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My Big Fat Mess

by Meghann on December 2, 2009

I am typically a granola bar, mixed nuts, or dried fruit girl for my mid-morning snacks. However, this morning I decided to step out of my typical comfort zone and brought in my left over Sweet Potato Fries to snack on instead.


I borrowed a mystery bottle of ketchup from the fridge for dipping and enjoyed the savory snack. I really want to get in the habit of eat more real food for my snacks as opposed to the processed granola bars I am addicted to. One step at a time.

Lunch was a delicious mix of left overs.


Chickpea Casserole from Monday night.


Warm Red Cabbage salad from last night.


Nom Nom Nom.

My sweet tooth kicked in as soon as I finished my plate. I satisfied the craving with a piece of dark chocolate from my stash.


My Mess Revealed…

As I mentioned in my previous post, my apartment is a disaster and I hate to clean.

This is a problem I am trying really, really hard to overcome. The bottom line is I just don’t seem to care whether my apartment is clean or not. My goal is to start caring. It doesn’t help that I grew up with parents who have the same problem as I do and spoiled me with a weekly housekeeper who would clean up after my messes. I would kill for a weekly housekeeper right about now.

A few of you recommended posting photos of the disaster zone to encourage myself to clean and have a ‘finished’ product to share.

I have to warn you these photos are not pretty. If you are a neat freak and a big mess causes you to hyperventilate I would suggest skipping to this segment of my post. 😉

Exhibit A: The pile of clean laundry that needs to be put away. Also please note the disorganized desk in the background that has never actually been used as a desk since the day I moved in.


Exhibit B: The pile of cardboard boxes that has been piling up for a few months now and needs to be taken to the dumpster.


Exhibit C: The pile of boxes filled with products that need to be reviewed on the end table next to my doorway.


Exhibit D: My Kitchen and my counter littered with random items. Please note I have to place my running shoes up high otherwise Maddie will attempt to eat them.


Exhibit E: My bathroom is the one place I HATE organizing. If I use my blow dryer and straightener everyday, then what is the point of putting them away? I also love the easy access of other hair supplies on the counter rather than in the cabinet.


Exhibit F: Last, but not least, my bedroom.


Hi Maddie!

So, there you have it. My big fat mess. Now that I have aired my dirty laundry, perhaps I will be more encouraged to actually do something about it!

1 spindiva24 December 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm

LOL! Love it. You’re not the ony one, trust me!

I noticed the shoes on the counter top-a pet peeve of mine is when my boyfriend leaves his on top of the bed, table, counter tops, etc.! lol

2 greenbean December 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

you are brave! i don’t know if i could post my mess. the thought scares the sheet out of me, but i could see how it is truly motivating. don’t be shocked if i take some pics to send them your way. maybe you won’t feel so bad 🙂 we can do it!

3 caffeinerd December 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for sharing those photos, seriously, because that’s about what mine looks like right now, too. I’m in my last year of grad school, so I’m sort of in between wanting a “grown-up”, presentable apartment…and realizing that, with finals week approaching, my apartment is about to get even worse. Hey, one step at a time! I just did laundry + the dishes…slowly gettin’ back to clean!

4 Nicole December 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I can be like that too! I am glad I am not the only one. I keep the apartment I just moved into really organized, but my last bedroom was a WRECK!

5 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) December 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Wow! I applaud you for being able to share that. I hate doing dishes and I once posted a pic of them practically climbing up the wall and it did help me stay on top of it better, just having that picture in my mind. Good luck 🙂

6 laura dishes December 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Oh, Meghann! (Do I sound like your mom or what?) You can totally transform your apartment… I agree that the first step is caring – which you do, and then beyond that, I would just pick one area per day to pick up & clean! It will be spotless in no time. 😉

p.s. I’m a neat freak… but there’s no judgement here!

7 legalstyle December 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm

OMG you weren’t kidding!! Well, these photos will scare you into organizing, I’m sure.

This might qualify for a reality tv show, or something. Clean sweep?!


8 Mellissa December 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm

This almost gave me a panic attack! Could you try setting the timer for 15 or 30 minutes and cleaning as much as you can in that time?

Maybe set a schedule for what you clean on what days so it is not as overwhelming?

9 Sam December 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm

I happen to be on the neater side of things, but I still hate cleaning. I

‘ve found one thing that really helps is making my bed everryyy morning when I get up. It makes the room look a LOT cleaner, trust me (and it only takes 30 seconds)!

10 Katie December 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm

This might be my first time commenting… hi! But the mess.. oh well, we’ve all had our moments. Especially with hectic holiday times and travels. If you watch any TV shows, try to do something while commercials are on… a few five minute sessions here and there can make a dent. Or just sent a 5-10 minute timer each night instead of commercials. That’s probably my favorite method of cleaning- lots of breaks and something to look forward to. Good luck!


11 Janessa December 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Oh my gosh, me too.

I just don’t care enough to clean my surroundings. Though I like it when it’s nice, I don’t necessarily have the motivation to make it that way.

Have you looked into the Myers Briggs personality tests? When I found out what mine was, one of the defining characteristics is that my type just doesn’t pay as much attention to physical surroundings… day to day tasks are seen as mundane and monotonous; there’s so much other stuff we’d rather be doing!

