Your friend invites you to her house, you are all excited to visit, with your bottle of wine in hand you walk in and are suddenly hit with the biggest shock, her home is filthy. Ewww… you try and contain your reaction to not make her feel bad but you want help but wonder, why doesn’t she just clean her house? You might even be hindering is my friend a hoarder? Or does she just like living in a dirty home?
So you spend days thinking about ways to handle this because she keeps inviting you over to visit, deep down you want to, but you can’t stand to sit in a dirty house, so what do you do?
Should I tell my friend her house is dirty?
If your friend’s house is dirty to the point that you don’t want to visit her, you should tell her. Be kind gentle and firm. Show her what needs to be done and how she can tackle the problem without coming across as judgemental.
Suggest she hire a professional cleaner
Coming from someone who doesn’t like to clean, I can tell you that your friend is aware of the problem. If she is a close friend you can tell her to hire a professional cleaner, she might be so overwhelmed and paralyzed at the thought of cleaning the mess herself that the idea of a professional cleaner might not have even crossed her might.
A professional cleaner is a good idea because most of them specialized in keeping spaces with minimal clutter.
How about you try and say something like: “ I can see that everything in your house is starting to pile up, and it could get out of hand, my neighbor had the same issue and hired a professional cleaner, they are not that expensive, have you thought of doing that? I think its a great idea”
Ask someone else to tell her
You can have this discussion with a mutual friend, but try not to come across as speaking badly about her or gossiping. If you know of a mutual friend who has also visited your friend or you went with the said friend you can discuss it. If you are too scared to tell her yourself ask someone to do it. There is no need to have an intervention type of scenario, but if you feel like she is not in a good place or maybe has children you can team up and find out if she needs helps cleaning.
Ask her if she is okay (emotionally)
Sometimes it’s safe to assume that maybe she has a personal emotional issue going on. Issues such as anxiety or depression can cause emotional disturbances. Many people who have suffered from such have reported feeling like they don’t want to do anything. Even simple things that we take for granted like washing our hair, brushing our teeth, or getting dressed seem like huge tasks. Something like cleaning will seem near impossible if your friend is suffering from any mental issues. When you know the answer you can understand her better.
Suggest a clean-up day for both of your homes
Okay, so say your friend is not suffering from any emotional issues and she simply is not interested in housework, but you don’t want to offend her, you can suggest a clean-up day for both your homes. You can say it in such a way that it looks like your house also needs a cleanup.
You can say something like: “I feel overwhelmed with housework, I think we need to do something for our homes, for a fresh start, how about we help each other? So we can split the clean-up days into two. On Saturday we can work on your house, and Sunday we can work on mine, that way we will clean both houses much faster, what do you think?”
Suggest that she hosts an evening get-together ( she will be forced because guests will be coming)
It’s one thing to be comfortable with having you around her mess because you have a close relationship but if her home is really dirty she will be uncomfortable with other people seeing how she lives. What better way to get her motivated for a cleanup than telling her that you want to celebrate her birthday and are thinking about hosting a small get-together at her house, you will pay for the food and drinks. Try this and see how she reacts.
You tell her something along the lines of: “ Your birthday is coming up and you haven’t celebrated it in a long time, your house has a nice balcony and it will be the perfect palace for us to invite a few people over, il take care of organizing everything and you take care of the house”
Don’t ignore the problem
You don’t have to be in an environment that you don’t feel relaxed in. Your friend’s house should be a place where you are free to lounge around and have a good time. If she keeps on extending the invite and you have run out of excuses be honest and tell her why you don’t want to visit.
Tell her to give her children chores ( if she has any)
If she has children there is no reason she can’t get them to help around the house, but this depends on how old her kids are. If her children are a little older and can fend for themselves but are a little spoilt encourage her to get them to help. Sometimes parents can spoil their children and let them run the house. You can emphasize the fact that this will help them learn how to take responsibility for their things in the future.
Say something along the lines of: “ I have noticed that Sarah and Justine don’t pick up after themselves, you work too hard for them, so why not create a clean-up roaster for all of you that way they can see the chores are done by everyone including you?”
Be nice in your approach
Even if her house is dirty that is still her personal space, you might not like it but it’s obvious she does. I know you want to help her but be careful with how you approach this. If you have ever watched the show Britain’s biggest hoarders you would have noticed that not everyone appreciates being told to clean up their house. So approach this in a kind manner, be honest but gentle.
Is it normal to have a dirty house?
It depends on how dirty the house is. It’s not normal to have a house that has bugs and insects roaming around because of the filth, if this is the case the house needs to be cleaned and kept neat.
Even though you are thinking “ oh no, my friend’s house is filthy and I don’t want to visit” there are ways in which you can handle this, having a somewhat dirty house is not the issue but if the house smells and has other problems that are when the alarm should be raised. So talk to your best friend and find solutions to her dirty house.