Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: cabbageweevil on July 22, 2013, 01:34:07 PM

Title: Domestic messiness
Post by: cabbageweevil on July 22, 2013, 01:34:07 PM
Probably a thing discussed already on this site; but -- situation of those who live alone and can please themselves -- am thinking about messiness in the home, versus the opposite.  I am male, and live alone, and am, in American parlance (I'm British), an utter "slob".

I can very well "see with my head", the good sense in the adage, "a place for everything, and everything in its place". Not to the obsessive-compulsive ultimate: just, "know where something basically 'lives', and you'll know where you want to go, when you suddenly need it".

"With my head", I can't fault that principle; but my gut obstinately resists it, with the message that "a life where you're forever having to fuss about 'where things dwell, and restoring them thereto', ceases to be a life worth living".  In everyday terms, the worst items on which this general thing focuses for me, are scissors; magnifying glasses; and calculators -- I very often can't find where I've put / hidden / buried them, and I get very annoyed and frustrated.  As said -- re this, head and gut send polar-opposite messages.

Am I, in this, just a hopeless male, direly in need of mental readjustment; or are there others on the board who experience similar difficulties?
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Carotte on July 22, 2013, 01:55:24 PM
I'm pretty sure scissors, magnifying glasses, calculators, along the lines of a pen that works, that ruler I just saw, and the slip of paper I really need right now are objects that just don't stay in one place anyway. Mind of its own and all that, those things are always disappearing.
The worst is when, after using it you think "I'll put it here (a new place), it's logic and I should remember it easily". Then you'll spend a good half hour looking for it and when you'll find it (in that oh so logic spot where you left it) you'll wonder under what kind of drug you were to think that was a good idea.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: lowspark on July 22, 2013, 02:12:20 PM
I am, by nature, a slob as well. However, I'm living proof that you can retrain yourself if you want it badly enough. I do still tend to leave things wherever I happen to be, and my computer room is varies between "complete disaster" and "manageable mess". But I manage to keep the rest of the house pretty picked up.

The thing I talked myself into was that you don't actually have to be forever in the mode of "fuss about 'where things dwell, and restoring them thereto'". You forgive yourself for lapses and do the best you can.

First thing I'd advise is to declutter as much as possible. So much of the mess can be things you don't need but can't let go of because... you might need it some day, you paid $x for it and darned if you're going to have wasted that money, your favorite aunt gave it to you, etc. The truth is, the less junk you have, the less of it you have to keep organized and the less of it you have to plow through to find the scissors when things aren't all put away.

Next, think in terms of baby steps. Cleaning and organizing can seem (and be) overwhelming. So don't think of it as one task. The next time you have 10 minutes to spare, just do 10 minutes' worth. Clean out one drawer. Or a quarter of a shelf. Or put 10 things away. It's so hard to start a huge project but if you can look at it as one small project at a time, you can make progress slowly. No rule says that you have to get everything in order in one day.

Third, hire a housekeeper. Nothing motivates me more to pick up the stray paraphernalia than the reminder that my housekeeper is coming tomorrow. I don't want her organizing my stuff (I'll never find anything if she does!) and how else is she going to really clean if there's junk everywhere? And I certainly don't want to clean toilets and mop floors so I've got to make it so she can do her job.

Good luck. It's not easy and it's a constant struggle, but YES! It can be done!
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Amara on July 22, 2013, 02:23:36 PM
Quote
Probably a thing discussed already on this site; but -- situation of those who live alone and can please themselves -- am thinking about messiness in the home, versus the opposite.  I am male, and live alone, and am, in American parlance (I'm British), an utter "slob".

I can very well "see with my head", the good sense in the adage, "a place for everything, and everything in its place". Not to the obsessive-compulsive ultimate: just, "know where something basically 'lives', and you'll know where you want to go, when you suddenly need it".

