The One Cleaning Habit that Might be Ruining Your Relationship

You consider yourself Marie Kondo-light while your significant other is more...Hoarders. They don’t [fold the laundry, do the dishes, make the bed] the right way, but you just follow up and re-do the job. No biggie...except that your tidy habit might be ruining your relationship.

Sure, cleaning up after they clean up seems harmless in the moment, but now your spouse or significant other feels like you don’t appreciate their help—or worse, feels judged for their second-rate cleaning skills. Meanwhile, you're bottling up resentment for that crusty oatmeal bowl in the sink. In one (highly scientific) poll, I asked my own partner how they'd feel if we constantly re-washed the dishes after them. "Pretty sh*tty" was the response.

So how can a neat freak and a slob compromise?

Identify the non-negotiables in your cleanliness contract together. (It'd be OK if this is an unofficial contract...unless the two of you are really into signing things.) Maybe toothpaste in the sink is a deal-breaker, but T-shirts folded wrong is long as they get put away. Then it's up to you as the clean person to—deep breaths—let the little things go and avoid being the dreaded gatekeeper. Because yes, you can survive a night with hand towels draped the "wrong" way.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...