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In terms of general neatness, I am ...

Displaying poll results.
A neatnik (Felix Unger)
  297 votes / 1%
Neat, but not neatnik
  2628 votes / 17%
Neither esp. tidy nor especially messy
  3620 votes / 23%
Leaning toward messy, but not a slob
  5548 votes / 36%
A slob (Oscar Madison)
  1879 votes / 12%
Worse than slob (Oscar the Grouch)
  670 votes / 4%
Recovering from one of the above extremes
  446 votes / 2%
15088 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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In terms of general neatness, I am ...

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  • My computer hard drive is pretty messy, i have to admit!

    • by rwa2 (4391) * on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:38PM (#43818881) Homepage Journal

      Is this gonna turn into a sexist thing?

      http://ipost.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/boys-and-girls-room-vs-pc.jpg?w=529 [wordpress.com]

      • by treeves (963993)

        If that were true I'm closer to girl than boy, but I do occasionally attempt to declutter my desktop, though never completely.

      • There are variations of clean..

        http://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/intel_ad_campaign_clean_room-590x333.jpg [geek.com]

        Particles per cubic Meter come to mind when clean room is mentioned at work.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Totally me. I am usually clean digitally, but not physically. People, especially my queen ant, complained about my physical mess. I care not!

        • You might try recruiting some midden workers. The queen should be able to spawn some.

          • by antdude (79039)

            She's too old now. Although slaves would work. However, slavery was banned and is illegal. :(

            • by antdude (79039)

              However, she does the cleaning in this colony. At work, it is the human janitors that my employer uses.

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        I'm not overly tidy, but I am clean, and while it may not seem so to the casual glance - everything has it's place. I get a bit OCD when the cleaners don't put things back in the right places, especially in the bathroom or on the bedside table.

        We're currently in the middle of renovations, so the cleaners are on hiatus (what's the point) and I'm having to clean almost nightly because of the dust and mud. There's only 2 rooms of the house that are barely touched, everything else with is being gutted or is ful

    • by heypete (60671)

      I'm the other way: my file systems are meticulously organized but the surrounding physical environment is cluttered.

      • Ditto, or at least my physical environment is organized in a not entirely obvious at first sight manner (like a hash table). I'm actually pretty good at finding things if people don't disturb my "system".
    • by kasperd (592156) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @11:13AM (#43821735) Homepage Journal

      My computer hard drive is pretty messy, i have to admit!

      Just how messy is it? Can you beat this [xkcd.com]?

      • by WillKemp (1338605)

        Just how messy is it? Can you beat this [xkcd.com]?

        Ha ha! Not quite. It's more that i've let old and redundant files build up over a decade or so, because hard drive sizes have been growing faster than my home directory. I always think i'll sort it out one day... Also f-spot trashed the organisation of my 6000-odd photos - i'll get round to fixing that one day too!

      • by xaxa (988988)

        My computer hard drive is pretty messy, i have to admit!

        Just how messy is it? Can you beat this [xkcd.com]?

        I looked through the files on my dad's computer (he died not long ago). There were folder structures like: ./Backup December 2012/backup from work computer/backup from jan 2010/backup from 2008/backup from 2006

        And then another folder ./backup from jan 2010/backup from 2008/backup from 2006

        and ./backup from jan 2010/backup from 2006

        the ./backup from 2006/ folder had about 6 copies. I think the top copy of various types of documents had gradually migrated from a single computer, to several, and back to one,

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        I know this was intended as a joke, but when I used to do support for school laptops in the '90s, I used to encounter that kind of directory shenanigans (folder mazes) on laptops all the time. Guys tended to have porn, girls would have cutesy stories or pics of their latest crush.

    • by PPH (736903)
      I have everything filed in lost+found.
    • by MrMickS (568778)

      Oddly my computer hard drive is the one thing that is kept meticulously organised and tidy.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday May 24, 2013 @05:37PM (#43817371)

    . . . I call it entropy . . .

    • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:07PM (#43817649) Journal

      I prefer "Differently Organized."

