Some men are messy – a slob. And for whatever reason, those men always seem to end up with neat women. I’m not sure why, but it’s a fact that’s proven time and time again by people I know. All of my neatest female friends are with the messiest men. Maybe it’s an opposites attract thing? Does anyone else notice this pattern? I find this “neat + messy = love” equation so fascinating because I’m not sure how it works. I flipped my lid when I lived with messy roommates in college! Not sure I could put up with a messy life partner. So, I asked my besties how they manage and here are their solutions for dealing with their amazing husbands’ slob tendencies.
Give him space
Many of my friends said they gave their husband a designated mess zone that’s totally his. He can maintain that area however he wants as long as the door is closed and my neat friend doesn’t have to see it. My friend with a really big house gives her husband the entire basement as his mess-tacular man-cave. My friend who lives in a small Manhattan apartment gave her husband a linen closet. All of my friends say that the hard part is resisting the temptation to open the door and gawk at his mess. But that will just upset you or stress you out or do whatever messes do to you. For me, I can literally feel my heart start to race when I see a disorganized room. So, stick to the rules, his mess doesn’t seep out and you don’t look in, and this solution should work.
Make clean easy
I’m the type of person who likes my towels folded in a specific way and my mugs all hung at the same exact angle and my pillows layered on my bed just so. All of my neat married friends say that type of exacting cleanliness is a no-go when you’re married to a messy person. Instead of forcing your man to come up to your neat standards, which would be torture for him, adjust your standards to make achieving them easier for him. For example, instead of expecting a slob to fold towels into thirds and roll them into perfect towel burritos (a towel look I love!), get a bin for towels in your linen closet. Your husband can chuck the towels in there, folded whatever way he wants, and you won’t have to look at messily folded towels because you’ll be looking at a nice, labeled bin. You both win here! Or for the bed pillows, get two huge custom decorative pillows that you love instead of the layers of small pillows. You’ll still like the look and your husband can probably manage a morning routine of two pillows. Find other ways to make organization simple. Bins, labels, hooks and trays are all key, according to my friends.
Like with everything in a relationship, how tidy you keep your home is a compromise. And what’s important is that you communicate about both of your needs and expectations and work out a plan. It’s important for the plan to have clear boundaries, or limits. For example, maybe your husband hates hanging up his clothes at the end of the day. He gets a real joy out of throwing them on the floor before he gets in bed. If he wants to do that and you want a clean bedroom, maybe the compromise is that he can throw stuff on the floor at night and he picks his clothes up first thing in the morning. Or maybe he hates doing the dishes. So, you decide that he doesn’t have to do the dishes whenever he cooks. Or he only has to do the dishes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it’s fine to let them soak in the sink the other days of the week. Figure out the rules, boundaries and limits that will make both of you happy with your home and stick to them.
Now, excuse me while I go re-organized the frozen foods in my freezer. I live by myself currently, so I can be as obsessive as I want about organization. For those of you living with a slob man, I hope this helps!