It definitely made me feel better to know some people are just wired differently.

good luck with the cleaning!

12 meyergirl December 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I feel your pain. We just moved into a 2100 sq. ft. house and it’s just more to clean. 🙁 It gets messy within hours.

13 Juli D. December 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm

We all have different cleanliness thresholds. Just like you shouldn’t beat yourself up because your body isn’t “perfect” don’t beat yourself up because your place isn’t perfectly clean. Being a bit messy doesn’t make you a bad person. But if it’s really stressing you out – then clean! As long as you live happily who care is you live a little sloppily?

14 Kim December 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm

This literally made me laugh out loud! You were not exaggerating! Okay, so maybe not totally fix-able before you leave, but you can make a dent in it! I believe in you!

15 Traci December 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Oh boy! It might help to organize in stages. So dedicate a couple of hours to one room at a time rather than trying to do it all at once. Less overwhelming. You’ll love the feeling of coming home to a clean, organized house! During the week I don’t get home from yoga or my run until about 8:30pm. I leave for work at 7am so it’s a long stretch, not much time to get thigs done. Honestly by Friday sometimes I look around and say Whew! This place needs a pick up! Good luck 🙂

16 Cinemarie December 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

thank goodness for your post – so I am not alone after all!! lol
You can do this no problem!!! Good luck! 🙂

17 Brittney December 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Wow. You weren’t kidding 🙂 I agree with what some other people said about setting a timer for 15 minutes or whatever. Maybe you can have a little compettition with yourself to see how much you can get done in that time. You seem like you’re a competitive person so that’s something that could work 🙂

18 Danielle December 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

YOU are AWESOME! And so brave for posting these pictures 🙂 I love it. My apartment looks the SAME way, and luckily my husband is just as messy as I am. So take your mess and times by two. And add cat hair. Ugh.

19 Ironlady December 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Whoa! Yup, you were right. LOL! I don’t know where I’d even start. Maybe you can hide all the clothes in a closet somewhere so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. Either that or just do the kitchen and save the rest for later. Good luck!

20 Stephanie J December 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm

It is a huge relief to see I’m not the only one! My apartment could give yours a run for the money.

My cleaning method is to take all the mess, put it in one giant pile, and then work through it. The rest of the apartment will look clean except for that pile. And, ok, the pile ends up sitting there for weeks…erm…months, but it’s progress!

21 Erin (Mommy on the Run) December 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Wow!! I feel for you! I was totally one of those that nearly hyperventilated while looking at the pics. There’s hope though!! This stuff is just stuff and it can be organized. You can do it!! Maybe pick one room a week and commit to having it organized by a certain day. Give each room a “due date” on your blog and it will hold you accountable. I totally wish I lived close so I could come help (I LOVE to clean and organize…totally relaxes me). You will feel SO MUCH BETTER having organized spaces. Good luck!!

22 Matt December 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I am a neat/clean freak and those photos made me cringe!

23 jen December 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm

YUCK! i would not be able to relax at all in that mess!
Clean Meghann Clean 🙂

24 julia December 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Definitely start making your bed! I never used to, but then I got new bedding and I realized that it makes my bedroom seem so much neater. I don’t make it perfectly, but it still makes a big difference. And it takes two seconds.

I also try to abide by the “5 Minute Rule.” If something takes five minutes or less to do (like hanging up my jacket, filing receipts, etc.), I have to do it right away. It really cuts down on clutter.

25 Liz December 2, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I think the 5 minute rule is a really good one. Clutter accumulates so easily and then when you finally get to it, the individual tasks take no time but you end up spending an afternoon doing mundane things (like filing receipts and paycheck stubs).

My grandmother used to set the timer for 10 minutes and pick a room and clean until the timer rang. Then the next day she would do another room. You’d be surprised how much you can pick up in 10 minutes.

26 Lindsay December 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm

You are very brave to share those photos and I think it is soo funny that we have the same bed frame!! How long have you have it?? I haver had mine forever!!

27 lauren December 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I also have the same bedroom set as you. I’ve had it for years and we just got the armoire off craigslist.
I’m a bit of a mess, but my husband keeps me neat-ish! My worst messes happen on the kitchen island and right next to my side of the bed. I am THAT lazy, I hate putting things away and love to wait ’til later…and my mom’s right, “later never comes”
Post an after picture when you’re done and even if you revert back, we’ll never know!
🙂 Good luck!!

28 Jessica December 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Hi there. I have two boys in my house so it often looks like quite a whirlwind. I try to stay on top of it but sometimes it gets out of control. What I have done is started putting small cleaning jobs on my (google) tasks list with a defined finish date. Nothing feels better to me then crossing it off my to do list. I just tackle one thing at a time (put away laundry, clean off kitchen counters, etc) and then I also have a list of bigger items (organize filing, clean out closet, etc) with no due date that I try and do if I have any spare time. For some reason if I have it on my to-do list and know I cannot cross it off till its done it helps me get motivated to do it.

29 eaternotarunner December 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I like having things organized but are the same way about cleaning! Dust is taking over the tops of all of my furniture!

