My minimum standards around the house

What's not to love about a pulled up bed?
What’s not to love about a pulled up bed?

I’ll admit, this list is a little more than minimal standards, but they are the things that are often left to languish, rather than being done, even though most are quick and easy.

  1. Pulling up the bed: I just need a flat clear space, I don’t need it neatly tucked in, just tidy
  2. Washing up done: I hate dirty stuff lingering, and I don’t like plastics in the dishwasher.  It seems there’s always a small stack to get hand washed.  I’m better about putting away dry clean stuff though.
  3. Hanging up the bathmat: I hate manky, damp smelling towels, so I like to get the bath mat hung over the bath to get it a little more ventilation.
  4. Shutting the toilet lid: this wasn’t a habit, until I tested the ‘do it 21 times’ theory in school.  Now, if I see it up, I can’t help but put it down.  Just too scared something will fall in there that shouldn’t – like my jewelry!
  5. Filling up the water bottles: we still refill plastic water bottles.  One day I’ll replace them with all metal or glass. Since I drafted this, I’ve done away with the plastic!  Nonetheless, they linger all around the house rather than chilling in the fridge.  Or they are chilling in the fridge with less than a glassful in them.  SIGH!
  6. Dirty clothes in the clothes baskets: Not on floors, or ottomans (me) or sofas (him) or the floor of the laundry.  Sadly, still making this one a habit! In the loft, I enjoyed throwing things over the ledge, down the stairs, to join the washing baskets!
A bathroom ledge above the toliet
A bathroom ledge above the toilet (I should get you a new photo – I have new jewelry!)

Beyond those listed, I’m ok with scattered shoes at the doorway.  And usually I can handle papers stacked on the kitchen table, or bench, at least for a little while.  But the list above, they really need to become daily habits.

What are your minimum standards?  Are there little tasks you always overlook, even though they are a bugbear?

27 Replies to “My minimum standards around the house”

  1. I am horrible at tidying up the bed even though I like when it looks neat. I'm not bad with putting the dry dishes away, but I don't like to wash them. I've always shut the toilet lid for some reason; I think I picked it up from my parents. We are horrible about leaving drinking glasses out everywhere, it's so bad! I do try to put all my clothes away though, mostly because the cats might lay on them.

    1. Ah well, you're doing ok – we have some similar 'avoidances' – weird, cause I don't actually mind washing up! I just think 'oh I'll wait 'til…?'

      The drinking glasses do linger – water bottles work a bit better. I am good at 'taking something with you when you leave the room' which often means a glass in the living room back to the kitchen bench.

      Maybe we need a cat to hurry us along with putting things away?

  2. I started making my bed this year for the first time in my life – maybe because living in one room means it's always on display. Even if the rest of the room is a mess, if the bed is made I feel okay. I also make sure my dirty clothes are in the basket at the end of the day.

    I'm not so good at washing the dishes, which is a problem because I cook so much! I also leave the toilet seat up and when my landlords were renovating upstairs, a whole lot of concrete fell down the toilet, which was not good!

    1. That's a great story about the toilet lid – who'd have thought!

      Making the bed can make such a difference to the visual calm of a space, it's amazing.

      Sounds to me like you'd enjoy a dishwasher for all those dishes! Maybe if you housemate loathes cooking, you can cook, and they can wash up?

  3. Definitely, the bathmat: must be hung up and same with towels (although my husband is still very laissez-faire with this!) My bugbears are all the hygiene things: bins empty and clean, dishes done, floors swept for crumbs, benches cleaned off and wet areas dried. I must admit the beds never get made till we hop into them though! I also declutter ruthlessly because my 'boys' here leave things everywhere…I keep on top of it by limiting the volume of mess!

    1. Oh yes towels are a must, but we seem to manage that one 100% of the time.

      As with bins, I can go one week (to two weeks) without emptying the trash bin, but seeing there's no 'wet' smelly stuff, it's usually OK. I do need a broom as this house seems worse for crumbs (or more noticeable?) so it's on my weird little birthday list! Wow, wet areas dried – like the draining board?

      Well you are the declutterer! I am interested to hear that you don't make the bed – are you ok with the un-made look? (Your photos always make it look pristine!)

      1. The unmade bed thing comes from my husband getting up and leaving after me in the morning…it's one of those battles I have had to forgo! I will have to post some of my non-pristine photos because the house with even one child in it is really only ever pristine in photos!!!

        1. Oh yes, I 'suffer' that too – the sleep in partner! I often pull it up of an afternoon at the least, so I can get into a 'smooth' bed, if not formally made.

          It's ok – none of our homes are truly showrooms.

  4. Ooh, I love how you organized the bathroom ledge! It looks so aesthetically-pleasing yet functional! I don't like dishes in the sink or stuff lingering either, especially overnight. I do my best to clean up before going to sleep.

  5. At our house we have a deal where the last person up, makes the bed. We just recently resolved the dishes. Whoever cooks also cleans up (we split the cooking 50/50). This way the other person gets the night off from kitchen duties. We had a problem though with dishes brought home from our work lunch bags and our evening snacks. I would always rinse and stack mine next to the sink and wait until I had a sinkful to wash. Meanwhile Rom would wash each and every one of his, but never, ever put them away! We have now both agreed to do all of our dishes and put all of them away before bedtime daily. So far, so good! Another problem was the "floordrobe" thing where Rom would leave clothes on the bedroom floor. I have a chair where I put mine, but it isn't near his side of the bed so he doesn't use it! And there isn't room for 2 chairs. So I installed an extra hook on the back of the bedroom door and he now actually hangs up his clothes. Amazing!

