To wonder why people can't keep their houses in a basic state of cleanliness?

(527 Posts)
HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:26:39

Disabilities aside, why can't people keep their homes basically clean?

I work part time, have a messy dog, a demanding toddler, am extremely lazy but my house always looks OK. You couldn't eat your tea off the top of the door frames but the kitchen surfaces are clean, floors hoovered, sofas plumped and inviting, toilet free of poo crumbs. It's easy and doesn't take long. So WHY do I go round to so many of my friend's houses and see they live in complete pits? Gritty nasty sofas that are horrible to sit on, filthy kitchens, poo smears and crumbs all over toilet, minging hand towels, floors covered in bits. IT IS NOT HARD to do the basics. I've just done a house once over and it's taken 45 minutes.

I understand not wanting to spend all day dusting your books or whatever but when people are coming over why wouldn't you want them to feel clean and comfy in your house? I'm not talking about people that physically can't do it because of illness or disability, but the rest of you? WHY??!!!

kaosak Mon 16-Sep-13 12:28:20

Get some new cleaner friends.

btw my house is too big to do in a day let alone 45 mins wink

dorisdaydream Mon 16-Sep-13 12:29:00

oooh good luck with this one! Hope you've got a hard hat on!

FWIW though I do agree with you. My house isn't perfect and is messy as I live with four messy individuals, but it is always clean and hygienic

Scholes34 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:29:42

Well done, Harder, you must be very proud!

Wtf are poo crumbs?!

My floors need sweeping but I cant be arsed to do.

Filth, pure filth!

peachmint Mon 16-Sep-13 12:30:01

Well done. Have a medal. That's what you wanted, isn't it?

isitsnowingyet Mon 16-Sep-13 12:31:14

Maybe they just don't care? Oh and well done for keeping your house tidy with a demanding toddler. grin

Whirliwig72 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:31:49

I think some people just don't see the grime and mess. Also not an excuse (I like to keep things fairly tidy) but two young children playing together have the capacity to make things filthy in minutes so sometimes I've just cleaned then 20 minutes later there are smears on the windows, bits of apple on the sofa, skid marks in the loo etc so it can all be undone frighteningly quickly!

Pagwatch Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:03

I don't think I have ever been in a house like the one you describe.

I think depression, anxiety and a sense of hopelessness - once a house gets really messy the amount it would take to clear it can become daunting - contribute.

RobotLover68 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:08

surprised you have any friends as you're so judgey hmm

Mumsyblouse Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:17

I agree with you to some extent, it is gross if you go to a house with a dirty bathroom or there is visible filth about the place, but you work part-time, I don't, I work in a long hours professional job and when I get that very short amount of time (about 1 hour) in the evening between the children going to bed and me following, I am exhausted and don't want to spend it on housework (I often do though).

I do what I can in the time I have and in relation to how much I care. I also have to say it's easier if you have decluttered, Flylady is right on that one, if you have clear surfaces/everything put away, cleaning is quick, if you have to go round piles of letters/newspapers/bathroom stuff, no clean is ever quick.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:23

Thanks for my medal! Is it gold?

But no, don't think I'm anyone special. I'm probably laziest person in entire universe. So if I can do it, why can't everyone?

It always seems to be the flappy, permanently flustered types too. I'm sure their homes are not helping their state of mind.

EmeraldJeanie Mon 16-Sep-13 12:32:58

Maybe not the pooh crumbs but have house full of clutter to deal with. Not proud..
Take more than 45 bloody minutes to sort mind [skip/ will power/ new dh and children needed].

MarianneEnjolras Mon 16-Sep-13 12:33:10

There are crumbs on my kitchen worksurfaces, the floors haven't been hoovered in over a week. There are toys all over the place and the bookshelves are a state (untidy).

However, we have clean dishes and clothes and are all bathed and showered. Ds is happy and I am enjoying two days off work.

The hoovering will still be there later. Even if I do it now, it will still need doing again at some point so why worry?

queenofdrama Mon 16-Sep-13 12:33:12

This is why I don't invite people round. Judgey pants like you. Yes I keep our home in a state if basic cleanliness but it might not be to everyone else's standards.

My sofa bow has crumbs on. Dunker crumbs, not poo crumbs.

I dont care, no ones coming over and the toddler is eating and is quiet.

45 minutes for a full house? It takes me nearly that to clear up my sons toys grin

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:33:46

My working days are the days the house is the cleanest, tbh. If no one is in it then they can't make too much mess.

LeaveTheBastid Mon 16-Sep-13 12:34:19

Well don't you sound like a gem of a friend, full of support, non judgemental, there to offer a hand even when not asked... Oh wait.

May you sit on a stray toilet seat pube when you have the misfortune to visit one of your 'friends' again.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 16-Sep-13 12:34:21

A once over in 45 minutes? Then you're just tidying and not cleaning properly. That's disgusting. I'd far rather be in an untidy clean place than a tidy filthy place. Bit fur coat and no knickers.

EmeraldJeanie Mon 16-Sep-13 12:34:29

Yup- I probably am flappy and flustered too- oh dear, I'm doomed...

eragon Mon 16-Sep-13 12:34:34

you have ONE child and a dog? well yeah my house was tidy with one and two children. got to 3rd and 4th and throw in part time work and yeah, my house is messy.

in the grand scheme of life a clean floor is very low on my priority.

moondog Mon 16-Sep-13 12:35:12

Il give you a gold medal.
Make it a platinum!
Like you ,I am totally perplexed as to how many live in a seemingly permanent state of chaos and filth.
I have been viewing houses recently and most haven't even been tidied up. Many have had shitty (literally) lavatories too.

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 16-Sep-13 12:35:12

I ve always wondered this too op.

Dh tells me nobody has a house as clean and organised as ours. Hes a tradesman and goes into lots of different houses.

He says 99% of houses he goes into are disgusting.

I tend to find people who dont clean use excuses like - nobody ever says they wished they cleaned more, a clean house is a sign of a wasted life etc..

IMO a dirty house is a sign of a scruffy, dirty sod.

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 16-Sep-13 12:35:17

I ve always wondered this too op.

Dh tells me nobody has a house as clean and organised as ours. Hes a tradesman and goes into lots of different houses.

He says 99% of houses he goes into are disgusting.

I tend to find people who dont clean use excuses like - nobody ever says they wished they cleaned more, a clean house is a sign of a wasted life etc..

IMO a dirty house is a sign of a scruffy, dirty sod.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 12:35:47

You work part-time, which helps.
Well, I look at my house and I'm particular about bits of it, the bathroom and the kitchen are clean, laundry is done and towels etc are changed often.
But I'm thinking of selling my dustbunnies on etsy as craft felt and art works.
We are also very particular about the friends we invite over. They come for the company and the food and the friendship, not to assess our housekeeping.

moondog Mon 16-Sep-13 12:35:52

'IMO a dirty house is a sign of a scruffy, dirty sod.'


Fur coat and no knickers grin I see this said on here but I actually have no idea what it means. It just sounds funny

aturtlenamedmack Mon 16-Sep-13 12:35:54

Well done!
Serious question - what is your toddler doing while you clean? Because mine is following me round the house and leaving a trail of destruction. restrictions I've finished I have to start again grin

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:36:21

If I can walk around in my socks without getting a footful of grit, sit happily on sofa, have a wee without someone's poo smears going on my bum and confidently accept a cup of tea knowing its not from a mouldy cup then I am happy and non judgemental. If any of the above cannot be met, then I just don't understand.

Fuzzysnout Mon 16-Sep-13 12:36:33

Why do all your friends have crumbly poo? That would concern me more. You need some naicer friends.

<arf> at kaosak. Hope she doesn't have crumbly poo!

We'll all pop round to yours OP.

Thurlow Mon 16-Sep-13 12:37:16

Because they don't care?

My floor needs hoovering a hell of a lot more regularly than it gets. With two parents working f/t and a toddler, most of the time we're too knackered at the end of the day to do it. No one is crawling on the floor anymore, so.... meh.

PresidentServalan Mon 16-Sep-13 12:37:21

OP - you are obviously a complete superstar whilst all of your friends are scummy hmm

Do your friends realise that you are judging their homes when you go there. I am guessing not. You do know that you sound unbearably smug, don't you?

EmeraldJeanie Mon 16-Sep-13 12:37:37

So I am flustered, flappy and a scruffy, dirty sod.
Mmm- suppose if the cap fits..
Never mind...

have a wee without someone's poo smears going on my bum you do know you aren't meant to sit in the toilet bowl dont you?


I have never in my life plumped a cushion, and I'm not about to start now.

Tee2072 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:38:04

If I didn't do it, it would because I don't give a flying fuck what you or any other judgemental fucker thinks about my house. As it is my house is untidy but clean enough.

Do your friends know you're such a cow? Perhaps you should tell them you think they are pigs and you can't be friends any more.

Twitterqueen Mon 16-Sep-13 12:38:10

Because I'm a single mother with 3 DDs and a dog and I work full time and quite frankly, life is too short for me to spend it worrying about whether or not I meet your cleanliness standards.

I clean my house when I feel like it. Mostly I don't. because I prefer a good walk, a glass of wine and talking to my DDs.

Nancy66 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:38:24

There are lots of people for whom it just isn't a big deal.

I'm always amazed to go to someone's house and they've made no effort at all to tidy it up for guests - but, equally, I am quite envious of people that can do this.

I will always hoover and tidy before anybody visits.

givemeaboost Mon 16-Sep-13 12:38:48

YABU, lots of people work/have multiple commitments/lack of time/ lack of enthusiasm (ie for me caused by when the kids undo your hard work in 20mins flat) and as others have said once it gets to a certain point it seems overwhelming.

Tee2072 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:38:56

Actually, AU, I am not even sure how to plump a cushion.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:32

Fur coat and no knickers is an expression my Scottish father uses to describe those who look fab on the outside but it's a sham.
Often used to describe the residents of Edinburgh by others. grin

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:33

Judgey?! Much? And yes, YABU.

What's acceptable to one person is different to what another is happy with - nothing wrong with that.

I'm assuming that when you visit your friends you manage to keep your opinions to yourself?

I've cleaned both bathrooms, the kitchen and hoovered downstairs so far today. I'm no domestic goddess but it's taken me far longer than your 45 minutes and I haven't done upstairs yet or mopped the downstairs floors, cleaned any windows, mirrors etc.

Pass your gold medal over, you'd be doing well to get a bronze wink

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:34

I have been cleaning since 10.00 this morning and I've only JUST finished the lower floor. I have to hoover the stairs, clean the bathroom, hoover the bedrooms (four of them) and hoover the office....I also have to tidy the deck as DH has left his tools out and their is wood dust all over it.

In 45 mins you can't have cleaned, hoovered and tidied an entire house! I have cleaned the French windows too...

If you come to my house during the day, you would think I couldn't give a crap - it's untidy and messy.

Come at 8pm after the children are in bed, I've cleaned and put the laundry away (and have my Camomile Yankee candle burning) and it looks like a show house.

Unfortunately, nobody but me sees it like this.

I do not have poo crumbs though - that is just disgusting!

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:46

Yes, it's only been given a show clean today. I.e. poo pick in garden, toilet and sink cleaners, kitchen surfaces cleaned and everywhere hoovered. My toddler is asleep so I've been uninterrupted. When I clean when he is awake he helps by emptying all the drawers, rubbing his hands on the glass wardrobes and eating stray dog hairs.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:48

SP it means all show and no substance, trying desperately to be something you're not (or, as in the OP,s case, not realising you're not ie boasting about how little time housework takes, when it shows she's not cleaning properly).

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 12:40:03

Dirt and mess make me anxious - I am a bit of a clean freak and keep the house accordingly.

But... I don't really care how others keep their houses as long as mine is the way I like it smile

Scholes34 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:40:18

When my house has been tidied, the DCs always ask "Is someone coming round?"

scholes grin

SoonToBeSix Mon 16-Sep-13 12:40:47

So op you only work part time and have just one child ........

MarianneEnjolras Mon 16-Sep-13 12:40:54

And I grew up in a house that would make Kim and Aggie faint. Maybe that's why I'm not too bothered? The fact that my floors actually get hoovered and the bathroom is at least the colour it's supposed to be is a huge improvement on how I grew up. If I could live in a mess like that and survive then a few crumbs in the kitchen won't hurt me.

lainiekazan Mon 16-Sep-13 12:40:54

I am very, very untidy and my house is... lived in.

But - YANU for judging people with dirty bathrooms/loos.

If I only do one thing (and often I only do one thing) it's making sure the loos are clean.

And if you actually invite people over - are you proud of a damp, grubby handtowel and an unspeakable toilet bowl?

softlysoftly Mon 16-Sep-13 12:41:13

1 toddler is not the same as 1 toddler plus 1 baby who will never be put down and working full time with a DH who is literally only home for 2 waking hours in a day.

My house isn't clean, it isn't rank but my floor needs a mop at the moment and the loo needs a proper do. There is no way on gods green earth a proper clean takes 45 minutes unless your house has nothing in it and is the size of a postage stamp.

If those flustered, dirty "friends" of ours irritate you so much Im pretty sure they won't be too sad to see the back of you.

And just think with all that extra time you could clean your house properly grin

Maybe the OP has inferior cushions, Tee. That's why they need plumping and so forth.

I bet her house smells of dog and she doesn't even realise it. grin she's too busy smugging it up on MN.

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 12:41:27

I agree it can only take half an hour or so to straighten things out in the morning if you generally keep things clean as you go along.

Easier said than done sometimes though!

limitedperiodonly Mon 16-Sep-13 12:41:40

I opened this in trepidation because I'm a bit of a slattern. However, my house is a palace compared to all your friends'.

I wouldn't go round there OP. It obviously upsets you too much and you might catch something.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:03

I do bloody clean properly! I've got a medal. Not every day but the very basics don't take long do they?

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:21

no, the flappy and flusteredness is why they are not doing it, not the other way around. They don't have time or don't feel they have time.

that 45 minutes is not available to everyone. You are like the person saying "And the party only cost £300!" on the other thread.

If it can be done in 45 minutes, you have to do it at the expense of spending that 45 minutes on something else. Maybe you do it instead of sitting on your arse for 45 mumsetting - so you can afford it. Maybe someone else would be doing it at the expense of vital sleep, filling in forms for school, paying utility bills, arranging car insurance, getting a food shop in, earning a living - ie, stuff they can't afford to lose.

I am kind of on the fence about this. On the one hand I am annoyed at the airy hand-waving of, "a mere 45 minutes!" To me it sounds almost as unrealistic as "If they do not have a butler, why do they not simply ask the housemaid to do it?"

On the other hand, MIL's house makes me feel a bit ill. She doesn't work and I can't understand why she can't change the hand towels occasionally. Or, more to the point, not having a job outside the house has absolutely nothing to do with picking up her dog cradling a hand over its arse and then immediately serving food to my dcs with the same hand. and the smeary glasses. oh god the smeary glasses.

Scholes34 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:30

I used to approach housework like TooTabooToBoo, but now the DC aren't in bed until gone 10.30 pm, and I'm usually already there by that time.

claraschu Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:44

Rambling old houses (for example) with uneven floors, which have not been "done up" get much dirtier than new houses with fitted kitchens. Some of your messy friends' houses might be inviting in other ways, which you might not appreciate.

Don't be so judgemental.

Tee2072 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:43:44

That could be AU.

Although on reflection, I'm also not sure why you plump cushions?

So not just how, but why. I wonder if I can work in when, where and who?

If I plump cushions will my living room look less like a play room?

Madlizzy Mon 16-Sep-13 12:45:14

Try working almost full time and having 4 kids and 3 cats. Also, as long as my house is clean, tidy doesn't matter. For instance, this morning, I have done pretty much fuck all and I don't give a nun's chuff about what anyone thinks of it.

ChunkyPickle Mon 16-Sep-13 12:45:48

Because it's not my or DP's priority?

I'll hoover once a week or so, DP does the dishwasher, but doesn't wipe down the sides as often as he could, the toilet/bathroom is clean though, clothes are clean, there's always a fresh teatowel etc. If someone's coming round I'll pick up the worst of the toys and bits from the floor.

Life is too short to clean more than I absolutely have to. I'd prefer to be enjoying myself.

LeGavrOrf Mon 16-Sep-13 12:46:17

Haha at fur coat and no knickers = residents of Edinburgh

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 12:46:33

So op you only work part time and have just one child .

Oi! Less of the "only" please!

I work p/t and have one child (pg with second) and a dog.


I'm assuming that cushions require plumping s the stuffing has all migrated to one end or something. That has never happened to any of my cushions, though.

You can easily work in the 'when': you must do it during your 45 minutes of daily hoovering, wiping and picking up poo in the garden.

The hilarious thing about that is that the rest of us are thinking, 'eurgh. The OP lets the poo accumulate in her garden before going on a poo picking trip'. Her friends probably think of her house as having a wiff of dog and shit all over the garden. But, hey, she plumped her cushions so she's a saint.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 12:47:57

Well, if you work part time, you have time to plump whatever you fancy, and one child is less bother than four, surely?

SubliminalMassaging Mon 16-Sep-13 12:48:10

I agree with you Harder it's always been a mystery to me just how some people manage to let their houses get SO unbelievably chaotic and minging. I am not the tidiest, most energetic person by a long shot but there are limits beyond which I just cannot think straight and the mess/dirt would just depress me no end - never mind let visitors through the door.

Branleuse Mon 16-Sep-13 12:48:48

dunno, im just shit at cleaning and tidying. I have a cleaner once a week, but she always rolls her eyes at the state i let it get back into

tbh,the most interesting people i know have messy and often dirty houses

Thumbwitch Mon 16-Sep-13 12:48:55

YABU but purely for claiming to be the laziest person in the Universe, which is clearly bollocks as you clean every day and your friends don't, this proving that they are lazier than you and you therefore lack logic in your declaration.

However, aside of that - YANBU. I am not tidy, by any stretch of the imagination, and I have back problems that mean I don't vacuum as often as I should, but if people are coming round, I make sure that the place is wiped down and clean, loo bleached etc.

I don't plump my cushions though...

My loos are clean, but the rest of the house is messy.

2 x full time jobs - mine with v long hours at times.
2 x children under 10, one with SN.
2 x people with better things to do than sweat the small stuff.

The "If I can do it anyone can" argument more full of holes than a sponge.

If I can run a marathon, anyone can! If I can be a lawyer, anyone can! If I can balance three books on my head and dance the macarena, anyone can!


The OP also only as a toddler. She's in smug parent of single toddler mode and has absolutely no idea about what will hit her house in about a decade.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 12:49:55

'The hilarious thing about that is that the rest of us are thinking, 'eurgh. The OP lets the poo accumulate in her garden before going on a poo picking trip'. Her friends probably think of her house as having a wiff of dog and shit all over the garden.'

Well, yes. That thought did run through my mind. I know several people with dogs whose houses and gardens I am less than impressed with. But they aren't friends, and they seem to survive the dogshit and not notice the smell.

Thurlow Mon 16-Sep-13 12:50:12

Arbitrary grin

Has it never occured to you, OP, that for a lot of families that 45 mins to do a basic tidy is pretty much their only free time during the whole day? That's when faced with a choice of 45 mins of tidying vs 45 mins of Bake Off, the cakes are probably going to win most evenings?

Weegiemum Mon 16-Sep-13 12:50:53

Sometimes we invite people round just to make us clean and tidy up - and I have a cleaner! And also 3dc who make mess just by breathing. Plus a house-rabbit.

But there are almost never skid marks in our toilets, and I pay a man to do windows and grass-cutting.

Username I only have the one toddler but there's nothing smug about it.

Tee2072 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:51:03

Also, bleaching the loo is so bad for the environment.

Just for the record.

But how does the stuffing get pushed to one end AU?!?!

Viviennemary Mon 16-Sep-13 12:51:24

Give them a daily and weekly list of chores. I'm sure they will thank you. grin And go round like Kim and Aggie with a shocked face saying I don't know how people can live like this.

Retroformica Mon 16-Sep-13 12:53:07

I can promise you it's easy with only one child. I have 4 kids and 2 animals. 45 mins per day would not be enough to keep on top of my house

oh yes my house was alot cleaner with just the one child.

now four. not so much

GobblersKnob Mon 16-Sep-13 12:53:15




pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 12:53:38

I know quite a few people with four children who work and their houses aren't mingin' so it must be doable.

Thumbwitch Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:16

I think some people sit on cushions! We don't though.

Jeremiad Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:19

Agree with Thurlow. Full time work + a long commute = out of the house for at least 12 hours every week day.

My house is clean enough, but by god I resent every single second I have to spend cleaning it. I hate housework so much it makes me cry. Never understood this 'oh, I just whizz the hoover round every day' mentality.

But then, my ancestors were all peasants, or in domestic service. There's no nobility in fucking cleaning . It's what you do if you have no choice.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:20

OMG have just seen "poo pick in garden". BOGGLE BOGGLE BOGGLE. You don't like other people's house because.... biscuit crumbs on sofa. And yet...

Let me get this straight. This is presumably dog poo? It gathers in the garden? And you.... periodically... pick it up? And you have a toddler?