Good luck with the cleaning 🙂

30 homegirlcaneat December 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Unplug your straightener or blow dryer that’s in the sink so your apartment doesn’t burn down!!

31 Rose December 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Sometimes my life looks like that too. The good news? It will all be fine in no time!

32 tami December 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm

oh my god. both my husband and i thrive on order and cleanliness so i have no idea how to help you

is derek ok with this?

some people might mock the housekeeper but if you know all of this isn’t a priority than it might be a good idea (when and if you can afford it)

do you have too much stuff in your house that you don’t know what to do with it all?

33 Derek December 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Sure am, we’re a messy match. =)

34 Jerilynne December 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Oh Meghann, I can totally relate!

But here’s how I see it: maybe your apartment is messy, but unless it is really bothering YOU, I see no need to change! Your apartment seems sanitary – there’s not actual garbage lying around or anything (if there were, that’d be a different story!!). So what’s a little bit of a mess??

For what it’s worth… I came back from my parent’s house on Monday and still haven’t unpacked!

35 Marisa (Trim The Fat) December 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Clean your room! Okay, as a mom, it’s my job to tell anyone who messes that!

Now, if you came to my house….it would be that “do as I say, not as I do” rule 🙂

36 Paula December 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Hyperventilating as I type this! LOL

Seriously, the key is to just get in there and get it done. Yes, the first time will take a while, but once you get it organized and clean, then it should only take a few minutes every day to maintain. Most importantly…put stuff away as you go! It’s the piles that pile up, if you know what I mean. It’s a lot easier to put one thing away immediately, than take an hour to put a bunch of things away that have accumulated.

Oh, and if you have to have one area that is a little messier than others, so be it, but try to limit it to ONE area.

Finally, it’s not THAT bad, it just seems overwhelming. I’m not sure when you’re leaving, but if you tackle one area each night, you can make a good dent in a couple of days. Good luck!!

37 MelissaNibbles December 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I may have just had an OCD anxiety attack. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all and just want to start fresh, spend the money to have someone come in and clean it for you. After that one time, you’ll just have to maintenance clean. You have to promise yourself that you’ll do the maintenance cleaning, otherwise it’s not worth the expense.

38 Amanda December 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Hyperventilating over here!! I don’t think I would be able to relax without cleaning that 🙂 Def. make it a game to clean – while dinner cooks, see how much you can get done!

39 Whitney @ Lettuce Love December 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm

You are so brave to post your messy pics. I don’t think I could do that. I always get to my breaking point where the mess just becomes too much for me and I go on a cleaning spree. Good luck cleaning 🙂

40 lily @ Lily's Health Pad December 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I totally agree with leaving out the hairdryer and the straightener because you use them every day! I do try to remember to put these things away before I have company though. 🙂

However, that’s probably the only area in which we are alike when it comes to neatness! Honestly, being a bit messy doesn’t sound all that bad. It would be nice if I could cut down on the amount of time I spend cleaning and not worry about it!

41 goodtastehealthyme December 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm

hahah wow! just take it room by room. you’ll get through it all….eventually 😉

42 Erin December 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Well… it could be worse! 😉

I was majorly craving sweet potato fries today so made a big batch for lunch. Mmmm.

43 Runningwriter December 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm

A responsible person might say “Meghann, having electrical devices plugged in and sitting in the bathroom sink is dangerous” but I’m not responsible. OK, I think start with the clothes. Folding up clean clothes is the quickest way to tidy up a large area. But you have to put them away as well. I never get that far. Good luck!!

44 Lizzy December 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm

You are so much like me its crazy. i’m actually smiling as i’m typing cause my bedroom looks just like yours if not worse!!! my bathroom is the same. if i use the same hair products each day why put them away. but the one thing that i can’t stand when i do my laundry, i do have to put it back immediately cause i hate when things get wrinkled. I bet after putting this up, you’ll get to cleaning asap. one step at a time girl! start with the smaller messes like the boxes, cause you go in and out all the time, the next time you leave just take them with you. after you do the small chores, just move onto the bigger things. don’t tackle everything at one time, cause then you might just get overwhelmed and quite! hope this helps!

45 Mica December 2, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Wow, that is quite a mess! I like your cleaning ambition!

…And Maddie is so cute!

46 Kate December 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Hello! First-time commenter.
I sometimes end up close to that.
I suggest doing a task that frees up the most space – and is easy.

Take those boxes down to the dumpster! Go now! I bet it will take less than 10 minutes. Go!

… back? See that huge clean space where those boxes just were? Isn’t that better?

Now, do one more thing – and put something on the stove cooking that you can’t touch until it’s done. Take a chicken breast. Put it in the pan, turn it on medium. Take every sample from the table, and put them away. Make sure you don’t let that chicken burn!

There. Two things down – and you have dinner. Take a break.

That works for me every time. Step 1 – get rid of the most voluminous mess that’s fast and easy (boxes). Step 2 – do one task quickly for fear of burning your delicious delicious food. Step 3 – go do something else for a while.

Good luck!

47 Katie December 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm

(or recycle them!)

