You're very organized, your SO is not, how do you deal with it?

I adore him, but it’s a problem.

What kind of disorganized do you mean? Household clutter? Not planning stuff? Things like not having bills and stuff taken care of?

I am the disorganized one in my relationship. One thing that has helped us is making expectations very clear. I’m not a planner and hubby is, so that caused friction. But we were able to negotiate a minimum time for making plans (say, three days in advance), and that’s something I can stick to.

We also just work around a lot of stuff. All of my bills at on autopay, I use a concierge service (the amazing Fancyhands) for stuff like making appointments, etc.

In our relationship it helps that SO is never ever wrong or even in the slightest most infinitesimal way accepting of the most mild suggestion that there may, in some alternate fantasy universe, be a different way to approach something - planning, clutter, chores, money. (Whereas they are also genetically predisposed to correct others.)

Consequently, the coping strategy I use is to do everything always - while, depending on the hour of the day, contemplating different creative methods of suicide.

So, we have a system, and it seems to be working! :smiley:

I’m “a place for everything and everything in its place” kind of guy. Wife is lucky to find her car keys and cell phone within 5 minutes every morning. She keeps the house very clean but does things like putting her stuff in a drawer or cabinet then forgetting which one she put her purse in. She once put a bill in a drawer and couldn’t understand why we got a late notice on it until she happened upon the original bill a few months later.

So I don’t touch her stuff and she doesn’t touch mine. I’ve gone so far as to buy her things like a tape measure, screwdrivers, scissors, etc., and forbid her to even think about touching mine. Also all mail now goes into a pile for me to sort through and pay the bills.

My apartment may appear to be very cluttered, but I know where everything is.

Except when I try to organize things and put them away and lose track of where I ‘organized’ them to. :stuck_out_tongue:

We are just different kinds of organised. He puts things in a place that he thinks is logical (only it isn’t logical, it is in plain point of fact stupid, but there you go.) I put them away in the proper place, usually a box that has the category written on it.

Conversations go like this:

Him: Where is the cord for the thing, I left it on the dresser.
gracer: I tidied it.
Him: Where to?
gracer: The box marked “spare cords & var. elec.”, where it belongs.
Him: We have box for that? Where is it?
gracer: It’s in the cupboard. Next to the box marked “presents & wrapping”.

In his mind, leaving it on the dresser was an excellent idea. He wouldn’t forget it was there or anything. To me that’s clutter, and it needs to go in a box in a cupboard together with the other spare cords.

We deal with it by communicating. And also by accepting that the other person has another way of dealing with things. I think his way is the stupid way, he thinks my way is the insano way, we accept that that is how it is. I find cords in “logical” places, I put them away in a box, he asks where they are. Just decide to stop being bothered by it.

I learned with flatmates as well, if you want things done a certain way and by a certain time, it is much easier to just get on and do it, or ask directly “would you do this thing for me quickly right now?” Rotas, rules, expectations and hopes for personality change just create tension and anger. Other people are different and you cannot change them. You can only change how you react.

one person’s “putting away” is another person’s “hiding it so it can’t be found”.

This ↑↑↑

& I am like both, I lose my own stuff that I ALWAYS put in the same place. :smack:

If we’re talking about clutter: I have one room in the house that’s mine. She’s free to place things however she feels necessary in the rest of the house. I get the one, pristine, clutter-free zone to retreat to. Also, occasionally I go on a mad cleaning rampage throughout the entire house when I can’t take it anymore, and she happily messes it all up* over the next few days. It’s a system that works for us.

*As a self-professed clean freak, I accept that my definition of “messy” might not match the average person’s.

If we’re talking about getting ready to go somewhere together: I declare WAY ahead of time the exact hour and minute we need to leave. Then I give running updates. “We need to leave in forty-five minutes!” “Ten minutes before we go!” That seems to work out. Honestly, I love my wife and she is awesome, but sometimes I just watch in awe as she tries to get ready to leave the house.

It’s amazing because if it’s work related she’s the most organized person you’ll meet. When she was going to school, she had a day planner and color-coded binders and all sorts of stuff. It was crazy impressive. But then you have us getting ready to go out to dinner and she NEEDS to empty the dishwasher while in the middle of brushing her teeth, and oh let me just do this one thing on the computer, and where are my keys, and I forgot my ________, and I need to take this out to the mailbox quick, etc…

Wow - that captures my situation, exactly! I gave-up on trying to do everything years ago because it was driving me crazy, and have just selected areas that are worth going to the mat: the kitchen. The most heavily used surface in the house needs to be uncluttered and sanitary. I let the garage go, I let the dust pile up, I let the mail stack, but the one area I need clean and neat is the kitchen.

