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Did you ever (poke) wonder what it (poke) is like for a cleanie (poke poke) living in the same house with (poke) a messie? I’d imagine (poke) it’s just like living with someone just randomly poking you all__the__time.

The clutter doesn’t bother us, we have the ability to just tune it out.  But when you’re a cleanie, that’s just not possible for you.  And every piece of paper, cup, and all that clutter everywhere they look is just one more poke to them.

photo credit: megan leetz via photopin cc


I think most Moms can easily relate to that. How many times have you had one of your kids who is just pestering you like that and is getting on your last nerve?   You know, that kid who says mommy. Mommy. MOMMY! about one thousand times until you think your ears are going to bleed. Or the one who kicks the table leg or snaps her gum for the 85th time? How hard was it to just not snap back at them?

That’s exactly the way your cleanie partner feels about your situation when he or she has to come home to a messie house day after day.  It doesn’t feel comfortable to them and it isn’t a place where they can truly relax and be comfortable.  I feel that way, when I am in a house that is hospital-grade clean.  I just feel tense because I think I’m going to mess something up if I so much as breathe.

If you love someone, why would you want to do that to them? They have probably been trying to tell you about it for years, and you’ve just ignored them or discounted their feelings. But think about it for a moment. This is their HOME – it’s the only place they have where they can go to unwind at the end of the day.  If there is no corner of the house anywhere that they can have the peace and beauty they crave – that’s just sad.

Maybe you can’t change your messie ways 100% (or maybe you can?) and you probably shouldn’t have to.  But maybe you could start being a more considerate partner to the cleanie you love. Start talking.  And start listening.  Brainstorm some ideas, talk about some compromises, think outside the box a bit.  Maybe between the two of you, you can come up with a compromise that will provide a comfortable space for both the messie and the cleanie to make it feel like home to both of you.  It’s certainly worth a try, and you both might be happier for it.


Here is a book I recommend by author Sandra Felton – a former Messie herself.  You might find it helpful.

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10 Comments on The Challenge of Living with a Messie

  1. We are all messy here and I am working hard to change that! Its not easy to get back to organization when you have little free time but I am trying to do it little by little!

  2. I’ve always been so grateful that both my husband and I are anti-mess. Of course, that means we need to learn to be a little extra relaxed when family is visiting or staying with us and we don’t go running and cleaning up constantly–because that’s no fun!

  3. I am a cleanie and I hated living with people that are messy! It made me feel exactly like you said.
    I am really lucky in that my husband is mostly a cleanie, except for his gear room, I just close that door and pretend that it doesn’t exist!
    Thanks for sharing, I am visiting from SITS.

  4. I am a cleanie for sure. The hubs isn’t messy but we have had,our struggles trying to adapt. He finally had to just about knock me over the head because I’d pick up warm sodas and throw them away (apparently he likes them just fine, ick!). He has gotten much better about not leaving things laying around because he knows it makes me crazy (ok, it might be self defense because I have to put them away).

    I definitely agree that it takes work to try and find a happy medium that we can both live with

  5. Our problem is that this house has one messie married to another messie, raising three messie juniors! I know I need to get a handle on it for the kids’ sake, so I’m working on it.

    Happy Sharefest!

  6. I’m definitely the cleanie person in my home and I know I get on my husband’s nerves but I’d rather live my way than his way. He’s gotten so much better in the five years we have been together but there are still some things he just won’t stop doing.

    It is tough.

    Visiting from #SITSSHAREFEST

    Keep it Touched,

  7. You have hit the nail right on the proverbial head! It does feel like someone is poking at you throughout the day! I need to print this and place it somewhere my Hubby will find it…LOL

    Great Post! I feel like you spoke straight from my OCD filled mind… 😉

  8. I am a messie but it doesn’t bother anyone else in my home because I keep my messiness in my room. I share a room with my 5yo & its too tedious to clean up after her all day so I just leave her messes until the evening…two days later. #SITSsharefest

  9. To be honest I am kind of a messie and my husband is a cleanie. When he starts threatening to throw things away I usually start cleaning up my mess.

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