Thursday, August 27, 2009

How do you clean?

This is a question for anyone! I'm desperate. I feel like my house is always a pigsty. Stuff is everywhere, counters have caked on food, there's always dirty dishes in the sink and counter and papers everywhere on my computer desk. I've tried many things to lessen the mess, but it doesn't seem to be helping. See, I would consider myself a neat freak, but you would never know that if you walked into my house...ever.

The premise of my blog is that I would share tips on how to run a household and raise kids, etc. to help mother's out there in my same situation. But right now I need advice. I've tried to set up a schedule where I would do one big chore a day, vacuum on Tuesday, sweep on Wed. etc. The problem is I can't seem to get to those chores because I spend all of my cleaning time just trying to get everything back to the places and rooms they are suppose to be in. I run around the house like a madman getting my exercise for the day because I take something to one room, come back and realize I forgot something else. *sigh*

I try to get my 3 year old involved and she loves to help, but after a while she gets bored and wants me to play, but the task isn't finished yet. My husband helps as much as he can after he gets home from work, but he also likes to play with the kids and then we have to give them baths and get them ready for bed. By the time the kids are in bed we don't want to clean we want a couple of hours to ourselves to spend together or do projects of our own.

Growing up, Saturday mornings were always reserved for deep cleaning. I've tried to implement that in my own family, but the kids, 3 years and 8 months, get really bored after a couple of hours of this. We also like to do something fun as a family on Saturday or have other commitments as well. (As a side note: as part of our religion we try not to work on Sundays as we believe this is a day of rest. We like to reserve it for church meetings, scripture study, family time in the home/visiting other family in the area, etc. That is why we'd like to get it all done on Saturday.)

Anyway this is a long explanation of my little problem. Do I have too high of expectations or am I stressing out way too much like my husband thinks? This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I'm desperate for ideas.

My question is: How do you get cleaning done in your home?


  1. I am not much help, because we splurged on the cleaning lady to avoid spending our free time in deep cleaning. However, we do straighten up the house every day and load the dishes into dishwasher immediately after the meals. The only truly messy place in our house is our desks, but we still manage to clean them once every 2 weeks or so. I heard a lot of good words about - she breaks tasks into manageable chunks. It seems that it's exactly what you need to get more motivated. Good luck!

  2. I often have a hard time managing the cleaning as well.

    I did start a new schedule last week (when we started school) and basically I am doing one or two areas a day. It is working well right now, but I made sure my house was in tip top condition before I started. Of course some tasks such as dishes and laundry are done everyday. And in the evenings if my husband does not work late, one of us will bathe the girls and read them books while the other straightens up and vacuums the kitchen and playroom. Before baths the girls always help pick up toys throughout the house.
    For me the kitchen and playroom seem to be the main culprits for clutter so this helps a great deal!

    I am just rambling, but I think it is definetly trial and error. You have to find what works for you. But also I do believe that some things are fine waiting!

    Good luck!

  3. My house is far from perfect. My counters in the kitchen are always cluttered, so that's my biggest problem area. For me, it works best to do most of the cleaning on one day. Usually, I do dishes and de-clutter a bit every day, usually while the kids are eating or playing on their own for a few minutes. Sometimes I leave it, and my dh does it while they are eating breakfast the next morning. Then, I reserve Fridays for real cleaning. Our house is pretty large (two stories, 5 bedrooms), so I clean the upstairs one week and the downstairs the next. I do laundry simultaneously with Friday cleanings. So, as soon as I wake up I start in on the laundry and just switch it out throughout the day. I do all the folding and putting away as soon as it's out of the drier. Then I do the vacuuming, change sheets and bathrooms if it's an upstairs Friday. If it's a downstairs Friday, I'll do the bathroom, vacuum and bleach the counters. DH is supposed to do showers, so they don't get done often, but it's alright. I never mop because I can't stand it, so that's also a problem area. Luckily my floors do okay with just vacuuming. I've tried the one chore a day thing, but I lacked motivation and I didn't like how the house was never all clean at the same time. HTH! :)

  4. I am in the same boat you are in. I'm going to keep reading the comments to see if anyone has ideas. I always feel like I'm treading water in this department. Now, we are looking at houses and the thought of keeping my house clean enough for people to look at it if we do end up selling is making me sick. I'm sorry I don't have any advice!

  5. I like to have an extra laundry basket to put misplaced items in. Then I just go from room to room loading and unloading the basket. If you can do it on a regular basis (that is the key) it helps to keep things from getting out of control. Sometimes it takes two runs around the house but it saves time to have the basket so you don't have to run back and forth for each individual item.

  6. I don't know a mom who doesn't struggle with this. I've tried different things and I don't stick to any of them. We seem to have toys everywhere and I stopped picking them up until the evening time when we all do it together. That being said, there are nights that we don't pick up all the toys and I'm ok with ignoring them. =)What about a basket at the bottom of the stairs that you can put things in that need to go upstairs? I'll be checking back later to see what other ideas everyone comes up with!!

  7. Aaaah, home maintance...always a strggle.

    I have found to be extremely helpful, although her 9 million emails can be a bit overwhelming at first! The thing about Marla (Flylady) is that she will be honest with you (the general public you) and basically tell you to "quit your complaining and just do it."

    At first I was offended by this b/c I am the QUEEN of excuses, reasons, validations, etc. But deep down, I know she is right.

    One lesson I learned from Flylady that I have incorporated is doing a load of laundry a day. Not everyone's laundry during an all-day marathon, but literally, 1 load, washed, dried, folded and put away a day. She has great tips for swishing and swiping, routines, schedules, etc. She has different types of routine suggestions for PARENTS OF TODDLERS, cleaning while pregnant, crisis cleaning for company, etc. LOVE her website!

    AND, she will tell you to delete the excessive emails b/c she knows they can be overwhelming.

    Her mantra is..."your house did not get dirty in one day so don't expect it to get cleaned up in one day." You are supposed to "jump in where you're at" and she talks about "perfectionism" getting in the way of just having a neat and properly maintained home.

    Okay, I just inspired myself to stop blogging and start cleaning! LOL

    Blessings to you,

  8. Are you living in CHAOS (cant have anyone over syndrom) All you have to do is FLY!! You need FLY Lady. Her systems are great and practical for the busy Mom. Seriously. It all starts with your sink (you've got to read to understand) and it's SOOOO True!

    So FLY over to and start Finally Loving Yourself (FLY).

  9. id love the answer to 'how to organise' beter.. because to me clean means organised

  10. Last night as I was cleaning the bathroom I thought about you and this question. I would just add my bathroom cleaning suggestion. I clean the bathroom while the kiddos are taking a bath. Since I don't leave the room while she is in there I have found it easy to clean up while she plays. She gets her play time out and I clean. By the time I get done it's time to clean her and get out. We don't have a big bathroom at all so I still feel safe to do this. Maybe this will help you clean "two birds" with less time. ;)

  11. I don't think I ever answered your question about what I do with the kids while I am cleaning up; actually it's one of three things--1) I let them run around playing in their rooms while I clean ;) 2) I do it while they are having "quiet time". or 3) I do it while they are busy eating a meal or at the table doing a project/puzzle. Hope that helps!



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