Author Topic: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??  (Read 4205 times)

lifejoy

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I tend clean my house, and then do zero cleaning for a week (or two) and it all builds up as messy and then I do a huge clean again. WTF?

Why do I seem to find comfort in the clutter and mess? Is it because I grew up in a "lived in" home and it feels familiar? Or am I just crazy?

I want to become a tidy tidy person who lives in a perpetually clean home. I like having a super clean home when people come over. I'm not sure it's going to happen. Anyone else feel like this?

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 03:27:00 PM »
I want to become a tidy tidy person who lives in a perpetually clean home. I like having a super clean home when people come over. I'm not sure it's going to happen. Anyone else feel like this?

Is that what you REALLY want, or is what you think you SHOULD want?

I like having a clean home when people come over, so I clean before people come over. I also genuinely like having a clean kitchen to make coffee in when I wake up in the morning, so most evenings I clean the kitchen before I go to bed. Other than that, you might call my house cleaning schedule flexible.

You have to find what works for you and honestly makes you happy.

Slinky

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 05:15:43 PM »
If you really do want to change, it's possible. You just have to work at it and keep working at it until it sticks. I also grew up in a very "lived in" home and married a guy that was much neater than I. It's about the only thing we ever argued about. Over the years I have managed to become the more tidy than my husband, which I think is quite an achievement. I did two things:

I practiced small changes of habit that slowly add up to less clutter and mess. For instance, put your jacket away when you get home. Pick up dirty glasses on the way to the kitchen. Wipe off the counter right away if you spill something. Etc Tiny little things that aren't that hard to stop being lazy about. Add them in one by one and the clutter and mess will slowly shrink.

Secondly, you can sometimes change things so that it is easier to be neat than messy. We used to take all the mail into the office and drop it on a desk to sort later. We moved the paper shredder next to the door and now we sort, shred, toss, and bring only the important stuff into the office. My husband liked to leave his favorite knife on the counter we do food prep on. He moved the knife holder into a drawer under that counter instead of across the kitchen. I used to pile things on my desk to "deal with later". Later rarely came and never often enough to get through everything. My solution? Get rid of the desk! Now I have no convenient place to put things so I have to deal with whatever it is right away or risk it getting lost forever.

Johnez

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 05:44:20 PM »
We feel like this a lot. Wanting it to be clean, but really hating the cleaning part lol. We get anxious when people want to come over and have to pick up the house and organize stuff. The truth is, we like it clean but the low grade anxiety of constantly seeing disorganization vs lack of motivation to clean rarely makes our place sparkle heheh. Our place is steadily getting more "nice." Some things that have helped so far- get rid of stuff. How we do it painlessly:

Someone mentioned paper shredder by mail, we do this too. Paper shredder next to wherever you put mail (by the door for us) keeps mail tamed. We toss ads right away.

Giveaway box. I keep a box and fill it a little at a time with old clothes and unused devices (just gave away 2 radios, a snuggie and a few clothing items today). A little at a time helps, just put something in as you run across it and realize you don't use it. Totally gets around the agonizing decision-making of "I really like it" or "I might use it one day" as it's spur of the moment and only happens when you REALIZE that thing you ran across isn't useful.

Fruits and veggies going bad-shake or soup it. Done.

The key to clean place is to get rid of stuff, less to look at, less to deal with, less to move, less crap that can break, less that you feel obligated to use/maintain.

scottish

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 07:39:47 PM »
DW is like that.   I like everything clean and organized.

We compromised.   I have an office and a workshop where everything is clean and organized.   The rest of the house not so much.

Zikoris

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 08:05:04 PM »
I like a tidy home, but I'm way too lazy to put in much effort. My solution - move into a tiny apartment, and get rid of enough stuff that it's nearly impossible for it to get cluttered. We're at the point now that once a week we spend about five minutes cleaning up and putting things back where they belong, and we're done. Ruthless minimalism works.
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Noodle

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 08:35:33 PM »
There's nothing wrong with a messy home, if you don't mind it. My brother and best friend both live in homes that tend to be in a bit of disarray (and they both have cleaning ladies!) and it's never stopped me from going over there!

If you really do want to change your habits, though, I think the first two steps are to do a really good declutter, and then see how you can arrange your space to help you. If you tend to leave clothes all over the place in the bedroom, get a divided hamper or some baskets (clothes to be laundered, clothes to be worn again, clean clothes from the dryer/clothesline). If you take off your shoes as soon as you come in, get a shoe rack and put it next to the door. Etc. Also, minimizing flat surfaces will help cut down on the mess, and all storage should have solid doors/bins etc. The fad for open shelves for storage is really not helpful. Then you can start practicing the habits of tidiness.  The original Apartment Therapy book was good on tips for making a space "work" if I remember correctly, although it's now mostly a decorating brand.

I tend to clean and pick up as I go, but you could also do something like a daily 15-minute tidy-up time if you need to do something more mindful. That would at least keep things from piling up.

golden1

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 06:53:36 AM »
They key to maintaining a neat home is having systems in place that encourage it.  Have a place to put your shoes when you get home.  Use hooks to hang jackets instead of hangers, things like that.  Arrange your home to make it easy to put things away and it becomes nearly effortless.  Also, just having less stuff in general makes it a lot easier.  One of the biggest helps with my budget was me doing a big inventory/declutter a few years back, and realizing how much stuff we have actually accumulated over the years.  When I add something to my house, I want to make sure I actually have a place for it in my home AND in my life. 

letthelightin

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 07:37:50 AM »
I love this thread!

I'm not great at keeping up with the cleaning in our house, but I love the way our house feels when we've done a big clean up before company comes over. I've gotten better over the years, but mostly at decluttering- not so much at cleaning.

Things that have helped us with keeping the clutter at bay are:

1) Getting rid of things we no longer need & use. We still have areas in our house that could use more of this, but we really focused on our main living areas. Ever since we removed the extraneous "stuff" from those areas, it's been so much easier to keep it tidy (a 5 minute cleanup works wonders in these rooms if we have visitors coming over on short notice).
 
2) When I notice items that are continually left laying around, I designate a new home for it in a convenient area in the space it will most likely be used. TV remotes and phone/laptop chargers now go in a drawer in our TV stand, new toys the kids have gotten will get a space in their room, library books now have their own spot on the bookshelf, coupons & grocery store flyers are kept in a folder in the kitchen, the kids' backpacks are now hung on hooks in the kitchen, etc.... Keeping up with "new mess" as it crops up helps so much.
 
