Friday 9 May 2014

The British have messy houses

When we first arrived in South Africa my then 15yo son returned from his first week in school and said a teacher had stated that 'the British have messy houses' my first thought was what right does she have to make judgement like that. My sons reply to the teacher was that 'the British don't employ maids to pick up after them' We don't employ a maid either.

The teacher was welcoming the kids to their new year in school and was going through some 'house keeping' rules. She wanted the kids to treat the classroom as they would their home, keep it clean and tidy.

During my recent tour of the UK around family and friends I've been met at every door with a hug and 'lovely to see you, you look well, come in, kettle is on, let me help you with those bags and please excuse the mess'

Every house I've visited either has kids in it or building work, redecorating etc going on, or a combination of both.

Without meaning to cause any offence, yes British houses are messy, not dirty, just full of clutter, stuff, things and not a maid in sight. They are like this because British houses are smaller than South African ones, smaller rooms, less space for storage, they are like this because there isn't a maid running around behind them, cleaning up.

It's not just the space that helps keeping a house tidy, it's not having kids living at home.


  1. I think you are generalizing, not every South African has a maid.

    1. yes i am generalising, we don't have a maid and we are also British

  2. Kids = mess on most occasions !

  3. Ha ha ha ha ! My hubby thought the same when we were in the US! And I had to remind him it's not like SA where most people can afford to get help to clean their house

  4. we have lived in small apartments in America. Our home was always neat and clean even with children. Some cultures are just lazy about housekeeping

  5. I think the British just often have lower standards when it comes to clean and tidy homes. Either through laziness or bad habits. I am constantly shocked at people's standards, including some of our hotels.....I am not obsessive, but I like things to be their best. I like a clean and tidy home. I like to know if someone dropped in, I'd not be ashamed