How do you keep on top of household chores? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
eurobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: the heartland of America
Posts: 641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a single parent? Especially if you work outside the home?

Programs like flylady.com and motivatedmoms.com don't work for me. I don't think they are bad or anything, but my household is a single adult (me!) and 5/7ths of a two year old. I'm at work and she's at school all day during the week. So I simply don't need to change my hand towels in the bathroom every single day, you know? I put my shoes on in the morning because I *have to,* so I can go to work. It's not that I think getting dressed is a bad thing -- I spent a year abroad just sitting around in my jammies, depressed, and it was not good for my mental health! -- but I guess I feel like my lifestyle doesn't allow "get dressed including shoes" to even be an option. You know? No matter how messed up my mind is, I still have to get up at 5:15 AM and get those shoes on.

I obviously need to grocery shop and cook and clean. In general, I can handle that stuff for the most part, but what I struggle with is staying on top of the more irregular stuff... like changing the furnace filter or doing a fridge deep clean. I'm sort of treading water and I want to get my household back on track. And I'm not a neatfreak at all, so I tend to let things pile up.

Suggestions?

Robin, strong and happy single mama to Anna (7/06)
"Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai découvert en moi un invincible été."
eurobin is offline  
#2 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 01:18 AM
 
One Art's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the journey
Posts: 916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am not any help, but I will be hanging around to absorb any tips, as I am in the same boat.
One Art is offline  
#3 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 01:26 AM
 
veronicalynne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Castle Rock
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:

cant do any of the above except for taking notes........help
veronicalynne is offline  
#4 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 03:59 AM
 
eccomama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i run errands during work 1-2 times at lunch time. i try to spread things over the week but if i'm exhausted i let things go. I clean up, do laundry and some cleaning when dd is alseep. granted those are long nights as by the time dd gets to sleep it's 9pm. i also often spend my days w/o dd doing laundry, 6 loads on sunday so you can see how behind I am.
i also use my lunch hour to pay bills, make phone calls and i shop on line a lot so i only have to go to the store for groceries.
curious to see what others do..

single mama to DD 5.09
eccomama is offline  
#5 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 04:15 AM
 
Maluhia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: in Paradise with my Papaya!
Posts: 5,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One room a day - I tend to clean one room per day in "upkeep" mode.
I make as much ahead as I can - I chop veggies for dinner at breakfast and put it in the fridge, anything I can do while already in the kitchen making breakfast.
I scrub/clean the bathrooms while DD is taking her bath.
I throw in a load of laundry every morning as we leave, transfer to dryer when we get home before dinner and fold with DD before bedtime.

Your User Agreement here at MDC, read it and make it your friend and read the FAQ to answer all the questions of the (MDC) world.
Maluhia is offline  
#6 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 10:30 AM
 
tangent's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 212
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, flylady is geared to the sahm, but I got so many good tips from her. The keepers were to:

*weed out clutter!!! I still do 27 fling boogies. This is the #1 hint.If you do weed out well, the rest of your life will be so much easier you won't believe it. Seriously, most people could easily get rid of half of what they own. Could you? I use that as a guide.
*clean a house one room at a time, one day at a time. Sometimes I only clean my bathroom because it's so small and I can do it in 5 mins. It makes me feel sooo good to have even one clean room.
*clean the sink every night. Flylady is right on this one.
*have people take off shoes at the front door. It cuts down tremendously on how often you need to vacuum and mop.

I also clean the bathroom while dd is bathing. I'll clean the living room while dd is playing piano. Don't watch tv w/o folding laundry (unless you're caught up!).

Cook double batches and freeze leftovers in small containers for lunches.

Put the furnace filter on your calendar and devote half a day to it. LOL. Seriously, it may only take 5 mins but if you put it on the calendar it helps.

Clean your fridge one shelf at a time. One shelf a week and you'll always have a clean fridge. It may not be totally clean at once, but who cares.

Put all bills and paperwork in one folder and deal with it at least every 2 weeks. Put it on the calendar.

