Cluttered vs. Cleared vs. Cleaned

I’d say we’re clean and cluttered. My wife will tell me that I need to pick up my stuff off the table or floors. I look at them and see a few things that are mine but most of it is hers. It used to annoy me but then I realized that she didn’t view her things as clutter. She had a place for them and merely wasn’t done with them yet. My stuff was clutter. :wink:


Cleared and cleaned.

As I have not been working much since Covid, I have plenty of time to keep my house cleared and cleaned. Plus, every two weeks we have a Merry Maids type of company come to do the deep cleaning.

If I see something not clean, I immediately clean it. If I see something on the floor, I sweep it up immediately. If something is on the counter or I cook a meal, I immediately clean it.

I don’t view it as a chore. It makes me happy and calm to keep my surroundings clean.

In my last house, my closet was the exception, but in our new house, I have so much storage space, there would be no reason not to have it picked up.


Maybe my aversion to keeping everything picked up comes from my mom. She was ALWAYS picking up stuff, even when we were running late for something. She was always late.

So I am messy, but I am ALWAYS on time. My husband is neat, but he is almost late.

To me, my house being cluttered doesn’t affect anyone else and it doesn’t bother me. But when people are late, they are often affecting other people, which is rude.


We are somewhere between cluttered and cleared. We don’t have oodles of knick knacks or decorations all around, but the table, hutch, and bar can be a gathering place for things a while. It can’t be that way for too long though - a week or two tops.

Cleaning is rarely done at our house aside from dishes (daily) and laundry (weekly). Other cleaning done as needed and it’s definitely not needed often. We might vacuum once per month. Floors are spot washed as needed. Deep cleans aren’t needed at all. Our mindset is that dirt and associated “normal” bacteria and similar keep us healthier, not less healthy. In our experience, those we know who clean a lot are far less healthy than we are (common colds and similar). If any of us had to deal with allergies this would change, but no one in our family has them except DIL and she’s noticed hers improving after living with us since the beginning of Covid shut downs. They were bad at first and she took meds, but now she’s completely off meds except maybe during certain pollen seasons.

Moderately cluttered due to downsizing and Covid.

Two years ago, we moved to a new home a little over half the size of our previous house. With minimal storage, a smaller congested living area, two college aged kids who ended up living with us almost full time when we thought we were almost empty nesters, and not being able to get my home cleaned every two weeks as usual, our home is dirtier and more cluttered than I’d like.

I’d like to be cleaner and less cluttered, but I just don’t have the energy and motivation to be super clean.


So, so true for me! I’ve tried to explain this to H. FOR DECADES! He just can’t see it and thinks I’m just nagging. So lately I have been using “outer order = inner calm” - he at least doesn’t make fun of that! I’m not obsessive. But I can’t accept that he has like half a dozen “desk areas”. You have a giant roll top desk! 1. Clean and clear it out. 2. Then you’ll have room to keep your stuff in one area (and not panic when you can’t find something!!)


@MaineLonghorn but does it bother your husband, your housemate who likes “neat”???

Cleared with a modicum of cleaned.

My husband is a clutterer, but I’ve been able to keep it to a couple of locations. Unfortunately, one of them is the first place you see when you come into the house…and no one’s come into the house since the pandemic so he’s had no motivation to do anything about it.

We are ALL definitely Team Clutter here. I do not love it and neither does DH, so we are trying to tackle it bit by bit, but we will never be neatniks.

We have different styles of clutter, too, which can create conflict. I tend to be a piler, but then he will come along and mess up my piles or move boxes in storage around. I have a geographic memory and know where in the pile the piece of paper I am looking for is, or which box in storage is which based on where it is located, but when he moves stuff that throws my super power out of whack. I like to systematically go through stuff and assign it a location (one of several places to donate it, or trash, or keep) and he will just throw it all in a bin to clear space with no regard to going through it, or he will want to trash it all.

It doesn’t help that I inherited a bunch of stuff when both my folks died. My mom was a keeper of things too, so there was a lot to go through and we did go through tons of it (probably many literal tons) when we sold their house and downsized mom, but I still ended up with too much stuff. I am still going through some of it bit by bit.

Our kids are not great. The 20 yr old has gotten better, so maybe there is hope for the 17 yr old, but right now her room is an utter and complete disaster. I will harp on her to pick up the trail of clutter she leaves behind her throughout the house, but I am not willing to fight her over her room. She does pick it up every once in awhile. I figure when she leaves for college I will do a good clean and straightening of her room.