"With my head", I can't fault that principle; but my gut obstinately resists it, with the message that "a life where you're forever having to fuss about 'where things dwell, and restoring them thereto', ceases to be a life worth living".  In everyday terms, the worst items on which this general thing focuses for me, are scissors; magnifying glasses; and calculators -- I very often can't find where I've put / hidden / buried them, and I get very annoyed and frustrated.  As said -- re this, head and gut send polar-opposite messages.

Am I, in this, just a hopeless male, direly in need of mental readjustment; or are there others on the board who experience similar difficulties?

Here's the thing, OP. Taking the few seconds or one or two minutes necessary to put things back into their designated spaces will save you frustration, physical and emotional energy, and time when you need them again. (I have two pairs of reading glasses. One I keep at work, the other is always in its case in a bowl on an end table. I never waste time looking nor am I without when I need them.) Don't think you are obsessing if you do this. You are not; rather, you are taking care of yourself.

Also, I have a good friend who was a nationally known professional organizer and de-clutterer. One of her mottos was "Never put a larger thing on top of a smaller one." In other words, don't lay a piece of paper or a newspaper down over your magnifying glass or a sweater over your keys. This alone will make a huge difference.

If you think that you are obsessing over tiny things that will frustrate you. If you think you are making things easier for yourself you are likely to keep doing those.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Minmom3 on July 22, 2013, 02:24:27 PM
I confess to being a member of the "everything in its place" group.  I hate hunting for things...  That doesn't mean I don't change where 'home' might be for any particular item if its original home wasn't as functional as hoped. 

It's your home.  If you like the mess, then live with the mess.  If you don't, then do something about it.  Sometimes having a structure on which to make a home for things helps enormously in giving things homes to be returned to.  If you have lots of books and not enough shelving for them, then buy more shelving of some kind.  If you have more clothing than places to put it away in, then you need to get more places in which you can put it away.  If it's because you have NEVER organized your belongings and have no clue where to start in fixing things up, you may want to call a professional organizer and hire their services  - those people have a million ideas on how to organize things and how to retrain yourself to use your new framework to spiff up your place.

On the other hand, I have never met anybody whose entire life was disorganized and messy (as long as that person had a job to go to) as work generally does not tolerate a complete mess.  If your work life is organized, you should be able to transfer that sense of organization into your home surroundings, no matter how long it takes you to work out the details.

That you posted here tells me you aren't entirely happy about the state of your home, which, to me, means you need to think about WHY it's a mess, HOW you can fix it, and WHAT your first steps should be.

Good luck!

Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Judah on July 22, 2013, 02:31:51 PM
I'm on team A Place for Everything and Everything In It's Place".  But that doesn't mean you have to be.

I must have order around me. I can't relax in a messy room, I just can't, but if the way you live works for you, why change it? If it will make your life easier, would it be worth the effort to try? Maybe, but some habits are too ingrained to change. And some things are more than habits, they're personality traits that can't be easily changed.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Seraphia on July 22, 2013, 02:34:57 PM
I'm not a terribly tidy person myself, and for much the same reason. My internal child is forever disgusted that I have to "waste time" doing stupid fussy putting-away-type tasks.

What helps me stay at least somewhat neat is this idea: "yeah, I don't want to have to spend umpteen hours organizing my screwdrivers. [or whatever] But I don't want to spend all my time finding them, or money on new screwdrivers [or whatevers] because I can't find them. I just want to do stuff when I want to do it."

So, I keep pens and stamps and the bills all in one area so I don't have to go through a mountain of mail to pay bills. I keep my art supplies in one box so I can paint whenever I want and not have to go to the store for more brushes. Basically, if I make cleaning up part of the task, the next time I want to do something, I can just go do it, and not have to do the fussy stuff so I can get to the important bit. Plus, it seems a bit easier to clean up when I'm already feeling good about having done what I wanted to, like made a meal or done some laundry or fixed my bike.