3) Getting a filing cabinet for the many years' worth of boxes of paperwork & receipts I had laying around. I did a thorough sort/purge before putting any paperwork in the filing cabinet. This was a huge and tedious project, between the sorting and shredding, and it sucked working at it for hours at a time with no obvious visual difference. BUT finishing that project was a huge weight off my shoulders, and having a filing cabinet with designated places for all our paperwork makes it so much easier to keep up with putting the paperwork away (or even to catch up with filing when I fall behind). Plus, we don't have paper piles everywhere throughout the house anymore!

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 09:44:05 AM »
These are really practical ideas. Thank you!

I think perhaps it is laziness and lack of habit that has made me this way. But making it easier for myself by decluttering and creating spaces for things (or removing spaces for things!) is givin gme lots of ideas. Keep 'em coming!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 12:01:19 PM »
These are really practical ideas. Thank you!

I think perhaps it is laziness and lack of habit that has made me this way. But making it easier for myself by decluttering and creating spaces for things (or removing spaces for things!) is givin gme lots of ideas. Keep 'em coming!

I too yearn for a clean home. Except, it's not "clean" that I want - what I want is both general tidiness and the sort of emptiness that comes with not being able to see lots of individual objects. Cupboards make me happier than open shelving. I want to be visually soothed, not to be immaculately, antibacterially sanitary. It's more of a decorating thing than a scrubbing thing... if you can understand what I mean. But I also think "If you really wanted this, you would make it happen."

I also grew up in a "lived in" home (read: crap everywhere) and I think that it means that laziness and lack of habit are not two separate things. Because I never learned the habits of a continually tidy home, nothing is on auto-pilot. All tidying is on manual, which is so much more effortful.

Honestly, the two things that are helping me right now are:

1. Throw things away. As many things as possible. It's hard. But I'm making progress. The worst things for me are the little bitty things, like the dozen unused pencils in my desk drawer or all the hangers that multiply when I'm not looking.
2. Make the tidy option the easy option. I moved my laundry basket four or five feet closer to where I get undressed - now more clothes make it straight into the laundry basket.

Books that have helped:
KonMari (mostly the idea of deciding what to keep rather than deciding what to throw away)
Make Your House Do The Housework

tooqk4u22

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 12:20:02 PM »
I tend clean my house, and then do zero cleaning for a week (or two) and it all builds up as messy and then I do a huge clean again. WTF?

Why do I seem to find comfort in the clutter and mess? Is it because I grew up in a "lived in" home and it feels familiar? Or am I just crazy?

I want to become a tidy tidy person who lives in a perpetually clean home. I like having a super clean home when people come over. I'm not sure it's going to happen. Anyone else feel like this?

Lot of good suggestions....but keep in mind that most people at the end of the day are only worried about the bolded part and only give it a good cleaning (code for stuff things in closet and under beds) when people are expected....and whoever says otherwise is likely lying.   The people that tend to keep their house perfectly tidy all the time either (a) have no things, (b) are never home, or (c) are way to uptight and anal.   

Also there is a difference between dirty and messy......I have 3 kids and no matter what the house seems messy (lived in) even minutes after cleaning (again..stuffing things in closets and under beds) but it is clean....things get washed, wiped down, mopped, vacuumed, etc quite regularly.....but the house still looks messy.

Rimu05

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2017, 12:59:13 PM »
This reminds me of a work conversation that involved the question "Do you make your bed in the morning?"

I realized, you are either one of those people who do or one of those who don't.

I make my bed every morning, even if I'm running late (I discovered though my version of running late means, I will make it to work either 1 or 5 minutes early as opposed to the usual 15 mins). The weekends are an exception in that, I'm in that bed almost the whole day.

Nonetheless, as a bedmaker, I do it because I need my space to be tidy. I feel better walking to my room and seeing my white comforter spread neatly. In fact, if on the rare occasion I don't make my bed in the morning, I come home after work, make it, then lie on it.

However, I am a chronic clutter hater. I even dislike seeing flowers in vases around the house. Like my aunt has a flower arrangement on the tables and she has like three vases. I find it so annoying. I just feel like they take up space. On that note, I don't mind that much on floating shelves.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 01:02:03 PM by Rimu05 »

Lis

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2017, 02:20:53 PM »
I admit when I do straighten up (because of company, or because I finally feel like it), I feel so relaxed and love my space. That being said... meh. The one thing I'm super stringent about is my cats' litter, because obviously. Occasionally on a free weekend during the day I'll suddenly feel super motivated and clean everything in sight. But usually when I get home from work, I exercise, I shower, I make dinner, and by then I'm too tired to do much more than throw my dishes in dishwasher.

Things I do with some regularity:
- Scoop kitty litter (frequently)
- empty the dishwasher (otherwise dishes pile up in the sink and I can't be bothered)
- Clean the toilet/bathroom sink (it skeeves me otherwise)
- Change bedsheets (not always the best at washing them though... that's why I have four sets! Started out with two, got one as a gift, honestly don't remember where the fourth came from)
- Laundry - I just don't have that many clothes

Things I should do more frequently:
- Vacuum - I have a fluffy white monster cat who sheds like crazy, and dark carpet, furniture, clothes, etc. But the fur is gonna get everywhere anyway, right? I'll vacuum before company comes over or when it eventually drives me up the wall, whichever happens first.
- Straighten up the kitchen - I have a tendency to leave things on my kitchen counter and not put them away. Eventually, my already limited counterspace disappears, and I get fed up and straighten up.
- Dust - I just don't do it. I hate it. I really should. I have no excuse other than uughhh we hates it.

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2017, 03:44:57 PM »


Books that have helped:
KonMari (mostly the idea of deciding what to keep rather than deciding what to throw away)
Make Your House Do The Housework


I've read KonMari (loved it) and I just placed a library hold on Make Your House do the Housework. Thanks for the recommendation!

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2017, 03:55:12 PM »
I'm a very social being and it's more mustachian to have people over to your house for snacks/tea, rather than meeting at cafes and restaurants. So I NEED to make this work for my life so that I can have people over more often :)

Many of my friends pay for house cleaning services so their places are TIDY and CLEAN like crazy! But I'm not going to pay anyone so I have to start changing my mindset and habits.

