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The most depressing thing I read in this article was the statement "no one will judge you". Seriously, where do you live, because I need to move there. I work with OCD neat freaks who talk about how they can't stand things out of place and can't imagine how people live like that. I have a mother in law who feels the need to keep her house display-ready at all times, and if you visit after she's been cleaning something that isn't immediately obvious (like the tops of kitchen cupboards) she will be sure to inform you, so that you know. And I've even had a young girl over to play with my kids, who, after looking around my daughters's room, which had a made bed, absolutely nothing on the floor, but some things out on the dresser, state "How come (daughters name)'s room is always so messy?" Judgement from a 7 year old. My kids always think that I worry too much about what their friends will think when they come to hang out, but it comes from being on the receiving end of plenty of judgement if your house doesn't look spotless.
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@katherineld - let the judgment roll off your back like water off a duck. It is only the judgment of you and those who live in the house with you that matters, and if they are troubled by a mess, they should be helping clean it up. I learned too late that I prefer tidiness, but I can live (though less well) with a mess. Right now my house is a mess/disaster/hovel because we took apart a big bookcase/media bits/liquor cabinet/glass cabinet and reduced it to open shelves. Now I have to either discard or find new homes for all the glasses, liquor, books, and all the stuff hidden behind the doors. Your mother-in-law is trying to change you and that isn't her job. However, she may have your best interests at heart. I didn't change my scattered ways until just recently and I'm 72. So you could say to her, when she has just commented on her cleaning (say it sweetly though) "I don't know how you find the time to stay so tidy. I'm always so busy with -- insert some laudable activities like feeding the homeless, taking my daughter to her activities, reading to said daughter, making love to my husband, etc. Keep the subtext (what do YOU do with your time) to yourself, she may get the message but if not, you'll feel validated.

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sal d
I am a must-clean-my-house-on-Friday-or-else person. This is the way I skip cleaning on weekends. and honestly it is the only form of self-discipline that has seemed to work for me to ensure that cat hair gets vacuumed once a week. lately back pain has made me do half the floors on thursday and half on Friday. which works to. but then it feels like i have to clean all week lol. and i am rather addicted to that precious one-day feeling of stem to stern clean house. sunday it starts to slip unless we have company. then its back to total disaster. someday i hope i can rethink this cleaning thing so that i dont feel so sad when the clean house is no more. i do love this article because i love clean house and detest cleaning. therefore the grumpiness on saturday after cleaning day when someone #HORRORS drips WATER ON THE FLOOR. lol
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