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cleaning maintenance

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

OK so DH and I have the same argument/fight. He's Latino so he wants a nice clean house. I get it, I'm the same way. I grew up in a clean house but due to house keepers, not from watching my mom maintain a clean house. Needless to say, I'm awesome at getting things super clean and organized but have issues in the maintenance department. We argue over the dumbest s$*% I tell you! It's so petty and as I vented earlier, you get the drift.

So mama's with oodles of babes, how on earth do you stay on top of it all? I do work outside the home as well and make everything from scratch.


I am tired of having the same argument and I'm tired of him leaving a trail of belongings behind him and then blaming me when things go missing.


I'm already planning huge organization things for the new house when we're in. Our current house is not great for that sadly.


I do short stretches with only 10 minute breaks...etc. Help!

post #2 of 10

Well, I only have one babe at home and another on the way. Cleaning and chores are a constant lament in my house too. Neither of us like to do it.


The way I have gotten through it was first when DD was still young, I had to kind of decide what was worth my mental and emotional energy and what wasn't. If there was a particular thing that was bothering me, then I fixed it there and then. (dishes in the sink, grungy toilet, whatever) If I could live with it, I did. (this was usually clutter for me) And I told DH this straight up. My priorities are different now, I'll do what I have to and nothing more, please do the same. Also we enacted 'camp rules'- carry in/carry out (take something with you when you go: a glass to the kitchen, laundry upstairs, ect)


So we had a messy house, but the battles were gone for quite some time.


Now with number 2 on the way and DD more independent, I have the itch to keep house/nest. I have been trying a version of the plan from Fun Cheap or Free Queen. And the revelation there for me was I HAVE to do something everyday.


She has another version with a jar filled with a months worth of micro chores.


I feel silly having a list on my fridge of my chores, but it has worked well and inspired DH to help too.

post #3 of 10

I have older kids with assigned chores to help me with things now.  I have to follow up with them, but things get done.


To help keep things manageble with the littles, we play in the main room.  We have two small bins of "always out" baby/toddler toys.  The other toys are kept neatly in bins in their bedrooms.  One bin = one toy, for instance, a toy train bin, a wooden animals bin, etc.  One of these bins comes out at a time.  Then it gets put away :)  These toys stay fresher and more appealing since they tend to rotate out only from time to time.  This is a great use of the over-gifting that happens via grandparents on birthdays/holidays.  All toys get played with but don't clutter!


Kitchen: clean as we go with food preparation.  Do dishes directly after a meal, don't let them sit (or load the dishwasher and wash things that won't go in).  Sweep after each meal.  Spot clean splatters.


Bathrooms: I go through the bathroom really quickly before lunch every day.  Wipe down sink & counters, wipe down toilet.  Scrub toilet and wipe mirror down once a week unless they're really bad.  The daily work takes only a few minutes.  I also straighten our cloth diaper corner, which is in the master bath.


Hubby stuff: I clean up after him.  He leaves clothes on the floor, I pick them up.  Leaves shoes out, I put them where he wants them.  In our new house I like this much better because he puts them on a rack beside the door.  In the old house he kept them piled by the door (not enough room for a rack).  The kids and I put ours neatly on the rack in the coat closet, but he wanted his by the door and that's where they went.  Drove me nuts but honestly wasn't worth my sanity lol.  I just put them there and smiled! 


More hubby stuff: if there's something I know particularly annoys him or is important to him, I keep it clean.  I prioritize that.


Master Bedroom:  I pick this up every morning after hubby has gone to work (or before he gets home if I can't get to it in the morning).  I make the bed... takes 2 minutes and makes the room look a lot better.  I try to keep things from building up.  If the master bedroom looks clean and inviting, it helps hubby feel better... and me too.  It's my sanctuary, even if I'm only walking through for 2 minutes or falling into bed exhausted! :D


Keeping on top of EVERYTHING BUILDING UP!: We have a pick up time before lunch and again before hubby gets home from work.  This helps it stay clean.  I still feel frenzied some days.  Days that we will be out all day are days things don't come out before we leave!!


Weekly we (me and the bigger kids) have chores like "straighten closets" "straighten drawers" etc.  This helps keep things from building up.  Vacuuming and mopping also happen weekly, and an older kid does that now.  But when they were little I did it with a little on my back and sang and danced and it made us both happy.


Notes: My hubby almost *never* says "thank you"... he almost *never* comments on how nice something looks.  He practically *never* comments if I've done a major clean-up/re-organization.  He only comments if he's not happy.  Lol.  Do I wish he'd say "thank you" or even acknowledge that I try?  Yes.  But he's out there working hard for us and I'm okay with not getting a thanks.  It makes me feel good to have a clean house.  And I'm teaching my kiddos how to keep a neat house in an efficient manner -- I feel like that's really important. 


