my own worse enemy

after trying (and failing) to maintain a few standards with housework, i struggled to the kitchen, feeling disheartened, and whilst intending to throw the half cup of unfinished coffee down the sink, i threw it on the clean floor.

then i called myself a tit. son heard me and asked me why so i told him my sorry story and he laughed his head off.

that made me smile.

all’s well that ends well and the house can stay a mess.

c x


…and after he laughed his head off, I’m sure he offered to clean the kitchen for you! :slight_smile:


Housework. Ummm…yeah. I’ve just been attempting some - at gone 10 at night, and no, I’m not on steroids. I don’t think my neighbour’s home, so she won’t care.

Although it was not a resolution, as such, I was attempting to average an hour a day during January, which means I should have done 30 hours by today. Instead, I’ve done 14 - not even half. No, I’m not going to attempt the other 17 by the end of tomorrow, but I did think I’d better try and actually do some, instead of pottering around, moving stuff from A to B, and kidding myself it’s “tidying”.

I tend to do the same (easy) chores over and over, telling myself it doesn’t matter what I do, as long as it’s something, because it all counts - but that means some very minor things are done to death, whilst the big things never get done at all!

For example, the bathroom mirrors (easy) are all clean, even whilst the bathroom floor (challenging) has dust balls and spots of spilt toiletries all over it. So I’m going to have to think up a new system, that doesn’t let me count doing the same easy things ten times as ten hours’ real work!

I’ve just attacked the kitchen, and now don’t feel very well. I expect my next move will be to spill or break something too.



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Tina, you’re beating yourself up, please stop that. You do what I do, counting the smallest thing that you manage to do as a positive, please don’t take that away from yourself, because they ARE positives.

My flat’s dirty, I know it is, I have some pretty INTENSE dust in a lot of places, and plenty of cobwebs; but it’s not disgusting and I’m still going to count any small thing that I manage to do as an achievement. Why you being so hard on yourself girl? i…feel some weird role reversal going on here!

You have so many wise words for all of us, I think you need some for yourself hugs


Thank you, but mine is disgusting, honestly! I’ve had CHAOS (Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome) for years!

I’ve just filled my little robot floor scrubber with cleaning fluid and piping hot water, having carefully vacuumed the floor beforehand (yeah, you need to clean the floor before you let it clean the floor, unfortunately), only to find it WON’T START! Grrrr! I hardly ever use the thing, and when I try, it won’t go!

It moved off, then immediately did it’s “help me” noise, and stopped. And yes, it was charged up - it had only been off charge while I actually vacuumed.

Nevertheless, I thought maybe it’s not holding the charge very well - I’ll plug it back in, and give it a top-up.

Charging light went on, was OK for a few minutes - then did “help me” noises again, and the red service light has gone on.

Looked in the diagnostics, and it said the battery charger has stopped working, which I don’t actually believe!

Gonna have to leave it for tonight, and tomorrow’s job is fault find the floor scrubber - great! I’m hoping it’s just objecting to being too hot, because it’s recently had very hot water in there, and if I leave it overnight, it will play nicely again in the morning.

But am I fuming, having made everything ready for it! Had to clean the worktops as well as the floor, because no point doing the floor if you’re afterwards going to sweep crumbs from the worktops back onto it. I was going to leave it running and go to bed - come down to a shiny floor in the morning. It won’t do it!

I hope it’s not deceased, because the latest model retails at just under £600, and I won’t be getting another, at that price. I’m sure I didn’t pay that for the current one, although it might have been about £300.



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I am with Jellysundae, don’t beat yourself up. I have an advantage as a slovenly boy, my standards and thresholds are lower.

One of the things I put my DLA towards is paying for a cleaner for 2 hours a week. Just getting the hoover out , set up and put away is enough to wipe me out, so I only tend to do one room at a time. My main role is to try and keep my wife fed so I tend to ensure that the kitchen & loo are clean. Everything else (dust included) is window dressing.

good luck getting your kit sorted.




i’d love to have the loo and the kitchen clean!

then again, life’s too short and i’m absolutely certain that not having a clean kitchen won’t feature in my list of regrets!


I love your CHAOS theory

carole x

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Sadly, I cannot take the credit for inventing it - it was in a book I once got by someone nicknamed “The Fly Lady”. It is about getting your house in order, when you’ve let it go for possibly years, and are finding it very daunting.

Actually, it’s a very good book, because it does focus on the fact your house didn’t get this way overnight, and you’re not going to fix it overnight, either, so it sets realistic goals.

