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s/o Staying simplified in larger homes: 2000sqft+ - Page 2

post #21 of 44
With 3 people living in a 2000+ sf house (yeah, it's crazy), we have huge spaces that don't get used AT ALL. One part of staying simplified is not piling up junk in those areas. Sounds easy, but isn't.
post #22 of 44
we are a family of 5 (the kids are 1, 3, and 4) and just moved out of a 2 bedroom home that was just under 900 sq feet with no garage and a tiny yard. we just bought our parents' that is 2700 sq feet, two storeys, 6 bedrooms, the entire basement is unfinished storage space.

i actually find it easier to keep this home clean as well, simply because we were literally tripping over each other in our other home. my cleaning schedule is something like this:

the upstairs is 4 bedrooms (3 are for the kids, the 4th is a craft room) and one bathroom. mondays we clean the upstairs - change their sheets, tidy the toys enough that we can clean up the floors, dust, etc. they (my 3 & 4 yo) very much like playing upstairs and have their toys usually spread all over the place. i don't mind it being messy, as long as on mondays we clean up so that it isn't dirty.

i make sure the other two bathrooms are really cleaned once a week, tidied up the days in between. the downstairs bedrooms are vacuumed weekly.

i alternate my dusting - one week i very well dust the entire downstairs, get under everything on the shelves, do all the ceiling fans, do the top shelves, etc. and do a quick job upstairs. the next week i do a good job upstairs and a quick job downstairs.

every day i need to vacuum the entry room, kitchen, and family room. laundry, dishes, and tidying up are a daily occurrence as well.

as for the clutter - we bought this home from parents who collected, kept things unnecessarily, and had unbelievable amounts of junk "because they had so much room for it". we both have been turned off from letting even a useless scrap of paper be kept. here.
post #23 of 44
We don't have quite that much space - about 1800 square feet plus a full attic and basement. I love the extra space, but really struggle with keeping it clean.

I realize this is really a 'Heloise' idea, but I have a cleaning schedule.

Monday -- vacuum downstairs, wash kitchen floor
Tuesday -- strip the beds, wash all linens
Wednesday -- bathrooms
Thursday -- vacuum again if needed
Friday -- dust/clean upstairs
Weekend -- yardwork, bigger projects


It doesn't seem like that much, but I feel like all I do is clean, clean, clean. And my house isn't very clean. I have three kids, we homeschool, my place can get really wrecked, really fast.


Today, I am doing a HUGE clean-up of the bedrooms. I moved all the furniture, vacuumed and mopped, and it was filthy! Holy smokes, my house can get dirty.

I don't know what I would do with a bigger house. I keep trying to talk dh into moving into a teeny house. Maybe I could keep up with a smaller place. We all ready live minimally. My family tells me that it looks like we are one garage sale away from moving out. We don't have a lot of stuff, just a lot of dirt.
post #24 of 44
Thank you for this thread! We live in 3200 sqft. and I can't keep up with it. We are 3, soon to be 4, but we bought the extra large home to put some distance between us and MIL; but now she has moved out.

Pre ds, we were able to keep up by doing a 'big clean' on saturday's for an hour or two. Now I really need strategies to keep up with it. If I could have done it all over, I would have bought smaller.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
Thank you for this thread! We live in 3200 sqft. and I can't keep up with it. We are 3, soon to be 4, but we bought the extra large home to put some distance between us and MIL; but now she has moved out.
Could you close off some of the rooms/areas or whatever part of the house you thought of as your MIL's? I would consider that.

We hardly used our downstairs level at all for a few years, and that was like temporarily "losing" 800ish sf (out of 2400). It was great; we kept the heat way down in the mostly-unused area, etc. Now we are using it more, probably in part because we painted it and it's actually cozy as opposed to ugly, and also we are USING the space (DH has a pool table in the playroom now, and I have a mini-office, and there are good reading nooks). But it was not hard to ignore 1/3 of the house and live in the other part of the house.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by worthy View Post
Could you close off some of the rooms/areas or whatever part of the house you thought of as your MIL's? I would consider that.

We hardly used our downstairs level at all for a few years, and that was like temporarily "losing" 800ish sf (out of 2400). It was great; we kept the heat way down in the mostly-unused area, etc. Now we are using it more, probably in part because we painted it and it's actually cozy as opposed to ugly, and also we are USING the space (DH has a pool table in the playroom now, and I have a mini-office, and there are good reading nooks). But it was not hard to ignore 1/3 of the house and live in the other part of the house.
We've done that, but it still gets dust etc. And it's hard not to clutter up her living area-- it's so easy to just stash a few boxes etc in there thinking we'll move them out to the gargage.

