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  #1  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:50 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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Why do people live in messy apartments or homes?

I went over to my friend's apartment yesterday and was stunned
as to how messy it was. Empty boxes, clothes everywhere, dvds scatttered, etc.

Just curious, why would a normal person live like this?

Now, I DO NOT want to turn this thread into a discussion of hoarding or people who live in absolute filth. This was a mess and clutter, not week old food containers sitting out or showers covered in roaches.

Also, he's a normal guy who works about 40 hours a week managing a store. Not 100 hours a week in a high stress job.

Is this just the typical 'guy' apartment that I haven't really been exposed to? I don't expect a place to be immaculate when I stop over to pick up a friend to go hiking with in the morning. But, I would have gone nuts trying to live one day with that kind of mess around me.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:53 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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I would probably qualify. The only real reason I can come up with is...

I hate housework more than I like a neat place and I don't want to pay for maid service.

Also, while it seems a chaotic nightmare to some, you can probably name any possession I have and I'll be able to take you to it (whether it's neatly stacked away on a shelf or on a pile of unfolded undershirts on the dining room floor underneath the junk mail and the lawn chair.

Last edited by Sampiro; 09-17-2008 at 09:56 PM..
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:55 PM
Fionn Fionn is offline
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I rarely have people over, so the stuff scattered all over isn't a problem. Our apartment is clean, it's just cluttered.
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:01 PM
Darryl Lict Darryl Lict is offline
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Because we're messy? I certainly don't have any problems understanding why a lot of people like to live in perfectly clean houses. Hell, I'd rather live in a much cleaner house, but my lifestyle just doesn't match.
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:29 PM
even sven even sven is offline
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It happens slowly. You make a mess looking for something or something and you have to run so you don't pick it up. So next time something comes up, you figure you can just leave the clutter out since there is already so much clutter. After a few days it can become a real mess and you don't want to deal with it all all.
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:29 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Because it's no more nor less useful than having a clean place. Why work hard to achieve something that has no practical purpose?

Now if I had regular visitors of the female persuasion that I sought to impress, I'd keep my place clean. But minus that, I don't get anything out of it.
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:32 PM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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I'm untidy. I can walk past a pile of stuff that would make you twitch and simply, honestly, not even notice it. Mum calls it "Domestic blindness". My house generally isn't filthy, and it's not as bad as it was when I was married, but it can be bad enough to embarrass me when people drop in unexpectedly.

I don't like the place being messy, but my habit of absent-mindedly putting things down and walking away combined with my complete blindness to things I'm not specifically thinking about, my poor time management skills, and my innate laziness means that, more often than not, my house is untidy.

Plus, I'm easily distracted. When I do start cleaning up I'll either start a second (third, fourth) task and forget about the original, or I'll wind up on the internet frantically researching something that occurred to me while I was cleaning up that has absolutely nothing to do with anything but somehow jumped on my train of thought, or I'll be hit with inspiration that LARGE PLASTIC BOXES will solve all my woes and rush out to buy them, come back six hours later with shoe polish and clothes pegs and call it a day.

Modified FlyLady helped me a little. I line up three chores. I spend 15 minutes on each, timing myself with a buzzer. When the buzzer sounds, I stop what I'm doing and move on to the next. The last 15 minutes of the hour I sit down and do whatever I'd like. Then repeat until everything is finished. Working in 15 minutes blocks, working against a time limit, and using a timer to manage my slack-off periods helps me stay focused on the tasks at hand and not get distracted. I may still be hit with random inspiration to look things up, but instead of rushing off to do it right away I know I won't have more than 45 minutes before I can sit and do it with a clear conscience so I wait.

