You’re Messy, He’s Not: How To Make It Work When You’re Living Together

January 15, 2016  |  
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Image Source: Tumblr.com

Image Source: Tumblr.com

Having different standards of cleanliness can tear a couple apart. You may think that your partner could never leave you over a few dirty dishes and if you think that, you must be the messy one! For clean people, their clean home is their sanctuary. If you mess with it, they start to associate you with feelings of anxiety and anger, instead of joy and comfort. So if you’re messy and he’s not, here’s how to make it work.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Have less stuff

I get it. You’re a collector of fine clothing. So am I. Oh, and shot glasses that carry incredible memories. And anything found at a yardsale because it was one dollar how could you say no? But, ask yourself how long it’s been since you used each object. If it’s been over half a year, get rid of it.

Pixabay.com

Pixabay.com

Why it helps

The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to leave out plain and simple. When you live by yourself, you can hoard all you’d like. When you move in with a tidy guy, it’s time to kiss the bag made entirely out of plastic eyeballs goodbye.

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Leave nothing for later

Hey, you know you’re going to get to those dishes from lunch. You know you’ll have a nice pocket of time to clean them when you’re waiting for your dinner mess to be completed. But you may have to start cleaning messes as you make them.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Why it helps

Your partner doesn’t know about this secret and complex delayed cleaning system in your head. If he sees you dirty a dish and leave it where it is, he feels like you just don’t care.

 

 

 

 

 

Messy Office Desk, Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Have a mess area

Just like kids have their craft areas or their play rooms, you need your mess area. Claim one random closet, or an extra bedroom (if you’re ballers) and call that your mess area.

 

 

 

"Woman in home office"

visualphotos.com

Why it helps

If you have a mess area, then you have a place you can toss the clothes you’re not ready to fold yet, and he has a place he knows never to look at if he’d like to avoid a stroke.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Buy the right equipment

Often the reason people are messy is because they just don’t have the equipment to put things away. They don’t think to buy things like shoe racks and storage drawers. Things need a place to go.

source: shutterstock

source: shutterstock

Why it helps

If you consciouly buy items and say to yourself, “This is for mail” and “This is for scarves” then you’ll feel that much more guilty leaving mail or scarves on the floor.

 

 

 

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Clean before you drink

If you do have cleaning to do, get it done before having your first cocktail of the night. In fact, look at a cocktail as a reward.

 

 

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Why it helps

When was the last time Swiffering sounded good when you were buzzed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

woman on cell phone

Shutterstock

Clean while you’re on the phone

Buy a pair of headphones with speakers in them, plug them into your phone, stick that phone in your pocket and make hands-free phone calls. Why? Because you’re going to clean while you chat, now.

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Why it helps

That time spent on the phone was a time you weren’t going to get to hang with your partner anyway, you may as well get another thing done at the same time that would take you away from your partner.

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Set reasonable expectations

Tell your partner that you’re not going to be perfect overnight. Tell him you need time. Set a timeframe by which you’ll be pretty darn clean.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Why it helps

It’s much easier for your partner to handle a small mess if he knows that you’re conscious of it, and you’re working on it. He just needs to know that there is an end to the chaos, so he doesn’t go nuts.

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Point out your progress

If you’re cleaning a surface after eating on it, or sweeping after a little dust blew inside, point it out! Ring your own bell. Show your partner what you’re doing.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Why it helps

Usually clean people just want to know that the messy people are trying. What bothers them most is feeling their partner doesn’t care about their comfort. So make sure he sees the times you care.

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