I had also closed off the nursery and spare bedroom/bathroom, but again, those have started getting used again as I've been sewing more, and the baby has started taking naps in the nursery.

I see lists like RuthieGirls above, and feel so defeated. It would take me so long to vacum or dust or do all 3 bathrooms. (or maybe not that long-- maybe I"m being a baby!) Our first apartment was 1300 sqft, by the time you started cleaning, you were done!
post #27 of 44
Texmati, I've had to make the dumping ground a room that is in frequent use. It's the laundry room or garage now. That way I'm walking past it and see it needs dealing with. Putting things in my not-frequently used rooms just ensures they stay there, even more so now that winter's coming and the rooms with the heating closed off won't be comfortable to be in.
post #28 of 44
texmati:

i've been lurking on this thread--because i think it's interesting!--but i am reading something in your posts and i hope you do not take offense!

i think part of your problem is that you don't want to do it. so when you do it, it is without enthusiasm, with a bit of avoidance and resistance, and so it slows the process down even more. and if you actually avoid doing it, then the dirt builds up, making the job harder, and creating even more work to do!

in addition, you have more to do now, which actually does take more time, so you add that to the fact that you don't want to do it, and, well, there you go. frustration city!

so, while i know that cleaning isn't the most super-fun job, and i know that most of us do the majority of the work without help of any kind (or minimal help from partners), and that it can be frustrating and overwhelming to always have to pick up and clean up after others, but at the end of the day, the real question is--how do you want to live?

i knew that i wanted to live in a clean, organized space. DH does not like to help (he does help minimally, and he does cook meals), so the majority of the work falls onto me. which is ok, ultimately, because then I decide how we live. LOL

anyway, once you decide that you want to be in a clean place, you accept that it will take effort. You can streamline that effort over time, but you have to accept that you have to do it.

second, it helped me to look at it in terms of the numbers--how much time i spend doing it, and what the rewards are. I actually spend very little time doing it, and for me, the rewards are great. I dont' mind if people drop by, because the house is always clean. i feel happy and comfortable in my home, rahter than agitated that it is messy. so, the return on investment (of time) is actually really high!

look at it this way. if it takes you 20 minutes to clean a single bathroom, then it will take an hour to clean three. you do that in the am, and it's done! then, to keep the house tidy, you do--dishes after each meal and put them away (15 minutes each, 3 times for a total of 45 minutes), laundry (15 minutes for me--5 to load the washer, 5 to load the dryer, and 5 to put the clothes away), tidying up after the kids (3 times per day at 5 minutes per time equals 15 minutes).

so, the total amount of time spent cleaning--in a given day--is your hour for your big chore, plus another hour and fifiteen minutes for the maintenance stuff. that's only 2.25 hours per day, and considering you are probably awake from 7 am until 10 pm, you're really looking at 12.75 hours when you are doing other things. perhaps 1.5 hrs of that is prepping meals (30 minute meals), and voila! 11.25 hours of the day doing other things such as being on MDC, hanging out with your kids, spending time with your partner, tackling a crafting project, reading, etc etc etc.

i found that when i realized that i truly only spend about 1.5-2 hrs a day cleaning, and the results are this great, it just motivated me to keep doing it. it's awesome.

anyway, that might help. i don't know.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
texmati:

i've been lurking on this thread--because i think it's interesting!--but i am reading something in your posts and i hope you do not take offense!

i think part of your problem is that you don't want to do it. so when you do it, it is without enthusiasm, with a bit of avoidance and resistance, and so it slows the process down even more. and if you actually avoid doing it, then the dirt builds up, making the job harder, and creating even more work to do!

in addition, you have more to do now, which actually does take more time, so you add that to the fact that you don't want to do it, and, well, there you go. frustration city!

so, while i know that cleaning isn't the most super-fun job, and i know that most of us do the majority of the work without help of any kind (or minimal help from partners), and that it can be frustrating and overwhelming to always have to pick up and clean up after others, but at the end of the day, the real question is--how do you want to live?

i knew that i wanted to live in a clean, organized space. DH does not like to help (he does help minimally, and he does cook meals), so the majority of the work falls onto me. which is ok, ultimately, because then I decide how we live. LOL

anyway, once you decide that you want to be in a clean place, you accept that it will take effort. You can streamline that effort over time, but you have to accept that you have to do it.

second, it helped me to look at it in terms of the numbers--how much time i spend doing it, and what the rewards are. I actually spend very little time doing it, and for me, the rewards are great. I dont' mind if people drop by, because the house is always clean. i feel happy and comfortable in my home, rahter than agitated that it is messy. so, the return on investment (of time) is actually really high!