I still don't like tidying a lot. But it's a little easier to placate my inner rebellion with that mindset.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Ms_Cellany on July 22, 2013, 02:37:47 PM
I've lived with messiness all my life, and found that Flylady.net makes a huge difference. She's a little twee, but the principles are sound:

Add habits one by one.
Do things in 15-minute chunks.
The goal is not to have a clean house; the goal is to have routines that make things simpler.
Actively enjoy the visual calm and sense of peace.

My real-life example: I always hated making my bed. Why bother? It's just going to get messy again.

We now make our bed every morning (twitch the sheet back in place and straighten the comforter). Not because Beds Should Be Made and we're Messy Slobs if we don't do it, but because it makes the room look nice and keeps us from losing things in it. It's a one-minute job that gives pleasure. 
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 22, 2013, 04:01:44 PM
I am an odd combination of some OCD tendencies that make me want to have a tidy, clean place but with a chronic condition that results in my 'give a dingdangity' being busted on a regular basis.

So I have one room I call my hoarder's room.  Anything I don't want to deal with goes in there and then I clean that room up about once a year when I have time, energy and inclination.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: jpcher on July 22, 2013, 06:07:49 PM
Interesting thread! ;D

Mostly because I'm the opposite of you, cabbageweevil. In the 3-4 years of my entire life that I lived alone (I'm now 50+) my apartment was the cleanest of all of my other dwellings. (except for the dust. or, maybe sweeping & vacuuming. okay, okay, the bathroom wasn't always polished. oh, yeah, sometimes I didn't do my dishes every day.

Fine! :P Let's say my apartment was the most uncluttered place I've ever lived in. ;)

I think that's because it was just so easy to put my own stuff away.




I'm wondering where your comment (is it a quote from someone/somewhere?) came from:

"a life where you're forever having to fuss about 'where things dwell, and restoring them thereto', ceases to be a life worth living".

I'm wondering about the quote because it took me a few years, with kids, to realize that it's much more important to go out to the park and play with your kids than it is to fuss and argue about "You didn't clean up after yourself . . . We can't go have fun until the mess is cleaned up . . . Did somebody use my sewing scissors? Where are they? . . . Who put this here? You know it belongs there!"

Who cares if the magnifying glass can't be found at a minutes notice . . . it's a beautiful day out there, the wind is kicking up. Let's go fly a kite! ;D


To me, your quote makes a whole lot of sense . . . so long as you're doing the carpe diem thing instead of sitting around being depressed that your home is in such a state.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: siamesecat2965 on July 22, 2013, 06:37:53 PM
I'm a neat freak at heart, but too lazy to make it happen most of the time! I live alone and most of the time my apt hovers between reasonably neat and messy and cluttered. I have found over the years certain things make me twitchy, but also that it takes very little to remedy them.  I hate the way my kitchen looks when i don't stuff way, but have found if i take 5-10 minutes each night, i can have the dishes done, food put away, etc. and counters wiped clean. 

Same with picking my stuff up off the bathroom vanity, putting it back where it belongs, hanging the towels nicely. i've actually timed myself and can do that in under 3 mkinutes,. same with unloading the DW. once i realized this, it didn't seem to be such a chore anymore.

I also agree with working on one task or area at a time. i will do both, depending on my mood. I'll say, ok, tonight i will clear off the coffee table. Or deal with all the paper, mail, receipts, etc. and if i do it like that, i feel like i've accomplished something, and the rest will follow.

I never, however, have filth. Food gets thrown away, and ONLY in the kitchen. while i may leave dishes in the sink, they are rinsed, etc. And i clean my bathroom regularly. Never had any kind of infestation of bugs or anything else due to being filthy. the wasps in my old apt, whole other ball of wax.