If possible, hire help to take care of lawnmowing, snow shoveling, whatnot. Arrange to automatically pay bills when possible.
tangent is offline  
#7 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 11:11 AM
 
guestmama9915's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't work outside the home but having just moved I threw out a TON of stuff, and got rid of things I "might use someday" and about 2/3rds of the kids toys. I now only really have the essentials and I think this is crucial, the difference is amazing. Less stuff = less mess!
guestmama9915 is offline  
#8 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 12:22 PM
 
Rosehip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,787
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As more of a medium to long-term strategy, live as simply as possible, including in a smaller house/apartment. If you don't love gardening/yardwork, etc., consider a place w/o a yard, maybe a townhouse near parks. That kind of stuff. I realize that's not necessarily practical in every location and in every circumstance, however.

Get rid of stuff, like others said. Be ruthless.

If you have "extra" rooms - like a guest bedroom or bathroom, give them a good cleaning and just shut the door and don't use it unless you actually have a guest. Even if it's convenient for you to use the bathroom, or to use the guestroom bed as a place to dump stuff at the end of the day - it's just more space for you to clean.

Any room in the budget to hire someone? Even for once or twice a month?
Rosehip is offline  
#9 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 12:40 PM
 
Becca917's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NE Kansas
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
These are all great tips. I've been lurking at the organizing/decluttering board on MDC too.
Becca917 is offline  
#10 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 04:18 PM
 
Mothra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pretty much don't. I work full-time, and I have three kids who are all in sports. We're hardly ever home. My house is usually a disaster. The babysitter does my dishes. Laundry is constantly piled up. I have a puppy who is not as housebroken as I thought she was, so most of my cleaning time is spent mopping up puppy pee. I try to do one big cleanup a week, so I get a clean slate, but that almost never extends to my bedroom or the kids' rooms. I focus on the kitchen and bathroom, the areas that can get nasty fast. I've never been a fantastic housekeeper, but I never imagined I would find myself this buried, or that I would live in such chaos.
Mothra is offline  
#11 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 06:23 PM
 
BugMacGee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I tolerate a moderate amount of clutter. I never leave food out or dirty dishes however.

I'm "clean" but not "tidy" if that makes any sense. And it varies depending. My kids are getting to a more helpful age (DD#2 still unfolds my folded laundry in the name of "helping mommy") I predict a tidier future, but now, I'm not too worried about it.
BugMacGee is offline  
#12 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 06:29 PM
 
maatmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I dream constantly of being able to afford someone to clean my house once a week.
maatmama is offline  
#13 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 07:50 PM
 
eccomama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by maatmama View Post
I dream constantly of being able to afford someone to clean my house once a week.
right there with you!!! if someone just did my dishes and put away 5 loads of laundry...

single mama to DD 5.09
eccomama is offline  
#14 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 10:24 PM
 
canadianchick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Enjoying the early Spring!!! Yeah!
Posts: 3,678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do things like laundry, dishes, sweep floors/vaccum throughout the week and then if I have bigger jobs like scrubbing the floors, ironing or doing a bigger cleaning job, I do those on the weekends.

Kim, proud CPS mom to Marnie and my 4 legged kids, Jess, Zander, Oliver, Stumpy and Eddie.
canadianchick is offline  
#15 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 11:06 PM
 
waiting2bemommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: buried under laundry
Posts: 1,961
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pretty much don't get naything done while ds is awake. I hate feeling like i'm dividing my attention with other stuff, plus it just takes forever since he trails behind me, undoing all my work lol. I can clean his room while he plays....change the crib sheet, put away toys, empty diaper genie/trash, and put away clean clothes. About 50% of the time the laundry never m akes it there.My bedroom is always atrocious...laundry everywhere, toys scattered about, papers stacked on my table. I beleive there's a difference between messy and nasty. As long as it's the former and not the latter, I don't stress it too much. I wipe the table and counters every day,clean the highchair, that sort lof thing often. it's the *stuff* that does me in.

Very blessed mama to one bouncin' boy bouncy.gif (12/07) one angel3.gif who didn't get to stay (6/09), one potty learning, mess making divaenergy.gif(4/10), and one cheerful milk monster. aabfwoman.gif (12/11) Happy partner to the love of my lifedp_malesling.GIF.  

waiting2bemommy is offline  
#16 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:04 AM
 
sweetc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Contrary to my nature, I've become very structured and organized. For example:

Each day of the week has a set breakfast (monday = oatmeal, wednesday = eggs, etc.) lunch, and dinner (monday = meat/fish, tuesday = pasta, friday = pizza, etc.). This makes meal planning easier and it helps make sure we are eating balanced meals.

