not just dust bunnies...
January 22, 2004 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Squalor Survivors Is your house messy?
posted by konolia (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wow! It looks worse than Shane McGowan's flat in that documentary. At least he's a junkie...
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:45 PM on January 22, 2004

Whoa. I'm floored. Just totally floored.
posted by brownpau at 2:46 PM on January 22, 2004

What's the clinical disorder term for people who insist on living in their own filth?

Years ago I had this housemate who loved to cook, but could never bring himself to clean. The kitchen would become unusable after a matter of days - every available space was filled with dirty dishes, unwashed pots and pans and uneaten (inedible?) food products. After many an argument I gave up and started to clean the kitchen after him. He was free to destroy his room (and he did) but the public spaces of the household had to be cleaned. While he should've cleaned after himself I ended up doing it just so it would get done. There was nothing worse than bringing a date over and having her discover the kitchen if I didn't.

One day, after many months of cleaning up after this guy I decided to really deep clean the kitchen - pull the microwave away from the wall in order to clean the whole counter. I pull the microwave away to discover cans of cooking grease, filled with wriggling maggots, that my housemate had stashed away, hoping I wouldn't find them. As I started really checking under and around the stove and dishwasher I found more rotting food and garbage. It wasn't that he didn't like to clean, it was that he liked knowing he was surrounded by filth.

Oh, and don't even get me on about the turkey he roasted. It's buried in the backyard and will eventually be exhumed by archeologists who will puzzle over its religious/societal significance.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:58 PM on January 22, 2004

Has this not been on MeFi before? I definitely remember seeing the site.

I can't even imagine the mindset that would let things go that far. I'm no stranger to depression, but I couldn't bear having my place go without some clean-up for more than a couple of weeks.
posted by clevershark at 3:06 PM on January 22, 2004

Notice most clutter, not the filth is due to poor storage.
Heard something good recently about personal items being in their rightful spot(s). "If you won't place things back where they belong so it will easily be found again: it a waste of money owning it". Now to go find my thoughts....
posted by thomcatspike at 3:19 PM on January 22, 2004

That is beyone squalor. I can't even look at those pictures.
posted by trbrts at 3:23 PM on January 22, 2004

The first picture on the site made me think of where I was living at a few years ago. A coworker of mine and her boyfriend let me move in with them into their 2 bedroom apartment. We could clean up and get the living room pretty nice, but it would just become horrible after a day or two. And their room was never clean. You could never see the floor, dirty dishes everywhere. And on top of that she had 3 cats sharing the same litterbox that she would change ever 3 days or so if I was lucky. The smell of cat shit was horrible. Don't even ask about bringing a date home.

But after I looked a little deeper into this site I see that they were no where as bad as this guy. How can you live in such a place? Must have no respect for yourself if you live like this. They should have shown a pic of the person that lives there. I bet one look and you say: "yah, figures"
posted by daHIFI at 3:50 PM on January 22, 2004

File under "feng shui holocaust".
posted by boredomjockey at 3:58 PM on January 22, 2004

Wow, I was going to chime in with, I'm really messy. But I'm not nearly that messy. Thanks Squalor Squad!
posted by drezdn at 4:06 PM on January 22, 2004

"feng shui holocaust"

Ooh, ooh! Band name!!
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:18 PM on January 22, 2004 [1 favorite]

what drezdn said : >
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on January 22, 2004

Usually this sort of squalor is the result of some kind of mental illness, such as serious depression or schizophrenia.
posted by kindall at 4:57 PM on January 22, 2004

I'm sure the person is mentally sick. Plus you have to wonder, no one has been at the place for over 6 years to help clean it up. Combination of sickness and neglect.
posted by stbalbach at 5:12 PM on January 22, 2004

See message board. One lady had a "blue tongued lizard" living under her bed (it was not a pet) and said "it must have had a feast on all the insects inside the house."
posted by stbalbach at 5:20 PM on January 22, 2004

thomcatspike, regarding "personal items being in their rightful spot(s)":

The most life-changing lesson I learned in college was from my cognitive science professor.