Meanwhile I've been sitting here doing this instead of folding my laundry and putting it away. Gotta go!
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:48 PM
Clivas Clivas is offline
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I've got two kids and it's just too difficult to keep up. Sure I could keep up, but it's too difficult for the amount of time and ambition I have. The wife and I try to keep it fairly clean but there is always a mess in one room or another. The kids get hungry so I make them something to eat. By the time dishes are done there is laundry to be done, by the time laundry is done there are toys to pick up, by the time the toys are picked up there are dishes to be done again. It's getting better now because the kids are getting old enough to clean up their own toys but it's still difficult. Not to mention the garage cleaning, the yard work, home and auto maintenance and two full time jobs. Sometimes you just want to come home and say "Screw the mess, I'm watching tv." Then company comes by unnanounced and see's my messy house and thinks "How can they live like this?" We clean up the clutter a couple of times a week but sometimes we don't have the energy or ambition to do it. We both hate it though. It's a big source of stress for both of us, but we can't break the cycle.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:53 PM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
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There are many possibilities in my case. Maybe all 3 work together...maybe it's none of the 3. I've given this some thought though, and this is what I've got.

1) I spent pretty much my whole childhood being terrorized because the "house is messy." I'd clean the kitchen as soon as I got home from school, starting around 1st or 2nd grade, and my sister would clean the living room. As soon as my parents got home, they yelled at us for living in such a "fucking mess" and send us to our room. Then we'd emerge for dinner, eat, clean the kitchen, get yelled at again for having a dirty room, and back we'd go. When our parents REALLY blew up at us, which including smacking, hitting, and hair pulling, it was always because the house was a "fucking mess." Honestly? I don't know if it was or not. We lived in a tiny trailer, there was five of us, and we all had a lot of stuff. Maybe I was too stupid and lazy to load and unload a dishwasher, wipe down the counters, scrub the stove, and sweep the floor. All I know now is, I hate doing it. I hate doing it more than I've ever hated anything in my life. Cleaning is accompanied with such a feeling of hopelessness.

2) I seem to attract a mess no matter where I go or what I do. When I visit my best friend, all I do is sit on her couch with my laptop (she's also my writing partner. the only reason I visit her is to sit in her living room and write with her). And yet....the immediate area around the couch instantly becomes the messiest place in the house! I don't do it intentionally! From my POV, it seems like it's perfectly fine and then BAM, embarrassingly messy, with no intermediate stages. I'd try to stay caught up on the mess if I noticed it. I mean, I'm really perplexed by this.

3) I don't care that much. So what if there's a pile of diet coke cans next to my couch? We don't have flies or bugs buzzing around. So what if there are dirty dishes on the coffee table? When I run out of dishes, I'll load the dishwasher. So what if my clothes are all over the floor? Who's going to notice or care? The clean floor police? It's so far down on my list of priorities that it's difficult to even call it a priority. My husband and my sister care more than I do, and they're good about staying on top of things.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:00 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
I hate housework more than I like a neat place and I don't want to pay for maid service.
This is pretty much me.

I'm working at it. I'm getting better.

But the OP would probably be amazed at how long I can ignore something. Putting away the DVD just isn't an immediate concern, and it continues to not be an immediate concern. One day, I may realize "hey, that DVD has been next to the television for a month. how about that?" but again, I do not feel compelled to put it away, because the DVD is flat and not actually blocking my view of the television. Then eventually, one day the DVD and all of its friends (and the other clutter) finally does bother me a bit, so I clean and put away some, even most, of it.

And then the cycle starts again.

I have some theories as to why I'm like this - I'm working on those, too.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:03 PM
Hostile Dialect Hostile Dialect is offline
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
I would probably qualify. The only real reason I can come up with is...

I hate housework more than I like a neat place and I don't want to pay for maid service.

Also, while it seems a chaotic nightmare to some, you can probably name any possession I have and I'll be able to take you to it (whether it's neatly stacked away on a shelf or on a pile of unfolded undershirts on the dining room floor underneath the junk mail and the lawn chair.
Seconded.
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:08 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Apparently, I LIKE clutter.

When our old house was on the market we got rid of 75% of everything that was in all the rooms. Packed it up and put it in storage. (This led to much hilarity and many trips to the storage place.) Kept the place really really clean for three weeks until we had a contract.

My husband LOVED living that way and wants to maintain it in the new house. I hated it. I feel like I'm living in a dentist's waiting room.

It does not help that we have new furniture. It does not help that all the bookcases and all the boxes of books are still in the garage where, by the time it got cold, I had hoped we could actually store a car. I feel like I'm living in somebody else's house. The garage with its piles of boxes feels good to me.

