Are You The Tidy One?

Hurricane Naomi. That’s what my Dad called me when I lived at home.

Forever leaving a trail of discarded CDs, art supplies and dirty clothes behind me in each room I frequented. Moving out of home at 19 and into a student house raised the bar of my tidiness ever so slightly. I became irked by dishes left undone and liked to be able to see my bedroom floor. But I began to surround myself with little piles of things that were never really put in place, just shuffled. Organised chaos I believe the term is.

Then I met Gavin. Seven years older than me, he was the kind of guy who always had clean sheets, neatly trimmed nails and an ensuite that never had any man-grime about it. All of a sudden, I became aware of my own tidying habits (or lack thereof). I began making sure the bedroom in my shared house was always presentable, washing actually went into my washing basket and I started to feel a bit more adult and a bit less… Hurricane.

As the years have slipped by and as my living spaces have increased in size, I’ve become a bit better at naturally cleaning up after myself. I like a beautifully clean kitchen every night before I go to bed. I like to wash my sheets once a week (or fortnight, should time and life escape me). And although my side of the bedroom always has a little more… “Character” than Gavin’s side, I make a conscious effort to prevent my clothes from getting 10 items deep on the bedroom chair.

(Am I the only one that can’t have seating in my bedroom without it inevitably becoming a chairdrobe?)

I often wonder if this will always be our dynamic, Gavin naturally tidy and me naturally, not. Or will I one day turn into some kind of Kon Mari minimalist Goddess who folds socks and catches dust as it falls? Perhaps it’s something that just comes with age and stage? I’ve noticed that becoming a Mum has definitely made me a little more house proud and organised than my pre-mum days. Probably out of the necessity of nail polishes being put out of reach (I won’t make that mistake again) and the ever growing pile of children’s dirty clothes to wash.

I’m curious, who’s the tidy vs messy one in your relationship?
Are any of you a little… eh, loose with your object placement… like me?
And lastly, anyone successfully turned themselves into a neat and tidy person when they weren’t before?
Tips and tricks towards your transformation gratefully received.


Naomi can’t decide which she loves more: adventuring with her boys or being left alone in a luxurious bath with a great book.
Follow Naomi on Instagram @naomiliddell

18 Comments. Leave new

When I was a teenager I frequently got told by my dad that everything on my floor would go in bin bags the next day if it wasn’t tidied up, at one point I genuinely forgot the carpet was blue not grey.
As I got older I became much more tidy, though I do have the elusive clothes chair which I’m trying really hard with!
My hubby is quite good at tidying up and cleaning, but close inspection results in finding random things shoved in drawers rather than put back in their rightful place.
I’ve currently been off work with my son who had major surgery back in may, but I’m due back soon. Over this time the house has been spotless, ive got a constantly empty washing basket (dirty stuff goes straight in the machine and washed every other day). I’ve had a clear out of the dumping drawers, wardrobes etc. I’ve painted, re-tiles the hallway floor, reorganised the toy box, so the only positive of a pretty horrendous time is the house has never looked better! So I’m really concerned about being able to upkeep this when I’m working full time again!! Hopefully it will be ok, but I’ve decided I much prefer the tidy clean me than the oh it looks ok me so I’ll really have to put the effort in if I don’t want it to consume my weekend!


I hope your son made a full recovery Claire! And also that the foundations of all your hard work are easy to maintain when you’re back at work 😉


I am tidy but my husband is MENTAL tidy. Nothing is allowed to sit on a surface for more than half a day without the polite enquiring of “is that staying there or can I put it away?” To be fair it’s amazing as I have never experienced the wet towels on the bed or boxers round the wash basket scenario but it does sometimes erk. Occasionally I think “maybe it can just stay there!!” But with a nearly 7 week old baby having a tidy husband has been amazing and our house is not the bomb site it could have been.


Jenny, 7 week old + tidy husband. That sounds like a dream!


Neither of us is particularly tidy which means cleaning slides down and down the agenda until I crack and can’t take it anymore and have to go on a mammoth cleaning blitz. This worked ok until we had our daughter and now there is no time for cleaning – I need a new system!!


I used to be the same Emma, let everything slide then crack – start the project of complete home overhaul and quit halfway through. The evening clean up has definitely made my life much easier (and more sustainable).