48 Orla December 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I gotta admit, I freaked out a bit as I scrolled down through those pics!! If I come home from work and see that the bed isn’t made, it puts me in a bad mood. I wish my peace of mind wasn’t so dependent on my apartment being tidy – before anybody visits I spend FOREVER cleaning it!!

49 Andrea December 2, 2009 at 4:03 pm

OMG. I’m not gonna lie. That was WAY worse than what I had imagined in my head. The good news is that I used to live like that as well. I really think that as you get older, you do start to care more. Once the place is clean, just remember how good it feels to come into a sparkling, clutter-free home – how it’s so easy to find what you’re looking for because it was put back in it’s proper place. Use those memories/feelings as ways to motivate when you don’t want to clean and pretty soon you will want to keep things clean. It’s amazing how five minutes a day of cleaning/straightening/organizing before you go to bed can keep your house looking fab all the time.

50 Jessica December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I like to set a timer for a very short period of time each day and within that period of time I non-stop clean and pick-up and organize. I am talking very short periods of time – like 5 or 7 minutes. You would be amazed at the amount of stuff you can get done in that amount of time if you do it almost every day. Plus, since it is such a short period of time you will be more likely to stick with it.

51 inmytummy December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Your house looks like mine!! Just tell yourself that you aren’t mess; you are creative.

52 Catherine December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Dude, you are a girl after my own heart. You should consider a cleaning lady. It seems indulgent, but I do it once a month (I pay $100 in San Francisco, I’d bet the rates are lower in Florida) and it feels SO GOOD! I tell people it’s better than getting a massage, because it’s so relaxing to come home to a clean space. If nothing, I recommend it when things get really bad, just because it saves so much time and they’ll do all the little things you’ll never do.

Seriously, check out Craigslist, I bet you can find someone for not too much!

53 whitneyinchicago December 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm

You were really not kidding!

Take an hour tonight and tackle it. It seems like you just need to establish “homes” for stuff. Like, get a cute basket to set in your bathroom, in plain site, where you can keep your blow dryer and such. That way they look “put away” without really being stashed away.

Break down your cardboard boxes when you open them. Simple things make staying tidy easier.

It doesn’t look dirty, but I feel like you would feel better if your home felt comforting and not a disaster.

54 kbwood December 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

you too? glad im not the only one with a messy room!!! hahah i saw your tweet about the ketchup..guess it wasnt so old..youre still kickin!

55 Kara December 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I have to admit, this made me chuckle a little, I thought maybe you were exaggerating when you mentioned being messy. But good for you for sharing! As a bit of a neat freak, my best advice to you would be baby steps. Focus on one room or area at a time, once you’ve successfully kept one area organized/neat consistently, then move on to the next. Laundry is my nemesis, so now I make the effort to put it away once its dry. Sometimes it sucks, but I always end up feeling better about not procrastinating…

56 Emily December 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I don’t think its that bad. It doesn’t seem dirty, just cluttery. It probably wouldn’t take but a solid hour or two to clean up.
First do all the clothes, it will make the biggest difference in how things look. Make the bed too.
Then take the cardboard boxes to your car (to recycle) or the trashcan.
When that is finished, tackle the desk.
Maybe move a piece of furniture to the doorway area (not sure if possible) to catch the to-be-reviewed items until you can get to them.
Do you have a front closet for your shoes?

A lot of the mess just looks like you don’t have places for things, i know living in an apartment is much harder to clean (at least for me it was) because not everything had a place.

As for the bathroom- looks fine to me, mine is always worse than that. I hate putting stuff away i’ll just be using again.

Have you priced a cleaning service? I know they aren’t too expensive and you can have them come once every month to once every week, maybe it is worth it to you to work it into the budget? I always joke to my husband that as soon as we graduate we are getting a live in maid 🙂 i hate cleaning!

57 Derek December 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I’m def not a neat freak. I’ve got laundry (clean and dirty) scattered throughout my place.

58 Reenie December 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I always think…….what if someone were to just drop by my house…..or what if I had to have someone go in my house without me! YIKES!!!

It’s those thoughts that make me pick up after myself …..and it’s a lot easier if you do it that way….although I have been bad at not making my bed lately! 🙁

59 Ali December 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm

WOW, you were serious! I hope posting them helps you to feel like cleaning up. I bet once it is all cleaned and organized you will feel relieved!

60 Deb December 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Wow! You weren’t kidding. I find that if you clear out the clutter, the room will look pretty neat and clean. Put dirty clothes where they go, the clean ones where they go, make the bed, etc. it wil only take a few minutes to go dump the boxes but it will make a big difference. You could break the boxes down flat and they would be easier to manage to get to the dumpster. I have a rectangular rubbermaid bin under my bathroom sink where I keep the flat iron, hair dryer, hair products, etc. I just throw everything back in there after I use it and put it under the sink. The bathroom looks neat when all the junk gets hidden from sight. Everyone needs to clean up after themselves. Good Luck and try not to lose Maddie in the mess!

61 RhodeyGirlTests December 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Also hyperventilating as I look at this.

