Author Topic: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??  (Read 3821 times)

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2017, 03:07:05 PM »
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.

Are you my mom? ;)
Just kidding. But that all sounded quite familiar!!

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2017, 04:20:08 PM »
I love this thread! In trying to categorize myself on this, I guess I would have to say that the outward appearance of tidiness is important to me. If you came to my house you'd think "not too bad", though you would definitely know a family actually lived here. Twice I month, a cleaning crew comes over and it makes us have to tidy in advance. The two women who clean are part of a large extended family and are happy recipients of passed-along kids' clothing and toys, which is great because I'm always trying to prune back the stuff that accumulates in drawers and closets. Most of the storage in my house is not anywhere near optimal organization. Someday?

I absolutely can't leave the house in the morning with dirty dishes in the sink and unmade beds. A few years ago, we evacuated our home due to encroaching wildfires and after the car was packed with pets, some irreplaceable items and changes of clothes, I made everyone go back inside and make their beds. Disclaimer: it was a voluntary evacuation, no flames licking at our heels or anything. I'm not quite THAT crazy. :)

Tasty Pinecones

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2017, 08:59:45 AM »
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.

Honey, is that you? Same family specs, my vision is fine but similar outcome. We aren't always dealing with high emotion to get the cleaning done but every once in a while the younger child (tween) goes from I love to clean to I hate to clean at the worst possible moment. "I hate to clean" and refuses to help. Engage parenting skills.

Or the older teen will announce that his girlfriend is coming over to "help" and all I can think of is NO! why would you want your GF to see the house at its worst? And while she has graciously helped, she also functions as a distraction.

Last weekend and DW took time off and spent it on the house. We've been sorting and giving away stuff (slow but progress!). DW got it all done except for a little debris left from our room. We are SO close... This weekend for certain.

Stuff: I was once stationed overseas and due to linguistic difficulties I couldn't always find what I wanted or needed when I wanted or needed it. It sparked some minor stuff crisis (no more than a car load) b/c I would buy stuff when I found it (street markets) or buy two of something so I would have a backup after the first thing was used up or I collected a few used things I might need in the future.

Fast forward a couple decades and the behavior stuck and left us with a cluttered small home. Kid clutter, spouse clutter, my clutter, inherited clutter, etc. No more. Feels better to give it to Goodwill than keep some of that stuff another day/week/year. None of it is worth anything $ and its all a mouse click away if I actually needed it again which is often unlikely.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 09:07:32 AM by Tasty Pinecones »

Dicey

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2017, 10:07:53 AM »
Whew, I see I'm not the first to mention cleaning people. I was a perpetually single, FIRE-focused person living in a townhouse with no pets. At 54, I got married for the first time. DH was a widower with a collage student son still at home, two dogs and a cat. Soon after, his dad died and we realized his mom had Alzheimer's. We decided to move her in with us. I pulled the trigger and FIRE. Among us there were four houses, none large enough or suitable for our newly blended family of four adults, two dogs and a cat. In eight months, we emptied out and sold three houses, rented out the fourth, and house hunted in earnest.

We found a fabulous, custom-built clown house three blocks from DH's work, on a short sale. It's a palacial 2600 sf. There are 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. It is full of stone surfaces and has an insane (IMO) kitchen. Oy. The first year, I did the housekeeping, but it was a mighty struggle. Finally, DH suggested hiring cleaners. I was not cool with the idea, because frugal habits die hard.

We compromised and now have a husband-and-wife team come in every other week. They have been a godsend. At first, I scrambled to get things "done" before they arrived. They don't change linens or do laundry, so I had to have that done first. I had to disappear all the clutter before they arrived as well.

Over time, I made it a game to see how tidy I could keep the house between their visits so I didn't have to scramble on cleaning day. All the linens and laundry are now completed in a timely manner. An unexpected bonus is the effect they have on my MIL. Before, it was a battle to even get the sheets off her bed. The 2 furry alarms (i.e. dogs) sleep in her room. She keeps the window and blinds firmly clised, so it always reeked. Now, the imminent arrival of the cleaning people gives me an excuse to air out her room. Funny how the brain works. She can still vacuum if it's set up for her and she strips and makes her own bed. She won't do it for me, but she doesn't want strangers to see her room in a mess.

It costs $2400 a year, which is still a staggering, non-essential sum in my mind. But the structure and order it has created in our lives is priceless.

