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21 November 2014


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I sympathize. Have you seen that meme that says you should just invite over someone with OCD and they will clean your house for you? I would be invited over a lot if I didn’t come with 6 kids. But I wouldn’t say I’m a “neat freak” but rather that I simply find too much clutter stresses me out and overwhelms me and I become more grouchy and easily frustrated enough to lose my temper if my environment is a cluttered mess. I can handle some mess, but too much and it frazzles me. I’ve just recently begun getting the older three kids to help me with more cleaning, especially now that there are 8 people living in this house. I was a little annoyed by the title and subtitle of an article that recently circulated berating moms who apologize for their messy house when it is, to their guest, clean. It really is usually a relative thing and while I don’t blame any mom who simply can’t or doesn’t prioritize cleaning the way I do, I don’t like the idea that I would be berated because I find my own environment unsatisfactory for my sanity.


Agreed! (And it isn't as if my house is super clean -- in fact it's usually a bit on the grimy side -- I just can't stand clutter and I constantly beat it back so it's always manageable.)

LeeAnn Balbirona

I think of houses having two kinds of clean: organized clean and sanitized clean.

I am personally very good at being organized, so my cabinets will be labelled, the books alphabetized, and the blankets and pillows will be folded and put away nightly, but dust will be collecting in the corners, the bathtub will get a ring, and crumbs will linger in the sink.

As long as I can get the dishes washed, the kitchen counter sprayed and wiped down, and the living room clear of toys and dirty socks nightly, I am OK with the other rooms developing clutter til the two week mandatory clean up point.

Kim (in IA)

Read this last night and tried a 20/10 cleaning day here. We had nothing else going on and E. was at work. The offer of 10 minutes of screen time motivated the kids greatly! It was good for me to have a break every 20 minutes to think about what to do next and reflect on what they had already completed. Without that break, I am likely to get involved in some cleaning project myself and start shooing the kids off to do their own thing (which generally means making a mess in another area of the house). This system kept them either cleaning or doing something that does not create clutter (video games) for most of the day! Because we limit video games pretty tightly on regular days it was a great incentive today. Worked great and your post was perfectly timed! Thanks.


The 20/10 wasn't my idea, I hasten to add. Pardon my French, but it comes from a website entitled "Unfuck Your Habitat." Which I recommend.


Ok, that website is great, Erin! It's like a Flylady that curses like a sailor!

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