How to Keep a Clean Home When Your Husband is a Slob

I absolutely adore my husband. He works hard, he loves our babies, and treats me exactly as a good man should. But I’m going to be straight with you right now: he doesn’t have any clue how to keep a clean home. We can’t have it all, right?

That’s right, I said it.

My husband is a great guy, but a messy guy. He knows it, I know it, and we love each other anyway.

So, how does one keep a clean home when their husband isn’t the cleanest guy on the block? I’ll tell you!

Side note: my husband is fully aware of this article and gave me the “okay” to publish, so don’t feel too sorry for him. And, this article probably contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

So, keeping a clean home when your hubby is a slob….

It’s not easy, but if it matters to you, you can absolutely make it happen.

  clean home tips


1. First, create a cleaning schedule.

You can refer to my speed-cleaning checklist if you need help getting started.

Having a clean, organized home is really important to me. I want my home to be a happy, peaceful place where anyone can pop in and visit without me feeling embarrassed. So I’m personally willing to take on the job of keeping it how I want it, even if my husband doesn’t quite understand the importance. It doesn’t have to be spotless, just reasonably clean and comfortable for my family and friends.

So yes, even though my husband is a bit on the messy side, I don’t mind doing whatever it takes to keep my home clean.

If you want your house to be clean (like I do), then create a daily cleaning schedule that works for your family, and stick to it as best you can. This will help you to keep your house in order most of the time.

** Let me take a quick minute to add that my husband does help with quick evening cleanups and helps me with our weekend clean. When I say he’s “a slob”, I don’t mean that viciously. But he tends to leave messes behind as he goes about his day, and he doesn’t clean them up until the mess is overflowing and driving me crazy. So it’s partially his messiness and partially my OCD that leads me to call him names. Don’t judge me.

2. Secondly, have “the talk.”

Your husband needs to know how you feel and what you expect from him, and vice versa. Marriage is all about communication and compromise, right? So, don’t hesitate to talk to your hubby and try to come up with a solution that you can both be happy with. If he can help you clean on weekends, great. If he can watch the kids while you clean, that’s great too. Try to be reasonable and patient when you chat with him about your plans to improve your home and keep it clean. Sometimes talking it out really does help.

I can honestly say that we’ve had some great talks and a few ugly fights over house cleaning. When we first got married, my husband really didn’t understand what the big deal was about leaving dirty clothes on the floor or dishes all over the house. Oh, my obsessively clean mind just couldn’t stand it! Through some honest talks and some unpleasant arguments, we have learned to overcome the big issues and work through the little ones.


3. Also, learn to compromise.

My husband is great at compromising and he understands WHY I want a clean home. So that’s a good start.

We can easily make little compromises that keep us both happy. For example, he doesn’t leave dirty dishes on any counters or tables around the house anymore. But his bedside table is his “carefree” zone. I never clean it for him, and I never nag him about cleaning it. He can leave as many dirty dishes as he wants over there, and I have just learned not to look at it.

Do I hate it? Yes, absolutely.

Have I learned to live with it and let it go? I hate to admit it, but yes, I have. Pick your battles, ladies. This one isn’t worth fighting.


4. And…learn to have a sense of humor.

My husband has an awesome sense of humor. Hence, the reason he allowed me to publish this article.

We often laugh about his messy nature or his inherent tendency to procrastinate. He really does TRY to do better and be better, so I have learned to just laugh about it and let him figure it out in his own time…for the most part.

Every now and then, I’ll look at his bedside table and just give him this look that says “seriously?” He reads my mind and we both just start laughing our heads off, because we both know…he’s a slob and he’s driving me crazy with his messes. I’m sure I’m driving him crazy with my obsessive need to clean! We’re both so much happier when we laugh together over these little things.


5. Expect a clean home.

This sounds totally jerky and arrogant, but let me explain. Expectations are important. Teachers expect their students to listen, employers expect their employees to work, authorities expect their citizens to comply, etc. And guess what? It’s OK for spouses to have expectations of each other too.

When we know what is expected of us, it is easier to make our relationships work. My husband and I expect each other to be faithful, loyal, and supportive until death parts us, right? Well, it doesn’t hurt to have a few household expectations too.

Now, I’ll admit, that my expectations for a clean home are a little high. I have to lower them a bit so that everyone in my home is happy. And that’s okay!

