anyone keeping their house clean without flylady? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-13-2004, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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No offence to those of you who swear by flylady - I think it's great. She just doesn't work for me, I've tried and maybe I am just too rebellious or something, but I don't like someone else telling me what needs to be done or when I should do it. I am so stubborn

Even so, my house is cleaner now than it ever has been - that with hs'ing 3 kids and caring for my mom who has Alzheimers. Sometimes I think all of that responsibility is WHY I can keep the house clean - it is sanity for me!

What do you do? What works for you? What are your tricks and secrets to keeping cleanliness and order? How much help do you get from your family? What are your standards?
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#2 of 16 Old 02-13-2004, 11:15 AM
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I'd say my house is pretty presentable much of the time and I don't use flylady. But I'm not homeschooling three children, instead, three of my children are at school all day and only the youngest is home with me.

Anyway, I've developed a daily routine that keeps things in order.

Every day, I start at the top of the house and work down. Some days, I have very little time, so on those days, I quickly make the beds, pick up all clothes lying on the floor, start a load of laundry, then get downstairs and pick up general clutter and take care of all dirty dishes. That's it for the busy days.

About 2 or 3 times a week, I do this same routine, only more thoroughly: bring a broom upstairs with me and sweep all floors, sweep my way down the stairs. Go through each bedroom and pick up all the trillions of bits of paper that accumulate and put them in the recycling. Wipe down bathroom fixtures. If time allows, scour tubs and toilets, wash bathroom floors. (I don't do all that 3 times a week!)

Sweep all downstairs floors, quickly damp-wash kitchen floor, pick up and put away anything that is lying around. Vaccuum rug in living room and play room.

Ways to make this easy: be efficient! If you know you're going to head upstairs, quickly grab things that belong up there and take them with you. Same for when you're heading down stairs. Make use of wasted time: Waiting for water to boil? Wipe off the kitchen windowsill. Waiting for a page to download? Dust off the desktop. Waiting for the microwave to finish cooking something? Load the dishwasher or sweep the floor.
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#3 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 07:23 PM
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I'm also a cleanliness work-in-progress. I love the place clean, but was having trouble getting & keeping it there.

I tried flylady, and couldn't stand it (no offense to those who love it) - she seemed to focus on things that matter little to me in the greater scheme of things (shining sinks? when there's dishes to do/laundry/bathroom needing cleaning? huh? : ) Plus that I work outside the home 50-60 hours a week, and would come home to emails saying things like "It's 10:30, do you know how your hotspots are?: - Umm, at 10:30 this morning I was hip-deep in patients and on the phone trying to track down bone scan results - not too concerned about my hotspots, thanks! Especially as it's now 8:15pm as I'm reading this! ) My last "thing" with flylady was the whole must-have-shoes-on thing - I'd be barefoot 24x7 if it weren't February & I didn't work in a hospital! No way am I wearing dirty yucky shoes at home!Just a frustrated hippie in a technological world, I guess!

So, what works for me: I've gotten into a routine of always doing x then y then z - kinda pavlovian or something. So that cleaning is part of the daily necessary routine. Get dressed, make bed, have breakfast, tidy bathroom, whatever. Little things, that take 1-2 minutes, are easier to work into my schedule than big 30 minute projects, so I divide my big projects into smaller pieces. I don't set out to clean the bathroom, I divide it into washing the tub, washing the sink, sweeping the floor, etc. Works for me!

My other favorite tip is to always keep the dishwasher dirty. Easier said than done - it's easy to put off emptying the thing - but if it's dirty dishes already, it's easy to add the odd spoon, glass, what-have-you where otherwise they'd sit staring at me in the sink.

OK, enough rambling from me. I'm interested in tips from others - always trying to make the whole entropy-fighting process a little easier!

crafty mama to Chloe and Emma (10/08) and Piper
emergency medicine PA and single mother by choice
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#4 of 16 Old 02-14-2004, 08:44 PM
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I have never really looked into flylady, but I do have a system.

The kitchen is cleaned and dishes are always done every night before bed, this is my sanity so I make it a priority

I do laundry on Mondays and Fridays

We always put things back where we found them, no exceptions, this is how my family did it when I was a kid and its a major habit.

Vaccuum, mop and dust once a week. Touch up vaccuumings everyday.

Recycling is picked once a week.

Bathroom is cleaned daily while dd has a bath.