Although right now, since half my closet shelf/hanging rack fell off the wall completely,. portions of my apt look like I belong on hoarders, since i had to empty half the closet in anticipation of maintenance coming to replace it.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Bijou on July 22, 2013, 11:31:59 PM
I love to have everything in its place, nothing excess cluttering my world, a home where anyone can drop in at any time and I would welcome them with no sense of embarrassment, no glancing at the dust bunnies in the corner of the room, or noticing in horror that there is suddenly a huge spiderweb strung across the corner of the ceiling that wasn't there...or at least was not noticed... ten minutes ago and that the spaghetti sauce I dripped on the cabinet front at lunch never did get wiped up and is now presenting itself like a diva singing an aria from an Italian opera, drawing all eyes to it. 
But, alas, as some of you probably know, I am fighting a constant battle of the clutter.  Ugh.  I guess I fit the definition, too.  But not as thoroughly as my husband fits it.

Siamesecat I, too, am a neat freak at heart and too distracted by more important things (doing word puzzles, watching old movies, playing with the cat) to make it happen most of the time.  It's so frustrating.  I guess the difference between my husband and me, beyond the obvious, is that he doesn't notice things, while they weigh on me like a dark cloud. 
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on July 22, 2013, 11:52:00 PM
OP, can I ask if you rent or own your home?

When I rented my old apartment, I couldn't be bothered to do much other than the very basic cleaning.  My place was always a mess, and to be frank, I didn't care.  The landlord barely cared.

But since I moved into Bedside Manor, which belongs to me, I find it much easier to find the motivation to keep things, if not perfect, at least somewhat organised.  The worst, messiest part of the house is probably my desk; I'm still in the habit of stacking bills and other papers in front of the monitor so I don't forget about then, and I usually have an empty bag where I will toss trash (which doesn't get dealt with anywhere near as often as it should).  I clean it...nowhere near often enough but I'm always happy when I do, and I can pretty much always find the things I'm looking for.

Also, I love to cook but hate when the kitchen is messy because the mess gets in my way, so I'm pretty good for staying on top of that in order to minimise the inconvenience to myself.  The quicker I can make supper, the quicker I can get back to watching moves/playing video games/whatever it is I do in the evenings.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Library Dragon on July 23, 2013, 12:13:39 AM
My home is clean, but messy.  If there is a horizontal surface it is covered with books, papers, yarn.  There is always something I would rather do than neaten.  DH is the same.  He's the only one of 5 sons who is this way.  The rest are white furniture or no pictures on the walls neatnicks. 

I do admit to having a few OCD bits.  I have a two basin sink.  Any dirty dishes need to be in the right sink or on the right counter so that I can have the left side (nearest the stove) free.  Don't ask about the sponge, rag, towel, paper towel hierarchy, it would take a white board.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Stormtreader on July 23, 2013, 03:56:00 AM
I have to admit, im a complete slob down to my bones.

I try to keep the amount of "stuff" I own down to a minimum - no knicknacks because I know I wont keep on top of the dusting and a dishwasher so stuff doesnt sit in the sink. I was better when I had a housemate because whats acceptable for me is embarrasing for someone else too see, but when its just me it just seems like a drudge. I think its that feeling of pointless repitition in that if you hoover today or not, youll still have to do it tomorrow so todays doesnt really achieve anything (even though I know of course that its achieving things being better TODAY which would be nice)

The only thing that seems to motivate me really is to watch "Hoarders" because they had to start somewhere and maybe I should pick up those clothes.....
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: lowspark on July 23, 2013, 09:05:31 AM
I'm wondering about the quote because it took me a few years, with kids, to realize that it's much more important to go out to the park and play with your kids than it is to fuss and argue about "You didn't clean up after yourself . . . We can't go have fun until the mess is cleaned up . . . Did somebody use my sewing scissors? Where are they? . . . Who put this here? You know it belongs there!"

Who cares if the magnifying glass can't be found at a minutes notice . . . it's a beautiful day out there, the wind is kicking up. Let's go fly a kite! ;D


To me, your quote makes a whole lot of sense . . . so long as you're doing the carpe diem thing instead of sitting around being depressed that your home is in such a state.

The above part of jpcher's post made me think of two things.