But I still make sure my husband knows that I expect him to pull his weight as much as possible. He works a hard, laborous job and he goes above and beyond for his kids, so I don’t expect him to put on a flower apron and scrub the floors. Just help with tidy up now and then and limit the careless messes.

That is our middle ground. And we’re both happy with it.


Final Thoughts

It’s okay to admit that your house gets messy and your husband is a slob. I love my hubs, but it still drives me crazy when he wakes me up at 2 AM, crunching on hot Cheetos, on my white bed sheets. Like I said, we can’t have it all.

Don’t let your dream of a designer home sap your peace of mind and your family’s happiness. Stick with your cleaning schedule, lower your standards just a little bit, and don’t be afraid to ask for some help when you really need it.

Now tell me, what are your tips for keeping a clean home when it’s filled with messy husbands and children? Share in the comments!


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  1. Sweeba Heberer

    December 17, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I deal with this everyday!! I also like maintaining a home that is always tidy and clean. I love this minimalist look and sometimes my husband just leaves a mess everywhere. I do a quick tidy up sesh every evening but sometimes I am so tired after work that I think to myself, “why can’t he just keep it clean for one day?” But you are right we can’t have it all haha 😂

    1. Cate

      December 18, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Yes, same here. I try to do a tidy-up every evening too, because clutter drives me crazy. I’d like a model home, but I do think balance is better than perfection 🙂

  2. Una

    December 17, 2017 at 10:07 am

    My boyfriend and I have split the tasks related to cleaning the house. And as an IT person, he has started to automate his tasks. For example, now he has to clean the floors quite rarely, as we have the robot-vacuum-cleaner.

    1. Cate

      December 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      I totally need to invest in a robot vacuum cleaner. I sweep, mop, and vacuum every single day (because my baby is trying to start crawling)! Thanks for reading mama 🙂

  3. Louise

    December 17, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Love your honesty and the practical tips in this article Cate! Thanks for sharing your advice.

    1. Cate

      December 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you so much!

  4. Casie

    December 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I have a strict no nagging policy (at least with my husband), so I just pick up after him. That probably sounds awful to most people, but hes generally very helpful, so I choose my battles. He does all of our laundry, so putting away his dishes away won’t kill me.

    1. Cate

      December 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      I don’t think that’s terrible at all! A no-nag policy probably brings a lot more peace and happiness into the relationship. Thanks for reading!

  5. Leah Sullivan

    December 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Sense of humour is key right?! Learning how to make light of it and not make it such a “serious” and “intense” thing. Go girl!

    1. Cate

      December 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Yes! We have to learn to laugh about stuff.

  6. Hannah R.

    December 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Oh my goodness yes! I live this life all the time…. The only problem is that we’re both slobs! My desk at work is pristine and my kitchen is….not. Loved these tips! Am definitely going to have to implement them. My husband sometimes doesn’t realize how long he’s been reading or writing or gaming and I sometimes have to lean over the couch, give him a kiss, and ask if he’ll do the dishes since I made dinner. He’s always great about pitching in when I ask him to.

    1. Cate

      December 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Haha, I secretly wish I was a little more on the slobby side, and then the mess wouldn’t bother me so much! That’s wonderful that your husband is helpful when you ask 🙂 Thank you for reading!

  7. Julia

    March 13, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    I love this post! I busted out laughing when I read the title because it’s totally me and my hubby! I really appreciate how you’ve learned to let some things go and meet in the middle. I have learned the same thing and found it crucial for keeping my sanity! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Cate

      March 14, 2018 at 12:21 am

      Thank you so much for reading! Yes, we definitely learn to compromise after marriage haha!

  8. marion

    March 15, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Great article. I agree with the reader above….’pick your battles’ My husband sucks at cleaning…I knew that going in 25 years ago LOL…he is super good at so many other things. I think the key to any good relationship is excepting the bad with the good. Everyone has their downfalls….if you can put up with the shizz that you don’t like on a daily basis…. you will be just fine. I bet all our hubbies could come up with a list as long as their arms on our hang-ups…lol…

    1. Cate

      March 15, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      I agree! Accept the good with the bad. My husband is so wonderful in so many ways, and he’ll “try” to help clean, when he remembers haha, so I give him that.

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