But I think a part of me doesn't hate the mess - otherwise, wouldn't I take care of it ASAP? I do not understand myself haha!

HappierAtHome

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2017, 07:23:36 PM »
There's two things at play here, the practical and the psychological.

Most posters are giving you advice on the practical: how to make it easy to keep your house clean.

But I think part of what prompted your original post was the psychological... if I identify as a clean person, why aren't I cleaner?

I realised a while back that while I love having a clean and tidy house, I don't love cleaning and - this is the truly revolutionary bit for me - that's okay. I think many of us assign moral value to being a clean and tidy person, that we should all be clean and tidy all the time, that we're naturally superior if we don't ever make a mess.

Realising that I had all kinds of weird moral judgements tied up in whether or not I'm a neat freak really helped me to accept that I am someone who is sometimes neat and tidy, and sometimes very messy, and that either way I'm an okay human.

Apples

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2017, 01:29:50 PM »
2 things:

I "clean" or do something related to household chores for a half hour every weekday, and hour each weekend day.  Mail, shoes/clothes/jackets/gloves/hats, dishes, and laundry are always first, followed by general tidying of anything else.  Followed by dusting and vacuuming.  Then cleaning bathrooms.  So most Mon-Thu is for tidying, our budget, dishes, and some dusting.  Usually I sweep/vacuum on Thursday or Friday, and do laundry and mow the lawn on the weekend.  That keeps the house kept after.   I bump those times up to 1 hour/2 hours on weekends before my inlaws visit or each winter when I go through each closet, the basement, and the attic to clean, sweep, and organize.

There's a tumbler called UnF*ck Your Habitat.  I find it to have good sense about cleaning and a good ethos in general.  I don't use the same cleaning products the writer does or follow all the routines, but it is where I got the concept of "clean for x minutes with a general order of events" idea.  (the * is replaced by the actual u)

randommadness

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2017, 02:52:32 PM »
I live by myself so my apartment turns into okay here's a nice place to lie my dress pants down, here's where I'll leave my gym shoes etc.

I ALWAYS clean up Friday night before going out/having people over. But that Sunday-Thursday...

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2017, 03:08:16 PM »
2 things:

I "clean" or do something related to household chores for a half hour every weekday, and hour each weekend day.  Mail, shoes/clothes/jackets/gloves/hats, dishes, and laundry are always first, followed by general tidying of anything else.  Followed by dusting and vacuuming.  Then cleaning bathrooms.  So most Mon-Thu is for tidying, our budget, dishes, and some dusting.  Usually I sweep/vacuum on Thursday or Friday, and do laundry and mow the lawn on the weekend.  That keeps the house kept after.   I bump those times up to 1 hour/2 hours on weekends before my inlaws visit or each winter when I go through each closet, the basement, and the attic to clean, sweep, and organize.

There's a tumbler called UnF*ck Your Habitat.  I find it to have good sense about cleaning and a good ethos in general.  I don't use the same cleaning products the writer does or follow all the routines, but it is where I got the concept of "clean for x minutes with a general order of events" idea.  (the * is replaced by the actual u)

How did you instill this 30 min. a day habit?

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2017, 03:09:06 PM »
I live by myself so my apartment turns into okay here's a nice place to lie my dress pants down, here's where I'll leave my gym shoes etc.

I ALWAYS clean up Friday night before going out/having people over. But that Sunday-Thursday...

I can relate!! Except for the cleaning up Friday night bit. It's now tending to be an all-day Saturday thing and it's killing my social life. Also I'm pregnant and tired all the time so it's very easy to just go MEHHhhhhh.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2017, 07:03:32 AM »
Our living room and bedroom are reasonably tidy, except for a space under the staircase where tend to store bags temporarily, a part of the dining table (bills and letters) and a part of the kitchen sink (telephone charge cables).

But in general I really try to tidy up as I go along. Like undressing and putting dirty clothes in the clothes bin. The other clothes on the chair in the bedroom. When buying a new piece of clothing: try it on, remove labels and put it in the clothes cupboard. We clean out the dishwasher after dinner and then fill up with the used dishes. Wash up any other pans that aren't dishwasher proof. Clean the kitchen counter and stove plate. We do this right after leaving the kitchen table, before watching the news on TV. Also when we have been on a trip and have a lot of luggage, we might put it under the staircase for 1 day, if we arrive home late, but I clean it up the next day. Most bills come electronically and are paid automatically, and other bills are put in the online bank as soon as possible, marked as paid and thrown away. Any commercial mail is thrown away immediately. I also have a board in another room where I can pinch paper that need to be kept for later. I always empty the table in the living room when we go to bed, so that I don't find glasses the next day. I also empty the garbage bins early enough, so that things are not flowing over. Sweaters that were taken off during the day and laying over a chair are taken to the bedroom in the evening. Magazines and books in the living room are put on a single pile.

I try to wash the bathrooms once a week and wipe the floors with a microfiber cloth. My DH often helps with this.

When we get visitors we clean really well, including table tops and the whole bathroom. Normally I prioritize only the sink and the toilet in the bathroom and do the bathtub, shower floor and bathroom floors occasionally.

Often I do the cleaning on a weekday evening, because it is a pity to use the weekend for it.

Recently I had an unexpected meeting at my house and apart from the entrance full of shoes it looked pretty decent. I was pleased with myself. I was also happy that I had just cleaned the toilet the day before.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 07:09:10 AM by Linda_Norway »

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2017, 08:09:42 AM »
Declutter beyond what you imagine. For example, in the kitchen, have only 1 utensil per person. Put extras for company in a separate place (under a cabinet or in the hall closet). You wouldn't believe how much this helps to not have dishes pile up. If you only have one plate, you'll have to just wash it rather than grabbing another.

This also helps with the psychological aspect. Clean begets clean and messy begets messy. If you have crap on the counter and you walk in with crap in your hands, you will automatically set it on the counter.

If the counter is pristine, you will have the impulse to put the crap away rather than just set it on the counter. You will then have to actively encourage this urge by following through, but at least you had the urge.

I know it's oversold these days, and maybe you're not a "minimalist", but I've found that being ruthlessly honest with myself about my possessions and purging what I don't need has made it easier to keep a clean home. If it does get messy, it's quicker to tidy. And once it's tidy, inertia kicks in and it's easier to keep it that way. http://alliecasazza.com/free-resources/ has a free email course that really helped me. She also has a private fb group where members share pictures of their decluttered spaces and it's been inspiring to keep up the momentum.

