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.
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.