I have a schedule for chores for myself for each day of the week. Clean the bathrooms, laundry, change the sheets, pay the bills, take out the garbage/recycle, etc.

Every night I run the dishwasher (even if it isn't all the way full) and unload it every morning so that I can put dirty dishes in it throughout the day instead of letting them pile up.

I do all my meal planning for the upcoming week on Sunday and grocery shop that morning while my boys are still at their dad's house. (They are there from Saturday late morning til mid-day on Sunday.)

Wednesday is garbage day, so Tuesday night is the night to clean out the fridge. Plus, Wednesday I get my produce box and a cleaned out fridge makes that easier to put away. Doing it every week makes it 5 minute chore, instead of what it could be if I waited a month...

I know which days at work are busier and plan easier meals for that night. I also plan meals around leftovers... say I roast a chicken one night, I plan to use the leftovers in something the next day, and the chicken stock I've made from the bones a following day.

My boys (ages 6 and 3) have chores as well. Simple ones, but they help out and it then doesn't feel like the WHOLE burden is on me. They set the table and clear their dishes, put their dirty laundry in the wash room, etc. Age appropriate stuff.

I also do my best to clean the kitchen right after dinner and even while cooking so that once the kids are asleep (usually around 7:30) I don't have to face that mess and can quickly finish up the rest of my chores and have some time for myself before bed.

De-cluttering is also a huge support. The less there is in the house, the less there is to pick up, put away, or clean.

Anyway, this helps me, as uptight as it seems some days. And, there are some days where I am so tired I can hardly stand up by the end of the day... But keeping up on things everyday makes it easier for me, and my house is usually clean and tidy, which makes me (and my children) feel more at peace.

I'm tired just writing this all out...
Hang in there all you wonderful mommas!

Christine
sweetc is offline  
#17 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:10 AM
 
alima's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't I just try to stay afloat

I think part of dealing with being a single parent involves adjusting your idea of what is normal. A clean, neat and tidy home may just not be in the cards.

The most important things for housekeeping that I've found, though, is setting my priorities very firmly--deciding on the 2 or 3 things that were most important and sticking with them--and minimizing the amount of crap we own. The less stuff I own, the less stuff that needs taking care of.

That said, I just finished working double shifts for almost 4 months straight and my home looks like a bomb went off. Off to go do the dishes and try not to look in ds's room (shudder)
alima is offline  
#18 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:43 AM
 
rootzymama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: mommy mind state
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sweetc, WOW! You're everything I hope to grow up to be

I've been a full time stay home mom for the last four years but just recently I've began teaching yoga to kids ages 4-8yrs, as well as a teen moms class, and founding/directing a moms group for women of color in my area. I'm still in the home 85% of the week but needless to say my world is upside down in change including a dirty house that seems to need a 100% full time organizer...

Thanks for the tips mamas... peace
rootzymama is offline  
#19 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 11:54 AM
 
attachedmomto3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Michigan :)
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sweetc~~that sounds so wonderful! i have a schedule set up for myself and the kids but some days it just seems so overwhelming i let it slide and then just have more work the next day, ugh you're an inspiration

solo-student-mama to 3 crazy kiddos
attachedmomto3 is offline  
#20 of 25 Old 09-27-2008, 04:49 AM
 
LoveOhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In Writing Mode!
Posts: 1,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleaces View Post
I don't work outside the home but having just moved I threw out a TON of stuff, and got rid of things I "might use someday" and about 2/3rds of the kids toys. I now only really have the essentials and I think this is crucial, the difference is amazing. Less stuff = less mess!
:

I also don't work outside the home but I am in the process of weeding things out.... which I know makes a HUGE difference. The other thing I try to do is wash a load of laundry daily, that way I only have one load (the towels) the feel like work.

My daughter & I have allergies so I have a housekeeper come in on occasion for deep cleanings (like washing walls, major dusting & carpet cleaning) but this tends to be quarterly.

Now if I could only balance my WAH life.....

