"Unfucking" your habitat together: 5 ways to get your partner to help clean house #Cleaning#Relationships#blogs#cleaning together October 22 | Guest post by Moni Fuck cleaning. And yay for unfucking! Am I right? Photo by Skelekitten, used under Creative Commons license. Unfuck Your Habitat is a miracle blog (and app!) that you all need to be aware of. UFYH is a blog run by a fantastic woman who is devoted to, as she puts it, "terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes." The UFYH blog is focused mainly on success stories, or before-and-afters, but there are also hundreds of tips and tricks to helping you unfuck anything in your life that needs unfucking. If you have even the slightest desire to clean up your act and live like an adult, take a look at Unfuck Your Habitat and give it a try. It's so truly heartwarming to see people changing their lives, and the fact that there are brave people out there willing to air their dirty laundry (quite literally) in public, on the Internet… well, kudos to all of you. Seeing other people making a change is the best way to start, I think. I've been married for three years, and I've lived with my spouse for four. In that time, through several apartments and sets of roommates, I've learned that we are in fact Dirty People. Rather than keep each other motivated, the two of us tend to wallow in our own filth. It's awesome. Except not. My husband was raised by hoarders, and it has been a struggle from Day 1 of living together to get him to clean anything. Anything at all. He loves a clean house, but he has literally no idea how to accomplish it. He physically cannot see messes or dirt — they blend into his surroundings. He's not a lazy man, he's hardworking and he definitely has a sense of pride. He keeps himself very clean as well. But the house… yeah, no. In January, my mom died very unexpectedly and we inherited her house. Since then, I've spent the majority of my time in the house throwing away the junk she left behind and dealing with the general clutter. It's emotionally and physically draining, yes. Unfuck Your Habitat helped me a lot through most of that stuff. But now, most of the stuff is gone and it's time to just start living like adults and keeping the house clean every day. Maintenance is my new goal. But how to deal with your cleaning-impaired partner? I have a few reluctant spouse tricks that I feel I have to share. Note: these are particularly relevant if you have a partner or roommate that suffers from depression. Related Post How to blend two schools of thought about cleaning under one roof I try to do daily cleaning until I get behind and overwhelmed. Then he will take a weekend and do a massive cleaning. We both... Read more 1. Be sure the depression is being addressed and dealt with as best as possible. A person's mental health is the absolute biggest priority. Yes, having a clean, welcoming space does help with the depression for some people, including my husband. But if he was to be unmedicated and his depression was running rampant again, making him clean would be the least of my priorities. You can't bully someone into participating in life. I learned that the hard way. 2. Choose your times wisely. This goes in line with the previous point. My husband is on anti-depressants, and they are AMAZING — they've changed our lives, and quite frankly saved our marriage. But shit happens. Pills get missed or forgotten on trips, etc., and he'll inevitably have a mini-period of depression after a day or two. Being his closest buddy, I can see those times coming from a mile away and I Leave Him The Hell Alone. And I DON'T choose those times to address the state of the house. I also don't get on him when it's finals time, when he's really sleep-deprived, or hungry as shit, because it would do no good. And when I say I don't get on him, I mean I don't even MENTION cleaning. Not even very nicely. Not even as a joke. (Oh god, don't joke at those times.) This too shall pass. That's my mantra. 3. No shaming, no joking, no passive aggressiveness. If you have an issue with someone you live with, just talk to them. Just do it. Wait until the time seems okay and give it a try. And if it's not a good time, WAIT. People have to be receptive to it, otherwise it does no good. 4. Let reluctant partners choose their own tasks. My husband is awesome at the dishes: he likes doing them, so that's his deal. He likes to vacuum as well. He loves fixing broken stuff. I let him do all of that, and I deal with the other things. It makes for a more harmonious union, I swear. 