To their credit, everyone pitches in. DH does all the outside and maintenance work and the trash. DSS does his own laundry and we have an agreement never to open his bedroom door (even the cleaning people do not enter). I cook most meals at home. I clean up the dishes generated during the day and DSS does the dinner dishes and loads and runs the dishwasher as needed. MIL dries the dishes for him and unloads the DW in the mornings with me. She likes to vacuum, so I usually set it up for her on the alternating weeks and it keeps her busy for half an hour.

The bonus is that we get to live our chaotic lives in a not-chaotic home. Recently, I hosted a birthday potluck for eight on a day's notice. All I had to do was figure out to make from what I had on hand and set the table. It was really nice.
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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 #54 on: April 07, 2017, 10:50:29 AM »
One thing that was a revelation for me was that you can use a cleaning service on an occasional basis. When I moved out of my last place, I realized exactly how grimy it had gotten. (I don't mind tidying up and doing light cleaning like wiping down counters and sweeping, but I hate scrubbing.) Now I get a cleaning service 2-3x per year, which I usually schedule just before a houseguest or other event. Forces me to pick up the items I "stop seeing" after awhile, and keeps the grunge level down to a tolerable level (I am single with no pets, FYI). It's amazing how motivational a really clean house is in terms of keeping it that way for awhile.

MBot

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2017, 07:22:53 PM »
This thread is enlightening, humorous, good-spirited and helpful. Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far.

This thread and a couple others have been very helpful. I have learned a lot over the past year at letting go of clutter and emotional attachments to "stuff." But I do not know much about a cleaning routine .

Now that someone comes over to watch our son a couple days a week that's helped us be much better about sweeping EVERY night and checking the bathroom/towels/etc. But I still feel like I and my husband have to develop a good cleaning routine and pass it on to our kids so they don't end up having to remember things like cleaning windows in the spring or how often to mop.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #56 on: April 14, 2017, 05:35:42 AM »
The house we're moving into in June has a damp problem which has allegedly been sorted out but it's left a lot of small drifts of residual mould, especially on the window frames. Having read this thread, I'm thinking about getting a one-off professional clean to get the house spotless before we move in - not just for the mould, but all those annoying things like cleaning radiators and door handles. Maybe if we start off spotless and decluttering I can start a daily tasks routine an stick to it because it won't be an uphill slog against months of accumulated grime.

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2017, 04:15:57 PM »
The house we're moving into in June has a damp problem which has allegedly been sorted out but it's left a lot of small drifts of residual mould, especially on the window frames. Having read this thread, I'm thinking about getting a one-off professional clean to get the house spotless before we move in - not just for the mould, but all those annoying things like cleaning radiators and door handles. Maybe if we start off spotless and decluttering I can start a daily tasks routine an stick to it because it won't be an uphill slog against months of accumulated grime.

OK...... around here that levl of clen costs quite a bit..  if the place is empty you may get a deal.

  Be certain that you specify what you want cleaned, as the standard package won't include all of that.

Apples

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2017, 07:03:32 AM »
One thing that was a revelation for me was that you can use a cleaning service on an occasional basis. When I moved out of my last place, I realized exactly how grimy it had gotten. (I don't mind tidying up and doing light cleaning like wiping down counters and sweeping, but I hate scrubbing.) Now I get a cleaning service 2-3x per year, which I usually schedule just before a houseguest or other event. Forces me to pick up the items I "stop seeing" after awhile, and keeps the grunge level down to a tolerable level (I am single with no pets, FYI). It's amazing how motivational a really clean house is in terms of keeping it that way for awhile.

Noodle, what do you have this occasional cleaning service do?

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2017, 06:14:17 PM »
Hey, guess how clean my house gets when I tell myself I'm not allowed to read any of my books until my house is clean?

REALLY CLEAN.

I've pretty much spent the whole day off and on cleaning because damn, I want to read my books! Kudos to the poster that recommended this strategy :)


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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2017, 06:34:35 PM »
^ I live my entire life this way :)    Every nonpreferred activity is completed per a reward I set in advance! My rewards are Netflix, forum, tea, candy, nap, etc.

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2017, 06:44:38 PM »
^ I live my entire life this way :)    Every nonpreferred activity is completed per a reward I set in advance! My rewards are Netflix, forum, tea, candy, nap, etc.