[mind explodes]

nickelbabe Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:30

my house is a tip.

i work 6 days a week, DH works 5 (but weekends), neither of us come home until gone 6 in the evening, we're both out at church on sundays.

friday nights are choir night.

we have a toddler.

we basically get in, eat, go to bed.

so, YABU.

it is very hard to keep a house clean and tidy

JourneyThroughLife Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:37

I agree too OP, it doesn't take much. My house is always clean as well as tidy, easier now there's just me but it was still pristine when I had two small children, a rabbit and a husband...
Oh yes, and I plump up my cushions every evening, before I turn the lights out in the living room to go off to bed (with plumped up pillows..!!!)

conorsrockers Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:38

Was going to tell you to hook your judgey pants out yr ass - but apparently you've not got any on under your fur coat grin

I had a spotlessly clean house and ironed everything, including dusters and socks when I had one child (and I worked f/t).
Now there are 7 in my house including 4 boys, and we live on a farm in a ruddy great house. The only thing that is always clean is the kitchen - otherwise I would have a nervous breakdown (and we have a cleaner once a week!).

Maybe you might revisit your opinions in a few years when the third comes along wink

Boreoff Mon 16-Sep-13 12:56:27

Basic levels of hygiene is surly a must? Some people are lazy, sum

HavantGuard Mon 16-Sep-13 12:57:22

The kitchen surfaces are always spotless as are the sink and loos. The sofa is a 60s leather thing that doesn't need plumping. The rest fends for itself. The dogs eat any crumbs.

BoozyBear Mon 16-Sep-13 12:57:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaucyJack Mon 16-Sep-13 12:58:15

Because we quite simply have better things to do with our time.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:58:20

My toddler is INSANE. I am not smug about him, believe me. He's pretty cute though.

Ok, if you only had 45 minutes a day then obviously you choose bake off. But if you only have 45 minutes day that means you work full time which means your kids probably aren't in your house creating chaos all day which means you only have dinner and bath to clear up. So your house is probably lovely.

And to clarify, I'm not talking about everything totally spotless. Those people who do clean top to bottom every day, under furniture, polish inside of windows, have no clutter are also strange and very much not to be trusted. Just the very basics needed for you and others to feel comfortable in your home.

Nancy66 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:00:55

I'm too afraid of mice not to keep kitchen surfaces clean and crumb free.

Genuinely puzzled by people who seem to have shit-splattered homes though

kaosak Mon 16-Sep-13 13:01:20

Joking apart, I do live in a big, old house and it is really hard to keep clean and tidy unless you spend silly amounts of time doing it.

Honestly 45 mins would get all 3 bathrooms beautiful - then there is the rest of it....

I do go mad though if we have friends or family over, I will put aside a day to thoroughly clean and tidy everywhere before they arrive. I am mortified if someone pops by and the place is a tip, I need notice people notice!

Jan49 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:01:27

I'm intrigued at you giving the house a once over in 45 minutes. If I vacuumed every floor of my small 3 bed house and spent just 10 minutes on each, so not a very detailed clean, that's 90 minutes. Plus half an hour to clean the bathroom items. I spend longer than that daily on washing up and cooking.

When I had a small child I worked FT and I had difficulty finding time to do any household chore other than cooking and washing up, so I can understand why floors might be messy. I've really only now got to the point where I can have a clean tidy house, with a ds who is an adult, and that's because the carpets are nearly new and look the same whether I've just vacuumed them or not, and only the bathroom seems to get dirty. Before, it was always a case of one part clean and other parts needing cleaning.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 13:01:29

I'm feeling very attacked re the poo pick. The garden is spot checked regularly throughout the day and poo picked as and when required but a special check is made prior to the arrival of guests. Before the bloody dog brigade gets on here he IS walked every day but seems to need to poo very often.

DystopianReality Mon 16-Sep-13 13:01:37

I love going to see my friends, spending time with them talking, empathising, listening, laughing and always come away feeling the better for that. I couldn;t and wouldn't give a toss about the state of their house, I love them, not their house.

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 13:02:12

And to clarify, I'm not talking about everything totally spotless. Those people who do clean top to bottom every day, under furniture, polish inside of windows, have no clutter are also strange and very much not to be trusted. Just the very basics needed for you and others to feel comfortable in your home

Oh blush

In that case I'm done defending you OP grin

Floggingmolly Mon 16-Sep-13 13:02:21

Maybe you have a comparatively tiny house? Or you know some rank people; I've never been in any house that had a shit stained toilet, for example, even if they hadn't Hoovered that day?

Tee2072 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:03:36

nickel no way is nickelbaby a toddler already! Your everlasting labour thread was just last month!!!!!!*

*I may be delusional.

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 16-Sep-13 13:04:01

Always check the loo seat before you sit to avoid poo crumbs. Or learn to squat.

I cleaned yesterday. Today it doesn't look like it's been done in a month. I think my DC are slowly crumbling everything in their wake.

No cushions for plumping here, leather sofas remove that need.

BoozyBear Mon 16-Sep-13 13:04:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh Christ almighty I don't even have cushions.

What does that say about me?

I do have- 2 FT working adults
3 DCs
2 dogs

My house is clean. It's usually messy, unless it's Saturday morning when everyone is out and it stays tidy for more than 15 minutes.

I am happy enough with that.

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 13:04:10

Steam cleaners are the way to go. I got one for xmas last year it's really satisfying just going round blasting the hell out of everything smile

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 13:04:28

Makes me feel like Ripley in Aliens.

nightcircus Mon 16-Sep-13 13:05:25

I'd love to be tidier
Could you describe your cleaning routine and also toy/book storage.

I rent I hate my kitchen-it's done on the cheap and has 1 drawer- all others don't open.
One drawer filled with standard cutlery and bag clips.
Where am I supposed to keep tea towels/napkins/wooden spoons, spatulas, scissors etc/drinking straws.

I spend a lot of time cooking and also have too much stuff.

Tips please!

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 13:05:26

Dystopian, what a lovely sentiment even though it is a complete pack of lies. Drinking wine and laughing all night is great until you have to dry your hands on a towel with actual mould growing on it.

My dear friends toilet ALWAYS has a streak down it. In fact she directs us to the streak toilet as "it's cleaner than the other one". Sometimes I lay awake at night having sweats about what the other one must look like.

Thurlow Mon 16-Sep-13 13:05:52

But what is a level for "others to feel comfortable in your home"? That's a pretty arbitrary statement. My loo is reasonably clean but not as clean as others. My bathroom is reasonably clean but slightly limescaled smeared. My floors are a bit dusty and there's the odd squashed pea on the dining room floor. The kitchen is never done before bed because we do it the next day while the toddler is eating in the highchair. The leather sofa is generally slightly stained with whatever the toddler never the adult, oh no, we wouldn't possibly do that has smeared onto it. The TV cabinet and fireplaces need a damn good dust. There are clothes everywhere upstairs. There are toys and hats and shoes and books everywhere.

To me, that's 'comfortable' because while it's dusty and untidy, it's not actually filthy. And I generally know which random pile on top of a bookcase is likely to contain my keys.

To someone else, that would not be comfortable. Someone else might find sitting at my dining room table, which is stained with felt tip pen and dried playdoh, looking at a pile of crap on top of the chest of drawers and washing up in the kitchen, really messy and uncomfortable.

musicismylife Mon 16-Sep-13 13:06:50

A lovely friend I know has a house which is a complete pit. The mess is stuff that could be easily put in the bin, you know, crisp packets, empty beer cans, dirty cups, etc. She will open her door to me and say 'welcome to my pit'. I don't argue that it is not a pit. I always tried not to judge until...

Fast forward to Friday, nipeed in for a coffee, house was spotless. I did enquire as to why it was so tidy (we have that kind of friendship), she told me that she had been seeing a new bloke hmm

Ok, so your kids can live in squalor but a new partner shouldn't. That is when I bought my first pair of judgey pants. And they fit.

soverylucky Mon 16-Sep-13 13:07:00

Different people have different priorities and genuinely don't care. I know people with a house a bit like the one you describe ( not the toilet and mouldy towel though) and they just don't care. Their home, their mess and I don't have to go round.

Owllady Mon 16-Sep-13 13:08:46

I do clean my house but it always looks meh sad
we don't have empty beer cans and litter anywhere though
or poo crumbs (what are they?grin)

soverylucky Mon 16-Sep-13 13:11:40

music I agree with you there. When young children have to live in a mess it isn't nice. When they are teens they can pitch in.

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Sep-13 13:12:40

I hate to break it to you harder but if your house is of the standard you describe there will be lots of people lining up to judge you on your filth.

We all have different measures of what is 'enough'. Your house will look like a midden to some people. They will feel just as justified in their judgement as you do.

I clean more than average. I clean pretty much all the time and I have a lot more to deal with than one child and a part time job. My house is never clean and tidy and it never will be. My standards are so ridiculously high that my house will always look vile and filthy to me.

Weirdly though other people's messy houses do not distress me. I do sometimes get the urge to give them a hoover, just for the fun of it.

I don't think less of the occupants though.

Dahlen Mon 16-Sep-13 13:12:51

It was going quite well until plumped sofas - but I think that's the point at which you began to alienate people. wink It does rather conjure up images of stereotypical MIL coming round and running her finger along the shelf...

I am a very tidy person but I am not the cleanest. I dust when I think "ooh I can write my name in that" and mop the floor when it looks like it needs it (which certainly isn't every day and not necessarily even once a week). I vacuum most days, but only once, and if there are crumbs after vacuuming because an inconsiderate child has just walked through with a biscuit, they stay until the vacuum cleaner comes out tomorrow. I do have a thing about my cooker and my toilet though - both of which are always spotless. I probably spend less than 20 minutes a day on housework.

However, because I am tidy, people always think I clean lots. My house is like me - things appear quite together on the surface, but once you start digging a bit deeper... grin I like it tidy because if my surroundings are pleasant and ordered, it makes me feel pleasant and ordered. If my house is chaotic, I feel less in control of life.

A basic standard is necessary to maintain health and hygiene and not suffer environmental health serving you with a notice. Beyond that, life really is too short. No one ever died and thought: I wish I'd done more housework.

I just don't care that much, I love it when my house is all clean and shine but I hate doing it. The toilet is clean and I clean the bathroom once a week. At the moment the carpets need vacuuming , the kitchen floor hasn't been cleaned for weeks and last nights dinner dishes still waiting to be done. I really have to much time ,am unemployed at the moment when I worked full time it was much cleaner.

CinnamonAddict Mon 16-Sep-13 13:13:07

OP, in 45 mins I have not even hoovered everywhere. And it takes half an hour to tidy up before hoovering is possible.
Shitty loos and mouldy towels are disgusting, but everything else I can take in my stride. Being German everyone expects a well organised spottlessly clean household. I'm happy to help my friends to get over that myth grin

nickelbabe Mon 16-Sep-13 13:13:17

Tee - yup, she's 20 months! and she's just had a developmental growth spurt, so I hardly recognize her myself grin

CinnamonAddict Mon 16-Sep-13 13:14:06

being able to write something in the dust is very educational!

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 13:16:42

You're feeling attacked, OP? When you've started such a goady thread to make other people feel like crap.

I like it.

Thepowerof3 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:17:35

That sounds disgusting, my house is untidy but not dirty. I wait until my baby has a nap and quickly whizz round.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 13:17:52

I think I have pretty low standards but there are some houses I feel physically uncomfortable in and try not to eat or drink in.
Dog and cat-smelling houses creep me out
Cat houses are the worst, if they have litter trays. Seriously? You can't smell the tray of shit? In your kitchen?

The worst house I have ever been to had nothing remotely clean in it at all. If I was offered a drink I would find some excuse to wash the cup or glass. Not rinse, wash. It would be covered in smears and fat and would stink and need hot water and washing up liquid. Sometimes there wouldn't be any. There would never be anything to dry it on. There were several stinking tea towels draped about, all of which would make your hands smell if you picked them up and put them down. So you would try to shake the water off the cup or glass you have just washed and then drink with water dripping up your sleeve. If you sat down you couldn't wear the clothes again, because of ash and cat hair. Once the person whose house it was came back from the market with about 6 or 10 new clean tea towels and dumped them in the kitchen with a sort of "happy now?" gesture to his girlfriend. He did nothing with the existing ones, made no attempt to wash or rotate anything so soon there were about 16 stinking useless tea towels instead of just the original 6 abominations. In a way it was fascinating. but very uncomfortable.

I went there a lot. My boyfriend lived there. I even attempted to sleep there, often. I now see my attempting not to mind the filth as an indication of my very poor self esteem at the time. Back then, I saw my unhappiness as an example of my inflexibility and lack of physical stamina.

nickelbabe Mon 16-Sep-13 13:17:54

Kidnap - you know you could always clean your friend's loo when you visit?

she might appreciate the help.

Op, I can see your point but am still a little on the fence on this one.

If I had 1 child and only worked part time my house would be absolutely sparkling. I think you probably should give back your medal for that one.

SchrodingersFanny Mon 16-Sep-13 13:19:39

Five pages and still no one has explained what poo crumbs are. Am I going to have to Google?

I did a big clean a few weeks ago and my 4 yr old asked who was coming round!

Fanny I asked on the first page but no answer

SchrodingersFanny Mon 16-Sep-13 13:24:13

I'm scared of googling.

Thurlow Mon 16-Sep-13 13:24:58

SP, Schrodinger - here you go

(It's another one of those 'it was funny at the time' phrases)

isitsnowingyet Mon 16-Sep-13 13:24:58

It's like crumbs....of poo

EvenBetter Mon 16-Sep-13 13:25:07

Well I work 2 or 3 days a week, have no children and my house it a complete mess. Dog hair and junk everywhere. I throw out a shopping bag full of junk at least once a week, I don't know where it all comes from. Dusting bores the fuck out of me. It just comes down to the fact that I don't care. And I have better things to be doing. This week it's especially bad because we had a bereavement.

I'm knickers and no fur coat!

isitsnowingyet Mon 16-Sep-13 13:25:33

Ermm Yuck

isitsnowingyet Mon 16-Sep-13 13:26:27

Sorry EvenBetter - I didn't mean yuck about you, it was about the poo crumbs!

limitedperiodonly Mon 16-Sep-13 13:26:41

Poo crumbs are microscopic particles of shit that blast out of your bum when you fart. That's why it's important to wear knickers at all times, especially in bed, because otherwise your sheets will be covered in faeces and therefore so will you.

It's a bit like eating Coco Pops in bed but much worse.

EvenBetter Mon 16-Sep-13 13:28:07

Someone posted a thread about their husband leaving poo crumbs around. I think it was established that they came from someone not wiping their arse properly/at all, and once body heat made the smeared shite dry, it went all crumbly and encrusted. The mind boggles.

cantspel Mon 16-Sep-13 13:28:30

I couldn't live in a dirty untidy house but others seem to manage without too many problems, some even seem to have pride in their grime but as long as i dont have to live there i dont spend too much time worrying about it.

SchrodingersFanny Mon 16-Sep-13 13:28:41

Well there you go, another educational afternoon thanks to mumsnet. Who knew some people had crumbly poo and left it on the seat. I might cut dh a little bit of slack for occasionally dripping wee on the floor

EvenBetter Mon 16-Sep-13 13:29:08

Haha! Snowing, if you saw the state of my house ATM that's what you would be saying!

samu2 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:29:35

I have five kids, two dogs, four rats and three cats. Things get messy fast.

I am in a good routine so my house is never dirty or badly untidy, but it is very lived in. The hairs from my pets in insane though.

I washed my kitchen floor this morning and it already needs doing again.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 13:29:39

ha ha that reminds me of the Easter Sunday when dd2 was days old and dd1 was about 2 and somehow my precious new tiny baby in a sparkling white baby-gro got all .... smeared brown and chocolatey.

blush forgot to mention I live in a tiny 2 bed and am currently on mat leave - so probably have more energy, even on little sleep, than I will when I go back to work in January, at which point my house will resemble a tip!

Poo crumbs - bits of poo, tiny bits, the kind that get left behind after a flush. At least that's what I think they are. I've never experienced it - I've seen skid marks, of course (not from me, my poo is made of buttercups and rainbow silk and smells of honey dipped in vanilla).

cantspel Mon 16-Sep-13 13:33:47

I haven't had poo crumbs in my house since my youngest was 5 and learnt to wipe his arse properly.
Even my 2 teen sons know how to use a loo brush and domestos wipe so we dont have skiddy loos either.

Nothing more minging in life than going to use a loo and seeing someones leavings still hanging about.

city1984 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:34:35

Gost it can take be 45 minutes just to tidy out lounge diner so I can clean. Either yo haveca small house, or very tidy dp and dc.

SchrodingersFanny Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:04

This thread is becoming a bit like the Yorkshire Monty python sketch- well I have 12 children, 8 dogs, 5 cats, 67 gerbils etc

I was messy when I had no kids, so adding two children was never going to improve the situation. Last week I noticed that dd (13 months) was eating a cheerio off the floor. Then I remembered that we ran out of cheerios at least 3 days ago. Ah well, it didn't kill her!

Try having a bum shuffler to show how dirty your house is even after cleaning. Her bum is always filthy. Maybe I should fashion some clothes out of dusters.

VoiceOfRaisin Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:36

I rather agree with OP - I don't believe there is anyone who has no time to ensure a level of basic hygiene. If you are out all day then (assuming you don't leave small children home alone) your house will stay clean, no? If you are home with children/animals then presumably you can make time for basic cleaning.

If you can't keep your house basically clean then you need to have a big rethink about your whole life as I don't see how anything good can be built on that base.

PS I don;t mean sparkly clean, dust free. I mean as OP has described - basic rotting food and dirty plates out, no actual pieces of dirt and crumbs on furnishings or bathroom fittings etc

lottieandmia Mon 16-Sep-13 13:36:41

A 'clean house' is subjective. Everyone has different ideas of what is ok and what is not. I think I do all the things you describe OP - I hate a dirty loo in particular but my boyfriend thinks my house is a tip because I'm not able to keep it like his parent's. When I saw photos of their house I soon realised why - it is better than a 5* hotel and who can live up to that??! So for him the house is 'dirty' if toys are out or if anything is out of place. I say, no the house is not dirty if hoovering/wiping/bleaching is done even if some items are out. We have had to learn to accept we don't see it the same way.

I think though that generally, YABU because true friends don't judge their friend's houses.

lottieandmia Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:18

What is heaven's name is a 'poo crumb' anyway?? A skid mark? (ewww)

VenusDeWillendorf Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:26

I always do a spot of cleaning when I visit someone's house. On the QT.
I actually carry a few wipes so as to give their bathrooms a bit of elbow grease. Sometimes I offer to do a bit of gardening. Or help with the laundry, folding it/ taking it off the line.
Am awaiting returns!

My house isn't spotless, we get a lot of dust blown in and the windows need a specialist water hose clean as we can't get to the outsides. So wet dusting is quite a job every week: sometimes it's every two weeks before we get around to it.

My bathrooms and kitchen are tidy and super clean if I have enough sleep, and have enough time, otherwise they are just clean. I clean then everyday as I finish using them.
The rest of the house gets a Hoover and tidy once a week. Maybe twice if DH has time.

Sometimes people are untidy rather than unclean- it's like a dyslexia thing- some people are able to organise clutter, some are not. If there are untidy people, there usually is too much clutter to clean.

OP when I had toddlers, we spent my time off out in the parks, and on the floor playing with them. While I fully appreciate cleaning can be an OCD obsession with trying to control your life and surroundings in a world gone mad, maybe you need to chill a bit, maybe enjoy your toddler. There's not much fun to be had looking at someone scrubbing the floor. (Btw how do ou stop them 'helping' - do you have a playpen!)

i am also amazed that ISBN is 20 months, nicklebabe, I was so glad you got your home birth. (Was underbeneathsies).

I grew up in a messy house. My mom is a regular person's version of tidy, but my dad is not. Because my dad never saw a mess, neither did my brother nor I. So, housework was usually left all to Mom, who didn't actually want to do it and got upset that we never offered to help. After awhile, she would get sick of yelling at all of us and give up. And then, we got a dog.

My own house is much neater, usually, than the one I grew up in. Moving out and living with flatmates as a young adult made me more aware of keeping common rooms neat. Having a serious boyfriend over made me more aware of keeping my bedroom in reasonable condition. Moving several times over the last five or so years made me more brutal about getting rid of accumulated stuff.

But the real reason my house is generally tidy is because I have a tidy husband. He doesn't leave it all to me to do. Our tolerance for mess is roughly the same, and if one of us is not up for it, the other one usually is. We established a no-martyr rule before we moved in together - no one is allowed to flap around screeching "I shouldn't have to ask". We just ask for help with chores when we need it and expect to receive that help without an argument.

We are both a bit lazy about hoovering. The hoover is heavy, difficult to store away and bit broken in places. I really want a newer, lighter one.

MrRected Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:52

Agree OP. I don't get a slovenly home. I am not a bitch, I just hate mess, clutter and dirt. Can't function at all if things aren't reasonably tidy and clean.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 13:41:10

I suppose that sliding scale is part of the problem the OP is having, the only people I know that hoik bosoms and judge are the MIL-types, for whom dusty bookshelves, heaps of 'stuff' and crumples are an outrage.
So when you post 'basic state of cleanliness' I'm hearing Penelope Keith in 'The Good Life' grin

needaholidaynow Mon 16-Sep-13 13:46:09

If I know someone is coming over I will make my house look like a palace. But if someone just turns up unexpectedly then they can either put up with a bit of mess or leave as they weren't invited in the first place.

