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I live in a dirty house... HELP! - Page 3

post #41 of 95


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
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 #42 of 95
Thread Starter 
Are you a WOHM or SAHM?

Yes and no -- I work outside of the home 2 days a week, and the rest from home. Mondays and Thursdays I work from home from 9-4, then take DS to karate, then home for quick dinner and out at 7 for choir.
TW I work out of the home.
F I work from home 9-5, then go for dinner with inlaws
Saturday and Sunday is always busy with various family things. DH is out Sunday nights playing tennis.


Does your dh WOHD or SAHD?

No, he's in the office M thru F, and frequently works late, late nights when he has a major project deadline.

How many activities are your kids in?

Karate, swimming (though not lately), school, daycare, and the occasional playdates.

How big is your house?
2600 sq. feet

On a scale from 1 to 10 how dirty is your house to you?
About a 7 or 8. (I've seen homes that are 9s and 10s... I don't think mine is that bad).

By other peoples standards?
Probably higher, simply because of the cat smell... I don't notice any kind of a foul smell since I live it every day, but I fear that other people notice it a lot. I do know, however, that there is a smell, because when I step inside I do notice a definite change in odor from outside air and inside air. It just doesn't smell foul to me.


Where do you want it to be?
Perfect. (unattainable, I know... but we all have our dreams)

What things that you spend your time doing now are you willing to give up to refocus on your house?
Not choir... Not working... Not sleep... Not eating... But perhaps I could spend less time playing computer games, reading mdc, or watching TV. But I am afraid if I don't leave time for myself to play that I will always feel as though I am working, working, working. Maybe I could cook less extravagant meals and try to make things simpler in general.

Could you hire help to get it up to a level you can live with and then you maintain it?
Financially, yes, but I'm not sure that it would help if I haven't tackled the other motivation issues first.
post #43 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstar View Post
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.
Can you share what you have for numbers 2, 3, and 4?

I think this would be great, and to have an extra so you can wash the other wold be awesome. But, do you really wash it after just one use?
post #44 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
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.
Here's our solution to all this . . . big, cheap area rugs from Menards at all doors. (They're rubber-backed, designed basically to both trap yet repel dirt--even if you get mud on them, the mud sits on the surface, dries and you can quickly vacuum it off.) All shoes come off on the rug when the family enters the house. You can keep slippers there to change into, or just go socks (I and the kid just do socks, the husband does slippers.)

We have cheapie rag rugs in front of the oven/range, fridge and sink in the kitchen. These catch 90% of the kitchen spills and junk. Figure out where the worse spills tend to happen and toss a rag rug down there. Once they get gross, toss them through the washer.

We have a carpet under the dinette table where all food must be eaten. Since it sounds like your family tends toward the spilly and crumbly, I'd suggest one of the big, cheap area rugs from Menards here too. (We have a much nicer rug there, but messy food rarely gets onto it; it's generally just crumbs.)

In order of what needs to be done most with this setup: generally, the dinette rug can do with a vacuum once a week. The rag rugs from the kitchen can do with a shake-out about once a week too (I take them to the back door and shake them out.) They get washed when they get nasty, or about once a quarter (every 3-4 months). The floor IN the kitchen gets swept weekly and I generally do a quick "spot-mop" with a wet rag every two weeks.

The area rugs by the doors get a vacuum about once every two weeks, with the rest of the carpeting in the house (upstairs, and family room has carpeting). The wood floors outside the kitchen get a sweeping and a swifering about once every 3-4 weeks, and a mopping about once a quarter.

All members of the household are required to wipe up spills on the floor immediately. More than spills getting nasty: if you have wood floors, highly acidic spills can very easily eat into and damage the wood. That's my fear here: growing up we had old, very expensive to repair/impossible to replace wood floors in our house, and we experienced some wood-damaging spills because they weren't wiped up right away. My dad has only really been able to repair those areas because he took out the floors from another part of the house (to put down tile) and "reprocessed" that wood to be used to replace damaged wood.

(Just to note: I only have one kid and I understand that more than one kid means more frequent cleaning. But my mom basically had the same rules and all-wood floors with area rugs, and once of us generally got assigned to sweep and spot-mop with a rag about once a week, while another vacuumed. It kept things clean enough to wander about in socks.)
post #45 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
I work outside of the home 2 days a week, and the rest from home. Mondays and Thursdays I work from home from 9-4, then take DS to karate, then home for quick dinner and out at 7 for choir.
TW I work out of the home.
F I work from home 9-5, then go for dinner with inlaws
Saturday and Sunday is always busy with various family things.

DH is out Sunday nights playing tennis . . . he's in the office M thru F, and frequently works late, late nights when he has a major project deadline.

. . .

