Who else is a lousy housekeeper? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never had any illusions that I was a *good* housekeeper. Still, growing up, our house was... well, a disaster area. We cleaned about once a year for Christmas. My mom wasn't any good about stuff like throwing away used kleenexes or banana peels. You could only see one end of the couch (where she sat) and never could see much of the kitchen table.

So, I'm lots better than that. I throw away garbage. I usually throw away trash, even. I sometimes put things away. I can *eat* at my table. And now, we have a housekeeper who comes in every other week to catch up the bathrooms and the kitchen and the floors (though she's 65, and I think getting to where she needs to retire, but it's a tricky subject, you know?)

But since I started reading this forum... wow. I feel sooooo inadequate. I read stuff like "I sweep the kitchen every day and mop once a week, but now I feel like I need to mop more often..." or "I wipe the bathroom down every day after my shower" or whatever... I seriously can't wrap my brain around keeping my house as clean as some of you do.

What do you think... is there just a normal range, and I'm feeling sensitive? Or do you think my house grosses "normal" people out? We're working on dealing with clutter (which makes cleaning easier) and I'm really, really trying to talk DH into a Scooba so that the floors are cleaner without me having to start up a mopping regimen but there's only so much I feel like I can do. It's overwhelming.

Anyone else want to share their inadequacy? Or just point and laugh at the woman whose house is a mess (but less of one than her mother's)? (On a side note, my mom has a weekly housekeeper... same one actually... and the day before she gets there, you STILL cannot see the surface of the kitchen table. So it wasn't just the chaos of life with a kid... it's HER.)
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#2 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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I can relate - my mom is a terrible housekeeper. I mean she throws out trash, but the clutter, the dust and the shear grime in her house is gross. We had housekeepers growing up and then my mom became a bit squirrely and did not want strangers to have access to her house when she was not home. She has a few pets and the amount of pet hair and dander is just gross. I have very little basis for how to actually keep a neat house since the housekeepers did not usually speak English (Polish most often). I can manage the clutter and clean the rooms, but usually I have to notice them as dirty which I think means it is a lot worse than it should be. So I am pretty sure I am a terrible housekeeper too. When we sold our house last year, I worked a lot to keep the place house selling clean - and now I know I can't keep up that pace. But I do a pretty good job if I know people are coming over.
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#3 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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Me. I am a miserable housekeeper. So is my big sis. The others seem to have learned. My mom kept the house clean, but our bedrooms were disasters. I never learned the basics. I gross myself out with my messy, dirty house.

I hate how bad it is, and feel inadequate a lot. I hate having people come into my house. If it's bad to me, I can only imagine how bad it is to people who keep a clean house.
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#4 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 08:58 PM
 
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Yeah, me too.
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#5 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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Me. Not sure how much I want to say. But at least I want you to know you are not alone, since I feel like I'm the only one when I read the boards. We are working at decluttering, and most of the time things are relatively sanitary. (Yeesh, we run 2-3 loads of dishes a day and 3-4 loads of laundry, it autta be.) But other than that I'd be embarrassed to have anyone over. Most of the time its overwhelming. I do try, but the hurrieder I work, the behinder I get. Besides nursing babies and loving on the older kids takes priority. Last summer when DH almost died MIL cleaned the house (I think it was her way of coping/helping) and I still am dealing with the emotional fallout from it and I am still looking for important things. Some I think she pitched and some she put out of sight. I did figure out she is about looks, while I am about function. Although it made me crazy (literally) I do appreciate she came to help, and there was no snarky comments, but I couldn't help but feel I don't keep house "good enough". <sigh> Oh, and any "cleanies" in NW Ohio/SE Michigan who want to help me declutter/clean out, I'd love the help/inspiration/critical eye/company.

