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#1 of 59 Old 06-02-2009, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As I was loading the dishwasher tonight it occurred to (not for the first time) that the simple act of unloading/re-loading/running the dishwasher probably does more for the cleanliness and appearance of my kitchen than anything else. In fact I often run it after dinner even if it isn't full, because if I wait unitl it's full, there's usually overflow that ends up having to wait in the kitchen sink. For some reason if that happens, the whole kitchen starts going downhill. (I know this is an energy and water waster , trust me I am very frugal and green in most other ways!)

One other thing that makes a big difference in my homekeeping is trying to do at least one or two loads of laundry a day (washed, dried and put away) no matter what. It really helps keep it from piling up.

I know some people swear by cleaning their kitchen sink (ala Flylady) or making the bed everyday.

What are the one or two thing you do that you feel the most important to keeping things running smoothly? I'd love to see other's ideas!
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#2 of 59 Old 06-02-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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what a great question...i'll have to think about that.

i guess i'd say dishes too...or...sweeping the floor? i'm not sure.
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#3 of 59 Old 06-02-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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Dishes, but more specifically, getting the dishes, leftover food, etc. cleared off the kitchen counter. If I come downstairs to a clear kitchen counter in the morning, I feel much better about the state of the house...and it doesn't even matter how bad the rest of it is.

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#4 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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cleared off kitchen table. no clutter on it.
bed made every morning.
toys picked up in DD's room (this doesn't always happen though) so you can walk through it without tripping on anything.

ps: i like running the dishwasher after dinner, so it's a "fresh start" in the morning *and* i have all of my cooking pots and pans back in case i need them to cook in the morning. i run it even if it's not full. there's wasting energy, and then there's preserving *my* energy, which is an even more important commodity around here, at least lately... is my rationale.

i also do laundry most days. although i'm not as good about putting it away. it always gets folded while still hot out of the dryer. i hate hate "cold" "wrinkled" laundry.

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#5 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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Definitely putting laundry away as soon as it's clean...otherwise I end up with clean piles of laundry all over the house....
getting dirty laundry to the laundry room at the end of every day...
picking up all the things off the floors at the end of the day...
staying off MDC/online...then I can actually get things done

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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#6 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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I am with you on the dishwasher. When you open my front door, you walk right into my living room/kitchen/dining room, and my kitchen feels like the first thing I see. If there are any dishes or clutter in the kitchen, it makes the whole house seem messy.

I vote for the dishes. I run the dishwasher daily, even if it isn't quite full to the brim. Four people in our family with three home-cooked meals per day typically equals enough dishes to run a load, though!!

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#7 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. I do a pretty good job staying on top of it but it still piles up. Just from where I am sitting at the dining table, I can see a book on an occasional table, 3 magazines and some print outs of home listings on my credenza, the full box of weekly mail/paperwork and the basket of bills on the shelf by the front door. I will probably address all of these in a 10 min quick clean before I leave the house. Coming home this afternoon to a house that doesn't have piles of paper around will be a wonderful thing.

I'm a morning person.  We actually do exist.
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#8 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Hmmm, I think I would have to say dishes IS a big one-if I let them sit for longer than 20 minutes in the sink, I swear they start multiplying on their own...like gremlins?!?!

My other big one is making laps around the house and picking up any stray toys, books, all of dh's things he leaves everywhere...this can make all the difference from making my house look clean vs. trashed.
I mop/sweep/dust/make beds constantly but it doesn't matter how "clean" my house actually is if there is junk all over.
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#9 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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Collecting up the art supplies and cleaning off the dirty side of the sink (cloths for washing and dishes that needed rinsing and loading in the dishwasher)
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#10 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b&c'smama View Post
As I was loading the dishwasher tonight it occurred to (not for the first time) that the simple act of unloading/re-loading/running the dishwasher probably does more for the cleanliness and appearance of my kitchen than anything else. In fact I often run it after dinner even if it isn't full, because if I wait unitl it's full, there's usually overflow that ends up having to wait in the kitchen sink. For some reason if that happens, the whole kitchen starts going downhill. (I know this is an energy and water waster , trust me I am very frugal and green in most other ways!)

One other thing that makes a big difference in my homekeeping is trying to do at least one or two loads of laundry a day (washed, dried and put away) no matter what. It really helps keep it from piling up.

I know some people swear by cleaning their kitchen sink (ala Flylady) or making the bed everyday.

What are the one or two thing you do that you feel the most important to keeping things running smoothly? I'd love to see other's ideas!

I can really relate to both of these examples.

