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How do you keep your house clean? What is your routine? Trying to declutter and find a routine...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
seems impossible. I've also got one on the way!! What are your secrets? My kids don't nap anymore 3 and 4 and since then my house has become mass chaos. I think the underlying problem is we have too much stuff. Even if I mop and clean bathrooms (which is hard to find the time these days), it's just messy a day later. Please help!
post #2 of 22
I never really kept up at all with the cleaning, but since doing motivated moms, I am getting a lot closer to keeping up!

The secret of MM is that you only do a few things each day. I don't always get each day's list done, but if I don't, I don't despair as I know I can do it the following week when those chores come up again.

http://www.motivatedmoms.com/
post #3 of 22
I also do motivated moms!

Here's our new schedule -- I have a 4 month old and a 3 year old, and a teacher husband who just went back to school

Wake up: Get dressed, make breakfast, play with the kiddos if there is time
9ish: DD's nap; DS entertains himself or watches TV, I clean from the MM list
10:30/11:00: Play outside/park/playdate
12:00: Lunch (somtimes at playdate/park)
12:30/1:00: DD's nap, DS and I have about 1/2 hour of "special time"
1:00/1:30: DS takes a "rest"...he is in his room, he doesn't have to sleep but sometimes he does; I relax
2:30/3:00: Up from rest time, play outside, prep dinner

I've also been making an effort to clean as I go. Like, I don't leave a room without putting a couple things away.
post #4 of 22
I just have a list of chores that need to get done, in order of what is most important.

For me, I just make sure that at minimum, laundry and dishes get done every day unless I really just can't get to it. If I have time, I add picking up toys/everything and litter box. then vacuuming and mopping. dusting is the last thing I care about. Thats my own personal order of importance though.

I try not to stress. If dishes and laundry are clean and put away (or at least out of the way) and I can get the floor cleared of toys and all the other stuff we use during the day that ends up lying around then I feel like I've done enough. Life is busy and my house will never be perfect.

I HAVE found though that having less things definitely helps. My kiddo has hardly any toys (and she barely plays with what she has haha) and I've gotten rid of anything we don't use all the time and don't NEED some of the time (so I have a lot less plates and cups now too) and it makes cleaning SO much easier. My biggest mess is usually kiddo's books all over (which I allow her to have an infinite amount currently. She adores books and I encourage it. I can find space.)

Definitely the more I delutter the easier cleaning is. Less clothes and towels and rags means laundry has to be done more often but the loads are smaller and therefor easier to put aawy. Fewer dishes means I have to run the dishwasher more, but even if I get backed up, I HAVE to do it before there are three loads to wash... only one maybe 1.5. Toys have only one cubboard to be stashed. Less things feels cleaner becaues the floor is more clear and so are horizontal surfaces. Makes all the deep cleaning easier to get to so I can just get it DONE with on days I have the time and energy to do it

I also make a schedule for things that don't need to be done every day but need to be done relatively often. I don't stick to it exactly, but I know that say the litter box should be done about every other day and just plan for it. I might skip vacuuming to clean it one day but this is usually not a problem. I just try not to stress it too much. Important things first and everything else will work its way into the schedule
post #5 of 22
The mamas on these boards have excellent ideas. Two things that help me:

1. Clean the bathroom while the kids take a bath. even if it is just a quick counter wipe, it helps! My kids are getting a little older now, and I can spend a few minutes out of the bathroom. This allows me to put away laundry on bath night too, I just check on them every couple of minutes. Plus they are loud, so I can always hear both voices talking.

2. From my grandma: "tell your living room goodnight". Before I go to bed, I do a quick survey and pick up the toys, dishes, etc. from the living room.
post #6 of 22
i truly, truly believe the answer is having a rhythm.

it comes out of the steiner (waldorf) tradition or ideas, and the basic principle is that there is a time for everything. with this, it's about what people (and children) really need. a sense that everything will be done in it's own time, and that everyone's needs will be met.

it also has another philosophical component that is very important to me--loving the work of the home. it turns out that i actually really enjoy taking care of my home, and if it is messy, i am unhappy. if it is cluttered, i am unhappy. if it is dirty, then i am unhappy. and, it turns out, so is everyone else. by having a clean and tidy home, we are better able to create, we are better able to be at peace too. it's just more restful and more fun. it becomes a blank canvas in which our family can thrive.

and if you do the work devotionally, with love, the children pick up on that and want to do it too. DS (2) helps me with all of the chores in some way. he really likes helping, and can tell that i like doing the work.

