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  #1  
Old 12 July 2017, 06:50 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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Default How Should Our Homes Look?

I admit, I'm a bit of an HGTV addict.

After watching hours, hours and more hours of Love it or List It, Property Brothers, etc etc etc, I feel like my home is an absolute dump. My mother is OCD and washes her trash before she puts it in the bin, so I am not starting from the usual point of view.

I don't dust every day. Sometimes one of our 4 dogs does something heinous. My husband cannot keep his clutter in his "Tom Box" to save his life. We have a Keurig and as a result it looks like there's soot in our sink pretty much every morning (we use the pods you can refill). I am filled with shame at this.

I'm asking you guys, i.e. real people, what do you let slide? Do you let anything slide? Am I being lazy, or do people's houses look like disasters on the regular without being referred to Hoarders?

I am just so ashamed of my house and my husband keeps telling me I need to get a grip. So, grip? What is usual messy and acceptable for homes?
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  #2  
Old 12 July 2017, 06:56 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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It's a waste of time to feel bad about yourself/your life/your home/whatever based on what you see of other people's lives. You don't see all of their lives, first of all. And even if their perfect homes (or whatever) are just as perfect as they look, what steps are they taking to maintain that? Would you be happy taking those same steps on a regular basis?

I've felt the same thing sometimes, I just try to reason myself out of it. And I usually succeed.

ETA: Different people have different standards for what can be allowed to "slide." Getting an idea of what other people do can be very helpful, but ultimately you'll need to set that standard for yourself. I suggest being kind to yourself, and set a standard that you can live with without giving up things you love, spending more time on housework than you like, or being miserable with the condition of your house. If it helps, pretend you're setting standards for someone else -- IME, we're often nicer to other people than to outselves.
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Old 12 July 2017, 07:05 PM
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In my family I'm considered Mrs Clean but I don't feel like I am. Let's just say I know where the bodies are buried! Also I have friends who really are Mrs Cleans so in comparison to them I feel like a slob. I certainly don't dust everyday (or :gulp: even every week)** and I am not the type to thoroughly mop all my floors unless something really gloopy gets dropped - I am a spot cleaner. That said I can't abide clutter and things do get put away (just open certain closet doors at your own risk ) and I am not a hoarder and have no problem getting rid of things I don't use, can't wear or just plain don't like! I have family and friends who live in perpetual chaos and by comparison, I do look pretty good. But, and it's a big but, I don't have children at home anymore and I don't have any pets That makes a huge difference in how your house looks at any given time IMO.

I know what you mean about watching shows on HGTV. Especially those real estate shows where they stage the house. I get so envious. I want my house to look like that. Never gonna happen though.

A good piece of advice I read years ago and actually do follow is to PUT THINGS AWAY. That doesn't mean things don't pile up on the kitchen counter or the dining room table. They do. But I don't let them accumulate beyond a point where I start to twitch .

** If you're like me in this regard don't for the love of god buy furniture that is dark wood (bookcases, end tables, whatever) do yourself a favour and get light wood or paint this furniture white or cream. If you can't see the dust that's half the battle .
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  #4  
Old 12 July 2017, 07:12 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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Lainie - you're quite right in that I've never been exposed to anything between immaculate - my mom - and disastrous - my husband.

My husband is a horrible slob, there is no doubt about that. But given that I really only have my mother's example, which is surgical suite, how do I determine what is normal for a household?

This seems really basic, I think. But I genuinely don't know how to prioritize cleaning tasks in our house. This sounds like living 101 but I need some help.
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  #5  
Old 12 July 2017, 07:26 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

I don't let trash slide, or anything that smells. I keep on top of recycling.

However, short of that, anything is fair. My house is mostly incredibly cluttered, despite my periodic attempts to get rid of stuff in order to make it less cluttered. A lot of this is my inability to put things back when I'm done with them. Another is my apparent inability to see a flat surface without putting something on it.

