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Houskeeping-- What is acceptable/not acceptable? - Page 4

post #61 of 90
Sorry, I meant to quote DelicateFlowers post.
post #62 of 90
Laundry? my washer/dryer are in my kitchen so the space between the dryer and the wall is usually piled with a couple of mesh hampers that are overflowing with laundry (that adn the rest of the family just throws stuff on top without sorting or trying to get the clothes IN the hamper) I don't leave clean laundry out in the kids' room but there is usually a basket in our bedroom, and the kids have a dirty clothes basket in their room that usually has something in it.
Floors? We have hardwood floors, so no vacuuming, but the kitchen floor tends to get dirty very quickly. Sometimes I mop 3 or 4 times in a day. The floor has permanent grayish stains from the previous tenant so imo it never really looks clean.
Dishes? my nemesis....there are usually some clean dishes in the ishrack and almost always something in the sink. The sink is often full of dishes waiting to be washed.
closets? Kids' closets are neat and tidy. Hall closet is ok, but there is some stuff on the floor. Our bedroom closet is ok, but the floor is messy with shoes jumbled up together.
Bathrooms toilet and shower and sink are usually clean and stain free. under/behind the toilet seems to get dirty amazingly fast but I do try to keep it sparkling. we often have clothes on the floor in there though.
General clutter? there is stuff on the couch and kitchen counters quite often. we tend to leave dishes on the side table by the tv, too.
windows, baseboards I clean them when they look dirty. I also wipe my blinds pretty regularly also.

honestly I don't think we are such horribly messy people, but we live in a tiny house. if each of us has 2 things not put away the whole place looks messy. so....
post #63 of 90
LOL I *just* posted a thread about this elsewhere because reading the CPS threads was freaking me out! I don't have a W/D so there's always laundry at my house and no, it's not in the process of being done, but it IS kept in baskets until wash day. It doesn't lay around. I wash dishes once a day usually, not after every meal. Still, it's only one sinkful and I let pots soak, sometimes overnight. My floors can get kind of grimy but I'm just not as conscious of it because I don't have little ones crawling around. If I invited over a friend who had kids under 3, I'd probably do a once over. Closets are there to BE stuffed, if needed, IMO. Most of my closets still have available space, but one is pretty stuffed. The crap needs to go *somewhere*! Bathrooms...tidy and no stink. I try not to let the toilets go so long that there's grime. Papers tend to clutter up at my house. But how dangerous are papers really? Windows and baseboards? Ha!

The things that concerned me the most were the whole "lock up the meds" things. My kid has meds all over the house. Meds in the kitchen, meds in the fridge, meds in her room, rescue meds in her suction bag, ect. I'm not going to fumble with 4 or 5 keys 5 or 6 times a day. Nope, sorry. And I wouldn't lock up the rescue meds anyway, even if it were her only med. When you panic and your hands start to shake, if you can't get the lock open and your kid is turning blue...well, that's not good. The liquid meds have childproofed caps, and I highly doubt my 5 year old will run the nebulizer himself and if he does...so what? It won't hurt him. And I once had a mandated reporter tell me that all the tubes and wires were a fall hazard. Um, okay? So maybe I should give away my DD? Because she kind of COMES WITH wires and tubes. It's part of the package. The only way I could keep the wires out of the way is if I left her in her crib and never moved her around the house. I suppose some people do that, but I won't. It's cruel.
post #64 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
I really do think that that's what they expect from foster homes. When I had my homestudy for foster care, I KNOW my house was clean. I was so nervous that I cleaned for two days and THEN had a professional cleaning service come out. The SW that come out denied me because my laundry tub wasn't wiped out. She told me to call her when I'd bleached and scrubbed the tub.
Wow, that's unbelievable! Could she have had other reasons to disapprove of you that she wasn't legally allowed to cite? Plans for extended nursing, co-sleeping, non vaxing, non circing, no plastic toys, homeschooling, ECing or something?
post #65 of 90
I'm pretty grossed out by a ring around our laundry tub (you mean in the washing machine, right?) in our communal wash room. I wipe it out every time with soap. It has to get really dirty for a ring to form. If I can see a ring in the bath tub, I wipe it out. That's a three-minute activity (toothpaste and handsoap both break down the grease enough).

Now, considering the difficulty of placing at-risk kids, I'm not sure that would be on my radar if I worked there, which I don't. But I can see it being considered something that should be done as a matter of course.
post #66 of 90
i think that "normal" is always hard to define.

in my experience, my home was always *100 times cleaner* than my friend's homes growing up. they had more clutter, in particular, and more mess, but they weren't necessarily dirty or unsafe or unsanitary. my mother is just very organized and very much a neat-freak.

when i was able to develop a rhythm (a la steiner), it really made my life easy.

right now, here's what my house looks like:

1. Piles and "clutter": i have a pile of papers on our desk that we need to organize. it's been there for a week. i have a pile of books on one shelf that need to be returned to the proper owners. we have a basket where we are compiling the remaining information for our immigration officer to get our remaining 27 month visa.

