If there’s one thing that really drives me nuts, it’s sharing my space with a messy person.

I like to live in a clean house and keep things looking good, so when someone messes up my space, I get mad. REALLY MAD.

So, to all the messy folks out there: when do you decide that it’s time to finally clean up?

Here’s what people had to say on AskReddit.

1. Grossed out.

“When the roaches start getting bold.”

Somedays I just wake up and go “this is disgusting” and I clean up. It’s usually when my things start to become to stimulating, like I’m looking at too many things at once.

All of the piles of clothes, books, papers, art supplies just get too much and suddenly I can’t function until somethings are clear.”

2. No mold.

“Messy is fine, smelly or moldy is not.

I might have a cluttered room but I never leave food around. And I dust and vacuum and pick up before company.

It’s kind of relaxing and homey to me, to see dog toys, sunglasses lying around, no pressure to have everything look perfect all the time.”

3. Look to the dogs.

“Whenever my dogs have to step over too many things.

I try to always limit it to messy but not dirty. Clothes on the floor, papers everywhere, but no trash, nothing rotting, nothing smelly.

If it DOES reach that (which it has) that’s my other cue..”

4. Hmmm…

“When my bare a** cheeks start sticking to the couch enough so that when I go to stand up they peel away slowly like a good quality band aid being slowly lifted and peeled off loose saggy skin.

Time to replace the couch!”

5. Needs to be taken care of.

“There is messy, and then there is gross.

Papers here and there? As long as they’re somewhere they won’t get damaged, it doesn’t really matter if it’s neat right this second.

Toys scattered about? That can wait to be put away.

But food? Dishes? Anything that might invite bugs or mold? That’s gross, and needs to be taken care of.”

6. All about the mood.

“It’s pretty mood based. I draw the line at anything not classified as clutter, dust, or dirt. Food or drink messes have to be cleaned up.

I’ve always thought of myself as having energy in bursts. If the timing is right I’ll clean up everything at once.

Since for the most part I’m not bothered by the mess it always seemed more efficient to me to clean everything up all at once.”

7. Now it’s clean!

“As a lifelong “messy person”, 13 years ago I fell in love with someone who is OCD.

Being in love, it was easy for me to convert because I knew she could not help being OCD. I’m super happy to have been brought out of my messiness.

I love waking up every day in a clean bed, walking through my clean house, and making coffee in my clean kitchen.”

8. I think now is the time.

“When does the mess stop being “mess” and start being a symptom of mental illness.

Thats when I clean.”

9. The ratios.

“When the floor/trash ratio slips past 70/30.

The automobile is 50/50.”

10. Ugh!


The answer is always spiders.

I once picked up something up from the floor and a huge spider darted out from underneath and I lost it under something else on the floor.

Either time to tidy or burn the house to the ground!”

11. No more dishes.

“When I run out of dishes..

And then I run out of Tupperware to use in place of dishes…”

12. Happy wife, happy life.

““My wife is getting grumpy”


“My wife is about to get home from her business trip”

As someone super messy by nature living with someone who gets very depressed by mess quickly, honestly keeping things clean and organized to make her happy is worth it.”

13. Better late than never.

“When it’s midnight and I can’t sleep and I get a sudden burst of inspiration mixed with existential crisis.

That is when I tidy.”

14. Yup.

“My buddy’s always had the joke that nobody cleans more efficiently than a dude who thinks he might get laid.”

15. Double cleaning.

“We have a lady come clean our house every 2 weeks.

I have to clean the night before she comes so she doesn’t think we are total slobs.”

16. Seems like a good time.

“When there’s something else that I REALLY don’t want to do, like taxes, I suddenly spring clean.

That’s the only time furniture is moved to clean everything.”

17. Running out of room.

“When I don’t have any room to put more stuff to.

Like on the desk, night stand, the chair.

My floor is mostly clean though.”

18. Don’t do what I do.

“When my desk was full of garbage I used to put more stuff on it by pushing it onto the front edge.

Stuff would fall of the back.

Kids… don’t live like that.

It takes like two minutes to fill a garbage bag.”

19. Sounds kind of extreme.

“If I look for something I need and have to remove mess in order to get to it.

Then I get drunk and clean fu**ing everything for hours.”

20. Fakin’ it!

“Whenever company is coming over.

Gotta maintain the facade that I’m a clean, tidy individual.”

21. I can’t live like this.

“I just walk in from work and go “what the f**k”.

It’s not a specific level of messiness, it just becomes clear and I can’t live with it anymore.”

22. Mixed emotions.

“I usually have a momentary pause and think “this is depressing”

I’ll then clean up for an hour and think “I hate doing this s**t, it’s close enough now.””

23. I’m gonna use this one.

“I don’t know, there is a point that I call ‘critical mess’ where I just have to tidy up.

I can’t define what ‘critical mess’ is, but I know it when I see it.”

24. Enough!

“When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and accidentally trip on whatever is covering my entire bedroom floor, be it clothes or shoes or textbooks like that one time.

Yeah, when I can’t walk around in my own house… time to stop being so damn lazy.”

25. Inconvenienced.

“When the inconvenience of having stuff everywhere outweighs the convenience of having most things I use all the time out and within easy reach.”

How do you decide when it’s time to clean up your place?

Talk to us in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!