Please note that my house was not filthy, just messy and cluttered. My rules are that the beds are made, the bathrooms are clean, and the kitchen is fairly clean (i.e., every night dishes are all put away unless they are in the dishwasher, and I run the dishwasher almost every night). I spend about three hours straightening the night before the cleaning service comes every two weeks.

The weird thing is that I hate putting things away and don't mind scrubbing, wiping, and vacuuming. So I put things away and pay somebody to scrub, wipe, and vacuum.
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:12 PM
Silver Tyger Silver Tyger is offline
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Because we're too busy doing things that are more enjoyable and don't want to put in the time to pick up?

I just got laundry from two or three weeks ago put away (I tend to leave it until I have no clean clothes). I let dishes pile up because I don't want to empty the dishwasher (until I have no more small glasses for breakfast). Yes, I tend to dump things as I come in the door. My apartment looks pretty good right now, except for the pile of things to go the the thrift store and the one basket of towels and sheets and things to put away. The dishwasher needs emptying. I need to take out the recycling. I don't want to do it.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:27 PM
JThunder JThunder is offline
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Right now, it's a matter of priorities.

My living room, dining room, and kitchen are messier than they have been in months past, for several reasons. One is that I'm working on some urgent and extremely time-critical projects at work, and they just can't wait. Another is that I had to finish repatching and resealing as much of my driveway as I could while the weather was still warm and dry. There were several other time-critical tasks that absolutely had to get done.

At times like these, housekeeping can wait. Not for too much longer, though. I'll be tidying up the place after the boss leaves for his business trip.
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  #15  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:36 PM
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cazzle View Post
I don't like the place being messy, but my habit of absent-mindedly putting things down and walking away combined with my complete blindness to things I'm not specifically thinking about, my poor time management skills, and my innate laziness means that, more often than not, my house is untidy.

Plus, I'm easily distracted. When I do start cleaning up I'll either start a second (third, fourth) task and forget about the original, or I'll wind up on the internet frantically researching something that occurred to me while I was cleaning up that has absolutely nothing to do with anything but somehow jumped on my train of thought, or I'll be hit with inspiration that LARGE PLASTIC BOXES will solve all my woes and rush out to buy them, come back six hours later with shoe polish and clothes pegs and call it a day.
I always knew I had a twin out there somewhere.

Worst case scenario for me is if in the middle of a cleanup job, I run across a book or a magazine. I can't continue cleaning until I've read a few/dozen/hundred pages.
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  #16  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:39 PM
torie torie is offline
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There are other things I would much rather be doing than making sure I have a nice looking house. It's a bit better now that I have a child. Now I clean to make sure he's not rolling around in my husband's clothes or crawling over to something small and colorful that he will immediately put in his mouth.
It's a matter of priorities. Having good looking house: low priority.
Keeping son safe: High priority. Hence, my house is almost always clean now.

To me, there is also a difference between 'messy' and 'dirty'. Clothes and books on the floor, phone book and baby wipes on the coffee table, dvds cluttered around the TV is 'messy'. Roaches, old food, animal feces, dishes never done, toilets and showers covered in mildew is 'dirty'. I think anyone would agree that 'dirty' is always miserable, however, reactions to 'messy' seem to vary widely. It ranges from "OMG! So stressed out by this clutter" to "Clutter? What clutter"?
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  #17  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:52 PM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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I cleaned my desk at work last week. I can't find shit now. It takes forever to figure out what file it's in. When it's just in piles and stacks, it's really easy; I just look for the pile of the project, and then recognize the thickness and/or unique markings of the stack. Much better than that file nonsense.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:37 AM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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i have found that i am the type of person who likes things within reach. if i have to open a drawer or box to get to something, it will rarely find its way back into the drawer or box.

about once or twice a month i'll get tired of tripping over things and do a clear up. it slowly goes back to mess up. lather, rinse, repeat.
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  #19  
Old 09-18-2008, 05:47 AM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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Well part of it is hoarding but I know you don't want to talk about that. But having more stuff than you have places for in general can be a factor. Probably for me the biggest factor is procrastination. Sometimes you put off putting something away til later, and when later comes you are too tired to bother. That adds up pretty quickly. And once the mess gets to a certain point, you put off any cleaning at all until you have time to clean everything all at once, rather than just cleaning as much as you happen to have time for.
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  #20  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:07 AM
monavis monavis is offline
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I know people who do not mind living in clutter, or at least they do not seem to mind it. I have a neighbor a very nice lady who literally has so much junk you have to walk in a path to get to her sofa, that has junk on it so only one person can sit, then her lazy boy that she uses. She does keep up her outside.