I have a homebased business and a very active 2 year so keeping the house organized is a priority since I never know when a customer is going to drop by. DD has a table in the living room with her things on it and a bookshelf in the living room as well so she pretty much leaves our stuff alone. I am constantly tidying and putting things away but I like to wake up to order and come home to a clean house.

Once a month I will tidy DD's dresser and pull out clothes no longer suitable, same goes with mine and dh's clothes too. We consign almost everything and never buy new so we are constantly recycling our clothes so they stay organized because of this.

As far as meal prep on Sundays I make several dishes for the week and freeze, this greatly helps with cleanup throughout the week.

Hope this helps
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#5 of 16 Old 02-16-2004, 01:59 PM
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I'm 36 y/o and I just figured out how to clean the bathroom!
What a goof...

My biggest tip came from Real Simple magazine, using those 'cleaning wipes'.
I have been avoiding them, thinking they are just adding waste to the environment, even the 'environmentally safe' ones; garbage is garbage, you know?
But then, omg, my house actually is cleaner! So easy to wipe down the mirror in bathroom, touch up on faucets, swipe over door handle and light switch cover (have I ever done that before??).
Quick scrub down of tub and toilet, and I'm done. Occasionally I sweep and mop the floor, once a week or so.

Our house is one story, so everthing is easy access, and also so easy to trip over if not put away. Ds knows that we straighten up the living room and his room everynight (ds is 4 1/2), and I really try to do the dishes everynight.
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#6 of 16 Old 02-18-2004, 02:50 PM
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Our house is fairly usually clean. I have the help of the kids' dad and my 14 year old son. eveyday ds vacuums and i mop the kitchen about every other day. i work on average only about 25 hours a week so that helps. i keep dish washing liquid in the bathroom and swish it in the toilet everyday.i do laundry everyother day. i am constantly washing dishes and ds dries. dd is responsible for putting her own toys away. i'm always throwing away things that are useless, like a tops to shampoo bottles.

you guys get it.
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#7 of 16 Old 02-18-2004, 03:17 PM
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Flylady didn't work for me either. The whole shoes thing just annoyed me. Anyway, what did work was making up a schedule and posting it on the fridge. I don't get bummed out if I miss soumething, but it is nice to have a general weekly routine.

Right now dh and I do a major cleaning on Sunday. (I was going to do it and have him take the babe out, but ds just wasn't having it.) With him helping me it takes us about 2 hours to really clean everything and do a super cleaning in one room. (We have a small house.) Then half-way through the week I do a mini-cleaning of dusting and vacuuming the main floor. Other days have smaller chores like gathering trash or washing diapers. And in general, I pick up before we go to bed at night so we don't wake up to a mess.

I've been doing this for about 2 months now and it's working for us. The biggest change has probably been my attitude. I've decided to not hate it like before and just do it. It makes it go a lot faster and hopefully ds will learn that cleaning is not a chore.
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#8 of 16 Old 02-18-2004, 09:45 PM
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I don't have too much trouble keeping it clean, and never even looked into flylady. I clean the kitchen after each meal, do wash every other day (2 loads usually), clean the bathrooms about once a week/ 10 days or whenever it starts to look funky, and pick up the whole house once or twice a day, takes about 10 minutes. Every month or so i'll "dust" with a damp cloth. Oh and vaccum every other day or so. I do have a hard time keeping the toys under control though, seems I'm always tripping over something. I tried to incorperate a rule that toys had to sta in their rooms, but that worked for about 10 seconds!

Now if only i could tackle my desk....

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#9 of 16 Old 02-19-2004, 12:34 AM
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My house is not always neat, but it's neat enough.

My one piece of advice is Get Rid of Stuff! We always have a bag of stuff to be taken to the thrift store - as quickly as we drop it off, we fill another one. I don't know where "stuff" comes from, but it's endless. If I didn't get rid of it constantly, I'd have to dust/tidy/organize/move it. My house feels much bigger, cleaner and freer with less stuff in it.
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#10 of 16 Old 02-19-2004, 03:48 AM
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I also have 3 kids--and it is tough because they make their messes all the time. But I am living proof that you can be a laid back Mama (with a 3 year old who is obsessed with puzzles--she does at least 10 a day! ) and still have a clean house.

I just don't let myself off the hook. I unload the dishwasher first thing every morning as I make their breakfasts (I can do it so fast now!) and then take a few more minutes to put their dirty dishes in. I clean up the kitchen after every meal--I like having a clean kitchen to cook in.

If I know I have 10 minutes before I have to go somewhere, I rush around and clean as much as I can before I go--I like coming home to a nice house. After dinner I clean it--I would never even consider going to bed without doing the dishes.