1. Your quote about whether constantly picking up makes a life worth (or not worth) living and the idea of enjoying a beautiful day vs. worrying about finding the magnifying glass -- Well, that speaks to Quality of Life. So yes, enjoying the day by going to the park instead of spending it cleaning up is of course, preferable. Chalk one up for Quality of Life. However, spending 20 minutes searching for the magnifying glass and still having a cluttered messy home is not such a great use of time. Minus two for Quality of Life. Minus one for the waste of time and frustration searching, minus one for still having a messy house.

Now, instead, if you'd previously spent that 20 minutes putting things in order, such that when you needed the magnifying glass you went right to it, that would be a net 0 on Quality of Life. Minus one for the 20 minutes spent cleaning but Plus one for finding your magnifying glass immediately.

So, yeah. It's a pain in the behind to have to keep things picked up and cleaned up. But the net gain makes it worth the effort. Because whether you keep things organized or not, you're still paying a price. My belief (and this is why I reformed) is that the payoff for keeping things organized is higher than it is for letting things get out of control.

2. When my kids were little, it could definitely be a losing battle to find things like scissors which definitely did get left just about anywhere but the right place. Normally, I just kept several pairs around the house in the various places I was most likely to need them. But after several times of finding myself running around the house to five different locations looking for one pair of scissors, I decided to just keep a bunch of pairs in one place. Not as convenient, but there was always at least one pair there. And as I found the others, they were returned to that one place. That way, I just had one place to go instead of five. And that is what I call, "creative messiness".

I know, I know, it goes against everything I said above. But when your stuff is not in your own control, ya gotta work with that.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: siamesecat2965 on July 23, 2013, 10:01:27 AM
Hoarders gets me going too. I am nowhere anywhere near that level, and seeing some of their homes just really makes me want to pick up the 4 magazines piled on the floor, and so on.

I've also found, as I can happily take an entire day to clean my small, 1BR apt, that if i really focus on getting it done, and don't allow myself to be distracted, surprise, I can clean in just a couple of hours. I've also let go of the idea my entire apt must be cleaned in one fell swoop.

I've relaxed my standards to the point where I can do the dusting and vacuuming in one shot, the bathroom in another, and the kitchen in another. Spread out over several days. I also try and do the "worst" ones first, like the bathroom, since that takes more time and effort than simply dusting and vacuuming.

But it still catches up to me, and I begin to feel stressed when the mess gets to a point where I can't stand it. and then relax when its done.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Coralreef on July 23, 2013, 01:31:39 PM
I live alone and my house is usually pretty tidy. I clean up and arrange things as they come up.  Going upstairs?  Bring the folded laundry.  Going back downstairs? Bring the garbage bags or wet towels. I rarely change levels or rooms without something in my hands.  I try to do the dishes every day, but sometimes life attacks you. 

I will sometimes go into neat-freak mode : 45 minutes of manic cleaning and sorting, 15 minutes off for watching TV or play on the computer. 45 minutes of cleaning, 15 minutes off, lather, rinse, repeat until everything is done or I just flop down on the couch. 

My EX had hoarder tendencies, so I tend to get rid of anything I'm not using.  Makes the place look bigger too. 
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: tjika on July 23, 2013, 01:52:01 PM
I think its that feeling of pointless repitition in that if you hoover today or not, youll still have to do it tomorrow so todays doesnt really achieve anything (even though I know of course that its achieving things being better TODAY which would be nice)

I'm a messy person too and the above is my biggest issue.  Why vacuum today if it will look like I didn't tomorrow? (with 5 cats there is plenty of fur flying around)

I've learned to use/have less 'stuff' so there is less clutter. Also, I have some baskets which I just dump stuff in so it looks organized. Then about twice a year I check the basket and end up throwing most of it away.