Thisvehicleisreversing Mon 16-Sep-13 13:47:44

I'm not someone who enjoys cleaning but my house is reasonably tidy and the toilets are always clean. I Hoover downstairs daily because the carpets are ridiculously light coloured and show every little bit.

I never have friends round. 2 of my closest friends are clean freaks who admit to being judgey about cleanliness so they're never invited, I don't want them discussing the dust under the sofa or lack of pebbley shit and wicker hearts.

My home is fine for me and my family and only non-judgey folk are allowed in it.

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 13:48:40

Why is everyone assuming that people with untidy houses like it that way or don't care?

Our house is very untidy. I am mortified if anyone comes round. I hate people seeing it that way, so if I have advance warning I make a real effort to make it reasonable.

The rest of the time I just pray that no one comes round.

I'm not sure how I'm meant to tidy up when I have a baby on my lap who is currently asleep but when he is awake he refuses to be put down, because he is teething, I think - and even when I can put him down it isn't for more than about 10 minutes before I have to go to him again.

I am surrounded by things that need tidying and I can't do any of it. I can see it, I want to do it but I can't. No one LIKES living in a mess.

SeaSickSal Mon 16-Sep-13 13:50:00

They haven't bothered cleaning up when you come round because they don't want you to visit. On account of you being a complete bitch.

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 13:51:32

Actually I'd not invite someone if they made a habit of weeing in our toilet.

I'm not sure why it is your business to care about the state of other people's facilities OP - they aren't there purely for your pleasure you know.

fuzzpig Mon 16-Sep-13 13:52:17

I would rather be in a generally messy house, than a clean one with a dog in it grin

<runs away>

shrinkingnora Mon 16-Sep-13 13:53:17 kind of prioritise reading books over pretty much all housework in the evening. But really I am prioritising my mental health.

I do have three DC though and we do both work long hours and lots of weekends. The problem is, once you get behind in order to catch up you would have to do what someone like you does every day and all the stuff that you haven't done the other days. It's much easier to keep something clean when it starts off clean.

Hang on a minute, you have one DC? And do you work? Because if you have one DC and don't work then you have no idea. None.

nextyearitsbigschool Mon 16-Sep-13 13:57:07

I agree with you. My house is always clean and tidy, I grew up in a clean and tidy house, it is how I liked to live and therefore make it a priority but its not hard and doesn't require a lot of effort. I can not think of one person I know who lives in the state you describe.

WiddleAndPuke Mon 16-Sep-13 13:58:10

Not read whole thread but has anyone come out with the old "I'd rather interact with my children than have a spotless house" chestnut yet?

OP I agree with you. I am also very lazy but doing enough basic housework to keep the place clean, tidy and hygienic isn't that time consuming.

Brodicea Mon 16-Sep-13 14:00:11

I guess people with shit-hole houses are just sub-human scum who should be tortured with Cilit Bang and jet-washers.
Me I scrub my doorstep every morning. hmm

everlong Mon 16-Sep-13 14:01:09

I think in answer to your OP that some people just don't worry or are bothered about having a clean house. I'm talking about those who have the time to clean it but don't.

Then there's depression and varying MH illnesses. It's not just as simple as cleaning the house for some people.

SeeJaneWin Mon 16-Sep-13 14:05:08

I don't think it's been said, but because it's boring grin

DownstairsMixUp Mon 16-Sep-13 14:08:31

A grip is very much needed by the OP.

RacheyMo2 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:09:33

Oh dear, this is the kind of thing I dread people thinking when they come to my house!!! Kitchen sides get cleaned everyday and toilet is always kept clean, but my floors need sweeping, carpets could do with a Hoover and I have a few piles of clean clothes that need putting away. Personally, I'd rather spend time playing with my DS than trying to keep everywhere tidy!!

Saying that, if I know I'm having a visitor I do make an effort to make sure it looks clean and tidy but when you have a toddler (and are heavily pregnant), its not at the top of the list I'm afraid! If you don't like a (clean but) messy house, don't visit smile

shrinkingnora Mon 16-Sep-13 14:09:36

Actually, I do not in fact know where in the day I would fit housework in:

6.45am up and shower (often clean shower while I am in there, certainly do stuff like empty bin and clean loo)
7.00am get dressed and wake kids up and get them dressed
7.30am give kids breakfast
7.45am find book bags and pe kits and musical instruments
8.00am hang out washing, put guinea pigs out, tidy breakfast things, brush teeth, locate shoes, coats, put shoes on DS2, make packed lunches x 5
8.15am try to leave house
8.16am put shoes back on DS2
8.17am try to leave house
8.18am give DS1 his lunch box and bag again. Put shoes back on DS2.
8.19am discover bike tyres are flat. Pump up.
8.22am leave for school, putting DS2's shoes in his bag.
8.45am drop kids at school
9.00am drop DS2 at preschool/childminder
9.30am arrive at work and work like a mad woman with no breaks until
2.10pm leave work
2.40pm arrive home and change out of sweaty bike gear and put deodorant on (11 mile round trip each day so stink, frankly).
2.50pm collect DS2
3.15pm collect DD and DS1

And then it is after school clubs so might have another pick up at 4.15 and music practice and homework and cooking supper (on a really tight budget) and play dates and cleaning out the piggers and all household paperwork and some work phone calls and swimming lessons and rugby training until
6.00pm eat supper
6.30pm tidy up
6.45pm DS2 in the bath and then bed and stories
7.15pm DS1 in the bath and then bed and stories
7.45pm DD bed and usually some form of angst about her day
8.00pm clear up after supper, put a load of washing on and try to keep eyes open long enough to have a conversation with DH (if he is home yet, often isn't) while doing bits of work and possibly try to tidy up the odd toy but DS2 is a holy terror and makes the most horrendous mess unless closely supervised which I obviously don't have time to do.
10.00pm bed.

So my house is a shit tip. I do hate it but I am aware that I couldn't do any more.

I work from home and when I can be arsed to do it, I find the Fly Lady technique incredibly effective. I set my little kitchen pinger to go off every 15 minutes and I alternate between working and cleaning. Last week, for example, there were short periods when I wouldn't have been totally mortified if visitors with less exacting standards than you, OP had turned up unannounced. In practice, however, I frequently end up alternating between working and mumsnetting, or working and sloping off to the café over the road. I suppose this means that having a beautifully clean house just isn't that important to me. <Shrug>

Damnautocorrect Mon 16-Sep-13 14:16:12

I spend a day tidying my house, and an hour - three a day on it and I would still panic if someone came round. But is never judge someone or make sweeping generalisations like you've just done. People have different priorities, it doesn't make them bad people

Dahlen Mon 16-Sep-13 14:19:34

There are definitely ways to keep a good standard while minimising effort. Unfortunately, quite a lot require money.

People in new/renovated housing have to spend less time than people in older housing, because there are less places for dust to get trapped.

People who have new furniture will find it looks presentable even when dirty. Whereas if you have a knackered sofa covered by a throw, it will always look untidy unless you are constantly straightening the throw. Likewise, a scuffed coffee table requires daily polishing to look half-way decent, whereas a better-quality one or a new one almost seems to repel dirt.

A good-quality carpet/carefully chosen flooring will hide much more in the way of crumbs, dirt and dog hair than a cheaper, older or worn one.

When I first left home and lived with really crap furniture, I could spend 5x as long tidying/cleaning than I do now for exactly the same result. I didn't put that much effort in, but then I didn't need to as I was without DC and pets then.

My personal solutions to keeping things tidy are boxes and baskets that you can just throw random crap in. I also clean the bath/shower/sink every time I use it (just a rinse to remove hair/soap scum), which means a really deep clean isn't necessary that often. Clean the toilet every time you crap in it and it comes off easily and takes about 3 seconds, whereas if you leave it you might have to scrub for a few minutes. A pack of baby-wipes is an ideal alternative to dusting. Quick wipe down along a shelf as your passing and job done. Staying on top of things massively reduces the time you have to spend on housework.

imip Mon 16-Sep-13 14:21:47


Well, I hAve 4dds 6 and under and frankly until the youngest is 18 months I just cannot get it together to have my house as clean as I would like. Dd4 is now 20 months and I generally have my home in a clean state, or at least. 20 mins away from being clean if there are no kids in the house. I think it is as good as it is going to get until the oldest is six or so.

I am a sahm, dh works awful hours. I have at least three school runs a day, some times four, too two different locations. It doesn't really leave much time to clean, launder, shop etc.

I kinda think I deserve some rest/me time also, but frankly, I spend most of my time cleaning.

So I think you are vv unreasonable...

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Sep-13 14:30:40

I wish I could keep my walls clean
they torment me sad

Trazzletoes Mon 16-Sep-13 14:31:07

Mainly because this time next year I may have 1 child instead of 2. I'd rather spend every spare second playing with them than vacuuming.

You don't like the state of my house? Fine. Don't come round, then.

CaterpillarCara Mon 16-Sep-13 14:36:07

My schedule today will be:

5:50 am up and shower (clean shower, empty bin and clean loo)
6.30am downstairs, empty dishwasher, prepare breakfast
7.00am wake kids and give kids breakfast
7.45am find book bags and pe kits , clear breakfast table
8.00am Leave house, drop kids to school, go to work
1.00pm leave work
1:15 pm arrive home, put laundry in dryer, have a drink and lunch (and internet surf)
1:30 cook dinner and do dishes, wipe surfaces
1:45 quick hoover
2:00 Online shop for week, check emails, do any online admin
2:35 about to pick up worst of bits in kids rooms
2:40 Leave to get kids, go to ballet
5:30 Arrive home, finish dinner and serve
6:00 Dinner with kids - do spelling words
6:30 Kids in bath - read stories to them
7:00 First child in bed - school reader, number bonds, stories
7:30 Second child in bed - school reader, number bonds, stories
8:00 Downstairs - finish dinner dishes, wipe table
8:30 Prepare for work tomorrow
9:00 Put away clean laundry, put out uniforms
9:15 Find football gear and snacks for tomorrow
9:30 Put out own clothes for tomorrow, check book bags, water bottles, etc
9:45 Laundry on, quick polish of shoes
9:50 Read in bed
10:00 Lights out...

My house is not immaculate on this regime. But we are all happy, healthy, well-fed and the key surfaces are germ-free. I cannot do more, maybe others could, but this is what I can manage and I hope my friends accept it.

It is true if my house were less cluttered it would be easier to keep in shape - we moved recently and finding the time to find permanent storage solutions to help this is not that easy!

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 14:36:32

Trazzle, I think the OP intended to cause bad feeling. I cannot see any other point to the thread.

Please don't let it get to you. xx

littlemisswise Mon 16-Sep-13 14:36:53

I like a clean and tidy house, always have always will.

I had a clean and tidy house when we had no children, when we had 1, now we have 2, when I worked, when I was a SAHM, and now I am disabled. I can't do the floors or bend to do the baths but I can do the dusting and surfaces.

I don't have things lying on the floor, can't stand dirty plates in the kitchen and I do plump my cushions up every night before I go to bed.

I couldn't give a monkeys if other people don't have a tidy house, it isn't my business.

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:38:27


LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 16-Sep-13 14:38:53

Has anyone given you a biscuit to hang round your neck with your medals?

Halfling Mon 16-Sep-13 14:40:24

Agree with OP. Maintaining a basic level of cleanliness is not so hard.

I just need 30 minutes a day, at the most, to clean loos, wipe kitchen surfaces, put fresh tea towels, throw DS toys in the toy box and hoover the main living area.

On some days, when I am changing sheets, ironing etc., I will skip a couple of these chores.

My house is not spotless or very well organised. It can be a bit messy also on busy days.

However, my friends are forever complimenting me on my housekeeping skills and I am baffled. These are very basic chores that hardly take up any time.

And when I go over to most of my friends houses, I am surprised at the lack of basic cleanliness. I don't mind biscuit crumbs on the coffee table, but how can you have smelly soggy hand towels, toilet bowls covered in skid marks, dog hair everywhere...

Trazzletoes Mon 16-Sep-13 14:40:34

Thanks Rooners x

ukatlast Mon 16-Sep-13 14:43:16

YANBU especially in the kitchen work surface department.

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 14:43:20

take care.

kaosak Mon 16-Sep-13 14:45:28

imip, you are the one who deserves the medal!

Two mentions just on this page so far of precious moments spent playing with dc's rather than hoovering grin!

wasabipeanut Mon 16-Sep-13 14:48:31

This is all relative. I am considered a domestic goddess by quite a few friends and a slattern by my mother.

I can't bear filth and I must admit I have silently judged gritty carpets, dirty kitchens and grubby bathrooms. And houses that aren't aired sufficiently. I have 3 DC's under 6 admittedly I work infrequently as a freelancer but it can be done without spending all day cleaning.

Cat98 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:53:41

That's all I have to say at the moment. Don't get me started!

Trazzletoes Mon 16-Sep-13 14:57:27

Yes kaosak because having a seriously ill child is just hysterical, hey?

If you actually had to face this day in, day out, perhaps cleaning might be less of a priority. Perhaps if you spent 50% of your time living in hospital with associated lack of sleep, you might be too tired to clean, or need to pay bills etc instead in your odd moments at home.

Or maybe you'd just spend your time laughing at other people's misfortunes.

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Sep-13 15:00:20

trazzles I spent far, far, far too much of those two years cleaning. I was obsessed. I felt it was all I could do to keep DD safe.
I literally cannot bear to dwell on the amount of time I wasted cleaning the fucking house.
Its too painful.

So you do right. Fuck the cleaning. You have the right idea.

Love to you and your adorable DS x

YoureBeingADick Mon 16-Sep-13 15:01:28

"A once over in 45 minutes? Then you're just tidying and not cleaning properly. That's disgusting."

depends what size Op's house is. I can do my small 3 bed terrace in a hour. that's dishes and counters, bathroom (cleaned properly with spray- tiles and all) windows in all rooms, dusting in all rooms, hoovering in all rooms and mopping in all rooms apart from my room and the landing (carpet) it's definitely clean AND tidy. the reason I can do it so fast is because it is tidy to start with. I speak as a former slatter who completely bought into the idea that it wasn't possible to keep a house clean and tidy with pre-schoolers and a hairy shedding dog whilst working. in fact I do more cleaning now since I've been back at work.

LouiseAderyn Mon 16-Sep-13 15:07:16

My house is a bit scruffy - it needs redecorating and some diy (both of which I am gradually doing, money permitting). I think scruffy is fine, but I agree with the OP that a home should be reasonably clean.

If you are too busy to wipe the loo and keep kitchen counters hygienic, then you are doing something wrong and need to change your life in some way - these tasks take minutes.

SweetSeraphim Mon 16-Sep-13 15:10:29

My house is tidy, but not as clean as it could be. Me & DP both work full time and we have 4 children between us, and 4 cats. Sometimes it seems insurmountable, and we have loads to do at the weekend.

However. I go by this - when I'm lying on my deathbed, I'm not going to be thinking 'I wish I'd done more housework....' grin

As an addendum, I wouldn't dream of having dirty bathrooms. That's revolting.

VoiceOfRaisin Mon 16-Sep-13 15:11:56

caterpillar so you do get it all clean and work very hard to do so :-) that's all the OP meant I think.

absentmindeddooooodles Mon 16-Sep-13 15:18:32

Tey keeping your house perfect with a toddler with adhd and asd, a german sheppard puppy that no amount of money and hard work can train. A rescue cat that decided to have kittens and a dp that works all the hours under the sun in a very grubby job.

My ds gets up at 5. He does not nap unless ill. It is a miracle if I get him to sleep before 11pm. He can open stairgates and cannot manage to get up and down stairs alone without falling so I cannot leave him alone for any amount of time. He can climb the bookcase, tv unit etc and has no danger perception.

I would love to have a spotless house. Really I would. But sometimes the kitchen does need a bit more of a clean, and sometimes the sides do get a bit grubby.

My ds is never dirty and is healthy. As am dp and I. But sometimes circumstances dictate that cleaning cannot always be done when it needs to be. Bloody hell if I could get 45 mins a day to clean I would be over the moon.

garlicbaguette Mon 16-Sep-13 15:21:36

Pagwatch nailed it - depression, anxiety and a sense of hopelessness.

So most of you aren't as screwed-up as others. Congratulations.

Secretswitch Mon 16-Sep-13 15:22:27

What is with the poo obsession on this forum? Ohhh I sat in poo crumbs! Yesterday some disgusting person left poo streaks in the asda toilet! I was sat at the Opera next to someone who stank of poo! Poo poo poo!
Really, just swish a bit of cleaner in your toilet, swish the brush, flush..everyone is happy

Pawprint Mon 16-Sep-13 15:23:58

My house is cluttered and fairly dusty. It's def not up to the standard I like. I've given up, tbh. I've got lots of pets and a fairly messy family. However, I do hoover regularly, clean the loo and bathroom and try to keep the kitchen in order. Never seem to get more than that done.

LittleRobots Mon 16-Sep-13 15:26:50

We struggle to be honest. I never feel like I have any energy and sometimes 'easy' tasks seen huge.

Our house is tiny. We have clutter simplm as we don't have enough space. You walk in and the stairs are on one side and a barrage of coats and shoes the other. We don't have enough space in the kitchen so the drawers are full and there's often bits out. I find the state of the house depressing but by the time I've finished getting the kids in bed I want to go to bed!

I also didn't grow up in a great home. I sometimes don't actually know what people expect. If I know someone is coming we Hoover, but it wouldn't be if you popped by. I don't check our towels in the bathroom. They're just towels and fairly old so probably don't look good. We don't have a lot of spare money and the towels work, just don't look great, I'm now thinking I should replace them :-(

Our kitchen floor often needs doing. We have washing machine, dining table, tumble dryer in small kitchen, so there's often a pile of clothes either about to be washed or need folding etc. Because the kitchen is tiny this instantly looks a mess. In a large house it just would look like a basket of washing.

We have a tiny hall. I need to keep the pushchair there. This means it feels cluttered already and you have to squeeze past.

Now I have two kids in a small space, low energy and enthusiasm I find it really really hard. I'm sure if I had 45 mins child free each day to clean it would be fine. I'm exhausted just with the children.

Thanks for reminding me why I don't have people over very often, yet another season why being broke makes me a failure.

FrauMoose Mon 16-Sep-13 15:27:51

If people come round to see me I will

- Make them tea/real coffee/pour wine
- Offer something to eat
- Take an interest in what they have to tell me
- Aim to offer some good conversation of my own

With overnight guests I'd make sure their room was comfortable and bathroom seemed usuable.
With dinner guests - we eat in the (largish) kitchen - I'd want to ensure that surfaces, the cooker etc looked vaguely hygienic (i.e. not encrusted with decades of grime)

But frankly, if people who come to my house are more interested in the state of my handtowels than in the state of my life, I don't think they're people who I have much time for. (I have probably sussed this and haven't invited you round. You probably sussed this and didn't angle for an invite.)

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 16-Sep-13 15:41:28

Secretswitch, try starting a thread on workmen/delivery staff using your loo and see what happens grin

Bonsoir Mon 16-Sep-13 15:47:07

I don't understand why people have dirty bathrooms or loos. They are the easiest rooms to keep clean.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 15:58:06

Would any of the cleaner types on this thread like to come round to mine and demonstrate their skills please? grin

I am a lazy baggage and I can't be bothered most days.

However, I do agree with the OP that it takes no time to wipe surfaces/hoover and clean the lav once a day. I do a big clean on my day off but my place will always look messy because I have too much stuff. hmm

Branleuse Mon 16-Sep-13 15:59:26

this all just reinforces my view of not having people over to my house unless ive already seen their house first, or reasonably sure theyre not likely to be sitting there judging

FrauMoose Mon 16-Sep-13 16:02:12

There could be a TV show called 'Come Judge With Me.'

(There seems to be an assumption that cleaning is primarily a woman's work/responsibility here.)

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 16:05:13

I do most of the cleaning but that is because I work part time and dp works 12 hour days.

He does muck in at weekends and regularly clears up after tea.

It's not a woman's work. I'd say the lion's share should be done by whoever is home most and if both work then it should be shared.

I know it doesn't always work that way though.

Dahlen Mon 16-Sep-13 16:07:22

It's all a matter of perspective really, isn't it.

I've been in houses where dog poo has been left in the middle of the floor, or excrement in the bath. Where curtains are routinely eschewed in favour of a moth-eaten grubby blanket. Where your feet stick to the floor. Where the smell of ammonia practically assaults you as you go through the door and where you wipe you feet before leaving.

Most people's dirty kitchen floors, laundry piles, dusty shelves and day or two's worth of washing up wouldn't even register on my radar. But that's because I've seen worse possibly. IME however, the people with the dreadful houses all have massive social problems and usually some sort of MH problem.

If someone I knew and liked invited me to their house and it was literally filthy, I'd be more inclined to ask if they were ok rather than think them lazy. We all have lazy days where the laundry doesn't get put away, or the vacuuming done, etc.

zzzzz Mon 16-Sep-13 16:10:03

Sorry have only skimmed.

OP possibly it hasn't crossed your mind that some of us have more than the odd pooch and a teeny to care for?

It's easier to keep clean/tidy than it is to get clean/tidy.