Sounds very familiar although my husband and I are both very untidy! Genetically I should be better as my mum is super tidy and I grew up in a show home environment! I do find since having kids though I’m far more obsessive with being on top of stuff. We amass a ‘stair pile’ daily with stuff I find randomly strewn around the house and I go on a plastic crap rampage every few weeks!! It’s a war I lose though- three kids just bring so much stuff!!! A link to previous blog I’ve written on this and my ongoing battle to stay on the right side of the clutter!! Clutter!


Haha stairpile 🙂 And the header image in your post is brilliant!!


I’m naturally horrendously messy. I too had organised chaos as a student. Piles and piles of paperwork. When I moved into my own flats the piles of paperwork got smaller but as I was the only one effected by the mess I figured it didn’t matter. Once I moved in with Andrew I made a huge effort and now I’m the best one!

We’ve had many arguments over housework. Inevitably we’ve fallen into the trap of me doing the lions share even when I’m working full time too. Andrew has great quality of housework but frequency is a massive problem. In the end we’ve downloaded an app where points are allocated to each task. Needless to say I’m rinsing him in the points and the penny has finally dropped.

Also, I hate the phrase husband helps wife with housework. Erm no. We are partners so we should do it equally. There’s a good video doing the rounds on Facebook about this.


Should say neat one not best one obviously…..


Oooh whats the name of the app Claire, I’d like to try that out! I’m a bit messy, my husband is worse messy. We both have mothers that kept everything scrupulously tidy, in some ways I think that doesn’t help as you never learn to put things away yourself it was always swooped out form under you before you had the chance! With an almost two year old in the house I find its just the constant clutter that gets me. My son will pull clothes out of the drawers while I’m trying to get dressed for the day and things like that. I try and ‘tidy as I go’ but my husband doesn’t do the same thing, so if I leave the two of them home alone for the day I come back to an absolute bomb site! Like Emma above it goes on till I crack and have a massive cleaning binge, which I rarely seem to have time for these days. I REALLY want a cleaner but husband says no 🙁


It’s called OurHome. Icon is a white house on a lilac background. Andrew says no to a cleaner too!


Definitely looking at this app … seems like win-win to me!! I need something to get the penny to drop with my husband too – like your husband Claire, mine is very infrequent with his efforts – but then he’ll be doing a ‘deep clean’ and it will take forever!!! Plus, he’s sooooo competitive, so even if the penny doesn’t drop, hopefully he will end up doing more anyway!!!

This app sounds great!

I’m the tidy one and although my husband is relatively tidy (boxers on floor withstanding!) he never quite reaches my standards. In fact, it would appear that very few reach my standards as we’ve just hired a cleaner and I was far from impressed (is it too much to expect the taps to be shiny & skirting’s to be wiped down?!).

I wasn’t always this much of a tidy and clean freak; I blame my student years working as a chambermaid in 5 star hotels where your rooms were inspected with white gloves! I know people who were in the military who have come out similarly obsessive, so perhaps you just need to sign up for a few years!?


All about the cleaners! We always got behind, I still do some of the deep clean bits, I don’t expect them to move furniture ect., but it is so relaxing turning up to a clean house and means everything goes away at least once a week.
I will say quality depends on the cleaner, I recommend ours to anyone who listens.
I used to be messy but have been converted by the neater husband, noticed by my constant cleaning in the work kitchen and making comments to all those who dare leave things messy.


The dynamic between my husband and me is almost exactly the same as yours and Gavin’s, Naomi. My mum was quite houseproud, which I think made me untidy as it was as if the magic fairies cleaned up after me – nothing ever had the chance to get messy!

Now that I’m a mum, I am definitely a lot tidier than I used to be, but I’ll be conscious of making sure my kids have age appropriate chores as they get bigger to avoid repeating my own magic fairy scenario.

As others have said, having a tidy husband is a major bonus when there’s a newborn in the house. We are currently awaiting the arrival of baby no 2, who’ll be here by the end of the week one way or another, and I’m safe in the knowledge that my oh will vacuum and do dishes. If only he could learn to breastfeed… 😉


My husband’s the tidy one, I leave stuff everywhere. Can’t have a chair in the bedroom or it will indeed catch heaps of clothing every week or so (after moving house, I cleverly decided NOT to have it in the bedroom any more, which forces me to clean up daily -hurray).

Whenever my husband’s out for a weekend or so, the house suddenly clutters up immensely. Which is fine for about a day and a half, but afterwards I have to clean it all up in a frenzy because he’s going to arrive home soon and he’d freak seeing the house in a state.

I live in hope that suddenly I’ll be the perfect little wife, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen. Oh well.


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