General Cleaning

There’s No Excuse for a Messy House

It’s commonplace to hear about the different types of people in this world. “Type A” personalities are those people that have a knack for keeping everything in place, for being on time and for feeling best when living a clutter free life. The other personality types, are essentially carefree (or careless depending on how you see it) folks who seem to be able to manage just find among environmental chaos. Is there a right or wrong way to live? Is the neat freak better than the messy tornado? Does it really matter….really matter in the scope of things that everything in your home (and life) get put in its place?

The answer of course, depends on whom you are talking to. But realistically speaking, there is truly no excuse for a messy home. Television shows such as Hoarders, and My Secret Obsession and Clean that House have been making a mockery (and a mint) out of ousting people who live in squalors. Obviously, the people on these shows are living in pigsties to the extremes. However, millions of other people aren’t engaged in cleaning on a day-to-day basis. They aren’t fazed by toothpaste dripping from the walls in the bathroom, shoes all over the hallway, toys strewn across the dining room and kitchen, or piles of grimy dishes in the sink. In fact, they can walk in the home – see the mess, step over the crap all over the place and simply throw their jacket or purse or keys in some random place without thinking much about it.

The easiest way to avoid living in a pigpen is to stop making excuses for it. Sure, you worked all day. Sure, you have kids. But that does not mean that the people in your home (or you) should have an excuse to simply make matters worse. If folks would simply take the extra five seconds to take the extra step and put their stuff away, or clean up after themselves – slightly messy homes would not be turned into certified disaster areas. And if you didn’t have disaster areas, the Type A person in your life, who likes things neat and tidy – wouldn’t have a panic attack at site of the kitchen table.

Research also supports the fact that organization is important in life. It shows that people who maintain order, and organization in their home are less stressed, have MORE time to relax, and are sick less often. Living in utter chaos, often referred to as ‘environmental chaos” is also not healthy for children and can lead to non-medical signs of diseases such as ADD. Regardless of age, when there is too much going on in the environment around you, it IS difficult to focus and maintain a positive outlook.

And let’s be honest. Keeping a house clean and tidy, actually takes less time than living in a disaster area. When you know have a place for everything and everything in its place – you find things more quickly. You can get out of the house easier. And it makes every day chores such as cooking, taking a shower, or putting laundry away a cinch. The trick is being consistent with the chores and with the people that you live with. If you have children, it’s important from a young age to get them used to putting the legos back in the toy box, teaching them to put their laundry away when it’s clean, and making sure, they are responsible for the little messes that they make. Unless you have a full time maid, teaching kids to be tidy is a matter of self-respect and respect for others. Plus, it prepares them for the future and for their independent life.

In a perfect world, you would be able to welcome visitors into your home any time night or day. You would never be embarrassed about the ‘state’ of your home – or be worried that the mother in law might come in and visit. Cleaning, when done daily isn’t really a chore at all. When you become organized inside your home, and commit to keeping things that way, everything becomes easier. The work of course comes in trying to train the people you live with to breathe the same sigh of relief from living in a tidy home that you do.

A messy home speaks volumes for the people that live inside it. Take a minute and think of your home. What does it say about you? Does it scream lazy? Are you disrespecting the space that you work hard to live in? Is it unhealthy? Is your home in such a disarray that it causes frustration and stress that often bleeds into your relationships? If you answered YES, to any of these questions – chances are you need to take a minute and take inventory of your home’s cleanliness and your lifestyle habits.

When you live with other people, it is important to be respectful of maintaining your home. Bottom line, there ISNT an excuse for a messy home. It just means that you are lazy, or that you don’t care – or that you assume someone else is going to pick everything up for you. Making changes can be difficult at the onset, but as time goes on – you will find that keeping things orderly, makes for a much happier family.

House rules should apply to everyone. Taking care of your home should be as important as taking care of yourself. Your home is an extension, and a reflection of YOU. And certainly, it can be just as disruptive to be completely anal retentive about the organization of your home. The trick is finding balance between tidiness and messes and making sure that everyone living under your roof is responsible for taking care of their own stuff.

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15 comments

Liz September 18, 2016 at 6:19 AM

Thank you! It’s so good to find housekeeping motivation and encouragement. There aren’t enough blogs normalizing cleanliness. It should not be an ideal. It should be a standard. It is hardly a question of being a Type A personality, OCD, etc. It truly is a question of *caring*. Loved this.

