Alex's Answer

My house is disgusting

Your Question

Hi Alex idk what to do; my house is absolutely disgusting and I’m not being dramatic my mum doesn’t live here anymore so it’s my brother’s and my dad and I’m the only girl and everytime I clean after a day or to it’s back to what it was it’s really embarrassing and I can never have friends over because of it there is most likely nothing you or I can do about it bc my brothers wont clean but any advice? 


Hi there, and welcome to Ask Alex, 

You are telling us your house is very dirty and that you don’t know what to do. That when you clean, it doesn’t stay clean for long. You are embarrassed, as you don’t feel like you can bring someone over. You are asking for advice. 

Thank you for sharing with us what you are going through. It must be overwhelming for you to try and keep everything tidy, and then frustrating to see that you are back to square one after all that work you’ve put into cleaning. At the same time, we can imagine how hard it must be without you mum around anymore. It sounds like you and your family are trying to adjust to a new situation, and that sometimes things can turn out to be a bit chaotic.  

We wonder if there is anyone you have been talking to about all this, about how you feel at home and the changes the family is experiencing. This could be easier to manage if it were shared with an adult you trust. We don’t know how your relationship with your father is at the moment; but he is the one responsible to make sure that everyone in the house feels taken care of and listened to.  

It is too much for you as a sibling, to ask your brothers to help out, as they could react negatively, as you are not their parent.  

We believe talking to your father would be the first step to take, provided you feel safe doing so. There are certain ways to communicate how we feel, to avoid getting into an argument. How to start the conversation would be pointing a finger at yourself. We call this “I-messages”, where you express your feelings without blaming others. “I feel overwhelmed by cleaning all the time and that it doesn’t stay clean”; “I feel embarrassed to bring someone over as everything is dirty”; “I feel no one else wants to have a clean house and that makes me sad”. 

The next step to ensure you’re understood and to get results would be to follow this 4-step strategy to make your point. I SEE – I FEEL – I NEED – I REQUEST. This can look like: “I see the house getting dirtier by the day, and nothing being done about it. That makes me feel as if no one cares about how we live, and I try to clean it all by myself, but it is overwhelming and frustrating, as this is not a job or the responsibility of just one person. I sometimes would like to bring people over but I feel embarrassed of how the house looks like. I need that we all work together as a team to keep a tidy house, that feels welcoming and safe to come back to. Could you please get us all organised to mind the house together,?” 

If talking to dad doesn’t work or your relationship doesn’t feel safe, would there be another trusting adult around you could talk to? Maybe another family member you feel close to, or a teacher in school who could support you. They could help you out by listening to you, first of all, and then maybe support your dad into making some changes at home.  

Alternatively, if you need someone to talk to before you feel ready to do any of that, know that Childline is here for you. Childline is a 24-hour listening service that runs 365 days a year. We can be contacted by calling 1800 66 66 66 or through Live Chat on our website 

We hope this helps and that you feel better soon. Remember, you do not have to feel alone, Childline is always here for you. Take care, 


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