    1. I like your bed making deal 😉

      I also like to hear that it's taken to now to resolve the dishes!! My parents used to operate the 'those who cook don't clean up' model – so the inverse of your way. We tend to split – he does the 'big' stuff with his soap handled scrubber, and I do the 'sink of water' sorts of stuff, like most of the recycling. No matter who washed it though, I almost always put it away, but that's easy so I don't mind much. I'd rather not dry up and put them away before b'fast!

      I've solved the floordrobe in the bedroom by having a ottoman for my stuff (near my side) and a sofa near his side. But it's when one is sleeping that we develop a floordrobe in the hallway – not ideal for last minute guests!! Glad you solved your dilemma so simply.

  6. I'm an every morning bed maker. Mr Sans doesn't care, so on the rare occasions he gets up after me, I go back and make it. My other must-do, is have all dishes done, kitchen bench wiped and sink cleaned. I also take things out of my family room that don't belong.

    My need-to-improve list is clearing the dining table. And the floordrobe in the bathroom.

    1. Welcome home?

      Isn't it funny the things people share as 'minimum standards' and the things that vary? Is the dishes once a day, like on weekends? Our bathroom footprint is pretty small, but we still manage a small floordrobe of discarded underwear (both guilty!)

  7. I must have low standards . . I don't make the bed or clean the kitchen/dishes on a daily basis. I despise washing dishes! We always put the toilet seat down (because of the cats) and our clothes go right into the hamper. The litter boxes are cleaned 2x daily though – no exceptions. 🙂 What did you replace your plastic water bottles with? I just bought myself a glass water bottle and am wishing I'd done it sooner.

    1. No! you don't have low standards! Twice daily kitter cleaning cleaning is more than I could take – my BF's parents magically learnt to only go outside – that's the ONLY sort of cat I'd want!

      We replaced the single use style water bottles with two Kleen Kanteens with pop top sippers (my gift to the BF) and I have a open mouthed Australian brand stainless bottle, which I note fits the kleen kanteen sipper so I might buy one. I was a little scared of glass… my bottle already has a small dent!

  8. My ideal daily standards are making the bed, clean litter boxes, no dirty dishes in sink or on counters, clean counter tops (from clutter and mess) and things generally picked up (I hate having stuff lying around where it shouldn't). But these don't always happen, litterboxes and bed yes, the rest sometimes slide. With a tiny house and no mudroom or coat closet, one of the kitchen counters is a catchall for crap and it's my biggest nimesis. And ok, ok, the dishes that need to be hand-washed slide a lot.

    1. Yeah we all have things like that Candi – I'm so pleased my place now, and before this one, both had proper entries, and this one even has a closet. Just helps keep the 'coming home' clutter out of the kitchen!

      I hate stuff lying around too – but some areas annoy me dis proportionally more than others – weird huh?

  9. I'm very picky. My bed must always be made but use quilts or comforters to avoid the need to be perfect about it. I like things hidden, towels hung just so for maximum air flow to dry. Toilet seat must always be down because I heard flushing can cause particles to enter the air causing the rest of the room to harbor bacteria, shower curtain must always be closed. and I have a thing (OCD) about how my utensils, clothes are put away or how things are folded.

    1. I wouldn't have guessed you as being OCD! But we all have our little peculiarities. Suppose it's pretty easy when you live alone too!

      I heard that toilet particles thing too, and that's when I tried to 'learn' the habit of the lid down. I also try to get the toothbrush jar as far from said toilet as possible – including ALWAYS returning it to a safe place outside the bathroom when I'm travelling. Weird, right?

      Shower curtains seem so prevalent in the US – we have them here, but my last four homes have not had any, instead having a moveable glass door or screen.

  10. Your house looks so nice and fresh! My husband dumps all his clothes on the floor. I told him I will not wash anything that is not in the bin. This makes me feel an inappropriate amount of anger. Same with unwashed dishes.

    1. Thanks Katie! Trust me, I can be inordinately cranky re:state of the house! I like to think I'm chilling out a little bit… I do prefer the damp gym/run/water polo gear is hung out at least to dry until washing day. Alas the BF doesn't, and I've stopped doing it for him. Today (!!) he realised all his freshly washed (out of the washer) gym clothes still stink. I pretty much said 'I'm not going to tell you I told you so' and left it for him to fix :p

    1. Thank you Dar – it was an uneventful Australia day to be honest – a puzzle at home whilst listening to the Triple J hottest 100 for 2013 (supposedly the largest democratic music poll in the world!)

  11. I should learn a thing or two from you. I'm the queen of untidy (hangs head in shame). I love a made bed, but I rarely do it; it's all a big mess of blankets and pillows and PJs on my bed. We recently started a "no clothes anywhere but closet" rule; for every item on the floor, chair or ottoman, it'll cost the person who left it there a dollar. Haha.

    1. I love your money punishment for tasks you don't comply to – I reckon that could be really motivating! I should see if I can introduce it for things we're both bad at (at least that way it's a little fairer than if one of us has a bad habit the other has mastered!)

  12. Ooooh everything on your list ticks my boxes too! Except for No. 5, which is ML's pet peeve.

    Sometimes there are clothes worn worn only once (and don't need to go into the wash after every wear, eg a cardigan) but because its been worn, it doesnt feel right to put it back into the wardrobe (with all the other clean clothes!). So what do you do with them?

    Clothes lying around are the biggest offenders to making a bedroom sanctuary look messy!

    As a solution, I've recently gotten some towel rail off freecycle, and am trialling this to see if cuts down on the 'cluttered' look ….so that it's organised clutter, as if it was meant to be. Two weeks in, the bf seems to be using it instead of throwing over the bed or sofa, yay score +1!

    For your work uniform, you might want to think about a towel rail or stylish clothing stand (like the wooden ones that an old fashioned butlers use to press and hang a gentleman's suit) instead of the ottoman?

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