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AIBU?

AIBU to ask how do you keep a tidy house?!?!

87 replies

SeriouslyMessyCow · 11/07/2017 14:06

I don't know what the heck is wrong with me but I live in such an utter mess.

I don't have kids so can't blame them but my DH is not bothered about mess either so we both just accumulate so much stuff.

We also both leave the house around 7am and don't often get back until 8/9/10pm. We then wash up what we need, make dinner and go to bed. Then weekends we're either shattered or busy socially and now I've got clutter upon clutter and it's getting me down.

How do you do it?! I can imagine many of you have less hours in the day than us, and more people that make mess, so AIBU to ask your secret?

Please! Blush

OP posts:
EJREsMum · 11/07/2017 14:12

You sound rather busy. Cant you hire a cleaner ?

Or if not, hire a cleaner to do a one off job and then you stay on top of things?

Monday evening clothes wash, Tuesday evening ironing, Wednesday evening hoovering and so on. That's how I stay on top but I get home at 6

EJREsMum · 11/07/2017 14:14

Alternate as well, while one of you is cooking dinner the other do some house work, next day vice versa

coddiwomple · 11/07/2017 14:15

get a cleaner Grin

Seriously, if you only have to tidy up and not clean, you save so much time.

Pre-children my secret was to move often! I had to declutter and "show-room" the house every few years, so never accumulated much.
So my tip would be to:

  • take a sickie for a few days to attack the house I have never done that!

-declutter, declutter, declutter. One room at a time.
-Have storage or a place for everything. You cannot have a tidy house if you can't put things away easily, or grab them quickly. It's not tidy if the content of your wardrobe falls on your head every time you grab a tshirt.
-tidy based on your lifestyle. If you change your handbag every season, it's ok to store them in a difficult to access area, but if you change them every day depending on your mood, they have to be visible and accessible.
-Put away the things you don't need.
-put away things in the right place immediately.
-in an ideal world, have a "junk room" but be very strict: only use for laundry waited to be ironed folded, luggage just before you go away etc. Do not accumulate mess in it.

The Marie Kondo method is popular but surprisingly good.
SeriouslyMessyCow · 11/07/2017 14:15

I did consider hiring a cleaner but the clutter is so bad at the moment I'd have to spend a good week getting on top of it before I'd let anyone in the house.

The issue is we just keep moving stuff around I think. When I do get the motivation I'll do one room at a time, which means stuff gets moved from room to room and we end up back at square one. I'd love to be one of those people with constantly tidy homes!

OP posts:
e1y1 · 11/07/2017 14:16

Yes. You have almost answered your own question.

either so we both just accumulate so much stuff and now I've got clutter upon clutter and it's getting me down

Get rid of stuff/clutter - as much as you can bear. You can't clean things properly (sides/floors etc) if you can't get to them because of stuff.

If you don't use it, get RID of it. It serves no purpose other than making you unhappy.

It is hard, especially when stuff costs so much money. But if it is making you more stressed than it is making you happy, what's the point of it?

Keep what you need and use and love (I mean really love - it would make you sad to see it go). Everything else - gone.

I promise, do this and you will never get stressed with housework again. You will be able to wipe sides down quickly, dust furniture and hoover etc in minutes. You will have space - don't forget every square inch of your house costs you money in mortgage/rent. So the stuff that takes up that space needs to earn its keep Grin.

Salzundessig · 11/07/2017 14:16

Marie Kondo. It will change your life!

LottieDoubtie · 11/07/2017 14:17

Don't leave a room without something in your hand - with the aim of making each room a little bit better every time you leave it.

MaisieDotes · 11/07/2017 14:17

There's nothing wrong with you at all. We can only do so much. You're working full time.

Order the cleaner and do the week of de-cluttering. It will be worth it.

claritytobeclear · 11/07/2017 14:18

Clear the clutter one bit at a time. It is the only way I can, usually, persuade myself to do it. So sort one drawer or one surface, every day, if you can.

SeriouslyMessyCow · 11/07/2017 14:19

Is Marie Kondo the life changing magic of tidying? If so I got myself it as a Christmas present but have lost it under clutter. Am I beyond help?! Haha.

Seriously though these ideas are already motivating me, please do keep them coming.

OP posts:
NellieFiveBellies · 11/07/2017 14:20

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

e1y1 · 11/07/2017 14:20

The Marie Kondo method is popular but surprisingly good

Yes it is very good. Some of it was a little extreme (ie "thanking" every item for the joy/lesson it brought you).

The single most important thing I took from Kondo was about storage - DON'T increase your storage. Why store (and pay to get storage) for stuff you don't use? No "I may need" it - you didn't need it before it was stored, you won't need it after it is stored.

TheFifthKey · 11/07/2017 14:21

If you're only in the house such a short amount of time you shouldn't be making much mess in the week! I never leave the house in a mess - maybe a couple of dishes in the sink but nothing piled up, nothing on the sides, anything lying around stashed away, and so on.

