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What is your #1 housework tip? - Page 2

post #21 of 36
Finish cleaning one room before you start the next.

I'm a terrible housekeeper- easily distracted and led off by the fairies. If I keep it firmly in mind that I'm going to finish the room I'm in before I start ANYTHING else I feel more like I accomplish something. To that end, if I pick up things in that one room that need to be put away elsewhere, I throw them all in an empty laundry basket and put them all away AFTER the room is tidied up, dusted and swept. Otherwise I walk into the next room to put something away and get pulled into a pile of clutter in that room and the next thing I know I've worked half the day away and don't look (or feel) as though I've actually accomplished anything because i've half way finished numerous jobs instead of completely finishing one job.
post #22 of 36
After I finally got the house totally organized and deep cleaned when I quit work in Aug....( that took 2 weeks). I now DAILY (it only takes 30 minutes) wipe down the sinks and pass the toilet brush in the toilet, wipe down all counter tops in the kitchen, and dust mop the living room/ kitchen area. I do laundry every other day and put it all away as soon as it is dry. I clean the kitchen after every.single.meal. That way I don't ever get overwhelmed and it does not take much time and my house is always company ready. I make the kids put all the toys back in their playroom before bed too.
post #23 of 36
Never think you are "done" it is a constant cycle to keep it neat. You can't super clean every couple of weeks and not keep up in between. You will never feel like you are on top of things if you do.
post #24 of 36
Cleaning on the phone is a big one for me. My Dh and switch off between bedtime for kids and doing the dinner dishes. So on my nights when I do the dishes and it's a big mess (after experimenting with a new Thai recipe, for example!) I call my sister and chat while I clean. I get them done without thinking about it and usually do a really good job.

Another thing I do - clean the shower while I shower. I'll get in there with a scrubby pad (naked, of course) and spray some cleaner and scrub away. Then I'll turn on the shower and shower while it rinses. I used to hate cleaning the shower because I'd get all wet and I couldn't reach a lot places without crawling in. (we have one of those showers with glass sliding doors, so it was particularly annoying to clean)

Just wanted to add - whenever I get overwhelmed with cleaning (when it feels never ending and I can't seem to keep up) I declutter. That is usually the cause. When my house is streamlined and decluttered it is SO much easier to keep clean.
post #25 of 36
Mine would be stick to a schedule. Every other day is my wash day. Dishes get done after each meal. Upstairs gets straitened, beds made, bathroom up there wiped down every morning. Floors get done every other day. Major clean up every two weeks. I know that all sounds anal but if i stray from it things get out of hand fast!
post #26 of 36
Make your kids do it.

just kidding, but I have been trying to teach DS (23 months) to help with stuff around the house. He helps hand me clean dishes from the dishwasher, and helps pick up his toys before we go to bed at night. We're working on helping load the wet clothes into the dryer next. Someday he'll be able to do this all by himself, and I'll be able to sit on the couch with my feet up, sipping a Diet Coke and ordering him around! BWAHAHAHAA.

Um, I mean, um, what?
post #27 of 36
Figure out when your times of feeling overwhelmed are in your daily/weekly/monthly schedules and plan a cleaning routine to pre-empt the overwhelming mess you usually experience.

For example, I have lots of month-end paperwork to do for my home business, and my housework goes to heck for a few days at the end of the month. So I do a big deep clean and declutter 5-7 days before the end of the month. That really helps.

Another example, I am on my own with the kids most evenings and have to do evening cleanup/bedtime on my own, which sucks. I figured out that if I start a kitchen cleanup at 3 pm, before the kids even come home from school, then my evenings are much happier.

So I have a "3 o'clock list" -- clean the table and counters, sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher (which I run after lunch), figure out dinner or prep "away" snacks if we are out that evening, etc. Usually little ones from my daycare wake up about this time and eat a snack while I'm tidying the kitchen. Having the 3 o'clock list and knowing I will be doing this stuff at 3 pm also lets me take a break while the little ones are napping after lunch, even if the kitchen is messy, because I know I have a plan to get to it.

I also have an "8 o'clock list" which includes things like feeding my kids a bedtime snack and reading stories to them, making sure toys are put away (by my kids), loading the dishwasher, safety checking the floors for small pieces (I have babies in my home daycare during the day) etc. That way, I can have all my kids in bed by 9 pm and have a couple of guilt-free hours to myself.
post #28 of 36
Originally Posted by Krisis View Post
Make your kids do it.
My 10 year old is a huge help, even if it's just watching the 2yo so that I can clean. She's expected to help out, but I pay her if she goes above and beyond.
post #29 of 36
A couple of things have helped me:
One keep your cleaning things together.I tried having a basket for everything and carrying it around but it didnt work so I have a set of cleaners (they are kept up high) in the back of the house and in the front of the house. I also keep washclothes, trash bags and anything I will need for that particular room near or in the room Ill use it for. That way when I clean I don't have to go to the kitchen 10092039 times and waste time, instead of 30 minutes to clean the bathroom it takes 10.
2) Make sure you end the day with an empty sink, an empty trash can and an empty washer/dryer. It doesnt stay empty long but you can go to bed without thinking of what wasn't done that day
3) At the end of the day think of everything you accomplished not what you didnt accomplish. For me, cleaning is much a mind game as a physical thing, I get discouraged thinking of what I didnt get done. Discouragement leads to me getting even less done the next day.
4) I write down three cleaning things I HAVE to get done that day and try to get them done. If I get them done I can move on to something else if not I dont worry about it and do it the next day (or not at all if it wasnt that important).
post #30 of 36
This is so true.

Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
Never think you are "done" it is a constant cycle to keep it neat. You can't super clean every couple of weeks and not keep up in between. You will never feel like you are on top of things if you do.
post #31 of 36
Originally Posted by Brigio View Post
I talk on the phone and clean- I barely realize I'm doing it and after I have to think about whether or not I did something!
i do this without even realizing it and i accomplish so much! and i also can't find stuff afterwords. lol.

coffee is my #1 housecleaning tip. coffee cracks me out so bad. i drink a cup and i can barely hold a conversation.......it is an extreme upper for me. i drink a cup when i really need to accomplish things and it keeps me going all.day.long.
post #32 of 36
Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
Another thing I do - clean the shower while I shower.
i have had this habit since i was a kid. when i started green-cleaning as a business it took *a lot* of figuring out how to clean someone's tub/shower without being naked in it.
post #33 of 36
Don't sit down until your done. This is a big problem for me. Once I sit down, it's all over I get lost in the tv.
post #34 of 36
Don't not do something just because you can't do it perfectly. You have to start somewhere.
post #35 of 36
I love my various podcasts (The Moth, This American Life, Vinyl Cafe) so I make a rule to only listen to them while cooking in the kitchen or cleaning to motivate myself. I also try to keep cleaning as long as the podcast is playing (if possible) which gives me an extra few minutes to attend to the baseboards or wipe down one or two shelves.

I also follow the fly lady and though I don't have a clean sink I have gotten over the paralyzing habit of not cleaning/organizing because it can't be done perfectly the way I would like.
post #36 of 36
great ideas

if i'm overwhelmed i use a timer. also, i like to take things down to a very tiny area, say, one part of the counter, or one area of the floor, and just get that area done, then move to the next one...realising that it only takes 5 minutes to deal with an area gives me more energy.

i also like to assign a room to a particular day, and once the room is consistently clean and tidy i can start doing special projects. otherwise i tend to do the special projects first because they are more fun

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