2. kitchen: i have clean dishes drying in a rack, probably ready to be put away. DH left out the grocery bags last night, and DS got into the recycling so there are some plastic containers and paper egg cartons in those bags, in the corner of the kitchen. those are from yesterday, but DS was playing with them while i made breakfast, so, i kept it out.

3. laundry: there is one load in the dryer, nearly finished, and dirty clothes in the washer. one sweater is drying on a rack (lay flat). all other clothes are put away.

4. shoes: my son has been playing with shoes for the last hour. so, i have two pair of shoes in my bedroom, and he's currently walking in a pair of dad's shoes. he removed them from the entry way rack. scratch that, 3 pairs of my shoes in the room. and DH's pair left in the hall way.

5. toys: a handful of toys in my room (one monkey, one flamingo), the coin thing dumped (from the living room, onto the living room floor, DS played with the coins for a bit). a few books on the living room floor as well.

when DS goes down for a nap, i'll do the kitchen, then the bathroom (just a quick walk through to see if anything needs to be done), then the bedroom, then the living room and everything will be tidied for lunch. i then go to work in the afternoon, and DH and DS will either be out playing or be in playing, and when i get home, i do another tidy. then after dinner, i'll clean up the kitchen.

i find that doing tidies throughout the day (and also having very little stuff) is exceptionally helpful.

6. I forgot about closets: i only have two--one that is more like a root cellar (literally opens onto dirt), and one that is a tiny little built-in afterthought. the root-cellar one currently holds things going to recycling: cardboard and some plastics. the other one has our suitcases with seasonal clothes stored inside, some coats and such, and some seasonal shoes. not much. they are organized.

as for what i would allowed my son to go to? clutter isn't a big deal, so long as there aren't dangerous thigns hidden in the clutter. laundry piles, no big deal, unless it's soiled clothes (clean laundry piles are fine). mess (toys everywhere) is ok. the occasional dirty dish around the house is fine, and dirty dishes in the kitchen is fine--a day's worth or half-day's worth seems to be ok for me to handle. bathrooms generally clean, things obviously generally kept after is ok.

i do have concerns over pets (their cleanliness, fleas, ticks, etc, and also the cleanliness of how their waste is handled). but, if it's a basically clean litter box or the dog poop is not all over the yard, then it's fine by me. obviously, none in the house.

honestly, clutter bothers me--but i don't see it as a hazard or problem.
post #67 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
Wow, that's unbelievable! Could she have had other reasons to disapprove of you that she wasn't legally allowed to cite? Plans for extended nursing, co-sleeping, non vaxing, non circing, no plastic toys, homeschooling, ECing or something?
Nope. I had a crib and furniture set up in a separate bedrrom next to mine, I'd requested 0-3 so school wasn't an issue. She seemed to like me. She felt comfortable enough to have tea and a few cookies, but she said that the laundry tub being dirty wasn't up to their cleanliness standards.

I will admit though that it wasn't pristine. It never occured to me to clean the laundry tub. Water goes in, water goes out. Molly Maid didn't think to clean it either. But you could easily lick any other surface of my house.

I did clean out the tub, but I didn't call back. If I couldn't meet their standards pre-baby, I'd never be able to keep up with an infant/toddler in the house.
post #68 of 90
ah, and windows. i wash them seasonally, but it's hard to do the outsides. i do the best i can, and ask my landlord to do it at least twice a year. he is kind enough to oblige. i do floorboards and sills each week when i dust. i also wash the walls then.
post #69 of 90

You are not alone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
I guess I'm not worried about cps exactly, thank god, but I think my idea of what is normal I think is very skewed.

Our floor and counters have food crumbs or spots on them. They do not get wiped/swept/vacuumed everyday. Our bedrooms/bathrooms have clothes on the floor. about half the closets are not usable. (for example, you can't walk into our walk in master closet.). At least one seat on my sofa has stuff on it at any given time. Our clean clothes are in baskets in the master bedroom. I've always been messy, but things have gotten much worse since I went back to work after DS (maybe around 4 months, and then again when I got pregnant around 7-8 mos).

I just didn't realize that everyone with kids didn't live this way.
You are not alone! We live like this! I usually don't have adults over, but the neighbor's kids come over a lot. I am trying to get to a point where I would not be embarrassed to have neighbors come in, but my neighbors all have nannies and housekeepers!!! How can you compete with that?