Throwing things away quicker also helps. papers, magazines, other inexpensive stuff that I haven't touched in a few weeks goes in the bin. Even magazines I haven't read. If I haven't touched it in about 3 weeks,what makes me think I will in the next 3 weeks? This has also made me think twice when shopping.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: magicdomino on July 23, 2013, 02:03:26 PM
I solved the problem by buying multiple copies of everything that is used frequently.  The kitchen drawer has from 2 to 4 pairs of dollar store scissors, plus one or two in the basement, and at least one in the study.  I try to remember to put them back in their respective spots, but if they don't go back immediately, it's okay.  Also, with multiple deposits, there's no reason to carry a pair of scissors from the kitchen to the bedroom, if there is already a pair in the study next to the bedroom.  I'm a lot more likely to put the scissors back if it is a short walk.  Even the Christmas wrapping box has its own pair of scissors (and tape).  The same system works for pens, tape, and drugstore-quality reading glasses.

I am still learning to keep less Stuff that isn't commonly used, like magazines and clothes that need ironing/mending/hand-washing.  It's a lot easier to keep things straight if the things aren't there in the first place.  (Hm, I think I just contradicted myself there. )
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: glinda on July 23, 2013, 03:55:18 PM
I am an odd combination of some OCD tendencies that make me want to have a tidy, clean place but with a chronic condition that results in my 'give a dingdangity' being busted on a regular basis.

So I have one room I call my hoarder's room.  Anything I don't want to deal with goes in there and then I clean that room up about once a year when I have time, energy and inclination.

We have one of those - but we call it "The room of shame".   :)
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Lynnv on July 23, 2013, 05:24:07 PM
I am an odd combination of some OCD tendencies that make me want to have a tidy, clean place but with a chronic condition that results in my 'give a dingdangity' being busted on a regular basis.

So I have one room I call my hoarder's room.  Anything I don't want to deal with goes in there and then I clean that room up about once a year when I have time, energy and inclination.

We have one of those - but we call it "The room of shame".   :)

Ours is a closet.  "The Vault of Baffling Antiquities"  It is full of stuff that doesn't really have a place but we (mostly DH) can't stand to get rid of it.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: veronaz on July 23, 2013, 06:23:08 PM
I’m a neat-freak.  I have a place for everything, and everything is in it’s place.  Except when I lose something or can’t recall where I laid it down when I answered the phone.  That drives me nuts.  I have to sit down and trace my steps.  Sometimes I have no choice but to conclude that I accidentally tossed something in the trash.  Ugh….not good. >:( :(
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 24, 2013, 12:25:41 AM
I'm naturally pretty darn messy - I can be plenty organized when it comes to computer files, stuff on the calendar, and other non-physical things, but I'm terrible at dealing with actual objects.  DH is much worse.  And since the DDs are both still small, they're little entropy generators regardless of what we do.  My MIL isn't a whole lot better, but she's better enough to make PA comments to me all the time about how I ought to be keeping her son's house cleaner >:(

So I haven't found any answers, but I have found a few coping strategies:

1) If you find yourself never putting a particular thing away, its "place" may be too hard to get to.  Consider an intermediate location, kind of a junk purgatory.  I've got several of these - the "to be filed" stack on my desk, the bucket near my computer where I put all the earrings/hair elastics/random coins I come across, etc.  There's no way I'd file the daily bills in their right places in my file cabinet, but I can dump them in the "to be filed" stack and get to them every once in a while and that works out fine.  (Just have to be careful about things like bills, that nothing is time-sensitive!)

2) If it's someone else's mess, find a way to disentangle yourself from it emotionally.  DH's refusal to ever *do* anything with his laundry drives me nuts - if I don't physically fold it for him and put it in his dresser, he just pulls stuff out of the clean laundry pile until the next laundry day.  And if I don't go hunt all over the house for his socks, they accumulate in one huge pile under his desk.  My solution was to appoint a chair in our bedroom the "laundry chair" - anything he's worn once but wants to wear again has to go on that chair.  Otherwise, anything touching the floor gets thrown in the load on the next laundry day.  He still lives out of the clean laundry pile a lot of the time, but I'm choosing to make it not my problem.  Similarly, I try to encourage Babybartfast to keep her floor clean enough she could get out if there were a fire, but I don't clean for her and I don't insist she clean the whole thing unless we're having a playmate come over.

