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  #21  
Old 20 July 2017, 06:42 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
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.
I often ask myself why my house has to have so damn much clutter; none of my friends' houses have that much clutter. I'm rather embarrassed by it, but I just don't have the energy to do anything about it. Perhaps if I did something about it....
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  #22  
Old 20 July 2017, 06:57 PM
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DawnStorm, does it bother you, aside from the embarrassment?

That is, does the clutter itself get in your way, make you spend too much time (by your own ideas of too much time) looking for things, or otherwise make you uncomfortable, entirely aside from any question of others' possible perceptions of it?

If not, maybe that's your answer: you're living how you're comfortable, that's all; and are IMO just as entitled to do so as you are to wear what you please.

Another possibility is that you're doing something else with your available energy that's more important to you.
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  #23  
Old 21 July 2017, 01:51 PM
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My mom sounds a lot like Plurabelle's, where the house was always spotless. She vacuumed daily, changed the sheets every couple of days, etc. I think she was just very bored around the house and gave herself things to do. So, my standard is pretty darn clean. My wife always has piles of clutter, leaves the dishes until she gets to them (which is a while) and doesn't vacuum. So, we have had to comprise quite a bit, where I take care of dishes and vacuuming, and let her have some piles around, but she keeps piles under control.
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  #24  
Old 21 July 2017, 02:25 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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The public areas of my parents' house were always neat (the non-public areas tended to be messy because none of us children were neatniks). Somewhat cluttered, because my mother decorated with knicknacks, but never dusty or messy. It was only after my mother's death that we discovered she was a closet hoarder (no pun intended). Her clutter was hidden away in cupboards and closets, where it couldn't usually be seen.

Seaboe
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  #25  
Old 21 July 2017, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post

That is, does the clutter itself get in your way, make you spend too much time (by your own ideas of too much time) looking for things, or otherwise make you uncomfortable, entirely aside from any question of others' possible perceptions of it?

.
Yes to all of your questions, plus the fact that DH is disabled and I don't want him to trip.
I hope to clean some of it up this weekend--the weather is ideal for the sort of indoor task.
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  #26  
Old 30 July 2017, 08:29 AM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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This thread has been a huge relief for me. We keep up on the bathrooms and the dishes, but other than that we can be a bit lax, and we tend to "discover" dust problems like Darth Credence. It's a huge relief to just hear other people say they're not perfect - my mother is 100% perfect 100% of the time and trying to live up to that is so stressful.
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  #27  
Old 30 July 2017, 09:53 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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House neatness is like desk neatness. I don't trust anyone with a perfectly neat one, they must be up to something shady.
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  #28  
Old 31 July 2017, 12:08 PM
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I have the same problem. My parents are practically OCD cleaners, so as a result, I can never have my house be clean enough for them. I have put them on an information diet, but they definitely make comments when they come over. As a result, I don't invite them over often. I do make sure that the kitchen is clean of any food and I do the dishes often when the dishwasher is full. But there is definitely stuff lying around, I get almost blind to the stuff on the floor and forget it is even there. So I clean when I feel it is too dirty and tidy when there are people coming.
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  #29  
Old 31 July 2017, 01:39 PM
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The problem I have is that there are a few people in my life who are not untidy, they are not casual about cleaning they are not "too busy living to be everlastingly cleaning". They are dirt blind. They do not see that they are living in what is effectively squalor . I don't visit them often because it's not having OCD to be afraid to sit down because of what you might be sitting in and it's not OCD to not want to eat food in a kitchen that has food scraps on the floor and caked onto the top of the stove and countertops. And it's not OCD to not want to use a bathroom that looks like it hasn't been cleaned since the day they moved in. But if you should have the temerity to suggest that a good clean up might be in order you know that having OCD is what you would be accused of along, of course, with being accused of having unrealistically high standards. Yes clearly.
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  #30  
Old 31 July 2017, 02:20 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Now that I'm back in this building, I keep remembering an event from shortly before I moved out. They had cut back on janitorial, and whoever was in charge had forgotten to assign one stairwell to someone. The dust bunnies proliferated almost as fast as the real ones. Until someone will tons of imagination made up a set of name cards (Peter, Benjamin, Easter, etc.) and placed them by the bunnies in the stairwell. It was hilarious, and it worked to get someone to vacuum the stairwell.

