Mess Threshold Hit [NOT 25/2/21]

Hi, friends!!! Today I hit that arbitrary threshold where suddenly my home was too fucking messy.

So I spent like an hour working on the clutter, because of course I was completely unorganized in how I approached my cleaning.

Anyways, things are looking better but definitely still have work to do.

What’s your least favorite thing to clean? For whatever reason, I hate vacuuming. I’ll clean toilets or tubs over vacuuming.



  1. Least favorite? The turtle tank. Puts me in a foul mood every time. I’m getting angry just thinking about it, and I’ve got a good month before it needs to be done. 

      • It’s four feet long, one foot across, and two feet deep. To clean it I have to drain it and disassemble the filtering systems, which is both tedious and annoying.
        Sheldon lives alone — you have to be careful with turtles. If you mingle the sexes, they’ll do what they do. But turtles require a sandy beach to lay their eggs, and that’s a whole other problem. One turtle just needs a rock to bask on and a place to swim. I’d need to build a whole habitat if I screwed up and got a lady turtle, or she’d get sick because she couldn’t lay her eggs.
        While there are PVC pipes in there that support Sheldon’s basking platform, they aren’t TMNT themed. Clearly an oversight on my part. 

        • How big is Sheldon/what speicies?  I take it you are using a 60G aquarium?
          any consideration to building a larger setup using a rigid pond liner or similar, or even trying a DIY with epoxied plywood or similar?
          (says the guy with a bunch of raw materials and a tank and almost finished stand for a 40B paludarium abandoned nearly a decade ago…

          • He’s a yellow-bellied slider (or Florida cooter, if you prefer). He’s about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. He seems to have peaked on growth, which is good, because this is the largest tank that’s readily available — after this I’d have to commission one. Females get bigger than males, so we’re lucky he’s a boy. 
            I’ve wondered about a larger habitat, but if I put it in the backyard he’d be potentially at the mercy of predators (raccoons, possums, coyotes, plus dogs and cats). Plus I hate my house and desperately want to move. I’m getting on in years and would prefer to go condo, which means Sheldon’s tank has to be portable and I don’t want to upset an association with a habitat. 
            Honestly, I’m between a rock and a hard place. I could release him into the wild but he’d die, and we’ve had him for 15 years or so and I can’t bear the thought of just turning him loose to die. He’s technically my daughter’s turtle but she starts college next year so he’s my problem for the foreseeable future.
            At some point if she doesn’t want to take him on I’ll have to try to find some sort of wildlife facility that can care for him. He’s a good boy and he’s good with children — we bring him to the library’s Earth Day booth most years and he’s popular. But turtles live 50-90 years and I’m not going to be around or honestly able to take care of him that long. Probably 10 more years max and then we have to figure out something else. 

            • Yeah, that does sound like a difficult set of choices is to face.  But, if you’ve had him that long, and he’s doing okay, then he’s doing okay.
              I think I like planning and building set ups more than I do actually running them.

    • I love everything and anything to do with animal care. When I got laid off a decade ago I got a very generous severance package but in return I was very restricted in what sort of employment I could seek while the severance was being doled out. I figured I’d volunteer at an animal shelter. I can clean up animal cages with the best of them; all creatures great and small are friends to me; I like walking dogs; I’m not squeamish so I could provide attentive post-op care as necessary. I was called in for an interview and was given the third degree. I mean good for them, I guess, lots of nuts out there, but all the paperwork and the personal references, etc. I asked how a typical shift might go. “Well, um, we are a very busy municipal shelter. We are also not a ‘no-kill’ shelter. We have time limits on how long we can keep the animals, and if no one comes in to claim them or wants to adopt them—” “Oh God.” “Yes, I’m afraid, not everyone chips and neuters their friends. The animals we need to move on have to be escorted to the—” I never went back. 

      • It’s a tough thing. No kill shelters obviously seem preferable, but it can actually create a ton of issues when shelters hang onto pets forever that aren’t getting adopted. That same shelter usually ends up refusing animals because they don’t have space, and those animals who can’t get into a shelter can often end up euthanized anyway… Ideally the animals that aren’t getting adopted get taken into a foster situation, but that’s not always possible.
        But also I’ve worked a couple jobs where I had to deal with euthanasia (research assistant in a mouse and rat lab, and vet tech assistant), and it sucks. A lot. Maybe weirdly, the mouse euthanasias haunted me way more. Probably because they were less humanely done… 

        • The shelter I volunteer at is no kill. It’s almost never full for long. A good shelter will be part of a network. If we’re full, we can transport animals to a less full shelter, and vice versa. It also rotates the “stock.” Essentially , need a penny, take a penny.