Everything else I just groaningly accept because any suggestion that the dirt and clutter could be cleaner and tidier ends up nuclear. I think this is less aggravating, but is still driving me crazy (slowly).

This might be helpful, might not:

I’m a dude. I respond to orders. I will not intuit that you’d like help cleaning the toilets. I need you to spell it out. If you suggest, that maybe I clean the toilets, then you’re giving me the option of not cleaning the toilets. Why would I want to clean them? Clearly my time is better spent reorganizing the refrigerator. If you** tell **me to clean the toilets, they will be the cleanest toilets on the block.

Anyway, after several fights on this very topic, we came up with the following solution. It works for us. I like it. In a nutshell, when she wants/needs help, she comes to me and says “I need help. You can clean the toilets or fold the laundry.” Then I choose which one. This works because: 1) I’m given explicit instructions. 2) I’m given an option!

We had to split our finances for just this reason. My wife is a slob and is a spender, whereas I am neat and am a saver. I am not judging her for this, and she would likely admit it herself.

The first step was to divide the bills in accordance with our salaries. She make 1/3 of the money and I make 2/3 so we split it accordingly, and I try to give her the bills that she can control the cost of to a greater or lesser degree. For example, as soon as she started paying the electric and water bill, suddenly, lights weren’t getting left on all over the house, and showers didn’t last 30 minutes. Money gets taken out of her paycheck for her 401(k), her bills are on autopay, and she generally shops and blows the rest of her money. I do the same, except I generally save my extra money and invest in a number of things for our future.

She gets the master bedroom closet, which looks like a grenade went off in there, but I can close the door and don’t have to look at it. Likewise, the policy is that all mail is brought in through the garage so that you can sort it at the recycle bin and toss all the junk. That way, a supermarket flyer doesn’t get brought in and left in a pile, or worse, get left on top of a bill that gets overlooked. All Amazon packages are opened there as well, so boxes and packing stuff do not get pushed aside to a corner, or worse, placed inside small garabage cans inside, which instantly makes them ‘full’.

My wife also hates cleaning, but she volunteered to pick up the cost of a maid, and that solved arguments related to cleanliness of the house. about the only thing we still occassionally fight about is going out, because that is an expense I cover, whereas she generally buys most of the groceries. As such, when she gets lazy, she announces she wants to go out to eat, which is fine except that it adds up fast, especially when it is a fancy restaurant or we go out several times a week. Even then, I try not to let me analness get the better of me, and subtlely bring up my distaste for it well before it becomes a fight.

I feel that this isn’t so much a guy thing as its a lazy thing. Demanding your SO give specific instructions gives you an excuse for being lazy “you never told me to do it”. This is a lame excuse that puts the burden of work on the one spouse that is observant enough to know a certain task needs to get done. It’s the equivalent of playing dumb hoping someone else will take care of it.

Perhaps your wife doesn’t mind living with someone with a five year old’s mentality but in my experience most people appreciate a partner with enough sense to read between the lines.

This. Keeping track of what needs to be done when to keep the house in livable condition* is still work – it may be mental work, but it still takes time and energy to think and plan ahead and determine what needs to be done. Asking one person to shoulder all of that particular burden isn’t any more fair than asking one person to do all of the physical work.

It absolutely is possible for anyone to learn how to pay attention better to particular tasks and their status, so that they can be taken care of without prompting – it’s not something where you can fall back on “dude vs lady” assumptions.

*Of course, people have different ideas of “livable condition”, so some negotiation on both sides is often called for.

According to my daughter, she’s Felix and I’m Oscar.
I disagree.
Her room may be organized and clean, but that’s the only room she will take responsibility over. I can tidy the rest of the house, and she will destroy it in minutes.
I implement routines, such as going through mail rather than just plunking it down on the TV, which she doesn’t follow. I discard all plastic tubs - we have enough Tupperware for a small country - she washes them and put them in the cupboard. She hates to see waste like that, she says, and I hate to have cottage cheese containers for no reason.

It can be a pain to deal with, and we do have spats about it. She cannot comment on the untidiness of the living room if she’s not willing to put any effort into cleaning it.

After 20+ years and a lot of nudging, I am much better about this. But a lot of it is, I’m sure, she giving up and cleaning after me. We just have differing standards and, as I told her once, given my college living conditions she sure couldn’t have fallen for me because of my neatness and organization skills! :eek:

Oh, and “Can you do X task” and “Can you do X task right now” are two completely different sentences which will yield completely different results. One will get the trash emptied (hopefully) before bedtime, and the other will get it done (hopefully) no later than the next commercial break.

