What happens when a Type A neat freak marries a slightly chaotic tornado? First starters, arguments. It’s difficult when two people’s perceptions of what constitutes a clean room is different. My husband notices every particle of dust and strand of Charlie’s hair, while I can go weeks without noticing the vacuuming needs to be done. (Although, if my husband pairs a tie and shirt that don’t go well together? Well, I notice that immediately.) I’ve been messy my entire life; my family used to call me Pig-Pen, after the dirty kid on Charlie Brown who had a cloud of dirt following him around. I just have other ways I’d prefer to spend my time than cleaning. Of course, this leads to resentment that one person is doing more than the other, which is not a good thing. It’s taken a few years to come to a compromise in this area that we achieved by following these eight tips to keep our home clean (enough) and to spend time enjoying each other rather than arguing over the laundry.
- Don’t worry about chores being split 50/50, split the chores based on free time. I spend two hours/day commuting for work, so clearly I don’t have as much as time to perform housework.
- Assign individual obligations. For example, I am always in charge of laundry and Nathan is always in charge of vacuuming.
- Compromise: I’ll always do a little more cleaning than I’d like but the house will always be a little less clean than Nathan’s ideal. We’ve accepted our fate.
- If you feel really strongly about a certain area, take care of it yourself rather than expecting the other person to do it.
- Get help. So, we may have enlisted the assistance of a house cleaner to come every few weeks to clean the bathrooms. It was the best decision. With both of our busy schedules, it is definitely worth the cost and we no longer argue over who cleans the toilets.
- I’m not suggesting a line of tape down the middle of the room, but having separate areas has helped as well. His and hers sinks are quite possible the best invention ever.
- Understand that cleanliness registers differently with different people. Accept this fundamental trait will likely not be changed.
- Clean together and make it fun (gross, as much fun as cleaning can be).
Now, with clear expectations we argue less, compromise more, and spend more time enjoying each other rather than debating who cleaned what and when.