You must get a lot done in life! I've never operated that way - until now!

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2017, 06:49:54 PM »
You must get a lot done in life!

I really really do, lol. And I absolutely credit this approach!

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2017, 02:28:11 PM »
Yay for cleaning motivation!

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2017, 06:03:51 PM »
One thing that was a revelation for me was that you can use a cleaning service on an occasional basis. When I moved out of my last place, I realized exactly how grimy it had gotten. (I don't mind tidying up and doing light cleaning like wiping down counters and sweeping, but I hate scrubbing.) Now I get a cleaning service 2-3x per year, which I usually schedule just before a houseguest or other event. Forces me to pick up the items I "stop seeing" after awhile, and keeps the grunge level down to a tolerable level (I am single with no pets, FYI). It's amazing how motivational a really clean house is in terms of keeping it that way for awhile.

Noodle, what do you have this occasional cleaning service do?

They do their "deep cleaning" service, which means scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom, mopping floors, wiping down all the appliances, dusting blinds, etc. Plus the usual cleaning things like emptying the trash and vacuuming. They will also add on cleaning the oven and a few other tasks for a small extra fee. Basically, they remove the built-up grime that I really do not enjoy dealing with!

Dicey

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2017, 08:18:54 PM »
Aahhhh, my cleaning team just left and everything is neat and clean all at the same time. I am making a simple dinner so that the kitchen clean-up will be a breeze. Oh, a clean house feels so good! Such a guilty pleasure.
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lifejoy

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Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #66 on: April 19, 2017, 08:31:03 PM »
Crazy things my one-time cleaning lady did:


She did so many more weird "staging" things (which I specifically asked her not to do) and it was so maddening! I'm not paying for someone to put my books from tallest to shortest :/

Haha but it cured me of my desire for a cleaning service!

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #67 on: April 19, 2017, 10:38:23 PM »
WOW, lifejoy!!! I wouldn't pay someone to make my apples garlicky either. Nor to do funny things in my house. But I sure do love her funniness and her mad skillz with the TP! I would love if I found the TP trick in my house after a friend had been by, for example.

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #68 on: April 20, 2017, 05:35:38 AM »
WOW, lifejoy!!! I wouldn't pay someone to make my apples garlicky either. Nor to do funny things in my house. But I sure do love her funniness and her mad skillz with the TP! I would love if I found the TP trick in my house after a friend had been by, for example.

Haha yeah a friend doing it would be fun! But I was pretty upset that she thought I was rich enough (wasteful enough!) to pay someone to fold my toilet paper :P

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #69 on: April 20, 2017, 05:48:14 AM »
WOW, lifejoy!!! I wouldn't pay someone to make my apples garlicky either. Nor to do funny things in my house. But I sure do love her funniness and her mad skillz with the TP! I would love if I found the TP trick in my house after a friend had been by, for example.

Haha yeah a friend doing it would be fun! But I was pretty upset that she thought I was rich enough (wasteful enough!) to pay someone to fold my toilet paper :P
That's just an indication to the homeowner that she's the first person to use it since its been cleaned. My cleaning crew didn't do it because they focused on the real shit and the indicators they left were things like the dining chairs moved to the wrong side of the table, the couch moved away from the wall and all the shutter slats closed. So I had to go around and move all my furniture and adjust all shutters. I got used to it. Recently they've become a bit more competitive. Got a new contract at a VERY upscale place. So eh all now wear company t-shirts, and the flowers in the TP and pleated dish towels have started to appear!  I like the little surprises I find around the house and it's better than having to move all my furniture! 
It's also much better than having to go around the house and pour shampoo in the tubs to make sure someone is cleaning them. Because in my guest room, I wouldn't otherwise know!
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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #70 on: April 20, 2017, 02:33:51 PM »
You guys have a bad influence on my person ;-). I have always done cleaning myself, but was yesterday looking into the cost of hiring an official white-paid cleaning service for doing a springtime big clean. The company looked goid, but unfortunately they don't show prices online. And Luckily I didn't request a price yet.

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #71 on: April 20, 2017, 02:54:09 PM »
Hmmm. I'm on the fence. I found that in preparing for my cleaning service, I did a ton of tidying and cleaning and realized that - guess what? I could really do it all myself!

Maybe if I paid myself $50 to do all the deep-cleaning... maybe that would help? Haha!!!