    • by ockegheim (808089)
      As long as there’s somewhere where high entropy is OK, it’s easy keep the rest of the house neat. When I was a bachelor sharing houses, this area was my room. Now I’m married, it has been the (otherwise unused) second bedroom. Unfortunately (entropy-wise, anyway), our imminent baby will get the second bedroom, and eventually will start to care about its surroundings. So I think the plan at the moment is to try and defy the second law of thermodynamics.
  • It varies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Friday May 24, 2013 @05:45PM (#43817435)
    I love a clean house, but I hate to clean. I also dislike having anyone in my house, so a maid it out of the question.
    At the moment, the kitchen and bedroom are rather Oscar Madison-ish, but the rest of the house the fairly clean.
    I really do need to get it all clean, as I am going to put it up for sale soon, buy a bigger place, and have more room for all my toys. :)
    • Free Advice (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rob the Bold (788862) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @05:01PM (#43823871)

      I've got some free home-selling advise for you. Worth every cent, and you've probably heard it before. But I love the sound of my own fingers on the keyboard, so here goes:

      If you've got as many "toys" as you imply lying around, get a storage locker for most of them. The place will look a lot cleaner and your buyers won't think of your house as the "hockey house" or the "garage band house" or the "video game place" or whatever. It'll save your realtor the hassle of telling you to "depersonalize" and "declutter" all in one fell swoop, and save you the annoyance too.

      The cheapest way to improve your own home's marketability is to get your neighbor to fix up his. Doesn't cost you anything except figuring how to tell him a fresh coat of paint wouldn't hurt. Easier said than done, but a bad looking house nearby makes it harder to sell yours, and a nice one makes buyers think they're safe to remodel or expand without investing more than the neighborhood's max value.

      Good luck, and don't forget to paint everything beige.

      • Re:Free Advice (Score:5, Interesting)

        by peragrin (659227) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @06:53PM (#43824479)

        I have seen that last bit of advice. I knew a guy who was trying to sell his home. A nice place, decent yard and a decent neighborhood.(I lived at the other end of the street).

        His neighbor's house was literally falling down, The garage door was broken in half and half of it was still hanging. The yard was a mess, etc. He couldn't sell his home, eventually he was able to buy the neighbors place, and torched it(legally he gave it to the fire dept for training). After disposing of the debris and filling in the basement, he expanded his fence and enjoyed his now substantially large property.

        He could sell his place now but he was happier in his home.

        • Re:Free Advice (Score:4, Interesting)

          by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday May 25, 2013 @08:24PM (#43824825) Journal

          Our most obnoxious neighbors were the ones who were worried about their property values. They were constantly siccing the city on all the neighbors, complaining about our yards not being mowed often enough, and not being neat enough, and our cars being too old and dirty. They would have prevented us from doing car repair in our own driveways if they could. Fortunately, this neighborhood was built before HOAs became popular.

          They thought car maintenance marked us as low class losers, and they behaved accordingly. Here's some prententious yuppie, who never troubled to learn anything about the neighbors, sneering at us for being poor, when all along we had more money than he did. Our cars were fully paid for. He just couldn't see past the age of our cars. Seems to have never occurred to him that other people might have other priorities in life than keeping up with the Joneses' new car.

          • Our most obnoxious neighbors were the ones who were worried about their property values...

            People will take amazing liberties in defense of property values, a friend of mine had a car in his driveway, a fixer-upper. It wasn't a rusty, rat shit covered, rotting corpse of a car or anything. It wasn't really an eyesore IMHO, they had just gutted this VW bug and parked it outside in his driveway to save on garage space while he and his nutter pals from the VW club welded up and paint-prepped the various doors, panels etc. and rebuilt the engine or whatever these petrolheads do with their junk. One da

            • Turned out one of my pals neighbors taken it upon him/her self to strike a blow for property values by calling the municipality and impersonating him to get the thing towed. After that he threw a tarp over the thing to pacify the local burghers. Seriously though, they could not just have rang his doorbell and asked him to cover the thing up?

              That sounds like fraud. Did you friend file charges with the police? This neighbor needs some jail-time.

            • a friend of mine had a car in his driveway
              .

              Can someone randomly tow something _from your driveway_? Street I can see...besides, here things on the street have to be insured.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Question is did he come out even on that deal or did he lose money? Seems like a house, even a dilapidated one, is worth more than the empty plot is now.

          Still, nice to see someone take a clever approach instead of just suing.

          • To restore it to bare ground requires demolition & disposal, which costs money, so you could be at a point where the building itself effectively has a negative value.

            Of course, that would only come into play if the house was beyond economical repair in the first place.

          • Question is did he come out even on that deal or did he lose money? Seems like a house, even a dilapidated one, is worth more than the empty plot is now.

            In some locations, a shabby house on a desirable lot is worth about $5000 less than just the lot itself. The $5000 is the cost of the teardown and hauloff.

            Naturally, the location, location, location must be pretty desirable for this situation to occur, but it can and does.

  • Chaotic order (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:07PM (#43817643)

    All my stuff is in order. I know exactly where my stuff is, and I can find anything I want within seconds. But to an outside observer it still looks like a trashheap.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It's fine if you have a small amount of stuff or an eidetic memory. Unfortunately I can't keep track of stuff I was doing a year ago so easily so for more organization is important. Doesn't have to be perfect, I just have to be able to narrow things down to a manageable area to search.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        There's a small amount of stuff I need frequently. Everything else goes into the basement (in a neat order, as I don't rearrange them often).

