A friend of mine has been trying to help her 20-something daughter find a place to live. She was expecting to view sparkling-clean, vacated apartments. Instead, they have visited homes where the residents are still living there… which would be fine if they weren’t complete slobs. One home had clothing on every surface. Another literally had a suitcase full of clothes dumped on the bed, trash on the floor, and stained carpet. The last one had a filthy kitchen and reeked of a sewer. Needless to say, my friend’s daughter won’t be living in any of these places.
While it’s understandable to be a bit messy once in a while, it’s inconceivable to me that people would be trying to sell their homes when they look like a tornado just blew through. I can forgive a little clutter, but when you see piles of garbage, it really raises questions about the condition of the home and the grooming habits of the people living there.
I definitely believe that having basic civility means picking up after yourself. I’m also shocked when I see people spit their gum onto the sidewalk, or toss cigarette butts and fast food wrappers out their car window. It’s disgusting, anti-social, and indicative of a complete disregard for others. Who do they think will clean up the mess? Is it really so hard to walk a few steps and put the trash in a garbage bin?
People think of dumping trash on the street as the ultimate in bad littering behavior, but having a messy home, car, or desk isn’t much better. I once accepted a lift from an important figure in my industry. He wore expensive suits and drove a fancy car, but inside it was a disaster. I was stunned—it made me feel like he was not as polished and organized as his image suggested. I felt very uncomfortable sitting in such a mess.
Bottom line: For the sake of others (and the environment!), avoid littering, clean up after yourself, and tidy up when company is expected. It’s considerate and good for your image!