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Have you ever been to a house that you thought was too tidy

142 replies

nkf · 16/08/2008 11:20

I know too tidy is relative and most people wouldn't think tidiness was a problem. But I recently saw a house that was so clean and so tidy and so empty that I couldn't imagine how they lived in it with children. Perhaps upstairs was chaos but I don't think so.

OP posts:
muggglewump · 16/08/2008 12:20

One of my neighbours. She cleans from top to bottom every day and is obsessive over getting rid of stuff. We got a huge bag of Barbie and Bratz a few months ago because apparently they weren't played with enough.
I had to laugh when last month she bought her daughter a whole load more of the same for her birthday which I bet we'll have before Christmas!
She's the same with cothes and shoes too.

cyteen · 16/08/2008 12:20

Stepmum turned my lovely cosy family home into a sterile, plasticised, unwelcoming wasteland after my mum died. Broke my heart. I still don't feel comfortable in the kitchen unless she's not there.

twinsetandpearls · 16/08/2008 12:24

Unquietdad my ex and I used to regularly fall out over the organisation books. He would put them in height order regardless of the type of book so I could never find any thing. Even now I am obsessive with my books. All my fiction are in alphabetical order. My non fiction are categorised and then in height order of their category. They are all lined up in depth order. I had a funny moment last week when unpacking my books. I was dusting and obsessing my feminist shelf and wondered what Anne Oakley say!

wessexgirl · 16/08/2008 12:26

Lol at your 'feminist shelf', twinset. I'm not particularly tidy (I had that HV comment about my house being 'relaxed'), but I am a rampant book/CD/DVD organiser. There is something quite comforting about categorising things.

squeaver · 16/08/2008 12:27

Everyone I know without children. Especially my SIL who sweeps around you with a dustpan and brush as you are eating your lunch and takes plates off the table and starts washing them up even though people are still eating.

It's very stressful visiting with dd.

edam · 16/08/2008 12:28

That's very sad, Cyteen.

I once dropped round to see an old friend from university - was in her city unexpectedly. She was the rebel out of our group. I used to have to fend off men she'd had one night stands with (they would phone and phone and phone and phone desperate to see her again - she had NO interest in a relationship).

Now she was married, and her best friend was married to her BIL. She was living in a Barratt house on a new estate and it was SPOTLESS. Not a single speck of dust would have dared to settle. Everything was neat to OCD standards. I found it really, really, freaky.

AbbeyA · 16/08/2008 12:29

I put my fiction into alphabetical order, I just have so many that it is easier to find. However getting a new book means a huge shuffle! Non fiction is in subjects.

twinsetandpearls · 16/08/2008 12:34

I even agonise over the order of my shelves. At one point I had my sewing and homecraft shelf under my feminist shelf and above it I had religous books but I felt they were in conflict so had to reorganise!

squeaver · 16/08/2008 12:36

I used to have my books arranged chronologically

psychomum5 · 16/08/2008 12:37

I used to be 'too tidy'. it was when DD3 was tiny and in and out of hospital.....she was so pporly and I felt so out of control I found the only area I still could gain that back was thro the housework....and I would be up at midnight cleaning and hoovering and polishing. much like twinset I imagine. it really can be a sign that all is not right, and control within your home is the one thing you grab hold of IYGWIM.

I am less frantic now, altho I do find myself getting twitchy still.....flame would testify to that. I try to let it go, but it is very very very hard.......and with five children I do still need to have a modicom (sp?) of control over the house or it would all descend into hell (or my version of hell), and I would sink!

in fact, I have been ill this week, and today (and yesterday a little), I have been twitching about the house again......DH says it proves I am better again if I am caring (and moaning) about the state of the house, but really, it is not dirty, just lived in and a little cluttered. certainly would not take much more than a couple of hours (if that) to put straight again.