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#6 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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I'm terrible but learning. For some people it just does not come naturally. For me it's stumbling along every step of the way, lol!! I have seriously decluttered but it's hard to stay on top of it. I have a hard time doing dishes daily. I hate putting clothes away. I had a neat freak mom but anything we did to help around the house, she would have to go behind and do it "right" so I said the heck with it (she was OCD). Now I'm starting to care and it's hard
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#7 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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I'm with you.. my mother is a pack rat. I just never, ever learned to clean that great. I mean, my house isn't neglectful, but since mom lives with us, it is packed to the gills with junk. I'm slowly starting to declutter because I feel like I am smothering... and I'll be honest everything is going in the trash. There is no freecycling it, no yardsaling it, no ebaying it. It is getting thrown away because I know if it is not in the garbage at the road on the day the truck comes, she will dig through it and see what is 'good' and needs to be 'saved'. She grew up so poor, and she equates stuff with success. I can't get her to understand that junk does not equal success. And I can't get her to understand what really nice things she has is buried under crap.

UGH, one day I'm going to have the pretty home. I just know it. Until then, I'm the person on the street that is carrying out bag after bag of trash on garbage day!
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#8 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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I am a terrible housekeeper, but i'm really trying to improve on it. Keeping up with all of the daily chores and even weekly ones, is hard when i'm here by myself with my dd and keeping her entertained and safe. If DH would help out just a little more (even if it were just picking up after himself) it wouldn't be as bad. Supposedly we are going to go on a "de-cluttering spree" sometime soon, but we shall see.

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#9 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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Terrible here too! It's a long story but I think I would need tons of therapy to fix it so we just deal.
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#10 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I'm terrible but learning. For some people it just does not come naturally. For me it's stumbling along every step of the way, lol!!
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#11 of 45 Old 05-26-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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Me. I am the lousiest. Trying to get better, though!
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#12 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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my house is a mess. it's not dirty, it's just small and cluttered and we probably have too many clothes and toys and general stuff (i refuse believe that there is such a thing as too many books!.

i have to say, i used to live near a woman i privately called martha stuart, and, while she was a very sweet person and i got along with her well in every aspect, she made me feel horribly inadequate as a mother and a house keeper. then again, i have a dear friend who makes me feel like a neat freak!

i have decided that as long as it's not actually dirty (which means no food lying around, clean up cat messes asap, garbage is thrown away and taken out regularly, etc) i refuse to stress myself out about having the perfect house. i have a zillion things i'd rather do than scrub the floors on my hands and knees or whatever else the "perfect" housekeeper does. i go on a mad cleaning spree whenever we have an inspection (ah, the joys of subsidized housing), but otherwise, eh. i can clean crayon marks off the walls tomorrow, today i'm going outside and playing with my kids!

when i was a little girl, my mom was a good housekeeper. everything neat and clean and organized... but in the last 10 years or so, it has gotten bad. she is a huge pack rat and i can' even let the LO's go by nana's house b/c it's such a mess. they've moved 3 times in those 10 years, and each time, all that crap gets packed up and moves with them. it drives me nuts. man, when we moved, i had a huge rummage sale... i made $600!!!! clothes, a lot of baby stuff, toys... everything that wasn't absolutely needed went. i was literally giving stuff away by the end, cuz i just did not want it back in my house!if my mother were to have a yard sale every weekend for the entire summer, she'd still have enough stuff to fully furnish at least 2 houses!

btw, there's a thread in the tribes area that's called "lazy mamas, represent!" and there are quite a few of us over there!

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#13 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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Most people are much, much sloppier housekeepers than you might imagine! So, no, you're almost certainly not grossing out the "normals" especially if you have weekly help!

I don't feel like I'm great but I'm working on it. As a SAHM I have a certain standard I hold myself to. Taking care of home and kids is my job, after all! I don't stress if I'm not perfect, but I do strive for improvement, little bits at a time over the years. I'm worlds better than I was when I had my first place back in 1999!

As for the comparison with our own mothers, my mom disliked cleaning and part of the reason she kept a full time job was to justify her weekly housecleaner. She also was rebelling against HER mother when she insisted on NOT teaching me how to keep house! Her line was, "She's a smart girl and she'll pick it up when she's ready." Well, she was mostly right!
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#14 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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I'm the Martha type, and I have to say, it dosen't really bother me to go to someones house if it's messy. It's not MY mess, and I don't have to clean it, so it dosen't stress me out. It's rawther comfy in fact.
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#15 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Terrible here too! It's a long story but I think I would need tons of therapy to fix it so we just deal.
I've got tons of therapy under my belt ;-) and the biggest thing I've worked on is my relationship with my mom... so there ya go. (I'm far from finished, too.... but my therapist is on vacation this month.)