So, practically speaking, how does one design or develop a rhythm? to determine our rhythm, we looked at the following factors:

DS's needs: when he eats, when he needs to sleep, and when he needs active vs passive play, and how much time on his own, with me, with DH, and with all of us together.

DH's needs: his work needs, his needs for working out, alone time, and so on;

My needs: my work needs, my needs for crafting/etc, and so on.

Household needs: we looked at the general work that the house requires, and defined what those were.

So, the beginning is simply when you wake and when you go to bed. not just you, individually of course, but the kids, and then the adults. DH wakes at 6:30 am; DS usually around 7:30, and I rise with DS. DS usually also has a nap mid-day. Now, in lieu of a nap--as there are times when he refuses--we have quiet time. that is time when he can quietly play, but we do restful activities during that time. it's usually between 11 and 2, and usually lasts 1.5 to 2 hrs. again, he normally naps, but for non-napping children at home, "quiet time" for at least an hour is an important passive activity to include. you, also, want to be passive during this time--mending, reading, or something that requires quiet.

then, i put in meal times and the time around that (prep and clean up).

then, i put in the things that can't budge: my work and DH's work schedules, DS's playgroup.

after this, you put in everything else.

the rhythm moves between active and passive activities, and it includes everything else that remains on the list to be done in a day.

here is our daily rhythm mon-friday:

1. rise, make bed, toilet, breakfast (active)

2. daily chore (active)

3. activity for the day

4. snack time/morning tea

5. rest/nap time (DH and I have lunch during this time)

6. DS lunch time, then activity (i'm usually at work, DH is doing this)

7. snack time, then getting ready for bed, which is done before dinner for DS. DS has dinner, then i return home and we do our bed time ritual, and he goes to bed between 7:30 and 8.

8. DH and I have dinner, do a final tidy and dishes, then have some time together for various activities.

9. Dh and I go to bed between 10 and 10:30.

-----

The daily chore list is this:

Monday-- bathroom
Tuesday-- fermenting/baking
Wednesday--Kitchen, vacuum dust (small house, takes about 20 minutes. i do the kitchen while DH does the vacuum and dusting)
Thursday--no chore
Friday--accounting and paperwork decluttering and filing.
Saturday--no chore (will be composting/gardening)
Sunday--no chore

---

every day, we do the following tidying chores throughout the day, also in a rhythm: prepping and cleaning up after meals; tidying away toys/crafts/paperwork; laundry (which is pretty much every other day or every third day).

tidying toys and papers happens three times a day and takes about 5 minutes each time. it happens before morning snack (after the morning activity ends), and then again before the evening snack. DH and I do a final tidy after dinner when there is need.

cleaning up after meals is quick and easy for me--about 20 minutes to do dishes, wipe down countertops and stovetop, and sweep the floor.

laundry happens as it happens, i usually put a load in after i take a shower, and then when it is done i put it away. takes 5 minutes to put it in the wash, 5 minutes to switch it over to the dryer, and about 5 minutes to fold and put the clothes away.

----

So, i spend, on average, about 30 minutes on a given "big chore" for the day, plus 15 minutes tidying every day, plus another 60 minutes (breakfast, lunch, dinner) keeping the kitchen clean. tidying the bathroom is done after the showers in the AM, and takes about 5 minutes, so i guess that adds another 5 minutes. so, i spend 1 hr and 50 minutes throughout the day cleaning up.

the rest of the day is spent in a balanced rhythm where DS's needs get met (for play on his own, with us individually, and as a family), where DH's needs get met (to read, relax, write, whatever), and where my needs get met (to be online, read, practice yoga, etc). and of course, both DH and I get to work (i work afternoons 2-7; DH works three mornings a week 8-12 as well).