Meghann! It is so easy to keep clean. Do this. Pick a time every day and for 15 minutes just clean as much as you can as fast as you can. Always. Like, forever and ever. We do this and our house stays in great shape that way (besides the occasional tasks like cleaning blinds, scrubbing floors, etc. which takes longer than 15 minutes and we only do like once a month).

Also, how about a small little shelf on that wall in the bathroom or even a simple basket so they don’t clog up the area but are still out?

You need a KERF makeover 😉

62 Julie December 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

oh my word. I thought I was bad! Yikes. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. You, my dear, are a stage 5 slob!

63 Tracey @ tropicalhappiness December 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Well, the good news is that messiness doesn’t bother you. The bad news is, well, that’s pretty messy! 🙂

I am a CLEAN FREAK (ie I clean my house from top to bottom, including mopping the floors and cleaning all of the bathrooms once a week), but I am messy. My husband is a clean freak AND a neat freak. So right now, we keep our house pretty neat, but my closets (two of them) are a total disaster. Take your messy areas and shove it into a closet, and that’s what I’m dealing with. I know how overwhelming it can be.

I think it’s two fold for me- one, I’m a messy person, so my closet will always be messy. And two, I don’t really have a “spot” for everything, so it just ends up laying around. If I could make space and have a “spot” for everything, I’d put it there, but I can’t so I don’t! 🙂

I say do one thing each day. Tonight- take those empty boxes to the dumpster. Easy peasy & then you’re done for the day. Tomorrow, make your bed. Friday, tackle the end table with the products that you need to review. See how you feel about those steps, and then you can figure out the best way to tackle the rest!


64 Julie @ Wearing Mascara December 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Girl, this took guts! Wow! My apt is PRETTY much the same thing. It’s totally okay though. No shame here! I hope I learn to care too. If posting these pictures on your blog works out, I will do the same and hopefully I’ll start caring as well.

65 Haleigh December 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm

You are a brave girl to post those pictures! I am also a very messy person and I really have to keep it in check otherwise my apartment would look like it got hit with a tornado. It’s hard but as long as I pick something up immediately, it doesn’t become too much of a problem. My closet on the other hand… is definitely another story 🙂

66 Laura Georgina December 2, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I love your mess! Shoes on the kitchen counter/island: priceless 🙂 I’m not a clean freak, but even though clutter distracts me, I manage to have some mighty piles of junk–and then stress about them. I really admire it when people can just deal with messiness, because I’d be a lot easier on myself if I could!

And anyway, tidiness is overrated–a messy apartment is a sign of a life well-lived 🙂

67 jenna December 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm

a tip for the bathroom: 3m hooks work great to hang up your straightner and blowdryer. i did that in college because i didnt have a spot in my room to hang them up. you can wrap the cords around each item then hang them up…still easily accessible to you but tidied up.
also never doubt the power of baskets for storage, you can keep things within reach but looks a lot cleaner

68 Graze With Me December 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Your apartment makes me nervous. I shouldn’t have looked at the photos! You did warn the neat freaks though so I can only blame myself…..!

69 Ida December 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm

just set a aside 20 min a day and attack one area at at time. before you know it the place will be clean

70 Ashley December 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I had a good laugh at your pictures- very brave! ha. I have a problem taking the recyclables down to the dumpster too.

I find there is something about a made bed that somehow negates all the clothes on the floor. it makes a difference i swear!

71 anne December 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Perhaps try working in one room each night this week? Maybe you need to de-clutter and get rid of some things (like the desk you mentioned that had never been properly used).

I liked Kate’s comment above too… Getting started is the hardest part! You’re such a dedicated runner – you have the discipline to whip that apartment into shape!

Can’t wait to see the after photos!

72 katie December 2, 2009 at 5:17 pm

your room looks like mine – kind of glad to see i’m not alone in never being able to keep in nice and clean…especially my desk – i’m not sure if i’ve ever had a clean desk in my life…work included.

73 Alison December 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I’m definitely a neat freak however, I’m not a happier person because I live in a tidier home. Sometimes being a neat freak is consuming and energy zapping and, in the grand scheme of things, probably not worth all the effort. If you’re content living with a little clutter than I say, so be it. If you’re happy with your life, don’t feel bad. You’re a brave woman for showing those pictures!

74 Jessica @ Jessica Balances December 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Hahahaha I love this post so much! My apartment looks about like yours… haha especially my bathroom! Why bother putting away stuff you use everyday?! 🙂 Good luck cleaning up!

75 Tracy December 2, 2009 at 5:43 pm

woah! you’re going to be one busy gal!!

76 Kristin P. December 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm

I say take the boxes to recycling and start making your bed everyday. That was one of the first steps I took to have a cleaner living space. It looks so calming that it inspires you to clear more clutter.
Check out “clear your clutter with Feng Shui”- it helped me SO MUCH.
good luck! 🙂

77 Sarah December 2, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Ahhh! Oh my. That’s pretty gross, I hate to say. Not even that it looks cluttered – but it doesn’t look clean!! Please pick it up before you catch some sort of disease, LOL.

78 Nicci@NiftyEats December 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Yikes!! from now on I won’t ake a big deal if my bf and his pileof socks he keeps, in the corner. My place is clean all the time, but his sock pile. It gets on my nerves. lol have fun cleaning.