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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #72 on: April 20, 2017, 04:38:19 PM »
I have found that the older I get the cleaner/neater I am. Also when I was raising my 3 kids things would not get dirty because I stayed on top of it but they did get messy.  My DH is messy so I limit his areas to his office, garage, shed and half of the bedroom. The rest is mine and is neat.  When I worked f.t. I had cleaners once per month. I picked up everything and put things away before they came so they could clean quickly.  Once I semi-retired I quit paying for the service. I do not clean my DH's office because it is such a disaster.

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #73 on: April 23, 2017, 04:02:26 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.


I did this out of frustration a couple of years ago. For a household of 4, I kept 5 of everything. Went through the cutlery, plates and dishes and the tupperware cupboard. Caused a total meltdown shit fight with the better half but after a while she saw the benefits.

It might be an age thing but I definitely prefer a bit of order and tidiness.

I try to pick up after my self to minimise the crap trail.

I try to think of it as respecting the the person to use the space/ area after you have been there. Whether it be yourself a family member, a friend or a total stranger.




lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #74 on: April 23, 2017, 08:36:07 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.


I did this out of frustration a couple of years ago. For a household of 4, I kept 5 of everything. Went through the cutlery, plates and dishes and the tupperware cupboard. Caused a total meltdown shit fight with the better half but after a while she saw the benefits.

It might be an age thing but I definitely prefer a bit of order and tidiness.

I try to pick up after my self to minimise the crap trail.

I try to think of it as respecting the the person to use the space/ area after you have been there. Whether it be yourself a family member, a friend or a total stranger.

In life I tend to be a very respectful and considerate person. Why does this not extend to my stuff and the people that share my space? Or myself and honouring myself by living in an orderly space???

I've been doing the less-dishes thing (packed up all but the most necessary) and it is helping significantly. Such a great strategy.

Now I'm going to massively declutter my house and see if that works :)

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #75 on: April 23, 2017, 08:59:10 AM »
^
In some people, messiness is due to literally not seeing stuff. While some brains hypernotice (low latent inhibition), others hyperfilter.
In others, it's due to fatigue or overwhelm. Long days at work + commute, or baby care, etc.
In others, it's due to more stuff than is actually manageable.
In others, it's due to a preference to be surrounded, a sensory comfort in that.
In others, it's due to not having an easy, close place for each item (should take literally three seconds to put away).
In others, it's due to anger at a roommate/spouse.

Several of these are easily resolvable, if people agree they want them to be.

The first one can be taught, for example, in one of these ways:
1. Like Axe's wife, take a photo of the ideal space. Post it right above that space.

2. Write down the steps, give a learning kid (or oneself) only ONE step per round.
"Any garbage, throw in garbage can."
"Any personal items, put in personal bedroom (or office)."
"Put all socks together."
"Put all dirty dishes together at sink."
"Put every remaining item in its home."

3. Especially with kids: "I will give you $3 to clean the room." When they say it's all done, say, "Ya? Cool. Thanks :) Now, just in case anything got missed, I'm going to pay myself $1 out of the $3 for anything I find. [Excited:] Do you think I'll find anything?" My kid is always very motivated to newly find all the things that were "already done."

My kid can "see" way more now. It didn't change his personality or his brain -he is still unbothered by stuff being about, but now I need only write "clear room" and everything gets done. He has learned how to see even though he isn't a person who naturally sees. Just like I seem to have learned some math, despite my natural state.

For sensory need, often one large item can take the place of 40 smaller ones. So instead of a towel, five plates, a TV, six small stuffies, two beer cans, and seven books, one body pillow or one dimmable light switch or one weighted blanket can achieve the same sensory effect, with 0-1 thing to put away!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 09:03:22 AM by jooniflorisploo »

lifejoy

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #76 on: April 23, 2017, 09:39:58 AM »
Jooniflorisploo, you've given me a lot to think about and really touched on many things I struggle with. I do not have places/"homes" for all my items. I also often do not "see" the untidiness. And you've also described something I've had difficulty articulating: The sensory comfort of being surrounded. In fact, my attempt to describe that element came out as: "maybe I like a messy house" because I couldn't understand why there was something comforting about having stuff all around me, but at the same time the messiness was bad for my social life and clear-mindedness.

