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To be a total slob?

(46 Posts)
Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 10:56:22

I have realised that I've lived like a slob I think my whole life! I'm ashamed but I don't really know how to change these behaviours, as though I'm stuck in a pattern I'm struggling to change. It drives my DH up the wall as he is quite tidy and perfectionist. I think before we got married I managed to an extent to keep a lid on it, but now we have been married many years he knows the truth about my inner slob and it is often the source of arguments. I often think about sorting everything out but spend a lot of time thinking and not much time doing sad
When I look back my parents lived this way, stuff everywhere, a 'we'll sort that out later' attitude to things laying around. I was always really embarrassed if friends came home and we would tidy up in a hurry to cover up our slovenly ways. I hated living like this yet it's how I live now as an adult. Yesterday a colleague asked if she could have a lift home and I was so embarrassed about the state of my car (coffee cups, sandwich bags, bits of paper, receipts etc) that I secretly ran down to the car park and quickly cleared the rubbish? AIBU to live like this, AIBU to expect that I can change these habits of a lifetime?

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 26-Nov-16 11:02:42

Well you said it yourself - you "quickly cleared the rubbish". That's it in a nutshell - these things don't take long at all, so it's a matter of reminding yourself of that every time you look at something and think "God that looks a mess." Instead of doing it later (cos you won't), just do it NOW.

It's a change of mindset. Do you have kids? If so, surely you don't want them to feel the same embarrassment as you felt growing up when you brought friends to the house?

Tallulahoola Sat 26-Nov-16 11:08:19

I could have written this post myself. If I meet a neighbour in the street I'd love to be able to invite them in for a coffee but I'm too embarrassed because the house is such a tip. All the photos of the kids have piles of mess in the background. It's the opposite thing for me though because my parents were obsessively tidy so maybe I'm subconsciously rebelling against that. I hate it but not sure how to change.

I did buy that Marie Kondo book about how to tidy up and it worked for a while. Essentially she tells you that instead of rearranging all your stuff you need to throw it all out. Quite extreme but it did work for a while. Definitely worth a read. I think if I did what she says every 3 months or so I could live reasonably tidily, but life (and DCs) get in the way.

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 11:12:14

Yes curlyhaired, you're absolutely right. I have a young DS and I don't want him to feel the same embarrassment I felt and also the sense of chaos. I really need to change this way of being but I feel like I've been this way forever and it's a whole new mindset. Honestly my car was appalling, I'm so ashamed blushx

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 11:14:36

Tallula I've tried 'minimalism' and tend to live this way (despite coffee cups/receipts) I don't have hoards of personal belongings. But no matter how much I clear it just creeps back into mess. I think it must reflect something mentally about me but I don't fully understand it x

TheNameIsBarbara Sat 26-Nov-16 11:15:52

Honestly, I used to be exactly the same. I still don't live in a show home but it is much better maintained. It is about changing the mindset of doing it later to doing it now. Because either way it will still need to be done.

I tend to clean the kitchen as we use it, but if its a Saturday night then perhaps not, but do a big clean first thing Sunday morning, so its not left as a big horrible mess.

I need to declutter too - but our house is generally much better for me doing things first, as I found I was stressed sat around mess all the time. Now I can relax a bit better if its tidier.

Also is it just you and DH or kids as well? My children are getting older and I want to teach them good habits now, so simple things like where to put clothes after use and tidying up after themselves, just to show them that they have to pitch in as we all live here.

My car is still an abomination though - but a friend recommends getting a valet every 2nd week - helps keep the car mess to a minimum!

Other tips are the 15 min per hour rule. So if you are at home for a couple of hours, spend the first 15 mins doing a tidy up/clean. Then carry on with whatever you wanted to do for the next 45mins. I didn't get on with this so much (because often I'd just carry on - for me it was finding motivation to start cleaning), but many MN'ers have had success using this method.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 26-Nov-16 11:17:29

I'm terrible. Motivation to clean and tidy doesn't come easy to me. I need to keep myself in check and have a proper word with myself if things are getting bad. When I do clean I actually find I enjoy it and I like the feeling of being in control of the situation and not letting things drift. My house is tidy but I'm not good at doing deep cleans. Everything's just a wee bit shabby.

If you feel embarrassed and ashamed about it (like I do sometimes) try to use that to gee yourself up. Think "I don't want to feel like that, I need to clean up this mess now".

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 11:21:34

Thank you lovely people. Helpful motivation tips. Will definitely try the first 15 minutes technique. I'm often sat here just looking at the mess!
The irony is, when I do deep clean, I do it very well and very thoroughly and it's pristine. I think my mindset is "I'll leave it til I deep clean it", but then it's this mammoth task and I'm shattered!
We've got a toddler son who only really understands how to make a mess at the moment sad

Crazybaubles Sat 26-Nov-16 11:25:01

I find putting a timer on things helps enormously - so if I'm doing laundry and the kitchen is a mess, I put the washer on the spin cycle and spend the ten minute cycle running around cleaning the kitchen.
I put clothes away OR tidy the bedroom OR pair up socks OR clean the bathroom.
I have a carrier bag in the passenger footwell of my car and use it as a bin. I use carrying the dirty washing downstairs and clean washing upstairs as a way of putting things where they should be - I pile any random crap in the basket and dump it in the correct room.

I am naturally a lazy person but these little things (along with using a google calendar for everything and DH organising a 'tidying day' where we clean from top to bottom every so often) keep everything generally ticking over

user1477282676 Sat 26-Nov-16 11:26:17

It's not that awful to be a bit messy OP. I'm a bit messy too....I've got better things to do than sweep under the sofa.

