Author Topic: Domestic messiness  (Read 2901 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 10:05:31 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.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 11:01:27 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.

Coralreef

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 02:31:39 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. 

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tjika

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 02:52:01 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.

magicdomino

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 03:03:26 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. )

glinda

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2013, 04:55:18 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".   :)

Lynnv

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2013, 06:24:07 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.
Lynn

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veronaz

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2013, 07:23:08 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. >:( :(
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 07:25:22 PM by veronaz »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2013, 01:25:41 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.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2013, 07:17:41 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".

cabbageweevil

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2013, 07:23:57 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...

VorFemme

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2013, 12:34:45 PM »
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).
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2013, 02:03:42 PM »
Count me in with the group who is motivated by Hoarders.     In fact, I was just looking around my (rented) place recently and realizing that I'm about one piece of junk mail short of an episode of my own.  So I've been cleaning...

While I am incredibly cluttered, it's still kind of put-away, though.  I used to be a horrible slob, and every so often would have to start shoveling to find a path through the stuff, BUT....I solved it by getting a cleaning lady!  Marvelous woman.  She makes my apartment smell nice.   BUT, I'm not paying her to be my mother, I'm paying her to scrub my bathroom and kitchen, and vacuum the floor.  In order to do that, she has to FIND the floor!  So at least once a month I am FORCED to get everything picked up and put away so she can clean.

Hey it worked for me.  Get a cleaning lady.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2013, 02:09:41 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.
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Girlie

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Re: Domestic messiness
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2013, 02:26:24 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!