What do you do when you are the only person in your house who gives a monkeys about keeping it clean and tidy?(40 Posts)
I am at my wits end.
No amount of begging, pleading, asking, demanding, calmly talking, ultimatums, going on strike etc will teach my DH and DCs otherwise. He and the DCs leave mess everywhere. They also make everything very mucky, so that the house needs cleaning from top to bottom every single day otherwise it looks as though it's not been cleaned in months. And of course before cleaning I have to tidy up, which I'd say takes me between 1 and 2 hours per day depending upon how mess they've all been during the previous evening and that morning.
DH has says he won't do any housework as he works. I work too, although I work part time rather than full time. I don't mind doing the housework as such, but I do resent having to pick up everyone's dirty socks, wet towels, wrappers, shoes, when they're left everywhere. If there's anywhere where things can be left, they all take advantage of it. For example about 6 months ago I totally cleared out our understairs cupboard, and sorted it out, and put a cupboard in there for shoe storage. These days you can barely get the door open as they all (although mainly DH) have thrown things in; shoes, bags, coats, random things that they cannot be bothered to put away, bit of paper, wrappers, everything. DH will occasionally empty the dishwasher but literally puts things into the nearest cupboard, all just thrown in one cupboard.
I really don't know what to do. We can't really afford a cleaner, and in any case I'd still need to tidy. I like a clean tidy house but am not obsessive about it, a general sense of cleanliness and tidiness would do.
personally i would either
a) stop doing anything for anyone else and i would have no guilt about it (unless the dcs are very small of course, then i would do their washing/meals etc) and i would declare that no friends or visitors would be allowed over to the house as a result of the mess. things like treats would all be cancelled as you would be forking out for them unless they wanted to earn the money for it by contributing to the running of the house.
b) or i would employ a cleaner to come in for an hour a day or two hours every other day or something and pay for it out of the joint account
and i would stop being teh person responsible for knowing where everything is. if teh dcs dump their shoes in a heap then cant find them i would let them suffer the embarrassment of going to school in crocs or whatever. stop organising cupboards so tehy are tidy. look after your own stuff and tehy can learn the hard way to look after theirs.
I used to put everyone's stuff in a bin bag on their pillow. If it hasn't been emptied and put away by the morning it goes in the bin. Didn't take long before they started tidying up after themselves. Very occasionally if one of them has a lapse, they'll get home to find a bin bag on their pillow again, but there won't be much in it and they empty it very quickly
I also agree that Flylady helps. It helps me to keep on top of things and clutter does attract clutter, so if surfaces already have a pile of stuff on them it's more likely to be added to than if the surfaces are all clear (I also work only part-time and therefore, do see most of the housework as my job, but don['t consider putting everyone else's things away as part of that)
What Bubblemoon said. And a bin bag for your selfish, lazy arsewipe of a husband, too.
There was an article in the Telegraph this week about a Canadian mother who went on strike and blogged the results - on phone so can't link.
Do a massive declutter, get the children involved if they want to 'save' their stuff! Way less stuff automatically means way less mess.
How about announcing that you're going to be doing 15 minutes cleaning everyday, and that everyone has to join in?
You can get a lot done in 15 minutes, it's not a scary amount of time, and you can assign each individual to a specific room or task before you set the kitchen timer.
If you do this everyday you'd be amazed the difference it makes.
When I was a child, we did all do housework together on a rota etc, but occasionally the house still did get in a terrible state. My mum, quite calmly, laid out four bin bags in the sitting room. and said that in half an hour, anything not in our rooms would go in the bin. And she did it.
I do not think your husband is very kind to you. I'm sorry. That must be very difficult. I would not like to be treated like that.
What colditz said. I sometimes threaten to play "The bin bag game" and that usually gets things moving.
Your DH may not think it fair for him to do housework but he seems to not even tidy up after himself! Id make a stand - clear away after yourself and the kids (id tackle dhs behaviour first then move onto the dcs) and purposefully leave evrrything he leaves lying around. Clean around it. Let hom get arsey when he gets in and complains about his own mess.
Or, present him with an invoice for a part time cleaner.
Well, your DH sounds like a rude selfish shit frankly. The children are copying him.
Don't accept it, it's just not on for them to treat you that way.
