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Is your house clean?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Just wondering if it's possible to have a clean house with a toddler home all day long. If so, what does it entail? How much time do you spend cleaning?

Between cleaning and time spent playing with your dc, and keeping them fed, clean, and safe, how much time do you have for yourself (including showers, internet, working out, going out with friends, time with your dp, etc)?


I have a 6yo (in school) and a very very active 23mo. The last week or so, I've had a schedule that gives me about 30 minutes of "me time" (including internet, showers, etc). I have time with the kids, and time cooking (I do spend a bit of time cooking) and cleaning. We had a couple of outings over the weekend (which aren't on the schedule). I totally don't think it's possible to keep the house clean, even spending all my spare time cleaning.

(I know this schedule is not sustainable, I just want to see if it is possible for me to keep my house clean.)

post #2 of 42
Ummmm no??

I mean... we strive for simplicity so our house isn't usually messy. There isn't a ton of clutter, at least in the main living areas (aka the areas people see if they visit!!) And I guess one advantage of having a toddler who doesn't play, is that virtually never are there toys just strewn around the house. lol.gif

So I would call our house 'tidy' but far from clean. There is caked-on dust under anything that the vacuum can't reach with a quick swipe... and speaking of vacuums, DS has major auditory issues so we can't always vacuum and the floors are just GROSS. The windows haven't been washed since we moved in ~5 years ago & there are remnants of cobwebs on the walls/ceiling in some rooms. bag.gif We also generally have a pile of dirty dishes near the sink and the toilet needs to be scrubbed if we ever have company (please don't ever drop in on me unannounced!!!!!!)

Bottom line, we are able to make the main rooms sort of presentable if we are expecting company -- we hide our filth well -- but no, I would not consider it remotely clean on a daily basis.

Oh, and this is with two stay-at-home parents right now (though I do WAH) and only ONE kid... Seriously, I cannot even explain how much energy DS takes... mental energy especially... so if there is opportunity to either spend 20 minutes reading or the same 20 minutes cleaning, I choose reading because otherwise there would be lots of screaming (DS) and crying (me!)... I won't get into how much time to myself I get, because that's a major issue right now.
post #3 of 42

My house is tidy and the main areas are cleaned regularly....I could definitely do more dusting and things like window washing, floor mopping, dust bunny patrol, etc. And I really need to be more on the ball with laundry!


My DD is 25 months, very active but also very happy to entertain herself, so she makes lots of mess but I also get enough time during the day to clean it up. We are working on her helping to put her toys away as well.


Our mornings are generally reserved for activities, playdates, the library, etc, so we are often out of the house and not making any messes. I try to do at least a load of laundry every day. After afternoon nap and snacks, DD helps me prep supper and then plays while I do a big tidy before DH gets home - I pick up all the toys in the living room, tidy the kitchen a bit etc.  After supper and bedtime, I clean the kitchen, do the dishes, straighten her playroom and set up little scenes with her toys for the next day.  Then I'll fold any laundry that needs it.  I just try to set us up for a tidy house in the morning,


About once a week I tackle upstairs - sweeping, tidying, putting away laundry, etc.  I try to clean the bathroom a little bit every time she is in the bathtub, or a bit at a time as needed.  


As for "me" time, like I say - DD is generally happy to play with minimal input from me (I don't really get involved in her play, but am there if she wants to serve me a cup of "tea", or whatever).  So, I get a fair bit of time during the day to knit, internet, read, etc.  Our playdates are with friends and their children, so that is a bit of social time for me.  And I usually knit with friends over coffee for a couple hours on the weekend.   I usually get 3-4 hours at night after she is in bed. My husband works very long hours, otherwise I could work more time for me in there.  I usually take my showers in the morning while she brushes her teeth and reads a book.


I am 5 months pregnant with DC #2 and the past few months have been ROUGH - my house really went downhill.  But, we're starting to get back in the swing of things again.


The biggest tricks that work for me in keeping things reasonably clean:

1) I try not to have too much *stuff*

2) I try to touch it once - once I pick something up I try to put it where it really belongs instead of just shuffling it to another wrong spot


post #4 of 42

When we are busy and out of the house all day then no I don't clean that day. But at the same time the house is usually less messy because we've been out of the house all day.

Our routine is:

7:30 kids up and can watch one show each, I take this time to have a quick shower and start breakfast

8:15 breakfast

8:30 get dressed, brush teeth

9am the kids play while I get stuff ready to head out

By 9:30 we can be out the door 

Noon lunch (either at home or I've packed a lunch)

1pm nap for ds2 (either in the car, stroller or at home)

2pm craft time/outside play time/ baking time

3pm I take something out for dinner

5pm I start making dinner while the kids are playing

6pm dinner

6:30 I clean up, kids are playing

7:30 we start bedtime routine, snack, pj's, teeth, stories

8:30 or 9pm lights out


Through out the day I do mini clean ups. While they are in the bath (three times a week or so) I clean the bathroom. While they are having a snack I usually clean the kitchen. (they have 2 or 3 snacks a day, so I clean the kitchen that many times, for about 5 minutes each time. 