5. NO MARATHONS. Thank you, UFYH! Without you, I would never have realized that our biggest issue was my attempts at marathoning cleaning. Now I know that it doesn't work, and it only leads to burnout. I have distinct manic periods where I have to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. I've learned to reel those in for my own sanity, and it's helped with the partner cleaning as well. I never knew I was intimidating him and making him dread cleaning when I marathoned. Now, I know. Instead, we do Task, then Break. And we pick small tasks, like dishes, garbage, clean one surface… stuff like that. My home has never been so wonderful. I swear. I owe so much to Unfuck Your Habitat. Thank you! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Moni I'm a 30-year-old perpetual student, studying to be a teacher (at the moment). I'm married, a Washington State native, and I'm a mom to two fluffy furbabies and a nanny to two great boys. My house comprises all things geeky and wonderful, as does my blog. http://rainydaycraftexplosion.tumblr.com/ PREVIOUS Of family, fear, and Freezy-Pops: on visiting my daughter at school after I transitioned from Daddy to Mommy NEXT Work clothes that aren't made by little hungry children putting in 18 hour days Show/Hide comments [ 56 ] I love these tips. I'm in the reluctant partner category, but I think people like me could approach our partners with these ideas. I want to add a little something to #2: Give advance notice when you want some chores done. It drives me nuts when my family randomly decides that NOW is the time to clean. More often than not, I just settled in to relax. So we agree to get started in a half hour or hour and detail what we expect to be done. Then I can wind down my other activities and not be such a grump. 28 agree Reply "Give notice when you want some chores done" What a great idea! Oh man, I was happy to do my chores at home as a kid/teen when given some notice, but the parents often insisted I do them NOW, not after I'd finished whatever I was already in the middle of doing at the time. Had I been given a half hour's notice it wouldn't have been such a struggle. When I moved out, my roommate and I were happy so long as the chores we were each responsible for got done "sometime that day", with the obvious exception of Guests Are Coming Over. Way less stressful. Works pretty well with Husband too. Respecting each others time management system goes a long way. 10 agree Reply My husband has ADD, so when I ask him to do something, he'll say yeah, lemme just finish this real quick (which is usually a tv show or video game) and then completely forget in 5 minutes. So I have to ask him several times, which is nagging, which makes me feel like I'm his mother. I usually ask him to do small things like the litter box or put the laundry in the dryer while I'm making dinner and cleaning the kitchen. It doesn't get done and I end up angry because I'm doing all this work and he's sitting on the couch. I've told him how I feel and have suggested he just do the chore right away, but nothing works. Anyone have any tips? 6 agree Reply Maybe it would help if he wrote himself a note right when you told him and stuck it in a prominent place? 4 agree Reply Agreed–try writing it down (or having him write it down). Would it also help to have him schedule out the work or structure it a bit more? Then he would know he's responsible for all of the laundry and could make a plan to get it done on his own terms. Or he's always the one to clean the litter box, so he can decide when and how he does it. Maybe a chart/list to divide up responsibilities would help since then he'd be clear on what he had to do. This also comes with a bit of letting go for you… being at peace with the fact that things may not always get done on your timetable (or your way), but at least the responsibility is shared. Also, perhaps split the chores so that he suffers the "consequences" of not getting the work done. For instance, my husband and I both procrastinate on laundry… so he washes his clothes and I wash mine. That way if I don't get it done only I suffer and it doesn't affect him. 10 agree Oh nagging! *sigh* At the beginning of our relationship, I had a HUGE talk with Husband about nagging. "Nag" is one of those words that'll shut me down. Whenever anyone uses the word "nagging" it's a bad thing and I don't want to be a bad thing. I don't want to feel like I'm nagging either, because then I'm shutting down myself! But all these marriage books/blog/podcasts/WHATEVER were like: "and YOU, wife, never, EVER nag because if you do, you will fail at marriage and piss off your husband SO much, he'll never want to have sex with you EVER again!" So I talked about how I HATE the word nag, how much I DON'T WANT to nag, but my nag threshold