But she has some quite strange rules, such as you will get dressed every day, including hair and shoes! Nothing obviously connected with housework, but I suppose you do feel better if you always look fit for business, and are not thinking: “Oh God, please don’t let anyone knock at the door and see me like this!”

Says she - still in dressing-gown, and with unwashed hair and no makeup.




Tell me about it with the hoovering, urgh! I have 2, and neither of them getting plugged in for weeks at a time. I’ll manage one room and that’s it for weeks, and then I’ll manage another room…my hoovers are both original Dysons (DC01 and 02 models) and I joke that they still work because they never get used. But it’s not really a joke, is it. : /

My kitchen has thick carpet on the floor (the joys of rented accommodation!) I’ve recently realised why a clump of hair accumulates at the base of the unit where I chop stuff. It’s just my movement around the room on a daily basis moves shed hair to that area like a tide, and because I’ve not managed to hoover in the kitchen so far this year…hence the accumulation. It’s all I can do to keep the worktop and cooker clean, and try not to end up with every pot and in and the place needing washing up, hoovering ends up way down on my list of things that I’d like to be able to do.

I dropped the soap on the bathroom floor a few days ago (carpet in there too!) and it was coated in hair when I picked it up…I NEED to hoover more, but I know I wont be able to. One hoover is sat plugged in in the upstairs hall at the moment, patiently waiting for me to tackle the bathroom again, a few days ago I did the bedroom floor again, even the bit between the far side of the bed and the wall and by the look of that bit I’d not ventured there for about a millennia or so, the dust formed into little sausage shaped rolls as I tackled it it was that thick. But hey, that bits done now, so it can sit for a few more years…

I too have CHAOS problems, but what can I do? Anyone coming into my home is either family and know my problems, or someone coming to assess me or test me or similar, so they’re aware I have MS too, so if they’re going to judge me because my home’s a mess…shrugs I guess the Tesco delivery guys might notice the dirty carpets, and that there’s ALWAYS washing up to do but I’m past caring. I do what I can to stop the place from sinking to something that would have Kim and Aggie shrieking and that’s the best I can do.

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And I read what you say, also in my dressing gown! I had a bath and did my hair yesterday, there’s the potential that I might wash and dress, or at least get clean pyjamas on before bedtime today, but in reality it’s unlikely. I do get where she’s coming from with the self presentation stuff, but it’s not wholly realistic for people with our combination of issues.

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To be fair, I had the book long before I was ill - or at least, before I realised I was - which is not quite the same thing - but it’s not aimed at people who have a medical reason why they’re struggling, but who procrastinate about it.

With me it’s a bit of both. I was never a “natural” with housework. My mother was somewhat obsessive, even to the point of occasionally throwing away valuable things like season tickets, or even bank notes, because she had only registered that they were “a scrap of paper that shouldn’t be there”, rather than what they actually were.

“Mum, how can you have thrown away my season ticket?”

“Well, I wasn’t to know it was your season ticket - it was just a scrap of paper you left lying around!”

I was determined not to get caught on such a treadmill of obsession and drudgery, so I think I went the other way, and became quite slovenly.

But even so, I would say things have still deteriorated over the years. It has gone from merely: “wouldn’t win any prizes”, to “would actually upset Kim and Aggie”.



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I just recently lost/sacked my cleaner. Poor old love, she’s nearly 76, sold her house last year and moved in with her daughter. I’ve been feeling guilty for the last couple of years that she’s old, had a hip replacement 18 months ago and was still doing her job. She basically decided she was only continuing to work for people she liked but still… and also she wasn’t as good as maybe you want a cleaner to be. But in all honesty, I decided to put her services at an end because I couldn’t face having to get up early on a regular basis. And knowing that she doesn’t really need the money any more made it easy.

If I didn’t have a husband who describes himself as a ‘domestic goddess’, I’d / we’d probably live in a pig sty. There are some things I do, and others that I can’t / won’t. (Most things fall into this category) I manage to keep the bathroom OK by using anti-bacterial wipes. I also occasionally use them on the kitchen sink and worktops. I have absolutely no way of hoovering / washing floors. Luckily the goddess does both, he also does all the washing and ironing, cooking, clearing up, washing up, emptying the dishwasher, putting the rubbish out, etc, etc. In actual fact he was doing all this when we still had a septuagenarian cleaner. The thing that is starting to worry me is the dust though. I can’t seem to persuade him that bookshelves need dusting. It was the only thing she did regularly. Now nothing gets dusted. Oh and as for piles of paper, letters, general stuff, the OH/goddess does tend to leave a trail of those around the house. I just live with mess.