You know, I often wonder about how women used to keep up with all the work, especially when they didn't have modern conveniences. But I bet the fact that they had a fraction of the possessions we have helped a LOT.
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lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2017, 08:35:40 AM »
Declutter beyond what you imagine. For example, in the kitchen, have only 1 utensil per person. Put extras for company in a separate place (under a cabinet or in the hall closet). You wouldn't believe how much this helps to not have dishes pile up. If you only have one plate, you'll have to just wash it rather than grabbing another.

This also helps with the psychological aspect. Clean begets clean and messy begets messy. If you have crap on the counter and you walk in with crap in your hands, you will automatically set it on the counter.

If the counter is pristine, you will have the impulse to put the crap away rather than just set it on the counter. You will then have to actively encourage this urge by following through, but at least you had the urge.

I know it's oversold these days, and maybe you're not a "minimalist", but I've found that being ruthlessly honest with myself about my possessions and purging what I don't need has made it easier to keep a clean home. If it does get messy, it's quicker to tidy. And once it's tidy, inertia kicks in and it's easier to keep it that way. http://alliecasazza.com/free-resources/ has a free email course that really helped me. She also has a private fb group where members share pictures of their decluttered spaces and it's been inspiring to keep up the momentum.

You know, I often wonder about how women used to keep up with all the work, especially when they didn't have modern conveniences. But I bet the fact that they had a fraction of the possessions we have helped a LOT.

Thanks for the practical tips. I'm moving soon and I've actually packed away 75% of my dishware and it helps a LOT! :)

dcheesi

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2017, 08:46:40 AM »
I know exactly what happened in my case. My mom is a compulsive cleaner, so when I was a child I never had to clean anything myself; mom always kept the common areas spotless, and even my room would get cleaned up for me if I waited long enough. So even though I inherited some of her neat-freak tendencies, I have absolutely no ingrained habits or instincts related to cleaning.

As a result, I'm a total slob except for those occasions where I go nuts and binge-clean the whole house.

I do find that as long as the place is spotless, I am far more observant and conscientious about clearing up individual bits of mess & clutter as they occur; since everything else is perfect, the imperfections stand out like a sore thumb! But as soon as I slip and let any amount of clutter build up, it's like I become completely blind to all of it, and it just keeps building until the next big purge.

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2017, 01:31:40 PM »
2 things:

I "clean" or do something related to household chores for a half hour every weekday, and hour each weekend day.  Mail, shoes/clothes/jackets/gloves/hats, dishes, and laundry are always first, followed by general tidying of anything else.  Followed by dusting and vacuuming.  Then cleaning bathrooms.  So most Mon-Thu is for tidying, our budget, dishes, and some dusting.  Usually I sweep/vacuum on Thursday or Friday, and do laundry and mow the lawn on the weekend.  That keeps the house kept after.   I bump those times up to 1 hour/2 hours on weekends before my inlaws visit or each winter when I go through each closet, the basement, and the attic to clean, sweep, and organize.

There's a tumbler called UnF*ck Your Habitat.  I find it to have good sense about cleaning and a good ethos in general.  I don't use the same cleaning products the writer does or follow all the routines, but it is where I got the concept of "clean for x minutes with a general order of events" idea.  (the * is replaced by the actual u)

How did you instill this 30 min. a day habit?

Making it a rule that I can't knit or eat popcorn (both of which I do while watching tv with my husband at the end of the day, or sometimes knit in bed while he reads) unless I've done those 30 minutes.  Usually I was already naturally doing about 5-10 mins every day just in general keeping after.  So even if the day is hectic, I'm left with 20 minutes of cleaning before I've hit the mark and can sit and relax.  And I can do almost any cleaning/household maintenance task for 20 minutes while listening to my podcasts.  I can still sit and watch TV without finishing those 30 minutes (like after a very hectic day, getting home at 9 and just collapsing on the couch next to DH), but it's not as fun as when I do those added activities.  Is there some fun thing you usually end the day with that you make a rule to not do until after this habit is finished for the day?

Focusing on a timed habit helps me too - I think it's easier to just get up and dust or vacuum for 15 minutes when I know I get to quit in those 15 minutes if I want to.  Before this habit, I would feel guilty about taking a break or put off starting altogether because I felt the need to commit to a serious cleaning time.  I get a lot more swept/cleaned/dusted/etc. in 15 minutes if I am really working at it.  But I'm also much less likely to start if I don't really "feel like it" and will dread the whole thing.  Much easier to just do some kind of cleaning for 15 minutes every time, every day. 

And I work 50 hours a week, while my husband works 60+.  That includes Saturday mornings for me, and all day Saturday for him.  We do something social at least 1 night of the weekend.  If I didn't clean a bit every day, then every. single. Sunday. would be a giant Clean the House and Yard day.  Now it's still the day for most of the laundry, but we focus on working in the garden or other larger projects for an hour or two, and just enjoy the rest of our day off. 

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2017, 01:36:15 PM »
oh and +1 to putting things away immediately.  Clothes=hamper; dishes=dishwasher or sink - usually I wash what's in the sink right away unless dishes in the strainer are almost dry and I don't want to rewet them right this second; mail=walk in the door, look through, throw out everything possible, put important ones next to computer to record/file when I sit there; shoes=closet; things in my purse=go in their spots immediately.  Those things alone take about 5-10 mins a day, and are automatic, and make a huge difference when I don't let things pile up all over the place.

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2017, 03:44:30 PM »
oh and +1 to putting things away immediately.  Clothes=hamper; dishes=dishwasher or sink - usually I wash what's in the sink right away unless dishes in the strainer are almost dry and I don't want to rewet them right this second; mail=walk in the door, look through, throw out everything possible, put important ones next to computer to record/file when I sit there; shoes=closet; things in my purse=go in their spots immediately.  Those things alone take about 5-10 mins a day, and are automatic, and make a huge difference when I don't let things pile up all over the place.