When my DH and DC have been out my house is basically clean and tidy, the bathroom takes six minutes, the kitchen maybe ten, upstairs hoovering another ten, downstairs hoovering two, sweeping two, mopping ten, dusting maybe five. That's 45mins for a 4-bed house.

But if the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and DH has been reading the newspaper all over the front room and DS1 was muddy when he got in from football and DS2 decided to empty one organised toy box into another and then on to the floor, or someone gives us something that we haven't worked out a permanent home for, you can add another hour and a half of sorting before the house stops looking like a bombsite.

So YANBU and YABU. Once you're in the swing of things, it isn't hard to maintain a basically clean and tidy house. But getting into the swing of things is by no means easy and nothing to do with laziness.

And yes, working pt with one toddler was the cleanest period my house has ever seen grin

FrauMoose Mon 16-Sep-13 16:16:37

Agree with Dahlen

Should also say that the opposite extreme - fixation on extreme neatness and order, concern re contamination, germs etc - can also indicate mental health problems

eurochick Mon 16-Sep-13 16:19:13

My house isn't as clean as I would like it to be. I have a cleaner who is very reliable but not as thorough as my last two. I feel like I should do a deep clean once every few weeks, but frankly I don't have the energy.

I work full time, as does my husband. My job is demanding and involves long hours. At the moment I am working 3 weekends out of 4 and most evenings. Cleaning behind the furniture is not top of my priority list for my few hours of free time per week. But I do notice it and it does bother me.

Lweji Mon 16-Sep-13 16:19:50

I have a reasonably easy to clean house and it does take me more than 45 min to do a once over.
That includes hoovering it all and going round with the mop (hard floors).

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 16:20:52

I think looking like a bombsite/toys everywhere is just par for the course in a family home during the day. I've just had five toddlers here and there a been an actual mess explosion. That's normal.

Litter/poo streaks/general really horrible minginess is not.

Thurlow Mon 16-Sep-13 16:26:18

Horry is right, sometimes you hit a point where there's so much to do you don't do more on an average day than keep on top of it. We struggle with this, the deep-cleaning never gets done. I think I'm going to give in to an annual deep clean from professionals and then it will be much easier to keep on top of when you don't have a nagging worry about cobwebs in odd corners...

MidniteScribbler Mon 16-Sep-13 16:27:18

There's a big difference between a lived in and slightly messy house and a filthy house. I've been househunting lately, and I'm astonished at the number of times I've walked in to a house that's for sale and there's been dirty knickers on the floor, toilet seats left up with dirty smears in the bowl, dirty plates (several days worth) on the sink, and full ashtrays left around. Aside from the fact that you're trying to sell your property, there are some things which are just basic cleanliness issues. Put a laundry basket in your wardrobe for dirty laundry, use the toilet brush when you make a mess and do the washing up before the mice start to move in.

nightcircus Mon 16-Sep-13 16:29:43

I'd love a dishwasher, would make a big difference bring able to put dirty dishes in it quickly.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 16:31:28

Ooh yes, I think if I didn't have a dishwasher and a decent cordless Hoover my life would be very different...

BoozyBear Mon 16-Sep-13 16:31:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have been to quite a few mumsnetters houses but 2 of them were actually the filthiest houses I have ever ever set foot in.

PharaohHound Mon 16-Sep-13 16:36:10

Oh dear, my house is disgusting.

Yesterday I decided my ancient woolen kelim rug was looking pretty dingy, so I decided to hand wash it in the bath with soap powder.

First bathful of water came out black.

So, to only slightly lesser degrees, did the next four tubfuls.

I just kept on wrestling the massive, wet rug until the water began to run tea - coloured, then pale brown, then clear (ish). It now smells like a slowly drying sheep, but looks a lot brighter.

Our muck is a combination of dogs and exhaustion. I'm pretty much past caring. So, OP, you wouldn't like visiting my house, but then, I don't think i would have invited you, anyway.

PiddlingWeather Mon 16-Sep-13 16:37:25

have to agree with he posters who say there is a difference between mess and dirt.

At the minute I have washing folded and lying on my sofa, dishes to be put away, and cupboards so cluttered I can't bear to look.

However it isn't dirty- no disgusting toilet, rotten food lying around,mould, litter trays etc.

It's embarrassing for older DC when the house is like that. I know someone whose parents had quite a few cats and a house that was never cleaned- the DC never, ever invited friends back to the house because they were so ashamed of it.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 16:37:34

I have just done a quick clean round plus the morning's dishes. The lav gets done as it needs by everyone so no poo streaks here. But I'll give it a once over before bed.

I used to really struggle to keep on top of things when my twins were young though.

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 16:41:24

Oh get knotted OP. That's all I have to say to you. And STUFF your idea of 'normal'.

MadBusLady Mon 16-Sep-13 16:42:26

If someone I knew and liked invited me to their house and it was literally filthy, I'd be more inclined to ask if they were ok rather than think them lazy.

Hear hear. I hope there are more people like Dahlen than people like you in the world, OP.

Thurlow Mon 16-Sep-13 16:43:01

Oh, a dishwasher <sigh> a dishwasher... I'd murder for one (not joking). But with a very small galley kitchen, there's no room for it. I honestly think a dishwasher makes a big difference as it simply means your dirty plates and cups aren't left out on the side.

In fact, I defy anyone to keep our miniscule, counter-less kitchen looking tidy.

zzzzz Mon 16-Sep-13 16:45:07

Post again when you ave a few more children, dogs, doddery parents, life experiences. You sound utterly naive.

Therealamandaclarke Mon 16-Sep-13 16:46:34

45 minutes?
It takes me that long to tidy away toys and clothes.
I'm not sure why you profess to be lazy but seem to excel at housework. Well done.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 16:46:44

My kitchen is untidy but clean. It is also too small.

I'd like to think if a friend's house was really really bad, I'd ask if they wanted any help.

When the kids were small and I struggled it did become too much like a monumental task so I just was scratching the surface a lot of the time. It had got bad when I was pregnant due to me not being able to do so much and ex being a lazy git.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 16:47:56

Yes Rooners, you've said things on that theme many times through this thread. You think an extremely filthy house is fine, and your loo is covered in poo and guests can fuck off if they don't like it, I get it. Good for you! As long as you and your family are happy with, then fine, I just don't happen to understand.

If you do want to tell off the judgey people, how about the ones saying that only cleaning for 45 minutes today means my house must be absolutely filthy... They're the ones I'd be frightened of inviting round!

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 16:48:21

It can be hard to keep on top of housework when you work and have children. I struggle with it, though I am also heavily pregnant.

But totally agree with op - a basic level of hygiene is easy to achieve...Clean loo, clean kitchen etc - it doesn't take long to maintain this level of cleanliness. A messy house is natural when you have young children.

I am often embarrassed by the state of my house then people come in and don't know what I am talking about. Then again my mum constantly makes comments about how she wishes she could help me more to keep on top of things and this makes me majorly paranoid!!

I would never invite someone in if there were poo smears/crumbs on my toilet!! That's awful!

Therealamandaclarke Mon 16-Sep-13 16:48:51

Even when I employed a cleaner it only looked ok - ish after she left. The next day......
Cleaning is easy I think.
It's tidying that's the killer.

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 16:49:15

And 45 minutes would not be enough to do a once round in my house. 34 minutes would be enough time to clean the kitchen including hoovering and mopping shock

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 16:49:57

On a more serious note, I did once ask my truly filthy friend whether she needed help... Conversation didn't go well at all. I was as sensitive as I know how to be but it was a very unwelcome suggestion....

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 16:50:59

Was it Rooners? grin

I haven't read the whole thread, but my house is a mess, and needs cleaning because I suffer from depression, and I struggle to do even the basics at the moment - and I feel it is better for me to make the effort to cook a meal for the family than to clean the house.

And I know it is a vicious circle - I don't clean/tidy, and the house gets messier, and that depresses me. But I do not have the energy to do all that needs doing, and at the moment, it is too big a job - just thinking about where to start makes me exhausted and depressed.

Luckily I have understanding friends and family.

Therealamandaclarke Mon 16-Sep-13 16:51:15

Also don't understand clean but untidy.
Ime one needs to tidy and then clean. So I'm never convinced by ppl who say their homes are messy but clean.
You can't clean around mess.
Well,I can't.

MadBusLady Mon 16-Sep-13 16:52:00

Erm. You know we don't mean help with the housework, right?

deepfriedsage Mon 16-Sep-13 16:52:16

OP would hate my dc bedrooms. I refuse to go in there. When I get plates, bowls, glasses and mugs back, I want to vom. I soak them in disinfect and question how that tidy girl lives like this? It is also a struggle to get her rubish and dirty clothes off her. I hope she doesn't run a home like OP's friends and my ex.

filee777 Mon 16-Sep-13 16:52:36

Both working full time, two children and a love of spending time with them rather than bloody cleaning all day.

You have reminded me I really need to spend 1/2 an hour in the toilets tonight though so thanks for that!

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 16:52:40

Ok, now I'm interested... HOW can it take 34 minutes to clean a kitchen. Is it a mansion? Are you cleaning out the fridge and doing the oven?

WeeLors Mon 16-Sep-13 16:53:06

I actually feel quite rubbish about the state of my house just now and its not even that bad. The kitchen is kept clean daily (although I tend to leave the day dishes on the side and do them just before I make dinner) and I give the toilet/bathroom sink a light clean most days but the house is dusty, constantly in need of hoovering and I couldn't tell youthe last time i mopped the kitchen or bathroom floor or cleaned the windows or oven. I'm also a little too slovenly about changing sheets/towels, although would never leave them til they're smelly. I don't even have the excuse of working, I'm a sahm. Unfortunately though I have a DS (10mths) who doesn't sleep, he's been waking up every 2hrs at night for months now and I'm exhausted and completely replete of energy for keeping on top of the housework. If it wasn't for OH I think the house would be even worse cos he keeps on top of things like emptying bins, changing sheets and putting away clean washing plus he tends to do the dinner dishes (the rule and in our house is if one cooks the other washes up).

Soooo, I could definitely be classed as one of those who has the time but doesn't bother cos I just can't be arsed. Basically any time I have to myself (DS1 is at preschool in the morning now and DS2 still naps a couple of times a day) is spent most days sitting on my bum in a tired haze telling myself I'll do xyz in a minute but invariably ds2 wakes up or I have to go out in the school run before I get round to doing it. I just need to suck it up and get on with it, think I'll check out the fly lady site.

BTW, before I had kids I had a lovely clean house, sleep deprivation obviously turns me into a slattern

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 16:54:46

Well I offered help with whatever...childcare, although I do a lot of that for her anyway, errands or whatever...just really didn't go we'll. She HAD expressed a huge level of dissatisfaction with the state of her house so it lead on from that. In retrospect she just wanted me to reassure her that her house was fine.

SDTG Thank god for good friends hey? Would hate to have friends like some of the people on this thread!

FoxMulder Mon 16-Sep-13 16:55:36

I do my cleaning at the weekend, but it really needs doing every day, but I'm too tired after work. That's why my house is a shit hole smile

Varya Mon 16-Sep-13 16:55:53

I work part time but since having cancer I have no energy for housework. Husband not helpful, dogs are our pets. Try
to do what I can in house and long garden but sleep badly
and have nil energy, so I guess I am one of those you would

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 16:56:44

'You think an extremely filthy house is fine, and your loo is covered in poo and guests can fuck off if they don't like it, I get it. Good for you! As long as you and your family are happy with, then fine, I just don't happen to understand.'

You've completely missed the entire point of my posts, there.
A concise list of what I did not say.

You couldn't make it up.

But whatever.

MadBusLady Mon 16-Sep-13 16:57:36

Erm. Right, I suggest you (re)read SDTG's post, and think about it, and do your absolute best to develop your powers of empathy. Seriously, that breezy "I'm sure their houses aren't helping their state of mind" post was quite grim to read.

Pinkbutterfly31 Mon 16-Sep-13 16:58:36

My next door neighbours once asked me to let their dog out as they were going on holiday. I walked into their house and I nearly died....the smell, oh god the smell. The carpet, which was once blue, had a layer about an inch thick of dog hairs and crumbs. There was stuff EVERYWHERE. The kitchen surfaces were covered in dirty plates all covered in mouldy food. There was shit (actual shit) all over the place and mud splattered up the walls. Their garden is like sleeping beauty's castle, with thorn bushes which grow over the six foot fence and into my garden.

I just can't understand how you could live like that without getting depressed. They seem perfectly happy with it - they've got no problem inviting people in. Every now and then, their youngest daughter would come over here to play with my dc. I would have to spray and air her bedroom afterwards because of the smell - very sad indeed!

fromparistoberlin Mon 16-Sep-13 16:59:34

all your mates are mingers I say

that said I have a very dear friend. Her house is a fucking HOVEL though and I dont like staying there as I feel like I want to clean it.

she is NOT depressed just does not give a shit.

I love her to bits, but it baffles me how she can live like that

Charlottehere Mon 16-Sep-13 16:59:34

We can't all be perfect. hmm

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 17:00:46

It's true though all it can take for things to fall by the wayside is illness or a change in circumstances and no support or unsupportive partners.

Then it all goes to pot and once you do get back on an even keel you can struggle to get things back to a maintenance level.

filee777 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:00:59

It takes us at least 34 minutes to clean the kitchen! That's just a basic clean. With cleaning the floor and deep cleaning your looking at half a day minimum.

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 17:02:09

Can I add that if I went to a friends house and it was dirty my reaction would also be to offer help. You know the difference between people are just filthy and people who are struggling.

I didn't mean to write 34 minutes! That was a typo...but I could easily spend 45 mins in my kitchen at night after dinner - emptying and filling dishwasher, giving micro a wipe, cleaning work surfaces, cleaning my sink, Hoover and mop etc. and that doesn't include my oven which was not been cleaned for LONG time blush

twistyfeet Mon 16-Sep-13 17:03:25

Wait till the OP has teenagers grin
I dont go in their rooms but periodically they come out with a stack of plates and cups with old food and mould on. And the buggers always do a skiddy after I've cleaned the loo.
But mostly its pretty messy but then I spend half my life in hospital with a sick child. It would be nice if friends came ad cleaned but I guess they are all judging somewhere.

member Mon 16-Sep-13 17:04:16

when people are coming over why wouldn't you want them to feel clean and comfy in your house?

Most people would hope that a friend would value them for their conversation rather than how on top of the housework they are. In your case, perhaps they want you & your judginess to go ASAP? smile

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 17:06:03

I'm glad you can see that Youthecat, I was fed up at your post involving me, I dont enjoy being laughed at.

For what it's worth I don't reckon anyone is going to get anywhere by telling the OP why their houses might not be perfect, or 'good enough' for her.

She's just a queen bee looking for people to suck up to her and Oh, they are. In droves. People are also apologising to her (and the world) for their personal cleanliness.

It reads as an interesting social experiment if nothing else.

MadBusLady Mon 16-Sep-13 17:09:18

It does all have a certain Wendyish quality...

Ev1lEdna Mon 16-Sep-13 17:10:24

Hmmmm. My house isn't that bad but I have a friend who once made rather judgmental comments about it - I might add she doesn't work and neither does her husband so they have plenty of time to clean to OCD standards. I rarely invite her back here now! My house is super clean at the minute but honestly I prefer friends to be folk I can invite round and feel comfortable no matter what. I DO tend to tidy up for people coming round but if they pop round wanting a chat I don't want to feel like they are sitting in judgement,

pixiepotter Mon 16-Sep-13 17:11:58

You only work part time you only have one kid.

Ev1lEdna Mon 16-Sep-13 17:12:12

PS: I am boasting about the super-clean bit because I can't usually say that grin most of the time I can't be arsed.

ToffeeCaramel Mon 16-Sep-13 17:13:43

Are you sure people aren't thinking the same about your home OP? Maybe you aren't noticing the grime other people see when they visit you?

iwantanafternoonnap Mon 16-Sep-13 17:14:23

My house is a bit of a mess right now which is down to a combination of working full-time and working shifts/single parent to 3 year old/being lazy but mainly because my friends keep coming round at the weekends to drink vino and chat grin

They don't seem to be bothered by the mess tbh or they wouldn't want to stay so bloody long!!

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 17:14:31

Rooners, I apologise for my flippancy. Seriously.

member Seems quite likely doesn't it? grin

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 17:15:25

It doesn't even need anything as drastic as me being ill for the house to fall into a state! I had a busy weekend and the result is my house is a tip!

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 17:15:45

That's really good of you YTC - thanks.

Igloofornow Mon 16-Sep-13 17:16:40

Three young children here in a 4 bed home, if you visit me in a Friday around 2 pm you'd think I had a cleaner as I do the whole house when the youngest two nap.

It takes me two hours, tidy dust and vacuum bedrooms 20 mins, brush and mop kitchen and utility 15 mins, deep clean both bathrooms 30 mins, tidy round and vacuum living and play room 15 mins.

Generally though I do keep on top of things, kids tidy play room before bed and we only eat in the kitchen, I tidy round fill the dishwasher after every meal and switch it on at night, do a load of washing every day.

Less than 30 minutes each day is spent on housework except Fridays and I don't answer the door on a Thursday grin

I do have friends with houses like you describe, I usually clean them when I go over they don't seem to mind they know it's just how I am and I don't judge as that's just how they do things.

member Mon 16-Sep-13 17:17:13


HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 17:18:20

Oh quite possible Toffee. I am NOT super clean by any stretch. We only moved in here last week and there are some grimy nets from the last resident and I noticed that the bits between the balustrades on the bannister were a bit ming yesterday. Far be it from me to judge anyone's dusty house. But filth of the type where your DCs are embarrassed to have friends round? Just don't get it.

Plomino Mon 16-Sep-13 17:18:56

How does it take 34 mins to clean a kitchen ??

Easily. 4 mins to unload and load dishwasher . 8 people in the house means ours runs at least 3 times daily and is always full . Put various ingredients from the surfaces back into the pantry , clear the kitchen table of detritus dumped by 6 kids coming back from school , have shouting match re same , 8 minutes .

Wipe down surfaces for the 3rd time in the day, and polish (sounds a faff adding the polish but its only a spray and means crap doesn't stick to the granite as easily ) 2 minutes .

Wipe cooker and splashback , sweep random crap from under cooker, 1 minute . Wash up the roasting tray that's been soaking in washing soda and additional random accumulation of cups that there wasn't room for in the dishwasher , rinse and clean sink , draining board and washing up area , 5 mins . Ok , I may have been watching Vera at the same time and digressed .

Scrub kitchen table , 2 mins . Attempt to remove sleeping greyhounds from kitchen sofa 5 mins . Unsuccessful , but rectified using bribery of pieces of ham. Take dogs duvet outside , shake , Hoover sofa and replace duvet and hounds , 5 mins .

Sweep floor properly , meaning removal of dining chairs into hallway , and into all the corners and under the dresser , 6 mins including putting it all back .

Contemplate the kettle . Contemplate the rest of the house and open gin bottle instead , nanoseconds .

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 17:21:30

'Just don't get it.'

and it looks like you never will.

MadBusLady Mon 16-Sep-13 17:22:38


Sometimes I think we're getting somewhere with public understanding of mental health in this country and other times I despair.

williaminajetfighter Mon 16-Sep-13 17:24:07

OP I haven't read all the messages but I'm sure you've had your fair share of 'aren't you judgey' comments and then the usual MN 'I'm more slatternly than you' comments about being proud and slobby! I can just imagine.

TBH I ask myself the same thing. I work FT so does DP and we have a 4 bed house. But I LOVE my house and also really love cleaning (as much as possible) and making the house look nice. It's taken so long to get from renting/sharing to owning my own place, I really covet it (and secretly want it to look like an Elle Interiors spread which is never going to be happen!)

I always think everyone is like me but some people (a) hate cleaning (b) aren't that interested in keeping their house/environment looking a particular way or (c) are used to living like this - it may be completely normal, they may have lived like this their whole life.

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 17:25:06

YABU. You work part time OP you have no idea how little time couples who both work 50-60 hours a week have. With kids especially. I don't even have 5 mins to sit down some evenings. There have been crumbs of food on kitchen floor for days. The loo is cleaned at the weekend or if guests are coming. There are many weeknights when it is not pristine. And you know what? There are more important things to be proud of.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 17:27:26

I made it clear in my OP I wasn't talking about anyone with an illness or disability that precluded them from cleaning.

filee777 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:29:48

What about people really struggling to support their families, working every hour under the sun? Retraining and with more than one kid?

Do they get a mention in your 'disclaimer' op?

BopsX3 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:31:42

I don't work at all and I hardly get the chance to clean anything! I'm constantly entertaining visitors or my children smile

No one has ever complained (well not to my face anyways) about the state of my house and they are all quite happy to visit again.

I normally have pots in the sink, piles of clean washing waiting to be put away, mount washmore growing in my laundry basket, toys everywhere, floors need mopping etc. all the necessary areas (kitchen,bathroom etc) are clean and thats the main thing I think. And tbh I could give a monkeys whether people thought my house was a mess or not, dont like it, don't visit.