---

also, a word on getting into a rhythm with children (and sometimes adults). in waldorf/steiner philosophy, when making any change, it is disruptive. even though there is not much of a rhythm now, the children and family is used to be having in one specific way. . .the way it is now. so, when you make a change, you can expect a measure of resistance to that change. it's ok!

the key to transitioning is to respond to this resistance calmly and confidently. this does not require words, and in fact, for the children, words make it confusing. you are not trying to enlist or convince them that it should be this way; instead, it is simply the way you are doing things now. they want the structure, and they will follow. it will take anywhere from 2-3 days to a week of being consistent in your rhythm before they just seem to fall right into it and it is peaceful and normal, but it will happen is you just continue with it calmly and confidently.

this means that when you finish breakfast and go straight to your chore, you just do that. the kids might complain, fuss, scream, or freak out. let it happen. you simply make a suggestion "why don't you play with your trains?" and then continue with "while i clean the bathroom."

once you are finished with the bathroom, you observe to see if they are finished with their play, or notice a good transition point, and then say "lets get our shoes and jackets on to go to the park" if it is park day. you get your shoes on, and then get the children to. at first, it takes the time that it takes--they dn't know the rhythm yet, afterall, you have just made it up yourself. it will take a bit for them to 'get' it in their bodies.

when it seems like a natural transition from the park, you head home for a snack. i found that asserting what is next is sometimes helpful. for example, if we are leaving the park, DS might not want to leave. he still wants to play. But i gather him up anyway. not on a scheduled way, like "it's 10:30, we have to go!" but rather one that points to the rhythm: "it's time to go home so that we can have our snack! i'm getting hungry!"

another thing that helps is singing about it. we use the following songs:

1. brush-a, scrub-a, brush-a, scrub-a! scrub the tub! i repeat this a number of times, changing it to whatever i'm scrubbing that day. vacuuming and dusting is so much fun for DS that it doesn't require a verse.

and usually DS 'helps' with the chore, sometimes he goes off and plays on his own while i do the chore.

2. it's time to tidy away, away! it's time to tidy away! it's time to tidy away, away! to put all our play things away!

i find that if i just start singing it, at first DS goes "NO!" and then he takes what he's playing with and runs to the far corner. by the time i've sung it through twice, he's cleaning with me and singing it.

this is an example of calm and confident. he wants what he wants, but the rhythm is important for the *whole* of family life, and he had his time for play. it's now time for the next thing, and to do that we must tidy. But i don't *tell* hiim this, i simply show him. I begin to tidy and sing the song. when he realizes i'm serious, he does it too!

3. it's shoe time! it's shoe time! we put on our shoes! it's shoe time! it's shoe time! there's no time to loose! It's shoe time! it's shoe time! lets go out to play! it's shoe time, it's shoe time! lets go out to play!

i can also change "go out to play" to things like "go to play group!" or "go visit our friends!" and so on.

he might not want to wear shoes that day, or be fussing at me about it because he wants to do something else, but i sing it and start to put my shoes on, and then within a few minutes, he's over putting his shoes on too.

Anyway, this is our house.
post #7 of 22
i thought i might add two other rhythms that we have: our play rhythms and meal rhythms.

Play rhythm:

Monday-- DS and I craft in the Am while DH works; DH takes DS outside for two hours of exploration (city walk or bush walk depending upon the day) in the afternoon

Tuesday-- Family time together before i go to work (i go to work early on this day)--we are usually outside during this time as well. Afternoons are usually spent indoors playing.

Wednesday -- This is our typical play-date day, so DS and I go on the play date while DH goes to work. if there isn't a play date, we usually follow DS's lead with either going out or staying in based on what he just naturally does.

Thurdsay -- play group day, in the afternoon, DS likes to relax because play group is SO much fun that it's exhausting. LOL

Friday -- another family day, sometimes indoors and sometimes out. today was in because the plumber came.