All great ideas. Telling myself that I can't read a book until I've done 30 min. of cleaning would be VERY motivating!!!!!! Great suggestion :)

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2017, 04:59:06 PM »
2 things:

I "clean" or do something related to household chores for a half hour every weekday, and hour each weekend day.  Mail, shoes/clothes/jackets/gloves/hats, dishes, and laundry are always first, followed by general tidying of anything else.  Followed by dusting and vacuuming.  Then cleaning bathrooms.  So most Mon-Thu is for tidying, our budget, dishes, and some dusting.  Usually I sweep/vacuum on Thursday or Friday, and do laundry and mow the lawn on the weekend.  That keeps the house kept after.   I bump those times up to 1 hour/2 hours on weekends before my inlaws visit or each winter when I go through each closet, the basement, and the attic to clean, sweep, and organize.

There's a tumbler called UnF*ck Your Habitat.  I find it to have good sense about cleaning and a good ethos in general.  I don't use the same cleaning products the writer does or follow all the routines, but it is where I got the concept of "clean for x minutes with a general order of events" idea.  (the * is replaced by the actual u)

How did you instill this 30 min. a day habit?

Making it a rule that I can't knit or eat popcorn (both of which I do while watching tv with my husband at the end of the day, or sometimes knit in bed while he reads) unless I've done those 30 minutes.  Usually I was already naturally doing about 5-10 mins every day just in general keeping after.  So even if the day is hectic, I'm left with 20 minutes of cleaning before I've hit the mark and can sit and relax.  And I can do almost any cleaning/household maintenance task for 20 minutes while listening to my podcasts.  I can still sit and watch TV without finishing those 30 minutes (like after a very hectic day, getting home at 9 and just collapsing on the couch next to DH), but it's not as fun as when I do those added activities.  Is there some fun thing you usually end the day with that you make a rule to not do until after this habit is finished for the day?

Focusing on a timed habit helps me too - I think it's easier to just get up and dust or vacuum for 15 minutes when I know I get to quit in those 15 minutes if I want to.  Before this habit, I would feel guilty about taking a break or put off starting altogether because I felt the need to commit to a serious cleaning time.  I get a lot more swept/cleaned/dusted/etc. in 15 minutes if I am really working at it.  But I'm also much less likely to start if I don't really "feel like it" and will dread the whole thing.  Much easier to just do some kind of cleaning for 15 minutes every time, every day. 

And I work 50 hours a week, while my husband works 60+.  That includes Saturday mornings for me, and all day Saturday for him.  We do something social at least 1 night of the weekend.  If I didn't clean a bit every day, then every. single. Sunday. would be a giant Clean the House and Yard day.  Now it's still the day for most of the laundry, but we focus on working in the garden or other larger projects for an hour or two, and just enjoy the rest of our day off.

Love this!  So for me, it would be no internet or reading until my 30 minutes are done. 
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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2017, 10:23:04 PM »
I come from a big family. About 2/3 are hyperneat, and 1/3 prefer messiness. Each finds one way more comfortable. I used to wish the messy ones would want to be like us, but now I'm really glad they didn't let us brainwash them. Their messiness is a nonissue, and I'm glad they know that so they can go ahead and enjoy!

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2017, 04:38:31 AM »
I have an idea that might help, and I think I'm going to do it myself on a trunk we use as a coffee table/repository for whatever we happen to be carrying at the time.

Pick a small area in your home that's very visible and gets used a lot. Hall table, a particular kitchen worksurface, coffee table...  Completely tidy and clean it: find everything on it a proper home, wipe it down, polish it, whatever. The rule is now that this surface is never anything other than immaculate. And no shunting stuff to other places! If it was going to go on there, it has to go away in its proper home. When you feel that keeping this surface tidy is an ingrained habit (a month?), add another surface (preferably within sight of the first one).

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2017, 06:40:56 AM »
I have an idea that might help, and I think I'm going to do it myself on a trunk we use as a coffee table/repository for whatever we happen to be carrying at the time.

Pick a small area in your home that's very visible and gets used a lot. Hall table, a particular kitchen worksurface, coffee table...  Completely tidy and clean it: find everything on it a proper home, wipe it down, polish it, whatever. The rule is now that this surface is never anything other than immaculate. And no shunting stuff to other places! If it was going to go on there, it has to go away in its proper home. When you feel that keeping this surface tidy is an ingrained habit (a month?), add another surface (preferably within sight of the first one).

That is a really cool idea. Keep us posted on if it's working!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2017, 07:36:45 AM »
I have an idea that might help, and I think I'm going to do it myself on a trunk we use as a coffee table/repository for whatever we happen to be carrying at the time.

Pick a small area in your home that's very visible and gets used a lot. Hall table, a particular kitchen worksurface, coffee table...  Completely tidy and clean it: find everything on it a proper home, wipe it down, polish it, whatever. The rule is now that this surface is never anything other than immaculate. And no shunting stuff to other places! If it was going to go on there, it has to go away in its proper home. When you feel that keeping this surface tidy is an ingrained habit (a month?), add another surface (preferably within sight of the first one).

That is a really cool idea. Keep us posted on if it's working!

Forgot to say in my post above that a friend came round the other day that we haven't seen for a while. "Hey," she said spontaneously, "your trunk is clear." I was both overjoyed and offended at the same time :) But it's staying clean so far and we picked it because it's the piece of furniture that makes the most visual difference to the room and ended up with the most random-crap-for-no-reason on it. It really does make the whole place seem tidier to have it clear.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2017, 10:54:35 AM »
Actually, thinking further about this topic, I give off this vibe (totally unintentionally) of being a really clean person. People have literally said to my face, "Oh, I can just imagine your home, it must be immaculate all the time." And there's me thinking, "Mate, at a bad time it's borderline unhygienic." So I do feel actual, specific, personal pressure not to disappoint people by being messy.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2017, 11:05:25 AM »
^ I had a weird thing for a long time of something like: My house needs to be clean and tidy and "just so" when people see it, so that they know that I know what a nice home looks like." WTF?!?!??!?!?!?! Lol. It was just this idea, and it controlled me into cleaning if I thought someone might see it. "So that they know that I know..."   !?!!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?     Once I realized this thought, it wasn't long before I was able to release it.

Probably from growing up in a house that was beautiful, but generally very cluttered and messy and me feeling embarrassed when people came over. Apparently Little Me wanted them to know that this was not me, that I knew what the Ultimate was, that I was eager and able to do it, just not in that environment. Ack.

My house is still ridiculously clean and tidy much of the time, because I like cleaning and I like a clean, spartan space. But that piece is gone, whew.