I also don't care what other people's houses are like. I pay more attention to the person whose house I am visiting than whether they have blitzed there house in the last week or not

Life's too short to worry about other people's cleaning habits

williaminajetfighter Mon 16-Sep-13 17:31:48

Can i just add that I have a friend like this and her house is a bomb site. I used to go over with my DD when she was a baby (she had a DD the same age) and I would get the fear. She had bags of dirty nappies sitting around, rolled up nappies on the floor, her bathroom looked like it had never been cleaned, dog hair everywhere, all her clothes on her bedroom floor and the sheets on her bed looked about 3000 years old and smeared with grease. Her kitchen was loaded with old dirty dishes and garbage.

It was bizarre and she was completely nonplussed about it - twas the normal way her and her DH lived. No idea why... but now I understand why she shows up to work in dirty clothes covered in dog hair! scary!

If I'm expecting a visitor the least I do is get the skids off the loo bowl, sweep the (usually huge amount of) dog hair off the floors and make sure the place doesn't smell minging. I can live in squalor a less than show-home house, but I don't want to look like I'm Waynetta Slob to anyone else.

BopsX3 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:32:53

*couldnt give a monkeys

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 17:32:53

Well obviously that's a bit shit for them. Does it preclude them from keeping basic standards of cleanliness though? To me, if you've got kids, keeping food prep areas, toilets and floor basically clean is a priority. Even if you work long long hours. It's hard and a bit crap but its one of things you just sort of have to do, along with feeding them, bathing them and keeping them in clean clothes. Annoying, time consuming, you'd rather not, but just got to be done.

Bumblequeen Mon 16-Sep-13 17:35:02

I wonder too.

I am not stating that you will not find a bit of dust in my house or a few crumbs on the carpet but the toilet and kitchen are always clean. There should never ever be poo stains left in the toilet bowl. I check the toilet after dd uses it and clean as necessary. Dh cleans up after himself as men should.

I cannot stand a grimy toilet or kitchen and have even been to view homes where the owners have not bothered to keep them clean.

The number of people who blame their dc for the bad state of their homes. It is an excuse.

NellysKnickers Mon 16-Sep-13 17:36:23

YANBU. I do a bit each day to stay on top of it, I learnt my lesson when rushed into hospital the day before my usual weekly clean a few years ago, when I came home it was a complete shit tip so now every day its given a quick onceover rather than once a week. I work pt and have a toddler, 8 year old and messy 42 year old dh grin

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Mon 16-Sep-13 17:38:06

LittleRobots - there's nothing wrong with old towels, it's smelly ones that you don't want to dry you hands on. Some of ours are older than me!

Our house is a bit of a state because we both work, I'm heavily pregnant and struggling a bit, I was in hospital all weekend and today I've prioritised other things over cleaning. Tomorrow I'll do a bit. The bathroom's not too bad though and the kitchen will be ok for the short window between me washing up the cake-making stuff and cooking the dinner.

Bumblequeen Mon 16-Sep-13 17:38:07

Livid why are skids accepted in your household?

FrauMoose Mon 16-Sep-13 17:39:04

I had never come across this much poo talk till I found Mumsnet.

Bumblequeen Mon 16-Sep-13 17:40:36

I remember an ex colleague used to complain that her dh did not clean the toilet after doing a no. 2. She warned me most men were this way inclined.

I was quite young and dreaded the thought of dealing with this when married. Dh does not do this. I would be repulsed if he did.

Akray Mon 16-Sep-13 17:44:22

I am slightly OCD and clean constantly. I don't even use the dishwasher cos I can't bear the thought of dirty dishes sitting in it. But, I am only like this in my home. I visit friends like me and polar opposite to me and visit them to be with them ~ not fussy what their homes are like. Don't know anyone who lives in total squalor thou!

BTW I have 5 DC who must think cleaning fairies come in the night cos I clean when they go to bed and get up early to clean. I can't do school run without beds being made, breakfast cleared etc ~ I wish I could relax my cleaning regime, but I just can't .........everyone is different but YABU to judge those that aren't the same as you.

XiCi Mon 16-Sep-13 17:47:13

The fact that you have been debating this (incredibly boring) subject over the course of 5 hours just goes to show how much time you have on your hands OP

As people have pointed out, some of us work 50 hrs + a week and like to spend free time with their family/friends enjoying life rather than with their hands down a toilet

Is that really so hard to understand?

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 16-Sep-13 17:48:10

When DS1 was a baby, I had enough of a struggle to stop myself from self harming and keep DS1 fed and content. Housework didn't register on the radar when I was fighting with myself.

If any of the few people I knew judged me, that would have tipped me over the edge.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 17:48:41

Yes, I do find it hard to understand when it means your house is filthy. Not untidy, not messy, not dusty, not cluttered, but FILTHY. I do find that hard to understand, I admit.

Livid why are skids accepted in your household?
Because I live alone Bumblequeen. I never had the problem with my last toilet but every time I use this one it leaves marks blush Having a septic tank means I try and avoid putting too many chemicals down so I tend not to clean it every day. If I lived with other people it would be different though. Damn toilet, I wonder if it's a design flaw confused

williaminajetfighter Mon 16-Sep-13 17:56:31

I also don't think working FT is an excuse as DP and I both work 50 hours work and do work in the evenings. I'm not saying a martyr, I just think it's priorities. And as others have said - untidy is no big deal, filthy to the point of being a health hazard is another thing.

twistyfeet Mon 16-Sep-13 17:58:56

Given all the houseworky types on this thread, you can solve my pillow problem grin
dd reguarly pukes on her pillows but when I wash them the inner bulky bit turns around inside the outer cover thingy. So it isnt pillow shaped anymore. How can I make it pillow shaped again? Those buggers are expensive.

XiCi Mon 16-Sep-13 17:59:04

I just don't believe that many people's houses are absolutely filthy. 99.9% of people do the best they can to keep things ticking over even if its just minimum cleaning.

And btw, dog shit in the garden is what I would consider filthy esp with children running round in it

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 18:02:31

Can't do much about the dog shit in the garden when you have a dog. Just have to make sure I clean it up regularly. I love my dog so he is worth it.

Twisty, get a good thick pillow protector then hopefully the sick wont go through it and you can just wash that.

I also have a poo catcher toilet. The shape of it means skids pretty much every time. I wipe it off with some toilet roll straight away and then flush.

mamapants Mon 16-Sep-13 18:04:54

So your friends appear to be struggling to keep up with housework etc and instead of wondering if they might be finding it a bot tough you just judge them, very nice.
I find it hard to fit in housework for various reasons, hopefully though my friends are nicer than you.

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Sep-13 18:05:36

Best gadget I ever bought was a dog poo picker upper. Its a clampy scoopy thing with a long handle. It was about £7 in pets at home.

Bloody brilliant.

ghostspirit Mon 16-Sep-13 18:05:40

i pay my kids to do the cleaning the not doing well lately i might sack them

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 18:09:19

What willemina you really have time to clean in the eves? Between doing childcare pickup, cooking, homework basic essential dishwasher and laundry loads, dd in bath / shower and bed I do not have time to clean! I do have to go to bed pretty early too as I get up at 5/6 for work but even if I could have 30 mins of "spare" time in the eve would I spend that cleaning?? Would I fuck!

DP will clean toilet bowl if he leaves it in a state though and it's only him who does because I do really neat poos

Please will one of you housework-loving mumsnetters come round and blitz my house? I have home made cake (made in a cleaned kitchen, I promise).

I also have a poo catcher toilet. The shape of it means skids pretty much every time. I wipe it off with some toilet roll straight away and then flush

Mine just collects marks below the water line so I physically have to use the brush and cleaner angry

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 18:19:58

Well a coupl eof years back it was due to severe depression and horrendous anxiety. I honestly felt like I couldn't physically move to start the clean up.

Now it's a bit messy cos I'm lazy and I know my friend doesn't care. Simple as that really.

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 18:22:36

It's been soooo much easier since I started work as no one is here making a mess in the first place and I feel motivated to live once again.

Two people working full time would make housework a doddle.

YouTheCat Mon 16-Sep-13 18:24:15

SDTG, I already asked.

I have homemade gluten free brownies. grin

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 18:24:24

Akray you wont know anyone who lives in squalor because you wont be allowed to see it. When I was in a state (and I mean a real real state) I lived in horrible filthy mess. It was gross. No one ever came round. Ever. I would simply not allow it.

filee777 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:32:28

I think perhaps, op, you don't realise quite how much you do around the home in little bits. I will generally move stuff around and put things away properly but when I am rushing around, barely stopping to eat and generally being totally hectic, I tend to find that more mess accumulates and then when I come to 'clean' I get through the surface mess rather than doing a proper deep clean.

Am attacking the toilets tonight though!

mum11970 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:37:08

By the time I got home from the school run, for my youngest, my eldest had arrived home and left a trail of toast crumbs all over the kitchen counter. With 3 kids, a dh and 4 dogs it's a never ending cycle and it's very rare there are no crumbs or dog hairs in my house.

LadyRabbit Mon 16-Sep-13 18:42:36

YANBU OP. basic hygiene isn't that labour intensive.
However, do you think a thread like this would ever exist on a predominantly male frequented community site? Do threads like this exist on Dadsnet?

I doubt it. Which makes me very filing angry because it tends to be women who notice if stuff is dirty/ tidy/ in need of repair and actually do something about on top of the thousand other things we have to do of a day. Men seem to think those incredible creatures the domestic fairies are responsible.


(Although my DH is very good at a once monthly blitz except nobody can find anything after he has done his tidy up. I'd trade the blitzes for a smelly sock laundry basket amnesty every few days and figuring out how to switch the washing machine on.)

LadyRabbit Mon 16-Sep-13 18:43:47

*filing = fucking. My autocorrect is clearly very prudish.

catgirl1976 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:45:05

Well - you work part time

Try upping it to full and see how sparkly your house is.

Scrubber Mon 16-Sep-13 18:46:05

My family mess it up as soon as it is done. Dh is a messy sod and doesn't help and I'm losing the strictness battle with the kids to stop them roaming with toast crumbs etc. My house is too big for it to be a 45 min job.

Beechview Mon 16-Sep-13 18:47:52

I'm sure that some people think my standards aren't high enough but I always try to keep my house as clean as I can.
I love to make my house as cosy and relaxing as possible. Dh and the kids help too.
Its not spotless and it gets messy but I try to organise things so its easy to clean.
Its not always easy with 3 young kids but everyone has to do their bit.
It just makes it a happier environment for us and with the cold weather coming up and more time spent indoors, its just nicer.

I don't care about anyone else's house.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 18:51:00

Plenty of people work full time and keep their house basically clean. Plenty of people have more than one kid/multiple dogs etc and keep their houses basically clean.

That sounds a bit goady, it's not meant to be. But I don't really buy this "oh you only have one toddler THAT IS LIKE BEING ON HOLIDAY" stuff. Yes, I don't have as many claims on my time as some people, but equally there are a lot of filthy SAHMs and lots of full time WOHMs and DAds with sparkly homes.

cassgate Mon 16-Sep-13 18:52:02

Have been reading this thread with interest as I have often wondered this myself about my sil and about one of my friends. Both seem to live in a state of chaos. Now I wouldn't say their houses are dirty as such, at least the bathrooms and kitchen seem clean but the general mess and chaos is amazing. I admit that I am quite an ordered person and I like to know where everything is so maybe I am the one with the problem. You go round their houses and there are just piles of stuff everywhere, all up the stairs, on the dining table, kitchen work surfaces, sofa. Piles of clean washing waiting to be put away, ironing piles a mile high. I just couldn't live like that and what's more annoying is that they moan about it but do nothing about it.

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 18:52:09

Also, I have to hand wash every bloody dish, and it's the job I hate the most.

Anyway, I'm not sorry for the state of my home.

"This is my house dammit, and if you don't like it.... you can get the fuck out!"

My mate is worse than me so I know she aint judging. In fact I can see her judging me when I do clean up grin

I would have a lovely clean - toilet if I lived on my own - as it is I am constantly cleaning everyone elses poo of 3 fugging toilets - plus hoovering plus plus plus - I am sure you are right and maybe I deserve public shunning If I don't pass the clean and tidy test - but frankly my dear I don't give a damn. wink

Btw - I do make a big extra effort when I know folk are coming my toilets looking hygenic and my surfaces clean - but I am sure my rather cluttered and disorganised home is still below par for some.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 18:56:29

You see, I'm 100% about a guest. It so important to me that someone comes into my home and feels welcome. Having a reasonably clean home is part of that, to me, as is having plenty of food and drink in, toys for their kids, heating on if they're cold etc etc. I'd never be able to think "oh fuck off if you don't like it". My mum was very unwelcoming and I HATED it. SHe was very clean though!

duchessandscruffy Mon 16-Sep-13 18:56:56

Do you know what YANBU. I know a girl who is totally lovely and has a ds the same age as mine. For a long time I only ever saw her 'in public' and she always seemed so organised and together with her ds. So I was absolutely gobsmacked when I did to round her house and saw it was a total shittip! Crap everywhere, mouldy cups just strewn around, a carpet that hasn't been hoovered in months. I thought it might be a one off but then it has been like that everytime I have been there, including times where she knows lots of people are coming round.

I am a total slattern, but I feel like anthea fucking turned when I go round there. I know it can be tricky to keep on top of things but surely if you know people are coming round you would just stash the mouldy cups away at least?

defineme Mon 16-Sep-13 18:59:54

Off topic -your dog poos a lot because of the food you're giving it-is it dry food? Switch to wet and it'll probably go down to 1 or 2 a day.

duchessandscruffy Mon 16-Sep-13 19:02:29

Defineme - really, I would have thought it would have been the other way around because of the wet food being erm, slippier <muses>

PuddingAndHotMilk Mon 16-Sep-13 19:03:01

CBA to read the whole thread but OP, here's a biscuit. My first one I think. It comes with poo crumbs.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 19:03:35

He has severe liver disease, so it's that that makes him poo a lot. He's on a mix of dry and raw meat.

LadyBigtoes Mon 16-Sep-13 19:15:31

We try to keep ours in a basic state of cleanliness - that means mostly me (as I work pt and am at home with DC some days) and my god, it is hard. Laundry, dishes (which DP does once a day), general tidying up, hoovering occasionally, house admin and maintenance, bathroom, changing beds all take up time - maybe it's not much time if you're a sahm and whizz round every day when you have peace and quiet to do it in, but when you are trying to cram it in between work (which also runs into my evenings), school runs, toddler tantrums, kids' classes, evening classes, any attempts at a social life etc - I can only fit in a bare minimum and only do that because I hate living in filth and mess and can't bear to let it get bad.

I'd only have to care slightly less, or have slightly less time, and it would certainly have gone to pot. And once it goes to pot, it's even harder to get the time and inclination together to sort it.

LadyBigtoes Mon 16-Sep-13 19:17:32

I have to say having visitors to stay is the one thing that forces me and DP to tackle some jobs, like cleaning the bathroom and kitchen floor properly. We ONLY do that if someone is coming to stay.

maddy68 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:22:50

My house is a shit hole. Well not quite but the kind I need to know if someone's coming

I work full time and have way better things to do with my free time than clean.

Snog Mon 16-Sep-13 19:22:53

Goingupintheworld if 99% of the houses your dp goes into her views as "disgusting" then there is your answer.
Only 1% of homeowners meet your standards and 99% of the population are slobs...or your standards are ludicrous.

BeaWheesht Mon 16-Sep-13 19:27:19

Well my house descends into chaos now and again but I would NEVER let anyone see it when it's like this.

I remember growing up and my mum would only let people in when the house was pristine I hated it. My best friends mum had people round all the time, their kitchen table was cluttered, they had piles of stuff on the stairs and if you wants a drink you probably had to hunt for a cup but I LOVED it there, it was so homely.

Therefore I try and strike a balance but I find it very hard letting people see when my house isn't as perfect as its ever going to get and that makes me sad sad I want the kids to have friends round whenever and people to pop in for coffee etc.

I wish I had your friends tbh all mine have spotlessly clean and immaculately decorated homes and I'm always embarrassed to invite them round to mine!!!

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 19:28:31

harder many people feel totally uncomfortable is a house is like a show home. I HATE going round to my brother's in laws family home because they are show home types and I barely dare to breathe let alone mve. I feel nervous about my DS wanting to play.

There are extremes both ways.

BTW, even when totally depressed and the house was 'how clean is your house' style. If I knew someone coming (usually someone that I couldn't turn away like a health visitor - hence them totally missing the mental state I was in) I would spend all day cleaning. Literally I would have to spend a whole 12 hours, but I would do it.

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 19:28:46

You know I was just thinking this morning about how I haven't made many any friends at things like baby/toddler groups and should make more of an effort. I have dc2 on the way and do feel a bit 'on my own' when I'm looking after DD (I work p/t).

But possibly getting ahead of myself I was worrying a bit that people might judge my house. I live in a naice area in a very small house. It's pretty cluttered with stuff. I'm trying my best to get on top of things...clearing out a bit at a time...taking stuff to the tip/charity shop. But whatever way you slice it still looks messy. I'm not the cleanest/tidiest person every. I'm trying really hard to be better.

Maybe it's pregnancy hormones but this thread has upset me a bit and confirmed that if i did make any friends they would judge my little, scruffy house.

I'm off to try and find a jollier thread to cheer me up and yes i know i could go and clean now but i can't be fecking arsed

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 19:29:38

FT workers with kids AND sparkly clean homes must have a cleaner. Otherwise it's just not possible.

SlobAtHome Mon 16-Sep-13 19:30:10

I only am able to think 'well if you don't like it you can get the fuck out' now that I am in a mentally stable place.

BeaWheesht Mon 16-Sep-13 19:31:34

Dawn - honestly I'd love a friend with a house like that!!! Makes me feel relaxed and welcome. We find it hard because we live in an area where most people are older than us and have a higher disposable income. We just don't have the cash to decorate everywhere all in one go or buy new furniture at the drop of a hat, oh well...

Snog Mon 16-Sep-13 19:33:11

We are all time poor these days.
Dp and I work full time and do not have a cleaner.
I think cooking healthy meals is important and am happy to do the ironing but don't do a huge amount of cleaning.
There are only so many hours in the week and you can't do everything. Why sit in judgement if others make different choices?
Even on how clean is your house nobody actually got ill or died from their lack of cleanliness, Aggie just claimed it was likely they would in the future...but in reality these people and their families had survived low standards for years.

soundedbetterinmyhead Mon 16-Sep-13 19:34:30

We expect our friends to sit on our 'gritty, nasty, sofa' but I gave birth on it (12 years ago) so it has sentimental value. smile

Out of interest, are there any men on this thread?

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 19:36:01

Aw thank you BeaWheesht but you've set me off crying again. I need to get a grip! I just wish I could tell the cool, chilled, non-judgey folks (like you) from the judgey, stick up the ass, meanies...

farewellfarewell Mon 16-Sep-13 19:37:40

If you have only one toddler and only work part time it is easy to keep the house clean, if you're that way inclined.
Plenty of people in your situation find more stimulating ways of keeping busy and genuinely are not too bothered by mess.
If you are at home full time with toddlers (multiple, or baby and toddler) who are physically in the house most of the time, obviously the house will be fairly messy a lot of the time, unless you spend your whole time following them and cleaning up.
If you work full time and have several children, again it is much harder to keep the house clean because you have less time.
I work full time and have several children. I don't have a cleaner and manage to keep my house clean, dh works extremely long hrs and doesn't do housework because he is not here.
The reason I keep it clean is because I can't stand it being chaotic but it is really hard to keep on top of it.Not everyone feels that it is a priority under those circs. and they are probably right. My children are all primary school age.
You are talking nonsense imo esp the bit about visitors. Your friends are being bad hosts by not keeping the house clean enough? Surely you go to enjoy their company and not to become exercised by how little cleaning they appear to do? Yabu.

BeaWheesht Mon 16-Sep-13 19:43:59

Incidentally Dawn, I thought like you and then at toddlers last week a mum said 'oh I can't wait to get home and my cleaner will have just left, she always comes Wednesday mornings when I'm here' and all but me and another mum said 'oh yeah me too its so nice going home after this'. I was shock

ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 19:44:59

I don't really understand why my sister ( no SN / depression / DC at school all day) only clears plates and washes dishes when there are none left. Seriously - the last time I was there there were five days worth of plates and dishes all with food still on them all over the worktops.

There was a crisp packet on the floor in the bathroom confused which had been there since the fortnight before when I last visited. WTAF? How hard is it to pick up rubbish and put it in a bin?

My standards used to be stupidly high. I used to have a list of weekly tasks with over a hundred bloody jobs on it apart from the usual cooking, washing-up, laundry etc

They have slipped since then. I'm a great believer in, "cleaning the house while children are growing is like shovelling snow when it is still snowing" grin

Preciousbane Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:52

I grew up in a house that had ex military parents running it, it was spotless and nothing was out of order, inside the cupboards was even regimented. I get quite agitated in a mess but my house is not perfect.

I don't mind a bit of dust or a pile of books but I dont like dirty bathrooms nor kitchens.

Maybe we should have a house hygiene rating like restaurants do on our font doors. I suppose someone's 4 would be my 3 and vice versa.

HopeS01 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:51:33

I agree, OP.

