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I live in a dirty house... HELP! - Page 2

post #21 of 95
I was raised to never do housework - my grandmother's philosophy was that as a girl I'd spend my whole life cleaning, so she didn't want me to have a childhood with it. I understand the motivation behind it, but it did me a huge disservice in the long run, and having a clean house is still "work" vs second nature to me now. I've gotten it down pretty well but the biggest things that made a HUGE difference for me in getting it that way were these: 1. 30 min. That's all. 30 min. It's better if you can add 15 to that and do 15 in the morning and 30 in the evening, but it doesn't always work that way. 2. The kids are old enough to help. The rule in our house is that we all make messes so we ALL clean them up - regardless of who made which specific mess. I incorporate them together. 30 min before bedtime let's see how much we can get done in putting stuff away, picking up, cleaning, etc. The little ones are perfectly capable of putting dirty clothes in the laundry, putting up their toys on the shelf or in the bin, picking up trash (juice boxes from dinner, etc.) and making sure plates are in the sink. Once it's done, it's done for the night, no nagging, no arguing. After about 3 days of this you can really start telling a difference.
post #22 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
3. it's better to just shove stuff into a box and take care of the cleaning chore than to wait until things are "tidy enough"
Excellent point!
post #23 of 95
moved to decluttering, organizing & simplifying
post #24 of 95
Thread Starter 
I never had any problems with keeping my living space clean until I had kids, and it's controlling the kids and keeping them from making the messes in the first place that I am struggling with most.

I have been working on decluttering and organizing my home for almost 2 years now. I can say with confidence that it is better than it was, but it is still not any where close to the standards with which I would like to live.
post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
I was raised to never do housework - my grandmother's philosophy was that as a girl I'd spend my whole life cleaning, so she didn't want me to have a childhood with it. I understand the motivation behind it, but it did me a huge disservice in the long run, and having a clean house is still "work" vs second nature to me now.
You know, I just don't think it ever comes naturally for some people. My SIL had to clean, clean, clean as a kid. Like before she married my brother, we'd come home from college for break and her mom would say to her "Oh, I'm so glad to see you. I've missed you so much! Now go and clean the kitchen floor." (OK, maybe not exactly right after she saw her but you get the idea.) And now, many years later, SIL just doesn't have a clean house. So personally, I think being made to clean a lot as a child doesn't guarantee you'll be clean as an adult. I think it's a gene that some people have...and I sure don't!

And that is really true about having to let go of some stuff with your partner. My DH is going to do a great job with some things (like cleaning the garage or cleaning up the computer area) but he just is not ever going to clean the bathrooms. So I am slowly trying to accept that and move on. But it's hard some times!
post #26 of 95
You may also want to try to push past your discomfort with "nutcases"-- I've known some very unstable people who were also neat and tidy, and darn straight I took housekeeping advice from them. We all have different strengths. If Flylady got your house cleaner, try that again no matter how strange her personality is.
post #27 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
I don't know that I am... maybe that's my problem
That's my sticking point- and the reason I asked. I started doing Chore Wars so a disembodied computer program could give me the acknowledgement my family didn't.
post #28 of 95
Thread Starter 
I just checked it out and registerred an account... Interesting concept!

Is your husband and your other family members part of your "party"?
post #29 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
This is good advice. I try to always have a clean bathroom and a clean kitchen.
Honestly, I can live with a dirty bathroom (unless it's REALLY dirty and reaches my limit... It's small and easy enough to clean and it doesn't take a lot of time to do before I have company over... which is almost never, btw). However, it's the floors through the main floor and the kitchen that are my sticky (literally) points. I can't stand my floors -- everything is on them. Food spills that never got wiped up, mud from snowy boots, stickers suck on the floors, oatmeal spills and bread crumbs or drink spills in kitchen from my husband's "helpers" who never bother to clean up after themselves... etc, etc. It's really hard to mop the floors when they are covered with toys, and by the time the toys are picked up, we don't feel like cleaning anymore.

I can't stand my floors. Thank goodness that they are all hard surfaces. If I had rugs or carpets, it'd go completely insane!

I wish I could have a big dog, that would help a lot... but my husband is allergic to ALL dogs (even the supposed non-allergenic ones).
post #30 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
I just checked it out and registerred an account... Interesting concept!

Is your husband and your other family members part of your "party"?
me too! i started a 'party' called mdc mamas, if anyone wants to join.
post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
I can't stand my floors -- everything is on them. Food spills that never got wiped up, mud from snowy boots, stickers suck on the floors, oatmeal spills and bread crumbs or drink spills in kitchen from my husband's "helpers" who never bother to clean up after themselves... etc, etc. It's really hard to mop the floors when they are covered with toys, and by the time the toys are picked up, we don't feel like cleaning anymore.