Seaboe
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  #31  
Old 31 July 2017, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I don't visit them often because it's not having OCD to be afraid to sit down because of what you might be sitting in and it's not OCD to not want to eat food in a kitchen that has food scraps on the floor and caked onto the top of the stove and countertops.
I lived with a friend during undergrad who would frequently have her boyfriend over and inevitably there'd be crumbs on the sofa, dishes in the sink, etc. I'm not the cleanest person, but it was enough to bother me. I recently moved back to the city and asked if I could crash with them for a few weeks until I got myself situation. She said "We're a lot more relaxed about cleaning then I was living with you." Nope. You weren't exactly a neat freak then, so I shudder to think what you're like now.
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  #32  
Old 31 July 2017, 03:14 PM
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My boyfriend shares a beautiful apartment with a roommate, and I would like to visit more, but the roommate is messy in a way I can't stand. I wouldn't mind if he left, like, objects strewn around the living room or something like that. It's the kitchen. Used pans on the stove will sit for days or even weeks before he will clean them. I visited and found leftover dirty food bowls (like, homemade dip for chips in a large ceramic bowl, used solo cups in the sink) from a party that had happened 9 days earlier. One of the cups in the sink had a semisolid, nondistinct form floating in it. Both BF and the roommate work long hours, sometimes overnights, so I get the difficulty keeping up with things, but they have a dishwasher, and I don't think it's fair to expect my boyfriend to clean up everything if he wants to use it.

I threw away any disposable stuff (sorry, Solo cup with life form, you are not getting washed and reused after all this time) and using the sink to power-blast the baked on cheeses and other mystery items. I ran the dishwasher, which was already basically full and had been sitting there waiting to be run for who knows how many days. It took me about 45 minutes to do what could have taken someone 10 minutes cumulatively if they had kept up with the mess as it was happening.

Should I have asked the roommate to clean it himself? I barely know the guy, and that seems a rude thing for a guest to say to someone living there, and just a weird thing for anyone to have to say to a 20-something year old man in general. People tend to get weirdly defensive about their squalor in my experience.

I don't mind most clutter. But if it smells or grows, that's a line crossed. Being able to use the kitchen is really important to me.
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  #33  
Old 31 July 2017, 04:27 PM
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Cervus Cervus is online now
 
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One of my favorite motivational websites/apps is UnF*** Your Habitat. I won't link to it, because the f-word is in the site's name and link, but you can look it up. The blogger recognizes that a variety of issues can cause us to wind up living in messy or even filthy houses: laziness, a busy life, physical or mental health issues, a history of anxiety or abuse relating to cleaning (like a parent or SO who had vastly different standards than you), etc. She doesn't shame or judge. (She does curse a lot, but I think that's obvious from the title.)

The primary exercise is to set a timer for 20 minutes and devote that time to cleaning/sorting some part of your house. Then take a 10 minute break, and if things still need cleaning, do another 20 minutes, then take another 10 minute break. But the important thing is to work within your limitations and don't overexert yourself. Break down the cleaning into manageable chunks of time. If you can only manage 10 minutes of cleaning a day, then those 10 minutes are better than nothing. Another tip is to take before and after pictures (you don't have to show them to anyone if you are ashamed of the Before) to remind yourself that you can accomplish something and stay on top of the mess. By doing this, I've learned that cleaning never takes as long as I think it will.

I'm probably the prime audience for the app, because I have a lifetime of bad habits, messiness, a tendency to hoard, laziness AND depression AND exhaustion, and a parent who verbally abused me for never sharing her standards of cleanliness. I do like having a clean house, but it's so much work that most of the time I just sit there and stare at the mess and hate myself for letting it get that way. And then I create more mess. And I tell myself to rinse off the dishes and put them away, but then I leave them on the counter anyway. There have been many times when I couldn't invite people over because my kitchen was a health hazard.