79 tangerinesandmarmalade December 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I’m not going to lie, I had a mini panic attack when I saw those pictures! But hey, different strokes for different folks – if it doesn’t bother you, then who care? : )

80 Alexis December 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I would LOVE to come clean/organize your apartment. Seriously. I had a mini panic attack looking at the pictures, lol.

Check out!! It’s a step by step program to help get yourself in the habit of cleaning and organizing 🙂

81 Wendy December 2, 2009 at 9:10 pm

YES!!!! Flylady saved me and my messy house!!

Alexis has the right link, mine below is wrong!

82 Jenn December 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Hi Meghann!
My room in college looked like your apartment sometimes so I can definately relate!
You will feel so much better once its all nice and clean.
I agree with a few others – it definately doesn’t look dirty, you just have stuff everywhere, lol!
One thing I thought – I hope it doesn’t offend you – I really think you need to clean it up for Maddie. You don’t want her to get hurt by chewing on something that could hurt her, and you don’t want her to ruin something by chewing on it because she doesn’t know that it isn’t on the floor for her. And she’ll have more room to run and play inside on cold winter days. 🙂
Good luck! You can do it!

83 Kristin December 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm

It’s so good to know that someone other than me has a place that looks like this. You have a lot of courage to put pics on the internet.

84 Sarah December 2, 2009 at 6:20 pm

At home, I’m exactly like you – messy to the max. But at school, I use cleaning as an outlet when I’m stressed (or maybe just as an avenue to procrastinate a little more?). I totally can relate to your not wanting to clean though, since when I’m back at home I would rather eat dirt than do something productive like, say, fold my laundry! Such a hassle, right?!

85 Carrie @ I See Monsters December 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm

I so relate to this, Meghann. I used to be the exact same way. It’s only in the last two years or so that I’ve made a conscious effort to keep my apartment tidy. It’s a struggle, but I sort of “force” myself now.

My two big tips would be:

1. Make your bed every day. Once I started doing that, everything just seemed cleaner.

2. The other one would be for your bathroom. My bathroom is super tiny with barely any storage so I was forced to brainstorm a solution. I decided to keep all of my products under the sink in baskets. What I’ve found is really easy is to keep each “type” of product in one basket — makeup in one, hair brushes and products in another, etc. — and then just pull out the basket I need from under the sink. When you’re done with the product, throw it back in the basket and chuck in under the sink. Instant clean surface! LOL.

86 Cara December 2, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Thats disgusting!!!! How can you stand to live like that????

87 Naomi (onefitfoodie) December 2, 2009 at 6:48 pm

it is hard to always have a spic and span house, it takes dedication to keeping it that way! whenever I use something (bowl or hairdryer) I always make sure I put it away when i am through that way it doesnt sit there all day and less clean up later!

some others have suggested which is a great idea, making your bed everyday, it will jump start the idea that your room always should be clean!

those sweet potato fries look DELLLIIICIOUS!

88 Andrea December 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Oh dear! You weren’t kidding about the mess! I am definitely in the clean freak category but my husband is not at all! The motto I stick with is “everything has it’s place.” I use it quite often with him. I feel once you establish where everything belongs, you just need to get in the habit of putting it there.

89 sarah (ghost world) December 2, 2009 at 6:53 pm

personally i am glad to see it is just as you sold it — i would have been disappointed if it was only kinda cluttered 🙂

good luck with the cleaning project — i think tackling one room at a time is a good goal. then again, i also admire the fact that you don’t care – it would stress me out TO THE MAX! does it prevent you from using your home in certain ways, though, like to entertain or host others?

finally, i also say . . . KERF to the rescue 🙂 i bet she would do wonders . . . we can all chip in to fly her down for an intervention!

90 jeri December 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I’m exactly the same as you. I just don’t see the point in wasting that much time cleaning, I’d rather enjoy my time! As long as you’re not dirty, then a little (or big) mess never hurt anyone. 😀

91 Erin December 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

This is so funny because even reading through the comments, you can totally see the two camps that people tend to fall into – hyperventilation and/or eh, not a big deal/I’m the same way. I love it!

These pictures to me actually make me super psyched, because like I just posted, I seriously love to organize. It makes me so happy to get through rooms like this and make other people feel good about their clean spaces! I too abide by the 5 minute rule where I take 5 minutes at night to pick things up. I also abide by a “don’t wait” rule where I trryyyyy my hardest not to let something go for more than a day without either putting it away, cleaning it, or finding a home for it. I also like making it fun and have found super, super cute baskets, shelves, etc, at TJ Maxx, Homegoods, IKEA, etc. If the bins/baskets are super cute, maybe they’ll make you want to use them?

With all this being said, like someone else commented, it seems like it’s something you want to improve on. So like with any habit, it takes time to work on it. Don’t be overwhelmed! Admittance is the first step 🙂

92 Erin December 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Oh, and I forgot to add that I always, always listen to music when I clean. It stems from Saturday morning cleaning when I was little; my mom would blast great 70’s jams like Carly Simon, James Taylor and anything else in their record collection and we would jam out (while simultaneously cleaning). I’m positive this is why I associate cleaning with a good time!

