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Gaining Cooperation & Organizing Family Cleaning

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I feel so overwhelmed by housekeeping these days that I just don't do much of it. How do I get the kids to help more and make it enjoyable? I need daily and weekly breakdowns of chores. It's just that people are so tired or uncooperative and I don't like to feel like I'm nagging or dragging along those who don't want to cooperate.


Maybe I should just start small. Daily: pick up your clothes.

Weekly: 8 year old could do x, 5 year old could do y. Dh could do z.


FlyLady is great but I find even her small daily chores are too much for me. Working FTOH and wrangling the three kiddos is very exhausting. Still, I want our home to be cleaner. Our kids comment on it.


I also feel like decluttering is a constant, never-ending mountain that I can barely chip away at.


Did I mention I feel overwhelmed? :o)


Any suggestions, ideas or encouragement are appreciated. Thanks in advance Mamas!!

post #2 of 7

I hear you!!! Although I only have one child (8 yrs old) we've had difficulty providing structure for her, as well on following through with weekly chores. We've tried chore charts, removing privaleges, threats, etc. but no luck. And the clutter is a big problem...you'd think with just one kid we'd have it made, but no such luck. I feel like we need to move to a bigger home that has more storage!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I hope you find something that works for you dbrucks!

 I KWYM about thinking a bigger home is the solution.

post #4 of 7
Random thoughts: 
Is it possible that you're decluttering too slowly and carefully? A decluttered house involves far, _far_ less effort to maintain, so getting it decluttered should help a lot in every other area.
Given that, it might be best to, for example, give stuff away rather than having a garage sale. Or throw it out rather than giving it away. It would be good to get rid of the stuff that you "might" use, the stuff that you can't decide about.
One of my other favorite housekeping strategies is "landing spots". I've found that I'm never, ever, going to form the habit of putting things away in their real home as soon as I'm done with them. But if I have a place to drop an item that's only a few steps away, I might put it there instead of just dropping it where I stand. Then items are in _storage_ spaces, they're just temporary storage spaces, and at intervals I clear them off and put the stuff where it really belongs.. This strategy is recommended by the very thorough housekeeping book _Home Comforts_, so I don't even feel that it's sloppy. :)
As an example, we have a bench in the front hall where we drop purses and coats and packages and under which we kick shoes. A shelf in that same front hall where we fling keys and sunglasses and change. A shelf in another hall that I periodically completely empty so that it's handy for dumping books and magazines. At least one little decorative dish in every room for change and other tiny bits of things.  A basket by every desk to dump computer cables and stuff into. A hamper in every bathroom. And so on.
End of random thoughts.
post #5 of 7
Little things help me a lot.

Open mail by the recycle bins. Paper goes into recycle bin. Bills get moved to staircase for the "the next trip up" where they are stashed in my special bill paying drawer. The one that has stamps and the checkbook in it.

When the kids were little I trained them to do a ten minute tidy before bed. We all walked around returning items that were "not in their place"..to their place.... starting with our personal items and then branching out.

I keep horizontal surfaces freed up so I can dust when I feel the need. I like the look of a table or bookcase top that has just one or two display items... not a dozen "dust catchers".

I echo Crayfish on the trashcan everywhere you need one! We also have landing spots in the garage and by the back door for shoes. There's a large basket under an entry table for books needing to go back to the library... you get my drift, right? Make a home for everything and then tell (show) your kids and spouse where that spot is and what goes there.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Crayfish and philomom - thanks for your suggestions. We do have bins, baskets and drop spots.


I should probably make cleaning up in the girls' room part of our routine nightly - dh puts the girls to bed while I put ds to bed. He goofs and jokes in there with them (bless them, I can hear them giggling) but NEVER has them clean up their clothes or anything. I started a laundry basket in the girls' room to dump all the clothes strewn on the floor. The problem is that they just don't clean up after themselves. Ugh. Anyhow, it has been helping. There is a hamper in their room as well. Getting dh to take the responsibility to work with them? Not so confident it's gonna happen.


Anyway, some good thoughts here. Thanks!

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

A little update: I did a big declutter and got a couple of shelves for storing things. The girls room looks sooo much better.


I'm just really overwhelmed by living in a house with 5 slobs. :lol Really though. I grew up in a house where we did weekend cleaning and my dad was a big cleaner. I just find it too overwhelming.


I used to have the gumption to clean and hold big dinner parties with grace. It seems like that has all deteriorated since having a 3rd child. There's just too much to be done everywhere all the time. Even when I prioritize one area, everything else looks like hell.


I mourn the person I used to be. Today we have a friend coming over with her husband and kids. Her house is a mansion and looks like a showpiece. We live in a small cluttered condo with old floors and furniture. I guess I'm just feeling self-conscious today.

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