is asking him twice and I need him to do this job already, so I'm not going to ask again, but I am going to get progressively annoyed the longer he doesn't do the job! ARGH!!! *rage* Anyway, the thing that changed all this was when he said (and this is proof he's awesome and The One and my True Love) "if you're needing to nag me, then I'm the one who has to change". And he also gave me permission to nag if he wasn't doing a particular job he said he'd do. Now we have a system where I give him time, be sensitive to stresses in his life and generally am patient. But I'm also allowed to nag. It took 4 months fr the outside light to get changed and YES, I totally nagged. And his response was to be totally apologetic and eventually GET IT DONE DAMNIT! I love my husband. Also, I second writing this: "Maybe it would help if he wrote himself a note right when you told him and stuck it in a prominent place?" Maybe stick it on his forehead? 4 agree Reply i feel conflicted about "nagging" too. i don't want to fall into the trope, but i also think the word has been used to dismiss women when they are upset about bearing most of the household chores burden. it can be hard to separate! 26 agree I'm totally like your husband. My partner will say "Hey can you put away the dishes?" and I'll say "Of course, let me just finish reading this thing". Flash to 10 minutes later and I've completely forgotten about it or I'll remember it, but not till 5 hours later. It drives her up the wall. I know this and I try to be better, but it's a struggle and I often don't succeed. She's learned that if she really wants it done soonish than she needs to have my full attention, to write it down, and have clear expectations as to when she wants it done. (Just to be clear I do do some chores on my own, but not as often as she'd like since she has a lower tolerance for mess). The key we've found is structure. So we put a whiteboard on the fridge and if we want the other person to do something we put it under their name. So I'm in charge of laundry and if my partner is running low on T-shirts, she'll put it on my list. She'll also say that to me, but the list is helpful reminder. We both have agreed that things on the list will be done within a few days. The knowledge of the expectation and the visual reminder all help me remember to do things. We haven't gotten this organized recently, but if you can set up a regular chore time (for both of you) with specific chores to be accomplished than I know that really helps me actually get things done as well. I hope that helps! 4 agree Reply My husband has ADD as well. He grew up in a fairly disorganized house with little structure, so he also does not *see* the mess that is driving me crazy. But, he sees the dirty dishes and he likes to cook – so he does those things which I am awful at. It works well. Unfortunately it took me a really long time to figure out how to communicate/remind him of things I'd like him to do/he said he would do without nagging. He keeps asking me to make a chart of the things that need done and then we can divide up responsibilities by what we are good at/hate the least. Then he will know that the dishes should be done every evening and I will remember that the bathroom really should be cleaned once a week. But, alas, as much as we talk about this chart, it hasn't happened. Any experience with implementing such a system? 1 agrees Reply We have a white board up with space for each day. Each day has a chore and a load of laundry. It also has somewhere to write down projects we want to do, a groercy list, and small stuff to do, and a list of all the little things that get done right before bed. This helps a lot. We use it to so we don't have to tell each other everything. I also put down what son and I might do or go on the days I'm home with him. I'm engaged to a wonderful guy who has ADD, and this thread is really helpful. I'm going to check for other tips on how to support him with his idea. I have asked my partner to set a reminder on her phone… It's never happened, but it's the only thing I can think of that is totally on her (not me) and is consistent. Reply My husband also is a great procrastinator. But I suspect the problem goes much deeper. He resents a woman telling him anything he should do. Anything he does, he does on his own without consulting. Eventually, I do the things I asked him to do myself. So I work like a man. This he also resents. If you can manage to make the job his own idea, you will succeed. I just don't have the stamina to manage the deceit. It's not in me and not for me. Good luck if you can be helpless little me and get the job done. Reply Absolutely! I'm horrible about standing up randomly and announcing, "WE MUST CLEAN IT ALL!" That can be so intimidating. 