It was only recently that I became "ok" with running a less than packed full dishwasher. It really makes a difference. I am also much more likely to unload last night's dinner dishes before I leave for work when I know it is an easy unload.

Laundry is the monkey on my back. We wear stuff 2 and 3 times all the time and reuse our towels and it still feels like I can never get ahead of it.

Doing one or two loads a day is the only way to keep it under control.

Related - keeping the closets and drawers decluttered makes it so much easier to motivate myself to empty the clean laundry baskets.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#11 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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I think there are a few things, dishes are definitely one of them. If the dishes don't get done one night, then forget it -- it's all downhill and I'm trying to catch up for days. Especially pots and/or pans that get used.

Mail - organizing and keeping what's important and recycling the rest. If it starts to pile up, the pile just keeps getting moved and soon we are wading through papers.

Laundry - if it doesn't get folded and put away, then it doesn't get folded and put away for the week, it seems.

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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#12 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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Dishes definitely. Its usually where I start my weekly cleaning and its the first thing I do when I get home after work.
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#13 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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The dishwasher is a big one here too. Most days, I have three full loads to run and if I let it get behind, the kitchen looks scary.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#14 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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apparently a big one for me (because i just did it and felt fabulous) is making the beds. which i almost NEVER do. LOL but i think i will start doing it every day because it's so darn easy and makes me feel great!!!
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#15 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IncaMama View Post
apparently a big one for me (because i just did it and felt fabulous) is making the beds. which i almost NEVER do. LOL but i think i will start doing it every day because it's so darn easy and makes me feel great!!!


I was just thinking of adding making beds to the kids morning routine. I know it makes a big difference for me, so I am hopeful that it will make difference for them and at the very least even a kinda messy room looks better with a made bed.

Amanda
Mommy to Alonzo (11), Jacob (9), : Lucas (8) & Trinity (almost 2!!)
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#16 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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Absolutely, positively, having a meal plan and having everything I need to make it! Without that I get stuck on what's for breakfast, oh my gosh what are we going to eat for lunch, ack, dinner!!, what am I going to make for dinner and I can't get anything else done because I have to figure out what I'm going to make. If I know what's for b/l/d then my day is set, it gets made almost by itself it feels like sometimes because I don't have to think about it, just do it, and we are well fed and happy and then everything else just falls into place. There's nothing that will tear up my kitchen faster than struggling to figure out what to make at the last minute, and there is nothing that will leave me less motivated to clean up the kitchen than an anxious belly and there is no better excuse to give myself to procrastinate getting anything else done around the house than I have to figure out our meals first! When my house is spic and span it's pretty much a guarantee you will find a complete meal plan for the month posted somewhere! If it's chaos you will hear the cachophony of kiddums calling out, "mom, what's for dinner... I'm huuungreeee!"
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#17 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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Making the beds, definitely. It makes a huge difference. I make mine every morning and am trying to get the kids to make theirs. I'll make their bottom bunk but I am NOT climbing up to do the top!
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#18 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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No visible dishes, definitely. Unfortunately I don't have a dishwasher at the moment so I can't "hide" them in the dishwasher like I used to. I can't stand dirty dishes in the sink. Right now it has to be the "rinse and stack" protocol.

Oh and clean counters but I guess that's part of the same thing.

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#19 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Washing the dishes and putting them away. If I miss a day they start to multipy in my sink. Keeping on top of laundry is another one.

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#20 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Absolutely, positively, having a meal plan and having everything I need to make it! Without that I get stuck on what's for breakfast, oh my gosh what are we going to eat for lunch, ack, dinner!!
Very True!I can totally relate to this!

I used to be much better at this and have gotten out of the habit. I think I will try starting next week to make up a week's worth of summer menus. My goal has always been to make 3-4 weeks worth of "master menus" for each season - with a couple of days left empty for leftovers, new recipes... whatever. Then I would just rotate the menus throughout the season.

Even if my house is messy, I feel better about myself and the job I'm doing as a mom if everyone is well-fed!
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#21 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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Keeping the entry room clean. I feel like if it's clean I can relax some because if someone stops by at least the entry is good

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#22 of 59 Old 06-03-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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By far having a clean kitchen is my thing. When DH and I first got married we lived with a couple of friends from college...men. The kitchen would get HORRIBLE because no one cleaned it. (I never used it and was never home because of rehearsals so I didn't have time) I actually sat and cried on the kitchen floor once because it was overwhelming after a long week. DH and one of the guys cleaned it totally spotless one night and I was elated...