I don't mean to cause any offence to the other MNers, but being busy isn't a very good excuse. We're all busy! I grew up in a single parent household and am 1 of 5 siblings (I now have another 4 step siblings!), my mum has always worked full time. I vividly remember being taught to CLEAN UP AFTER MYSELF from a very young age (which certainly didn't make my childhood unhappy), and my mum would maintain our house to an excessively high standard in the little time she had.
I'm not suggesting that everyone should go this far, but I agree, if you don't let your house get too messy it doesn't take long to have a quick whizz around. The whole family should get involved with regular tidy ups, this is not a woman's job anymore!


Ps. I'm sure we all agree that there is a big difference between a few toys on the floor and a dirty toilet! Hosts should be embarrassed to have guests in their house using a toilet with mess on blush

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 19:53:21

Yes Bea! That's a bit what it's like round here. I mean I'd love a cleaner, hell i'd settle for a dishwasher at this point, and i'm sure some of those ladies are lovely and wouldn't care....but it makes me worry. More so than it used to. Think i've lost a bit of confidence or something. I'm sure i never used to be such a worry wart.

ItIsKnown- are you my sister? I have, ahem, been known to wash up only when there are no plates left. And I'm pretty sure a crisp packet could easily remain on my bathroom floor for a fortnight. blush

This thread has actually motivated me to do a small amount of housework today.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 19:57:25

Dawn, no one will care if your house is basically clean, really.

FrauMoose Mon 16-Sep-13 20:01:44

I suppose for me the important things are:-

- Not giving family or visitors food poisoning. This isn't exactly a tidiness issue, but does involve putting food in the fridge and also chucking it out of the fridge. Also washing knives etc used for raw meant
- Not having things so cluttered it's unsafe. Enough room on the stairs, not putting things in piles that might topple. Some safety rules - and therefore tidiness - have to be implemented when there are toddlers etc in the house.
- Trying to avoid smells that might make people feel sick. So I'd air rooms regularly. But I would also avoid air freshener, aerosols etc as these make me feel nauseous.
- Trying to stop things being so chaotic one wastes loads and loads of time hunting for lost objects. So some kind of vague order - which probably requires doing one or two loads of washing a week.

That's it.

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 20:09:09

You'd care OP. I never plump my sofa. I hoover but probably not as often as I should (and my carpet is all one colour so shows up the tiniest little bits), sometimes there are dishes on the side cos I don't have a dishwasher, sometimes there are bit on the floor.

I haven't a fecking scooby what a poo crumb is. Maybe my house is riddled with them.

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 20:10:48


ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 20:11:34

FetchezLaVache, do you scrape rancid food off off said plates into the bin and not leave it there attracting flies and stinking all week in a room where food is being prepared?

If so, you are not my sister.

I don't own a dishwasher but if I did and had lots of plates I would probably only run it once a week <slattern>

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 20:14:01

I'm sure I wouldn't. And even if I did think "skanky cow" it's not like that would affect me liking you or wanting to spend time with you. I love my filthy friends. It's just that they are skanky! And they love me back but probably think I'm mouthy or too fat or something. It's not like me wondering why someone just can't find the time to swipe an antibacterial wipe round affects how I actually feel about them in a real way.

honeybunny14 Mon 16-Sep-13 20:19:06

Ive never been in a house like that ever do ppl really live like that ???

honeybunny14 Mon 16-Sep-13 20:25:57

Dawnofthedee ur house snds fine anyone with kids will know wat its like my house is clean bt tidy it isnt lol

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 20:36:27

Thanks honeybunny. There's just a lot of stuff. We don't have an attic or a garage so storage is difficult and i'm not very good at keeping things to the bare minimum am trying to be better though. With another DC on the way i just keep thinking things are going to get worse!

EmeraldJeanie Mon 16-Sep-13 20:44:45

Well I'm bit depressed now. So, kids in bed and I shall have a small glass of red, read a paperback in a bubblebath in my 1970s skanky [very] bathroom.

LadyBigtoes Mon 16-Sep-13 20:45:54

Though I find it all so much work, I really don't want a cleaner. Apart from the fact that I'd hate to have someone in my house who I'd have to chat to and pay which I'd be incredibly embarrassed about, a cleaner would just clean (for which I would have to tidy and declutter). I would pay to magically have all the random tidying, wiping, washing, putting away and sorting out clutter done every day, but a cleaner can't do that because you have to know what goes where and what you can chuck etc. Plus they would have to be there all the time to keep up with it.

What I need is a really good robot.

working9while5 Mon 16-Sep-13 20:47:06

A lot of it is habitual.

I grew up severely neglected in squalor. I keep a reasonably tidy but quite cluttered home which is like a fricking palace in comparison to where I grew up. I never learned a lot of the stuff that is second nature to others and it is slow and effortful to do now I have two toddlers and another on the way. It's a learned behaviour and many adult women do it on autopilot. I have to really remind myself as I find it deeply unmotivating now kids are at stage it only lasts a few minutes.

Dh grew up in a tidy home where women did it all. I am not going to be only one working to keep home clean in front of my boys so we both have to do it together.

LadyBigtoes Mon 16-Sep-13 20:47:44

Like Robert the robot on Justin's house. <dreams>

DawnOfTheDee Mon 16-Sep-13 20:49:36

I'd love a robot too. But i'd probably forget to oil the joints and it'd end up rusting in a corner of the room, covered in dust, staring balefully at me as I mumsnetted the evening away....

Dilidali Mon 16-Sep-13 20:51:00

I didn't read the whole tread.
But it made me think of this: when did a house/home became an exhibit? Why clean for visitors? Why not for yourself?
My home is where I recharge my batteries, not a place where XY and Z can come and marvel at my taste in decorating and see exactly how much money I can afford to spend on a sofa. My home is where my child grows up, is being educated, feels safe. Ultimately, it is a place where we all feel safe, uninhibited, where we rest and spend time as a family.
So the environment has to be right for us.
If your house is filthy or pristine to the point where you can't relax because there might be a crumb rolling onto the carpet at some point, something is not right.
I fail to see how someone's mood isn't overshadowed by piles of dirty dishes and lack of clean clothes or kitchen space, just as I fail to see how cleaning obsessively would make someone happy and content.

There's a balance there, somewhere.
I don't need admiring aaaah's, just as I don't need disgusted expressions, I'd like to see myself happily opening or shutting the door.

working9while5 Mon 16-Sep-13 20:53:08

Oh and ps I have OCD. The real kind, diagnosed by a psychiatrist. And it makes me messier not tidier.

Nonie241419 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:02:36

My house mings. This is caused by my chronic dislike of housework, H's refusal to do any cleaning beyond wiping dust off surfaces with his hands, 2 messy primary aged children and one messy toddler. I work part time and when I'm not at work, I'm child wrangling. I also bring a lot of work home, so don't have much time for cleaning in the evening. This house is also too big and overwhelming for me to manage - cleaning and tidying feels futile when there's so much to do.
I do keep on top of the laundry, so we always have clean clothes, but that's the only thing I'm in control of.
I've always worried about people judging when they come round, and many of the posts on here have made me realise I was right. I shan't be inviting anyone around again until DC3 has started nursery hours and I have some uninterrupted time to clean. That's fine, only 18 months of no visitors!

ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 21:10:10

grin at Dawn the the dusty neglected robot. I'm like that. Get a new appliance and vow to use it all the time and keep it shiny and that's what happens.

Nonie241419 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:10:53

Oh and my eldest DC has a digestive problem which means he makes a hideous mess of the toilets several times a day, so they're only ever properly clean for a few hours max.
I do clean them regularly, and always before visitors are due, but to keep them without evidence of his use I would have to clean all three of them multiple times a day. I'm not doing that so will have to accept the censure of all those on this thread who are sure that toilets should be clean at all times.

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Sep-13 21:16:35

I have an anxiety disorder working that contains may OCD like behaviours.
It makes me SEE dirt everywhere. When I am particularly anxious it jumps out at me like I am wearing 3D specs!
But the more anxious I get the less able I am to do anything about it.

I wander around like Joan Crawford on a wire coat hanger purge, muttering about filth and germs, then put my coat on and run away to somewhere calming like John Lewis.

Its bloody exhausting being a bit mad.

MorrisZapp Mon 16-Sep-13 21:22:03

Oh man. My dad and my step mum live in cluttered filth. I can't bear it. Both very able, kids long grown up, now retired. It just doesn't occur to them to clean or tidy. They are lovely people but I so wish they'd make their house feel more inviting. They love having people round, they're very social. But they don't see dirt. They won't even let me clean it, even though I'm dying to. They actually like it.

elQuintoConyo Mon 16-Sep-13 21:22:22

Thank fuckety-fuck you aren't my friend.

But then, if you were, I'd purposefully NOT go over the obvious sticky patches on my kitchen floor with a wetwipe, 5 minutes before you come round for a judge chat.

Chocolatehunter Mon 16-Sep-13 21:22:52

I'm someone who is quite obsessive about cleanliness. It makes my skin crawl if my house isn't clean and I don't feel comfortable. I watched those channel 4 programmes about the borders v the ocd cleaners and felt so horrible that I ended up steam cleaning every section of grout in my house because it felt dirty. That said I find being tidy quite difficult and tend to have piles of stuff which has no real home. It gets on my nerves that there is a room in my house which houses a lot of this crap and if truth be told, if it was all taken I couldn't really tell you what was missing.

paperlantern Mon 16-Sep-13 21:42:30

yabu - because I value my mental health more than a tidy house. because I value getting out and about as a family unit more than hours spent tidying, because I value my friends more than a tidy house

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 21:49:16

Dawn please do not let it put you off making friends hmm they won't care. And if they do then they are not the kind of friends that you want surely?! Your house sounds like any normal family home. Clutter and mess is not dirt.

I am ashamed to say I tidy for people coming round. I don't want people knowing how messy I am!!

kaosak Mon 16-Sep-13 21:53:32

I definitely tidy for people coming around, 12 hours the day before and I still think it looks messy (it doesn't I know in my heart of hearts) but then I let it all slide again until the next batch of judgers friends happen by!

MrsDV - yes I totally understand that feeling of running off to John Lewis rather than tackling the problem which often feels insurmountable.

I don't judge other people's houses though, I honestly am fine with how anyone else lives unless it was truly filthy which most people's houses aren't.

LadyBigtoes Mon 16-Sep-13 21:57:57

I make an effort when people are coming to visit or stay because there will always be something I don't want people to see - huuuuge dust bunnies under the sofa or bath, piles of clothes with my knickers visible on top sitting at the bottom of the stairs, stains in the toilet. Things I may live with for a day or two because I just haven't got around to them yet and no one will see, and I just don't have time to do everything as it arises, at least not if I ever want to do other stuff like catch up on work, send social emails, relax with DP etc. But if I know someone is coming, that stuff will get sacrificed so I can spend an hour or two to make the place presentable.

I prefer that balance because at least it means I do get to prioritise myself sometimes. If I just constantly kept up with the housework, I would never do anything else.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:58:47

I know jobs have got to be done and sometime in the week it does get done.

I have no routine, I hide junk everywhere but as soon as I sort it by 2-3 days the house is back the same.

It gets on my nerves trying to keep this house up.

RhondaJean Mon 16-Sep-13 22:07:39

There's limits and my house is NEVER. That bad, but yknow how they say noone wishes they had spent more time in the office when they are dying?

I figured out a looong time ago noone wishes they had spent more time hoovering either and adjusted my life accordingly.

Incidentally, every friend I have with "immaculate" houses has an abusive childhood in common. I've often wondered if its a control issue similar to eating disorders.

Minifingers Mon 16-Sep-13 22:09:31

3 children, dog, big house, multiple projects on the go.

I don't know how it happens but cleaning the loo and the bathroom seems to get shoved off the bottom of my to do list most days.

Am I bovvered?

I still can't imagine myself ever turning into the sort of person who thinks that cleaning the bathroom is more important than almost anything else I am currently spending time doing, including mumsnetting, reading a newspaper, staring into space, or eating popcorn.

But I do appreciate that there are women here who really value sparkling tiles, and a pine fresh flush.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 22:09:57

Before I had children I used to be very confused about what people meant when they said "my house is clean, but untidy". I thought: how is that possible? How did you clean it without tidying it first? I now realise that they did both but 15 minutes later ALL THE TOYS were out AND THE STICKER BOOKS AND AND AND.. now I get it. So it is still clean but invisibly so.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 16-Sep-13 22:15:09

I work part time
And there's your answer. Next!

OneHandFlapping Mon 16-Sep-13 22:15:18

I don't clean my house because I can't be arsed.

And neither can any of the other four (practically) adults who live in it.

There's no WAY I've ever spent 45 minutes a day running round with a hoover or something. Bugger that for a lark.

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 22:18:54

If you've got time to MN and twitter you've got time to tidy up your house. Period.

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 22:20:30

It shows a lack of pride to not tidy up before people come around. A bit like wearing your PJs on the school run.

FixItUpChappie Mon 16-Sep-13 22:23:00

Well there is dirty and there is messy...and both have a very wide range.

Young kids can make things messy very quickly...especially if they are home all day as opposed to at daycare of whatnot. When I've been on maternity leave I've found it much harder to keep on top of it because the kids are pulling things out while I'm picking them up and are using the kitchen/washroom all day. The worse offense in my house is under the kitchen floor - toddler eating messily, baby eating/throwing things off his highchair....3 meals a day. Sometimes if we have places to be I leave it to later TBH. If you came over before I'd mopped it (for the 3rd time in a day) you'd be unimpressed blush

Dirty....well unfortunately my profession has taught me that many people have disgusting hygiene issues and are happy to live literally like pigs in shit (literally). I think depression, lack of life-skills and normalization of such environments is largely the issue.

thinkofthemoney Mon 16-Sep-13 22:25:34

I work 60+ hours a week, my husband also full time. We have young children (3 and 5) and a dog. We have no family support.
We get in gone 7pm, we then have to cook tea, do homework, get kids ready for bed, walk the dog.
We are exhausted. My house, unsuprisingly, is a tip.
I'm sure I'm not alone. You sound very smug.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 16-Sep-13 22:34:45

To a degree I think it boils down to how much you like your house. I have lived in houses I did not particularly lie and iterated them with minimal care. I love my current home and enjoy it looking nice. If your house does not float your boat then I can totally understand why someone would do the minimal. We'll be a long time dead, I tidy and clean but I'm no way going to waste my life scrubbing to the bone.

encyclogirl Mon 16-Sep-13 22:48:00

We do a lot of 'tag team' cleaning. Dh will do the laundry when he gets in and start dinner, then he'll Hoover and steam the floors. I get in and do the after dinner clean up and usually do the stove and wipe down the cabinets.

After showers I usually do a quick clean of the bathrooms. Dh puts all the clean laundry away. He makes all the beds and picks up the bedrooms.

We all pick up the living areas in the evening, and I dust around two nights a week. I don't go under sofas, just the visible bits.

Once a week I go through the house like a dose of salts and clean the bejesus out of it.

We have a bigger house and ironically that actually makes cleaning easier. The house has a ton of storage and everything is out of the way.

I have an SN teenage dd and a teenage ds. They are pretty good at keeping their stuff in the right places. Ds plays a ton of sports tho, and his smelly kit is a constant source of contention. He's getting better since I bought him two laundry bins, one labelled 'dirty' the other 'toxic'. Apparently there are subtle levels of dirty that I can't recognise hmm

foxy6 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:52:19

with a full time job 5 kids, three dogs and four cats and suffering from ME, house work is not top of the list. I can't do too much and dh and kids seem to think that as long as dishes are done and clothes cleaned they don't need to do much else.
i felt quite good when a friend said to me that she felt relaxed visiting with her three kids as she dis need to worry about them making things a mess. it was a compliment as she could relax and didn't worry like she does when visiting friends with spotless houses.

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 22:54:25

Kiwi that's rubbish...time to go on mumsnet and other social media sites is precious for some people - for some people it's the same as a night out or seeing friends as they don't get out of the house.

Agree with the school run in pyjamas though, that's appalling!

If you've got time to MN and twitter you've got time to tidy up your house. Period.

That doesn't follow, actually. You can MN whilst breastfeeding, sitting in softplay, or being sat on by a poorly toddler who CANNOT be left alone. I'm not saying that MN slatterns are necessarily in that position when they're posting instead of doing housework, but it is frustrating to think "there are so many other more constructive things I could be doing if I were at home on my own".

IsIt- ah, not my sis then. I can at least manage to scrape food off the plates before stacking them there and leaving them! And I don't have enough plates to go a whole week, so I tend to have tackled the washing up before it smells actively offensive.

ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 23:37:12

Well that is good because you sound lovely ie not my sister smile

MusicalEndorphins Tue 17-Sep-13 02:24:04

I was going to wash the floors but the cat is asleep on my lap. Maybe they have cats too?wink

my2centsis Tue 17-Sep-13 05:47:28

Op anyone that is in a bad mood is going to get all judgey about your OP. ignore

YANBU if you do a quick clean everyday there is absolutely no need for someone's house to be gross.

Although I am very house proud tbh.

I just feel it's not hard to do a quick dust and Hoover, if you leave it for weeks on end on end of corse it's going to take longer.

It's just laziness in my opinion

CaterpillarCara Tue 17-Sep-13 08:08:41

"If you've got time to MN and twitter you've got time to tidy up your house. Period."

I don't agree. I am on MN in my only down-time - when I pause between life's jobs to have a quick sit.

I am on for five minutes now having got through the two hours morning mayhem. Yes, there is tidying I could do. I will soon - but, I really would like that five minutes sit first! I am not superwoman... in the next 25 minutes I will finish the breakfast tidying, strip the beds and head out the door to work. That is enough.

If my house is not good enough for you, so be it.

PaulSmenis Tue 17-Sep-13 08:12:05

I've recently had surgery, just over two weeks ago and I despair at the state of my house. DC do some of the housework, but actually making them do it to an acceptable standard is more stressful than if I did it myself.

DP does some of it, but not on work days. I can't wait until I've recovered so I can declutter and get things straight.

PuddingAndHotMilk Tue 17-Sep-13 08:17:57

"If you've got time to be on MN/twitter..." Rubbish! I'm only on MN while I have a 7wo attached to my boob. I try to keep on top of the house for my sanity but generally find sleep a better option when I have >15 mins

VoiceOfRaisin Tue 17-Sep-13 08:24:35

Why are people focusing on visitors so much? Surely if your house is so dirty that you would be ashamed to have visitors in and would have to clean specially before they arrived, then it can't be too nice for you and your DC to be there? Why not keep it basically clean all the time? Like the OP, I don't mean show home tidy with everything away and dusted - I mean not filthy. If it is basically clean, then visitors won't care two hoots about DC's toys being out, or piles of clothes ready for the wash, clutter or whatever. They just don't want to leave feeling that they might have caught something or have to wash their clothes because of what they sat on.

Perhaps we are all talking at cross purposes and those saying life is too short for housework mean it is too short for complete order, but don't mean that it is too short to keep the loo unsmeared, rubbish in the bin and dirty plates, pots and pans washed up. If you really are too busy to have a hygienic loo and kitchen then you need to rethink your priorities big time. (Disclaimer: like the OP, not talking about those with medical problems that mean they cannot clean or cannot find the mental energy to clean but even they need to seek help if their house is minging).

pixiepotter Tue 17-Sep-13 08:33:08

If you can clean it top to bottom in 45minutes it must be a tiny house!

Elesbe Tue 17-Sep-13 08:36:36

I absolutely agree with you Harder. Well done for having the bottle to take this lot on and standing your ground.

PaulSmenis Tue 17-Sep-13 08:38:48

I had a friend when I was at school with really messy parents and the kitchen bordered on being a health hazzard at times.

They were very naice, middle class right on types. They had busy jobs, loads of hobbies and just didn't enjoy housework.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 17-Sep-13 08:56:55

Haven't read the whole thread but basically yes YABVU and judgy, and as pp said, the sort of person I dread coming round.

I have a 6 month DS who I cannot put down even to sleep at the moment, and a 2 year old, aka The Destructinator. I'm lucky if I have time to go to the (non-poo-crumbed) loo!

While I'm typing this, I have DS asleep on my chest. If I try and put him down he screams and throws up.

My house is not a danger zone, but hasn't been vacuumed for a few days. The loos are clean.

Personally I'd prefer my kids to build up some healthy immunities rather than be allergic to everything, a condition that I believe is not helped by the neurotic overuse of antibacterial agents by people who have nothing better to do than judge other people's standards.

SubliminalMassaging Tue 17-Sep-13 09:06:28

I think perhaps if your house hasn't been vacuumed for a few days, your loos are clean and it's not a danger zone then you are not the kind of person the OP is talking about! Why do people choose to feel so personally offended and attacked over things that clearly do not apply to them? confused

I am the last person to bother about a bit of normal, healthy, casual family mess and a few pots in the sink, but some people have houses so chaotic and so unsanitary as to be bordering on an environmental health problem, and you have to wonder if they are quite sane. And strangely, many of them do seem to be. Which I find bewildering.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 17-Sep-13 09:08:44

Subliminal you're right - I got a bit too invested in this! Severe lack of sleep and coffee are factors here.... blush

LookingThroughTheFog Tue 17-Sep-13 09:27:07

This is timely...

If you're genuinely terrified of Death-By-Germs, a pooy toilet is less of a problem than your smartphone.

ParisianTrialByFire Tue 17-Sep-13 09:39:53

What is basically clean? I've been ill the last couple of days, so bad that I couldn't take DS to nursery yesterday, so I've let things slide. The loo's clean, as are kitchen surfaces. But there's washing up in the sink, and the living room resembles an explosion in a toy shop.