SeriouslyMessyCow · 11/07/2017 14:22

Also I have a question about de cluttering things like clothes. I have a small fortunes worth of clothes I don't wear that I put off sorting through as I always think "I'll put them on eBay" but then never have time. Do I just bite the bullet and charity shop the lot? I think deep down I have a bit of a hoarding issue so keep making excuses Blush

OP posts:
nina2b · 11/07/2017 14:22

You are a hoarder. The moving stuff from room to room indicates that.

stevie69 · 11/07/2017 14:22

There's only me in it Grin

coddiwomple · 11/07/2017 14:23

floor to ceiling wardrobe are so much better. They can be tidy inside, with boxes etc.. but they do look so much neater than a shorter one with boxes on top and things hanging everywhere.

Don't forget you only need to get rid of clutter once, then you can stay on top of everything for ever, especially if you only use your home as a base and are never there.

It does depend on the size of your home to be fair, so much easier to keep a bigger place tidy.

HipsterHunter · 11/07/2017 14:24

It's the stuff. Get rid of the stuff.

Yes if you haven't eBay stuff already you aren't going to. Charity shop it and enjoy the dealing of space and nice clear lines.

elQuintoConyo · 11/07/2017 14:26

Designate one weekend day, both of you, to tackle it once and for all. Or at least make an inroads.

Get up at a decent time. Throw on crappy comfy clothes (that you don't mind getting dusty), make coffee. Do an hour's sorting before breakfast. Have breakfast and wash it up before going back to it.

I'd suggest having a bin bag ready to chuck things straight into - when it is full, chuck it.

One bag/box for charity (clothes, books, unwanted mugs etc), once full put straight in your car boot.

A box on the stairs for things that belong upstairs. When it's full...er take it upstairs!

Be ruthless with crap such as Ikea pencils -
i recently found 20 bound with an elastic band Blush

Everything should have a place where it lives, once you get into a routine of putting them back where they belong once you have finished with them, your house should look less cluttered. I have a lot of things, but not a cluttered house, iyswim?

Photos all go in a box which I can go through at a later date.

If i'm not sure about something, i keep it. The next time i sort out, i can look at that thing with fresh eyes and decide again.

You don't have to throw everything away, it can be traumatic and sad.

I'd start with the kitchen: wash up and clean surfaces. Then empty cupboards, clean cupboards, chuck things that are broken/duplicates/you do not use, then put things back in the cupboards. You can also check best before dates too.

It is daunting, but really it is just tidying up. Pile up paperwork. At the end of the day, go through paperwork and order into piles: car, house insurance, receipts for hoover etc. At a later date you could put them in date order, but later not the same day (i could spend JPURS on paperwork!). I have a big book-shaped box on my bookcase where I put receipts when i buy big things: watch, fridge, blender etc. I put each receipt into an envelope and label it with the object and the date.

I am far from perfect and am actually going through a box i haven't opened since we moved 5 years ago Blush it's an eye-opener!

Once you gave had a big clear out and tidy, hopefully the buzz you get just looking at a tidy house will help you keep on top of it.

SeriouslyMessyCow · 11/07/2017 14:26

I'd love a floor to ceiling wardrobe! Unfortunately we live in rented accommodation with no loft space and just two tiny (like less than 2ft wide) built in wardrobes and very little storage space.

Perhaps I'll take the (ahem) sick day advice and go on a rampage. My mum was a hoarder (although a million times worse) so know all too well how bad it can get.

OP posts:
coddiwomple · 11/07/2017 14:26

I would start by putting a couple of items for sale on ebay/ facebook group.

You will see how long it takes and how much faff that is, and decide then if it is worth it or not for you.

e1y1 · 11/07/2017 14:26

Do I just bite the bullet and charity shop the lot?

Yes, you do. As Kondo says, it has now served its purpose (brought you joy when you bought the clothes. It has also taught a lesson - don't buy that much clothing again).

Now it's time for the items to give someone else joy - as they don't give you that anymore.

To the charity shop.

MotherofA · 11/07/2017 14:27

My DP buys stuff constantly and I'm constantly trying to keep clutter to a minimum . Our house looks tidy and clean but there's too much crap for my liking it drives me mad ! Just throw everything out haha 😂

Pallisers · 11/07/2017 14:27

I think clutter and mess does affect mood - even for people who don't mind clutter and mess.

Basically if you want to live in a clear, calm, clean space you need to take a day and declutter.

Take it one room at a time.
Start in one corner of the room and methodically work your way around.

Everything you pick up must go in one of three places:

  • throw away (put immediately into a trash bag)


  • give away (put immediately into a give away to charity shop bag)


  • put in its permanent place - so for example if you pick up a book, it goes on a bookshelf or coffee table, if you pick up a cup, it goes into the kitchen sink or cupboard, if you pick up a sock it goes into the laundry basket or sock drawer. The only compromise on this is allow yourself a laundry basket to bring everything upstairs or into the kitchen and do it in relays but do it - don't simply load up a basket and not put it away.


The clear out isn't over until you put the rubbish in the bin and the giving away bag in your car ready to go to the charity shop.

Be ruthless about keeping crap - if you don't use it, get rid of it. If you have sentimental stuff (I keep a lot of this) get yourself a big clear plastic box and put all letters/sentimental stuff in this.

If you did even one room like this, you would see light at the end of the tunnel.
TheViceOfReason · 11/07/2017 14:31

Be ruthless.

Forget about saying "i'll sell / advertise / use / slim into it" or whatever - you won't.

Get a big roll of binbags and just start chucking stuff away. Take a week off work if possible and just do it - once you get started it's easier to just keep going.

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