Seaboe
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  #6  
Old 12 July 2017, 08:04 PM
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I'm close to Seaboe. Trash or anything smelly gets done regularly. Bathrooms are top priority. After that, it depends on the week. I just noticed yesterday getting something off a high shelf that the dust up there is ridiculous. But, I'm the only one in the house tall enough to see it, so I'll get around to that at some point, but not immediately. Probably this weekend. There are little things everywhere - a few boxes where I'm in the middle of organizing comics on the table, some clothes that I haven't put back in the closet after redoing the floor over the 4th, stuff like that.

But listen to Lainie. Great advice up there.
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  #7  
Old 12 July 2017, 08:23 PM
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Sue, you and I must have different dust. I find dust shows worse on the white stuff than on the dark.

But then, we probably do. I have Northeast USA farm soil, and cat and dog hair from creatures of different colors. And piles of things that should be put away but only intermittently are; usually put away just before Thanksgiving, which I host. And produce, with or without field dirt on it. And stacks of field gloves (in use, and sometimes muddy) for various conditions, and hand tools that migrated in, and lots of shoes/boots for different temperature and field conditions (also sometimes muddy). And spiderwebs in the ceiling corners. And occasionally some cat puke I haven't seen yet. (When I do see it, that gets cleaned up!) And still some boxes from my mother's estate; a number that is slowly reducing every year, but rather too slowly.

Dishes get done, surfaces I need cleared off get cleared off, floors get swept and/or vacuumed occasionally, though certainly not daily. Garbage, recycling, and compost get taken out regularly, though not daily (garbage and recycling are in containers with tight lids.) Laundry gets done, and gets put away, if only so the cats won't sleep on it and because I'll need the laundry basket for the next load.

Some of it's how busy you are. Some of it's personal preference. Some of it's what sort of location and house you're living in -- when I went to visit my nephew and family one year, I was there for a week and aside from doing dishes they only cleaned house for about an hour one day before a party -- but the thing is, the house didn't get dirty in the first place. It was built fairly tight, and there weren't any accumulating cobwebs because there weren't any spiders. They had at the time no dog and no cats, and the people spent most of their time inside or on pavement, and came into the house with clean clothes and clean shoes. There was no cat and dog hair accumulating. There was no mud or dust accumulating. There were no insects getting in. The floors had no cracks going down to a dusty basement. I cleaned house as much as they did -- maybe more -- but my place looks a mess and theirs doesn't.

Generally, I would say: if trash is accumulating to the point at which it's stinking up the place and/or attracting pests; if the dog's accident/cat puke/baby's diaper isn't cleaned up; if there's so much clutter that it's hazardous or impossible to use entire rooms or most of the furniture -- then there's a problem. Otherwise, it's up to the people who live there. As often this is multiple people with differing opinions, it can take some negotiation.

I've been in houses cleaner than mine, houses about the same, and some that were much worse. I like the ones that are as bad or worse; it makes me feel better. You might consider, if your house isn't perfect when visitors get there, that they may be thinking not 'what awful housekeeping!' but 'whew! it's safe to invite them over to my place without spending three days cleaning first!'
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  #8  
Old 12 July 2017, 08:48 PM
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Your home should be clean enough so as to not cause health issues to inhabitants and be tidy enough that you can locate the things you need within a short period of time.
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  #9  
Old 12 July 2017, 11:58 PM
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If it is a flat surface, stuff is piled on it.
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  #10  
Old 13 July 2017, 12:10 AM
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^ This!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
....and be tidy enough that you can locate the things you need within a short period of time.
Define short!
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  #11  
Old 13 July 2017, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
If it is a flat surface, stuff is piled on it.
And, around here at least, there is likely to be a cat on top of the stuff.
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  #12  
Old 13 July 2017, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Garbage, recycling, and compost get taken out regularly, though not daily (garbage and recycling are in containers with tight lids.)
Way too late to edit -- but it's garbage and compost that are in containers with tight lids. The recycling, which either is clean to start with or gets washed off first, is in an open bin. Or sometimes two; the pickup people clearly expect you to produce a lot more trash than recycling, judging by the relative size of the containers provided.
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Old 13 July 2017, 04:06 AM
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Shelves and tables tend to be cluttered, but I like to keep my floor clear enough to run my roomba over it. Other than that, I dump the garbage once it gets full (stuff that's likely to start stinking quickly gets taken straight to the dumpster in the parking lot) and try to clean the sinks, toilet, and bathtub weekly.
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Old 13 July 2017, 01:32 PM
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We have young friends who toss their baby's soiled diapers into an open wastebasket that they store in the cupboard in the upstairs bathroom. I guess they think because the container is in the cupboard that it doesn't smell. Well, they're partially right. The bathroom doesn't smell. But my god the container and the cupboard certainly do! So if you have any reason to open that door - like tossing a soiled diaper - you are hit with a stench, even when the wastebasket is empty. Smells linger . Doesn't matter how clean and tidy your house looks if there are strong, unpleasant odours it's going to raise eyebrows.