I love this thread and all the unique perspectives. It is helping me to understand myself :)


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Linda_Norway

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #77 on: April 23, 2017, 10:58:22 AM »
I couldn't stand the dirt in the car anymore. I have been vaccuming both cars today and wiped the garage.

marble_faun

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #78 on: April 29, 2017, 04:04:47 PM »
And you've also described something I've had difficulty articulating: The sensory comfort of being surrounded. In fact, my attempt to describe that element came out as: "maybe I like a messy house" because I couldn't understand why there was something comforting about having stuff all around me, but at the same time the messiness was bad for my social life and clear-mindedness.

I love this thread and all the unique perspectives. It is helping me to understand myself :)

Yes! I am the same way. I know I will never be a minimalist. I love being surrounded by objects, especially things that have personal meaning or stories attached, like family heirlooms and souvenirs of various life-adventures.

I've also started collecting (relatively inexpensive) art and antiques -- things that are unique and just plain cool-looking. Just today we installed a beautiful, old wooden curio cabinet which came from the estate sale of a wealthy/prominent local person. (They used it as a medicine cabinet, in the bathroom!) It looks amazing, and in future years, when I no longer live in this area, I will think about the city and its history and the life this object has had. And now the old cabinet holds many of our other relics... mementos of family and friends, little odd things we've picked up here and there. The display brings me happiness.

The challenge is to clear out the vast heap of stuff that has little resonant meaning and/or is of low quality. (As mentioned above, my apartment is way too crammed!) And I'm now trying to block clutter before it starts. For instance, when I'm traveling, I'll identify one really amazing, super-special souvenir that I know I will love forever rather than buying an array of cheap junk-objects that will clutter my house for the next ten years.

I know acquiring objects is not Mustachian!  But the *right* objects are just so worth it to me. They fill my world with history and memories.
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shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #79 on: April 30, 2017, 03:51:22 AM »
In the past fortnight, I have hit on the ultimate solution to feeling like your house is too messy for guests: have people over all the freaking time. The brief panic clean before each set of guests encompasses more and more of the flat (as the bits you cleaned last time are still clean enough, or easy enough to clean again) until the whole flat is clean. Magic!

Dicey

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #80 on: April 30, 2017, 08:23:51 AM »
...And I'm now trying to block clutter before it starts. For instance, when I'm traveling, I'll identify one really amazing, super-special souvenir that I know I will love forever rather than buying an array of cheap junk-objects that will clutter my house for the next ten years.

I know acquiring objects is not Mustachian!  But the *right* objects are just so worth it to me. They fill my world with history and memories.
I'm sure Joon would say this more tactfully than I am able to verbalize, but I'd like to examine this a little further. For reference, I struggle to maintain a tidy home/car/brain, so this topic is fascinating to me. I don't know the answer, but hope that working through this might lead to some new insight.

The problem with this suggestion lies in the nature of travel. You cannot possibly know in advance what the amazing...souvenir is going to be until you have seen all.the.things. By then your trip will be over and you will have spent too much time seeking one amazing...souvenir. Therefore, this solution is somewhat impractical, which leads to a feeling of failure, rather than satisfaction. Maybe the answer lies in foresight and planning. When I get to [X place], I want to buy [that thing]. Maybe one answer lies in having a [thing] you collect on every trip.

I have a cousin who travels extensively. She loves the souvenir smashed pennies and buys those wherever the opportunity presents itself. She also has a neat trick of paying slightly over the required fare on public transit so she gets the ticket back. The idea of collecting something small, inexpensive and evocative of a place you've visited is appealing. Alas, she is also a hoarder, so take that with a huge block of salt.

Another option is to utilize critical thinking skills at the point of purchase. Recognize when something truly speaks to you vs. wanting something just because you're in [the place] at the moment (aka Wooden Shoe Syndrome). This is an awesome aspect of digital photography. Perhaps just taking a picture of the desired item will suffice. Later, when you see the photo, it will trigger memories, but you won't be dealing with piles of expensive doodads post-travel.

I still can't quite put my finger on it, but maybe this will help further the conversation. Is advance planning, i.e. having a system, really the golden key to managing all of the stuff we are constantly barraged with? When, in the history of mankind, have humans ever had such easy and endless access to...everything? Food, clothing, furnishings, accessories, books (including digital ), travel, entertainment, experiences, electronics. The list is endless, when just a few generations ago, our ancestors faced struggle and lack much more frequently than plenty.