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I'm the Martha type, and I have to say, it dosen't really bother me to go to someones house if it's messy. It's not MY mess, and I don't have to clean it, so it dosen't stress me out. It's rawther comfy in fact.
Thanks for that perspective. It's quite reassuring. I'll just assume that everyone is like that until told otherwise! ;-)
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#16 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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My mom kept a immaculate house. But I did not inherite her cleaning gene. I suck at it and I just cannot kept up. I dont have the motivation to clean because 5 seconds after I do it is messed up again.

I will tell you this my bathroom gets cleaned every few months, yep you read that right months. I have yet to figure out a way to give a care

 
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#17 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 02:33 AM
 
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#18 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 02:45 AM
 
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My Mom is a good housekeeper. I am not. It's not because I can't do it but I'm just such a perfectionist & can never have things clean enough so I tend to just give up. Even with a maid coming in 3 days a week (a huge luxury that is SOOOO cheap here!) my house is not as clean as I would like.

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#19 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 07:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by damona View Post

i have to say, i used to live near a woman i privately called martha stuart, and, while she was a very sweet person and i got along with her well in every aspect, she made me feel horribly inadequate as a mother and a house keeper. then again, i have a dear friend who makes me feel like a neat freak!


lol, I know a lot of Martha Stewart types and while they used to make me feel lower than the dirt under my feet, I am starting to become inspired by them (eta: not their attitudes, but their homes). I have one friend who I don't ever want to come to my house as hearing her talk makes my stomach sink like a stone. She puts down anyone who has any kind of cluttered life or tolerance for mess. She wants to go into peoples homes and start throwing things in the trash (she pulled this once on me and she hasn't been back, lol!!). She talks of messy people as if they have some disease. But she's is so organized and I have picked up lots of tidbits, like having fresh flowers for instance. I am worth flowers too darn it, lol! Or keeping all important papers in one place instead of crammed into any free space (saved me when looking for my car papers!). I'll never be like her but I can be inspired by her home.

I now realize that about 99% of what my better housekeeping friends and associates do is because they're born organized (flylady term ) and cannot stand any mess but I look at how they have things and think "How can I make my home better for me". I don't need to duplicate how they live. I live in a small apartment with 4 people plus we unschool so I just don't have the room most of the people I know have so I need to work with what I have and say the heck with the rest. No matter how good a housekeeper I could possibly become, it will still not meet the standards of some people I know.

Ok, those were my weird, random ramblings for the morning, lol!! I'm still a terrible housekeeper but it's just part of who I am.
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#20 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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I'm not a great housekeeper either. My dh is much better at it then I am. Fortunately for us, he's the one staying home with the kids. He just manages to get so much more done in a day at home than I do.
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#21 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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I try to sweep every day (baby doesn't always let me), vaccum the area rugs 2x week and mop the kitchen and hardwood floors before they get too gross. I also try to stay on top of the laundry and the kitchen but this has all been a long hard process for me. I finally got my routine down and I really enjoy being in a clean organized home. My mom has always been a horrible housekeeper. When she comes over she always makes a huge mess when cooking. If she splatters things on the wall it's like she doesn't notice it. I end up cleaning up after her quite a bit. She has deep self esteem issues so I try not to point any of that stuff out. I guess my reason for cleaning is because I don't want to be like her. As a kid I almost never had any friends over because my house was not only gross but delapidated. We had carpeting worn down to the baseboards, broken windows, leaky plumming, etc. I don't want to be embarrassed of my own home now as an adult.

I have a friend whose house is always a mess but when I go to her house I don't care and it doesn't bother me because it's HER mess. Sometimes I friend myself getting stressed out trying to keep my house looking perfect but then I go out and go to a park, shopping or just spending time with friends and it reminds me that having a messy house is no big deal. There's more to life than that.

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#22 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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My mother was an awesome housekeeper. The apartment was always very neat, I never remember anything gross in the kitchen or bathrooms and I remember her cleaning, vacuuming and dusting every Saturday.