DH does do the main family laundry (I do diapers hehe).  And that's a huge help. 


HTH some!!

post #4 of 10

My DH is Latino too and although he is not typical in a lot of ways, one thing he firmly believes in his heart of hearts is that cleaning is "women's work" and that it demeans men to do it.  Like, it's not that he's just lazy - he will do yardwork and put together furniture and fix things with no problems at all, but cleaning?  Cooking?  Forget it.


And I just cannot keep up with it all.  I am not only really depleted in the energy department but I am just feeling icky with nausea and headaches - and I have a hyper 4 and super hyper 5 year old who I need to constantly be on top of.  And once they're in bed, I'm done for the day - I just don't have the energy to start the cleaning then.  He says HIS mom stayed up after his dad and he went to bed to clean, and their house was stellar.  I dunno, when I met his mom later in life she already had MS and the house was definitely far from clean, but I guess being disabled will do that to the housekeeping.  But I don't know whether its just his rosy nostalgia or what.  (Though she never cooked, apparently - so that's one thing I have on her.)  Mind you we have an almost 3000 square foot house and two kids and DH home all day and I'm pregnant... he was the only child, the husband worked all day, they were never home, and they had a 900 square foot apartment. 


I never learned cleaning when I was a kid - I lived overseas part of the time where things were tidy but the cleanliness standards were different, and I guess I default to that.  (And there were maids as a matter of course to clean, anyway.)  The other half the time I lived in America but my mother was (and is) a hoarder and while she kept things *clean* in her own way she was always really stressed out and screaming that she wasn't our maid... but that was also because she had huge piles of things like laundry etc everywhere and we had to step around it.  So she was always cleaning but things were also always messy.


My priorities are having an organized, decluttered house that is still homey.  And also cooking good food for everyone.  I try to keep things reasonably clean and I think I do an OK job - I'm always on top of laundry, we always have clean dishes to eat off of, I keep our paperwork filed so no paper clutter, the toys are picked up, I vacuum... but yeah, daily life with young kids (who do help, but aren't at the point where they're really GOOD at helping) means that there will be messes.  The house is never show-room clean.  It's company clean but there are crumbs here and there (sweep three times a day and there's STILL always crumbs) and the bathrooms have soap scum, the mirrors are smudged and the sinks aren't pristine (it doesn't help that DH never swipes the sink after he brushes teeth or shaves) and all that stuff.  I get around to it, just not often enough for it to really make a difference, and it doesn't last.  I'll clean the  bathroom top to bottom and then less than a day later it'll be back to its state of chaos.  I'd have to literally do it every day or twice a day per room and I just don't have the time or energy to do that.  I'd be cleaning all day every day.  As it is I spend at least an hour or so per day just cleaning (and another 2-3 cooking, baking, etc.) and it's still not enough.


And DH and I do argue about it some.  It's his mountain to die on though or whatever that saying is - nothing I say or do will convince him to help me out more and he truly thinks that I'm slacking as a woman if the house isn't spotless.  And I'm just, well, I'm not fanatical enough to stay up past midnight cleaning, esp. when we're up between 4 and 5 every morning anyway.  It's just a never ending source of tension - but at this point we've lived together so long that it's not even serious tension anymore, it's just, we're living with it, but it still bothers both of us a little.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

tiqa - it sounds like your DH and mine are similar. He's not "typical Latino guy" in most senses. What gets me is that he watches his dad help out around the house etc all the time! So he does do it, we just need to stop with the pissing contest I guess. I'm hoping things will get better at the new place because everything will have it's own spot where it belongs etc. 


Glad to hear I'm not alone. It's so frustrating! But it is what it is I suppose. irked.gif Maybe one day it will all click into place

post #6 of 10

I am constantly fighting with my DH about the house as well. He wants it spotless and blames me for EVERYTHING that goes wrong, and all the trash and everything. I will admit I am a slight hoarder, I save everything and then once or twice a year do huge purges of stuff. My crafting is the worst, but most of that is in my crafting room so he can't even see it. What makes me mad is he claims that he picks up after himself and never leaves anything out, he says that I don't ever throw anything away. But our house is full of beer bottles and caps, on the counters, on his nightstand, in the bathroom, anywhere he can find to set one down he just leaves it there. He leaves takeout containers on the counter all the time. But he doesn't see any of that, all he sees is that I leave food in containers on the counter when I clean the fridge or empty his lunch box. Really I try to keep my house clean, but its overwhelming! I have a 36 inch by 48 inch calendar in the hallway that I write everything on to help me keep up with it all, it has all of my cleaning that I need to do, when I need to feed the snake, when bills are due, when we are going out of town or have a Dr appointment or anything that needs to be known. It is by far the best thing to happen to my house in a while, at the first part of my pregnancy I was so sick I think I went 3 full weeks without vacuuming hide.gif he complained about it but he didn't actually pick up the vacuum to help me. I figure if he is not willing to help me he cant complain to me, but he still does.


