Housekeepers Question Time!

By Alison July 8, 2010 18 Comments 2 Min Read

If a tent could be considered the microcosm of a house then last weekend only served to prove yet again, that the world is divided up into those of us who are hygiene freaks and those of us who are neat freaks.
While my sister fussed about antibacterial gel and grass in her drinking water, I spent an inordinate amount of time crawling around on my hands and knee’s trying to bring order to a tent stuffed with five peoples belongings before I lost my marbles altogether and went to live up a nearby tree.
At home I barely notice stains on the carpet but get positively uppity if I walk into a room and see a cupboard left carelessly open or a table piled with nonsense. I don’t worry about germs, frown in a fierce fashion at dirt-busting products stuffed full of nasties, and fail to go into meltdown if a day goes by and I haven’t managed a shower. But I can’t think straight in a room where from my rather daft point of view, things are out of place. I have to tidy up before I can tackle whatever the world is about to throw on my plate next.
Don’t get me wrong: the house is hardly crawling in microscopic bugs, I am fastidious about sticking to a cleaning regime that keeps the house relatively spick and span, but I am not over zealous. You won’t find me muttering about the filth on the kitchen floor or lying awake at night stressing about how in the name of all that is holy, I will fit an extra-curricular toilet scrub into a day already bursting with a long list of jobs.
No Missy, not me. I have no fear of a healthy level of grime but can barely tolerate toys on the floor. Early onset middle-age is rendering me blind to dust and bizarrely grumpy about scrunched up towels and books piled in a higgeldy-piggeldy fashion…
But what about you? Are you a hygiene freak or a neat freak? Or are you (bless your long suffering family!) both?? Does your housekeeping rule your life or are there area’s you are happy to let slip? Do you have nightmares about the germs hopping all over your chopping boards or are you all fur coat and no knickers like little old me?
‘Fess Up Housekeepers!


  1. @lalheg says:

    I'm neither – just a slattern, that's me!

    1. Brocante says:

      I think we've already discussed this haven't we Missy?? Lol.x

  2. @lalheg says:

    I'm neither – just a slattern, that's me!

  3. sb girl says:

    I'm like you — clutter makes me crazy, but I can go with dusting and vacuuming and scrubbing just once a week or so. I need to put everything to rights before I can settle down and relax. Cannot think clearly in chaos and certainly can't sleep in a messy room. I think we sometimes go a little nutty over the antibacterial stuff, to the extent that we kill all the "good and helpful" germs along with the bad.

  4. Heather says:

    I am not a hygiene freak. It is hard enough picking up after my 2 kids and husband everyday, that if I was totally obsessive about a bits of dirt and grime, I'd probably go insane. I think our houses are not meant to be museums. They are meant to be lived in. I am a stay-at-home mommy, but my house's appearance is not my whole world. I do not like clutter, but I have to say that I have specific areas where clutter is allowed (shelf by refrigerator for cds, mail, bills, coupons*My husband's bedside table for his stuff-where would I put all of that anyway?*One pair of shoes per person can live by any outgoing door as long as they are lined up neatly*etc.) I do have a routine cleaning that I do every week for the house, but if my kids have left a smear of toothpaste on the counter or if there are fingerprints on the light switches I don't run immediately for the antibacterial spray. We are a pretty clean family with good grooming habits. I don't think anyone is going to contract the plague while living here. That being said, whenever we have company over, I do clean the house as if it were a museum. I can't have anyone I know think I am not the perfect housewife 🙂

  5. The Mrs says:

    Ohhh, I am the neat freak. With four pets in the house who has time to mop the floors everyday? Especially after eight hours at the office since my little foray into handmade goods hasn't yet inclined me to be a stay at home wifey… I can not stand when the pillows are askew on the sofa or if the newpaper is two days piled up on the dining table… the horror!

