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Old 02-08-2009, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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with out feeling like their mother? Some of us learned to clean as children and some parents don't teach their children to clean for whatever reason.

Anyway my roommate has never cleaned before except for sweeping the floor. Today I asked her to clean the bathroom and I showed her how to do it and she did a nice job. Then she swept the kitchen floor,but when I went in there it looked like it hadn't been swept at all. So I asked her to come out and finish sweeping it. I felt bad asking her to do it again,but it wasn't even remotely clean. I did tell her she did a nice job with the bathroom though and made a little joke about everyone who lives here sheds a lot of hair lol ......2 cats and girls with long hair!

I know her cleaning doesn't have to be perfect or the same way I do it,but it should be clean enough. She's great at doing her dishes and taking the garbage out after I get it ready for her,but she still has to figure out the actual cleaning stuff. How do you teach house hold chores and not sound like a nag?

Oh and we take turns to do the bathroom and kitchen. I always do my room and the living room and of course the litter box.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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I have been asking myself this question every since moving in with my DP

hope you get some good answers!

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Old 02-08-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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How do you teach house hold chores and not sound like a nag?
I do not think this is possible - especially since it is a roommate.

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Old 02-08-2009, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know! hahaha I really have to find a way not sound like I'm teaching to clean and not nagging. I'm a nanny so I really should know how to teach someone to clean,but with the little ones I think it's different.

When I asked her to clean she did it willingly all that and she understands it isn't a huge job,she just really doesn't know how to clean. For me that sounds unimaginable to not know how to clean as an adult,but it happens.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes! I think I saw something like that before on-line! I'm going to do a search now. I think they had step by step instructions on something like e-how or somewhere. I could send her a link. I just think teaching a child is easier
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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"Home Comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson is the best book on keeping house. Maybe a copy of that? It explains the how and why to everything!

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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I really enjoy Don Aslett's books. I remember my non-cleaning college roommate read one of his cleaning books, and got really inspired. A really good one is http://www.amazon.com/There-Life-Aft...4141649&sr=8-2

I agree that if she's unwilling, there's no way to do it without being a nag. But if you just left some "cleaning for dummies" books lying around, maybe it would help. Or wait, you could replace the bathroom reading material with them - that should work!

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Old 02-08-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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DP grew up with maids and nannies in Central America, so I partially can't blame her. On the other hand, it makes me crazy that she is totally fine surrounded by clutter. UGGGHH! I always joke around and tell her that I'm going to send her to Montessori school.

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Old 02-09-2009, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She seemed willing enough to clean the bathroom,but did ask me how often she had to clean it. lol It was the first time in 3 weeks that I asked her to clean anything. I showed her how and I even "started" the job for her by spraying the cleaner and doing the mirror and gave instructions. Then I went of to do my own laundry and she followed me to the kitchen and watched me.... I thought she was going to clean the bathroom right away so had to tell that's what I meant by asking her to do it now and showing her how to do it. Poor girl just seemed a little lost. I had to show her how to wet the tub a little and wet and wring out the cloth.

Is it nagging if I ask her to "finish" cleaning something or clean it again if it doesn't look clean though? When I asked her to sweep the kitchen floor again I felt bad,but it really didn't look like she'd done it. I actually went in later and did it a 3rd time.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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If she can't see dirt like you do, maybe you should work together to figure out where her strengths are and come up with a chore list that uses those.

Like, I cannot stand how my dh folds clothes, but he's willing to scoop kitty litter. So I fold all the clothes and he does the litter.


As for things where even if you're good at it you don't necessarily want to do it all the time, break the task down into smaller jobs. E.g. wipe down the porcelain surfaces. Scrub the floor. etc. Also, it sounds like your roomie, like many people, prefers to do cleaning chores in company. So if you have a large enough bathroom, maybe each do half the tasks in the room? Or if you can't work that way for whatever reason, get some music going for both of you.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:12 AM
 
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I would suggest that you buy Flylady's Sink Reflections book, and work on learning and doing the routines together. I think the book might help you to reduce the time that you spend on cleaning (and perhaps help you with your perfectionism ). And the book might help your roommate to develop routines that become second nature to her. I really wish that I had developed those habits before having kids -- I was always pretty clean and tidy, but my style depended on cleaning and tidying sessions rather than the daily habits of always tidying up after myself and doing a little bit here and there. For example, you never really have to deep-clean the tub and tiles if you keep a brush and cleanser right there beside your shampoo and soap and, while you're having your shower, do a quick scrub of part of the tile or tub (rotating areas). So much nicer that letting it get all grotty then having roll up the sleeves and contort yourself into awkward positions to get it clean.

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Old 02-09-2009, 03:39 AM
 
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This is a tough one.

I think a PP is onto something about not seeing dirt.

