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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:
differentID · 16/08/2008 18:26

I always feel like I'm not really welcome in a supremely tidy house- they can feel quite cold and awkward.

UnquietDad · 16/08/2008 18:26

I believe what you call "bad minimalism" is called "not having loads of money" in the real world.

Also I think anyone who spends hours making their house "clutter-free" obviously has too much time on their hands.

PuppyMonkey · 16/08/2008 18:29

DP has a friend with an unnaturally tidy house (two kids). We can turn up unexpectedly at any time and it is ALWAYS like something out of a magazine. The kettle is sooooo shiny, I can't get over it. Bit cold and clinical though, I think.

You know what they say, behind evey immaculately clean house lies a very boring person.

expatinscotland · 16/08/2008 18:30


there's no such thing as too tidy, IMO.

Mercy · 16/08/2008 18:35

Sorry haven't read the whole thread but...

I remmeber when I was in Canada quite a few people had a family room and a separate room which was always kept immaculately clean and tidy (and rarely used from what I could see). I don't see the point tbh. (I may have got the terms wrong btw)

Bit like a front parlour but at least double the size of what you would get in the UK!

AbbeyA · 16/08/2008 18:36

Minimalist is unnerving!
Too tidy is like Hyacinth Bucket-leaves your guests too worried to drink coffee!

Mercy · 16/08/2008 18:38

I had a very good childhood friend whose parents were happy for us to eat biscuits in the living room - but would be hovering with a dust pan and brush.

OTT to say the least.

rowingboat · 16/08/2008 18:44

Unquiet dad - the people that I know who aspire to minimalism, but don't do it very well, aren't short of cash
What I mean to say is that there is a trend, but they have followed it but kind of missed the point.
I suppose having less stuff, makes life easier for people who don't have a lot of time to tidy.

ihatebikerides · 16/08/2008 18:53

A friend of mine always has an immaculate house and is very disciplined with her chores each week. I've always felt warm and cosseted there, and plied with beautifully-prepared food and lots of wine. BUT, we went on holiday with them not long ago, sharing a house, and.... OMG! I now see how she gets to that state of "nirvana." Constant chivvying, nagging, screeching at her DH and DD etc... Ugh! Give me our chaos anyday.

AbbeyA · 16/08/2008 19:15

I stay with a similar friend, Ihatebikerides and it isn't worth the effort!
Having said all that, I make my DCs eat snacks and have drinks in the kitchen!

hughjarssss · 16/08/2008 19:36

I agree with expat!

frankiesbestfriend · 16/08/2008 19:41

Don't think your house can be too tidy.

It can be too cold, too minimalist, too clinical, but if your house is cosy it can still be completely clean and tidy.

HappyMummyOfOne · 16/08/2008 19:52

I'm with expat and hughjarssss

happyhoney · 16/08/2008 20:04

I have a few friends who have REALLY tidy houses and both have 1 child. I think some people are just like that, sometimes wish i was but most of the time think it would be far too much effort. (slattern)

ConstanceWearing · 16/08/2008 20:06

Personally, I think it just depends if clutter bothers you. It doesn't bother me till I start falling over things. I really don't see it, because I tend to live inside my head. Bit shocking when someone comes round and you suddenly view the scene through their eyes though

ihatebikerides · 16/08/2008 20:06

What I want to know is why people with tidy houses always seem to have the moral high ground over us slatterns. You never hear people saying "sorry the place is so tidy. I haven't had a chance to mess it up yet." when they answer the door.

expatinscotland · 16/08/2008 20:09

clutter really bothers me.

i cannot abide it. i really can't. it literally brings me down.

it's probably a good thing, because we are private renters and never stay in one place for a long time as a result, so clutter quite literally has to be kept to a minimum.

we also usually live in very small places.

again, there's just no room for clutter.

so it's far easier to be tidy.

i abhor carpets. i see them and i just equate them with filth.

if i owned my own home, there would be no carpet in it.

my ILs could be on Kim and Aggie, and i actually think the amount of junk and clutter they keep has had a very negative impact on their health.

ConstanceWearing · 16/08/2008 20:10

Because cleanliness is next to Godliness, perhaps, IHBR? But as everybody is an atheist these days, we might as well all give up housework and go read a book

expatinscotland · 16/08/2008 20:12

i also grew up with a former Army drill sergeant for a father and a mother whose father had grown up the eldest of 15 children in a too-crowded, filthy house.

her father was even worse than my dad about cleanliness and instead of using physical punishment (common in the 1950s) on my mother and sister, he would force them to do things like scrub the tiled bath with a toothbrush or clean blinds when they misbehaved.

ConstanceWearing · 16/08/2008 20:13

IHBR, I've just had a thought. Next time someone says 'sorry it's so tidy, I haven't had time to mess it up yet' you must say 'oh, let me help'.

Then drop-kick a bag of Doritos in their living room. They go for miles. Honestly, it's v funny

ConstanceWearing · 16/08/2008 20:16

Expat, my mum's house was not massively tidy. Mum worked too hard to keep up with it all. I'm not greatly tidy myself, my sister is very much the opposite. Neat freak. But screams at her DC's to help her all the time with chores. It just depends how it grabs you, doesn't it?

twinsetandpearls · 16/08/2008 20:22

Lost my post so apologies if this is a double post. My books tell the story of who I am and are full of memories for me. They remind me of where I bought them, or the reason for their purchase or the place I read them. I have just given a huge box of books away and it was like parting with friends. My dd is a complete book worm and I am sure part of that is growing up surrounded by hundreds of books and having a parent who clearly values books.


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expatinscotland · 16/08/2008 20:22

I don't scream at my kids.

They have a rota, just as we did .

You can't play with another thing until you put the first away. For bedtime, it's tidy up time - we all pitch in, then the routine of bath, milk, etc.

DH and I do a lot of the chores ourselves for now, but the kids pitch in as their abilities allow.

I see part of my role as a parent as enabling my children to look after themselves - that includes treating their things and consequently themselves, with respect.

I use Organised Mum, too .

Another big part of it is that DH and DD1 both have dyspraxia. DD1 has quite severe dyspraxia.

They both trip a lot, so we try to aim to keep the floors clear of clutter as much as possible to avoid accidents where possible.

hughjarssss · 16/08/2008 20:28

My mum is a neat freak, always cleaning something.

When I moved out I thought I would be nothing like her, but living in a messy enviroment was to much of a shock to the senses!

I am lucky that dp feels the same as me and we share all the housework. I don't even need to ask him, let alone nag him.

I hate clutter as it just means more housework, its just more things to clean.

rowingboat · 16/08/2008 20:28

Carpets and rugs and comfy cushions and anything like that - none of them are incompatible with keeping things tidy - they look cosy and homely IMO. And make your home much more comfortable. Minimalism can be plain uncomfortable. Possibly, this is to prevent too much sitting and encourage lots of housework.
And this may be true - carpets are much better at controlling dust, wood just lets it rise all the time, but carpets trap dust until you vacuum. Or so a carpet salesman told me.

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