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
LoveOhm is offline  
#21 of 25 Old 09-29-2008, 06:26 AM
 
thisiswhatwedo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: transient universe
Posts: 375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am totally burnt out on housework
I just hate that our house is never clean and that as flylady suggests; I am suppose to get up before my family and instead of say doing something self nurturing like journaling or exercise I am suppose to clean.
maybe I need my own thread but as a single mom with three kids I am totally tired of the constant work work work:
thisiswhatwedo is offline  
#22 of 25 Old 09-29-2008, 07:13 PM
 
doublyblessed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: sandwiched in between my babies...
Posts: 447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i don't. rarely do i clean up or clean. my house is in total disarray. its really gross actually. i have fruit flies coming up from my kitchen sink. the sink is piled w/ dishes accumulating over the last week or so...my dishwasher doesn't work very well. lack of counter space...lack of energy on my part BIG TIME. its like chronic fatigue most moments...i need help. i just don't know what to do anymore. not to mention there is a bird of sorts stuck in between my wall and fp wall and i can hear it pecking and trying to climb/fly out. its been there for a full day now. it needs help. i don't want to call maintence for my condo cuz i don't want them to see what a mess it is in here!!! ugh. maybe i'll at least just get the dishes/sink clear and have them come look. i wnat the bird to be saved. sigh... i admire you mamas with energy. i am beyond fatigued...its down right lethargy most of the time...
doublyblessed is offline  
#23 of 25 Old 09-30-2008, 05:11 AM
 
mamamoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 12,741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am getting there. Slowly but surely. I have been weeding out stuff since I moved this summer. I swear the key is going to be having very little *stuff*, and getting on a schedule(blech).

Hang in there mamas!!

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
mamamoo is offline  
#24 of 25 Old 10-01-2008, 12:15 PM
 
Basylica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dallas Tx
Posts: 1,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work *really* long hours. I'm a Systems admin, so I can't even tell you how many times I go home and put the kids to bed and then i'm on my laptop and phone fixing stuff until 1am.
Plus I have a long long commute. I often leave my house at 7am and don't get home til after 7pm.

I guess i'm "lucky" right now that the STBX has expanded visitation right now, so I have some pretty long periods of time without the kids every month, however I've been traveling lots (I just spent a week in portland or) when i'm sans kids, or working long hours to get stuff done at work...etc.

I get home and usually flip on the dryer (I can't fold cold clothes, have to be warm from dryer) and start some wash, feed the kids, have older DS get his jammies on as soon as he's done (he's 4.5) and if I can get some dishes going as well, or put away folded clothes while kids are awake.
Older DS is usually pretty good about picking up his toys (and his brothers) and younger DS LOVES to put clothes in the hamper and things in the trash.

I bribe them to put away things while I get the baby's clothes out and change him into his jammies and by this point it's usually 8 or so. I will put on 30min of spongebob, scoobydoo...etc.
Both boys cuddle with me on the couch while we watch, at 830 older DS gives me hugs and kisses and will actually goto bed on his own (altho stbx has been allowing him to sleep with him, so this begins the nightly routine of finding him in MY bed, escorting him back...over and over. lol. last night it too 4x I think, but atleast he didn't do it after I went to bed. Thats annoying waking up 4x a night to put a kid back into his bed)
The baby falls asleep in my arms and he's usually tucked away at 9pm.

I then eat MY dinner, fold laundry, do dishes or whatever....

I am pretty good about keeping up, altho usually not all the way, with the daily dishes/laundry and picking up stuff with the kids around.
When I don't have the kids, I am either working late (1-2am sometimes at office) or doing the grocery shopping, errand running, and major cleaning.

Atleast one of the 4 day week/ends I have sans kids (thurs-mon) I will vac the entire house, change bedding and towels, mop floors, clean bathrooms...etc.
I have white tile floors in my kitchen/entry/baths and boy, that NEVER looks clean. LOL.

I have to admit however, I don't sleep much....and I don't do much else but work/clean/kids
Basylica is offline  
#25 of 25 Old 10-01-2008, 10:59 PM
 
thisiswhatwedo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: transient universe
Posts: 375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I will say I quit working full time because I didn't have enough time to mother my kids so using those extra hours to clean seems ridiculous.
thisiswhatwedo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off