I don't see a lot of dirt on bare floors, clutter on the desk, laundry on the bathroom floor or even the horrible mess that builds up in the kitchen counter by the end of the day. I do see the choking hazards on the living room floor, the greasy ring around the kitchen sink after DH does dishes, trash on the floorboards of the car and (this is a weird one to me) the poop under my baby's boy bits when changing a poopy diaper.

It's not like we don't see the stuff (except for maybe the poop) it's just that we don't pay attention to it.

Maybe you guys need to have a cup of coffee and discuss expectations for cleanliness. You could lay out that hair in the tub and crumbs on the floor (or what ever) make you nuts and your roommate could lay out her issues. Then together make a plan for how to meet both of your needs, like your cleaning schedule. If you feel comfortable bringing it up you could mention, and even have on hand, "a great resource that helped you learn how to keep up with the house work" aka a how to clean book.

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Old 02-09-2009, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Music is good to clean with! That's how I like to clean......and um naked! I like to clean in very little clothing,but not sure if my roommate would like that. lol

We can not both fit in the bathroom though at the same time. LOL My bathroom is teeny tiny.

We have to sit down tonight and talk about a few things that are on my mind so I can add cleaning to the list and ask her what she likes to clean best. I kinda think she will say nothing since she has always had someone clean after her and she is 23. She spent 3 months in the Philepenes (ooops spelled that so wrong) to learn English and the hotel she was at did everything for her,even laundry and home her mother did everything. So here it's very different for her.

I do like Fly Lady for myself to learn the routines and short cuts. I also learned to let go a little and not be so perfect in the way I clean or at least not expect others to clean the same way I do. I know not everyone sees the same detail as I will.

Thanks for all the great advice
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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I love to read, especially to learn how to do things. But personally, when I picked up a book with instructions on how to clean - well, they lost me right away.

My friend has a DH who was willing to clean but didn't know how. She taught him how and he does a great job.

I guess one thing you could do is simply to ask her, hey, are you interested in learning how to clean? Maybe sell it a little, say how it's a skill that will help her for a lifetime. And if she is, just give her the seminar, one room a weekend for example. "Look, do you see how dusty it gets under the toilet? You have to wipe that off with a cloth." Stuff like that.

If she says she's willing, then fine, go for it. If she balks, then you know to let it go or at least not come on so strong. If she's a terrible cleaner maybe you can specify other chores for her - you said she's good at dishes; that's a pretty big job all by itself. She could take out the trash, etc. And then you can take on the cleaning (except for her bedroom, naturally) and do it to your standards.

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Old 02-09-2009, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah,I think I may end up dividing the chores according to her ability. lol I hate to take out the trash b/c I like to stay warm and cozy in my jammies and it should be taken out early in the am and that's when she leaves. So if I get it ready the night before and leave for her in the hall it's perfect for us both. Besides I also do my cat litter the night before garbage day,and that really should be my job since they are my cats.

For some of the daily stuff is it bad to post little reminder notes? Like "please remember to wipe the counter after making food" and stuff like that.

It seems a little passive aggressive to me,but maybe if I let her know I'll be posting them to help us both it won't seem that way?

I've told her that certain things need to be done,like wipe the stove and counters after we spill and cook and she never does it. Not really sure why not. Last night she got some curry on my white counter and I had to ask her to clean it before it stained. I explained that if I ruined the counter I'd have to replace it. She seemed shocked about that.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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I have to ask - what kind of counter do you have that curry would ruin it?

Is it marble?

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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Old 02-09-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daytripper75 View Post
"Home Comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson is the best book on keeping house. Maybe a copy of that? It explains the how and why to everything!
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to ask - what kind of counter do you have that curry would ruin it?

Is it marble?
A cheap white one. It would stain. Maybe bleach would get the stain out though? I don't know,but I rent so really try hard not to stain or damage things if I can help it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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A cheap white one. It would stain. Maybe bleach would get the stain out though? I don't know,but I rent so really try hard not to stain or damage things if I can help it.
Bleach would.

But, yeah, wiping down is important. For me to wipe things down it helps to have designated wiping cloths and a place near the kitchen to toss them after I use them. (NB: put basket under pantry again)
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:42 AM
 
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I grew up not really knowing how to clean. My mom was messy and I rarely had to do chores. When I did, it wasn't regularly...spring cleaning sort of stuff. My cleaning jobs would probably have looked like your roommate's. I was not in the habit of cleaning up automatically, and I'm still not. I have to really pay attention, or I'll leave stuff everywhere and not even notice until it's bad.

Maybe you could start out with a conversation about the differences with how you two grew up. I took me until I was in my 20's to realize there was something wrong with me! Now that I have my own family, I'm really trying not do this to my own kids. Sometimes when I'm at a friend's house, I'll see them clean something and I'll realize, "OH, that's what I should have been doing." Or, "I'm supposed to clean THAT?" Dumb, I know. Books about cleaning helped me lots. If she's a reader, I think that could be a good way to go.
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