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Domestic chores: are you obsessed?

I can't say too much about it just yet, but I've been asked to work on a fun project about how we live, particularly with reference to domestic chores... who does what, how long for and what does it stop you doing – that kind of thing.

I was talking to a friend about it who said that she'd read on a problem page that a woman was obsessed with cleaning her house to the point where it put her off sex if things weren't ship shape. The agony aunt's response? "For God's sake, have sex with your husband – it's much more important!" And of course, it is. But...

All this got me thinking about the fact that, even though my boyfriend has only recently moved in, I might possibly be guilty of spending more energy on wanting to move wardrobes up the stairs, scouring eBay for light fittings and writing lists for builders than on the long walks and pub lunches, daytime cinema trips and lazy Sundays we talk about. We've been meaning to book a short October holiday for weeks, but have so far totally failed to find the time. Why? Too busy fannying around doing up the house.

And cleaning the whole place can easily take almost half the weekend up. But it can sometimes be hard to relax when the house is a mess... or is that just me, being a wrong priorities lame-ass (not to mention a slow cleaner)?

For this project, I'd love to hear from anyone else who is as guilty as I am of, arguably, having their focus a little skewed. After the recent post about which way around the loo roll should go got so many of you vocal on Facebook, I'm wondering if you get just as bothered about other domestic details. For example:

  • Are you the lone person who frets about having an ordered home or are your family/flatmates/other halves at it too? (Or is the problem that they never are?) 
  • Have you ever argued about whether, say, the ironing board – used daily – should just stay up and out, or get put away each time?
  • Or about the right way to stack the dishwasher or dry clothes?
  • Is it you alone who seems to notice when the house is getting grimy?
  • Are you forever tidying up other people's things (or are they tidying yours?)
You get the picture. If you can throw some stories into the debate, I'd be very happy to hear from you – all in confidence, of course. Just drop me a line at, tweet me at @kate_burt or comment below or on the Facebook page.


  1. Oh my god, I'm guilty of all those things, my children are always moaning at me about being too tidy . I have only recently stopped d its tidying their rooms (they are aged 17& 14) I have had to make myself walk away and its killing me, their rooms are total tips and every time I look in I want to get in there and sort it all out. I find it impossible to relax when the house is messy.

  2. I find that mess & things lying around actually distracts me from relaxing probably because I know it needs doing before it gets worse & takes a lot longer. The mantra of 'everything on its place & a place for everything' only works if everyone just does their bit ...

    1. Know what you mean. I am not naturally tidy, though really hate mess. Annoying in itself. So I find I let it get worse until it will take ages, but feel increasingly unrelaxed as days go by. Then ruin my weekends binge-tidying/cleaning. Pah.

  3. Me and my partner do the same; take up weekends that were planned for adventures and intoxicate them with doing up the house. It becomes OCD in our place! To stop us from doing this, we now choose the bad weather day for sorting the house together with nice music, cooking and titivating and the good weather day for outdoor fun!