As long as things aren't dirty!

NavyandWhite Sat 26-Nov-16 11:27:17

My house is pretty spotless tbf. DH and I both a bit anal about tidying/cleaning but my car.... its shockingly bad. I've drove past people I know waiting at bus stops before now so they don't see it!

I think if you can address the house though that would be good all round. Plus I can understand why your DH is fed up with your mess. I would hate that too. It's hard to change your habits though. Maybe start small? Moving your clothes everyday, putting your shoes/bag/coat away. Forming a habit. I think it's doable it just takes determination and time.

TheNameIsBarbara Sat 26-Nov-16 11:30:04

Well toddlers are a different ball game all together as they certainly are great at creating mess, plus they don't leave you a lot of time to get stuck into cleaning so the 15 mins rule per hour might help you fit it in better.

I used to rope my toddler in to help me clean - they do love it. Loading the washing machine, giving them their own cloth for wiping and a little brush or hoover so they can follow you around, tends to keep them out of mischief just long enough for you to get certain jobs done. It won't be of a deep clean standard - more a maintenance clean, but it also kills time (which if you are a SAHM can really help some days).

Don't beat yourself up about it though, as then all of the jobs will feel too 'big'. Tackle a small job, each time, and hopefully you should get through it much easier.

Fockers Sat 26-Nov-16 11:30:22

I used to be like this but it made me unhappy. The further you get into mess the harder it is to sort out.

I found that telling myself it was childish & I need to be more adult helped!! I had a massive sort out which was awful to do but now I keep on top of it by spending 20 mins a day so it never becomes too much.

Im also very mindful of what comes in the house - i can't keep filling it so either I don't buy it or something has to go

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 11:30:38

I don't think it's dirty, but it's not as clean as it could be. Okay yes it gets dirty. I need to admit it! I do need to come up with a more effective system to tackle it. I like the idea of timing things. I don't want to feel ashamed anymore x

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 11:34:06

Thanks Barbara, will keep the focus on small tasks then. Sometimes I struggle to just get basics done. It is a kind of slippery slope of mess that you're then battling and the task is huge! I'm not quite at the stage of 'how clean is your house' but I guess I'm there on a smaller scale shock

llangennith Sat 26-Nov-16 12:09:33

I manage to keep the place tidy now I have enough storage. That was the key for me.
I have a negative thing about emptying the dishwasher and would have dirty dishes cluttering up the sink and work surfaces rather than just emptying the bloody dishwasher.
One day I decided to do it while my porridge was cooking in the microwave for 2.5minute. I'd emptied it and reloaded it in that timeblush
Hadn't realise how little time it took.
I love a clean and tidy house but I hate doing the work.

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 12:13:20

Yes I also have a block to emptying dishwasher and putting away dishes, sometimes just leaving them in piles on the worktop confused also I HATE pairing socks and putting away washing. I need to just deal with these things and get over them! X

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 26-Nov-16 13:26:30

I've accepted lifts from people with lots of clutter in their car, I'm more grateful for their kindness in offering me a lift than looking at mess. I find the clutter in people's cars quite intriguing, not offputting.

CaraAspen Sat 26-Nov-16 14:13:51

If someone has a tidy nature, surely that extends to their car? I call cars like that "skips". Ugh. They look awful and people can see inside them, you know.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Sat 26-Nov-16 14:18:51

I used to be like this and its really hard to change but it is possible, its just about building new habits. I'm just naturally not very organised and get easily bored. I start and then wander off. You'll get lots of tips on here.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 26-Nov-16 14:48:07

Get an app like Home Routine. You can tailor it to your needs. Helps get you into regular habits.

Bubspub Sat 26-Nov-16 16:49:59

It's good to hear it's possible to change. Totally don't want this for my son, for him to be embarrassed about the way we live. Will try that app, thank you flowers
My FIL asked if this afternoon I could give a MIL a lift so I used that as momentum to clean my skip, I mean car grinit was truly appalling as DS throws food on the floor sad I feel better about my car for now anyway. Just need to sort the house! X

FAD2016 Sat 26-Nov-16 17:01:21

I am like this too blush
I hate it but I always feel overwhelmed by how much clutter I need to sort. I have a whole bunch of stuff sitting in front of me right now to sort into piles to keep and bin but here I am sitting on MN procrastinating. I hate mess at work though and get (disproportionately) ragey about ppl who leave a mess in the shared kitchen etc. I find it rude and arrogant that ppl assume someone else will clear up after them and frequently I have been that person to avoid the spilt milk souring 😡
But at home it's a different matter. I live alone so no one to be put out by the mess but I still hate it.

Ricksheadtilt Sat 26-Nov-16 17:03:17

I bought a plastic basket/hamper for each family member. Anything they leave around gets popped in their basket. The rule is don't go upstairs empty handed. So the baskets seem to do an never ending loop around the house!!! I just spent a small fortune on some really nice canvas baskets too which match the decor in certain "clutter" attracting rooms. Stuff ends up homeless goes in those until I find an appropriate home. It does keep worksurfaces etc clutter free so I can at least keep them tidy.
I am very much all or nothing. I either deep deep deep clean or just ignore it blush. Trying to work harder on daily maintenance- it is improving a lot though.

Cuppaand2biscuits Sat 26-Nov-16 17:14:39

I've recently felt very overwhelmed by the state of my house. Didn't know where to start but my partner said to just tackle one room at a time, that's what I've done and it seemed so manageable. Also nothing took me nearly as long as I thought it would.

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