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How to keep a house clean when you have challenges...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a chronic back problem and it is exasperated big time since I got pregnant (18 weeks now) I also am ALWAYS home since we don't have a car so even if I kill my back and clean for 2 hours the min DD wakes up (just turned 2) the house is destroyed again.


We also live in a TINY apartment. We don't have much really, mostly toys, everything else is pretty minimal.


DH works FT and goes to school FT so I feel horrible when I ask him for help...I also have an issue that DH comes home with random crap from work or school and dumps it in the kitchen...always. It's not just papers either! It's tools, random boxes of electronics or "work stuff", and millions of sharpie pens! I ask him to go through it/get rid of it but it never happens (he is out of the house 7am-10 pm 4 days a week then works one more day, usually 12 hours) So he is exhausted and I get that. He won't just let me throw it out though either...


We can not afford a maid and my family does not help me in the least bit.


Any tips or tools so make it easier on me? The constant bending to pick up toys and what not kills me the most. Sweeping and mopping takes me a few hours of a heating pad to recover as well...Folding clothes is really hard on my back/shoulders too.


I just can't take the messy house but I can't take the added pain either. I feel so lost with this TY for ideas.

post #2 of 4

Hi Mama,

I haven't experienced chronic back pain, so I hope I'm not saying something silly.  I am wondering about trying to get more help for the pain you are experiencing to make the day to day stuff more manageable?  Living with pain is exhausting, especially when you are pregnant and mothering a toddler.  Have you looked into all of the options...massage, chiro, homeopathy, acupuncture?   


To help with the stuff that dh puts in the kitchen...could you get a couple of boxes and put them somewhere out of sight...under a bed, in a closet, and then you would have a place to put "his" stuff.  That way you could just move it there to keep your kitchen clear.  Then he needs it he can look through the box(es) to find what he needs.


It sounds like you've minimized the amount of things in your house which was going to be my suggestion.  Could it be minimized even more?  Especially the toys?  What about having a toy rotation system?  Having a few boxes of toys but only have one box out at a time so the toys accessible to your little one are at a minimum.  Every few days you could bring out a different box so your little one has variety but there are only 10 toys at the most out at a time. What about having your little one help with the toy clean up?  Making a game out of it might help.   



post #3 of 4


Some random thoughts:
- A lot of clothes don't need to be folded. Sure, they're _usually_ folded and they're easier to store that way, but I've dug enough shirts out of laundry baskets to know that they don't _have_ to be folded. :)  Can you just stuff things into deep drawer without folding? Or can you afford four or five decent-looking inexpensive wicker laundry hampers or laundry baskets and just sort the clean clothes into them? I realize that it may feel like too much of a compromise, but right now, with a two year old and a problem back and a husband who has no time to help, I think that it's worth making any compromise you can. When your husband has more time, he can take over the folding.
- When he dumps stuff in the kitchen, can you just dump that stuff into a box or laundry basket? I'd say that even if he howls, "Don't touch my stuff!", there's a limit, and cluttering up the kitchen of a woman who's home alone all day with at two year old is past that limit. I'd box his stuff, and when the box fills up, I'd get another box and box more stuff, and stack the boxes for him to deal with. (Which is an argument for lidded boxes, maybe those file boxes that are cheap at office supply stores, rather than the laundry baseket.)
- Would a toy mat help at all with the toys? I'm imagining that the Legos, for example, would be played with on a mat that's several square feet, and you'd only have to bend to pick up the mat by it four corners and pour them in the bin, instead of bend-grab-bend-grab.
- How often are you sweeping and mopping? Could you cut the frequency, even if that means that you have to close your eyes to some mess?
post #4 of 4

Try to find someone with whom you can exchange chores.

Do you knit, sew or speak a foreign language you could teach?


Anything will do- just make sure you swap your abilities hour against hour.






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