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We are a cluttered family as a whole, though some of us prefer to be cleared- or in my case full on minimalist. My husband has an issue with piles- he has piles of stuff everywhere. Just everywhere. It fairly drives me nuts, but I try to be accepting of him as he is. My older daughter also has SO MUCH stuff. My younger daughter likes her room to be tidy and with everything in its place at all times. If it were up to me I would get rid of probably 75% of what we own. Ha.

We are cleared. DH keeps kitchen very, very clean. We have a cleaning crew come every other week so I would say for a day or two we are cleared and clean. We did a complete remodel 4 years ago and everything we owned went into the garage and only what “sparked joy” came back in. Easier to keep things cleared and clean as empty nesters.


I am clean and cleared. Husband and kids know that if they don’t want me to put stuff away or get rid of things, they need to do it. I did give up on the kids not having their rooms to my standards because it was causing too much friction.

I am trying to relax a little on always having my house what my mom called “company ready” but it is very hard for me.

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Also, it appears that order and cleanliness are not genetic. Ask me how I know (son!).


I wish I could get away with just cleaning it all up myself. My husband has OCD and it’s world war three if I even breathe on his crap. The car thread had me pointing out that I’m not even allowed to sit in his car- the house is much the same. I pick my battles and will pick more once he’s retired and can get real treatment. I would love to have nothing out on tables/the floor/shoved in closets. Even the artwork I have displayed is more for my kids than me- I want them to know I love their art… even if I actually genuinely enjoy bare walls. Ha! We plan to live in an RV for awhile after retirement, so I’m thinking that might handle a lot of this stuff organically.

I am obsessively cleared and clean–I sometimes have to tell myself to let it go. One of my daughters clearly inherited the same trait; the other did not.


Our S is clean mostly. D is cluttered mostly. We are mostly cleared due to S tho I’m naturally a piler and H is a inventory piler.

At home we’re cleared and pretty clean inside the house. (The ovens need cleaning and it’s been months since the woodwork was washed.) The garages are another story. I try to not even look at the basement garages.

At our small second home were I spend most of my time, we’re cluttered and only partially clean. The clutter is about 3/4 toddler toys, while H and I are responsible for the rest. There’s a lack of storage here. We dust, vac and/or mop some rooms, clean the kitchen and bathrooms at least once a week and often again before we babysit.

H is oblivious to the mess he makes in the kitchen, especially with scattered coffee grounds, spilled coffee, drips of cottage cheese, etc., so I end up cleaning the counters several times a day. I do laundry more often than he thinks is necessary. He’d use the same hand towel for weeks if I didn’t change it every other day. That’s not me being picky, it’s him bleeding on the towels or failing to wash off all of the red clay soil before drying his hands. Bless his heart… He does a lot of things for us that I can’t do any longer, so I’ve stopped fussing about his few faults.

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I would say that I am cleared and cleaned. After 30+ years of marriage I am at peace with my husband’s clutter. So I like clean but I try to be ok if it’s not perfect.

My mother would tell you that I’m cluttered and not clean. But I won’t spend a large portion of my day cleaning. She can’t relax unless everything was perfect. My dad was just as bad, dad’s garage floor was cleaner than my kitchen floor and I keep it clean.

I think I have the best of both worlds. A reasonably clean house, with a husband who never sees anything wrong. I know husbands that are really neat and very critical. I wouldn’t like that.

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Cleared and relatively clean. I need to take care of some of those every so often tasks now that my summer vacation is here; things like wiping the dirt & dust off all the windowsills, both inside and out. I started following gocleanco on Instagram at the beginning of the pandemic and watched their stories for over a year. Had to give up a few months ago because I was beginning to feel bad about myself. I am fine with moving all the chairs away from the breakfast table to vacuum underneath, but I’m not fine with the idea of moving the appliances out to vacuum the dust and dirt behind them. I would either render additional harm to my back or scrape the hardwood floor in my kitchen or both. Proof that my threshold for dust tolerance has increased as I age.

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LOL, this is so true re: mothers/MIL’s and clean. I swear my mom’s MISSION was/is a clean house. And yep, she literally sweeps and washes down her garage floor frequently - even at age 87! You could eat off that floor. I wouldn’t walk barefoot in mine!