I have been in a house tho where there is cups on the side in the kitchen, even her toaster was hidden (and the kettle!). she was a very very closed person tho, let no feelings show......nothing. and it showed in her house....very sad.

beanieb · 16/08/2008 12:37

Houses without bookshelves and books scare me.

sarah293 · 16/08/2008 12:39

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squeaver · 16/08/2008 12:40

Psycho - I have a friend with a kitchen like that. She's actually an interior designer and a big fan of minimalism. It looks very beautiful, of course, but v. strange when even the kettle is kept in a cupboard!

twinsetandpearls · 16/08/2008 12:40

I quite like the big shuffle I usually find a book I had forgotten about.

psychomum5 · 16/08/2008 12:41

I am quite obsessive about my books tho.....all alphabetically arranged and then sized, and then in order of publishing date (that came from flame, the publishing order!).

but no-one touches my books bar me and flame, so I can have contol.....

oh, except flameboy when he chucks them down the stairs !

psychomum5 · 16/08/2008 12:44

riven, when ever they go into hospital now (and we still do), I have to make sure the house is spotless before, and for when we come home. Poor DH, the pressure on him to keep house is huge when we end up needing to go in. friend thought it odd how open my kitchen is....everything on the sides (well, kettle, toaster, coffee mug tree and my best pans artfully arranged at least). tis quite a cold feeling being in a house with no clutter.....or any books in fact. now that is something I find very uncomfortable........a house with no books.

sarah293 · 16/08/2008 12:47

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squeaver · 16/08/2008 12:48

Funnily enough, that is the case with this friend of mine. No books (apart from the children's). They don't read - at all. They go on holiday and don't read - can you imagine?

Also - the kids have to put their birthday cards up in their bedrooms so they don't clutter the mantelpiece!

I'd just like to point out that these people are old friends of dh, from before I knew him!

BigBadMousey · 16/08/2008 12:53

I totally agree with psychomum about doing the housework to try and maintain contol over something in your life. I find, when things are bad I start cleaning and tidying (at the expense of anything else ). The other day I planned to get up at 5am to do the housework but DD2 had been up all night and I didn't manage it (which made me pretty p**d off with myself )

I had a friend when I was a child whose mum was obsessive about tidiness. The towels had to be folded in a particular way, no kettle on show in the kitchen etc etc - she used to open up their collection of board games and polish the pieces every week . Her DD was obsessive about the same things which was a shame - she wouldn't play any games that might get her clothes ruffled or dirty

My Dads house is showhome perfect. It's a very nice house too so lends itself well to the white carpets etc- I go there for therapy

artichokes · 16/08/2008 12:56

Too tidy as an issue in itself does not bother me. Too empty is something else. I very tidy house full of lovely, personal things is great. An empty and very tidy family home is wrong.

ConstanceWearing · 16/08/2008 12:56

I became obsessive about order when XH and I split up. With me, it is a sign that I am very agitated.

I agree that these people don't shine through in their house. MIL is like that. I always think 'where are you, in this house?'. What bit says it belongs to you, rather than a show home? Not even photographs on the walls .

eandh · 16/08/2008 12:57

All my books are in our bedroom (inside a huge cupboard) because dd1 used to love pulling them off off the bookcase downstairs, theres not may books I keep as I tned to swap with friends or use the library as its very close to my work


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bergentulip · 16/08/2008 12:57

unquietdad- size-ordered books is surely vaguely normal.??!!

I'm not overly clean at all, but it would just not look nice if you had your books madly up and down all over the place on the shelves..... don't need to be perfect, but still.....

Rest of house a tip, but books nicely ordered, ta very muchly. (!)

UnquietDad · 16/08/2008 13:00

I know having all your big books in one places makes sense, but these were paperbacks all lined up perfectly, all making a long straight line... I don't know, maybe not much on its own, but the rest of the house was similarly anal!

I am anal about my books, but in the sense that they have to be in alphabetical order by author and, within author, in chronological order of release.

bergentulip · 16/08/2008 13:01

I mean, I am not overly tidy. Of course I am CLEAN. Urgh. (!)

But, have just remembered my DH's grandfather. He lives alone but is very, VERY particular. There's nothing on the sides in the kitchen, except the kettle. But, even that, once the water is boiled, however much is used and then the rest gets tipped away!, and then he unplugs it and puts it into a corner. Very VERY annoying if you boil a kettle, wander away, come back to make your cup of tea/coffee, and have to start from scratch again! Argh.

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