What I can't understand is people who buy beautiful expensive homes then turn them into a slum place. There is one house in my area that I would have loved to buy if I had won the lottery;Now it is so tumbled down you couldn't give it to me. Another one is about the same, one day I was pulling weeds from our garden fence and the lady of the housewas looking for her dog,then she said to me I hate people who pulll the grass from their fences,well, her property is not worth what they paid for it and ours has increased in value. I can't understand why they buy an expensive house and wreck it why not buy a slum house to begin with?

Monavis
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  #21  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:10 AM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
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Cazzle pretty much summed up my situation, too. I just moved into a new place a few months ago, and bit by bit the clutter is forming, despite my occasional vows to "put everything away" which generally ends up being "move a few things around until I get distracted or think of something I've mean meaning to check up online".
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  #22  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:42 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I am much more the oscar madison type than the felix unger type. It is due to a complete and utter indifference to clutter. I just don't notice it.
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  #23  
Old 09-18-2008, 08:01 AM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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I am gone 12 hours a day between work and the commute. I come home, let out the dogs, feed the horses, feed the dogs and cats, then feed myself. That usually leaves me about 2 hours before I have to go to bed then do it all over again. I feel I deserve a couple hours of relaxation. On the weekends I do the dishes (not as bad as it sounds because it's only me and I rarely cook, so there aren't many), sweep the floor, do the laundry, mow the grass and sort of de-grunge a bit. But there's always going to be track-in dirt and dog and cat hair. There will be clothes piled on my bed.

And I'm single - who do I have to impress?

StG
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  #24  
Old 09-18-2008, 08:35 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Because I live alone and it doesn't bother me.

If it were too neat, I'd be afraid of messing it up.
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  #25  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:20 AM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Originally Posted by Clivas View Post
I've got two kids and it's just too difficult to keep up.
This our family's story as well.

And to be completely honest -- my wife and I refuse to spend two hours nightly cleaning up after the kids. We just won't do it. Therefore, the mess piles up. We do a thorough cleaning every month or two for when we host company.

I have thought about starting a thread about how people keep their houses super-neat and clean with small children in the house. But I keep thinking that the responses won't be helpful to people who won't do the daily cleaning (like us ).
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  #26  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:29 AM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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Because I get lazy and let it happen, even though I don't like it.

I actually quite dislike living in the clutter that I produce. It does, in fact, impede me at times; if the counters are cluttered, it's hard to work, when the schoolroom is messy, it's hard to have school because I'm trying not to trip over things and there are papers all over the desks. And I find mess unpleasant; when things are clean, I feel much happier, like a weight has been taken off me. At the same time, I have a very busy life and cleaning tends to get pushed down the list.

So right now I'm working on teaching the kids to do more chores, and then I have to have things prepared for them. The counter has to be clean so that kid#1 can stack clean dishes on it for me to put up in the cupboard. I've realized that the kids can do a lot more than I had been having them do, and that I need to train them for adulthood better by consistently helping them learn to run a house. So we are gradually assigning chores for morning, midday, and evening that need to be done daily, and I think that will help us a lot. Oldest kid likes being useful, she's at a good age--younger kid (5) is very very distractable, but having a list she can understand really helps her.

My mom tried to train me, but I was pretty resistant. I wasn't the world's greatest roommate in college, because I never noticed that dishes needed doing or anything. I hope my kids will be better prepared for their adulthood, but if that's going to happen I need to start now and be better myself.
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  #27  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:41 AM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
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Our house is hardly a slovenly heap, but it is messier than some for the following reasons:

1. I have a toddler. I involve him in cleaning his stuff, but usually for him putting things in a box means that you get to dump the box out again. I simply don't have the inclination to put things in and out of a box ten times until it gets old. When he's completely done with it, we clean it up. But as soon as it's put away, he wants it out again. That's just the nature of the beast.

