Everyone’s house gets messy from time to time, but some people live in a constant state of filth. It’s unpleasant to live surrounded by clutter in an unclean house and can lead to increased stress. It can also be hard to have friends or family over to visit because there would be nowhere for them to comfortably sit! On top of this, an unclean house can make you sick! If you can relate to these 16 examples of what it’s like to live in a filthy house, it might be time you finally cleaned (or hired a cleaning crew).
1. Your house always has a stench.
No matter how much cleaning you pretend to do, the rooms in your home always have a slightly odorous stench. While scented candles, air fresheners, and scented sprays can mask the smell for a short period of time, the room always goes back to stinking. It could be a leftover stench from a mess left a very long time ago that you forgot to clean up. Or there could be a dead animal rotting in your basement, and you haven’t bothered to look hard enough for it. Take some time to do a thorough search of your house so you don’t have to wrinkle your nose every time you come home.
2. You eat in bed.
There are a few exceptions to eating in bed: if you’re being treated to breakfast in bed on special occasions or if you’re sick. But your bed should not take the place of a dining room table. No one likes crumbs in their bed (besides your dog). Besides being very gross, eating in bed is also unsanitary. Small pieces of food can be left behind and go bad, attracting unwanted bugs and bacteria.
3. You can’t remember the last time you washed your sheets.
You think your sheets look pretty clean (in spite of the crumbs), but you can’t remember the last time you washed them. According to CNN, you should strip your bed and replace the sheets at least once per week. During this time, wash the old sheets so that you have clean ones to put back on next time. If you are not cleaning your sheets regularly, you could have dust mites living in your bed. Dust mites are tiny bugs that love being close to the warmth and humidity our bodies give off. If someone in your home has asthma or allergies, they can be especially sensitive to dust mites. Washing your sheets weekly in hot water will help prevent them becoming a problem. From now on, keep your food at the table, keep your sheets clean, and have a much more restful night’s sleep.
4. Spring cleaning is just a saying.
Some people give their entire house or apartment a thorough scrubbing at least once a year. To you though, spring-cleaning sounds like a nice idea or just a myth. You couldn’t imagine going through with it. But giving your house a thorough cleaning annually is a must if you want to get rid of all the dust and dirt that naturally accumulates in your home.
5. Laundry baskets are a nice thought.
While the concept of a laundry basket is a nice one, you don’t see the purpose for it when you can just toss your clothes on that growing pile on the floor. It’s hard to tell what’s dirty and what’s clean, and some of your clothes are starting to smell too. If you haven’t vacuumed or swept your floor in a while, your clean clothes are going to pick up whatever has been accumulating on the ground. You’ll end up wasting time and water having to clean your clothes all over again. Get a laundry basket or a hamper to separate your dirty clothes from clean ones (and then actually do your laundry).
6. If you can’t see a surface, you don’t clean it.
The tops of your shelves have probably collected a pretty thick layer of dust by now. However, since you don’t see these surfaces, it doesn’t cross your mind to clean them. The same goes for any other area of the house or apartment that’s literally over your head. That includes the top of ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, and door frames. Imagine all the dust that has accumulated up there! A duster would take care of all that dirt in no time!
7. You haven’t seen the bottom of your sink in a very long time.
Everyone has dirty dishes in the sink from time to time, and they may even pile up on occasion. But you can’t remember the last time you saw the bottom of your sink. You always have dishes overflowing from your sink. In fact, you may have resorted to using plastic utensils and paper plates just to avoid doing the dishes. When dishes sit in the sink for a long time, the leftover food gets so caked on they are extremely hard to clean. Food can get moldy and grow nasty bacteria while it waits to get cleaned up. The old food also puts off a nasty smell that can attract flies, roaches, and other bugs. Who wants creepy crawly things in the area where they prepare their food?
8. You Don’t Know What’s Hiding In The Back Of Your Fridge
Your weekly groceries tend get squished into the very front of your refrigerator because that’s the only place they’ll fit. You have leftovers that went bad long ago and produce that has broken down into unrecognizable mush. If you are in this situation, please stop what you’re doing immediately and clean out the rotten food that is likely stinking up your whole kitchen. You’re at risk of catching some bad germs from rotten food and any liquids that have spilled and gathered on your fridge shelves or drawers. You may be used to working around these messes, but they could be making you sick. Clean the refrigerator shelves and drawers with a mix of warm water and baking soda. Hopefully your refrigerator will look so clean and sparkly that you’ll never let it go back to the mess it was.