I really wouldn't call myself over schedules as I don't actually follow a set schedule and things change all the time, and I just go with the flow. I'm also not a neat freak, but when something starts to look dirty or unorganized it starts to bug me and I have to clean it.


I don't think it's realistic to have a spotless house with a toddler but I think if you keep clean up times frequent but short, things end up cleaner and you don't feel stressed out or tired from cleaning.


post #5 of 42
Hah, absolutely not. I have a 6, 3.5, 1.5, and a 3 month old. My house is always a mess. If I get one room done they just trash it as soon as I move to the next. If it gets too bad I kinda freak out and my husband will help clean up. But for the most part that's just the way it is.
post #6 of 42

My house was always clean until now, this pregnancy is kicking my butt. The only way I managed to keep it clean was with a good rhythm throughout our day with certain times where the cleaning was scheduled in and automatically happened. I drag the kids through the house while I clean, sometimes they get involved, sometimes they will play with a car or something. I noticed that if I left my kids to play while I cleaned, they would just make a crazy mess. We also have done some exteme decluttering so there isnt a ton for them to chuck around the house...which picking up took away all of my cleaning time.


start with a flexible schedule every day and see how that goes.

post #7 of 42

Nope - big 'ol mess around here. We moved a couple weeks ago & are FAR from being unpacked so there are boxes everywhere on top of our regular messes & we don't have a dishwasher hooked up yet (we are NOT people who can stay on top of washing dishes easily). Plus dh works from home & although I love him he is a slob who doesn't pick up after himself very well.


I'm hoping once we are fully unpacked (in 3 years from now!) that everything will have a place & for the first time in our lives it will actually be fairly easily to clean up. Our big problem all along has been that there was just not a place for things so we were constantly living with piles of camping gear in the dining room & tools in the kitchen, etc. Sigh.

post #8 of 42

yes and no.


yes in the sense that sure, i have plenty of time to clean if i rotate areas of the house. like, one day i can just mass vacuum the first floor, another day i can do our bedroom, i can clean the bathroom while she takes a bath (booooring to just sit there staring at her...and she likes long baths.)

no in the sense that i'm a horrible cleaner to begin with (i'm more of a surface, make-it-look-nice, never dust, and don't check the corners kind of cleaner) and since i've been preggos it's only gotten worse.


i've found that dd entertains herself far better when i'm busy doing something. it's when i sit down to read or do internet that she's climbing all over me.


naptime is my alone time, showers i either take with her or have her hang out in the bathroom while i do it.

post #9 of 42

It's clean in that it's not *dirty* per se.  I mean, I could probably clean a little more and more thoroughly and it is NEVER tidy around here but surfaces are generally clean and floors are generally vacuumed and such.  I'd say that I spend a total of 45 min to 1.5 hr/day doing household chores like laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc.  Usually closer to 45 min than 1.5 hr.  DH spends about 45 min to an hour.  We do chores while playing with kids and chatting and multitasking though.


I grew up in a clean, tidy, very organized home.  I have no idea how it stayed that way.  I seriously can't remember anything about the practical logistics of day-to-day living.  My own room was always somewhat of a battle though as I'm kind of a... collector ;)  

post #10 of 42

My son is almost 3 and I finally figured out the secret to keeping a house presentable at all times:


1. Keep baskets nearby to throw toys in.

2. Do deep cleaning and scrubbing when he's bed at night.

3. Once every month or every two months, take two days off to do house maintenance stuff (paint, landscape, etc).

4. Before bed, we play the clean up game. We sing songs as we put away our toys and clean our room before bed.

5. I vacuum daily too keep the clean fresh.

6. When he naps on the weekends, I fold laundry while watching a movie. that way I don't have to deal with him diving into the piles of clothes.

7. Lots and lots of crockpot meals

post #11 of 42

sometimes?  sorta? 

i'm a woh parent with a sahd partner.  we have a 19 month old.. what we do is enlist her 'help.'  i hope like heck this is not a phase that will pass, but this child will happily 'clean' alongside me.  i get her to hand me dishes from the dishwasher (with knives removed first) and it takes forever to do it but it serves the purpose of keeping her entertained and getting the house cleaned.  she'll wipe stuff with a cloth, etc. and move a broom around when i do.  we all pick up stuff and i have taught her that a book goes in the basket in order to read a different one.  then when she goes to bed i'll get up and do some other stuff. 

i wouldn't eat off my floor, but it's relatively clean.  dh does some but not much even though he's a sahd b/c he does farm work in the evenings and on weekends while i play with dd or clean with her or both. he does most of the cooking during the week.

our standards are kind of in the middle for clean.  no crumbs, food, or dirty dishes (unless i am too tired to deal).  toilets get cleaned once a week. 