Shelivesthedream, someone told me they would feel embarrassed if I saw their bookshelf, because it was near-empty, and I obviously had my walls lined with deep reading material. ?? I don't own a single book, and would have adored her spartan shelves! Funny, the impressions people can have of one another.

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2017, 09:37:26 AM »
I'm also a very messy person.  Before company comes over, we do a massive, all-day grand sweep of our house and throw all the clutter into a bedroom with the door shut. But at most other times, it's an utter wreck: dusty, cluttered, laundry lying around, etc. We avoid having people over spontaneously.

I need to change things, and I think I will try taking these steps:

(a) Massive declutter and reorganization of space. Every object needs a home.  No clothes beyond what will fill the dresser and closet. Better storage capacities, including more shelves on the walls.

(b) Avoid having new junk fill the void of the old junk, with a "quality over quantity" rule. I'd rather have a few sturdy, great things (even if they are more expensive) than lots of little cheap, poor-quality or little-used things.

(c) Create a cycle of small tasks that we can do, just a few per day, to keep things decent around here. There may be daily tasks (basic straightening, dealing with dirty dishes and kitchen counters); weekly or alternating-week tasks (laundry, sort mail-heap); and monthly or quarterly tasks (wipe down the mirrors, wash couch cover). My idea is to parcel these out into 24 chunks, then set a monthly cycle of email alerts for each weekday with the small handful of tasks we're supposed to do that day.  (Giving us weekends off.) If we remember to do those things on those days, we should be okay.
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BlueHouse

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2017, 01:04:00 PM »
I am pretty clean and tidy for the most part.  Most people who enter comment about how clean everything is (disclaimer...I have a cleaning crew 2x per month.)  I keep it clean in between, and clean most things before the cleaning crew arrives (just make sure everything is in its proper place). 

One time, I had a fire in a utility closet off my kitchen.  There were a lot of electronics, etc back there, so I didn't want to throw water on it and I feared an electrical fire/spark/etc.  So I took the phone, went outside, and called the fire department, thinking I was resigned to burning down my house and my neighbors'.  Then I remembered I had dirty dishes AND the remains of a take-out order of buffalo wings on my kitchen counter.  As in messy messy.  Not just a nice neat box, but a plate with half-eaten food, etc.  I put the food down and realized I was willing to die by electrocution in trying to put out the fire if it meant not being embarrassed by leftover food. 

Anyway, one wok-ful of water thrown behind the dryer did the job.  And I was able to put my dishes away and throw out the garbage before the firemen showed up. 

I'm not sorry

ETA:  I've also gone to bed without doing the dishes, then gone back down thinking "what if I fall down the stairs and die and someone sees that I haven't cleaned up after dinner?" 
Yeah, I know it's kind of strange, but it makes me feel better.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 01:05:35 PM by BlueHouse »
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lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2017, 01:34:23 PM »
I am pretty clean and tidy for the most part.  Most people who enter comment about how clean everything is (disclaimer...I have a cleaning crew 2x per month.)  I keep it clean in between, and clean most things before the cleaning crew arrives (just make sure everything is in its proper place). 

One time, I had a fire in a utility closet off my kitchen.  There were a lot of electronics, etc back there, so I didn't want to throw water on it and I feared an electrical fire/spark/etc.  So I took the phone, went outside, and called the fire department, thinking I was resigned to burning down my house and my neighbors'.  Then I remembered I had dirty dishes AND the remains of a take-out order of buffalo wings on my kitchen counter.  As in messy messy.  Not just a nice neat box, but a plate with half-eaten food, etc.  I put the food down and realized I was willing to die by electrocution in trying to put out the fire if it meant not being embarrassed by leftover food. 

Anyway, one wok-ful of water thrown behind the dryer did the job.  And I was able to put my dishes away and throw out the garbage before the firemen showed up. 

I'm not sorry

ETA:  I've also gone to bed without doing the dishes, then gone back down thinking "what if I fall down the stairs and die and someone sees that I haven't cleaned up after dinner?" 
Yeah, I know it's kind of strange, but it makes me feel better.

I aspire to be motivated to levels of tidiness like this! As it is, these thoughts would NEVER cross my mind, they'd be more in the line of "well I guess they'll see that I'm messy just like everybody else probably secretly is!"

However, I'd love tips: does the cleaning service help you stay on top of things? Have you always been a neatnik? (That's what we affectionally called my neat freak grandmother whose home always looked PRISTINE so I say it with love).

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2017, 01:40:31 PM »
BlueHouse: Those are JUST the quirky kinds of things that endear me most to a person, lol. You are delightful!

BlueHouse

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2017, 01:43:50 PM »
BlueHouse: Those are JUST the quirky kinds of things that endear me most to a person, lol. You are delightful!
Oh thank you!  I thought I was going to catch hell for my craziness!
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Apples

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2017, 02:08:19 PM »
In contrast, I'm motivated by not liking to live with a lot of dirty dishes, laundry, and random clutter.  Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, etc., or that our house would be commented on by others as being particularly clean.  So we do a bit extra cleaning for guests (mostly really wiping down surfaces and temporarily putting away some of the clutter that we live with - 2 magazines to read, my knitting, few important papers, 1 coat laying out, that kind of thing) but I wouldn't be more than mildly embarrassed at the state of my house on most days if I were to host something impromptu.  About 1 day/week there's a disaster of dishes to do in the kitchen from my husband cooking a complicated meal later in the evening, that don't get totally done until the next night or two.  I'm calmer and less anxious when our house is more put together.  So I put effort into keeping it somewhat put together.

BlueHouse

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2017, 02:09:00 PM »
I am pretty clean and tidy for the most part.  Most people who enter comment about how clean everything is (disclaimer...I have a cleaning crew 2x per month.)  I keep it clean in between, and clean most things before the cleaning crew arrives (just make sure everything is in its proper place). 

One time, I had a fire in a utility closet off my kitchen.  There were a lot of electronics, etc back there, so I didn't want to throw water on it and I feared an electrical fire/spark/etc.  So I took the phone, went outside, and called the fire department, thinking I was resigned to burning down my house and my neighbors'.  Then I remembered I had dirty dishes AND the remains of a take-out order of buffalo wings on my kitchen counter.  As in messy messy.  Not just a nice neat box, but a plate with half-eaten food, etc.  I put the food down and realized I was willing to die by electrocution in trying to put out the fire if it meant not being embarrassed by leftover food. 

