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how important is a clean house?

so, my husband and I aren't the cleanest anyway, and when I up my exercise it is usually at the expense of house cleaning. Now, I am not talking health endangering nasty, just dusty, some dishes in the sink, laundry piling up a little bit.
A friend and I recently discussed how highly prized a clean house is, especially among middle class working women, and how hard it is to actually get it done. Plus, when you expect guests and spend two days cleaning baseboards and frantically catching up on laundry, you're supposed to act like it was a breeze when the guests finally arrive.
So my questions are:
When you visit other homes, what do you really think if there is a bit of a mess?
And, for you swinging singles out there, how important are house keeping skills in a potential mate?

Tue. Aug 5, 11:16am

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hope not too important, because it is the LAST thing I want to do with my free time. I am interested to see peers' responses to this.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 11:39 AM

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I am a very clean person, and keep my house respectably clean (about the same as you). I wish for more time to clean, but it's just impossible.

I do spend a good amount of time cleaning for guests, especially if they haven't seen my house before. Clean sheets and towels, shower, toilet, floors, etc

I notice all of these things when I stay over at someone's house. I would even clean something at someone else's house if I felt like it was too gross. But maybe it's because I'm a clean person myself? I get it from my stay-at-home mom - it was her "job" to keep a clean house, and she wanted to be good at her job (and she was).

I also don't hold it against people if there house is a little dirty. I understand peoples' lives and schedules. Life is too short to obsess over the house cleaning.

My BF is pretty tidy, though not always "clean." (ie, his dresser top is cleared off but it's dusty; he'll make the bed but the sheets really need to be washed). I can deal with that, and I think it's helped me lose my anal retentive edge.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 11:46 AM

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I used to be OCD about cleaning my house and expected that from others. I was grossed out if their house was less than perfect. Now, I like to see a little clutter, a dust bunny on the floor, at my friends' houses. Makes me feel like a FRIEND and not a guest when I visit. (However, overnight guests MUST have sterile toilets, showers, sinks, etc.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 12:10 PM

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Thank goodness for visitors or my house would never get *really* clean! haha - kinda...

I like houses (where there are kids, especially) that looked *lived in*. Items are out on the counter, shoes are on the floor, etc. To me it says that a family lives here!

Honestly, when I visit picture perfect houses that are occupied by families I usually assume they're paying a lot to keep their house clean and/or they're obsessive about keeping things clean and picked up - to the point that it's borderline psycho - haha... e.g., they don't allow the kids to do messy activities, they don't have the kids clean up their own toys so they can do it 'right', kids don't get to help in the kitchen b/c it's too messy, the person runs herseld ragged 'keeping house' - i.e., keeping things neat and clean trumps all else! What fun is that :) I'd rather have my kids remembering me for playing soccer and hopscotch with them vs. constantly picking up and cleaning.

That said, my house is picked up and looks great as long as no one takes a really good look at things, especially under furniture! Life is too short! And there are about 1,000 other things I'd rather do than clean dust from my baseboards on a regular basis.

There is a line, though, and I'm sure it's different for all of us. One person's 'lived in' is another person's 'pig sty.'

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 1:00 PM

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1:00pm - I am with you. If I didn't ever have anyone over my house would never get cleaned either!

My husband never helps and seems oblivious to clutter and any type of dirt. (or maybe he just figures that's my "job")
Anyway - I try to keep the clutter at bay but am really bad with the dusting and vacuuming. There are times I would be mortified if anyone were to just drop over... especially if they had to visit the bathroom and I hadn't cleaned up in there yet!
I was much better at keeping up with the basics for a while but you kinda get to the point where you say why bother if nobody but me ever sees it?!?!

When I have lots of company for a big party or for xmas or something like that I take a lot of extra effort to get everything clean as possible.

I do notice dust & things at other peoples houses... but it makes me a little happy to see it because then I know I'm not alone!

And is this just me or what?
My husband likes to hang his jacket on the back of the dining room chair (which is right by the door we use) instead of taking like 10 steps to the closet to hang it up. It drives me crazy.
I also don't mind that he keeps a pair of shoes right there by the door either but does he really need 4 or 5 at any time?! Argh!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 2:05 PM

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I try to keep my house as clean as I can but never at the expense of anything else I'd rather do LOL!

My mother said, no one ever lay on their deathbed wishing they spent more time cleaning their house. I live by that. Things have to be sanitary and the kitchen gets the most attention as it requires the most but what you get at my house is hit - or - miss depending on how busy we have been.

Sometimes my floors are spotless, other times, I'll tell you not to bother taking off your shoes - hard floors give that option LOL.