How big is your house?
2600 sq. feet

What things that you spend your time doing now are you willing to give up to refocus on your house? Not choir... Not working... Not sleep... Not eating... But perhaps I could spend less time playing computer games, reading mdc, or watching TV. But I am afraid if I don't leave time for myself to play that I will always feel as though I am working, working, working. Maybe I could cook less extravagant meals and try to make things simpler in general.
that sounds really tough (and pretty familiar!). i also feel like there's just not enough time in the day, i don't know what i can give up to make more time, and i do need time for myself or i will lose my mind. making things simpler does help, but if cooking (and eating) a big family dinner is your quality time with the kids, maybe you don't want to give that up.

if your house was completely clean right now and you hired someone to maintain the cleaning, would that motivate you to maintain the tidiness in between visits from the cleaning service? it sounds like your kids are old enough to help with that, at least with their own things.

or maybe you would actually like to do the cleaning yourself, and would rather hire a babysitter to take your kids to karate and other activities, or have a sunday night babysitter so that you are out of the house the same time as dh, filling your "me time" needs so it's easier to give time to the housework during the week.
post #46 of 95
oh yeah, if anyone else needs the code to join the mdc mamas "chore wars" party, pm me!
post #47 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
oh yeah, if anyone else needs the code to join the mdc mamas "chore wars" party, pm me!
I created an account at chore wars a while back but never did anything with it. I'd like to join this party, though. I'm just a lurker but this could work for me. PM'ing now.
post #48 of 95
Well I just downloaded the Motivated Moms planner. I like lists, so I think this will help me a lot more than having my inbox fill up with emails. It was only $8 anyway, so its worth a shot!
post #49 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
Can you share what you have for numbers 2, 3, and 4?
2) O Cedar Every Which Way Floor Duster
I wouldn't think you could love a mop, but I love this one, it works great on my laminate and vinyl floors. It's hard to say which is better, this one or the swish-swish straw broom. Certainly this is quieter, and I feel like I can even use it to "swish & swipe" dust the top of the baseboards.

3) Libman Microfiber Floor Mop

I don't use this very often, but I tend to like it when I do. It is a lot like the disposable Swiffers except reusable. It doesn't hold much water, so for a large floor area I end up rinsing it several times. And for a deep clean, nothing beats getting on your hands & knees to scrub. But for a quick-mop, it's good.

4) Libman Wonder Mop

This I use the least of all. I'm really not sure that I like it. The head is such that you can't really do any scrubbing with it, it's more for an immediate "rinse the sugar before it sets" job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
I think this would be great, and to have an extra so you can wash the other wold be awesome. But, do you really wash it after just one use?

The house was new when we moved in, so we were able to start clean and just maintain... which means that our habits are not exactly rigid, or even necessarily planned.

We'll have a week here or there where we dust every few days, but more often it seems like every couple of weeks for the main floor. (I *think* DH sweeps the kitchen & dining room every day.)

So as for washing after each use:
On (2) once I start with the dust mop, it's so easy that I usually get most of the living area, somewhere ~1000-1500 square feet (not quite everywhere). By the time that's done, it's got cat fur and dust bunnies clinging to it. I feel better washing it. If I were better about dusting every couple of days before anything's visible, then perhaps I wouldn't wash after each use.

And for (3) I usually start by planning to pick up obvious dirt / mess. Like I said above, I do rinse it a few times during the mop job, as it gets dirty. When I finish it usually looks dirty enough and is wet enough that I'd rather start clean next time.
post #50 of 95
How many hours of tv, computer do you spend per day? Or week if its easier. When I get wrapped up in the puter hours can fly by. A timer works well. On Tv I'd allow myself no more than 4 hours a week until the house is in shape. You can't go cold turkey or like you said you'll go nutty.

Personally if you have the money hire a professional declutterer/organizer and a cleaning crew. Once its under control then maybe someone to come in twice a week who is only there to clean nothing else. But you will have to maintain between times.
post #51 of 95
OP, I agree that if you can afford to hire someone to at least get you started, you should do that. And I also agree with your own idea that you could cook simpler meals, at least for a while until things are less cluttered.
post #52 of 95
Join the MDC clutter challange Less stuff=less mess. I'm also guilty of not using pots and pans to cook with. I use aluminum foil instead and bake it all in the oven. Declutter the number of plates/bowls and cups you have because if you only own, say 3 of each, that is less dishes! do the same with towels
post #53 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailey's mom View Post
because if you only own, say 3 of each, that is less dishes! do the same with towels
There are 4 of us though... if we only had 4 towels, wouldn't that be worse? -- if we all bathe in the morning and use all 4 towels, and then they aren't dry when DD finds a tube of paint that I forgot about on the counter and compltely covers the kitchen floor, and herself, and needs another bath 2 hours later, the previous towels aren't dry yet, what do I do?? To avoid this, I'd have to run the dryer right away with just 4 towels in it, which would be a waste of energy.

I mean, I hear what you are saying, but I think you brought it to a bit too much of an extreme
post #54 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
How many hours of tv, computer do you spend per day? Or week if its easier. When I get wrapped up in the puter hours can fly by. A timer works well. On Tv I'd allow myself no more than 4 hours a week until the house is in shape. You can't go cold turkey or like you said you'll go nutty.
Here's where my biggest problem comes into play:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Are you actually ready to live in a tidy house? Are you ready to let go of the idea that your DP should do 50% of the housework (which he should) and do it all yourself without resentment or divorce, because having a nice house is more important to you than the idea that if he won't do it, you shouldn't either?
I don't know that I am... maybe that's my problem
If *I* limit my TV/Computer/Video game time to 4 hours per week, and DH is spending 4-5 hours on TV/Computer/Video game time per DAY...