  6. debi says:

    I do have to keep my kitchen counters relatively clean, but when it comes to dust, and dog hair on the floor, I'm a slacker.
    But, like you, if I walk into a room and find a pillow out of place, or shoes on the floor, I find myself grumbling. Neat freak here!
    My recent post I Think Im Back-

  7. Leslie Anne says:

    Honestly, with things in most rooms piled everywhere, there's really no way to "dust" or "clean". I have gone through some things, rearranging others and am seeing some headway with help from the Trash It or Treasure It program. I may not do everything it says, when it says it, but it is keeping me going nonetheless. (Thank you Alison!) I can't wait for the day when I will be able to get to the window sills to wipe them down and scrub the windows inside and out (although I still can't for the life of me, figure out how to get the screen part out & then back in again!) And to run the vacuum cleaner – what an accomplishment that will be!
    But to answer the question, I've only ever been a neat freak when a girlfriend and I got our first apartment. VERY few belongings + barely any money = not much to do. So I'd go around constantly cleaning (she'd complain because I was always emptying her ashtrays and cleaning them out, and they were never where she left them!) But I yearn for the times when I owned next to nothing and even a small apartment seemed spacious. I would much rather have a neat but lived-in home, than a sterile environment. I don't want anyone to ever come into my home and be afraid to sit down or leave a smudge on something. Of course right now, with 3 dogs (one of whom sheds hideously) along with the accrued mess here, I wouldn't invite anyone over anyway. I WILL go outside to speak to someone if I must. But no one comes in. (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome – CHAOS, per FlyLady)
    Leslie Anne

  8. Kelly says:

    You have just described me to a tee! Perhaps we are long lost sisters Alison 🙂

  9. Diane says:

    HA, that made me laugh, I used that word to describe myself to my husband just a few hours ago! I have a sink full of sterling silver knives waiting to be hand washed since the 4th of July!! (Nobody knows me here). John said do you think that I will eventually take care of this if you wait long enough? Because you know I will. I hide the fact that I may not of had a shower that day from my sister. She would DIE. I like neatness 🙂 and prettiness. Plus I just spent a large fortune at the Bath and Body sale so I do smell good. But if my husband is near the cutting board with raw meat I GET INVOLVED 🙂

  10. Sasha says:

    Uh oh……… I'm afraid I am both (yep, there is a touch of OCD in the family just to add to the mix!) I drive my husband crazy with my obsessive need to plump all the cushions and position them just so before we go to bed, or leave the house, when he has only just lifted himself off them. Worse still, I will even re-do them when he has 'done them' as they are never like I would do them………. I know, I know……. I'm with your sister with the anti bac hand gel and/or wipes wherever we go (again, my family roll their eyes at me on a regular basis!!). And I get through a bottle of Dettol anti-bac spray a week……. I even take a mini travel spray bottle of it decanted into wherever we go on holiday, travel on the ferry etc. Can you even imagine what I was like during the swine flu epidemic?????!!!!
    Having said all this though, I can also be very all-or-nothing, for instance my husbands office is so full of clutter and piles of paperwork and 'stuff' everywhere, that I haven't even attempted to clean, and so we now have thick layers of dust all over it too – and though it is bugging the HECK out of me, I don't know where to start, so it has been left I'm afraid. That's what doors are for right?? So you can shut it and pretend it's not there!
    Is there a category for me??????

  11. Wendy says:

    My eldest daughter laughed so loud when I read this out to her. We must be twins seperated by the Atlantic ocean!!! Grime is ok in my book. It keeps us sane, really, to not have to wash our hands every 30 seconds. Doctors and nurses get special dispensations for the jobs they do! Dust is my special friend!
    But to have an open cupboard or a coffee cup out of place really gets me ranting. We have very limited space, 1200 sq. ft., with no real room to be had for all of our prized goodies to be left out. 4 people who leave shoes in the living room means there is no floor space left to walk on!
    So, all of that to say…I guess I am very much like you Alison! (And we are ok!!!!)

  12. Rosemary says:

    I am so HAPPY that I'm not a freak ! dust and cobwebs do not bother me,but a drawer hanging open or things put away in the wrong place DRIVE ME INSANE !!

  13. laney says:

    ..oh my…i have a long suffering family…

  14. laney says:

    ..oh my…i have a long suffering family…

  15. Joan says:

    Clutter makes me nuts–and I've got three little boys to pick up after (one of them's my husband)….grime/dirt I can live with as long as it doesn't start crawling…toilets tho are another thing–especially when boys cannot aim very well! I've got to wipe the toilets down with disinfectant wipes (whoever invented those is a godsend!)

  16. Amy F. says:

    Oh, dear. I am most definitely a neat freak. I let the hygiene slip — who says I must shower each and every day?! A little dirt never hurt the little girl… she'll just develop a healthy immune system! Oh, but how I do hate a dish put away in the wrong spot or a pair of shoes left abandoned under the table.

  17. Sarah R. says:

    I am absolutely a neat freak. I wish I could keep everything perfectly sanitary and perfectly neat, but I can't see germs. So if something has to get put off for a day, it's the hygiene.

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