My house is VERY lived in and I love it. If you have come over to inspect the house - you must have the wrong address b/c no one I know would do that to me! If you are here for a good time - you are at the right house!

Yes I have been caught with an embarrassingly messy house, in which case I'll probably offer a nice cold drink out in the back yard which is probably where I've been spendign all my time if the house is a disaster. I tell people, I don't ever strive for anyone to leave my house and say "wow that place was clean" but I do strive for people to leave having had fun, a good laugh, something delicious to eat and drink and a good visit!

I do laundry once a week and only inbetween if someone desperately needs something - so you bet it's piled up by the end of the week!

I vaccuum about 2 - 3 times a week - I could do it daily but don't have the time or need to dedicate myself to it that way LOL!

I also have a LOT of FUN in life, especially in the summer!!! We often leave our house a big mess as we head out the door for a fun day ... the dishes are so accommodating they ALWAYS wait for us to get home! :P

I am often last thing at night, cleaning up before bed so that at least the new day will start with a resemblence to tidy and orderly LOL! I couldn't live without my dishwasher as it's often up for another hour after I go to bed, finishing the days mess.

...don't even get me started on how much I hate the bathroom and it's constant neediness ...

Once a week the WHOLE family chips in and everything gets cleaned, vaccuumed, dusted and organized ... 1/2 a day later it looks exactly as it did before we started!

A clean house is a sign of a maid or a bored housewife :P and neither live here!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 2:13 PM

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I enjoy cleaning - I have a very mentally taxing job, so coming home and doing something mindless and physical helps me unwind. I can spend an hour or two cleaning the oven, etc... I also enjoy going out, so if friends call, I have no problem dropping everything and walking out the door. Because of this my house is often spotless but sometimes it looks like a tornado hit it and that's ok with me. :-) I also don't have any kids to mess things up, so when I do clean something it stays that way for awhile.

While my own house is usually quite clean, I could care less how tidy/clean/neat/fixed-up/decorated someone else's house is. I'm not friends with people for their houses, I'm friends with them for 'them'. I think this is also because I clean to unwind, and not because I have some *need* for things to be clean.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 2:32 PM

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I like to keep my house "picked up", but do not have it picture perfect. I would love to have more people over I always freak out about having it spotless, but than when I go to someone's house that is spotless I feel so uncomfortable because it is picture perfect and it just makes me feel bad. I always say I want to have people over, but than when we do it stresses the family out before hand...cause of me... I really feel that is "not my gift" but would like to feel more comfortable about doing it. :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 2:57 PM

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I am a super clean and tidy person so my house gets cleaned at least once a week. This includes vacuuming, dusting, the kitchen, bathrooms, mopping, etc. I clean blinds, windows, baseboards, etc about once a month. I have a WONDERFUL husband and we split the chores in 1/2 so it usually just takes about 1.5 hours a week. Doable for us. We have 2 dogs and a cat so the shedding is out of control if we don't do it that often. All laundry is done once a week, usually on Sunday nights.

1.5 hours to me a week isn't bad. We schedule our cleaning each week around our schedules and still find time to go out, work out and relax. I should say that we both work full time and I actually work a part time job on the side. I am the type of person that can't just sit around though, I have to be doing something all the time so I think that's part of it!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 3:12 PM

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When I visit other homes, if there's a bit of a mess, I don't think much of it.

I was at a friend's house this morning. There was a queen-sized mattress on the floor of her living room (her daughters slept on it). Every surface was cluttered. Her house is never clean. She has four kids and as many dogs (an elderly Bassett, an English Bulldog, a medium-sized mongrel, and a Newfie) who live in the house. It smells of dog. I am aware of all that.

But what I thought was how much I missed hanging out with her since she has been working, and how we really needed to get together more, and how much fun she is.

I admire people wtih clean houses who can be relaxed about them. I worry about people for whom cleanliness is a major stressor.

My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.

BTW...maintaining is better than cleaning. When my kids were little there was a time when I actually got on top of all the cleaning, and stayed there for weeks. We were selling our house, and I had a realtor who had the distressing habit of calling from the corner, claiming to be 20 minutes away, asking if I minded if he brought someone by. (He would tell his buying client, "Oh, it's not a problem, she's an impeccable housekeeper." In his mind, any likeable woman was an impeccable housekeeper. He honestly thought I was, simply because he liked me!)

So. There's me with two little boys and a very badly designed house. But I got everything clean and then just followed a routine. I remember the day I was sitting on the couch, where I had been reading since lunchtime. It was around 5. My husband was on his way home from work, my baby was napping, my 4-year-old was playing with some toys, and I had had free time to myself for four straight hours. And I was amazed...because *everything was done.*

Keeping up is so much easier than catching up!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 4:12 PM

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