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Z'eva Sara August 10, 2018 at 2:38 PM

I get it: sometimes you feel like crap, psychologically or physically, or you’re a certified hoarder or have some other constant condition, and you just don’t want to clean.
But, chronic slovenliness leads to further psychological damage and eventually endangers your health and that of your loved ones. And to those who would visit, it is the ultimate form of saying “ f— you and your sensibilities.”
THERE IS NO EXCUSE. EVEN BIRDS CLEAN THEIR NESTS. IT JUST HAS TO BE DONE. If you need to hire someone, DO IT. You go to your 9 -5 job every day, even when you don’t feel like it, don’t you?
So, get your ass in gear, and clean your house. Your head, health, family, and friends will love you for it.

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Carina Schnuir September 13, 2018 at 5:42 AM

I have two kids and I love a neat and tidy home. I must say it often is a challenge but I can’t stand a clutterd home. Sometimes I feel proud of myself when visiting friends with no kids and everyting is so clutterd and dirty. It just shows that there is no excuse. It’s true, when you are ontop of your cleaning routine it takes less than an hour to clean and tidy per day. My kids never gets sick and I feel proud to give them a clean and tidy, relaxing enviroment.

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Willa April 24, 2019 at 4:52 AM

That’s it? Where’s the advice for the single parent with no help working 2 jobs who cannot afford hired help? What advice do you have for first getting the pile of rubble cleaned up so that better habits can then be formed? What advice do you have for how to find time to clean it all up when there is no paid leave time & no free child care?

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Katie Pie October 12, 2019 at 10:33 PM

Well I don’t suppose your house does get messy, considering all you have to do all day is clean it, seeing as you don’t work! Well guess what luv – there are people in the world that aren’t living your fairytale lifestyle that do have to work, and clean, and parent, and study and everything else. Believe it or not, not everyone has a husband who goes out & makes the money, or family nearby that can help out. I don’t expect you have a mental illness, or are studying a degree either. People like you make me sick – you sit back in your perfectly clean home with your perfect kids and your perfect husband and sling mud at the people that you have labelled as lazy or uncaring’, when all that is is your own judgement of others who don’t have a perfect life like you do. There are literally millions of people in the world that don’t have it as good as you do. You haven’t got a clue what real life is like!!!

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Sue December 19, 2019 at 11:54 AM

I totally agree with you!

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Melissa Engel April 4, 2020 at 7:00 AM

amen

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Trish McClelland June 5, 2019 at 12:35 PM

My 22 year old granddaughter, her “i dont care” hushand, their 6 month baby, my daughter all live with me, a 67 year old woman with health problems. My granddaughter told me just now that I have no respect for the clutter, the moldy baby bottles, food left out, dirty dishes that they create. I’m physically tired of trying g to pic k up and being g chastised for touching their stuff. Im… tired..

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Dobj July 29, 2019 at 12:57 PM

If you answered YES to any of these questions you might have other things going on in your life- just off the top of my head- dialysis, grad school, charity work, emergency home repairs, sick relatives to care for, toddlers, chronic illness like cystic fibrosis….
“There’s really no excuse” for attacking other people and foisting your narrow thoughts on everyone else. It’s “just lazy” thinking.
“And let’s be honest”, keeping a house tidy is a matter of priorities. And you have no basis to assess others’ priorities.
You believe that it’s a moral issue, just like my step dad sees impeccable lawn care as a moral issue. It’s an interesting insight into your brains. Also labeling yourself as a professor is fascinating.
You have the extraordinary privilege to blog lifestyle tips instead of returning to law enforcement. And you’re trying to convince others that they can have what you have by imitating you. Or imitating their *pereception* of you.

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Marion Polhill September 26, 2019 at 4:39 AM

Dobj wrote –

July 29, 2019 at 12:57 PM
If you answered YES to any of these questions you might have other things going on in your life- just off the top of my head- dialysis, grad school, charity work, emergency home repairs, sick relatives to care for, toddlers, chronic illness like cystic fibrosis….
“There’s really no excuse” for attacking other people and foisting your narrow thoughts on everyone else. It’s “just lazy” thinking.
“And let’s be honest”, keeping a house tidy is a matter of priorities. And you have no basis to assess others’ priorities.
You believe that it’s a moral issue, just like my step dad sees impeccable lawn care as a moral issue. It’s an interesting insight into your brains. Also labeling yourself as a professor is fascinating.
You have the extraordinary privilege to blog lifestyle tips instead of returning to law enforcement. And you’re trying to convince others that they can have what you have by imitating you. Or imitating their *pereception* of you.