Only feeling a smidge better today, so doing the nursery run and errands in town, plus maybe a load of washing because I've run out of socks...

filee777 Tue 17-Sep-13 09:48:56

Just out of interest, are the people who are 'nervous' of eating/drinking in a friends house because of dirt, at all worried about use of harmful bleaches and so on from over use on kitchen surfaces?

Because I would rather come into contact with a bit of dirt etc than vast amount of harmful chemicals.

Kiwiinkits - for me, Mumsnet and Facebook are my main escapes, and my main source of social interaction outside the family. I have people on here and on FB who I consider true friends, and whose company helps me to get through each day. Given the length of the thread, you probably missed the post where I told you all about my depression, and the impact it has on daily life.

I am permanently tired and struggle to motivate myself to get up and dress each day, and then I have a tiny amount of energy and motivation left, which I tend to spend on the absolute essentials - like making a meal for the family in the evening - and there is little left over for the amount of tidying I need to do, or the cleaning.

Social interaction is vital to me - it is an escape from the way I feel - so I guess I prioritise Mumsnet and Facebook above the cleaning.

Another thing is that, when I do clean and tidy, I feel like I am swimming against the tide, because other people in the house can untidy faster than I can tidy, and the dogs can shed fur faster than I can vacuum it up - and in a strange way, it is more disheartening and depressing to see a previously tidy room, that I have spent precious energy tidying and cleaning, descending back into untidiness, than it is to look at an untidy room.

Kiwiinkits - I am sorry to say this, but your post made you sound horribly judgemental. Please take a moment or two to consider the fact that other people may have stuff going on in their lives that you know nothing about, and that things aren't as simple as you think they are.

Therealamandaclarke Tue 17-Sep-13 10:18:09

I love how this thread has become a swap-shop of useful tips on keeping a clean and tidy house.
Am taking notes grin
B.feeding btw, so able to read, watch, tv, MN, talk on phone but not clear away the breakfast mess. wink

Misspixietrix Tue 17-Sep-13 10:25:03

onesleep "Bit Fur Coat and no Knickers". I haven't heard that phrase in years! grin

queenmools Tue 17-Sep-13 10:52:26

People vacuum every day? Oh my goodness now I feel like such a slob, I do it once a week. Sorry to get back to the dog poo picking but I had a sleepless night thinking about it. If you have children, then letting your dog poo in the garden is revolting, especially if you don't pick it up immediately. I think that dog poo in your garden is below a basic standard of hygiene. I'd rather have sticky floors than a dog poo garden. I am the owner of both a dog and a toddler by the way. Dogs can be very easily trained to only poo at certain times and in certain places.

fuzzpig Tue 17-Sep-13 10:55:39

DH vacuums the living room every day. You have to when you have messy eaters <sigh>

Preciousbane Tue 17-Sep-13 10:58:54

I clean work surfaces every day in the kitchen but just with a clean cloth and water, I only use actual spray once a week and bicarbonate of soda in the sink. Bleach is used incredibly sparingly down the loo once a week.

Surely there is a middle ground and most people aren't up to their elbows in filth smeared counters nor anti bac spraying every five minutes.

goonIcantakeit Tue 17-Sep-13 11:11:39

Hi harder, I want to hate you but I can't so is that YABU or YANBU?

Anyway, I agree that it's about making people feel welcome. Would you agree that an excessively sterile/tidy house can actually seem unwelcoming - as if a show was being put on/armour being put on?

Sometimes we think we are making people feel welcome but then we miss the point completely (like if a friend comes round and your child does something embarrassing and you end up show-disciplining the child and your friend never gets to tell you what was on her mind....).

As for judging - yes, toilets are perhaps an exception! But as for everything else, isn't life a process of getting over judging people? I used to judge women who didn't work after having kids .... I got over that.

I really enjoy my friends who have beautiful houses and beautiful clothes. I take pleasure in it. They, I hope, take pleasure in some of the things that I'm good at and the things I've done for them and their kids..... if they judge me on my house I'd just shrug (ok, unless faeces was involved...)

goonIcantakeit Tue 17-Sep-13 11:13:14

I'm actually very good at decluttering - adore it - so much I set up a Freecycle group and poor DH spent the next three years trying to find our possessions.

Declutting is fab because you make a permanent change. Cleaning is rubbish because you just start all over again.

goonIcantakeit Tue 17-Sep-13 11:16:39

Gritty nasty sofas that are horrible to sit on, YABU
filthy kitchens, - the table they sit at must be clean, not the surfaces
poo smears and crumbs all over toilet, - YANBU
minging hand towels, - Ooh can't decide....
floors covered in bits. - YABU BUT they are BU too because if they have a floor covered in bits you shouldn't have had to take your shoes off.

Mumsyblouse Tue 17-Sep-13 11:29:32

There are several things that make being tidy much easier though (apart from motivation/opportunities)- one is having appliances like a tumble drier (no washing hanging around all winter) and a dish-washer (dishes immediately go in this so none on surface). These make a huge difference, as everything is more or less off the surfaces, and it only then takes two min to wipe down or dust. Same with storage, if all your bits and bobs are in a drawer, clothes in a built in wardrobe, bags/shoes all in the right places, a quick hoover is easy. Old Victorian houses are the worst to keep clean in my opinion for these reason, they aren't as functional somehow as some of the less nice looking but newer ones with lots of built-in storage.

shrinkingnora Tue 17-Sep-13 12:00:37

Ha ha ha ha at dishes immediately going in the dishwasher...

Mumsyblouse Tue 17-Sep-13 12:06:16

But at least you have a choice if you have a dishwasher! (I used not to put them in and leave them all stacked up in the kitchen and spend ages each night dealing with plates/crockery all dirty, before I realised it would be easier to just put it straight in the dishwasher and this 20 min chore could be avoided- even the children can help putting the stuff straight in or I get them to pass me the stuff to put it in).

Cleaning to some extent is a routine behaviour, and it has taken me most of my life to figure out how to do it smarter, not harder. I don't want a show home and have no chance of having one, but I am fed up of being too ashamed to have people pop in for an unexpected coffee, or my first reaction when people call to come over being a sinking feeling due to the level of dirt.

shrinkingnora Tue 17-Sep-13 12:12:26

Yeah, but when our dishwasher broke we all just did the washing up straight away after stuff was used and the kitchen was so much tidier! The problem is, in order to load it I have to empty it.

Hercy Tue 17-Sep-13 12:16:49

I think you are being unreasonable to judge, as you can't really know what your friend will have done that day prior to your arrival. She might have had the best intentions to give the place a once over before your arrival, but something more pressing presented itself. Or she might have cleaned up first thing, only for others to then create a mess.

I do like having a clean home, and I would always make the effort when I know I'm having visitors, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

This weekend, I gave my house a really thorough clean - every room, floor, surfaces, behind furniture, skirting, walls, windows etc etc. While I was doing one of the bathrooms, (the last room to be done), the dog snuck in from the garden (before he could be towelled off) and got mud all over the walls and skirting of the first two floors, muddy foot prints all over the cream carpets of the first two floors/stairs, and bits of chewed up stick and general garden debris all over the carpet and kitchen floor, with half the contents of his water bowl emptied on the floor for good measure.

If a visitor had come at that point, they might have thought the house was a bit of a state, but the reality was I had just spent 5+ hours cleaning it! Had they come 10 minutes earlier, they probably would have thought the house was gleaming.

The problem [with dishwashers] is, in order to load it I have to empty it.

Exactly this. Which is usually fine but no fun with a 7m bump and low blood pressure ::swoons::

I hate and love the dishwasher. I hate the loading and unloading grin
I hate it when I leave the door down and it hits my shins. I hate it when I open it and steam hits me in my face.

But I love the fact I dont have to wash up so much I put up with it

sherbetpips Tue 17-Sep-13 12:36:51

Because it simply doesnt bother some people. A friend of mine manically sweeps the floor a couple off times a day but fails to notice that all the surfaces are disgusting. They leave things in random places - deoderant in the kitchen, 1/2 pint milk in the bedroom from this mornings tea but the floors, the floors are spotless! If I am honest I wish it didn't bother me but I am a bit OCD about a place for everything and everything in its place. I have to control myself when I go round. My SIL is also the same, all the edges of the carpets have mounds of dust, tea stains on all the surfaces, piles of old magazines with dust on. They don't care so I need to learn to not care!

shrinkingnora Tue 17-Sep-13 12:38:01

DS2 did volunteer to wash up yesterday but he's three and it did more harm than good... the floor in the kitchen is much cleaner now though.

You see, in my house it goes like this:

Dirty washing up - need to empty dishwasher to be able to load it but
Clean washing up - needs to go in the cupboard but
Cupboard - needs re-organsing because we had to shove a load of stuff in it to keep it out of reach of DS2
Reorganising cupboard - can't happen because there is no space on the work surface to put anything because it is covered with washing up

Works for washing too:

Dirty washing - needs to go in machine but there is wet washing in it
Wet washing - needs to go on airer but there is damp washing on it
Damp washing - needs to finish drying so I can put it away but
Dry washing - there are approximately 8 loads to put away and they are severely limiting access to the drawers which have been filled with random items by DS2

sherbetpips Tue 17-Sep-13 12:41:04

Preciousbane my MIL does this but do you do that when you have been cooking and handling raw food? I have to wipe with spray after chopping chicken or any meat really.

HarderToKidnap Tue 17-Sep-13 13:01:23

Queen, my dog is very ill with liver and bile duct problems. He poos a lot and couldn't just go on our walks. Plus of course I pick it up if I see him do it but if I'm upstairs or out and he goes then I just do it when I next get round to it, which will be that day of course and definitely before toddler goes out or guests come round. Incidentally, why is dog poo below basic standards of hygiene but fox and cat poo, which most people will have in their gardens every morning, not?

BoozyBear Tue 17-Sep-13 13:07:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadameLeBean Tue 17-Sep-13 14:59:02

I found out recently that my friend mops her bathroom ceiling shock

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 15:07:53

"I found out recently that my friend mops her bathroom ceiling shock"

daily/weekly or when she's doing a deep clean? if deep clean then it's a great idea- if daily/weekly then I cant see why- it wouldn't need done that often.

Mops her bathroom ceiling! What fresh freakery is this??

MadameLeBean Tue 17-Sep-13 15:12:41

Well I'm not sure how often but she had shown her DH how to do it so I assume regularly.

I get why it would be a good idea wrt dust and cobwebs but I have never even thought about this. my bathroom ceiling must be manky

limitedperiodonly Tue 17-Sep-13 15:16:28

When I was a new bride I bought a thing called a Swiffer, which was a stick with a flat rectangular head on it that you could tuck softish, disposable cloths into to combat ceiling cobwebs.

I found it the other day when I was clearing out a neglected cupboard. It's been a long time since I was a new bride.

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 17:08:09

limited my mum used to refer to a 'swiffer' for cleaning the floors. always telling me I should get one. I assumed it was a word she made up for a flat headed floor mop. great to know she wasn't losing the plot and it actually did exist! grin

shrinkingnora Tue 17-Sep-13 18:48:37

I remember the adverts for those! Actually quite want one for doing the laminate that I never ever do

BellEndTent Tue 17-Sep-13 18:51:33

I have many days where I feel on top of the housework and smug like op.

And then days when work, children, renovations, dogs etc etc burst my bubble and those, THOSE are the times my friends and relatives decide to turn up unannounced.

BellEndTent Tue 17-Sep-13 18:59:16

I once had a dirty bathroom (bin overflowing, bath toys all over the floor etc) which I was honestly just about to sort out when my DH's friend popped in with his new girlfriend who asked to use the toilet. I was mortified. grin

YANBU unreasonable to wonder about it.

What you described to me is plain filthy. Which is very different from "maintaining decency", which I think a lot of the posters do. I would be appalled going over to anyone's home and seeing any kind of poo in/about/around the toilet.

I am very finicky about my home, so I keep it quite clean. I don't care what others do with their place. But yes, I have wondered on occasion about a particular friend, "Can't she see the mold growing in her fridge?!" or "Can't she see the sink drain is covered in grime?!?".

I'll never say anything to her about it of course, but I certainly wonder on the occasions I'm over there. I guess that makes me judgey confused

LillianGish Tue 17-Sep-13 19:38:44

Yanbu - I visited such a house yesterday and wondered exactly the same thing (and so did my children).

And just to add; neither of us have children or pets, which I understand can make keeping a clean home, quite difficult.

PigOnStilts Tue 17-Sep-13 19:42:17

I can't clean my house in 45 mins. Kitchen, yes. It takes me three or four hours in total. You sound quite slovenly OP!

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 20:06:10

how is it slovenly? you don't know how big OP's house is or how clean/dirty it is to start with.

like I said upthread I can do mine in an hour. I can do a very large 4 bed, 2 bathroom, office, kitchen with tv area, dining room and main living room plus massive hallway (and hairy dogs) in 90minutes and I do it well, it's my job, I wouldn't get paid if it wasn't done well and I wouldn't be kept on. I could go on listing all the sizes of houses I do and how long it takes to clean but I wont. if a house is tidy to start then cleaning can be done far quicker than you would think.

PigOnStilts Tue 17-Sep-13 20:15:44

'twas a feckin joke. Chill out!

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 20:17:28

ah- it wasn't obvious at all. maybe use an emoticon the next time. tone doesn't come across well in text.

queenmools Tue 17-Sep-13 21:01:08

Ah sorry op didn't realise your dog was poorly in that case he can poo when ever and where ever he likes. We have a cat too but he tends not to poo on the lawn and other cats stay away as do Foxes so i've never really thought about it.

FrauMoose Tue 17-Sep-13 21:43:14

Went to house of a new friend today. The place was immaculately tidy but in an interesting way. (Some unusual objects because of her background and the nature of her work.) Really nice woman. Lots of good conversation. I'm sure we will keep meeting up. But it did reinforce my sense that I am not very comfortable or relaxed in tidy houses - for me they feel too like a stage set so I have this sense that I need to act/play my part.

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 21:53:53

I don't know if it will be welcome on this thread but I actually feel a massive sense of relaxation when I walk into a really clean house. my aunt has one and it is bliss walking into her house. I literally 'aaaahhhhhh' when I walk through the door. I find it so relaxing- like stress relief or something. I think because it's a spotless clean and clutter free space and I do very much agree with the 'tidy house tidy mind' saying. well it's true for me anyway and I just feel great going into her house. I hate leaving it and coming back to mine. she has always been like this and had 6 children (grown now) and both her and DH worked full time and definitely no cleaner. it can be done. not saying it should- just that it can.

SubliminalMassaging Tue 17-Sep-13 21:58:59

I agree actually - anyone who says they can clean their whole house in under an hour either:

a) live in a shoe box (literally)
b) has very poor standards
c) is a fibber

Even an average sized three bed semi will take 3-4 hours to do properly.

maddymoo25 Tue 17-Sep-13 22:04:56

See I agree sorry - I can deal with untidy etc but some houses . I know someone who doesn't work , oh works pt .... and the place is filthy incuding cat poo being left on the floor days with a 1 yr old walking around x

Iclean as I go and so come Sunday when I do main clean ther really isn't much to do, i t isn't exactly hard x

LillianGish Tue 17-Sep-13 22:06:19

We are not talking about a top to toe spring clean - just running a Hoover round, wiping down the kitchen sides when you've finished, giving the loo a quick brush and squirt of bleach after you've flushed - these are jobs you can do as you go along - certainly doesn't take four hours (apart from getting the Hoover out doesn't really take any time to clear up as you go al

LillianGish Tue 17-Sep-13 22:07:05


merrymouse Tue 17-Sep-13 22:14:52

I also love clean houses. However, the things I fight on a daily basis are Lego, junk modelling (inc glue and glitter), general cutting, sylvanians and assorted other small figures and their habitats. Dens are also a problem.

I'm not saying its not possible to maintain basic standards and have these things, but it does make the whole process longer.

Also, allowing children greater independence in the kitchen can lead to more floor cleaning.

raggedymum Tue 17-Sep-13 22:16:01

I knew someone with two dishwashers. It was brilliant! She'd run one and unload it at her leisure while filling the other. She said she got the idea off someone who had only enough dishes to fill the dishwasher and would just store them in there (although the more I think about that, the more confused I get...did they just run it if they used up all the plates, for example, and re-clean the bowls?), and she saw that and thought, "what you really need is two of them" Of course, it helped that she had enough money to design her own kitchen with two dishwashers!

Anyway, what I've been thinking on this thread is that one might think they're 'not counting' disabilities/illness, but do you really know who that affects? Our house is occasionally as the OP describes (although any poo is down below the waterline, and this is only when things have gotten really bad). My DH has a chronic illness, but only two of his very closest friends know. I am currently battling quite severe fatigue, but only one friend and two supervisors at work know. Anyone else, I suppose, would just think we're lazy.

I also am very, very bothered by mess and too much dust makes me ill -- which is a disaster, because if I do fall ill, I am sick for months. So I have strong incentive to keep things clean. But sometimes it really just gets on top of me (DH tries to help when he can -- he really stepped up this weekend! But he just can't manage much). And once a little mess gets started, it spirals out of control -- I start to get ill, I'm less capable, I do less, I get more ill, etc. I've picked up a new plan, which actually seems to be working, which is to clean beyond my ability at any sign of cold. For example, this weekend I had a bit of a sore throat, and so I even though it make me nearly vomit with the effort, I cleaned both bathrooms and the kitchen (all told, probably less than 2 hours cleaning, but it was far beyond my ability). DH hoovered for me while I lay on the coach and moaned that I had to get up and keep going, but kept falling down whenever I tried. I'll crash this week, and probably lose some hours at work, but that will only be a few days, which is better than months sick.

I also get very clumsy when I am tired, so it can sometimes be fairly counterproductive to try to, for example, do the dishes, because I'll end up spending all my energy on cleaning up the broken dish I dropped on the floor and have done nothing more than put two things in the dishwasher. It's better to let it go a bit longer in the hopes that I can find a time I can actually accomplish it.

This thread is making me feel like I'll never make friends sad I'd been feeling like I can't because I don't have the energy to socialise. But now I see I'd have to clean first. There is no way I could do both.

"Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy." I live by that.

My mum had this on a plaque in the kitchen when I was a kid, and she was a foster carer/childminder with 5 under 5s in the house most of the time.

YoureBeingADick Tue 17-Sep-13 22:21:15

I posted up thread what I do in my own house that takes an hour. it's a small 3 bed terrace with 1 bathroom. I have two dcs a hairy shedding dog and a cat. in 1 hour I do dishes and counters, bathroom (proper clean inc tiles around shower and bath), all inside windows and mirrors, dusting living room and 3 bedrooms, hoovering all floors and mopping all floors except my room and the stairs and landing because they are carpet. this is all done in an hour without me rushing at all. it takes so little time because it is tidy to start with. if I had to tidy washing or toys away it would take longer. I also posted one of the houses I clean that takes 90 minutes. I leave all my houses spotless- that's not bragging- it's just my job and I wouldn't get any work if I didn't. I don't know why people find it impossible to believe that this is true.

raggedymum I'd happily be your friend.

I don't judge anyone by their house or cleanliness or whatever.

Please don't feel sad, you sound like your plate is vey full already.


raggedymum Tue 17-Sep-13 22:35:48

Oh, thanks babylon! That is so sweet. I was just panicking that I shouldn't have posted that as I'm scared to even let anonymous internet people know the state things can sometimes reach, but now I'm glad I did for your nice words smile

Obladee Tue 17-Sep-13 22:41:01

But here's the thing -- you can clean up as much as you like, it doesn't last.
I'm regularly mortified if a friend comes round in the daytime and as we sit down with coffee at the kitchen table, I find out my DP didn't clear up his toast crumbs. I'm sure the same could happen with loos/poo crumbs, but I'm not in there with my friends to see their horror. It doesn't mean the loo has not been cleaned, just not cleaned since the pooping offence.


My house was spotless at 3pm. By 7pm, holy fuck. And I haven't tidied it again since then because I've been crippled with pgp flare-up from the first blitz.

My house stays beautiful on the days the DC watch a lot of telly. I'm not comfortable with that either.

shockers Tue 17-Sep-13 23:04:17

Why do you care OP? Invite them to yours if you don't want to sit on their sofas.

OrmirianResurgam Tue 17-Sep-13 23:14:22

<shudders a little at poo crumbs>

3 kids, 2 cats, 1 dog, 2 full-time working parents results in a house that is only spotless once a week. If you visited me then you'd be quite impressed, if you visited me at any other time....well let's just say it would be better if you didn't wink

But we never have poo crumbs !!

Jan49 Tue 17-Sep-13 23:20:27

I posted up thread what I do in my own house that takes an hour. it's a small 3 bed terrace with 1 bathroom. I have two dcs a hairy shedding dog and a cat. in 1 hour I do dishes and counters, bathroom (proper clean inc tiles around shower and bath), all inside windows and mirrors, dusting living room and 3 bedrooms, hoovering all floors and mopping all floors except my room and the stairs and landing because they are carpet. this is all done in an hour without me rushing at all. it takes so little time because it is tidy to start with. I don't know why people find it impossible to believe that this is true.