You guys get it :slight_smile:

He has a table just inside the living room that everything in the world lands on, so it’s huge piles of misc. things on a coat of dust. I don’t dare touch it, and I have told him to please clean it up so I CAN dust it, but nothing yet and not holding my breath.

I bring lovely 8 way screwdrivers home from work, put them in the mug where we keep pens, etc-stuff we need to grab quick, and there is never ever one there. And I’ve brought one home dozens of time. Forget about the yard clippers, loppers, etc-never can find, and if I can, he’s never cleaned them from the last time he used them so they’re rusty. I bought a new set of loppers once, and when I couldn’t find them asked where “my” lopper were. I got the dead eye as he said-aren’t they “our” loppers? No help finding them tho’.

I do now have my own tool bag stashed in the closet with threats attached.

And it’s not just things. He bought a new truck about 5 mos. ago. He hasn’t had the oil changed yet, and yes, it’s well over 5K miles. And the old truck he needs to write to another state for the title for-still sitting, no letter yet.

I do have my “going berserk” moments when I just simply start cleaning and throwing things that are out of place and have been for months and months at him. “He’ll get to it.”

It’s a process.:rolleyes:

Now, see if I didn’t know better, I’d say my husband posted this. And it royally pisses me off.

“All you have to do is ask.” I hear this a lot.

No one has to ask me to cook, do laundry, do dishes, clean the toilet, pick up the living room, vacuum or do any of the 100 thing that need doing every week.

Why the hell should I have to ask you? It comes off as begging, which is humiliating. You should never make your spouse feel debased, unintentionally or otherwise.

The 'I’m a dude" excuse is b^llsh*t. I don’t know about you, but I KNOW my husband’s mother taught him better.

Woah woah woah!

Hotbutton issue for you guys, yeah? You read a lot of stuff I didn’t type, but it’s probably my fault for not explaining every nuance of the situation. I was just trying to make a quick point, and failed to consider the nature of the internet.

We’ve got a pretty solid division of labor in my house, and most of the time things work out just fine without incident. Some weeks I do more around the house, some weeks my wife does. All sorts of things contribute to this, work and social schedules, if someone’s playing with the kid, or doing bathtime, whatever. A few tasks are traditionally one person’s or the other’s. For example, she hates grocery shopping, so I do that. I don’t particularly love putting away laundry, so she does that. We are also both OCD about certain things, so that plays into it.

In the past, situations would arise where we’d feel overwhelmed about some task, but not mention anything about it until it turned into a fight. I do all sorts of things around the house, but yes, I’d be completely oblivious to the fact that the amount of dust on the third bookshelf is setting her off that day, because I’ve barely spent any time in that room this week and didn’t notice it, and she was going to dust it in the morning but she had to go into work early and now it’s been driving her nuts thinking about it for ten hours. This has nothing to do with my emotional development, and everything to do with her being stressed out and obsessing about the friggn’ bookshelf. I mean, we don’t even have a bookshelf and now* I’m* obsessing about the dust on there, so I get it.

Also, come on, dudes. I don’t know anyone who is 100% vigilant on compiling lists of things to do around the house. I mean, I’m sure the garage could use a sweep, but that’s not going to be a pressing issue until my OCD kicks in and I freak out about lawn mower placement, and why is this thing over here and not in the proper place, and oh god this garage needs to be swept immediately.

So anyway, often we’d (it goes both ways) say nothing about things until drama!, or occasionally she’d think she was dropping a hint but to me it’d be nothing of the sort. (I don’t do hints. I just internalize my rage. Wee!) After this happened a few times, we talked it out. Of course we’re ready and willing to help, but the job ticker isn’t always up-to-date on what the other person is thinking needs to be done. We agreed that it might be unreasonable to expect the other to know we’re feeling overwhelmed about specific housework without actually saying anything about it, so we came up with the solution. I was like, “Tell me if you want help. It’s no big deal.” She was like, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Then she came up with the options thing. “I need help. Choose X or Y.” I still like it.

The “I’m a dude” thing was dumb, not representative of the situation.

My in-laws, the dad and son (living at home) are unemployed. Sit around doing nothing all day. The mom works, comes home cooks dinner, cleans up afterward. Does everything around the house. Drives me crazy, especially around any holiday, where she’s cooking and cleaning up after a dozen people. I go in and do the dishes afterward, and no one ever catches on. The problem is that she’s let it happen.

It’s not an ASK thing. It’s a TELL thing. Don’t ask.