I have just come back from visiting various friends in the UK and have to admit I was appalled by the state of every house I visited bar one....

(123 Posts)
HopeForTheJingleBells Thu 16-Dec-10 11:21:50

Not just messy, which is fine, but utter chaos and filth. Ds and I stayed over at a couple of places, and I can honestly say that I did not want ds touching the sinks as I do not think that they have ever been cleaned.
And I cannot even begin to describe the toilets.

What amazed me even more was that there was hardly enough room to walk across the living room, so strewn was it with toys, clothes (clean? dirty? impossible to tell), nappies, books, plates, dvds, boxes, folders, mugs and cups with dregs of old drinks in them.... there was often nowhere to sit except a filthy couch or broken chairs, no dining table, no coffee table.

The kitchens were disgusting. Dirty dishes on every available surface, dirty water in the sink into which various things were dipped and then left to dry on an overflowing rack, crumbs and leftover food everwhere, cooker crusted over with old food, floor so crunchy it made me feel a bit ill to walk on it in just my socks...

Basically, every place we visited (except one - and they have a cleaner, which is probably significant) was like this shock

Now, I am not the world's tidiest nor cleanest person. Really, I'm not. Neither is my dh.
However, there is no way on earth I would let someone into my house if it looked like that. But my house doesn't look like that. And, funnily enough, I don't know anyone here whose house looks like that.
I know people who are far messier than we are, and I know people who are much, much tidier and cleaner. But none of my friends here live in this state of squaller which seemed to be perfectly normal for my friends in England hmm.

What was even more interesting was discussions I had with a number of people when I got back (both British and other nationalities) who all seemed unsurprised and bascially said that yes, the English were known for this shockshockshock

So, what is your experience? Do you notice this when you go back to the UK? How is it where you are? Or do I just happen to know some really skanky people in England wink ?

OP’s posts: |
MollysChambers Thu 16-Dec-10 11:24:57

Certainly not the case in Scotland.
Suspect you just have skanky friends OP.

iPaddle Thu 16-Dec-10 11:25:16

Eek! I think you just happen to know some skanky people tbh.

I have come across people who live like this but rarely, definitely not the norm.

FestiveOrganisoid Thu 16-Dec-10 11:27:47

I only know two people who live like this and neither of them have children. I've been to friend's houses (and they mine) when they haven't done the washing up, or are behind on the washing, haven't cleaned the floors etc but they don't have it like that all the time, they've just been a bit beind on the housework.

FestiveOrganisoid Thu 16-Dec-10 11:29:06

I think the toys all over the floor is fairly common in houses with young children though, but they do usally get tidied again.

SlowComfortableShrew Thu 16-Dec-10 11:29:54

troll troll troll who is a shit friend

tomhardyismydh Thu 16-Dec-10 11:32:13

where the houses like this prior to your visit? if so YANBU. I am not terrible tidy all the time but im clean and ceranly do a big tidy and clean prior to having guests to visit or stay.

Or did they become like this during your visit? if so YABU as you could have helped clean up if you where eating and sleeping in these houses.


mosschops30 Thu 16-Dec-10 11:37:05

I agree you just have some skanky friends.

No-one with children lives in pristine calm homes all the time, and Im not constantly cleaning, but the dishes are always washed and put away, beds always made and clothes are not on the floor.

I have been to some homes like you describe when working in the community, but they are rare.

Spero Thu 16-Dec-10 11:38:21

This is NOT normal. I am pretty OCD and obsessive about tidiness, so I do cast a judgmental eye over my friends' houses (but I never SAY anything because usually all that I can internally criticise is dust on the skirting board! Toothpaste marks on the sink! the horror! the horror!).

a bit of clutter and mess is perfectly normal and I can't say I have noticed any difference between houses in UK, Australia, Germany, USA, France etc, etc.

But living with filth and broken furniture indicates some mental health issue. I would be surprised that anyone who wasn't seriously depressed or a student could bear to live like that.

DanZZZenAroundTheTreeAgain Thu 16-Dec-10 11:42:22

I don't see homes like that when I go back, they just seem cosier than homes here do somehow. Perhaps it is to do with the soft furnishings. Not sure really.

