I am a messy person who doesn't like to clean. Should I put more effort in being cleaner, or just accept this part of myself and get over the guilt? How? Or is this a psychological problem? Or maybe it's normal.
posted by lacedcoffee to Society & Culture (58 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
This is something that's been popping up in my head this days. For some reason, I really really dislike doing maintenance tasks. My room has always been messy (as in, clothes all over the floor, papers everywhere, nowhere left to sit or walk), I go weeks without doing laundry, when I do laundry, I often don't put it away, I leave dishes in the sink for days, and I don't even like showering. I can't seem to put things away. After coming home, I throw my things where ever and if I unwrap something, I'll drop the wrapper where I happen to be standing instead of throwing it away. So basically, I'm a huge mess creator and a horrible cleaner.
I tend to overlook slight messiness, but my messes always go beyond that. At some point, things get bad enough that I can't find anything, I'm stressed out, I'm embarrassed for others to see, and I'm too overwhelmed to get started so I tell myself I'll do it tomorrow (and then I don't). I wonder about whether I'm lazy and need to work harder, or this is just part of my personality that I should accept.
Every once in awhile, I like going on cleaning kicks where I scrub everything, reorganize everything, and make my whole place look amazing. I enjoy taking the time to fix things myself, DIY projects, painting my nails, doing my hair, etc. Since I am able to put the work in other maintenance activities, I don't think I'm lazy... I've also tried throughout the years to be cleaner. Whenever I clean, I tell myself that if I just put things away, it won't get so messy again. Easy enough. This never lasts though. I try to maintain a habit of making my bed, but this never became permanent. Also, slightly related-- I see myself more as the absent-minded professor messy type and not the sit on couch all day type.
My messiness has caused interpersonal conflicts, and I worry that it will continue to in the future. I've always been the messiest roommate. Most people I've dated are fairly clean and organized who say that would not like living with a messy partner. I don't like living with messy people either... I don't like other people's messes, and two messy people sounds like it'll end in disaster.
Right now, finances are tight and I don't have that much stuff anyway, but I'm starting to think when I get more settled, I will have no moral qualms about hiring maids and sending my laundry to get done. Seems like a win-win. However, there seems to be an opinion in society that people who do this are lazy. Currently, my roommates won't agree to hire cleaners due to the self-sufficiency argument (our mess, our job to clean). I don't agree with this, but it does bring a certain amount of shame. I think about what a bad example this would set for future children. Especially since I'm not rich nor really busy... I just believe that not cleaning is important enough to me that I am willing to budget that in. How do I explain this to people? I know I shouldn't care what people think, but it's embarrassing to when people just believe you are a lazy pig. Not that I plan on announcing this, but this is something that would come up with future roommates and potential live-in partners. I know a lot of this is hypothetical, but it's just stuff that's on my mind, and isn't unlikely to happen at some point.
TLDR; I hate routine maintenance tasks. Is my level of messiness normal? Am I lazy? Is this a personality flaw or psychological problem? Do I need to practice better habits? Is this inherent part of me, value neutral, and I should just accept that I will always need to hire people to clean for me? And how to get over the shame and explain to other people?