      • by xaxa (988988)

        I think there's a combination of putting things in "sensible" places, and not changing those places arbitrarily, and just having that kind of memory. I'm not very good at remembering peoples' names, learning foreign words or learning dull facts (lists of monarchs, etc), but I know the location of 99.9% of the things I own, and the last-known-location of things in my mum's house or the office (other people move these things around).

        I also remember the ideas within pretty much everything factual that I've rea

    • by tedgyz (515156)

      You should tell that to my wife. Cleaning up ruins my perfect filing system.

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      I too use this organisation system, though calling it a trashheap may be going a bit far. I can usually put my hand out and grab what I'm looking for pretty easily, I just think about where I would put it if I was about to put it down now - and that's where it is.

      The reverse side to that is most visitors can find things in our kitchen really easily because everything is in a spatially logical location.

    • by ockegheim (808089)
      My boss and I (who share the same studio at different times) both share the same ‘piling system’. It works absolutely fine 98% of the time, which I think is fine in terms of the low energy we put into it.
  • by reboot246 (623534) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:18PM (#43817755) Homepage
    My house is cluttered because it's full of too much stuff, none of which I would be willing to throw away. By the time you've reached the age of sixty you've accumulated a lot of things: e.g. books - I own thousands of books and I'm not willing to part with any of them. I throw things away only when they're broken or worn out completely. I still use towels that are older than some of you. I could fill a small room with photographs of children and grandchildren. In fact, one spare bedroom is filled with toys for the grandkids to play with when they're visiting. Another spare bedroom is full of computers and computer parts + a couple of bookcases. Indoor plants have nearly taken over the kitchen. I think you get the picture.

    But everything is clean; I can't stand filth.
    • I own thousands of books and I'm not willing to part with any of them.

      That's the main reason I've all but stopped buying books and just get them from the library. Aside from a few texts I use as references, I rarely re-read books (there are too many good ones I haven't read yet), but I can never bear to throw them out.

  • Normal distribution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Laxori666 (748529) on Friday May 24, 2013 @06:47PM (#43817965) Homepage
    This is an awesomely normal (as in stats)-looking distribution! The mean makes sense - leaning towards messy. Or maybe that's how everyone views themselves but it's not an objective measure (cf. up to 80% of people thinking they are above average drivers [nih.gov]).
    • This is an awesomely normal (as in stats)-looking distribution! The mean makes sense - leaning towards messy. Or maybe that's how everyone views themselves but it's not an objective measure (cf. up to 80% of people thinking they are above average drivers [nih.gov]).

      Prognostication is always tough with a small sample size. As of ~6800 votes the curve leans decidedly toward neatnik, not messy.

      See, I procrastinate and is why my place is on a cycle. I do a mad spring-like cleaning twice a year and it will slide a few times a year toward dust bunny cluttered before I check it. I tend to like it and keep it clean, especially the public parts of the place, e.g., bathroom, kitchen, living room. There does tend to be clutter piles that accumulate and dissipate in places like t

  • My habits for placing objects and finding them is just a last location system. So clean isn't really in my best interest all the time. If someone cleans or I clean then I can't find where my stuff is. If I do find it, it's generally less accessible. So while I'm not living in a trash can, I'm certainly not "clean" either. It just helps me know where things are.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Whenever I go to find an item, I always find the item that I had been searching for the previous time and was unable to find. If I could just get back to unity between what I am searching for and what I find I would be a happy man.
  • Perception (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:04PM (#43818063)

    Of all the places objects can rest, the more unnatural their position, the tidier it looks. Consider a dozen pencils randomly thrown onto a desk, then rotating all those pencils so they're oriented in exactly the same direction (any one direction). The pencils are still a randomly spread out mess, but there's a perceptible improvement. I think it has something to do with how hard the brain has to work to identify each object, and the complexity of disorder is what fundamentally bothers some people about messes.

    With a dozen pencils, each being a different brand and length this time, repeat the experiment. The extra difference in appearance between the pencils should make it look even messier than before. Rotating the pencils to match should also be less of an improvement in appearance, because it's more complex overall than in the first experiment.

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Congratulations, in your little thought experiment you've defined the word "tidy", which is the word you've used to define characteristics of the thought experiment.

  • by Orp (6583) on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:36PM (#43818267) Homepage

    I'll bet most of the people reading this poll had to look up Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. Chrissake, The Odd Couple went off the air in 1975.