It takes so little time to actually clean a bathroom. Honestly--have you ever timed it? I can get a bathroom really clean (clean toilet, clean tub/shower, clean sink, clean mirror and then a quick mop of the floor) in about 10 minutes. I clean the bathrooms about twice a week, with little spot clean ups everyday.

I vaccuum the livingroom almost everyday after dinner. I mop the floors (sweep first) once a week.

The actual time it takes to clean a house is really not that much--it is just staying on top of it and "just doing it". Don't think about it--rush around and do it and it will be done.

The kids rooms are very organized (big bins that slide under the beds with their little things in there like legos and Barbies) and that helps--because they can clean themselves a good deal of the time.

I really see my cleaning as part of my cardio workout each week--it is all about going very fast while I do it.
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#11 of 16 Old 02-21-2004, 05:20 AM
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Who or what is flylady?

My home is clean and always has been.

"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get - eczema, allergies, diabetes, petit/gran mal seizures, ADEM, SPD, GBS, TPI, POTS, JRA, RA, JPA, CFS, SLE, fibromyalgia, encephalitis, neurological damage, coma, or death."

~paraphrased from "Forrest Gump"~

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#12 of 16 Old 02-21-2004, 03:23 PM
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applejuice - flylady is on the web, I think ? anyway google will pull it up.

I read through some stuff and gleaned ideas but never subscribed as I think the emails would drive me crazy while working. I WAH but do medical transcription and can't hop up to do something and thinking about it would drive me insane.

I did get one thing out of it, a big for me - she says go through a room as quickly as possible and have three boxes, Put Away, Throw Away and Give Away. Clutter is a big deal at our house - I'm a horrible packrat - and I've been keeping that "in mind" and it's really helped me.

I've enjoyed reading all the posts and have learned a lot!

For those of you with dishwashers (love that keep the dishwasher dirty, thing!!) what do you use in the dishwasher as cleaner? I want to go more natural but wasn't sure how.
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#13 of 16 Old 02-23-2004, 12:38 AM
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Whenever I'm going from one room in our apartment to another, I make it a point to find one or more items that don't belong in the room I'm leaving, and move them to their proper place. It doesn't sound like much, but in the course of the day it really adds up. I started doing this because I got hung up on finding a large slot of free time to tackle cleaning, and it just never happened. This way, even when I'm home with both kids, I can still keep things tidy and feel like I'm making headway.

Beth, Mom to Benji and Maggie
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#14 of 16 Old 02-23-2004, 03:33 PM
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I'm flylady's worst nightmare. I can't keep a clean house... we are clutter fiends.

We hire The Maids to do the dirty work every 2 weeks. I'm a little embarrassed by it, but LOVE it just the same.
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#15 of 16 Old 02-23-2004, 03:51 PM
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Have you read "Nickel and Dimed"? It might change your mind about using The Maids, both from a cleanliness standpoint and because if the way the employess are treated.

I've hired indivduals I've known to clean for me at times, and they did a far better job and made more $ than if I'd hired a service. I've also cleaned for people, when I needed cash. You might try asking around...


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#16 of 16 Old 02-23-2004, 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by Dar
[B]Have you read "Nickel and Dimed"? It might change your mind about using The Maids, both from a cleanliness standpoint and because if the way the employess are treated.
Yes, I did read that, and understand how underpaid, etc they are. I asked the girls who clean what they thought (only one had even heard of the book), and they said that since they are in college, the schedule/pay works for them. They like not working nights/weekends (like their friends who wait tables or babysit/nanny). They have roommates, like many college kids, and fare well enough on the pay. They said they are all good friends who like 'hanging out together' since they arrive in the same company car with dunkin donuts coffee in hand, and like to spend the day with each other. I didn't feel bad at all after having talked to them about it. No one forces them to work there.

I've hired indivduals I've known to clean for me at times, and they did a far better job and made more $ than if I'd hired a service. I've also cleaned for people, when I needed cash. You might try asking around...]
I've tried this too. It was much less expensive than The Maids, but each woman I hired came with lots of baggage, and none did a particularly good job. One never showed when scheduled or would cancel at the last minute... a pain for a sahm with a toddler. Another got sloppier and sloppier each week. Right before thanksgiving when I really needed the help, I got 'dumped' because that particular cleaning lady got a commercial job that took too much of her time. I got really tired of it and decided to go corporate, and I called this franchise. And they do a fantastic job!
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