I can't stand my floors. Thank goodness that they are all hard surfaces. If I had rugs or carpets, it'd go completely insane!
meeeeeeeeeee tooooooooooooooooo!

we live in an area where people typically take their shoes off, but when people come over, i'm always like, "don't worry about that!" because i don't want them to be grossed out later by their filthy socks.
post #32 of 95
I have almost all carpets (just not in the kitchen and bathroom) and I haaaate it. They get dirty so easily. I have to vacuum every other day (could easily do it daily if I had the motivation) and steam clean it quarterly (it needs more than that but that's what we can afford and it's good enough.) *sigh*
post #33 of 95
I ended up doing the holiday grandplan thing. I didn't finish all of it, but it gave my house a nice thorough scrub down... maybe something like that would work for you? You could just start it now instead of planning it for the holidays. Maybe call it a spring cleaning grandplan?

here's the thing I did... http://christmas.organizedhome.com/holiday-grand-plan I got loads of decluttering done, which was good... and focusing only on one room a week for the cleaning/decluttering seemed less overwhelming than just telling myself "clean the house!" It also helped that they had a little text reminding you about all the minor things you might not think about but could use to be done...
post #34 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
me too! i started a 'party' called mdc mamas, if anyone wants to join.
I sent you a PM
post #35 of 95
I think you can have the plans in the world but if you are not motivated...NOTHING works. The point is to get motivated. It's very very hard. I have this problem myself. I struggle with depression and a dirty house makes it worse. MUCH MUCH worse. It's just so hard. The worst part is that once its cleaned...it all gets dirty again and again..so it's like what's the point, especially if it's all on you and nobody helps unless you are mad, crying and threatening to leave forever.

My motivation is that I deserve a clean house. I deserve to feel good about myself. And like all things that are good...it's worth working for. There are triggers too...like I never go to bed with a dirty bedroom. It's the very first thing i see in the morning...so it helps to start in a clean frame of mind. the second thing is that i try not to wake up to a dirty kitchen because that is where I start my day and i want to keep my clean frame of mind going. The other trigger is laundry. I hate hate hate laundry on the floor. Make sure it's put in baskets. If you can do those three things you can work from there and just cover one room at a time.

Try not to feel bad about yourself. Like I said, it's hard to stay motivated and if you fall once you'll fall 1,000 times...just pick up again and start over. Yes...again and again and again.....
post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
Honestly, I can live with a dirty bathroom (unless it's REALLY dirty and reaches my limit... It's small and easy enough to clean and it doesn't take a lot of time to do before I have company over... which is almost never, btw). However, it's the floors through the main floor and the kitchen that are my sticky (literally) points. I can't stand my floors -- everything is on them. Food spills that never got wiped up, mud from snowy boots, stickers suck on the floors, oatmeal spills and bread crumbs or drink spills in kitchen from my husband's "helpers" who never bother to clean up after themselves... etc, etc. It's really hard to mop the floors when they are covered with toys, and by the time the toys are picked up, we don't feel like cleaning anymore.
See, here's a perfect example of my 3.

Take a broom, sweep all the toys and large pieces of dirt into a pile. Then give the kids like 10 minutes to pull out all the toys they still want (and you use that time to grab the things you hadn't known were on the floor ) into a basket. Then the rest of the pile goes into the trash toy basket goes onto a shelf for later sorting. Boom, done.

Then look at how you're washing the floors (#2) are mops and a bucket totally PITA? Try spilling some hot (not scalding) water on the floor and having the kids skate around with old socks. Or get a steam mop. They suck, imo, for old spills, but for a single day's stickiness they're pretty good and don't require wringing and leave the floor dry.

Oh, and a machine-washable rag rug on the floor by your sink could save you a ton of bother.
post #37 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
me too! i started a 'party' called mdc mamas, if anyone wants to join.
me me me!!!
post #38 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirp View Post
me me me!!!
and me!
post #39 of 95
I think it would help to know specifics about your schedule. Are you a WOHM or SAHM? Does your dh WOHD or SAHD? How many activities are your kids in? How big is your house? On a scale from 1 to 10 how dirty is your house to you? By other peoples standards? Where do you want it to be? What things that you spend your time doing now are you willing to give up to refocus on your house? Could you hire help to get it up to a level you can live with and then you maintain it?
post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Then look at how you're washing the floors (#2) are mops and a bucket totally PITA? Try spilling some hot (not scalding) water on the floor and having the kids skate around with old socks. Or get a steam mop. They suck, imo, for old spills, but for a single day's stickiness they're pretty good and don't require wringing and leave the floor dry.
We also have no carpets, I love it!

Shoes USUALLY come off at the door, especially if there's anything on them. The front entryway is usually not a problem, we have enough of a walkway to take the shoes off outside. The back door gets messy, but we try to spot-mop there when that happens.

I use a mcirofiber cloth rag to spot-clean cat messes or kid-messes, and toss it/them in the laundry when done. I try to get to them right away, so they're easy, but sometimes it takes a while.

We also have four other tools:
1) a regular straw broom
2) a dust-mop with removable, machine-washable head
3) a swiffer-type mop with removable, machine-washable head
4) a wring-mop with removable, machine-washable head.

It's also important to note that for each of the removable heads, we have a spare that we keep in an over-the-door "shoe" storage bag hanging next to the mop/broom rack. As soon as I'm done using one of the mops, I change the head and toss the used one into the laundry. That way it's always clean and ready to use.

We use 1 & 2 the most, 3 somewhere between monthly and quarterly, and 4 very rarely.

Sometimes I'll do a basic "center of floors only" sweep / drymop. Sometimes I sweep around the pile of toys. Sometimes I'll maze my way through, picking out the odd toy that I can't "miss". Sometimes I spot-sweep, especially the desk.

And sometimes we'll work together to pick up the clutter before doing a more thorough sweeping. It helps that I can ask DH to pick up an area during the day, and then I'll sweep when I get home. (With his ADD, this sometimes takes a few days & reminders, but we usually get it done within the week.)

Usually if I start on sweeping in the evening, DH will start too (one with the broom, one with the dustmop). We work together while we talk things over.

If DS is up, he's at the age where putting toys in boxes is still great fun.

Flylady has some interesting ideas in the summer camp section for making things fun. Things like Pirate Day, mixing up true play with activities like "swabbing the deck" and pirate-themed snacks.
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