We don't have roaches or pets. We almost never go to my mother-in-laws house (my husband's decision) because they have 7 dogs, and some are not housetrained.

My daughter had to stay home from school with a crick in her neck the other day, so I had to stay home from work. I decluttered and vacumed the whole downstairs - it was great! You clean when you can - when you don't have other more important/urgent things to do (cooking, laundry, playing with kids, bathing kids, taking a shower, grocery shopping, connecting with spouse, working, the list goes on...).
post #70 of 90
I should mention that DH works two jobs, we have 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat, I own a business and volunteer with 3 organizations, and the kids have after-school activities. So, cleaning is NOT high on my priority list!


Laundry: With 4 kids (one in cloth diapers), the laundry is in constant rotation, usually a huge pile on the laundry room floor, 1-2 baskets with clean stuff in every bedroom. Our bathroom hamper is always overflowing, but we make sure the kids pick up their clothes after bath/shower, hang up towels, etc.

Floors: Oh, they are gross. Crumbs, dirt, dust, dog hair. Old food, stains and splatters, legos everywhere, you name it. I sweep daily, mop once a week, it does not matter. The boys are DIRTY. They eat like slobs, even with constant reminders. I am a messy cook. Thank god we have hardwoods. I really don't understand how other people keep their floors clean with kids or pets!!!

Dishes: I try to keep up, but our family of 6 can easily fill the dishwasher 3x a day. I often go to bed with dirty stuff piled high on the counter, promising myself I will take care of it "tomorrow" (ahhhh, magical tomorrow). We don't ever eat out, and I cook everything from scratch, so... yeah. The kitchen is messy.

Closets: This is the thing -- I am anti-clutter. Our closets are nice and neat... Of course, the kids and dogs don't go in there!

Bathrooms: The kids help with their 2 bathrooms, but my bathroom is usually a wreck.

General clutter: Depends, it is mostly toys and paper -- dear lordisa, they bring home a lot from school. This will get easier to deal with when I don't have a daredevil toddler (who loves to pull everything off the shelves for fun) to keep an eye on constantly and I can do things two-handed.

Windows, baseboards etc: I don't have time for this. The oldest two kids do this stuff for "bucks" (like monopoly money) that they can exchange for fun activities (bowling, roller skating, see a movie, etc). So, it gets done sporadically.
post #71 of 90
I walked into a place this summer (while being shown a house as a prospective buyer) that was CPS worthy. It was pretty cluttered, but not anything like the hoarder's show, some of it was pretty dirty, and it had lots of unfinished projects. I would have readlily overlooked all of those things, but it reeked of cat pee.

I am really not sure how you would fix it either without throwing out every bit of bedding, clothing, flooring, and furniture that had cushions.

No way in heck would I ever let my child have a playdate there. Five minutes made my eyes water I am not allergic to cats) and I felt like I needed a shower.

I do think what is safe is a function of the age and health of the child. I think lots of perfectly safe homes, very clean homes would be unsafe for the average 12-18 month old because the are inadequately baby proofed, but if no baby lives there no problem kwim. I also think that the house I visited this summer in would send the most asmatics in to a full blow attack and would be far more dangerous for someone with respitory problems.
post #72 of 90
Thread Starter 
wow! I just wanted to update how much I appreciate ya'lls responses to this thread. I've learned so much:

1) That there is a vast range in what people consider acceptable, as well as a gap between what people do in their own home, and what they would consider ok in another's

2) Areas in our home are unacceptable. This week/weekend I've worked hard in making sure our main downstairs living areas are up to snuff. This is where ds spends most of his day, and it should be nice. The rest of the week/this weekend will be taking care of the upstairs portion that we live in most.

3) It's reasonable to expect floors/counters to be part of daily chores. Corollary: It's also reasonable to ask the nanny to do floors and counters daily.

4) DH and I need help. And that's ok. New nanny has a longer list of household chores, and it seems to be working out well, at least in the housework department.

5) And the big one... It's ok to do housework while my son is awake. For months after he was born one of us would be holding/playing with him while the other was doing whatever. It cuts our chore power in half. It breaks my heart to put him in a high chair for any amount of time, when we have so little time together, but he deserves a nice, clean, peaceful area to play in where the crud he eats off the floor is only a few hours old, not weeks. And it's good for him to see chores happening.

Thanks so much you guys! IN this department, things are looking better for me this week.
post #73 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i do floorboards and sills each week when i dust. i also wash the walls then.
You wash floorboards, sills, AND walls every week?
You are my new roll model.