93 allie December 2, 2009 at 7:12 pm

holy *&%), you warned us but i had no idea a mess like this could exist!! i am neat to a fault though, i think. this is going to take you a while to plow through (literally, i am afraid), but one trick i have is almost every day when i get back from my run- when i am good and sweaty and don’t mind getting dirty- i do some cleaning. even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes before i hop into the shower. it adds up!

94 Wendy December 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Go check out flylady! ( – yes, I also commented about this on your last post!) Her solution isn’t an overnight fix, it’s more like making a lifestyle change, which takes time.

95 Diana December 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Somebody already mentioned a basket organizing idea–but here’s what I do for my hair dryer and straightener…i bought a pretty, espresso brown wicker basket narrow enough to fit on top of the toilet tank, and that’s where I throw in my hair “appliances,” as well as lotions, hair serums, etc…everything looks more organized (even if it isn’t!) if it’s contained in a basket!

96 rungirlrunn December 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Don’t worry, I’ve seen much worse 🙂 I go through messy-clean phases…it’s so much easier to keep clean when it’s tidy, but once I start getting messy, it gets wAY messy!

97 Lindsay December 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to see that all of my favourite health food bloggers aren’t perfect – I often wonder how you gals do it all!

98 Jenna December 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

i love how you freeze your meals and then have them for meals throughout the week! super quick and easy.
just do one room at a time, a little here and a little there! i could NOT live like you are. haha. i am a total neat freak!

99 Heather December 2, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Meghann, I actually find these photos a bit reassuring. I had always assumed your apartment was KERF-like, based on your discipline in every other area of life. I can totally relate to being messy. I struggle with it every day. Oddly, seeing your place gives me hope that perhaps I CAN achieve a routine in other areas of my life, if not my apartment — just like you have! Thanks for posting these, and please try not to be offended by the hyperventilators!

100 Karen whitlock December 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Good to know you have a flaw! I am a mess myself… don’t sweat it 🙂

101 Karla December 2, 2009 at 8:51 pm

My apartment is just as bad… I blame it on my roommate 🙁

102 Evan Thomas December 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I think… you have work to do, haha, good luck! Hopefully this will be the motivator you need

103 Alyssa December 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Dude (more like dudette), props to you Meghann for posting these pics! Blast that Christmas music and that apartment will be clean in no time! Just think about how much better you will feel after it is all clean 🙂

104 caronae December 2, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I sympathize! My dorm room is small, so the mess is even more compounded. I try to clean once a week. I tell myself to do it because I feel emotionally lighter afterwards, I swear! A clearer space makes your whole life clearer!

105 gina (fitnessista) December 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

ack! if you need help, holler. i cant stand messes, haha and i’m only 3 hours away 😉
good luck- just think about how good it will feel when it’s clean and organized!

106 Emily December 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm

This made me feel much better! My apartment totally looks like that!!!! When I lived with my neat friend I worked really hard to stay clean so as not to make her mad. Since I’ve moved in with my boyfriend (4 years ago) I’m a complete slob! I mean he’s not going to break up with me because I left my dishes in the sink…) I do love it when it is clean, but somehow not enough to do anything about it.
When Kath posts house pictures they are always SOOO neat – yours is much more my style. 😉

107 ashleigh December 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm

wow i am surprised you shared that picture!! honestly i am such a mess too and i don’t mind it. my apartment looks very similar!! i clean because i have cats and i don’t want my apt to smell but i HATE it and i would rather do anything in the world than clean. Plus reallly, i waste time cleaning and a few hours later it’s a disaster again. good luck getting it clean this weekend 🙂

108 chasingthenow December 2, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Lady, you have some cleaning to do! Get to it!!!

109 Alison December 2, 2009 at 9:45 pm

You need Fly Lady! Check her out – she’s got some great tips.

You are totally not alone. And like they say, a clean house is a sign of a wasted life. 😉 (At least that’s what I like to tell myself.)

110 BethT @ Pretty By The Bay December 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Man, I feel so much better about my house now… hehe! Hey girl, live your life as you see fit 🙂

111 Courtney December 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm

OH MY GOD I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Love your bathroom! JUST LIKE MINE! I feel that this is just the reality of it – this is how REAL people live. It’s like the moment in Along Came Polly – when she asks why he always puts the pillows on and off the bed – because it looks nice – who even sees it?! HE SPENDS 8 minutes a day, taking pillows on and off a bed.


I love your mess. It’s YOU. and we love you. :]

112 Courtney December 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Seriously, I can’t believe people are encouraging you to clean. Just get a housekeeper! 😀 WHO CARES?!?!