3) Keep a clutter-free zone.  I've got a little study and it's *mine.*  I remove all the kids' toys, random junk, and anything DH puts there because it's got clear surfaces.  I can't keep the whole house at this level, but I like being able to sit at my desk and not have junk anywhere in my immediate line of sight.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: cabbageweevil on July 24, 2013, 06:17:41 AM
Thanks everyone, for comments. Responses belated, because I was away all of yesterday; attending the annual English Midlands Festival of Messiness and Slobbiness, held at Tamworth, a town which is very near the absolute bottom of the UK's list of tourist gems. (Now I'll find that eHell has a member who lives there, and will be upset accordingly.) I haven't got the hang of multiple-quoting on this site; so will "do what I can".

jpcher writes: "...so long as you're doing the carpe diem thing instead of sitting and being depressed that your home is in such a state..."

More than 95% of the time, "carpe diem" is indeed the watchword; there are just those occasions, a fair number of times per week, when I get highly annoyed about the unfindableness of something, and fleetingly wonder whether I've got things wrong.

OP, can I ask if you rent or own your home?

When I rented my old apartment, I couldn't be bothered to do much other than the very basic cleaning.  My place was always a mess, and to be frank, I didn't care.  The landlord barely cared.

But since I moved into Bedside Manor, which belongs to me, I find it much easier to find the motivation to keep things, if not perfect, at least somewhat organised.  The worst, messiest part of the house is probably my desk; I'm still in the habit of stacking bills and other papers in front of the monitor so I don't forget about then, and I usually have an empty bag where I will toss trash (which doesn't get dealt with anywhere near as often as it should).  I clean it...nowhere near often enough but I'm always happy when I do, and I can pretty much always find the things I'm looking for.

Also, I love to cook but hate when the kitchen is messy because the mess gets in my way, so I'm pretty good for staying on top of that in order to minimise the inconvenience to myself.  The quicker I can make supper, the quicker I can get back to watching moves/playing video games/whatever it is I do in the evenings.

I rent -- always have. My personal feeling has always been: I want to own my own home, about as much as I want to be un-get-out-of-ably appointed the absolute ruler of my country, with responsibility for all decisions.  If any horrid circumstance made me a home-owner, I'm quite sure that I'd decree, "this is the Kingdom of Slobbery, I'm the monarch, and mess will rule -- none to gainsay me !"

Kitchen-wise; I love cooking, but hate cleaning the kitchen up; overall, I prefer improvising on the spot, and handling the (sometimes annoying) mess.  Every ten days or so, I make a kitchen clean sweep and wash everything up.  Mostly, "works for me".
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: cabbageweevil on July 24, 2013, 06:23:57 AM
I solved the problem by buying multiple copies of everything that is used frequently.  The kitchen drawer has from 2 to 4 pairs of dollar store scissors, plus one or two in the basement, and at least one in the study.  I try to remember to put them back in their respective spots, but if they don't go back immediately, it's okay.  Also, with multiple deposits, there's no reason to carry a pair of scissors from the kitchen to the bedroom, if there is already a pair in the study next to the bedroom.  I'm a lot more likely to put the scissors back if it is a short walk.  Even the Christmas wrapping box has its own pair of scissors (and tape).  The same system works for pens, tape, and drugstore-quality reading glasses.

I am still learning to keep less Stuff that isn't commonly used, like magazines and clothes that need ironing/mending/hand-washing.  It's a lot easier to keep things straight if the things aren't there in the first place.  (Hm, I think I just contradicted myself there. )

"Multiples" -- I have a whole horde or population-explosion of scissors, of all sizes, and am still frequently frustrated when I need a pair of scissors at short notice.  Common sense would seem to decree -- keep some scissors in a "standard for the purpose" drawer -- say, in the kitchen -- always to hand there. The other items which I complained about -- magnifying glasses, and calculators -- I have one of each, under my eyes on my desk, right now as I type; when I actually need one of same, it's liable to be a different story...
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: VorFemme on July 24, 2013, 11:34:45 AM
Sewing notions - can't have too many seam rippers, thread nippers, pins, spare needles (they take up so little space and when your machine just broke four in two hours at midnight - it's nice to know that you have MORE without having to figure out WHERE to go shopping), thread, snaps, and the like. 