Well, you can probably imagine why I'm struggling with the above concept.
post #55 of 95
I think you need a professional organizer to come in and help you, and with a larger house as you have, young children, and many hours of work, as well as no help, you totally deserve to have a housekeeper, too. The professional organizer probably costs $100-150 a day, and with just a couple-few days can really help you make a huge dent in your problem. I honestly think you need a housekeeper. You don't sound as if you are ready to take it all on yourself and I honestly don't think you should need to. Perhaps you can take it on once the children are 10 years older, or maybe when they are out of the house. For now, you can afford it and it will make a nicer environment for your children. They are worth it and so are you.
post #56 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
There are 4 of us though... if we only had 4 towels, wouldn't that be worse? -- if we all bathe in the morning and use all 4 towels, and then they aren't dry when DD finds a tube of paint that I forgot about on the counter and compltely covers the kitchen floor, and herself, and needs another bath 2 hours later, the previous towels aren't dry yet, what do I do??
Towels used to dry one person don't get that wet, and they were used on someone who was clean. After baths throw them in the dryer for a few minutes and they'll be fine.
post #57 of 95
My house is finally close to how I want it. But it has taken me years to get there. I used to always keep it messy. Not gross but things were always out of place and sometimes I'd have dirty countertops for days and things just weren't really clean, clean. At one point I realized that when I kept my home clean and uncluttered it made me feel less stressed out and I just enjoyed being there more.

One of the things that changed is probably my attitude. I actually enjoy cleaning because I enjoy the results. When I make my bed I'm thankful that I had a good night's sleep. When I wash dishes I'm thankful that I have plenty to eat. When I vacuum I'm thankful for realiable electricity. I grew up in Mexico and saw people who were poor and homeless on a daily basis so I probably have a different mentality.
post #58 of 95
Quote:
One of the things that changed is probably my attitude. I actually enjoy cleaning because I enjoy the results.
This! My attitude totally affects how i feel about housework. When I am in a good attitude I don't mind cleaning and really enjoy the results. When I am pissy because no one helps out then it looks crappy and I feel crappy.

BUT my dh works looooong hours and I choose to be a homemaker. This is the 'career' that I've chosen, yk? If you are working full-time then you definitely need some help from dh and if he can't/won't do it then he needs to come up with his share of the cleaning woman/organizer's fees, yk?

I used to clean houses and I hated the 'messy' houses that I had to straighten up before I could clean. I was able to charge much less for the neat houses because I was in and out so much faster. This is something to think about. I don't think I'll ever hire a cleaning woman because by the time I've straightened up for her I could just clean another 15 minutes and be done, yk?
post #59 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
Here's where my biggest problem comes into play:




If *I* limit my TV/Computer/Video game time to 4 hours per week, and DH is spending 4-5 hours on TV/Computer/Video game time per DAY...

Well, you can probably imagine why I'm struggling with the above concept.
I think you need to work on letting go of the "I'm not going to do anything if he doesn't" mindset. You can't change your DH or what he does. Your dirty house is stressing you out, maybe he doesn't care or doesn't care as much or whatever. So you need to do what YOU can.

FWIW, I've found that when I work harder at keeping the house neat, the rest of my family does too. Like I cleaned the bathroom the other day and straightened out my basket of stuff on the counter. I didn't touch DH's stuff other than to put his shaving cream, etc. back on the shelf where it goes. He came in and sees that the whole bathroom is clean except his area and guess what, he straightened it up a lot. Without any comments from me. My kids also seem a lot more likely to put their backpacks away instead of leaving them on the floor in the front hall when there isn't other stuff already on the floor in the front hall.
post #60 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elisent View Post
Towels used to dry one person don't get that wet, and they were used on someone who was clean. After baths throw them in the dryer for a few minutes and they'll be fine.
I suppose I hear what you are saying. But honestly, I've been decluttering my home for a while now and I really don't think that my problem still stems from having "too much stuff". Even in spite of the fact that I could easily de-clutter another 500 items from my house, and I do try to work on that from time to time.

MOST of the stuff in my house has a space to live, and fits properly in that space. It's getting into the habit of putting things away right away when we are finished with them. Getting up and walking over to the laundry hamper to toss things in, instead of chucking it across the floor and missing half the time... Remembering every morning to reboot the laundry. Unloading the dishwasher right away when they are clean, instead of just reaching in and pulling out the bowl that I need for my cereal. Or cleaning up my cooking mess WHILE I'm doing the cooking... Or putting away my sewing machine, scissors, extra fabric and threads when I finish making my project, instead of leaving it out where I was working.

etc. etc.

I know what I *should* be doing...

My biggest challenges are:
1) Getting motivated (when no-one else is on board)
2) Staying motivated (without feeling like the martyr)
3) Getting into a consistant routine
4) Motivating the family
5) Remembering to pick up after myself, instead of just continuing my old "just leave it where it is", or "I'll do it later" habits.
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