I'd like to see you do it, really. I'd say what you describe is more like 5 hours' work. So yes I do find it almost unbelievable. My house is a small 3 bed terrace with 1 bathroom, no young dc or pets. The carpets tend to look clean even when I'm just about to vacuum them. Washing up 30 mins, Bathroom 20-30 minutes, Hoovering all floors and mopping some, I'm guessing 2 hours, Inside Windows I'd say 5-30 mins per room maybe 2-3 hours total for all inside windows and mirrors.

urmydarlings Tue 17-Sep-13 23:42:32

oh op I think you might look back at this thread in a couple of years and think hmm . It gets harder as the family grows . once upon a time my home was always clean , now 4 kids and a parrot later.... I clean I really do but ten minutes later anyone walking in would never guess it.

YoureBeingADick Wed 18-Sep-13 00:00:57

jan49 I absolutely promise you this is what I do in an hour. i cant afford to take longer than the allowed time in work or i would run behind on my next job and lose money. and i cant afford to do shoddy work or i wont be brought back next week. i just get in the zone and i go- i know the order i need to do things in to reduce time faffing about going back and forward for different bits of equipment or walking upstairs to do a job then down to do another then up again etc. for example, i don't do windows in all rooms then dusting. i do windows and mirrors in (say) my room, dusting in my room, hovering in my room then same in the next room to save waking back and forth. it mightn't sound like much but it makes a difference and because i know my house so well and what needs done i just go on autopilot. the radio has to be on though or i go at half speed grin

Therealamandaclarke Wed 18-Sep-13 07:06:41

"it takes so little time because it is tidy to start with"
This is key.

LessMissAbs Wed 18-Sep-13 09:06:58

I think when it reaches the stage of encrusted food being trod into the carpet and redecoration being necessary, it probably is worth condemning. I remember visiting SIL and BIL while they were staying in PILs house while they were away and their own house was being redecorated. I'm still haunted by what I saw. Days old uneaten food lying out on plates, bins overflowing with used tampons, carpets ruined...

As a landlord, I've also seen some pretty appalling sites. If you do not dust, hoover or clean workflows for months, eventually it can such bad damage that they need to be replaced.

None of the above had children...

LessMissAbs Wed 18-Sep-13 09:08:24

#work surfaces

nocoolusernameY0 Wed 18-Sep-13 09:10:14

Usually when I start comparing myself favorably to somebody else, I remind myself that I'm being a prat and my self esteem must be failing a bit. So go round to one of your scruffy friends OP, say sorry, thank them for still being friends with an idiot, then ask them for a lesson in tolerance. You need one.

YoureBeingADick Wed 18-Sep-13 09:10:29

i agree thereal when i was suffering from PND my house was a kim and aggie job- this lasted for about 3 years and as you can imagine was a mammoth task when i finally felt able to tackle it. it took ages and i got disheartened a lot during that process. tbh i didn't think i would ever get it all cleared but i satisfied myself by agreeing (in my head) to only getting (say) the pile of papers on top of the fridge done. i also set myself a daily tick list of 2 things 1 was that the dishes be washed after every meals and 2 was that i did 1 washload a day. if i achieved both those things in a day i patted myself on the back but it actually had the effect of me feeling able to do more than that because the basics were taken care of. i had a mental block (still do) on starting anything else if the dishes and washing weren't done because in my head those were priorities. it has worked for me. i still have low days were nothing gets done but because the house is basically clean and tidy, when i do get back on track it isn't too much to catch up with.

HarderToKidnap Wed 18-Sep-13 09:13:20

Why are you doing all your cleaning at once to take five whole hours? Obviously that may well fit in better with your life, but what fits better in mine is 45 minutes a day or so, over the week everything gets done. Plus half hour or so after dinner doing kitchen and hoovering downstairs and wiping round toilet and sink every day whilst DSs bath is running.

Poo update: three cat poos in the garden this morning, a fox poo and two dog poos! Well below a basic standard of cleanliness!!

DanglingChillis Wed 18-Sep-13 09:20:24

Only one toddler OP? Ha, ha, ha. A few more years down the line and you will discover how quickly a few children can trash a house. Including poo smears on the toilet.

Some examples: I sweep the entire downstairs once a day (that's not including the washing of the dining room floor after every meal) and have more dirt on the floor than I would have after a week pre-children. I have to hoover the sitting room every day because of the odd bits of apple and banana the kids leave lying about. The toilet seat needs a clean several times a day thanks to a 4 and 5 year old that like to slide off the seat smearing pee and poo everywhere. I spend twice as much time cleaning as I did when I had no children (or indeed one toddler that didn't make much mess) but the house still looks grubby all the time.

LillianGish Wed 18-Sep-13 09:25:58

I don't think we are talking fanatical levels of cleanliness here - just a bit of basic maintenance. I wonder if people who live in pits apply the same principles to their own (and their dcss) appearance - not washing clothes or bothering the shower because they don't have time, not brushing hair? I suppose everyone has different priorities. My SIL for instance has an immaculate (almost ocd) house and appearance, but her car is like a mobile rubbish bin - my mum refuses to get in it! Simple enough to take out garbage as it accumulates you would think and shake mats when they get too disgusting - not talking about a deep-clean valet here - but apparently not.

Jan49 Wed 18-Sep-13 09:59:24

Why are you doing all your cleaning at once to take five whole hours?

Did you mean me? I don't do it all at once. I have back problems and can only vacuum 1 or 2 rooms on the same day. Cleaning windows leaves me with aching muscles so I wouldn't do many at once, maybe 1 or 2 rooms. I don't actually do cleaning every day, more like every third day or so, not including things like washing up and tidying which get done daily.

Some people prefer to do all their housework at once, some people prefer to spread it out. Who cares?

Moche Wed 18-Sep-13 10:22:11

I hate cleaning. But I like the OP's attitude smile. It's no-nonsense and makes me want to clean. She's right, of course, if you get your house to a decent level it DOES (or can) only take 45 mins to make it look good. I also award her a medal too grin since she's got a small kid and a part-time job, so she could just spend her 'time off' not cleaning/in a state of exhaustion.
I don't have many of the dirty pooh-crumb friends she describes though. I think she's been unlucky there (unless her standards are impossibly high - not read whole thread). I have one friend who has a house that's always in a tip, and she always looks a state, and she's always flustered. But she's a sweet person and she does have two young kids, so... I did have to laugh though, when she bitterly complained how her cleaner had stained her work-top - the work-top is not even visible beneath all the dusty crap.

SubliminalMassaging Wed 18-Sep-13 11:14:23

The best solution to a very chaotic and untidy/dirty lifestyle is to streamline everything you own and just stick to necessities/basics.

Don't allow yourself to hoard tons of stuff so that you have to empty the entire contents of a cupboard full of shit that no-one uses just to find the sellotape, and then find you no longer have the energy or the time to put it all back in again! This is how it starts - the slippery slope of unfinished jobs that pile up and drag you down.

Don't have too many clothes - so much easier to keep on top of the washing and ironing when you have a constant turnover of the same 10 things, instead of being able to allow the laundry pile to get completely out of hand because you keep pulling out yet another one of your 35 tee shirts, instead of washing and wearing the same few.

Cleaning is so much easier in clear, uncluttered rooms - it takes a fraction of the time. Ditch almost all unnecessary dust gatherers like ornaments. Don't keep old magazines and papers, don't keep pointless sentimental claptrap.

You will feel SOOO much better for it - your mood and your ability to focus and prioritise the right things in your life will be immesurabally improved.

LittleRobots Wed 18-Sep-13 11:24:55

I'm overweight, don't look groomed, house usually a state, car too. Usually flustered. I'm exhausted and struggle to cope a lot.

Judge away. Glad to be of service. Good to know other people's misfortune and difficulties in life make you feel superior.

Therealamandaclarke Wed 18-Sep-13 11:43:36

subliminal you are right. I feel better after a sort- out.
But then I'm not depressed. If I were, everything would be more difficult. I clean loos every day. <halo>
It's hard to keep on top of other ppl's mess IMHO.
My DH is very untidy and works from home.
2 small DCs eating three or four times a day, there's almost no time to clean the highchair and food mat before the next meal.
And the evening is a mad rush of supper/ bath/ bedtime stories etc.
There's no time to do "proper cleaning". If I never rested/ exercised/ spoke to DH in the evening maybe I could wash my floors then?
Someone on MN once advised spending just 5 mins housework in each room to keep on top of things. I do that sometimes. But it doesn't allow for laundry (all the hanging up and putting away) or washing/ steaming floors. It does help my head at times of housework crisis though.

Therealamandaclarke Wed 18-Sep-13 11:46:33

I never look groomed. sad

magicturnip Wed 18-Sep-13 12:03:19

I think this is a really unhelpful post. I feel like I am drowning, never rest or have time to self except five mins on mumsnet whilst bf. smug, judging posts like this don't help.

Therealamandaclarke Wed 18-Sep-13 12:23:49

OMG I feel like that most days. It's relentless.
I found that 5 minute thing really helpful though. Just wanted to share it. Sorry.

kaosak Wed 18-Sep-13 12:30:03

subliminal I want to be you!

cassgate Wed 18-Sep-13 13:18:28

I am a great believer in little and often. Today for example I have.

Washed and tumble dried two lots of washing and put it away
loaded and unloaded dishwasher
made all the beds and tidied and hovered the whole upstairs including tidying both kids bedrooms
cleaned kitchen

It took me about 45 mins to an hour wasn't really timing myself.

Tomorrow I will

Strip and change all sheets so 3 beds
Wash and tumble dry all sheets and put them away
Hoover again upstairs
tidy kids bedrooms again
Clean Kitchen
Hoover and dust downstairs.
load and unload the dishwasher

The above will probably take me 1 1/2 hours.

Friday I will

Clean 3 x bathrooms including floors
wash and tumble dry 3 x sets of bathroom towels and put away
Hoover upstairs and down
clean kitchen
load and unload the dishwasher
tidy kids bedrooms

Will probably take me about 1 1/2 hours again.

My house is not cluttered with stuff. The kids are free to play and make mess but everything is cleared away at the end of each day so that it is already tidy. The kids bedrooms are the only rooms that really need tidying regulary mainly because of the used paper mountain we accumulate otherwise. By the time we leave for school in the mornings the house is generally tidy and I can get on with the job of cleaning when I get back.

Thepowerof3 Wed 18-Sep-13 13:25:31

I want 3 bathrooms

Thepowerof3 Wed 18-Sep-13 13:26:04

I promise to keep them clean!

mewmeow Wed 18-Sep-13 13:42:00

I think with me i just can't be bothered really, will clean for flat inspections but the rest of the time I would rather do something fun with the time. Go out, take dc to the park, read, watch a film, eat, have sex. Cleaning just cuts into that time and needs doing again within 6 seconds.
Having said that I do Hoover a couple of times a week, mop floors once a month and do bathroom fortnightly but that is the absolute limit. (my flat looks like I never bother with any of that).smile. My sofa is particularly stained an ripped (think its fourth hand), but we can't afford another one and it's comfy, so oh well!

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 19-Sep-13 17:38:17

I fret about mess, it stresses me out. I spend every day cleaning tidying ironing etc. then I admire my house for six seconds before it gets trashed by the boys .... then do it again the next day...the catch being that I am a messy pig, forever putting things down. I chase my tail. Tis ridiculous.

I are a lot of mess by being I a constant manic state of "doing stuff" and "getting things done" poo.

handcream Thu 19-Sep-13 17:47:09

I actually agree with the OP! I work full time, 2 DS's and a large dog. I think its being lazy tbh. Of course I would rather sit around watching TV then do the hoovering and clearing the plates. But I do make time.

I have a close relative who is a hoarder. Large house (6 beds) but you cannot get in more than single file. There are two old sofas in the hall way and stacks of newspapers and old rubbish lying around. Of course they do NO cleaning. Excuse is that they need to sort out their crap (!), of course that never happens so still no cleaning and a house that you really cannot enter.

If they want to live like that - well it wouldnt be my choice. And I guess that is what it comes down to. Change your bedlinen once a year, dont bother to mow the grass, leave old newspapers to stack up because you cannot be bothered to sort through. As long as you dont expect me to be like that and you take the risk with regard to your health. A house literally full to the brim is dangerous. You wont be able to move around freely, lots of things to trip over but if you want to live like that....

handcream Thu 19-Sep-13 17:53:22

And I agree - little and often. We did have a cleaner 7 yrs ago. Complete pain and turned up when she liked often with her kids in tow without warning or checking it was OK.

I do it now and do wonder what she did for 8 hours a week (she came in twice and did the ironing). Now save the money to put towards our family hols.

YoureBeingADick Thu 19-Sep-13 18:07:40

"I want 3 bathrooms"

I used to have 3, then 2, now 1- i'm happiest now! and I do credit that to the fact i'm only cleaning one loo a day grin

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 18:45:38

I think hoarders have a genuine problem with getting rid of stuff though, rather than it just being that they are a bit lazy.

handcream Thu 19-Sep-13 18:51:34

I sort of understand what you are saying Toffee but people do make their own choices in life. You have a room stuffed full of crap - you fall over, the ambulance people cannot get to you easily with the amount of items in the way, they fall over, you could die due to the delays.

So, lets not make too many excuses as to why people make decisions.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 18:58:40

I think it's a bit like an anorexic though. I suppose you could say they are making a decision not to eat and damaging their health, but it's because they have a psychological condition where they find it very distressing to eat normally. I think with a lot of hoarders it's the same thing. ie. deep seating psychological reasons why they find it very distressing to get rid of the stuff.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 18:59:42

deep seated

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 19:03:33
YoureBeingADick Thu 19-Sep-13 19:06:08

hoarding (proper hoarding) is actually a form of OCD meaning it is a medically condition, often triggered by a traumatic experience. it isn't just a case of someone making a choice to have piles of crap in their house. hmm

this info is all available for free on the internet so no excuse for offending people with your ignorance wink

YoureBeingADick Thu 19-Sep-13 19:06:48

xposting with toffee smile

monicalewinski Thu 19-Sep-13 19:43:26

I agree with OP!

Me and my husband work full time, have 2 boys. My rule has always been 'public rooms tidy at end of every day' so we are always at a basic level of tidiness and a weekly clean (full on deep clean probably every couple of months); toilets and kitchen are never dirty.

We are lucky enough to afford a cleaner now (just once a week) so Thursday is 'clean for the cleaner' night to make sure everything is tidy so she can spend her time cleaning.

I have always made the effort to keep on top of the house as once you let it slide it is so much harder to get back on track - I have friends (and my in-laws) who live like pigs (IMO) and I can't comprehend how they can live like that.

My boys are 8 and 11 now so they have jobs to do round the house too, it really does just take 20 mins to tidy up at the end of every day (I do have an overflowing ironing basket at the moment though, and it haunts me!!).

Trazzletoes Thu 19-Sep-13 19:44:23

handcream suggesting that hoarders make a decision to be lazy/untidy is no different to saying someone with depression has decided to be grumpy.

It is categorically not true. It's an illness. Hoarders need help not derision and abuse.

kaosak Thu 19-Sep-13 20:01:08

I agree Trazzletoes.

It takes a hell of a lot of effort to keep on top of things especially when you are tired, run down , depressed, juggling all sorts of crap. Once mess/hoarding gets bad I think it can spiral pretty quickly into unmanageable esp if you are in a bad place to start with.

IamSlave Thu 19-Sep-13 21:19:22

I do little and often on a sort of rotational basis,

Monday, clean orangery, parlour, entrance hall and boot room, that will take about 4 hours.
Tuesday, dining room, 2 x kitchens, utility room, downstairs ( kitchen) sitting area - 3/4 hours.
Wednesday, upstairs sitting room, quick sweep of unused formal sitting room - just a light dust in there, all the ground and lower floor bathrooms and loo's - again about 4 hours.

Then from Thursday through to Sunday I start on the upstairs bedrooms x 8, four on each floor and the four bathrooms. I hate this, and get DH and the kids to strip beds and take washing down, I call it our weekend exercises. Light dusting of dressing room and master sitting room and en suite etc, and try and get kids to at least hoover their bedrooms and landings.

Its a lot of work but keeps me trim.


ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 21:23:01

IamSlave Do you not have a billiards room then? [Gives IamSlave a pitying look] wink

FudgefaceMcZ Thu 19-Sep-13 21:59:49

Oh feck off. Some of us have more than one young child, sometimes no partner to help, and have full time jobs, you know. I wouldn't want the kind of arsey judgemental friend who thought that hoovering my sofa was a moral act, so I'd probably deliberately sprinkle crumbs on it before you came round if I had the misfortune to have invited you.

kaosak Thu 19-Sep-13 22:16:29

IamSlave are you SugarHut grin!

forehead Thu 19-Sep-13 22:18:28

I wish that I wasn't so judgy about dirty homes. but I cant help it.
My aunt was given a beautiful three bedroomed council house after years of being on the waiting list. The house is now a disgusting pit. As far as I am concerned there is no excuse. She has two teenage daughters at home fgs.
I also feel that decent social housing is so hard to come buy, that it is almost a travesty that she has been given this home and is basically too lazy to take care of it.

kaosak Thu 19-Sep-13 22:18:47

IamSlave, this is an honest question, I'm not having a pop but if you have a house that big can you not afford help? I would prefer to live in something half the size and not spend 4 hours a day 7 days a week cleaning the flippin thing!

HonkHonk Thu 19-Sep-13 22:19:11

No way, Kaosak, Sugarhut's DP would be too busy flying back from GVA/Ny to hoover the orangery. smile

kaosak Thu 19-Sep-13 22:20:31

Ah yes true enough!

kaosak Thu 19-Sep-13 22:23:33

Sorry IamSlave, I'm fascinated - how is 4 hours per day little and often - yes often but little? 4 hours a day housework would hardly be deemed little by anyone's standards I wouldn't have thought? I probably do that in a week oh maybe a bit more and my house isn't small <clearly grubby though grin)

MadameLeBean Thu 19-Sep-13 22:25:00

Just come back to this thread and it seems we have graduated to cleaning orangeries and boot rooms! Stealth boast or what wink

YoureBeingADick Thu 19-Sep-13 22:28:38

forehead your post resonates with me a bit. I am not at all judgy about messy/dirty houses. of course I think it would be better for the people in them if they were clean but I have been there with depression and I know how fucking hard it is to make a start. there are days when my own is a shit tip and days when it sparkles. my best friend is the lovliest, kindest person you could ever hope to meet and ike myself she fell into PND after her last child was born, her husband left her and she was made redundant so things were fucking awful for her and the house was least of her priorities. it went to pot and although there are days where she gets a burst of energy now, she never gets the backlog cleared. it bothers her and she has asked me for help which of course is no problem, but when I ask when suits her for me to come round she is never ready. it doesn't bother me in the slightest- she has to be ready to deal with it or it wont happen. BUT she is now moving house into an absolutely immaculate rented house (her current is mortgage but she cant do that anymore) and if I am honest- I do worry that she wont be able to keep it clean. if it was another mortgaged house I wouldn't care but it is someone else's house and I worry that she will might be risking the roof over her head if she doesn't keep it decent. I have offered any help she needs and she has said 'that would be great' but whether she takes it or not is up to her. I would gladly go in a couple days a week and clean while she is at work (I am a cleaner but wouldn't charge obviously) but I don't know if she would accept that help. I will offer though.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 22:33:18

I thought IamSlave's post about all the millions of rooms was a joke post?

MadameLeBean Thu 19-Sep-13 22:34:54

Er yeah just re read. Got to be a joke!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 19-Sep-13 22:41:24

Hmmm my house is generally a shit hole. I am trying very hard to change this. The main reason for its shitholeness is that due to my anxiety I find it very hard to do simple tasks, and when I do start cleaning, I do things in strange orders and strange ways so it takes ages to get things looking good. Also I'm very clumsy so tend to spill/smash things when I clean which inevitably creates more mess confused

So maybe the 'flappy types' also have anxiety problems?

Plus: I'm a full time student, work part time and am a single mother, cleaning doesn't always rate highly.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 23:01:21

I find that once I've cleaned the East Wing of my house I need a bit of a break before I start on the West Wing. grin

HonkHonk Thu 19-Sep-13 23:31:08

I find that once the staff has cleaned the East Wing, I need to fire them and rehire/train a whole new team to do the West Wing.

IamSlave Thu 19-Sep-13 23:33:52

It keeps me trim and fit.

There was an article months ago about how women's lack of housework has contributed to our obesity crisis.

Not in my house.

When I work, I work, I do not just push the hoover I lunge with it, and clench my buttocks. When I clean the windows, I squat and so on, and often with additional weights on my arms or legs, or a back pack.

I put some funky music on, often wear work out gear.

Thurs to Sunday its not 4 hours a day, probably one to two as the weekends the family helps me to help them.

I do not want help yet.

Every so often I do a deeper cleanse, skirting boards, cupboards and so on.

Friends of mine have made similar comments, house would be too big for them and so on. I look on each room as the reason I am so fit, and look good for my age.

I view my house as my job.

Mind you, I had a cousin to stay once, who asked me if I needed some help and was I OK as she had noticed the ironing pile was getting large. I then went into her room, where she had been for one weekend and it was an utter, utter tip!

ToffeeCaramel Fri 20-Sep-13 00:18:09

So you weren't joking then about all those rooms? I thought you were because of the wink at the end.