Saturday -- Am we skype with my family, PM we go out and play;

Sunday --am we skype with DH's family; Pm we go out and play. sometimes we stay in, but usually we go out. Also, once a month, this will become family meditation circle day, a community that i'm working to form.

-----

Meal Rhythm:

Breakfasts alternate between eggs with steamed veg, bircher meusli, and yogurt/fruit with toast

lunch is pretty much sandwiches and steamed veggies (sometimes salad)

Dinners are as follows--

Monday: cheesy grain night (grain of choice, steamed veggies, cheese sauce)
Tuesday: potatoes and salad night (lots of kinds of potatoes here, plus a diversity of salads)
Wednesday: italian
Thursday: Soup (three soup recipes per season, i rotate through them)
Friday: mexican
Saturday: pizza nite
Sunday: whatever

Typically, we only eat two meals and snacks on weekends. snacks are usually fruit with nut butter or anzac biscuits.
post #8 of 22
I am just starting to keep our house clean... well, cleaner than it was at least With a high-needs kid & my own chronic illness plus WAH with no childcare... it's sometimes impossible! But what really helped me was, get to baseline (i.e. devote one weekend to getting the house just about as clean as possible, DH did a lot while I took DS out & then we'd come home & he'd watch DS while I did some). Also decluttering big time -- we got rid of tons of toys, clothes, old mail, etc.

Then once the house was nice & clean & somewhat organized, it started being a little easier. I clean up as I go along usually (though DH doesn't) & DS puts most of his toys back when he's done playing with them (he's only 18mos so I help him if he can't reach or needs extra guidance). Then I'll add in 2-minute chores throughout the day as I'm doing things. Like I might wipe down the sink as I'm washing my hands, or clean the toilet bowl after I go to the bathroom, or sort the mail as I bring it in.

I still have a long way to go... but I'm slowly getting there.
post #9 of 22
being as minimal as you can be (and this will vary person t person) is essential. everything needs a place so that you can tidy it away. if you have too much stuff, cull back to what will fit, and use Crayfish's rule: keep a bit of space in the closet/drawer/cabinet/etc empty so that if you do bring something in, you have a space for it until you clear something out.

that way, you can tidy in 5 minutes three times a day.

DS's toys, for example, fit in two baskets (each one in a cubby) and one other cubby. so it is easy for us to put it away.

I would put decluttering into a couple of weekends (if it is really tough, so you can do one room per weekend--one day to declutter for just a couple of hours, another day to organize for a couple of hours), and then you have that 'base line' and you can build around it.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
I would put decluttering into a couple of weekends (if it is really tough, so you can do one room per weekend--one day to declutter for just a couple of hours, another day to organize for a couple of hours), and then you have that 'base line' and you can build around it.
Yes my pp was mixed up (I am so stressed out today lol) -- I didn't get to baseline in one weekend, I decluttered & organized for a couple of weeks & then spent one weekend doing actual cleaning (floors, toilets, counters, etc).
post #11 of 22
I am in no way claiming to be perfect but...

First of all I just pick up all the clutter a few times a day. Daily routine looks like this:

7 or 8: wake up, breakfast. Clean kitchen up after while DS plays or helps and DD chills in the sling or exersaucer depending on her mood.

9ish: get dressed for the day, pack diaper bag, tidy up if needed.

10ish until 1ish: either go to a playgroup or the park or go do an errand.

12ish: either eat a packed lunch or come home and eat lunch.

1-2ish: baby takes nap on the bed, I tidy up again. Do a project with DS, sew a little, etc.

3 or 4ish: start prepping dinner. DH gets home between 4 and 4:30 and I try to get the prep work done before he gets home.

4-5: DH gets home, gets settled in (checks mail, changes clothes, etc).

5-6: dinner and clean up.

6-7: go on a walk, or hang out in yard.

7: kids to bed.

7-9pm: get kids to sleep (sometimes takes that whole time), then tidy up house, do dishes, put away any laundry I did that day, etc.

