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CheshireCat1
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20 Jun 2011, 1:30 pm

My OCD SO and I both work. When I try to clean for SO, I can't do it the right way. As a result, I am hesitant to clean. Is there any suggestions on how to clean up right with someone who has OCD?

*SO= Significant other.



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20 Jun 2011, 2:40 pm

Depends on the person in question's preferences/obsessions/compulsions I'm sure. I would guess you'd be best off asking him/her to clean for himself,or if he/she's unable, collaborate where he/she details for you how he/she wants things ordered/done and you do them (if his/her OCD makes him doing it himself a frustrating drawn-out task). Then I guess he/she could do something in return for you that he/she's able to do without frustration?

EDITED for gender neutrality



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01 Jul 2011, 4:50 am

CheshireCat1 wrote:
My OCD SO and I both work. When I try to clean for SO, I can't do it the right way. As a result, I am hesitant to clean. Is there any suggestions on how to clean up right with someone who has OCD?

*SO= Significant other.


First you need to determine if his cleaning demands are due to OCD or just demands he has decided should be met for some other reason.

For example, I generally don't like the way my roommate cleans, but this has nothing to do with OCD, as my OCD does not extend into the realm of perfectionism or being a neat freak...I am not. In fact I'm somewhat messy.

My roommate, having previously lived at home with his parents, isn't particularly well versed in what has to be done to keep up a house. Before he moved in, he didn't know that things just get dirty from dust and grease settling on them...not to mention we have white flooring in the kitchen.

He would boast of how well he cleaned at work but he had never actually cleaned in an environment where he wasn't shown how to do it and with what supplies to do it with.

When I asked him to clean the kitchen, I later returned to a tired roommate and a kitchen that looked like it was cleaned by a 5 year old.

First he attempted to sweep and mop the floor. Only the kitchen floor hadn't been cleaned for a while and had to be scrubbed, not mopped. He also tried to use mop and glow, which is for linoleum floors, not tile. The result was a sticky, dirty streaked floor with stuff still stuck on it.

On the stove and walls he attempted to use spic and span. I don't know why we have this stuff because it doesn't work and the cat has too much of an affinity for it. He spent most of his effort scrubbing with little affect. In the meantime, he also managed to get the crumbs from the surfaces back unto the floor he had previously attempted to clean.

He took to attempting to clean the counters and sink with this same spic and span and innocently declared when I walked in that he couldn't get the stains out of the sink and was worried the landlord would be upset.

So I had to show him how to clean the kitchen.

1. Wipe crumbs off surfaces.
2. Spray Lysol Kitchen Cleaner on stove and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Scrub stove and walls with Lysol Kitchen Cleaner.
4. Wipe off with paper towels.
5. Dump ajax and water on counters and in sink.
6. Make a paste, scrub it around, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
7. Rinse counters and sink and remove remaining ajax.
8. Repeat if sink or counters are still stained.
9. Sweep floor.
10. Dump soapy water on floor and scrub off junk.
11. Proceed to clean remainder of floor with soapy water.
12. Dry floor.

If I demanded he repeated a step some number of times when one would suffice, or insisted he wear a mask so he didn't breath on the counter and recontaminate it, then that would be OCD and that would be unreasonable.

In the event where OCD is coming into play you should just ignore his unreasonable demands and clean as you see fit provided it you can achieve a reasonable level of cleanliness.