2. I have a husband who procrastinates a lot and spent his life until college with an army of servants who cleaned up for him. I don't feel responsible for his stuff and, though he has the best intentions, he's not great about helping around the house. Given that up until recently I had a full time job by day and a toddler to deal with at night, spending the time it would take to clean the house at night by myself is just not gonna happen. Now I spend my days drumming up my own business, so it's not like I'm sitting on the couch watching TV all day.

3. My husband files in piles. That's just the way his mind works and he gets annoyed when the piles are gone and he can't find anything.

4. I'm tired from 1 & 2.

5. I don't want my time with my toddler and my husband to be monopolized by cleaning. The last thing I want my kid to remember when he was young was his mom running around frantically cleaning up after him and his dad.

Last edited by overlyverbose; 09-18-2008 at 09:42 AM..
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  #28  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:51 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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There's always something more interesting to be doing than cleaning.

What I don't understand is people who can't relax if there is clutter. I don't notice clutter until it gets in my way.
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  #29  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:53 AM
burundi burundi is offline
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Originally Posted by Khadaji View Post
I am much more the oscar madison type than the felix unger type. It is due to a complete and utter indifference to clutter. I just don't notice it.
I'm a pretty tidy person. My husband is not. It used to drive me crazy until I realized that I'm just much more visually-oriented than he is. I notice socks on the floor, dirty dishes on the coffee table, etc. He truly doesn't. It plays out in other ways, too. I love art museums. He couldn't care less. I care what color our walls are and what the kitchen cabinets look like. He's totally indifferent. Visual stuff just doesn't register with him the same way that it does for me. I suspect a lot of messy people are like him.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:54 AM
burundi burundi is offline
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Originally Posted by Anne Neville View Post
There's always something more interesting to be doing than cleaning.

What I don't understand is people who can't relax if there is clutter. I don't notice clutter until it gets in my way.
It's funny, because I'm totally one of those people. Having a dirty house stresses me out. On the other hand, I don't mind cleaning. I actually find it satisfying to make order out of chaos.
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  #31  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:54 AM
lunar elf lunar elf is offline
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Our house could be cleaner. I'm a SAHM too. We have an almost 2yo child, with another on the way. Soon as I clean up her toys, she wants to pull them back out again. The family room will stay clean for a few hours in the evening, but that still leaves the kitchen and bedrooms.

We have this nice countertop area that's part of the kitchen and part of the family room and it just seems to be a catch all for everything of ours. It's impossible to keep clean! Everything up there has some sort of purpose, and yet there's no other place for it.

I make sure the dishes are done, and the sink rarely stays full for more than a day. I know everything is lost when the dishes are piled up and we have nothing to eat on or cook in. I lived that way growing up and I don't want my family to live like that.

I can't expect my husband to do more cleaning than me since he's out of the house all day bringing home the bacon. I don't want to spend the time we all have together as a family cleaning either. I try the spend 15-30 mins picking up, but it just never seems to be enough sometimes. I wouldn't want a house cleaner, because I'd inevitably be cleaning before they came. Our house isn't a pig sty it's just cluttered in areas. /sigh
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  #32  
Old 09-18-2008, 10:02 AM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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I'm a big fan of the philosophy "If you clean as you go, you'll never have to deal with big messes" but inevitably I always slip and things start piling up. The bigger the pile gets, the less inclined I am to deal with it until I can't ignore it any longer.

I don't even put away laundry. I have two hampers, Clean and Dirty. As clothes get used, they go in the Dirty hamper. After a week, I wash them, then dump them in the Clean hamper, then take from it as the next week progresses. My job isn't formal enough that I have to worry about ironed shirts, or I'd probably make a greater effort. My room is also inefficiently set up; my dresser is actually in the closet, and there's a mess of computer-related crap in front of the closet doors preventing them from opening easily. It's all interrelated.
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  #33  
Old 09-18-2008, 10:26 AM
Risha Risha is offline
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As usual, Sampiro said it best.