This is my cleaning schedule that I came up with:

Sunday: Bedrooms and Bathrooms day this is the day I change sheets, vacuum the bedrooms, take out all the trash, dust, its like deep cleaning day for these rooms, bathrooms I scrub the toilets, tubs and showers, sinks, take out all trash, restock towels and stuff like that.

Monday: Living Rooms day, we have 2 living rooms, again its like I deep clean the room and vacuum and make sure its all nice. I also clean the snake cage on Monday because its in the living room.

Tuesday:Kitchen and Dining room - I clean all counters, make sure all dishes get done, clean out fridge, plan meals, refill the spices, make shopping lists - I am really bad about leaving the big pots and pans for a few days until the kitchen day comes along and then I have to clean them. Sweep and mop floors.

Wednesday: Hallway and Laundry Room - deep clean these rooms - sweep and vacuum - I work out of the house on Wednesdays and Thursdays so this is the easiest day for me

Thursday: 20 minute whole house clean up, I set a timer for 20 minutes and try to get DH and DS to help me pick up all the stuff and put it where it goes, mostly they don't help at all though.

Friday: Living Rooms - same as on Monday except I feed the snake on Friday.

Saturday: Kitchen and Dining Rooms again.


Things I try to do every day:


make breakfast lunch and dinner

make snacks for me and DS

Feed dogs

feed cats

feed the fish

take out the trash

feed all scraps from kitchen to the chickens

take DS outside to play

water the trees outside every other day

water inside plants a few times a week

keep up on laundry

plus my work


*all animals do get fed everyday* its the dishes and laundry and playtime and trees and plants that get put off


If I keep up on this is works really great for us, but if I skip just one day it all goes to hell, we have a lot of animals and pets so the hair builds up really quick. I work from home 7-9 hours a day 3 days a week and work 6-7 hours a day in an office the other 2 days and my DH thinks I don't do anything at home so he feels he doesn't need to help because he works out of the house 5 days a week. The only thing I ask him to do is feed the horse every morning and some nights, feed the chickens every other morning (because he refuses to get them fresh water) and clean the cat box, he always does the horse without a fight but forgets the cat box all the time. I feed the dogs, the cats, the snake, and the fish, and clean all the fish tanks by myself. I collect all the chicken eggs and do 90% of the cooking and almost all the cleaning, all of the laundry and I do almost all the child care, it gets old but I have come to the conclusion he will never be happy with how I do things and that's his problem, not mine. I do the best I can. I do hope once DS is older and the new baby is here I can get into a system that works for all of us, but without his help it will never be as good as he thinks it should be. 


kristenburgess - you are my hero! where you say you prioritize things that irritate him, I think that's so sweet of you, I try to (hubbys biggest complaint if i leave food in containers for days until i get around to it) but sometimes I just overlook it

post #7 of 10

dh is 1/4 mexican and he does most of the chores around the house. he is also a stay at home dad to 3 girls. His mom and his grandma are very very good at cleaning. lol they even clean the plastic ware at parties. I adore them. what we do is we split it at least 50/50 although that doesn't always happen. Because dh is home with the kids he ends up cleaning certain things.  What we try to do is play up to our strengths. I can do the laundry (was and fold it) much quicker than he can. But when it comes to putting the laundry away I am not so great at it. He is great about doing the dishes but can't see the rest of the dirty kitchen. We try to put the kids to work as much as possible and while we try for 50/50 dh does more but then again I am pregnant and work 50 hours a week. But I could never be in a house where one spouse does all the cleaning, especially cleaning up after the other one. I have three kids who make enough messes. Sure I will once in awhile pick up dh's dirty clothes, but he tries to avoid leaving them. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Pogo0685 that truly sucks! I am so sorry to hear that. What a nightmare for you. I can understand why it's such a source of tension between you.


venusthrow you are SO lucky! 


I think DH and I need to remember how to communicate about stuff and then also play up to our strengths as well. What also is tricky is that neither of us are great at maybe 1 or 2 tasks, so that always complicates things further.

post #9 of 10

We have to keep the house spotless with about an hour's notice because we're selling it. We already packed up everything but the kitchen things and 1 box of toys, that makes it much easier. The clothes stay in luggage, when we tidy up the toys go back in their 1 box, dishes get done, counters get wiped, floors get vacuumed and swept. With so little to get out it's never much to clean.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

that's impressive! We are packing everything and have a ton of stuff packed. More to go though! We aren't sure when we're closing, but it will be in the next few weeks.

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