113 Laura December 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm

A great trick I learned from Caitlin’s blog is to use the Online Stopwatch. When I was studying for the GRE a couple of weeks ago I would set it for 15 minutes and study all of the vocab cards I could during that time, forget about it for awhile, and then go back to it later. Perhaps you could set it for 5, 10, 15 minutes (whatever you feel like) and clean as much as you can during that time, and then call it a day 🙂

114 Susan December 2, 2009 at 10:31 pm

OMG…. I seriously could not live like that…. yes I hyperventilated quite a bit! I agree with what everyone else said, one step at a time and set a time limit to clean one room. If you pick up a little everyday, even putting stuff away after you are done with it, you will see how little time and effort it really takes. You should make a challenge for yourself like you do with running, that might help- good luck! 🙂

115 suzanne December 2, 2009 at 11:18 pm

I’m glad i’m not the only person with house cleaning issues!! I try but for some reason it just doesn’t last long. If you find the way to do it easier please share 🙂

116 Hangry Pants December 2, 2009 at 11:28 pm

LOL! Meghann I never would have guessed this about you! Well, maybe I could have from that underwear washing revelation from awhile ago. I am on the messy side and Mark is a complete neat freak. Unlike you, however, I really really want to be neat and feel much better when things are orderly. Good luck!

117 Hangry Pants December 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm

P.S. Mark would yell at you if he saw you put your dirty sneakers on a counter where you could potentially eat. He would tell you those touch the ground and floor!

118 MareBare December 2, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I love that you blogged this!!! I confess I am a messy person!!!! And it only got worse when I moved in with my boyfriend who is equally messy 🙁

Our only way to resolve our “house issues” was by getting a maid to come once a week to tidy up. It really helps it from becoming overwhelming and we are usually able to keep our apartment “suitable” for guests.

That might be something you could consider, maybe having someone come once a month or every couple months for a deep clean and leaving the rest up to you. It did wonders for us!!!

119 Hethir December 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm

As a reformed messy person I can totally relate. We hired a house keeper and it has made a huge difference. I find myself picking up before she comes over so there is not a huge piles of clutter around. It costs us $25 a week. It does feel so much better when it is all cleared out and open.

120 Molly December 2, 2009 at 11:58 pm

I really don’t think it’s that bad! Messy yes, but it’s not like there are dirty dishes or trash everywhere. It’s mostly clothes!

That said, I concur with the cleaning-a-little-everyday advice. It sucks, but it’s the ONLY thing that works for me. Plus it’s nice to go to sleep with a clean apartment!

121 Jenn (eating bender) December 3, 2009 at 12:13 am

Your apartment looks familiar. Oh yeah, because that is EXACTLY what my apartment looks like! We are in this together — I can’t wait to hear how you get motivated because I could sure use some tips!

122 marsha December 3, 2009 at 12:38 am

Way to go posting those pics! Hopefully it does work as motivation! I hate things being messy yet seem to be missing the care to clean gene too. My desk at work is spotless before I leave for the day so why can’t I do that with my apartment? Oh yeah, I have a messy boyfriend and 2 cats contributing to the clutter. 😉
Looking forward to clean pics! You can do it!

123 Sammie December 3, 2009 at 10:33 am

Oh my Meghann!! I am such a neat freak and looking at those pictures makes me want to run right over and help you tidy up your place. I wish I lived closer, I would totally come to your rescue. I give you a lot of credit for being so open and honest.
By the way – Maddie is so darn cute that every time I see her little face I want to run out and get a Jack Russel. Has she reached full size yet? She seems like such a peanut.

124 Meghann December 3, 2009 at 10:39 am

She is a peanut! She weighs in around 8 pounds and honestly I’m not sure if shes full grown or not. She just turned 7 months. When do pups usually reach full grown maturity?

125 Jess December 3, 2009 at 10:51 am

Hey Meghan! You should clean in 15 minute intervals that way it doesn’t seem too overwhelming. Start with the easiest mess and work from there. It won’t happen in a day but you didn’t make that mess in a day either 🙂

You can do it – you just need to get into a routine. Maybe get some hooks in the bathroom for your hair dryer/straightener so there’s accessible but off the counter?

126 Lauren December 3, 2009 at 11:54 am

I live in a 675 sq ft loft and if I’m not careful, it gets out of control FAST! I’m not a neat person my nature, so it takes work.

One of my tricks is to go by room(or in my case, area). I start in the kitchen…if there is stuff there that needs to go to my living room, bedroom, closet, etc. I take it there. I don’t put it away, but I put it in the appropriate area. And then I clean the kitchen. I move to the living room—same thing. Take items that don’t belong and move them. Eventually I make it to my closest—which is a disaster 🙂

127 Laura December 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Hi! I’m clearly behind on blogs but I saw this and had to reply! Head pictures could have been taken straight from my house as of a few months ago. I’m not a neat person by nature so it takes a lot of work for me to be neat! If I have a dirty apartment though it instantly stresses me out so it’s a top priority for me to have a nice clean place!

The biggest struggle I think is becoming organized. If you spend small amounts of time each week (1 hour or two 30 minute breaks) on organizing it will be so much easier to stay neat. Try getting a basket to hold the bathroom stuff. Even though you use it every day putting everything in a basket looks neater and feels neater. Try a basket in your closet or wherever you want for the items to review too. Baskets help you to maintain the clutter a little better. Once everything is organized (this took me like 2 months working a little each week) then you just have to clean and tidy! Take 15-30 minutes each day or a few times each week to just pick up things and put them back where they belong! This helps me tremendously and I hope it helps you too!

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