  2. Nothing is worst than the fridge when you live with people that will open a tupperware, find moldy food, and put if FUCKING BACK IN THE FRIDGE!!!  I cook every night and they also make me clean out the fridge each week.  My wife lost her sense of smell (ironically getting sick in China 30 years ago, I joke she had Covid before Covid was a thing), so she has no idea when things go bad if they are not green.  My daughters don’t have that excuse. 

    • I will admit I will do that with the stuff in tupperware. But it’s because normally the trash can isn’t full enough to take out yet so I’ll wait a few days before pitching all the dead food.

      Also, I live alone, so unless I’m drunk there’s nothing to confuse or surprise myself with in the fridge. 

      • I do the same thing – hold back on pitching the gross stuff until the trash needs to go out. The trouble is when I forget to do it at that point… I had to do a fridge clean out a few days ago that included two moldy containers, and one that was past its prime but that I thankfully got to before it started growing. 

        • i found a bottle of soy sauce that expired in 2008
          it still looked okay
          but i decided to chuck it as i dont want to be patient zero in the zombie apocalypse
          i kinda work on a fifo base in my cabinets
          fantastic system
          unfortunately the other two here work on a just jam shit in wherever basis….so occasionally shit gets burried in the back and thats how ancient soy sauce happens

          • I’ve had a big jug of soy sauce in my fridge forever… 
            So I just checked, and it had a “best by” date of 2013…  Not as bad as I feared, but then again, with all the salt in it, I don’t think soy sauce will go bad…

      • I am the opposite. No grass grows under the food in my fridge. Especially during the pandemic, now that we’re whittled down to 2 1/2 Men, I still make more food than we really need. We’re not really fans of leftovers, so I repurpose leftovers and re-serve them once (ask me about making spaghetti pies and casseroles out of even the most wildly inappropriate pasta dishes, and for a lot of things that why The Kitchen God created stews) and then out it goes, because I cook so much I need the fridge (sometimes the freezer) space. Thankfully we throw away a surprisingly small amount of food, probably much less than the average American, so I don’t feel too badly about this.

        • Ugh, spaghetti pie reminds me of a horrifying dish that we were served in Buenos Aires by my husband’s aunt. It was like… spaghetti in a quiche/frittata? Basically scrambled eggs and spaghetti, with no real flavor to speak of. I had to really choke it down.
          It’s rare that I let main dishes go bad, it’s more often ingredients. Like these recent two moldy containers were some coconut milk (I needed some for a recipe but not a full can), and homemade peanut sauce (I made more than needed for the amount of noodles I had). The questionable but not yet moldy dish was some spicy green beans. I was sad that one had ended up buried in the back and forgotten. 

          • Your aunt-in-law (is that a thing?) made a very traditional spaghetti pie. It comes from when Italy was a very poor country and pasta was made by hand in the home. If you had any to use up, you went and got an egg and served this for breakfast the next day. No, what I do is: if I’ve decided the Ravenous Hound is no need of any more leftovers, I dump leftover spaghetti into a 6-cup muffin tin, add leftover sauce if I have any, add something else if no sauce (like three eggs divided among the six cups), add whatever’s missing, like garlic and/or oregano, crumble a lot of cheese on top or generously top with grated parmesan cheese, and then bake the whole thing. I’m almost sure I’ve invented this whole concept of the “leftover spaghetti cupcake” but they make a nice snack. I’ve also added tuna in its own oil and topped with the parmesan cheese, so that’s “baked tuna noodle cupcake,” which is a closely held secret of mine and only served to The Better Half, never to guests. I do this out of parsimony and boredom. 

        • wasn’t there some manufactured outrage over “spaghetti tacos”or something a while back?
          I dunno… while I don’t want to give various trivial outrages any extra attention, I still can’t help but gawp at them, partly at my complete inability to understand having that much free time/energy, and so little demands on either of them.

