(Closed) We cannot keep our house clean – help!

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 17
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

There are a lot of websites that can help you get organized about cleaning. I followed flylady for awhile and my home ran like a well oiled machine.  I just couldn’t keep up with it though. Sidetracked home executives is a book I got and their method you can tailor more to your lifestyle. Basically you list chores that need to be done on separate note cards along with how long they take to do. You use different colored notecards to sort how often you want that chore done and you can set up easy days for yourself with everything spread out or more cleaning intensive days. You will find that each chore really doesn’t take as long as you think it will. Also finishing a specific chore gives you more of a sense of accomplishment vs. setting a goal of cleaning a whole room. At least you can look down at the list of things you did do.

I am still a work in progress but I’m considerably better than before. My parents weren’t really good about keeping house so I didn’t really have a good example to follow.

Post # 18
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

As I see it you have actually TWO ISSUES going on.

1- Is the housekeeping which you have addressed in this post

SOLUTION – Either work out a Chores List OR Hire a Housekeeper… Housekeeping NEVER GOES AWAY… it just goes on and on forever.  So if you cannot do it yourself (no shame, not everyone has this skill… or wants to) you need to come to grips with that, and hire it out.  Doing so will keep you sane, and probably save you a whole lot of Marital strife.

2- The second issue, I actually see as a BIGGER ONE

Your guy making ARBITRARY DECISIONS on his own on what is YOUR STUFF.  He cannot do that.  He cannot decide to throw out your stuff.  He can certainly decide that he doesn’t like your stuff cluttering up his / yours / common living space… but he shouldn’t be throwing your stuff out.  Period.

That is disrespectful.

You guys need to come to an agreement on this issue, and how to handle it in the future.

If he comes across something that bothers him… then he needs to place it in a designated spot for you to deal with.  It is yours… you deal with it (put it away where it goes, keep it, toss it etc) BUT it is YOURS TO CHOOSE and not his !!

Seriously, this would be a HUGE issue for me.

What exactly gives him the right to be Judge & Jury over your stuff, your life, and what you choose to have in it ?


Do this enough times to me, and not only would I be retaliating (ya not cool) by throwing his stuff out, so he can SEE how it feels… but I’d be walking.

Dealbreaker.  Disrespectful behaviour in my book.



Post # 19
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We have the same problem, and have devised 2 solutions! 1. A cleaning person that comes in once every 2 weeks so that we don’t have to fight over who cleans the mildew out of the toilet. We split the cost and got someone who was cheap. 2. We created lazy lazy ways of tidying – so like I always left winter clothes draped all over our chairs in the living room because it’s cold here and we live in a condo and I have to take the dog out to pee 3x a day. So we bought an attractive wicker bin, and I toss the clothes loosely into that now. With his bills everywhere driving me crazy, we bought a magazine rack. When it gets full (once every 3 months or so) he cleans it out. He used to leave his sweaty workout clothes on the hallway floor, so I got another attractive bin (chevrons!) and placed it where he already throws his clothes.  I would say we still have a couple of problems (like he doesn’t wipe the sink off when he’s done shaving or put his dishes in the actual dishwasher, and I randomly leave my shoes around everywhere for him to trip over) but it’s seriously way more minor than it used to be, and we can joke about our cleaning blindspots. For two lazy half-slobs with an infant, our place is usually bordering on spotless!

Post # 20
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

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@MsKeee:  I love your ideas!  We never put out shoes in the closet the way we should, so adding a shoe organizer area by the door saved us and now we have guests that think they need to take their shoes off but they don’t have to…we’re just lazy and it’s easier to kick them off when you kick your coat off then put them away where they belong.

Post # 21
1119 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

This is DH and I also – only I can’t stand clutter, and him, dirt.

I started using an App on my iPad that breaks down daily tasks. It’s been a lifesaver for me (I’m home right now so I take on most of the chores, but if I had to work then we’d both pitch in right after coming home from work.

Some tasks come in daily, some once a week and others, here and there. But you never have to figure out what to do, you just follow the list and check the completed items. It’s even possible to assign tasks and put due dates on them.

There’s a free *lite* version that you can use to try it out for two weeks, then you can buy the app for a 2 month period for a 1.99$ fee, and then yearly for like 8$. Totally worth it for people like me who want to do a little bit every day but doesn’t really know where to start or will forget stuff that doesn’t come up as often.

Check it out, it’s MoMo or something like that. there are also many other apps that do similar things, but for me, this one works.

Post # 22
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Hire a maid!!! For the $100 a week or whatever it ends up costing you, its soooooooo worth it to not have the stress and the aggrivation!

Post # 23
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

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@MsKeee:  & EXactly this! I hate hanging clothes, so we have bins for everything!

Post # 24
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I haven’t read all the replies, but DH and I have struggled with the same problems.  On our own we are not THAT messy of people, but us together with three shedding animals, it gets out of control FAST.  My frustration is that my DH doesn’t think he’s messy… like… AT ALL. So he “thinks” the mess is all me, which it isn’t. So I get the frustration, and to make matters worse, DH likes when things are super clean; but doesn’t really do much to help. Undecided

I’m the primary housekeeper in our family (DH works way more than I do so it makes sense for us), so I TRY to make it a priority to do at least one cleaning thing a day, sweep, vacuum, dishes, cleaning the stove/appliances in the kitchen, wiping down counters really well, bathrooms, laundry etc.  The point is that I have to take the initiative and make it the priority, because arguing about it doesn’t make a difference. It took a long time for me to “give in” and just accept the responsibility.  We are both the youngest in our families, so I feel that plays a HUGE part in our “housekeeping” habits, it’s definitely a struggle for me to “man up”.  But I’m working on it.