4 agree Reply haha, my line is, "I'M SICK OF LIVING IN FILTH!" 9 agree Reply Mine too! hahah 1 agrees Reply Be careful with that one! My mom said that all the time growing up, and because she always picked on me as the 'messy one' (ie, constant jokes about it and embarrassing me on purpose) it came across as "YOU did this and I find you disgusting!". My partner sometimes says this now,and although he's not like my mother was, it still triggers the same thoughts! 5 agree Reply For me, following Unfuck Your Habitat was totally overwhelming and like a constant guilt-trip (I have guilt issues.) For those that tend to get overwhelmed with an inundation of info (or for those who, like me, can't be motivated by anything external, ever,) get familiar with the fundamentals, then figure out how to make yourself do it. They have lots of tags, tips and FAQ posts, so use it more as an info resource rather than following it. 6 agree Reply Y'know, I can completely see where you're coming from – UFYH is one of those things where you just have to have the right personality for it to really truly click. But it's really cool that you've found a way to still use the info! 1 agrees Reply I also do not respond to the guilt-tripping. Realizing that it is geared toward self-identified lazy people and my issues are medical, not laziness really helped me to realize that it is simply not for me. I can ignore much of the guilt and use the stuff that works (20/10's, mostly), but I don't follow the blogs or anything anymore. Reply I love UFYH! It's helped me streamline my mornings a lot. So when stuff happens, like waking up way late, I don't have to stress out and I can salvage my mornings from the jaws of despair. I also love sharing how awesome it is — I told a friend about it, and although she's never eve looked at the blog she's started making her bed (excuses are boring!) putting away laundry right after it's done, and doing dishes before bed! The blog can definitely be life-changing in a really positive way. 4 agree Reply EXCUSES ARE BORING. *insert sparkly gif here* 2 agree Reply My husband should write for UFYH! He's the total opposite of this articles author: neat freak! I can't even leave an unread newspaper around for more than a day before it gets to him lol. Reply One thing that worked out great for my family and I is to have a set cleaning day, once you get the spaces clean, it is easy to keep them clean if you just both come home and everyone knows what their tasks are and one day a week; before you do anything else you come home and clean, it takes less than an hour and it KEEPS the house clean. You have to make a habit of it though and rotating shifts and shift work can make it hard. But it can be done! Reply I've always been messy. We did manic cleaning in our house and when it was just me it wasn't so bad. I'd clean up and have life in order for a while and if I had to wash a fork so I could eat, well, whatever. Dude is also kinda a slob. He didn't ever learn how to clean up properly and I don't think he even participated in manic cleaning. Together, we were a bomb zone. I couldn't take it. Occasionally he couldn't take it. We'd each initiate or undergo manic cleans at different times. Rarely when it actually was convenient. Thanks to Offbeat Home I've discovered that doing small bits is way better. My dude is just now getting brought in on the cleaning up our lives thing so we're going to start with a list on the fridge. That way he can see what needs to be done and be reminded. His hours are wonky due to being a student so that visual checklist will hopefully help him learn to see messes. I totally agree about picking your times though. The joke thing I'm working on too. Too true that making a joke of a mess does not work while just a quick "Can you do this household task please?" sometimes does. As long as it's immediate and not out of his memory by the time he gets up in the morning. 