"Things belong in the first place you look for them. If something isn't in the first place you look for it, find it (or buy another) and put it there."

Intrinsic organization changed my life.
posted by basilwhite at 5:20 PM on January 22, 2004

I am going to show this to my husband the next time he makes a comment about my poor housekeeping skills and gripes about a few rinsed off dishes in the sink and some dust bunnies in the living room. Truly, even at my worst, no place I have lived in has even been 1/100th that bad. Cluttered? Yes. Squalor? No way.

Heck, right now I am in the process of unpacking my thousands of books and organizing them onto shelves, and the fact that I can't see the den floor at all is making me insane. The fact that it's going to take me days to get done with this project is REALLY making me crazy. :D

I guess I am not the horrible, totally depressed, non-housecleaning person I thought I was. I don't think I could EVER let it get that bad.
posted by Orb at 5:20 PM on January 22, 2004

Why are they all women?
posted by sid at 5:25 PM on January 22, 2004

Just Tired was talking about how she had boxes of stuff all over the house and this made me laugh:
If I had a nickle for every time I heard his mother say 'You should keep that. It may be worth something someday' I would probably have a huge box of nickles sitting around here now.
posted by meech at 5:29 PM on January 22, 2004

I think I may have trouble sleeping tonight after seeing those pictures. Truly horrendus!
posted by evening at 5:53 PM on January 22, 2004

It's just funny looking at the linked picture of 'squalor' compared to the original squalor in brownpau's link. The person there looks amazingly anal retentive, compared to the real squalor.
posted by stoneegg21 at 6:46 PM on January 22, 2004

Pork Tornado. Oh wait, that's already a band name...
Um, I think I'd be more compelled to move than have to clean up that mess. -looks around house, contemplates moving-
posted by hypnorich at 7:07 PM on January 22, 2004

Hey! These people made fun of me back in 2001 and linked to a tres ancient journal entry of mine where I posted a photo of my college bathroom and complained about one of the suitemates.
posted by stefnet at 7:17 PM on January 22, 2004

Wow. I feel so neat and tidy now.

I suddenly have a strong compulsion to clean up.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:20 PM on January 22, 2004

I used to have a friend who kept his house just like that, maybe not as bad as the bathroom but within 10 pieces of trash away. His parents didn't do jack shit and smoked pot all day. Living alone and having the place look like that is one thing, but having kids who try to replicate their parents everyday while living in squalor is a crime.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:14 PM on January 22, 2004

Another thing: Don't take it like I was dissing pot. I actually tend to clean up my room more when I get stoned.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:15 PM on January 22, 2004

Oh my God.

I occasionally let things clutter up and get messy, but I'm happy to say I've never let it get to the point where my abandoned filth caused the house to rot and fall apart.

("Feng shui holocaust" - heh! I'm going to use that tomorrow, somewhere, somehow.)
posted by wdpeck at 3:11 AM on January 23, 2004

I once worked with a woman who lived like this. The neighbor on the other side of her in the condo complex eventually had her evicted because her own walls were starting to fall in from all of the cat urine seeping through the walls.

And yes, this is not messy, this is mental illness.
posted by archimago at 6:14 AM on January 23, 2004

Damn, they could have used a swiffer wet jet.

I want a little cleaning gnome. It could come out of it's hole at night & put my stuff away while I sleep. In that world, I might as well be rich too.

These people should have been institutionalized. The cycle of filth must have been amazingly difficult to break. I've found that the condition of my home generally is a good gauge of my mental state. These people must have really been on the verge of suicide.
posted by password at 9:54 AM on January 23, 2004

A Swiffer Wet Jet? Hell, no. More like a Swiffer Soaking Hurricane.

Or a gallon of gasoline and a match.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 AM on January 23, 2004

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