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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??!!!

FavoriteThings Fri 20-Sep-13 19:41:07

I dont expect you are still around op. But I think you ahve got your post of Mon 12.32pm the wrong way round. Your friends may well be skanky, or whatever else word you used, because their state of mind is not helping their house, not the house is not helping their state of mind.

YoureBeingADick Fri 20-Sep-13 19:28:16


Frau the soap and nail brush are for washing your hands!

Apologies if you were joking- i am on iphone and cant see emoticons

FrauMoose Fri 20-Sep-13 19:23:02

While I agree that bathrooms should be clean too, everyone is capable of using soap and a nailbrush after using the toilet.

I am not sure that I understand how to live my life according to Mumsnet. It is too late. I am beyond salvation. Irredeemable.

But is the idea that after 'using the toilet' in one way or the other, one is meant to clean it with a) soap and b) a nailbrush? Does one do the soap/nailbrushing for 1) the seat 2) the bowl or 3) both?

Explanations will be gratefully received. Though not acted upon.

mypussyiscalledCaramel Fri 20-Sep-13 17:27:07

You would not have liked coming to my flat before last weekend. Although my toilet is always clean.

I suffer from depression which means that, in the grand scheme of things, I cannot be arsed to tidy my house when I'm in a bad place.

I have a cat and a dog who create a new carpet of their own, this I periodically hoover, otherwise, I care not.

The kitchen was a place to be avoided at all costs and I resorted to plastic cutlery and food that could be eaten on the hoof, the only time I had a hot meal was at my Mum's.

I have also just recently got over 6 weeks of bronchitis.

My SIL asked me one day if she could come over and help me tidy up. For the first time ever, I said yes. It took her all day to do my kitchen and me all day to do my dining room. 3 loads of rubbish was taken down to the local tip.

Clearly you have never been in my situation. I hated every minute of living in a tip, but couldn't see where to begin.

I now cook in my kitchen, washup when I should, clean the sides and hoover a bit more often.

My boys, however, still think the floor is the rubbish bin and this does my head in.

When I can keep on top of it, its fine but as soon as my depression hits, my kids and my life are more important than keeping my house tidy on the off chance that someone might come and visit.

marfisa Fri 20-Sep-13 17:11:57

I mean we live in squalor

marfisa Fri 20-Sep-13 17:11:04

YABU OP. My house is a shambles at the moment. There are toys and crumbs all over the place and the bathroom reeks (there is a cat litter box in there).

I had one free hour this morning before I had to leave toddler DS with his childminder and go to work. I was going to tidy up but instead DS wanted to go for a walk so we went for a walk. On that walk he noticed his shadow for the first time ever and had a brilliant time playing with his shadow. Yes, that sounds cheesy but if I had stayed at home and tidied the house while he watched cbeebies we would both have missed that once-in-a-lifetime moment.

I have nearly finished a tiring day at work and am about to go home to my pigsty of a house. We will probably manage to clean it over the weekend but if anyone like you drops by unexpectedly this evening, they will think they live in squalor.

Fuck them. There are more important things in life. I need to keep my career going to earn money for my DC, and my two-year-old is only two once.

I also suffer from depression, which is not a problem at the moment, but at certain points in my life my only goal is to survive and to keep my DC fed and functioning. Not to keep my sofa crumb-free or my toilet free of poo stains.

kaosak Fri 20-Sep-13 17:01:36

Apparently some households (prob in London!) do indeed possess two kitchens, one to do the actual cooking in and one which is the show kitchen...

Toadinthehole Fri 20-Sep-13 12:12:18

I generally spend at least 45 minutes per day washing the dishes, stacking / unloading the dishwasher, wiping surfaces, sweeping the floor, and putting away random food items that the other members of my household leave out. In short, 45 minutes just to do the kitchen, the one room where cleanliness is really essential. i listen to podcasts while I do it, and that makes it bearable. While I agree that bathrooms should be clean too, everyone is capable of using soap and a nailbrush after using the toilet.

randomAXEofkindness Fri 20-Sep-13 11:40:59

What about the other 23hrs 15mins? Mine would be tip!

I can whip through the basics in 45mins, but by the time I'm finished, the room I'd started in needs to be done again. There are about 15mins in every day when I hope I get a visitor because they would definitely think I was superwoman. But the rest of the time I run round like challenge Anneka trying to clean faster than 3 kids can mess (maybe if I strapped them into highchairs a la bulgarian orphanage?) and hoping that nobody comes because there's a good chance they'd ring the ss grin

Seriously though, I don't think it's very supportive of mums to give the idea that if someone hasn't got everything 'done', they're lazy. Maybe they're doing something more important? It sounds like something some misogynistic arse would say: "What've you been doing all day? Watching Jezza while I do the real work?"... I'd tell him to fuck off. But I'll give the OP the benefit of the doubt wink

Floggingmolly Fri 20-Sep-13 10:48:19

The only part I batted an eyelid at was the two kitchens...

Therealamandaclarke Fri 20-Sep-13 10:27:56

I've gone off this thread. I hate housework but like a tidy place (like most of us I guess) and now I feel I have to spend the morning cleaning sad
How do ppl do a proper clean with a baby (who won't nap) and a demanding (aren't they all) toddler in the house! I can't see how I'm meant to do it. <sob>

SubliminalMassaging Fri 20-Sep-13 10:09:08

So I don't really understand IamSlave at all on that score, but I don't think she's joking or making it up.

SubliminalMassaging Fri 20-Sep-13 10:08:16

Why would it be a joke? It's not the average sort of house, admittedly, but plenty of people do have massive houses. Although admittedly one of the joys of being able to afford a massive house is also being able to employ someone to clean it for you.

YoureBeingADick Fri 20-Sep-13 10:05:50

Well i think if you enjoy cleaning and it keeps you fit then why not? We do have an obesity issue in the uk and if that is IAmSlaves way of keeping fit then fair play to her. Who says the gym is better? (Never mind the membership fees!) Or running or swimming? Keep fit any way you like i say. smile

MrsDeVere Fri 20-Sep-13 10:03:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floggingmolly Fri 20-Sep-13 10:02:38

You can't be serious, IamSlave? Surely the biggest house has no need of two kitchens? Or are you actually the landlady of a boarding house? wink

kaosak Fri 20-Sep-13 07:33:37

IamSlave - sorry that is just weird, get a cleaner and go out for some lazy lunches woman fgs! You sound just a teeny bit obsessed I have to say, which is probably better than the poor hoarders with MH problems but even still there must be more enjoyable ways to keep fit.

I'm just envious really and would love some pictures of your house hee hee!

My neighbour has 8 bedrooms, cottage in the grounds etc, it is homely messy though and she has a cleaner for a day a week.

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

MadameLeBean Thu 19-Sep-13 22:34:54

Er yeah just re read. Got to be a joke!

ToffeeCaramel Thu 19-Sep-13 22:33:18

I thought IamSlave's post about all the millions of rooms was a joke post?

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.

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