So most days we go out midday for a few hours. A few days a week I will stay home and we will do deeper cleaning. My cleaning tasks are as follows:

1. Vac and mop upstairs.
2. Vac and mop downstairs.
3. Clean kitchen.
4. Clean baths
5. Clean windows and dust.

I basically just rotate through those things. Ideally they each get done once a week, but it doesn't always happen. Whenever I have an hour of time with the kids chilling, or even 30 min with the baby asleep in the bed, I will give DS a rag, tell him it is time to clean, and we will cross something off the list.

Decluttering really helps with the day to day cleanup. Whenever an area of the house gets out of hand, I declutter. Yesterday for example, the pile of new/outgrown/hand me down clothes toppled over off the box it was sitting on. So the kiddos and I went downstairs, I got a few "new" (aka had been put away for a few months) toys out to entertain them, and I sorted the clothes into storage bins. While I was at it I got out their winter clothes.

Now I should point out that it actually didn't end well- DS tried to smoosh his sister to death, and everyone was crying, so I tabled the project when it was 3/4ths done, and since I had the dinner stuff prepped and ready, I was able to grab 30 min. kid-free to finish when DH got home, before needing to start dinner.
post #12 of 22
I also find decluttering works best when I look at it from a 'what do I NEED in this room' point of view rather than a 'what don't I need?' The former gives the room purpose and the latter makes it too easy to say 'but I LIKE/might need that!' I remove everything that doesn't need to be in the room and decide from there if it belongs in another room, storage, or if I should just sell/donate.

Once you only have what you NEED in a room, it is more easy to decide what to remove from the house altogether rather than just finding a different room for it. I really like how it feels to have a room that is as minimal as I can have it so keeping unnecessary things isn't a problem anymore. I always find that I don't love things nearly as much once I remove it from its room after deciding it doesn't fit that rooms function as I did when I was just looking for things to get rid of.

I've found a lot of things I don't want anymore that way. I used to go through my stuff all the time to get rid of things but never found much. Suddenly I'm finding a TON of stuff now that I know how I want each room to function. Only one room in my house gets extras and it is a small room that has to be an office and a guest bedroom so I have to be picky about extras that don't belong in other rooms. I don't miss things now like I thought I would simply because I didn't just decide to get rid of them altogether.. I first decided on if they belonged in just one room... and they never found a different one.
post #13 of 22
i think that's great decluttering advice, tree. it is true.

it also, on the other end, prevents you from bringing in things that you do not need. that is to say that when i look at my LR, which currently has no furniture in it save a desk and some built in cubbies and bench, i really don't think i *need* anything in there. so, that makes it easy to keep things out.

but there are things that i need right now: S-hooks and Hangers for our coats. Yeah, i could use, like, 10 hangers. that would be more than enough, i think.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i think that's great decluttering advice, tree. it is true.

it also, on the other end, prevents you from bringing in things that you do not need. that is to say that when i look at my LR, which currently has no furniture in it save a desk and some built in cubbies and bench, i really don't think i *need* anything in there. so, that makes it easy to keep things out.

but there are things that i need right now: S-hooks and Hangers for our coats. Yeah, i could use, like, 10 hangers. that would be more than enough, i think.
I don't mind bringing new things into the home I know I need.... it's been my experience that once I've assessed a room, getting new things for it usually means it feels LESS cluttered and more clean. hooks and hangers and baskets... I actually just did that today for my mudroom and bathroom. Of course I got the wrong size hook... figures. however the basket on my toilet for family cloth looks great

I definitely keep unneeded things out better though. I love seeing emptiness in my home. I COULD put something there, but it would just be for show... I love knowing I have the space but don't need to use it Makes my house feel bigger than it is... plus cleaning is just the floors that way

I do however need a rhythm.
post #15 of 22
I'm a SAHM to 3 kids (5,4,2) with a DH who works long hours, and here's what works for us (I get really stressed by mess and clutter and need a neat home to keep me sane!):

1. Big picture - My house is - at it's core - neat and uncluttered. It is just my job to consistently return it to that state. That means everything has a place, we don't have too much un-needed stuff taking up space, and clean-up is therefore straightforward and not overwhelming.

