Clean mess or Dusty order: Incompatible or complementary?

I’m not sure whether my husband and I should be called incompatible or complementary, at least with respect to our housecleaning styles.  If we ever get divorced (having survived the last 30 years together) it will likely be due to these irreconcilable differences: he is happy with clean mess, whereas I prefer dusty order.

Three days after our return from Japan, Husband jetted off to Europe to visit his parents. So I am alone for a few weeks, and planning each day to do things that I don’t dare do when he is around. I’d tell you about them, but then he might read about it! Normally he is not interested in this blog, but he might decide to show it to someone over there and notice what I’m up to!

The first thing I did upon his departure was remove a 10-foot long 14-inch wide, irregularly shaped piece of flooring from our family room, where it has resided for about 3 years and annoyed me daily. He might ask, somewhat sensibly, why I didn’t remove it before. However, you need to understand the marital dynamics, and I don’t think you are really that interested, so I won’t try to explain. That flooring is now in the crawlspace so Husband can still do whatever he might have had planned for it.

I have many similar revolutionary activities in mind. Tomorrow is garbage day, so I’ve enjoyed myself by filling the garbage cans. I am easily entertained! Normally he is the person who puts the cans out, and he gets a last chance to retrieve things he wants to keep. Tomorrow, I get the last laugh. (I know, folks, my pleasure is petty and pitiful.)

My husband and I are, in theory, complementary with respect to housework. He is very fussy about dust and dirt, and cannot understand my tolerance, at least for dust. I am fussier about order and having a designated place for everything. When we are working well together, the house is is immaculate and we are happy.  When we are not working well together, the house is dusty AND disorganized and we are both probably annoyed. I absolutely hate it when he insists on vacuuming on Christmas Day. I keep nagging him to put things away in their proper places first, so then the cleaning/vacuuming will be easier. He doesn’t appreciate my advice.

Currently, half the house is clean and orderly, and half the house is a disaster. Here is a good room. I cannot bring myself to post a photo of the “storage room.” After I get the “storage room” cleaned up move all the junk from that room to the crawl space, I won’t be able to show you the crawl space. There’s nowhere to go after that – we’ll have to get a dumpster for the driveway.

Hmmm. I could almost have tidied AND vacuumed the house in the time it has taken to write and re/re/re/rewrite this blog post.

Here are some excellent tips I wish I had thought of. I especially agree with #4.

5 thoughts on “Clean mess or Dusty order: Incompatible or complementary?

  1. Oh my God! Your husband picks things you’ve thrown out of the garbage too! I thought I was the only one this happened to. It makes me crazy that I throw something out only to have it reappear in the house later. Sometimes I even bury things in the garbage can so he won’t notice it.

    • By “bury things”, I expect you mean that you wet them down and pack them in a plastic bag with the meat wrappers, right? However, then you must be careful that the raccoons don’t get into it and expose your plot. As a last resort you can take things to work and dispose of them there. However, depending on the items, that could be even more difficult to explain!

  2. I haven’t buried things with as much detail as you suggested, but I did tuck some things into the bags of kitty litter in the garbage. Never thought of bringing the items to work to dispose of. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    • Haha. There seem to be a lot of similar ones out there! I am having a fab time. Currently I’m recovering an old sofa with 4 different animal print fabrics. That will be a surprise when he gets home!

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