I've been trying to do the 20-minute timer for cleaning at least a day, but it winds up being more like once a week. Still, the app and the blog motivate me to do things.

The odd thing is that when I'm visiting someone else's house, I'll always immediately clean up after myself and basically leave no trace of my existence. And I worked as a housekeeper for years. I just can't apply that to my own house for some reason.
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  #34  
Old 31 July 2017, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
... and a parent who verbally abused me for never sharing her standards of cleanliness..
My mother and her sisters had a mother like this as well. My Mom and one sister reacted to it, as adults, by having much more relaxed standards and by refusing to let housework be the be all and end all of their lives, another sister though was worse, if anything, than their mother ever was. She never had children though so I don't know if she'd have been abusive to her kids if they didn't live up to her standards, but she drove everyone else in her life crazy. One example -- I mean sure this is Canada we mostly do take our shoes off when we come into a house but mostly we aren't handed a pair of slippers to put on by our hostess when we visit her house . I'm amazed she didn't dust us off before letting us enter.
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  #35  
Old 31 July 2017, 06:40 PM
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My sister's house is neat. Even before they hired a house cleaner, dishes never sat around, the floor was clear, and messes were picked up (some of the horizontal surfaces attracted clutter, but that was about it). However, one of her SILs cleans R's kitchen every. single. time. she visits. It doesn't matter how clean the kitchen is, J cleans. So my sister stopped cleaning the kitchen before J came over. Again, by anyone else's standards, the kitchen was clean enough anyway. J is just a compulsive kitchen cleaner.

Seaboe
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  #36  
Old 31 July 2017, 06:59 PM
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I really hate vacuuming. So does my husband. So the sensible thing to do would be to get rid of the carpets, but that's a bigger change.

We don't wear shoes in the house, so the floors don't get that dirty. I'm not dedicated to getting every hidden corner clean, just basically making sure the kitchen floor gets a damp mop ever so often, plus the bathrooms and living areas. So the bedrooms don't get vacuumed as often as they should, but the bare floors are nice and clean. And my bare feet really appreciate that.

Of course, we don't have dogs/cats/other, so we can have bare floors which are that clean.

The kitchen counter is stainless, and there's something about taking everything off of it, cleaning it to a shine, and putting stuff back. Doesn't last long, especially since we have hard water, but it's possible to get it shiny.

My desk at home? Well, there's enough space for my laptop to sit flat. The desk's about 5 laptops wide and 3 laptops deep. And there's only enough cleared space for my laptop. After tomorrow (day off), it'll be better. And then it will get worse. Then better. That's how it is.

My thing?

A daily list. With 3 things. I do those things. They don't have to be big. But I get them done. And therefore I did something, at home, that's for me, not my employer.

Hubby had some of his own tasks to do too. So it's not just me.
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  #37  
Old 31 July 2017, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
The problem I have is that there are a few people in my life who are not untidy, they are not casual about cleaning they are not "too busy living to be everlastingly cleaning". They are dirt blind. They do not see that they are living in what is effectively squalor .
When I was young, our next door neighbors were like that. My parents didn't really like me going over there, but one of their kids was my age and they didn't forbid it. I was too young to really see the problem at the time, but I can remember it and it was disgusting in retrospect. They were hunters who butchered and stored their own meat with low standards of hygeine, so it wasn't just dirt but maggots. Plenty of dirt too.

Eventually they moved out of the house next door and got their dream home, a brand new double wide trailer on a small, wooded lot. It was in factory new condition for about a week. After about 6 months to a year it was like the inside of a trash can. I don't know why it was even worse than the house, but somehow it was.
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  #38  
Old 01 August 2017, 11:43 AM
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Cervus, thanks for the name of that blog; I will have to check it out. I'll get around to it sometime.
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  #39  
Old 01 August 2017, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
...or it's been several months since the windows have been cleaned...
I"m supposed to clean my windows?
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  #40  
Old 01 August 2017, 04:45 PM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
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I"m supposed to clean my windows?
He lives in California, where they don't get rain to naturally clean your windows.
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