I don't know, I'll ask my DH.
Ooh, I feel your pain OP!
My DH is 57 but behaves like a 14 year old when it comes to keeping things clean and tidy. He's simply incapable of keeping things nice. Drops things everywhere, leaves dirty plates on the living room floor, opens cupboards but never shuts them, leaves lights on and forgets to flush the loo! He just seems to blunder through life not noticing the things that other people notice. Your DH sounds similar. You have my deepest sympathy, as I know only too well how demoralising it can be to live with someone with that type of behaviour.
Do the bin thing.
Your lazy entitled fucking 1950s throwback DH as well.
I can't believe he does nothing then moans about it! You are not a fucking slave
I agree about the picking up.
I don't think cleaning does have to take a long time, but if you have to spend 3 hours tidying before you can clean, it does.
Don't have any ideas to actually get your DH to change his ways, but:
1)Even if he worked 24 hours a day, meals would still have to be cooked, clothes washed, bills paid, lawns mowed, gutters cleaned etc. etc. It's not an either/or thing (as any woman will tell you).
2)Even if he never plugs in a hoover, he can make the house run more efficiently and reduce the time that needs to be spent cleaning by picking up after himself and doing jobs like cleaning the bath out after use.
3) There is no cleaning fairy.
If your dh didn't see the house being messy I could understand his unwillingness to do the tidying, but for him to make a mess then demand you tidy it up is appalling!
If you can face a bit of sulking from him the I think a huge down tools is called for.
I've had success with the Flylady approach with DH - discuss one thing which he can do to help keep the house ticking over more happily and he agrees I can remind him about that, but not nag him about other stuff. It's slow, but more successful than trying to make big changes at once.
My DS is only a toddler but I find a checklist of things really helps. I get him to look at it and see that he needs to hang up his towel after his bath, then put his clothes away. It definitely reduces the nagging.
If he were older, I'd use a list like that and remove privileges for things left undone.
I also try to get him thinking for himself. We have tidy-up time before bed, and I go with him into the room where he's made a mess and ask if he can see anything on the floor which doesn't belong there. Then for each thing he identifies I ask him where he thinks it ought to go. I tell him to put it away if he hasn't already got the hint. It works much better than just telling him to tidy up, and he's gradually learning to notice and put away mess.
Loving Bubblemoons idea
It's even more evil than mine!
Love bubblemoons idea. <goes out to buy bins> Agree totally about your DH and raising the next generation to be the same.
My DH is untidy, so am I. However he does do bit and pieces at the weekend and loads with the DCs. He gets roasted if he doesn't put his stuff in the wash bin and at least put his plate in the kitchen prefrabl;y DW. I am NOT the maid. My older DDs, 8 and 11, clean and tidy their rooms and older DD cleans her en-suite too once a week at least. DD1 also has GP which she
mostly cleans up after with loads of nagging. They also do little jobs including the 3 year old and put their own clothes away. keep repeating I am not the maid and I am doing a service to them by making sure them have some clue about running a home.
Your DH sounds like a lazy, selfish slob with no respect for you and now you're in the process of creating a new generation of lazy, selfish slobs just as his mother and father did before you.
How about you get a plastic dustbin for each of them and keep it in the yard. Make sure every item they own has its place. Each day, pick up anything they've not put back in its correct place - wet towels, coats, wrappers, iopds, wallets etc and put it in their bin. Your house will get tidier by the day. They'll start missing stuff. If they want anything they have to rake through the bin. Tell them that at the end of each month you will put the bins out for the bin men to take. Do it.
Shout and have a meltdown. Get a cleaner and leave the
I've found that picking things up that have been abandoned in the wrong place, and shoving them in a big box of doom that is inknown to other members of the family really concentrates their untidy minds.
If I keep finding the same thing abandoned I throw it out. After several warnings. I find paranoia a helpful means to tidyness.
I may reply late, but a friend recommended reading this. It is fun how an eye implant can turn a man into a cleaner? I still can't believe that. What do you think? It seems too good to be true.
Incidentally DH does need constant telling. He doesn't see dust or that the floor needs hoovering. Or he simply doesn't care. So I do have to tell him.
"I'm bathing DS can you run the Hoover around downstairs"... That kind I thing.
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