Also, we have a very small house, and it has even less (significantly less) closet space than our old two bedroom apartment had. The garage is also much smaller. Sometimes finding a place to actually put a particular object away is a struggle. There is a small pile of electronics and computer periferals sitting across the room from me right now, on top of a small console just inside the dining room. It's been there since my husband rebuilt his computer a couple of months ago, since the "leftover computer crap" crates in the closet in the basement are currently full. We're not sure where else to put them, and we don't want to toss perfectly good hard drives and such. Joining them on the console are a pile of books that we've been reading. (They used to live on the bottom shelf of the coffee table, but the puppy took it into his head to eat a couple of them one day.) And a couple of license plates from when I bought the new car, which we need to return to the DMV at some point. And a World of Warcraft action figure that my husband got as a birthday gift, and the action figure section of his desk is full. I think that's everything. (If you're wondering, we can't put this stuff inside of the console because it's currently full of pet items and a quasadilla maker that my mother gave us at Christmas.)

We have lots of pets (two dogs, four cats, a very large cage for a small lizard, and a fishtank), so keeping up with the feeding, walking, and cleaning necessary to keep them healthy takes priority over cleaning the clutter off of the side table. We also prioritize things that keep us healthy over putting away clutter (doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash and recycling, laundry, vacuuming the carpet, etc.). If I make it down the list to dusting, wiping down the kitchen appliances, and vaccuming off the sofa and cat tree, that week's a win.

I do make some effort to have the living room look like mature adults live there, but we're the only ones who ever enter our bedroom, so it just isn't a priority. We don't have the closet or drawer space to put all of our clothes away, so we have them piled on the top of both dressers. As long as they're folded and sorted, it doesn't make any real difference.

And making the bed rates at the very bottom of the list due to personal prejudice. I loathe pointless chores, and that's the ultimate. No one's going to see it other than the cats, and you're just going to mess it up again that night.
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  #34  
Old 09-18-2008, 10:51 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Originally Posted by Risha View Post
Sometimes finding a place to actually put a particular object away is a struggle.
This is true for us, too. We're packrats. We accumulate stuff. It's frustrating to try to put stuff away if you know going into it that you're not going to find a place for all the stuff.
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  #35  
Old 09-18-2008, 10:55 AM
Genghis Bob Genghis Bob is offline
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So many books . . . so little time. Have to prioritize.
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  #36  
Old 09-18-2008, 11:01 AM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is offline
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Because you haven't come over to clean it yet. I promised you cake and everything.
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  #37  
Old 09-18-2008, 11:09 AM
Aangelica Aangelica is offline
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Originally Posted by Anne Neville View Post
This is true for us, too. We're packrats. We accumulate stuff. It's frustrating to try to put stuff away if you know going into it that you're not going to find a place for all the stuff.
We're packrats, too. I blame our hobbies Most of both my husband's and my own hobbies are the sorts that involve the accumulation of objects. A lot of the clutter in our place is that it always seems kind of pointless to put something away I'm just going to want to take back out in a little bit. Or to return the thing the kitten just knocked off the coffee table to its rightful position for the twentieth time today. It always seems that no sooner do I put something away (or, rather, go through the effort of finding somewhere in which to store it, reorganize matters so that it can be stored, and then put it there), someone wants it. It always makes me feel like the effort spent in putting it away was wasted. Irrational, but there you go.