Same with storing garbage and recycling of course but along with that if you live anywhere where there is a good chance that mice (or worse) can get in, doesn't leave out what is essentially a buffet for vermin!
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Old 13 July 2017, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
Define short!
Less than 1 hour of the day should be spent looking for stuff.*

* Excluding senior moments where you just had your car keys.
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  #16  
Old 13 July 2017, 05:34 PM
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Personally, I hate clutter, and I prefer to own few enough objects that I can remember them all, know immediately where anything goes, and that that's where it will be if I'm not currently using it. When I'm not using something I immediately put it where it goes. So there is never really anything to straighten up. It's not even really an effort, because it happens automatically.
Of course when you're living with someone less organized, all of that becomes a lot harder.

If I had to clean the house myself, I would definitely get lazy, let things slide, and it would be a lot dirtier than I'd be comfortable with. But I know this about myself and have had cleaners as long as I've had a home, and consider it an essential utility, like gas or electric.

So my home is generally always neat and clean inside. It's still never HGTV quality though. There's always some home maintenance that needs to happen that I have a reason not to address immediately, or landscaping is suffering from the drought, or wildlife causing a problem outside, or it's been several months since the windows have been cleaned or a year since the gutters have been emptied. It's always something.
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  #17  
Old 13 July 2017, 06:09 PM
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People tend to comment on how clean my house is, and when they say that I'm thinking that by my standards it's messy. There's very little on the floor apart from shoes and a few cat toys (I suspect people who think my house is clean are accustomed to having stuff piled on the floor), but every table, desk, counter, etc. has a bunch of papers and other random stuff piled on it. To me "clean" would be having most of that stuff put away, and he stuff that is there neatly arranged.

I do also have a habit of not doing the dishes on work nights. I tell myself I'm conserving water by not filling the sink just to wash a couple of dishes, but really after I've gotten home from work and had dinner I don't want to use up the little bit of leisure time I have before I go to bed doing chores.
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Old 13 July 2017, 06:25 PM
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When there's just me, I usually do the dishes only once a day. On a really hectic day, they may wait till the next day.
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Old 13 July 2017, 06:29 PM
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Leaving dishes in the sink is just one of those things I'm reluctant to do but at least my kitchen is relatively closed off so when it does happen no one is likely to know about it except my husband and I. I will never understand people who want open concept in a house but then get upset because if they don't keep the sink clear and the clutter to a minimum the house always looks messy. Well of course it does if you are essentially doing all your living in one big room! Either stop worrying about it, keep up with the cleaning or move to a house with walls!
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Old 14 July 2017, 12:04 AM
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I load my dishwasher over several days, and then put dishes in the sink while its running.

I live alone and there is often a little clutter about, but when I have people over or others temporarily living with me, I try to keep it neat and clean.

Regarding the OP, the people HGTV don't keep their houses like you see on television. I can guarantee you, every one of the did at least some cleaning before their house was shown on television.

I have rather large gatherings at my house a few times a year which is great because it forces me to do some deep cleaning.
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