2 agree Reply It's funny about the joking – I said no joking in my post, but honestly, there are times that I can tease him or whatever. They DO exist. It's just – even if he laughs along with me, it's not going to help the situation at all. Shit will just continue on. Lists help SO MUCH. Merry is so much better with the list – it's likely because of his ADHD that goes right along with the aforementioned depression. Reply Yeah, the joking. I could never put my finger on it until just now, why I would get so upset with Groom about cleaning. I know if it weren't for me, he'd have a clean house. It drives him nuts, and every time he makes a comment about it, it feels like an attack to me, so it drives me nuts. I think it comes down to being sensitive. I don't think he sees it as a criticism of me when he laments how messy the house is, but I feel almost like it's an affront to my wifeness. I get the same way with weight. He mentions vegetables, and I feel like he's calling me fat. (I'm the worst sitcom stereotype sometimes, but it's true.) 2 agree Reply My partner and I are both pretty clean people, but sometimes the mess still gets worse than we are comfortable with. One thing that's helped is to identify our different cleaning styles and rhythms. If I have the sudden need to clean the kitchen and he's trying to relax in front of the TV, I'll clean and he'll relax. I trust that he'll do his share some other time… like an evening when I'm too exhausted to even move from the couch. My partner also tends to express mild anxiety by going on a cleaning binge and getting upset when I don't take part. It was so helpful when our counselor finally helped us see the root of these binges (and fights) had nothing to do with cleaning. Now I know to respond to the underlying issue instead of the cleaning. And of course, it's also important to feel and show gratitude. My partner takes care of all sorts of tasks that aren't directly related to the house (bank visits, car repair, yardwork, family care). I make an effort to notice these things, and to thank him for everything he does. He does the same for me, and it makes a big difference in motivating us and keeping us close. 2 agree Reply "My partner also tends to express mild anxiety by going on a cleaning binge and getting upset when I don't take part." I totally do this 12 agree Reply i totally do the anxiety leads to cleaning thing, and my wife always assumes that it means i'm upset that she is not taking part. what it actually means is "anxiety makes me manic and i need an outlet and to feel productive". unfortunately we haven't worked out an understanding on this yet (somehow anxious and manic plus upset and worried doesn't lead to good conversation skills. who knew?). 8 agree Reply I used to do that too – luckily, that's something I nipped in the bud even before UFYH. I didn't need the Internet to know that it was a shitty thing. :/ Still, when it's how you were raised… it was a tough habit to break. 2 agree Reply On another note, joking does work for us sometimes. If I try to have a serious discussion about it, we can both end up getting upset. Sometimes I will pick up something (a pair of dirty socks on the floor, for example), show them to my partner, wave my finger in an exaggerated way, and say, "No, no!" as I put them away. We both end up laughing instead of getting mad, and then when he puts stuff away without my doing that, he gets to exaggeratedly pretend he is so proud of himself and show me what he is doing. It is silly, but it gets the socks in the washer both ways and makes us less angry! 5 agree Reply My tactic so far is to do marathon cleaning while Hubby is off playing D&D with his buddies. When he comes home to a mostly clean house, I tell him a few things that I left for him to do. He gets them done over the course of the next week. And then he does dishes most nights. 1 agrees Reply My tactic up until now has been marathon cleaning with a bit of daily and weekly cleaning with the basics. And then I get crazy and we do a GIANT full-on marathon clean much to my husband's annoyance. I hate it too because it's stressful and tiring, and I feel like I'm being forced to clean because it's too disgusting NOT to clean at that point. We just get lazy about certain things. Me with the laundry (clean clothes EVERYWHERE and piles of dirty laundry waiting for DAYS to be done), and him with vacuuming weeks without a vacuum, and we can see the grey piling up in the corners of the carpet. And then we're both bad about unloading and loading the dishwasher, plus organizing! We both need a kick in the pants so that we don't become dirty wild animals living in forests of dirty laundry and dust. Reply I LOVE UFYH! I'm already tidy, but it's a great way to remind me that actually, that pile of crap could, in fact, be dealt with *now*! As another tip- my best so far (and I fuck it up all the time!) is remembering that my husband is not a mind reader. He literally does not see the things the way I see them, so passive aggressiveness does not work. However, a simple "can you please take the garbage out" actually works every time! Huh! Who would have thought, right?! 