Plus, clutter honestly doesn't bother me at all.
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  #38  
Old 09-18-2008, 11:37 AM
Toxylon Toxylon is offline
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Originally Posted by burundi View Post
I'm a pretty tidy person. My husband is not. It used to drive me crazy until I realized that I'm just much more visually-oriented than he is. I notice socks on the floor, dirty dishes on the coffee table, etc. He truly doesn't. It plays out in other ways, too. I love art museums. He couldn't care less. I care what color our walls are and what the kitchen cabinets look like. He's totally indifferent. Visual stuff just doesn't register with him the same way that it does for me. I suspect a lot of messy people are like him.
My house is a mess and I'm a very visually-oriented person. I notice little things others have no clue about, I am very particular about what I wear and how I look, and I place great emphasis on beauty. I just hate housework and feel like doing them is a loss of precious time. I'm positive I won't regret my messy house when I lay on my death bed, but I might well regret all the thousands of hours of housework that didn't lead to anything of worth. Keeping a house tidy is just too much work, especially since the things I really care about tend to make a mess.
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  #39  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:17 PM
Foxy40 Foxy40 is offline
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Originally Posted by burundi View Post
It's funny, because I'm totally one of those people. Having a dirty house stresses me out. On the other hand, I don't mind cleaning. I actually find it satisfying to make order out of chaos.
I am with you. I am reading this thread and I actually envy those that can look at the clutter around them and ignore it. I can not stand things not in their place, clutter on counters or anything on tables. I couldn't sleep knowing there was a dirty dish in the sink and can't leave the house unless the beds are made.

And yes, after working ten hour days I spend two hours cooking,cleaning,washing dishes and doing laundry but I find it more relaxing then sitting around watching television.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:25 PM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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Originally Posted by overlyverbose View Post
5. I don't want my time with my toddler and my husband to be monopolized by cleaning. The last thing I want my kid to remember when he was young was his mom running around frantically cleaning up after him and his dad.
My friend's DIL is like this. DIL's daughter is three and DIL (Tara) is a freak for clean. It's already affecting the little girl. She was flower girl in a wedding awhile back. But instead of scattering flower petals in the aisle, she followed the other little flower girl and picked up the petals. The guests cracked up. "Yeah, that's Tara's daughter!"

My place isn't messy but my floors could be cleaner. I hate vacuuming and mopping.
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  #41  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:56 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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To me it is a matter of priorities. Right now I need to be cleaning but I just picked up my cat from the hospital where he has been for the past 3 days so instead of cleaning I am online and I have a happy, purring kitten in my lap. Making sure he feels loved is more important to me right now than mopping the kitchen. Here in about an hour I'll start the cleaning process and my boyfriend is coming over after work to help me (the mess bothers him more than it does me) so that my place will be tidy by tomorrow night when I have company. I absolutely will not sacrifice the happiness and well being of myself or my pets so that I can live without clutter. I know some people who seem to miss out on some of the best parts of life because they needed to dust or sweep or whatever and that makes me sad for them.
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  #42  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:01 PM
burundi burundi is offline
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Originally Posted by Toxylon View Post
Keeping a house tidy is just too much work, especially since the things I really care about tend to make a mess.
For me, it doesn't seem like that much work--admittedly, I don't have kids. I probably spend 3-4 hours a week on housework, not counting daily kitchen cleaning. To me, that's worth it in terms of having a clean, comfortable, welcoming home. But I tend to clean as I go, and my mother trained me early on how to do housework quickly and efficiently, so I might be faster at it than some people.
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  #43  
Old 09-18-2008, 02:23 PM
Risha Risha is offline
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Originally Posted by burundi View Post
For me, it doesn't seem like that much work--admittedly, I don't have kids. I probably spend 3-4 hours a week on housework, not counting daily kitchen cleaning. To me, that's worth it in terms of having a clean, comfortable, welcoming home. But I tend to clean as I go, and my mother trained me early on how to do housework quickly and efficiently, so I might be faster at it than some people.
But you've already admitted that you enjoy cleaning. For someone who hates it, or even just doesn't care that much, that's a lot of time wasted when they could be doing something else.

I suspect that I'm faster than average. My mom was a housecleaner, and couldn't afford childcare, so I spent most of my childhood vacation days at someone else's very large house helping her clean. And she had high standards. It left me with a disinclination to clean my own place, an abiding hatred of baseboards, a compulsion to go really overboard once I do start cleaning, and the firm conviction that it wasn't how I was going to spend the rest of my life. All of the other daughters of cleaning ladies that I know ended up the same way.
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  #44  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:03 PM
Contrary Contrary is offline
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I absolutely do not enjoy cleaning the house or washing the dishes or the clothes or any of that. But even more, I cannot stand living in a mess. So the pain from mess > pain of cleaning.