But, it was always just quicker and easier for her to do it herself, so I never learned any of it. : And I'm more like my messy dad. That was just my mom and I in a 2 bedroom apartment. Now we're a family of 4, soon to be 5, plus waaaaay too many cats. Um, no, I'm a horrible housekeeper!

I think I'm getting better at it, though. Not excellent, but better at keeping it not horrifying if someone knocks on the door. The disaster area of the day varies from room to room. Right now it is the kids bedrooms and the family room downstairs. It only took me 32 years, I'm learning.

Oh, and I do love my Scooba. And Roomba. They both go a long way in helping me keep things under control.

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#23 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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My mom was super clean. Like we had to crawl around on the floor picking up "flecks" whenever she saw them. OCD to a fault, clean.

I am not.

I am also a perfectionist, and with my life, I know I could never keep it to those standards.

I do see things getting better though. After my second baby, I lost control...but it was the worse after my third. I started purging and decluttering after my fourth, and now...finally...its getting better.

I sweep multiple times a day, run the roomba and the scooba daily...and I'd still panic if people said they were coming over. But, hey...I have five kids and we homeschool (so there is never a 8 hour break where things are the way I left them).

I would love a cozy home, with just the right things strewn around to look lived in and happy, but clean enough to have people over at any moment. I just don't know how to do that.
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#24 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to be embarrassed of my own home now as an adult.
I know what you mean! And on top of that, I have fantasies about having the kind of home where my kids can bring friends home after school with five minutes notice and I don't mind one bit. ;-)

One thing we've done at some points is made one day a week the night we have someone over for dinner. It helps us socially, since it's hard to get out with friends when you have young kids, and it gives us at least one night a week where I make a nice dinner and we get the place picked up. ;-) Now that we have a great dining room, it's even better to get to use it for real!

But alas, we let this lapse a bit. We've had one family over since DS2 was born. We need to start up again!
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#25 of 45 Old 05-27-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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DH is taking the kids for 6 days starting Thurs. night. I hope I can SERIOUSLY declutter and get out from under my mess. I hate it.

I was 18 and in college with my own space and learning a routine to take care of it when my mother was murdered. It rocked my world and I fear "stunted" my growth in some areas - namely cleaning and education.

I want a neat orderly home that *functions*!!! I hate being late because someone couldn't find their shoes (or whatever).
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#26 of 45 Old 05-28-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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I try. I really, really try. Nobody would know it looking at my house, though.
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#27 of 45 Old 05-28-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Kabes DH is taking the kids for 6 days starting Thurs. night. I hope I can SERIOUSLY declutter and get out from under my mess. I hate it.

I was 18 and in college with my own space and learning a routine to take care of it when my mother was murdered. It rocked my world and I fear "stunted" my growth in some areas - namely cleaning and education.

I want a neat orderly home that *functions*!!! I hate being late because someone couldn't find their shoes (or whatever).
Yesterday 12:34 PM
OMG how awful for you.
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#28 of 45 Old 05-29-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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My Mom is a good housekeeper. I am not. It's not because I can't do it but I'm just such a perfectionist & can never have things clean enough so I tend to just give up.
I didn't finish reading yet, but had to say this is me. If I can't get it done perfect... most of the time I don't bother. I'm trying to let go of this. I think it has to do with cleaning up... thinking I did a pretty darn good job and Mom coming home and picking the one thing not done and overlooking everything else.
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#29 of 45 Old 05-29-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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We're terrible housekeepers too. Of the 100% that I'd like to get done, I do about 30% and DH does about 15%.

I get stuck on the fact that "I do twice as much as he does!" but in reality, most of the mess is mine anyway. You know those shows "Clean House" or "Clean Sweep"? Yeah - that's us.

I too, feel really ashamed when I read others' posts about how they "only" have a chance to mop once a week, or how they're still trying to figure out the best way to dust. (DUST??)

Even when we order pizza, I try to meet them in the driveway so they don't see the inside of my house.
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#30 of 45 Old 05-29-2008, 11:21 PM
 
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I try. I really, really try. Nobody would know it looking at my house, though.

^That's me, too.

Kabes.
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