If your home is in need of a deep decluttering and cleaning to get it to this state, maybe you could take a weekend to do it intensely or set up a more gradual schedule to do it over a few weeks.

2. Day-to-day: Do it right away! I clean up immediately after every meal. Wash the dishes, wipe down table and counters, sweep if needed. I don't have laundry sitting around - wet laundry goes on the line, and dry laundry is folded and put away. My big kids can help with these tasks now, and cleaning up after one meal or putting away one load of laundry takes much less time than tackling a sink full of a day's worth of dishes, or a mountain of clothing.

3. Clean-up times: We always clean up before we leave the house (toys away, living room straightened up, beds made, etc), before nap/quiet time and before bedtime, after baths. Throughout the day, if there has been some major, messy activity, like painting or fort-building, we'll clean that up when we're done. I don't restrict how many toys can be out at one time or anything, but I won't let a million things be dragged out and abandoned - we'll stop and put a few things away and then keep playing.

Because we clean a few times a day, it's much easier to handle. When my kids go to sleep my house is straightened up, my sinks are empty, surfaces are clear, toys are away, etc. I may fold a load of laundry or do some food prep in the evenings, but when my kids go to sleep, I'm off the clock!

4. Big cleaning - usually during nap time, or when the big guys are at preschool, I'l tackle one big cleaning task a day - bathrooms, vaccumming/washing floors, deep kitchen clean, bedrooms, etc.

Good luck! It's a hard balance to find, but for me it's been mind-saving!
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i truly, truly believe the answer is having a rhythm.
That.

Declutter and get your house the way you want it and then just keep up with it. I woh ft so I clean on Saturday mornings while my kids watch cartoons, or sometimes they help. During the week, I just maintain. I sweep the floor after dinner if it needs it, I wipe down the bathroom during bath time. Dishes get done after we eat and so on.

It did take me awhile to get here though after having my second child. I started making lists of what had to get done everyday and now it's just habit. I live better with a routine and knowing that this has to be done after this works really well for me. And it helps my kids know what's going on. And I've passed some things on to them that they can handle that help me as well.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybun View Post
I'm a SAHM to 3 kids (5,4,2) with a DH who works long hours, and here's what works for us (I get really stressed by mess and clutter and need a neat home to keep me sane!):

1. Big picture - My house is - at it's core - neat and uncluttered. It is just my job to consistently return it to that state. That means everything has a place, we don't have too much un-needed stuff taking up space, and clean-up is therefore straightforward and not overwhelming.

If your home is in need of a deep decluttering and cleaning to get it to this state, maybe you could take a weekend to do it intensely or set up a more gradual schedule to do it over a few weeks.

2. Day-to-day: Do it right away! I clean up immediately after every meal. Wash the dishes, wipe down table and counters, sweep if needed. I don't have laundry sitting around - wet laundry goes on the line, and dry laundry is folded and put away. My big kids can help with these tasks now, and cleaning up after one meal or putting away one load of laundry takes much less time than tackling a sink full of a day's worth of dishes, or a mountain of clothing.

3. Clean-up times: We always clean up before we leave the house (toys away, living room straightened up, beds made, etc), before nap/quiet time and before bedtime, after baths. Throughout the day, if there has been some major, messy activity, like painting or fort-building, we'll clean that up when we're done. I don't restrict how many toys can be out at one time or anything, but I won't let a million things be dragged out and abandoned - we'll stop and put a few things away and then keep playing.

Because we clean a few times a day, it's much easier to handle. When my kids go to sleep my house is straightened up, my sinks are empty, surfaces are clear, toys are away, etc. I may fold a load of laundry or do some food prep in the evenings, but when my kids go to sleep, I'm off the clock!

4. Big cleaning - usually during nap time, or when the big guys are at preschool, I'l tackle one big cleaning task a day - bathrooms, vaccumming/washing floors, deep kitchen clean, bedrooms, etc.