Not all of us who are neat like to clean. I clean because living in a messy environment is anathema to me. I'm fast at it now but doubt I will ever truly enjoy the process.
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  #45  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:14 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
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Because the cats persistantly refuse to clean the house while I'm at work, freeloading little bastards.

My SAH husband is only slightly better than the cats, but at least he tries sometimes. He's good with laundry and cleans the cat boxes, and if there are actually dishes in the sink he will often wash most of them (while ignoring the rest of the kitchen). Sadly, he does not actually see dirt or clutter unless it is in his side of the closet, which is kept fanatically neat. Go figure. So, until I'm no longer working obscenely long hours and can put in some cleaning time, things are just going to stay messy.
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  #46  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:19 PM
Silver Tyger Silver Tyger is offline
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Originally Posted by Antinor01 View Post
Because you haven't come over to clean it yet. I promised you cake and everything.
Seriously? Because I'll come organize your place for cake. It's chocolate right?

My mom is super organized and a recovering neat freak (OCD, now on drugs). My sister is organized. My dad and I are pack rats. I try, I really do. I just don't like putting the time in every day. I try to limit the size of the piles.
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  #47  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:20 PM
Nikki Tikki Tavi Nikki Tikki Tavi is offline
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Originally Posted by Contrary View Post
I absolutely do not enjoy cleaning the house or washing the dishes or the clothes or any of that. But even more, I cannot stand living in a mess. So the pain from mess > pain of cleaning.

Not all of us who are neat like to clean. I clean because living in a messy environment is anathema to me. I'm fast at it now but doubt I will ever truly enjoy the process.
I don't loathe cleaning, but it certainly isn't my idea of a fun time. Especially after working all day. I suck it up because I know that physical clutter = mental clutter for me. I can't sit down and watch TV if the TV is covered in a layer of dust, and I can't sleep in a messy bedroom because it isn't restful to lay there surrounded by clutter.

I'm being forced to relax my standards a little, though, because the house is a construction project right now and will be for the forseeable future.
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  #48  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:39 PM
freekalette freekalette is offline
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Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
This our family's story as well.

And to be completely honest -- my wife and I refuse to spend two hours nightly cleaning up after the kids. We just won't do it. Therefore, the mess piles up. We do a thorough cleaning every month or two for when we host company.

I have thought about starting a thread about how people keep their houses super-neat and clean with small children in the house. But I keep thinking that the responses won't be helpful to people who won't do the daily cleaning (like us ).
This is me. This, and the fact that the mess just doesn't bother me at all. We are gross-free (no roaches or mold or anything like that), it's all just clutter that gets strewn aroun from one place to another. Our house isn't really big enough to hold our stuff (and we don't really have much, considering there are five of us) so to put one thing away, you have to take something else out.

FTR, I'm going to clean as soon as I'm done here. The windstorm put a quick halt to our progress the other day.
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  #49  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:54 PM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
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Originally Posted by Cazzle View Post
I'm untidy. I can walk past a pile of stuff that would make you twitch and simply, honestly, not even notice it. Mum calls it "Domestic blindness".
I agree with Cazzel's mom. After a while it seems (some) people just don't notice the mess anymore. Things pile up until circumstances force you to really _look_ at your environment.
The only reason my house isn't knee-deep in car fur is because every other week the cleaning lady comes and vacuums. It's amazing how little bits of green paper motivate people. For those of you who would like a clean house, but hate to clean; do the math on
a) how valuable your non-work time is to you
b) how many hours it takes to clean house
c) how many hours at work it takes to pay your local cleaning lady
You might find it's worth it.
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  #50  
Old 09-18-2008, 04:02 PM
Risha Risha is offline
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Originally Posted by The Devil's Grandmother View Post
For those of you who would like a clean house, but hate to clean; do the math on
a) how valuable your non-work time is to you
b) how many hours it takes to clean house
c) how many hours at work it takes to pay your local cleaning lady
You might find it's worth it.
Oh, it would absolutely be worth it to me. Unfortunately, the very idea makes my husband twitch. He doesn't want anyone in the house without us being there.
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