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#23 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 01:50 AM
 
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-Kitchen: Agreed! No Dishes and a clear dining room table is heaven

-Bedroom: Agreed! Made beds make a huge difference in how the room looks (my DH does not agree but his parents still don't make their beds!)

-Paperwork: Agreed! This is now on my to do list is to get rid of as much paper as possible. No more stashing!

I'd like to add empty trash/recycling. I hate to see waste baskets and recycle baskets full. We usually have a lot more recycle than trash and I feel like the paper/plastic takes over every room we have it in.

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#24 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Sweeping or vacuuming, for sure. I have seven cats, soo... heh.
The dishes are a big one too.
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#25 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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Dishes, but more specifically, getting the dishes, leftover food, etc. cleared off the kitchen counter. If I come downstairs to a clear kitchen counter in the morning, I feel much better about the state of the house...and it doesn't even matter how bad the rest of it is.

Ditto!!

I think it may be a 3 way tie for me, kitchen, clean floors and laundry kept up.

If I can keep those things under control I feel great!

Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.

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#26 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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1. My pantry being tidy, especially my spice rack being alphabetized.
(This sounds weird, but we live in a mostly unremodeled 150 year old house, and have a bizarre, counterless, cabinetless kitchen, so the pantry is where we keep all the food. Who wants to eat food out of a gross room? Also, you would think that you'd only have to alphabetize a spice rack once, but DD-age 3- helps "reorganize" a lot.)

2. Doing the morning routine- opening shades, making beds, giving the bathroom mirror, sink, and toilet a wipedown, and emptying the hampers. This takes under 10 minutes and is invaluble. If I don't do it, I feel like I'm chasing my tail all day.

3. Keeping the surfaces on the main floor of our house (including floors) clean.

I'm the first to admit, it's weird that dishes aren't on my list. Maybe because we don't have a dishwasher? Maybe because we are dish minimalists? IDK. But if the kitchen is clean (including an empty dish drainer) except for a dishpan full of hot, soapy water and rinsed dishes, I can live with that.

Also, about laundry- I rarely skip a day, and still struggle to keep up. What keeps me more on task is maintaining our dressers and closets, so it's not quite as much of a chore to put clean clothes away- that's where it's toughest for me. (Our laundry is in the basement, and when we remodel, I swear, I'm putting in a dumbwaiter.) I have been known to clean out closets instead of doing laundry, and while that strikes some people- ahem, my mom- as backward, it works for me. Speaking of, my dining room table is completely covered with a small mountain of clean, unfolded clothes... I need to get to work.

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#27 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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For me, the foyer. I like feeling like I'm not afraid to open the door to neighbors. I like the foyer swept and the entry table clean and maybe a vase of flowers there.

My kids are older at this point so I generally have help on the dishes and laundry.
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#28 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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I like a neat and orderly home!!! Each room has one "thing" that makes me feel good about it and then the whole house seems nice enough.

Bedrooms - Made beds
Bathrooms - Shower curtains hanging neatly (even in front of shower doors)...I like them to completely cover the opening.
Kitchen - Dishes
Foyer - CLEAR! (One pair of shoes each is okay with me, as long as they are in their respective "spots"...)
Living room - Sofa cushions neatly arranged
Family office - hmmm... I guess this room doesn't really have a "thing", but then again this room is rarely in terrific shape. LOL Perhaps I need to find a "thing".
Project room - Clear floor
Powder room/laundry room (behind one door) - Clear surfaces

General - laundry every day (at least noticing it and doing something when there is something) and paperwork weekly (this was a surprise thing for me and it does AMAZING things for my stress level)

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#29 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for great ideas!
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#30 of 59 Old 06-04-2009, 11:22 PM
 
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On day to day stuff, definitely having clear kitchen counters (one side of the double sink can be piled with dishes and I can still make dinner) and toys picked up off the floor. Then there's the "quick! guests coming" list: sweeping, beds made, clean laundry shaken out/folded and basketed, dishes in dishwasher, bathroom fast wipe, enough laundry in washer/dryer that it isn't on the bathroom floor (tiny hamper), kitchen table cleaned.

On a deeper level though, when stuff keeps collecting somewhere, I know it's a sign that there's stuck flow somewhere. IE-I should NOT be on MDC, I should be putting away the old homeschool materials from last year so the new ones have a home. Instead of stuffing them in on top of the old stuff or leaving them sitting around on a couple of the "flat surfaces" like on top of the washer-dryer. (That's where they happen to be piled today, with some strewn to DDs art table and my desk area. )

Pardon me, I'll be back tomorrow.

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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