we take shoes off, and no animals inside, so that cuts down majorly on dirt.  i never seem to have time to put laundry away, though.  dd can be employed in folding washcloths, but there is just something in that child that cannot deal with folded clothes.  those must be destroyed and strewn about no matter what. 


eta:  ok, how nuts is it that i never thought about cleaning the bathroom while dd takes a bath.  i learn so much from you mamas!!!!!!!

post #12 of 42

I guess it depends on your definition of clean. My house is tidy, but I rarely have time to do any deep cleaning. About once a month I have a cleaning lady come out and it  helps keep my anxiety in check:)  I have a 6, 4,and1.5 year old. My toddler runs around leaving messes everywhere she goes. It seems that the birth of each child results in my house being slightly messier. Some nights I'm so exhausted by the time everyone is asleep I don't have the energy to even pick up. With that being said, I have learned that it helps if I enlist the help of my kids when I am cleaning. They are responsible for picking up their toys and will usually help me with dustng and cleaning the tub (all natural cleaners of course) and whatnot.

post #13 of 42

not really.  i mean, it's not really dirty, but it's not tidy.  i love the idea of cleaning after he's in bed, but he rarely sleeps through the night so i tend to just jump into bed right when he falls asleep so i can try to get a few hours in before he keeps me up for the rest of the night.

post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 

It's nice to see that there are others like me! lol.


I don't get how one could clean for an hour a day and keep a house tidy/clean headscratch.gif


I used to just clean throughout the day, as I had time. That didn't work. (well, it worked for me. I thought the house was decent for the most part. But not good enough for exdp, I guess). So my schedule now, I have 4 - 4.5 hours a day that isn't specifically allotted for something else (cooking, picking up ds1 from school, playing outside, lunch/snacks, getting the kids ready for bed, sleep, etc). During that time, I still have ds2 to attend to for all except an hour most days. That means making sure he's safe (he has no fear), not making a mess (like spitting milk out all over the floor), and not harrassing the dog, helping him when he needs help, nursing/cuddling, etc. That 4.5 hours also includes 30 minutes of internet time, showers for me, and grocery shopping (will add that soon).

So I don't know how much time I spend cleaning, but I spend an hour straight in the mornings, and it barely scratches the surface. The rest of the time is broken up, of course, by ds2. Oh, and ds2 sleeps for only 8-9 hours a night, so I can't do much after he falls asleep, because I get up with him in the morning.



I really don't think I could spend less than 3 hours a day cleaning, and have a clean house. I don't get it.

post #15 of 42

It doesn't help when you have pets. When we had cats, it would look like I hadn't done a thing by the next day. Dust and hair get onto everything. Now that we don't have cats, I find it is just dirt that comes in from outside and toys get scattered and dishes get left out. So everyday I sweep, everyday I pick up toys (the kids do too) and everyday I do a load of dishes in the dishwasher. I'd say it's about an hour of 'cleaning' a day.

post #16 of 42

short answer.... my house is sanitary, not neat :) Stuff is everywhere, but dirt/grease/vomit/food/whatever gets cleaned up pretty quick. I don't have a magazine house lol

post #17 of 42
Originally Posted by mommy212 View Post

short answer.... my house is sanitary, not neat :) Stuff is everywhere, but dirt/grease/vomit/food/whatever gets cleaned up pretty quick. I don't have a magazine house lol


This is pretty much how our house is
post #18 of 42

On the surface, yes. It is not perfect, but neat. Just don't open my closets winky.gif


I probably spend about 1.5 hours "maintenance cleaning" through the day: a load of laundry, dishes in dishwasher and run when full (every other day), wipe down tables and counters, and our "clean up time": somewhere around 4:00 we pick up all the toys/books/crafts and I run the vacuum, then the kids watch a video while I finish dinner and tidy up odds and ends. Some toys/books are brought out in the evening, but it's not many and quick to pick up at bedtime. I try to do the other cleaning chores throughout the week when I have a pocket of time in the day: one day I'll dust and wash mirrors and smudgy windows, another day I change all the sheets, another I'll scrub the bathroom, another I'll mop, so a half hour here and a half hour there.


I have a 5 yr ds, a 17 mo dd, 2 indoor cats and a fluffy dog.  I find that "clean up time" is key to maintaining my house and my sanity.  I used to clean first thing in the morning and then it would be messy again by bedtime.  I am much more satisfied when I vacuum, etc late in the day because the house is still relatively clean after the kids go to bed and I have a moment to enjoy it.  I also find that when I consistently vacuum every day, it's a quick job.  I just have hard wood floors and rugs, but if I skip a day or two it takes so much longer.



Edited by colemom - 6/1/11 at 7:34pm
post #19 of 42




post #20 of 42

hhmh....fact is, in our house, DH is the messy one, not toddler!!!

If she takes after her dad, however, we're in reaaaalll trouble!!!

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