One thing that really helps me is making a list of the “problems”. If mail clutter is a problem, figure out a solution: a mail sorter/organizer put somewhere out clear sight but still accessible or a drawer or basket to put magazines etc.. Is cabinet space a problem? figure out a solution: re organize, throw out things you definitely don’t use, maybe buy a storage piece that will help with creating MORE space. Apply the same principles to EVERY ROOM in your home.

And for things that your DH does that still drive you nuts… put your foot down.  DH has a TERRIBLE habit of leaving cups of water next to the bed, to the point where there have been like 10-20 cups! Ridiculous. I got tired of keeping up with it, he’s a grown up and can help me on some things. So I put my foot down, I WILL NOT take the cups from his nightstand. They are just water, so they aren’t going to mold or anything, so that’s not an issue, but I will wash and re-use one cup until the end of my days if I have to, but I will not pick up his cups.  Does he bring them in now? Not regularly. But he’ll bring a few in at a time and clean it off completely every two weeks. Do I feel better not doing it for him? You better believe I do.

The next step in my plan is about laundry (he’s the worst about clothes all over the house, and boxers on the bathroom floor). If it isn’t in the basket it won’t get washed, this one is harder because I’m guilty of this too, but it starts with me… I’ll make the effort, but I also have to enforce it.

Just some tips from a perpetually disorganized/messy person to another. Wink

Post # 25
17 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

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Agree with the other posters that a bi weekly house cleaner is the solution,  figure out a way to budget it because it sounds like an important expense based on your post.

DO NOT put up with him throwing his clothes on the floor!  That is BS, he should be able to make it to the hamper.  My Fiance and I go through this every few months.  He becomes lazy or just thoughtless & little by little clothes & towels start getting tossed on the floor instead of the hamper.  So every few months I give him the business BIG time!  I break balls.  And he knows I’m right, and he gets his act together. 

Do you guys have storage & organizer vessels that work for you?  II find that is often the problem with clutter.  That & not wanting to throw things away. I love throwing things away!

My Fiance is also better at clearing clutter than detail cleaning, I compare it him being the rough carpenter & me being the finish carpenter.  But the reality is that I do 99% of the rough carpentry too.  i know that man is never going to scrub a toilet or scour a sink over the course of our lifetime.  

Shortly after I moved in with my fiance I bought a console table with pull out baskets to put in our entry way next to the coat rack.  I put some decorate bowls & boxes to sit on top to drop keys in, work badges, wrist watch, earphones, mail, pocket change, small books, doggy waste bags – stuff you have in your hands when walking in or out of the door.  Then hats, gloves, binders, laptop cases, etc all goes in the pull out baskets.  That helped my fiancé tremendously!  And it makes it w easier for me to keep surfaces dirt free.  

We are moving soon & I can’t wait to get lots of new accent furniture that does double duty – coffee tables with storage for example & even little things like an under cabinent mounted paper towel holder.  We a small loft apartment with zero built in storage right now & it is a daily challenge to keep this place looking like lunatics or raccoons haven’t taken up residence so I feel your pain!  

Get the house cleaner!  It will force you both to do a solid de clutter at least every two weeks so  they can deep clean and then it will be easier to maintain daily between visits.

Post # 26
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

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@Amusebouche:  I have quickly become OBSESSED with storage. It started with a buffet piece for our kitchen/dining room. That turned into two. That turned into built in storage in our laundry room (I have a broom closet now!!!), I’m working on livingroom storage now, I’m thinking a storage ottoman (bonus extra seating for guests!) and one of those Ikea expedit bookshelves with baskets on the bottom, a new tv stand with more functional storage (ours is so old and bulky and basically the bottom half is just a dumping ground for random crap), an entry table with storage, a new closet system with more functional storage… It’s a problem. lol

Post # 27
182 posts
Blushing bee

I haven’t read all the replies but why don’t you compromise? He cleans the clutter and you wipe down the counters and furniture and clean the toilet? That’s kind of what we do. Also he does all the laundry and I do all the dishes. We each have little jobs and hold eachother accountable. It works!

Post # 28
1128 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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@wannabecleanfreak:  I, sadly, have not much advice for you (I am not living with FI) but I wanted to say that I can relate on the messy house growing up.

My mom and dad worked like crazy to support us, so keeping the house neat wasn’t a priority. It was one of my petpeeves, I could never invite someone over with out having to clean the WHOLE house because it was a mess. If someone just dropped by to say hello, it was SO EMBARASSING. :C

I agree with some PPs, you have to change first. Start trying to change your habits. It is not going to be easy or fast, but it might help if you do things first.

Post # 31
1002 posts
Bumble bee

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@wannabecleanfreak:  What if you both work to your stronger side.  You prefer to do a little each day, so why do you spend 20 mins trying to pick up things/whipe counter tops etc.  Then on the weekend he can spend a couple of hours doing some of the heavier hour work – Sweeping/laundry.  In addition get someone back in to do the deeper cleaning every couple of weeks.

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