9. Your blender has seen better days.
If you’re not washing your dishes, you’re probably not bothering to clean your kitchen appliances. Smaller appliances like your blender need to be taken apart to be cleaned. Every time you make a smoothie, you need to screw off the bottom of your blender and clean each part. The smaller parts at the bottom of the blender can accumulate a build-up of leftover liquids leading to the growth of salmonella and E.coli. Nobody wants those lovely little things ending up in their margaritas!
10. You don’t own a vacuum cleaner.
You haven’t seen a need to vacuum your carpets since you moved in. If you can’t see the dirt, that means it’s not there, right? Wrong. Vacuuming and dusting weekly is recommended to keep dust mites and allergens out of your home. When you finally get around to buying a vacuum cleaner, find one that has a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filters help more than 99 percent of air particulates that pass through your vacuum cleaner. If you don’t use a HEPA filter, your vacuum will spew the dust and dirt from your floor into the air. Clean or replace your vacuum bag regularly and keep the windows open while your vacuum to cut down on potential lung irritation.
11. You can smell something funky coming from your bath mat.
You don’t think twice about stepping on to your bath mat after you get out of the shower. You’ve just gotten clean in the shower, so you can’t be getting any dirt on your mat, right? You use this line of thinking to keep from ever washing your bath mat. If that’s true for you, we think we might know what’s causing that mildew smell in your bathroom. Bath mats are notorious for harboring mold, bacteria, and dust mites that love the warm, wet environment the bath mat provides. Using baby powder on top of the bath mat just makes the situation worse. Lower your risk of catching a cold or irritating your allergies by cleaning your mat a couple times a month. Drying yourself off in the shower before stepping on the mat will also help.
12. You never give your shower head a second glance.
Shower heads are supposed to keep you clean, but researchers have found a nasty bacterium in them called Mycobacterium avium. This bacterium has been found in 30 percent of shower heads in people’s homes and can cause lung infections and pulmonary disease. Take your shower head apart on the regular to give it a good cleaning.
13. You don’t give a second thought to your cleaning products.
You consider it a success if you can locate your cleaning supplies in whatever random drawer or closet you last threw them into. It’s even more momentous if you have enough energy leftover after finding the cleaning supplies to use them. But we’ve got some news for you about the cleaning supplies you may have in your house. Many common cleaning supplies contain chemicals that can irritate your eyes, cause headaches, make it difficult to breath, and can be carcinogenic. Check the ingredients labels and avoid buying products that contain 2Butoxyethanol, Alylphenol extholytes, Dye, Ethanolamines, Fragrance, Pine or Citrus oil, and Quaternary ammonium compounds. Look for eco-friendly cleaning products or use precautions when using the cleaning supplies you already own. Wear gloves, open windows while you clean, and add water to the product to dilute it. Alternatively, you can use vinegar and water to clean glass and windows. Baking soda also works as a good scrubbing agent.
14. You’re hoping that isn’t mold on the ceiling.
Friends who manage to make it into your home have started staring apprehensively at your ceiling. There is a dark spot up there that has an ominous look (and smell). This is not something you should ignore, though you might be tempted to. Mold is more common than ever, growing as an unfortunate side-effect of our energy efficient homes. Mold can grow on wood, drywall, and wallpaper, and it grows more quickly in a moist environment. As you can imagine, breathing in mold is not good for anyone with breathing problems or allergies, especially the young and the elderly. Instead of cleaning this problem area yourself, call a professional to assess how bad the problem is.
15. You don’t clean up after your pets.
You can never seem to find the time to clean up after your pet, not in your house and not outside. It is extremely gross to not pick up after your pet and is also very unsanitary. Really, you don’t want to be THAT person who doesn’t pick up their dog’s poop when you go for a walk. You want your neighbors to at least kind of like you, right? Letting your dog’s poop pile up in the backyard isn’t great either. It makes it hard for you to use your backyard, and it also increases the chances that your dog will eat its own feces. Gross as it is, it does happen. Dog feces can also attract flies and spread any Giardia, roundworms, hookworms, Salmonella, and E.coli that are lurking in them. This also goes for your cat’s litter box.
16. You have no idea what an HVAC system is.
A heating, venting, and cooling (HVAC) system is responsible for temperature control in your home. If you didn’t know what it was, it’s likely you’ve never had it cleaned. The system can breed mold and bacteria with moisture left over from cooling your house. It can lead it asthma, allergies, coughing, and headaches. Try to have your system cleaned every few years to cut down on illness.