4 agree Reply OMG thank you!! The boy and I have been living together for about 2 years and neither of us is a particularly great housekeeper (read: "I have to clean this shit again?!?") We tend to go in cycles- ranging from reasonably clean to fuck, this place is gross. The boy, too, has issues 'seeing' messes. I wonder how he can't see the spooge on the bathroom counter, or the pile of purple bedding that the rats threw out of their cage last night, but, I digress. We've had some measure of success by dividing the most hated chores- laundry and dishes. I do the dishes, and he hits up the laundromat- the catch is that he puts the clean dishes away, and I put the clean clothes away, that way it's broken up into smaller, more manageable tasks. I still do the majority of the daily picking up around the apartment, (cause it's gross to have cat food on the floor always) but he's very good about setting aside an hour or 2 once a month to do a hardcore cleaning. Having a studio apartment keeps the marathoning to a minimum, thankfully. But, yeah.. better tactics are always welcome.. ramble, ramble, the house is a mess, ramble.. Reply I'm blind to messes until I've resolved inner issues. What helps is when I have something for perspective, visiting a friend's home, going to Ikea, or seeing a picture of our apt clean. Maybe having a visual reminder of how great being mess-free is? 1 agrees Reply Clean house pictures FTW. Next time I do a marathon cleaning I am going to take pics of what the rooms look like all sparkly. Then I am going to post them in a big montage somewhere…as "inspiration" 2 agree Reply I really need UFYH. I have come to admit (finally) that I am a messy person. =( I just have so many "better" things to do! It's made much worse by the fact that my ex was a neat-freak and just cleaned everything before it got messy. I barely did anything – just my laundry. When we broke up and I moved into my own place I realized I hadn't washed a single dish in FOUR. YEARS. Talk about a rude awakening. So now my house is messy most of the time. It's so frustrating to do a whole-day marathon clean and it seems that within a few days it's already too messy to have people over. Reply This post came exactly when I needed it. I've always been messy. My husband has always been messy. We've been married for about 2 1/2 years and now have an 18-month-old who is very messy. And I'm six months pregnant. My partner always wants to "take a day" and clean the house. Umm,no. I don't want to devote my entire Saturday to cleaning the disaster area that is our apartment. Plus with a toddler, that means finding a babysitter because a whole day of cleaning isn't going to happen with him around. I've been too exhausted with my pregnancy to fight with this. This might just be the help we need! 1 agrees Reply I love UFYH, but thankfully I haven't let our new place get to the point where it needs unfucking. I'm a big proponent of "doing things while doing other things" when it comes to cleaning, which helps me feel like I haven't done nothing *but* cleaning all day, while still actually getting a lot done. so, I'll empty the dishwasher while the coffee is brewing in the morning, take towels back where they belong after a shower in transit to my hairbrush, etc. a lot of these things I do on autopilot now and I barely even notice doing them! 2 agree Reply The joke comment definitely hit home. I catch myself doing that with my husband, and while it isn't intended to be hurtful, the fact is it is passive aggressive and puts him on the defensive, undermining a conversation that needs to be had. 4 agree Reply I too am prone to passive-aggressiveness or sarcasm…so I'm trying to work on that. Our big issue is dishes. When we started dating, we sort of had a standing agreement that if one person cooked supper, the other would do the dishes. That went fine until we moved in together. I'm the primary cook, so be default he'd be the primary dishes person. I make it easy for him by washing all of the prep dishes while I'm letting things cook, so all he has to do is the actual pot or pan that the food is in, and our actual dinner plates/silverware. *sigh* Somewhere along the way he decided that he CAN'T do dishes right after eating. Which means they sit…and then he's too close to bed to do the dishes…so they sit until morning, but then he has to go to work! Next thing I know, it's time for me to cook again, and the dishes are still there from the night before. Argh! Anyway, where the sarcasm comes in is me saying, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I forgot that you're the only person on the planet with that strange health condition that doesn't allow you to do the dishes on a full belly…" Probably no good for our communication…I'm working on it. My new solution now is to just not make dinner until last night's dishes were done, unless he had a good excuse (like he was called out to work an emergency the night before, and then worked all day). The way to a man's chore motivation is through his stomach. 