Good luck! It's a hard balance to find, but for me it's been mind-saving!
I could have written this exactly!

I want to emphasize how important, for me anyhow, it is to get back to your clean "baseline" each night. Again, much easier once you are decluttered and have a home for everything. Dh does bathtime each night and (even though I am exhausted at 8:15pm!) I summon a burst of energy and fly around taking care of all the big messes and small details. Sometimes I will enlist dh for a small project. BUT - The Reward! From 9pm-midnight I get 3 hours of uninterrupted ME time, mdc, reading, dh time, movie, etc. It's worth it!
post #18 of 22

I'm new(ish) to staying home, with my 19 month old. We also have moved to a new (larger) home. Thankfully, we can't really afford to buy any more stuff, so it's relatively empty and easy to keep tidy and organized, as long as I stick to my "chore docket" that I made myself while DS naps. It's easy to get sidetracked with a toddler, though.
All good ideas here! I especially tuned into zoebird's post regarding rhythm. I've noticed that my son will just follow if I lead (i.e. "I'm going downstairs now to feed the dog because it's time for her to eat" and he comes right along with me instead of me picking him up and carting him along before he's ready and provoking a cry), and so I'm going to focus on that more now to see if he'll just accompany me on my rounds of tasks. I'd like more time to myself, and rushing about during his nap to clean, wash and tidy doesn't allow me much of that time.
Thanks all!
post #19 of 22
am still on my journey .... reading all previous posts helps me "see" what is it that I'm not doing & not feel happy about

- more decluttering

- several small busts of "pick up from floors" during the day

with this last one I have a kind of mental block .... my eldest two are old enough to do it/help out but won't readily and I'm not happy that I end up having to do it/ not happy about all the energy takes me to get them to do it
.... but then it's also combined with issues with DH we haven't been able to talk about for years and get to agree on (as in .... he can't cope if I'm asking "too much" from my children because of issues from his childhood .... so he won't help me enforce some basic rules about pick-up ... until I give up and ask him to pick things up, & it's only then that he realises, somehow but not so clearly as I do, that that's some parenting stuff that we'be managed to bungle up so far ...)

I'll keep working at it but it's scary because it brings out in the open
- emotional stuff from DH childhood he doesn't want in the open
(+ my stake of "why do we have to mess up our children because of your childhood issues ?" which is not very well received of course
- how we cannot communicate well on the subject
(in short he refused to communicate on education principles for about 9 years, reserving the right to himself to "discretly correct the situation" when he didn't like what I was doing .... + it took me several years to work out what was going on & why the children seemed to be going in all directions since they were much easier to live with when younger ...., I was not sure how much was due to poor parenting practice or consecutive to uprooting the family to a different country and the necessary adjustment period ....)
- how upset I am with the situation .... which in turns makes him insecure
etc ....
the list could go on ....

so for me it's not just picking stuff from the floor ....
post #20 of 22
I am in no way perfect - I am a reformed slob. BUT we have come a long, long way and our house is now pretty good.

Every day we clean up the toys before bed and then after the kids go down we do the washing up and clean up the kitchen. i also do a quick sweep with a broom.

The big thing for us was decluttering majorly and I also have about 80% of toys in the basement which I periodically rotate. The toys fit into one small basket which fits under our credenza.

I also have a chore for each day which I can do in 20 mins or less:

M - Bathrooms
T - Kitchen
W - Downstairs floors - sweep and mop
T - Upstairs floors - sweep and mop
F - Change linens and Whatever - lawn, deck, etc

DH bakes bread on Sundays and he takes care of the laundry, diapers and clothes.

I find that if I stick to this routine nothing takes very long because it's fairly clean to begin with.

I don't have a schedule for doing extras like cleaning the fridge (hahahaha, like this ever happens), but I just do it if/when the urge takes hold.

I have 2 kids under 2, so I'm pretty happy at how the house looks PLUS I'm not cleaning all day or stressed about messes.

It's also important that my house looks nice because I am a musician and teach some students in my home and it's open plan so there is nowhere to hide clutter
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