Anyway, one wok-ful of water thrown behind the dryer did the job.  And I was able to put my dishes away and throw out the garbage before the firemen showed up. 

I'm not sorry

ETA:  I've also gone to bed without doing the dishes, then gone back down thinking "what if I fall down the stairs and die and someone sees that I haven't cleaned up after dinner?" 
Yeah, I know it's kind of strange, but it makes me feel better.

I aspire to be motivated to levels of tidiness like this! As it is, these thoughts would NEVER cross my mind, they'd be more in the line of "well I guess they'll see that I'm messy just like everybody else probably secretly is!"

However, I'd love tips: does the cleaning service help you stay on top of things? Have you always been a neatnik? (That's what we affectionally called my neat freak grandmother whose home always looked PRISTINE so I say it with love).

Hmmm.  I never really thought about whether it was a lifelong thing or not.  And I never really thought it was out of the ordinary.  Growing up, our house was always straightened up and we all had minor chores to do, but my mom did the bulk of everything!  My mom married a guy with 3 daughters when I was in 6th grade and the first time my family (brothers and sisters) went to his house, we were absolutely appalled.  Had never seen anyone living in such filth before.  (makes me laugh now to remember what I thought was filth!).  Stacks of magazines in the hallways.  Items left on the stairs.  Kitchen floors were very dirty.  Clothes in piles around the house -- dirty and clean.  My brother nicknamed the girls "the smellies" and it stuck!  The marriage didn't last long, but to this day, we are convinced my mom only married this man because she felt sorry for his children. 

In high school, yes, I mopped my bedroom floor weekly, did all my own laundry weekly, washed walls on occasion.
In college, I kept a tidy place, mainly out of respect for my roomate, I think.  I was a smoker back then, so nothing would have looked clean anyway, but at least I put my things away.
First apartments -- yeah, come to think of it, I just kept the habits that I was raised with...keep things organized and then once a week do a deep clean.
When I got my cleaning service (at age 45) , that was honestly the first time in my life that it ever even occurred to me that I didn't have to change my sheets every week.  Now I go the full two weeks because I don't ever want to change sheets again.  (Honestly, I don't mind changing the sheets, but i hate folding.)  When I do my own, I just take from the dryer and put them right back on the bed. 

The cleaning people do things like dust all shutters, fans, baseboards and doors; vacuum rugs; mop floors (hands and knees in bathrooms); clean toilets and baths; windex all mirrors; etc. 

They'll take out the trash and clean the fridge, but I usually take my own trash out the night before they come anyway.  I want the cleaning crew to spend their time doing things I don't want to do, not figuring out where to put my things, so I make sure everything is put away before they come.   My fridge usually has a lot of empty space in it, so whenever there's an empty area, it's easy to just wipe it down. 

One time I made bacon in the oven and didn't clean it out and the next week it was all clean!  That was awesome! 
Sometimes I come home and my bed is moved away from the wall so I know they cleaned back there.  Sometimes they clean the hinges on my doors where the ball-bearing dust accumulates (I didn't even know that was a thing).

I love coming home after work and finding a crisp set of sheets on my bed! 

I also like to schedule any big parties/gatherings for right BEFORE the cleaning crew comes.  I know this is unlike most people.  So I've realized it's not even so much what other people think...I like living in a clean and neat place. 

And sometimes the crew misses things -- like the spiders that LOVE my transom above the door.  There are always webs there.  Whenever I see them, I get up there and wipe it down.  Because the first year I hired the crew, I wondered how long it would take before the cleaning crew finally wiped those webs.  Well, when it started to look like cotton candy up there, I gave in and realized I would never have a completely maintenance-free life.   

So yes, for me, the maintenance of the everyday tedious things makes it so whenever I spot something out of place, it doesn't feel like a burden to fix it.  Then you just get in the habit of stopping and wiping it rather than thinking "oh, I need to wipe that next time I go by". 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2017, 06:04:37 PM »
BlueHouse, thank you for sharing. Your details make me realize I did not grow up with cleaning as a habit. Put away toys, clothes, etc: yes. But cleaning on the regular? Never. We cleaned in a frantic stressful fury when company was coming over ;)

I am seeking to make some changes. Your story helps me picture a new way of life so I really appreciate the detail.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2017, 03:53:02 AM »
(c) Create a cycle of small tasks that we can do, just a few per day, to keep things decent around here. There may be daily tasks (basic straightening, dealing with dirty dishes and kitchen counters); weekly or alternating-week tasks (laundry, sort mail-heap); and monthly or quarterly tasks (wipe down the mirrors, wash couch cover). My idea is to parcel these out into 24 chunks, then set a monthly cycle of email alerts for each weekday with the small handful of tasks we're supposed to do that day.  (Giving us weekends off.) If we remember to do those things on those days, we should be okay.

Intriguing...

I'm decluttering before a move (a move into a bigger place, but it seems like a natural time to go through stuff!) and I'm surprised by the emotions that are churning up. I'm sure some of it is to do with the move (new house, new city, new job for my husband) but some of it is definitely just the wrench of finally letting something go.

I think weirdly, the emotion I'm feeling most is failure - that all that time ago I failed to buy the right thing that would be perfect and do the job forever and never be superfluous (or to recognise that it was not the right thing and so therefore not buy it), so I'm having to throw it away. I just didn't think I invested that much of my self-worth in my ability to shop efficiently. It's not even stuff I've spent money on - I feel failure because I said "Yes, I'll take that free thing" and it turns out I didn't estimate my future needs correctly.

It's making it really hard to get started on decluttering each time because I know I'm just going to be adrift in this sea of emotion. And I'm also buying furniture now (our current place is part-furnished, new place is unfurnished) and looking at it through the lens of my current decluttering and worrying about my future feelings of failure from having not bought the exact right thing now. It's especially acute because I'm buying almost everything secondhand off eBay, so I can't even really compare apples to apples - I just have to buy the orange that's there or not. But what if, in three years time, I realise the orange isn't the forever orange and we have to replace it with a banana?!

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2017, 09:15:51 AM »
shelivesthedream, I too am going through the releasing (moving to no place) and emotions. My emotions are for different reasons, and overall I'm excited and relieved to be doing it, but yeah, ugh, the emotional response to almost every single item! Memories, past commitments, life moving forward, the sweetest gifts... I can only do so much of it every day, for sure. It's why I'm starting way in advance of moving day!