1 agrees Reply Two things you need to know about UfYH– 1) Don't ask about time zones. 2) Don't ask about the Android App. Everything else is fair game…maybe you'll get a sparkly glitter .gif! 4 agree Reply I agree with marathon cleaning. It's terrible and horrible and means things that NEED TO MOVE NOW pile up until cleaning day. BLEH! For the last 2 months though, Hubs and I have been doing CLEANING BLITZes!!!!! YAY! When we get home, befre ANYTHING else (like sitting down) we clean for 20 mins. It could be a couple of small jobs like tidying the table, cleaning the toilet, wiping down the bathroom sink. Or 1 big job like taking in the laundry, putting away the dishes, vacuuming, etc. The messiest thing that day GETS CLEANED which makes me feel WAY better about the state of the house. And it's kind accumulative too; all week the house is kinda clean and tidy. I say all this recognising that we have no children and our pets are chickens: always outside. 2 agree Reply This is what works for me – I set a timer for 20 minutes, put some great upbeat music on, and rock out the cleaning until the timer goes off. It's AMAZING what you can get done in 20 minutes! If I still have energy and desire, I do it again. If I would do it every day my apartment would actually be clean! Reply Having set jobs and timeschedules for the big house keeping jobs works for my husband and I, we know what we are responsible for and when it has to be done by. e.g. kitty litter NEEDS emptied before bedtime on Monday night because the garbage man comes at the asscrack of dawn on Tuesday. I am responsible for doing laundry – he is responsible for putting it away I cook, he washes up. However – we have just hired a cleaning lady, BEST weekly expense EVER Reply and amusingly, having a cleaning lady makes us TIDIER people – we have to have it tidy so that she can clean! 7 agree Reply Is this only available for iPhone and iPad? Android pleaseee Reply Nevermind, it says the app for Android is in the works! Reply You can also follow on Tumblr or subscribe via google reader or RSS reader of your choice, until the Android app is done! Reply YAY! I had heard of UfYH before, but with reading this article, then heading over there, I got some major inspiration to do some unfucking today. Which lead my husband to do some major unfucking when he got home after work. It is still a work in progress but is soooo much better! Thank you! I have a disability, and most importantly, am a lazy sad-sack, so I can only do it in increments. But, that's okay! Doing it in increments and over time is better than being completely overwhelmed and then not doing anything. Reply For a similar, but different take on things, FlyLady is my girl. One idea that she promotes that I think is applicable to almost any home cleaning philosophy is to get a timer and set it to 10 minutes a day to work on one of your 'zones'. When the timer beeps, you stop. This helps you to keep on top of things without getting overwhelmed by having to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! 1 agrees Reply This reminded me of FlyLady too! Except (In my opinion) better. As silly as it sounds, what puts me off FL is the excessive mauve theme, Eric Dodge and his bleeding cowboy font, and the perky-menopause feeling. I hate that stuff, and I always felt awful because I love the idea. Love it. I grew up with FL and the Zones, and I continue to do them, but I resent it. UFYH is really similar, but it has a different feel to it, which I appreciate. Reply OMG UFYH is like FlyLady without the syrup. That's awesome. As a child of hoarders, the basic ideas behind FlyLady saved my home and probably made it possible for my marriage to succeed. But I always feel awkward introducing some of my offbeat friends to FL because she's sickeningly sweet (although I think we can all do with a little more loving of ourselves). UFYH looks like a good alternative resource. Most of the basics are the same. 2 agree Reply I definitely have a lower tolerance for mess than my husband, and my problem is it bugs me when he doesn't notice smaller stuff (beard hair when he trims, kitty litter on the floor, etc). I used to let it bother me until I realized he just doesn't see those things. I talked to him and now he knows to just wipe, sweep, etc regardless if he sees a mess, that he should always assume there is a mess. It's worked wonders! 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Participate in this conversation via e-mail No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.