Maybe a huge aspect to this problem is complete inexperience in managing the sheer volume of choices available in our modern day lives. Dunno, still ruminating.
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RetiredAt63

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #81 on: April 30, 2017, 11:35:04 AM »
Other thoughts on souvenirs (I am not much of a souvenir person).  Buy something you would anyway but on the vacation?  I have a set of knitting needles I bought in BC, every time I use hem (which is often) I remember buying them.  Some people do Christmas tree ornaments.  Or something the area is famous for?
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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #82 on: April 30, 2017, 02:56:53 PM »

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.


This is really excellent advice - I used a very similar approach to learning to be neat.  Doing it slowly and over time allowed me to make progress without feeling overwhelmed.  And feeling overwhelmed was the #1 thing that had kept me from even trying to keep things neat in the past.
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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 #83 on: April 30, 2017, 06:53:25 PM »
In the past fortnight, I have hit on the ultimate solution to feeling like your house is too messy for guests: have people over all the freaking time. The brief panic clean before each set of guests encompasses more and more of the flat (as the bits you cleaned last time are still clean enough, or easy enough to clean again) until the whole flat is clean. Magic!

Oh I like that! That suits my extroversion + clean home dreams!

ooeei

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2017, 08:08:15 AM »
Keeping a clean/tidy house is a lot like flossing.  People who do it regularly can't understand why everyone else finds it so difficult.  Nothing about it is really that hard, and it's usually an extra few minutes a day for the most part.

For me (at least with cleaning) it was just a matter of forcing myself to do it for a few months.  Now it's no big deal.  Often it's actually easier to stay clean.  Immediately rinsing dishes and put them in the dishwasher vs leaving them in the sink or on the table where food will stick.  It's obviously easier in the long run, but I still know so many people who can't be bothered to stand up and walk to the sink immediately after eating and interrupt their TV show or whatever they're doing.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #85 on: May 02, 2017, 12:23:16 PM »
While I was cleaning the bathroom today before another guest came over for lunch, I was thinking about WHY I clean just fine for guests but can't seem to keep the place clean when I know it'll be just us seeing it. It's the same physical actions - why can I find time for one but not the other? It reminded me of a Captain Awkward post I read once, about a woman whose husband kept blowing her off to hang out with his super-needy friend. Captain Awkward said, "You need to ask him why he can say no to you but cannot say no to her."

The phrase stayed with me. Why can I clean for them but I cannot clean for me? I guess it's because I don't think I'm important enough to have a clean house - I don't deserve a clean house for some reason.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2017, 12:31:17 PM »
While I was cleaning the bathroom today before another guest came over for lunch, I was thinking about WHY I clean just fine for guests but can't seem to keep the place clean when I know it'll be just us seeing it. It's the same physical actions - why can I find time for one but not the other? It reminded me of a Captain Awkward post I read once, about a woman whose husband kept blowing her off to hang out with his super-needy friend. Captain Awkward said, "You need to ask him why he can say no to you but cannot say no to her."
 
The phrase stayed with me. Why can I clean for them but I cannot clean for me? I guess it's because I don't think I'm important enough to have a clean house - I don't deserve a clean house for some reason.

 You need a basically clean bathroom for hygenic reasons. We weekly clean toilet, sink and flat surfaces. And dry wipe the floor. If I am in the mood to do more, I clean the shower walks and floor and glass walls and the bathtub.  Or wetwipe the floor. We have two bathrooms so I often only do basic cleaning and don't have the energy for the rest.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Maybe I like a messy house. Otherwise why wouldn't I keep it clean??
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2017, 01:33:46 PM »
If I'm cleaning my place before guests come, it's so that they will feel comfortable. That's all. Not they are important and I'm not, etc.

While I'm not extremely fussy on all counts, I do feel more comfortable with messes I know than messes I don't know. e.g., If I see a red stain on a bathroom floor, if it's on my floor I know it's just the beet juice I dumped down the toilet two days ago. If I see a red stain on someone else's bathroom floor, I'm squicked that it may be someone's blood. So, even though I know my house is hygienic with no transmissible illnesses on the toilet seat, my guests can't know that and I want them to feel fully able to relax. They're not going to step in salsa or see what looks like blood on my kitchen counter or smell my last poo, because that's being nice.