I couldn’t have put it more accurate. Thank you for your open minded comment.

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Betty October 10, 2019 at 12:47 AM

Wow. Your judgmental view and lack of empathy for those who are seriously suffering, whether from mental illness or other ills life throws our way, that leads to messy houses is astounding. To equate that as a moral failing is extremely telling of your own lack of character.

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Kate October 12, 2019 at 10:42 PM

I agree completely, as outlined above. I didn’t mean to reply to your comment, it was meant to be a new comment. I found this post extraordinarily close minded and judgemental of others who may not be as fortunate as the poster. I’m a single parent, I work, and study, and do everything, I have no family help, I am exhausted most days, especially at the end of a semester of full time uni, which is right now, where pretty much everything has come before the cleaning. Obviously I’m not as worried about what other people think about me as what the poster does. She obviously feels the need to keep up with the Jones’s and only feels okay about life if hers is ‘perfect’. *eye roll*

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Suzy Q November 28, 2019 at 4:05 AM

This is easily the dumbest thing I’ve ever stumbled across. The statement, “see the mess, step over the crap all over the place…” in particular is distressing to say the least. While I can only speak from my own personal experience and knowledge, it’s is a very drastic assumption to suggest they see it at all. I personally grew up in a house that was always in one form of disarray or another, and have the shameful privilege of being able to say for ten years had a living room that looked like a construction zone; plastered walls, subfloor completely exposed, various pieces of equipment and supplies stacked beside and on top of each other surrounded by dusty bins of heirlooms and precious photos with nowhere to be stored after we grew and a sibling needed the storage closet renovated into a Harry Potter-esque bedroom. Me and my siblings never once noticed it as any different, even after seeing friends homes and happily invited them over only to shrug off the politely-worded comments on the mess.

As an adult, I can see how bizarre and visually uncomfortable it would be to anyone who happened upon it, and it’s impressive it never was to us. However because of this, because I had parents who never really got around to picking any of this crap up and I never witnessed an example of what “tidying” should be- vacuuming the crevices of stairs for pet hair for example- I never knew to do any of it once I lived on my own. I don’t think I even knew what a baseboard was, much less ever noticed it was something that could accumulate filth and needed to be physically wiped, until my partner moved in with me. Even still to this day years later I can be *aware* that my living space is becoming untidy, or that things are piling up, but unless I am paying specific attention to it I genuinely will not notice. It’s as though it just shuts off, and the inconvenience of walking over or around things is nonexistent because that’s simply what I’m used to anyways and it doesn’t trigger and sort of “oh I should put that away, I should throw this in the bin, I should take the bag out” and I will forget about it.

And despite this I have no problem maintaining an impeccable and almost incessant level of cleanliness in my workplace, because that are is not *my* home and stands out more vividly, if that makes any sense.

I won’t even begin to touch on the affect of disorders such as depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, attention disorders, stress, and whatever else have you play into one’s ability to maintain pristine living conditions.

Anyways, f#%* you and everyone who thinks like you. There’s more depth to cleanliness than “you’re a lazy slob” and I feel sorry for the unfortunate people with these struggles, who may or may not be aware of it, that have the absolute displeasure of talking to, or reading any of your work. Instead of being a judgmental wretch, it would be lovely to see you actually suggest techniques that could help, since I suppose that would be the target audience on the subject, instead of hopping on the opportunity to talk down to anyone who DARE be seeking advice and create a nice little shame corner for them to enjoy. I suppose that would require some basic decency and empathy, though, wouldn’t it?

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Nance January 8, 2020 at 5:43 AM

What did I just read???? Holy cow! This is the quite possibly THE worst “blog” I’ve ever read. The writer comes off as an angry, judgmental and unhappy person. The entire article’s tone is cold, unyielding and self-righteous. It must really feel good to put others down, doesn’t it? Who do you think you are? This is so offensive. You need therapy so you can gain some self awareness. Wow.

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Caroline January 20, 2020 at 9:40 AM

You have no right to talk like that to people like that! You obviously have no idea what it’s like to try to keep your house clean with severe mental illness and chronic pain. Also, that type A personality that you’re worried about? Who cares?! How your home is shouldn’t be about anyone who doesn’t live there. And if someone really cares about the PERSON, they are going to not care what their house looks like when they are struggling. Hell they might even offer to help you clean it. My friend helps that way a lot when I’m having a really hard time mentally, and I do for her the same thing when I’m doing better mentally and she’s not. Let’s love and accept each other. And understand that not everyone has the same situations.

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