  • No filth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Friday May 24, 2013 @08:36PM (#43818589)

    I hate filth. I don't care at all about neat but dirt and filth I don't like. No dirty dishes and soiled clothes laying around. Now clutter I don't really mind. Books and papers are no problem. Things can be tossed on the couch and chairs but I don't feed roaches.

    • Agreed.

      I'm OK with papers thrown about on a desk. A pile of mail / bills buy the kitchen. A coat thrown onto a chair instead of hung. I'm also OK with *some* dirty laundry on the bedroom floor so long as it isn't soiled from exercise or there's not too much of it. I'm not saying I don't try to clean or organize, but I might let clutter sit there longer than the average person.

      But anything filthy like food / mud / etc. That gets me. Which of course conflicts with some members of my family: they'll leav

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @08:50PM (#43818675)

    I have a sedimentary filling system. New things pile up on top of older things until the things on the bottom of the stack converts into crude oil, which I pump out once a year and sell to my local distillery.

  • Sanitary. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by p00kiethebear (569781) on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:19PM (#43819039)
    At the new job I started I have been appalled by what appears to be a lack of understanding by my coworkers that whatever you touch spreads germs from that place on whatever else you might touch. Specifically the problem I see is chicken. I'll be cleaning chicken in the sink and someone will come over and turn on the faucet that's been around raw chicken, rinse off a spoon and then go right back to serving food with said spoon. Hello?! Are you fucking stupid? Do you not get that now not only have you contaminated your hand but also the spoon that your hand is holding on to! It drives me fucking crazy. My boss tells me I need to hurry up when cleaning up the sink after cleaning chicken because no one else thinks it's important to both scrub it down with soap AND bleach. It's like everyone else just picks one or the other. What the fuck. I swear some people have no concept of bacteria, as if germs are little people to them like in the fucking mucinex commercials or something. I wouldn't say I'm neat or messy. I'm just sanitary.
    • I'd call it just a tad obsessive, myself.

      And, yes, I've worked in the restaurant business and I know all about not letting raw chicken get on or into other things.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      It's not that they have no concept, it's that they have a concept of how the immune system works, and what you need to do to prime it. There is, oddly, such a thing as too clean. The reason they don't mind washing a spoon in a sink that happens to have had a chicken near it at some point is because the bacteria won't magically jump from the sink to the tap and then the spoon. The reason they don't wash the sink out with soap and bleach after rinsing a chicken is because it's entirely unnecessary, and wil

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:29PM (#43819071)

    How about "Former neatnik getting my ass kicked by two teenage kids"

    Seriously, they're totally winning. I clean, I make them clean. There's still socks, and shoes, backpacks and coats, old assignments, index cards, writing implements, dishes, curling irons, leftover baking projects in the fridge, laundrey, empty cans and boxes, finger prints, water marks, sink hair, uncleaned stovetops and microwaves, carpets stains and paint dings, not to mention whatever existential chaos experiment is going on in their rooms.

    People used to comment on how spotless I kept my home, especially as a single guy. Now as a single father... I consider myself lucky if any particular mess is less than two days old.

    They're totally winning.

  • Back and forth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PuddleBoy (544111) on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:55PM (#43819163)

    I swing back and forth.

    I'll slowly let things get too messy/disorganized - piles start to develop - then something (like visiting someone else's house which is neat) will light a fire under me to get my place cleaned up. So I'll swing the other way and start throwing out things (like old software manuals, receipts, parts that I'll never really use) and taking old computers to be recycled. (fess up - how many computers are in your place right now that should be gotten rid of?)

    I'm not consistent - unless you count the oscillating cycles.

    (Do I get extra points for saying "oscillating cycles"?)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My trigger is somebody announcing a visit at my place. There can be long times between visits ...

  • My filing system, my living space, and my life in general can be described as a tame black hole. Only God and my spatially oriented right-brained mind know how to find anything within my ken. And it is against my religion to clean a bathroom. It only must be done when the bugs are about to mutate an immunity to chlorine bleach.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      And it is against my religion to clean a bathroom. It only must be done when the bugs are about to mutate an immunity to chlorine bleach.

      Without exposure, there's no evolutionary pressure to develop such an immunity.