The rest of the house?  Not so much...

I don't mind picking up after myself so much - it's being outnumbered 3 to 1 or more by the others that I am supposed to be picking up after that gets to me.  The cat insists that she doesn't have much stuff...but cat litter particles are stinkier than most of the other stuff left around the house in the wrong place.  Except possibly for VorGuy's jogging shorts, shirt, and socks the third day in a row that he's worn them (he's doing it to be "green" - I turn green if I have to handle them - I leave the washing machine open for HIM to drop them into when he gets back from running the third day).
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 24, 2013, 01:09:41 PM
^That's what I'm going to be doing.  I have to check with a friend of mine's daughter who has cleaned for me periodically and see if she wants to give it another go and then I'll set up with someone professional, starting in September.

I met her at Costco.  She was busy helping another lady and me out with pulling rugs out of the bin so we could decide which ones we wanted.  Then I heard her mention that she'd been cleaning houses all day.  My ears perked up and I asked her for a card but she didn't have one on her.  I got her number, though.  I figure anyone nice enough to dig through rugs for other people, with a smile, is someone I wouldn't mind having in my home.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Girlie on July 24, 2013, 01:26:24 PM
My name is Girlie, and I am a slob.

It drives my husband to distraction - when he is not also acting in a similarly slovenly fashion (which is most of the time). He is always fussing at me about putting things back where I found them, which is awfully funny, since I don't think in the eight years that I've known him has he ever voluntarily put a used cup in the sink. lol. We're both messy, in different ways, but it works out for the most part.

The really strange part of it all is that I'm the exact opposite at work. If my desk at work is not perfectly orderly, I have a hard time focusing on the work at hand. My co-workers are under the odd impression that I am terribly neat, tidy, and organized. If only, if only!
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: Bijou on July 24, 2013, 03:30:30 PM
My name is Girlie, and I am a slob.

It drives my husband to distraction - when he is not also acting in a similarly slovenly fashion (which is most of the time). He is always fussing at me about putting things back where I found them, which is awfully funny, since I don't think in the eight years that I've known him has he ever voluntarily put a used cup in the sink. lol. We're both messy, in different ways, but it works out for the most part.

The really strange part of it all is that I'm the exact opposite at work. If my desk at work is not perfectly orderly, I have a hard time focusing on the work at hand. My co-workers are under the odd impression that I am terribly neat, tidy, and organized. If only, if only!
At work I was a neat, organized employee.  For my own sanity I had to have returned all my phone calls and have my desk cleaned off every night so that in the morning I could feel in control of a job that required lots of multitasking.
Title: Re: Domestic messiness
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on July 24, 2013, 07:02:20 PM
My name is Girlie, and I am a slob.

It drives my husband to distraction - when he is not also acting in a similarly slovenly fashion (which is most of the time). He is always fussing at me about putting things back where I found them, which is awfully funny, since I don't think in the eight years that I've known him has he ever voluntarily put a used cup in the sink. lol. We're both messy, in different ways, but it works out for the most part.

The really strange part of it all is that I'm the exact opposite at work. If my desk at work is not perfectly orderly, I have a hard time focusing on the work at hand. My co-workers are under the odd impression that I am terribly neat, tidy, and organized. If only, if only!
At work I was a neat, organized employee.  For my own sanity I had to have returned all my phone calls and have my desk cleaned off every night so that in the morning I could feel in control of a job that required lots of multitasking.

I'm the same.  I HATE when my tools aren't exactly where they should be at work; I have my bench arranged in a very specific way so when I need a tool, I just reach, I don't have to search.  Unless someone moves or borrows something.  Rrrrghh.