we were that way. Because we are perfectionists, we can never measure up to our own standards!

I love the country, but sometimes I do get jealous of you city people! You see, if I had a house in the city I could own a brand new 4500 square foot home with home theater, etc. Instead, I own a more modest 3000 square foot home (800 of that is a still unfinished attic!) and land. I could also have real grass instead of prairie grass and stickers in my front yard! Oh yeah, and I have to get up 30 minutes earlier to feed the horses!

I keep telling DH that in 20 years I want a pretty house on the lake!!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:30PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

They always say you marry your opposite; so any perfectionists
are married to AHHHHHHH!!!!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:37PM
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LOL bumblebeez, literally LOL

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:25AM
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Amyzboyz3, I link'y'd the other thread below.

And no, this isn't a men never do housework party here. But, let's face it, men create far more messes than they clean up.

Amen. I'm convinced my DH turns into an otter or seal or some other kind of frolicking water mammal as soon as he closes the bathroom door. How else can a simple handwashing turn into splashes and splatters of water on the counter, all three panes of the mirror, the floor, the toilet lid, the wall OPPOSITE the sink....

Here is a link that might be useful: Original icky thread

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:23AM
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zeebee ILMBO at your comment about you DH becoming a seal. My DH is the same way. He can mess up a bathroom vanity like he's been bathing in it. I ask him if he actually gets in the thing!! And the hair, my DH sheds as much as my animals for goodness sake!!

It's obvious everyone has there own set of problems, pets and people to explain why their home looks like it does. The lady with the friend who takes everything out the drawer once a month and washes everything, I have to say. She's either staying up 24 hours a day or has very little to do, but clean.

If I didn't have so many animals my house would barely ever get dirty. I guess those of us with animals to deal with are like those of you with children to deal with. I'm just glad I don't have to pick up clothes from the animals, just their fur!! HA!

My sister the neatnick learned how difficult my job is when she acquired 4 kittens this past summer. She can't get over the amount of work involved in keeping things clean and neat with just those 4 running around the house. Now she has sympathy for me.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:50AM
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brutuses: I'm reporting you to the ASPCA. You mean you aren't buying clothes for your animals yet? You must have cats, then, because EVERYBODY is dressing their dogs now. It started with the bandanas and then I saw a few "frocks" at Petsmart. Well, there's always been paw protectors to prevent freezing feet or bruised feet. And sweaters for lap dogs, especially up north. But this is just cute clothes, like for kids.

I see women, mostly, all over that dog clothes aisle at the pet supply stores. Often they are middle aged or older (like me) and I swear, I wonder if they're shopping for their own dogs or their granddogs.

If you only have cats, then all you need is one outfit. The fur that flies when you try to dress any cat other than a show cat will create a big enough mess to keep you busy all day. A trip to the vet with our once-feral cat results in cat urine and feces, fur, and human blood from one end of the house to the other. And that's after dosing her with a vet-supplied tranquilizer. LOL!

A dear friend who lives alone in a garage apartment keeps things spotless with a once a month cleaning. But having other heartbeats in my house makes all my mess worthwhile.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:17AM
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I can relate to candinco .. 10 years ago I moved from a small suburban home to a larger home with 20 acres. Even before I added miniature donkeys tot he farm, I made the decision that this house would be picked up and neat, but not nearly as clean as the suburban house was.

Now, with 2 dogs, 5 indoor cats, and 3 mini donks, a full time job, a part time hobby selling dayliles, too many hobbies to count ... I hired a cleaning person to help. And I also track hay into the house twice a day ... it gets everywhere!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:54PM
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I'm also a "clean lines" type of person who tidies up and arranges frequently. I like organizing, putting items in their place, not leaving piles of things sitting around. However, I tend to disregard dust, pet dander, and things of that nature. My house nearly always looks tidy, but there's definitely a slight layer of dust that I only care to tackle once or twice a week (or when having visitors). I'm horrible with floors, windows, and moldings. And it isn't that I'm blind to the dirt, I only know that once I get started on a tad of dusting or mopping that I'll be at it for hours. So I've learned to pick my battles and I "tidy as I go" instead of attempting to wash surfaces daily. I do manage to keep my kitchen counters and other surfaces clean, but all those other less used surfaces are usually a little dusty looking. I think I'm the ideal type of person to bring in a cleaning service, because I have zero problems with maintaining order but I could use some help with hosing the whole place down from time to time.

When I visit friends I can sometimes tell they clean more often than I do, yet they often have large piles of miscellaneous stuff laying around everywhere. I focus on not focusing on it! Some cozy clutter can be comforting, but I really wonder why people don't have a place for all their junk. I think people have too much flotsam, really :)

So I'll take some minor amount of dirt over scattered items laying about. It's easy enough for me to clean surfaces as needed, but if I let items be strewn about everywhere I think it would be a lot harder to put it all away. I'd like to be able to do both, but tidying up takes almost no time at all and scrubbing takes longer (for me at least).

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:36PM
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Honeyhaze, I am like you. People are always telling me how clean and nice I keep my house. The truth is that I keep it fairly neat but don't look TOO close. I dusted my blinds in the den the other day and they turned from beige to white, it had been that long.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:33PM
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