look at it this way. if it takes you 20 minutes to clean a single bathroom, then it will take an hour to clean three. you do that in the am, and it's done! then, to keep the house tidy, you do--dishes after each meal and put them away (15 minutes each, 3 times for a total of 45 minutes), laundry (15 minutes for me--5 to load the washer, 5 to load the dryer, and 5 to put the clothes away), tidying up after the kids (3 times per day at 5 minutes per time equals 15 minutes).

so, the total amount of time spent cleaning--in a given day--is your hour for your big chore, plus another hour and fifiteen minutes for the maintenance stuff. that's only 2.25 hours per day, and considering you are probably awake from 7 am until 10 pm, you're really looking at 12.75 hours when you are doing other things. perhaps 1.5 hrs of that is prepping meals (30 minute meals), and voila! 11.25 hours of the day doing other things such as being on MDC, hanging out with your kids, spending time with your partner, tackling a crafting project, reading, etc etc etc.

i found that when i realized that i truly only spend about 1.5-2 hrs a day cleaning, and the results are this great, it just motivated me to keep doing it. it's awesome.

anyway, that might help. i don't know.
very true. I really, really hate housework! I did feel very whiny writing that last post, so you are right to call me out on it!

I do work so I get home at 6 and go to sleep from 10-12. my son sleeps between 8 and 10 , so weekdays just seem really hectic, and the idea of cramming in an hour of house work to that seems daunting. Counting an hour of house work each weekday, plus, say half an hour for meals, and another 30 minutes for post meal clean up/ next day prep, I do have 2-3 hours to relax with my son, partner, or tackle a crafting project. Or to run errands, pay bills, grocery shop etc.

The math just doesnt work out in favor of spending an hours on daily chore list, for me it has to be a combination of simplifying and doing things on the weekend, and having a very helpful spouse.

BUT, what you say it's true, it is a matter of priorities-- housework has been on the absolute bottom since my son was born. I have been trying to get back on top of it for the last 2 weeks or so especially since my son has become more mobile (and pregnancy nesting hormones have kicked in). I'm the first to admit organization must pay a big part-- as you say, most everyone can do this without much help or whining-- I grew up only seeing 'crisis cleaning' in my home of origin, so that's all I know.
post #30 of 44
I have no shame in saying my family is a higher priority than cleaning every bathroom every day.

Zoebird, of course we're not going to take offense. We're very glad to receive what wisdom you choose to pass down to us.
post #31 of 44
Zoebird does have one very good point - the longer you let it go, the longer it takes you to clean it. A quick swich of the sink/counter every day and your bathroom is easier to clean at the end of the week, that kind of thing.

Also, where are your cleaning supplies? If you have a caddy for them you can easily carry from room to room it makes things much easier. I tend to take it from floor to floor, put it in a central location then get all the dusting done at once, then all the glass, etc. I have a separate caddy for the bathrooms - they need to be cleaned more often than the coffee table needs to be dusted so that works for me.
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Zoebird does have one very good point - the longer you let it go, the longer it takes you to clean it. A quick swich of the sink/counter every day and your bathroom is easier to clean at the end of the week, that kind of thing.
I don't really agree. It's not like clutter that is going to take longer the more stuff that collects, or an oven that bakes more gunk on with each use, or the kitchen floor. It's no more difficult to wipe off a week's worth of grime from the sink than it is to wipe off a day's worth. So by doing it once a week you're saving 6x however long it takes you. And for vacuuming or dusting, even a couple of months worth of dust on carpet still requires the same time and effort with the vacuum or duster.
post #33 of 44
I don't have a huuuuge house, but it's 2000 sq ft. we only live in half of it, really (it's a raised ranch) - the downstairs [second] kitchen is mostly used as storage, as is the downstairs "family" room, I'm embarrassed to say. My problem is clutter. I've been diligently ditching bags of stuff the past few weeks I've sent a lot of junk out of my house, but I really relate to the idea that having space makes it possible to defer decisions until half your house is buried! Why did I not junk this stuff ages ago?? well, because i had the space to store it, instead. *sigh*

Anyway, subbing.
post #34 of 44
texmati:

my post was not to call you out, but to encourage you that you can do it! and, i truly remember myself of 2-3 years ago feeling exactly the same!

what helped me was 1. accepting that i had to do the work (if i wanted it done, i had to do it. DH was never going to--and still doesn't--and quite frankly, i didn't have money for a cleaning person and whatever else. so, if i wanted to live that way, *I* had to do it.); 2. making it work for me (daily chores plus on-going tidying work best for me.)
; and 3. cleaning is focusing on my family because i noticed that when the house was clean and organized, we were more relaxed, more creative, and overall happier. when the house was a mess, I was stressed and so was everyone else. So, a clean house equals a happy, peaceful family, and I had the power to do that.

this is just a consciousness shift on my part, mind you. if it doesn't resonate with you, no biggie.