          • Spaghetti tacos…that’s a new one on me and would be a bridge too far. Sounds like something you might find in northern Europe, judging by the various pizza combos I’ve seen advertised on menus all across the lands north of the Danube and east of the Rhine. 

    • I sometimes do that…
      In my defense, I live alone, and I rarely let leftovers sit in the fridge long enough to go bad.  But when they do, I’d rather they stay sealed up in the fridge then be unsealed and/or at room temp, until I take the compost out (which is mostly napkins, qtips, tea bags, and togo containers. 

    • I just kinda don’t bother with dusting… 
      My worst is by far scrubbing bathrooms. Also dishes, even though I have a dishwasher. I actually sorta enjoy laundry, and I wonder if it’s because it was the chore I was responsible for growing up. 

    • after my brief enlisted stint…
      it’s bullshit.
      if dust bunnies are getting out of hand, I’ll go after them with the vacuum cleaner.  or, if I’m in a cleaning mood, I’ll vacuum most horizontal surfaces in the area – molding around door frames, the tops of outlits/switches, window ledges, etc.  vacuums are awesome.

  3. Lawn work, cleaning toilets, and washing dishes are all completely miserable activities to me.
    I don’t mind vacuuming or laundry. Like BigDamnHeroes, I actually enjoyish laundry day

    • If u enjoy laundry, you don’t have daughters.  Mine would throw clean clothes in the hamper when they had to clean their room to avoid putting them away.  They also wear 3 outfits a day & must wash after wearing for 5 mins!  I hate laundry & always get yelled at for washing shit wrong or drying wrong.  Then do it yourself! 

  4. Bathrooms are the fucking worst. Fortunately Mrs Butcher has no problem cleaning them. She hates laundry so that’s what I do. 
    last week was my saturation point with the house so spent last Saturday cleaning. Except for the bathroom because fuck that. 

  5. my house currently looks like the pic above coz i quit last monday
    spent sunday getting the kitchen clean…again
    went to work monday with it being spotless
    came back from work monday..and the stoves a mess again…theres 9 used plates on the side and a couple bowls and mugs and a fuck load of cuttlery
    how do two people use that much shit in 9 hours?
    are they having fucking dinner parties whilst im at work?

  6. I like doing laundry and vacuuming. They’re a relatively quick and easy way to make the place look better. Plus, I can do laundry while I’m sitting and reading and still feel like I’m “doing something”. I haaaate doing dishes. It’s just gross, especially because none of the guys seem to understand the concept of RINSING. Also, my countertops appear to have been designed for someone about 5 inches shorter than I am so it kills my back. 
    This morning, like, 7am, I hear the toilet running. I go in, joggle the handle, but it keeps running. So I pull the top off the tank… and promptly get sprayed with freezing cold water from face to toes, because the stupid plastic clip that holds the water hose into the tube had slid off, and the lid was the only thing holding it down. It was whipping back and forth like, well, a hose that someone dropped, spraying water everywhere. I managed to get ahold of it and clip it back down, but there were many, MANY rude words involved. Also, lots of cold puddles on the floor, counter, etc. Not to mention my dripping wet nightshirt. It was not a good morning. 

      • I grouted once, a mosaic backsplash that took forever to complete, it was late, I got tired and decided to finish in the morning, lol. Next few days were spent scraping dried grout off each mosaic piece with a razor blade.
        But vacuuming, ugh, that’s the worst. Aside from my kitchen island/wfh space my house is fairly organized BUT, I have french doors separating ‘my room’ from the public rooms. ‘My room’ is where my obsessions live, yarn, sewing machines, floor loom, spinning wheel, I keep jettisoning furniture to fit in more stuff.

    • When I bought my little house (2 bed, 1 bath), I was disappointed that the shower/tub is one of those solid plastic ones and not pretty tile like I was used to for the shower wall. 

      And then I realized how much easier cleaning my bathroom was without grout and tile to clean… and now I am so glad it’s plastic!

  7. About the only thing I hate is vacuuming. And since doubling my square footage when I bought the condo, it takes longer. Boggs’ hair never fully comes up and I hate the noise. I used to diligently vac once a week. Now it’s when I can’t stand it anymore.

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