BlueHouse

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2017, 10:01:19 AM »
shelivesthedream, I too am going through the releasing (moving to no place) and emotions. My emotions are for different reasons, and overall I'm excited and relieved to be doing it, but yeah, ugh, the emotional response to almost every single item! Memories, past commitments, life moving forward, the sweetest gifts... I can only do so much of it every day, for sure. It's why I'm starting way in advance of moving day!
This is fascinating to me.  I have difficulty getting rid of some things because I think of the original cost of it, or the cost of replacing it should I need it again some day.  Once I toss something, I NEVER think of it again, so really very few emotional attachments to things. 

I saw on Hoarders one time that sometimes hoarding behavior starts or intensifies after a loved one dies.  I've already started asking my mom for a few things, and I'm a bit worried that I might start to get emotionally attached to silly things after she's gone.  So I can completely understand that part of it. 

Oh, I just remembered that I do have some areas of my house where I keep completely useless items!  These are areas that I would never put anything that I ever needed to use -- like the highest shelves of cabinets that I can't really reach anyhow.  I have a hideously ugly flower pot in the shape of a donkey and its cart, but my grandmother used to keep it on her kitchen table.  No idea why I'm saving that, but it kind of makes me smile every time I see or think about it.  I also have a bunch of religious art prints (I am not religious), carvings of the Virgin Mary, things signed by past Popes or Cardinals, etc that I keep hanging in my master closet on the wall up above the door.  My family used to be fairly religious (a few nuns and priests in the family) and when they died, these things were passed around and landed at my place.  Now my mom calls it my "Shrine" and has started contributing more things to it.  (like a papal blessing for my parents marriage, etc). I just don't feel right about throwing these things away, so I usually just climb on a ladder, put a nail in the wall, hang 'em up, and no one is the wiser until they really start snooping around in my house...and then they are fascinated...just absolutely fascinated by the shrine! 
I also hang art that I no longer favor in my closets behind clothes.  It's fun to have art back there, and it's not hurting anyone!   
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2017, 10:10:09 AM »
^ Once I've released something, I feel happy and light, and it's a very rare item that I ever think about again (usually one of my own stuffies!). It's just the time from looking at something to assess its releasability to the split second after drop off that the feelings are present. Before and after that, no.

Because I know that (a) I can develop emotional/sentimental attachment to things, AND (b) I prefer that my possessions take up very little space, I generally select the smallest, lightest version of everything. After my dad died, I selected very portable keepsakes and made sure to limit the number of those (vs all of his small collection, for example). I was lucky in that the portable keepsakes just happened to be the keepsakes that had the most meaning to me, too. I knew going in that I may wish to keep them forever, so chose accordingly.

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2017, 11:27:10 AM »
I like this thread! 

You made me think...   I assumed I was not a clean person, really, because my home is rarely "clean" all at the same time.  Most very clean people would take one look and suggest that we go out for coffee instead if I invite them over... And I was going to answer that way... but upon reflecting, I think I am maybe a "clean" person with a high tolerance for dirt, and a low tolerance for being made into a hell hound and nag.

I live with three non-tidy people, one (spouse) who is legally blind without glasses, and had his mom clean for him growing up, and two teenagers (one is an artist who likes "visual adventure" as I describe it).   

I pick up my things twice a day, I do a 3-5 minute round twice a day (to keep it sorted on-going as I am ok with leaving things out for 4 hours at a time, and incidental cleaning of something noteworthy but fast), I make our bed every day, clean up after kids' breakfasts, and clean the kitchen as needed to make dinner.  I am even pretty good about folding and putting away my own laundry within a day.

I now think that what really happens, is that I object to cleaning up other peoples' mess or doing their chores.  I mean, the house is littered with things that have sat there for three, four days, while dust bunnies build up around them, dirty dishes near computer,  preventing an easy wash / dust of the area.   These items rarely get picked up when I nag (I have to yell, which I choose to do less of in my life), so when I eventually do some of it (for my sanity), my life energy to do the routine cleaning / washing falls off (vacuum, clean tub, etc)..e.g. My inner diaologue is " I have already done more than my job", and I stop.   My tolerance for washing the floor is near zero, too.  Not because I didn't do it before, but because it is the thing that is my DH's job... per our agreement 15 years ago  (LOL, I am sure I am the only one that remembers that!)

The result is a usually shabby home and a massive yelling stress laden affair 1 day before company comes over.  During this "family cleaning time" I get a clean house, a crying fit, and maybe people not talking to each other for a day. 

If that is what it takes to live in a clean home, I choose peace instead instead of tidy/clean.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2017, 11:43:18 AM »
^ I have some of that :)

I am willing to be firm on a few things:

*after enough disasters, kid is no longer allowed food in his room
*personal stuff lives in one's personal space, not on the common area table, floor, etc
*everyone who lives here participates in household chores

But, there are things that make it easier for kid to abide by these few rules:

*he figured out that he can lie over his bedroom door threshold to eat a snack and watch his computer at the same time, lol. Fine by me :)
*house is tiny, so getting stuff from door to personal space is a matter of eight paces, max
*once stuff is inside one's personal space, it can go wherever: floor, bed, shelf, messy, tidy
*we release excess constantly...shred paper, remove recycling, take stuff to thrift, etc, at least weekly
*we split chores by preference. He feels overwhelmed at the thought of washing dishes; I feel overwhelmed at setting them up. So he sets up the sink daily, and I wash. Both happy and at ease!
*we set a reward for each nonpreferred task (playtime with friend, Netflix, candy, whatever)

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2017, 02:16:48 PM »
^ Once I've released something, I feel happy and light, and it's a very rare item that I ever think about again (usually one of my own stuffies!). It's just the time from looking at something to assess its releasability to the split second after drop off that the feelings are present. Before and after that, no.

Me too. I've been trying to think of something I regretted getting rid of. I really can't summon anything immediately to mind. The most it's ever been has been, "Hey, didn't I have one of those widgets once? *rummage rummage* Oh yeah, I got rid of it. Oh well." It really is just the block of not wanting to look at these items while I carry them from wherever they are to the bin bag/charity shop and spend those three seconds thinking what a total shopping failure I am.