No, I see clean kitchens and clean bathrooms and no clothes strewn about. Don't really know but I don't think it is the usual set-up

HopeForTheJingleBells Thu 16-Dec-10 11:52:42

I didn't post this in AIBU, nor am I a trollconfused

I posted in Living Overseas because I am interested in the comparison between UK and, well, living somewhere else.

Yes, they felt like student homes, that's a good point.
We visited 5 homes, and out of them 4 were like this. And they were from various backgrounds.

Looks like I just have some particularly messy friends back in the UK then!

OP’s posts: |
kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 16-Dec-10 12:30:43

Just out of interest, where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I fear you would judge me and my housekeeping skills. I have neither the time nor interest in housework to keep my house tidy. It is clean, but looks like a tornado has passed by recently.

christmaseve Thu 16-Dec-10 12:38:16

I haven't visited any homes in the UK like that bar one.

TinselinaBumSquash Thu 16-Dec-10 12:40:53

You just have skanky mates, my house is always tidy and clean.

Francagoestohollywood Thu 16-Dec-10 12:54:47

Well, lets just say that over the Channel the assumption that British houses aren't that tidy is quite common.

Lets just say that I prefer untidy houses than really dirty streets, like we have in many areas of Italy sad

HopeForTheJingleBells Thu 16-Dec-10 16:11:09

I was a bit shocked because nobody I mentioned it to seemed very surprised and did indeed seem to have the assumption (as Franca says) that the Brits are rather untidy, and well, not very clean (carpets in bathrooms keeps cropping up hmm ).

I would not dare to judge anyone kreecher for mess or untidiness, but filth? Dirt that has clearly been there for weeks, months even? In places that are supposedly for getting things clean eg bathroom basin and kitchen sink?? And the toilets <shudder>

And to answer your question, I was brought up in England (though we did move around a bit when I was small) and now live in Germany.

I must point out that this is not something I've ever considered before, but given that 4/5 of the places we visited were like this, it did shock me somewhat and make me think.

OP’s posts: |
traceybath Thu 16-Dec-10 16:13:38

How odd - all my friend's houses are lovely and very clean as is mine. But then most of us have cleaners and do a reasonable amount of housework most days.

I do think you've got quite odd friends really.

Undutchable Thu 16-Dec-10 16:22:51


As far as I can tell, there are clean houses and dirty houses in all countries. I would say you have unusual friends though as I cannot think of anyone who lives like this, except perhaps one who borders on it.

And I don't know anyone who has carpet in the bathroom these days (agree it's disgusting, but doesn't happen anymore).

Ormirian Thu 16-Dec-10 16:24:03

Are all your friends students?

SpringHeeledJack Thu 16-Dec-10 16:26:02

our house is like this, but I don't know anyone else with similar

OP, please give me your friends' addresses

DontLetTinselDragOnTheFloor Thu 16-Dec-10 16:28:06

just because youve not posted it in AIBU doesnt meant you aren't being unreasonable to judge an entire nation by 4 of your friends.

Francagoestohollywood Thu 16-Dec-10 16:28:51

Of course there are clean/untidy houses in each and every country. I was talking about a stereotype.
For other nations us Italians are all mafiosi and eat pizza all the time.

Ormirian Thu 16-Dec-10 16:28:53

Oh don't be surprised that we have the reputation of being filthy skanks OP. After all we are lazy, drunken, overweight, bad lovers and overly-tolerant parents according to large swathes of the rest of the world. So what's a bit of domestic grime thrown in?

Francagoestohollywood Thu 16-Dec-10 16:30:12

Why do you get so heat up? Other countries have it worse in terms of stereo typing abroad grin!

mugggletoeandwine Thu 16-Dec-10 16:31:09

I lived in Australia for two years and they joke that the Brits don't wash much.
I had never heard that until I lived there.

I have a friend with a really untidy house, the way you describe but that's one person.
My house is not pristine, and nothing matches but I could always make it look good enough for visitors in 10 minutes.

I think you are talking of a skank thing, not a Brit thing.

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