I don't think I've ever cleaned floorboards or walls my entire life!

May God Bless You!!!!!!!!!
post #74 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post
You wash floorboards, sills, AND walls every week?
You are my new roll model.

I don't think I've ever cleaned floorboards or walls my entire life!

May God Bless You!!!!!!!!!
I never knew you were supposed to clean them.
post #75 of 90
This thread made me run around my house and clean like crazy.

The CPS thread scared me, too... but today I got my butt in gear and did a bunch of cleaning (the bathroom was getting pretty bad ) I've been struggling with keeping up, but it's been making me crazy. I've also been ditching stuff like mad (trying to take down the clutter to make things easier for myself!), but that time has been taking away from time that i'd be cleaning otherwise.

ETA... HOORAY for clean bathrooms (just had to throw that out there)
post #76 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
Laundry? (clean but in baskets, left in the dryer, on the couch for days waiting to be put away...)
Floors? (crumbs, or clothes on the floor in bedrooms, toys on the floor, spots on a kitchen floor).
Dishes? (dirty in the sink for how long, clean but not put a way, dishes left in the living room or a night stand...)
closets? How cluttered can they be? stuffed, or tidy and usable?
Bathrooms?
General clutter? kitchen table, dresser, counters?
windows, baseboards etc?, how often would you expect them to be cleaned? how dirty is too dirty.

I can't think of anything else, but please include if you have any other dealbreakers.
The only deal breakers for me are serious health hazards and/or enough clutter to be dangerous. Or completely inappropriate things left at kid level (scissors, needles, medicine...).

I have to say though, I stopped reading this thread like halfway through. Compared to everyone else I'm a complete slob and I find that frickin hilarious. Cleaners come once a month. That's when our house is swept/vacuumed/bathroom cleaned/etc. If there is a noticeable issue somewhere I'll clean it up (if the toilet gets gross we clean it, if there is a big food spill we clean it up) but in general we just don't do much cleaning. We do one big toy pick up each evening. Laundry sometimes sits a day or two before it is put away. My kitchen counter could do with more picking up. That I'll grant you. My closets are rather well organized though. It's kind of a fetish.

I really have better things to do with my life than be a full time maid.

Oh, and we have people over at least once a week--often with almost no notice. No one has ever looked askance at our house to the best of my knowledge. They keep coming back.
post #77 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
I have to say though, I stopped reading this thread like halfway through. Compared to everyone else I'm a complete slob and I find that frickin hilarious.

Oh, and we have people over at least once a week--often with almost no notice. No one has ever looked askance at our house to the best of my knowledge. They keep coming back.
No reason to look askance at your house... you've seen mine.

I don't even have words, so I'm going to stop while I'm ahead.
post #78 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post
You wash floorboards, sills, AND walls every week?
You are my new roll model.

I don't think I've ever cleaned floorboards or walls my entire life!

May God Bless You!!!!!!!!!
thanks, but no need to get too excited.

in my home in the US, i used my broom to sweep my floorboards each week, and then i would wash the walls quarterly. i lived in 1300 sq ft.

here, i live in about 500 sq ft or so. it is spartan and minimalist in regards to everything (furnishings, etc). i love it.

i started with my normal behaviors from the old house--dusting corners, floor boards, etc, with an electrostatic duster or broom.

but, then winter came, and it is damp. the homes don't breathe the same way, and there is no central heat. we have a small heat pump that helped keep the place basically dry on the coldest and wettest days, but it was still quite damp. it's always quite damp.

i began to notice that dusting/sweeping wasn't enough. mold was growing on these various surfaces. i literally have to scrub my bathroom ceiling each week, and honestly, it is a loosing battle. but i have to do it every week or it really gets out of hand. i let it go for two weeks, and the ceiling when from white to light brown--no joke.

so, if i don't do it each week, then it becomes a problem. now, apparently it's not as bad in late spring, summer, and fall. but, i'll keep it up so long as i'm not on vacation! LOL

it's really a necessity.

and, we had a mouse all winter, so that was another battle all it's own. having to keep food and trash secure, following up each morning and throughout the day to get rid of any animal waste, and essentially keeping the place as clean as humanly possible while living with a mouse.

so, it's been interesting.
post #79 of 90
This thread has been interesting. It inspired me to write a post in my blog about what constitutes "good enough"...

http://azuroo.blogspot.com/2010/10/good-enough.html
post #80 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper44 View Post
This thread has been interesting. It inspired me to write a post in my blog about what constitutes "good enough"...

http://azuroo.blogspot.com/2010/10/good-enough.html
Great blog post! And...we're neighbors. Always nice to see someone else from Kentucky here.
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