Certainly, though, time constraints are everything. i forget that you work also! that makes it triple hard! because, in my experience, you are exhausted after work, and you don't want to come home to work some more!

And, i definitely think that you can do it!

I don't know what you need to have in terms of simplifying, as everyone defines that differently and there are lots of suggestions already. One of my favorites is "everything has a place." If everything has a place, you are less likely to end up with spots that just end up cluttered. And, this sets up for that which will really simplify things for you: tidying.

by just taking about 10-20 minutes in your evening to tidy up--after dinner, before bed, whatever--then your house will feel clean and organized, and on the weekend you can do your deep cleaning over 2-4 hours depending upon the help you get and such.
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
the majority of the work falls onto me. which is ok, ultimately, because then I decide how we live. LOL
Yeah that!

Penny just dropped for me....I knew there was a good reason for why I keep doing all the work despite resistance to helping me round here.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

I see lists like RuthieGirls above, and feel so defeated. It would take me so long to vacum or dust or do all 3 bathrooms. (or maybe not that long-- maybe I"m being a baby!) Our first apartment was 1300 sqft, by the time you started cleaning, you were done!
Oh, please do not get defeated my my list. I have half the space you do and I admit to being very loose with my definition of 'clean'. I am not a thorough housekeeper. I am a busy mom who is completely satisfied with a half assed job. 'Good enough' is a commonly heard phrase in my house.

And if I had the money, I would hire a housekeeper. I hate housework. Hate it. I do only what needs to be done. I just push through the worst dirt, get the place shaped up a bit and then go on to live my life.
post #37 of 44
I'm subbing, we have a 2000 square foot house, so it's not BIG but it's biggER, yk?

Definitely taking notes
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
I don't really agree. It's not like clutter that is going to take longer the more stuff that collects, or an oven that bakes more gunk on with each use, or the kitchen floor. It's no more difficult to wipe off a week's worth of grime from the sink than it is to wipe off a day's worth. So by doing it once a week you're saving 6x however long it takes you. And for vacuuming or dusting, even a couple of months worth of dust on carpet still requires the same time and effort with the vacuum or duster.
Well, putting clutter away when it builds to five items takes a lot less time than waiting until it is a pile of 25.

I find that cleaning a thin layer of dust is easier and much quicker than a thick one. Example: cleaning the intricate chair rail in my dining room once a week is probably a 90 second job with a feather duster. Let it go and it will require a rag, possibly a toothbrush and a bucket of murphy's oil soap. Not to mention elbow grease as the dust settles into those nooks and crannies. Window ledges are the same way. A quick swipe once a week or an intense job once a month. Not worth it to let it wait.
post #39 of 44
i've found larger homes easier to keep clean.
i've never been one to keep lots that needed to be thrown out, more paper clutter that needs to be filed.

i've been in very tiny apartments to large homes. i'm great at keeping a large house uncluttered. not so great with tiny apartments. a big issue is getting the right furniture to fit an apartment.

as for cleaning. i don't use all the space in a large house. i would love to find a 2 br home, but it's all large 4 br homes that have the extras my dh insist on (like a large basement). like bathrooms. my family needs 1 shower and 2 toilets. no matter how many we might have, that's all we use and all i clean. our last house we had 2 showers that were never used. dd has used the fancy whirlpool tubs a couple of time, but mostly i rinse/dust it once a month and life is good.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Well, putting clutter away when it builds to five items takes a lot less time than waiting until it is a pile of 25.

I find that cleaning a thin layer of dust is easier and much quicker than a thick one. Example: cleaning the intricate chair rail in my dining room once a week is probably a 90 second job with a feather duster. Let it go and it will require a rag, possibly a toothbrush and a bucket of murphy's oil soap. Not to mention elbow grease as the dust settles into those nooks and crannies. Window ledges are the same way. A quick swipe once a week or an intense job once a month. Not worth it to let it wait.
But it's going to take you exactly the same amount of time for each item that's in that spot. If you do it at each five items, it might take 20 minutes per session, at 25 it will take an hour and 20 minutes in one session. Although, come to think of it, if there's five books in the pile it's more efficient to take them all at once, so you save time there, too.

Your dust must be different to mine. Mine all takes a swipe with a damp microfiber cloth no matter how long its been (and we're talking a good year or more on top of wall-hung picture frames or window or door trim).

Speaking of which, I need to go and clean the unused bathroom, which is pretty much just dusting.
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