But I do count myself as very fortunate, if I lived alone, I’d be living in a mess plus it would all be filthy. And given the hair problem (you know what I mean Tina!) I’d probably be knee deep in hair within a fortnight.


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Eeee lasses, I do feel for you.

I used to be quite houseproud and would run myself ragged keeping it all just so.


one of the first horrible feelings that hit me, 17 years ago, when this mystery uninvited guest came to visit…and refused point blank to leave…was loss of stamina.

I just didnt know how serious it was, but I would force myself up in a morning, see hubby off and let the dog out into the garden…then desperately sat on the bed, almost turning myself upside down, in an effort to put my knickers on!

I would cry and wonder why the hell it was so chuffin` difficult!

Anyway, moving on to the present day…its a good job my OH was domesticated when we married 44 years ago, cos I do chuff all nowadays. Oh hang on, no I folded a few articles of clean washing this morning. I didnt put them away, cos I cant reach. 2 days ago, I dried some spoons and 2 breakfast bowls!

I feel as though I`ve run a marathon and got 1st place! Hey, everyone…I did some housework!!!

luv Pollx

ps Joan Rivers told a great joke, she said,

You clean the bathroom, change the bedlinen, hoover the rugs......then 6 months later, you have to do it al over again.....

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I’ve never been a housework natural either, and I think that’s got to play a part in why I struggle so much now. Though looking at it from the other side, if I WAS someone who’d always kept things spic and span before, the inability to do that now would have a detrimental psychological impact, wouldn’t it. I’m glad that I’m not sinking into a pit of depression because I’ve got a pile of ironing that’s 3 feet high…

I did actually iron 3 and a half things earlier…the covers of 2 big scatter cushions that live on the sofa and a shawl that goes over the back of it, washed those yesterday. I’m always paranoid about the place smelling because cleaning is so rare, so covers that smell of Comfort seem a good idea to me. The half was a jumper that I did once I’d unplugged the iron, only got half way through it before it had cooled too much to do any more good.

3 items is my limit for ironing though, I’ve learned it’s the household chore that taxes my balance and stability the most because I can’t brace myself on the counter like I can in the kitchen, and I can’t use my perching chair because the legs of the ironing board don’t permit that. So I’m solely reliant on myself for balance, and the very movements of ironing are always pushing my balance, plus trying hard all the time to not drop the iron or hit my other hand with it and so on, and I’m so slow at it anyway…so it tires me out super fast.

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This is one of the things I miss, being a domestic goddess. I used to be such a clean freak, everything in its place and a place for everything. Now my husband does most of the tasks with me trying to dust and just about managing to clean bathroom and kitchen. As for the ironing, it takes a couple of hours to do a few items. Iron a couple, sit down for about 10 mins and then it goes on and on. Very depressing!

We have helped my eldest daughter out financially so I asked her if she would come and do my ironing.

My cat is not very well just now and my husband has been taking him to the vet and we have spent a small fortune but he is not getting any better. Part of his illness is excessive drooling after he has tried to eat or drink and there are splodges of drool on the floor. Doesn’t help that I am very squeamish but have to mop up the drool. Very exhausting!

Mags xx

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Sorry about your kitty, Mags :frowning:

You’ve touched on another thing that bothers me with the ironing. While I want to get more of it done (I can’t go as far as saying get on top of it, I don’t think that will ever happen) I’m so conscious of how much it’s costing me having the iron on for ages.

I think that’s actually a way I try to assuage my guilt about hardly any ever getting done. I justify it to myself by telling myself that I’m saving money by not switching the iron on!

Poor pussycat. Give him some extra tlc, poor fing!

luv Pollx

Cant cope with ironing at all.

My wheelchair and the ironing boards legs just arent compatable!

Leaning to get nearer, can cause my wee bag to squash and by-passing is a possibility…not a nice one.

Last time I tried to iron, I dropped the iron, hurt my foot and scorched the carpet.

Buy stuff that doesnt need ironing guys!

luv Pollx


At the risk of combining slovenly + pragmatism I think the message is clear “forget the blinkin’ ironing” I have convinced my wife that this is the best way so she happily does not bother. If we have to attend an event that requires ironed clothing, we have some family and friends who are slaves to their ironing and are barking enough to help us out!

However - even fit and healthy I was a slovenly git, I could dress in brand new clothes and in under an hour I would be back to “Captain scruffy”

Some efforts are just pointless. As with most things , some people make the effort seem worthwhile. Just find what works for you and do not become a slave to either “Captain Smart” or “Captain Scruffy”

all the best Mick

“so she happily does not bother” - should read “so she happily does not bother either”

I may be slovenly but I am not chauvinist M

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