      At most, they'll evolve enough to organize themselves in a "collective brain" able to perceive a threat of any nature (that is: non-bleach specific) - given the time required to do this, I think you should be safe without cleaning your bathroom ever is your life-time... or, if I'm wrong, it will be only for a short time (if they do develop such capabilities during your lifetime, you'll be dead soon enough to make my assessment a

  • I am clean with my computer data, but messy physically. ;)

  • by anyaristow (1448609) on Saturday May 25, 2013 @07:22AM (#43820647)

    If you're going to host an event in your home, could you please clear off enough space on one of the covered surfaces for the snacks people are bringing, wash the dishes and empty the trash, remove the clothing from the living room so people have a place to sit, vacuum the food debris off the floor, and open a window? Yeah, it's none of my business, and I have the option of never accepting your invite again, but these are life skills you should have learned in your twenties, the latest, and if you're going to blame your life circumstances on "the man", at least try to take care of this one thing you do have control over.

    • ...and please provide one clean towel in the bathroom. Thanks.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Hehe, that's the only time my apartment is clean... but then it's proper clean, by myself I can live with all sorts of piles lying around and dust balls (as long as it's not filth and attracts mold and bugs and shit), but when people come over I finally get that incentive to clear everything, vacuum, dust, wash and whatnot. It's the kick in the butt I need.

      • exactly the same here. The problem is when I get an unexpected guest.. then it is embarrassing. My biggest problem is I have a pet bird who poops every 20 minutes, 90% of the time it is fine and I get him to poop in a good spot, but 10% of time he poops on couch/carpet and sometimes I don't notice.. bird poop gets EVERYWHERE
    • If you're going to host an event in your home, could you please clear off enough space on one of the covered surfaces for the snacks people are bringing, wash the dishes and empty the trash, remove the clothing from the living room so people have a place to sit, vacuum the food debris off the floor, and open a window? Yeah, it's none of my business, and I have the option of never accepting your invite again, but these are life skills you should have learned in your twenties, the latest, and if you're going to blame your life circumstances on "the man", at least try to take care of this one thing you do have control over.

      I hardly ever had parties in my bachelor days in an apartment, but when I did, I shoveled all the junk into closets, vacuumed the carpets, and cleaned the kitchen and bathroom with copious amounts of bleach till they sparkled. Neither room had a window or working (read: "ducted to the outside") exhaust fan. When the first batch of friends arrived shortly after I completed the decontamination process, the first comment I heard was: "I feel like I'm being sanitized from the inside out!"

  • I hate (snail) mail. It's either bad new, a bill, an ad, or a statement which I've already seen online. My wife comes into my home office and says "here, this is for you", I don't even open it, I just put it on the growing pile on the floor. P.S. She actually pays the bills and doesn't bring them to me cause she knows better.
    • Yeh same here.

      Almost all of my bills I are done online. The only exceptions are the rare left-over medical bills that come in via paper or perhaps something from the DMV.

      Besides that, it's almost all junk or something I do online. Yet it piles up SO flippin' high.

  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 25, 2013 @06:22PM (#43824349)
    In the eternal words of Tyler Durden

    The things you own end up owning you.

  • One day when i was working in a chemical laboratory i realized that neatness was a visual quality with only a tenuous relationship to orderliness. Orderliness tends to persist over time, but it does not necessarily look neat. Neatness means in art terms that there are clear top surfaces and hard transitions between perpendicular surfaces such as between stacks of things and walls and floors. Soft transitions such as piles of things lessen the perception of neatness. You can make a room neat without order
  • Entropy always increases, and your attempts to fight it just make it worse.
  • If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what's an empty desk a sign of?
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      a well organized mind

      we could have had coherent quantum gravitation if Einstein hadn't wasted so much time dealing with his clutter of preconceptions and prejudices

  • The kitchen is spotless and gets thoroughly cleaned twice a day. The remaining rooms are varying levels of neat and cluttered. We only bother with a whole house cleaning when my mother in law is coming over.
  • Myself, I'm fairly cluttered and messy, but not dirty. As I'm writing this on my desk, I've got half-a dozen books, my laptop, a computer monitor, a couple of ancient coins and some pottery fragments I've been researching over the weekend, I've got some clothes strewn on the floor and all sorts of other clutter. But I don't leave out food, any plates/cups/utensils that I use, I wash out and put away before I go to bed, there's no half-empty soda cans (or even empty cans) nor are there any bags of chips. I p
  • Organized enough so I can find things when I need them.

    Organization must be functional. Organization for the sake of organization is a waste of time and energy.

    ...lazy laura

    • Organization must be functional. Organization for the sake of organization is a waste of time and energy.

      Additionally organization creates an aesthetically pleasing environment.

  • Our daughter said to us, "I'm glad you two found each other so you didn't wreck two other peoples' lives."

    Of course, she lives where the garbage can is always full, there's never any toilet paper, and it's a 50-50 chance that the toilets are flushed anyway. God, I hate that place!

  • The piles of stuff are organized chronologically by height!

I have not yet begun to byte!

 



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