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#1 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine is commercial cleaning. I turn the TV on and sit on my butt when the show's on. I surf the internet, read, crochet, whatever. Then on the commercials, I get up and clean something. My rule is that I have to keep cleaning the whole time the commercial break is on. You can get a surprising amount done in those few minutes. I don't get frustrated and overwhelmed because it's only a few minutes, then I get to sit down. And since I have to keep going until the show is back on, after I finish something, instead of quitting, I have to find something else to do to finish the commercial break or for the next one. It really helps couch potatoes like me get going. I use the same trick for working out.

What is your #1 best housework tip/trick/method?

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#2 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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Mine is a small thing, but I have a policy of never leaving a room without doing something to improve it. Whether that is picking up something that doesn't belong or straightening the couch throws, I always try to do a little something each time I leave the room. I read this in a book once and even though I am a terrible housekeeper otherwise, this stuck with me.

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#3 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Elecampane View Post
Mine is a small thing, but I have a policy of never leaving a room without doing something to improve it. Whether that is picking up something that doesn't belong or straightening the couch throws, I always try to do a little something each time I leave the room. I read this in a book once and even though I am a terrible housekeeper otherwise, this stuck with me.
im like this..though i think its more OCD then anything else
really i saw your user name and had to peek in. i love elecampane we use it so much in my home.

 

 

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#4 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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im like this..though i think its more OCD then anything else
really i saw your user name and had to peek in. i love elecampane we use it so much in my home.
Do you grow it? I have had very little luck growing it in my garden. I'm hoping this year will be better!

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#5 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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Just do it.

My dh totally puts off picking up anything, because he'll "do it later." Drives me insane. If I walk into a room and see something that doesn't belong there, I put it away. It takes 2 seconds and it's done. And it saves cleaning up a bigger mess later.
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#6 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by minkajane View Post
Mine is commercial cleaning. I turn the TV on and sit on my butt when the show's on. I surf the internet, read, crochet, whatever. Then on the commercials, I get up and clean something. My rule is that I have to keep cleaning the whole time the commercial break is on. You can get a surprising amount done in those few minutes. I don't get frustrated and overwhelmed because it's only a few minutes, then I get to sit down. And since I have to keep going until the show is back on, after I finish something, instead of quitting, I have to find something else to do to finish the commercial break or for the next one. It really helps couch potatoes like me get going. I use the same trick for working out.

What is your #1 best housework tip/trick/method?
I used to do that!!! It was an awesome way to get things done while still doing something I wanted to do!

I don't do it now because I got rid of cable and watch very little TV these days. Still a great tip!

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#7 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 09:31 PM
 
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I made a priority list of cleaning. The rooms that are the easiest are at the top of my list. Every day I run the list through my head - once my bedroom is spotless, I move on to the bathroom. Since I start at the top of the list, there is usually very little to be done in each room and it only takes me a few minutes. I keep a white board with a list of other jobs to do that week, things I wouldn't normally do each day - like clean the fishtank or shampoo the rugs.

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#8 of 36 Old 12-17-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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NEVER leave stuff in the sink. Wash it immediately, or rinse it and put it in the dishwasher.

This goes along with never leave a cup, glass or plate around when it's empty.
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#9 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 08:55 AM
 
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Be mindful of each thing you do.

There is no need to rush through any chore or errand.

Slowly wash each dish in mindfulness, feeling the bowl and the feel of the water and bubbles and sponge. Breathe.

Mindfully and slowly wipe down a counter, and around the edges of the kitchen floor.

Being present in each moment allows you to fully enjoy and live life. Chores don't have to be a burden, but a happy and relaxing experience (especially with your dc).

A couple quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh that I love:

"Whatever the tasks, do them slowly and with ease, in mindfulness. Don't do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work."

"... Prepare a pot of tea to sit and drink in mindfulness. Allow yourself a good length of time to do this. Don't drink your tea like someone who gulps down a cup of coffee during a work break. Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves- slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life. Don't be attached to the future. Don't worry about things you have to do. Don't think about getting up or taking off to do anything. Don't think about "departing"."

 
"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."-Thich Nhat Hanh 
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#10 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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Something in my hands at all times. I rarely go from one room to another without picking things up and putting them back in the right place. This is not cleaning per say, but it's the only way my house stays picked up and neat while having small children in the home.

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#11 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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Put things away as soon as you are done using it. Everything has a place so put it there.

Unfortunately DH isn't as good about this as the kids and I are. He has a 3'x2'x2' pile of things on the floor in our room right now beside the back door and a pile on the chair in our room as well.
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#12 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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Mine would be to not leave things for later - go ahead and do it now. It will be much quicker to do it now than to leave it all for later. DH will leave his empty Diet Coke cans on the counter instead of throwing them into recycling right then. It drives me nuts.

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#13 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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I talk on the phone and clean- I barely realize I'm doing it and after I have to think about whether or not I did something!
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#14 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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: i need tips. i feel like i'm always running around trying to pick up after everyone and never really cleaning.

so i guess my tip is to declutter first!
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#15 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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I talk on the phone and clean- I barely realize I'm doing it and after I have to think about whether or not I did something!
I listen to podcasts. The time goes by so fast. I especially love Radio lab and the moth.

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#16 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by minkajane View Post
Mine is commercial cleaning. I turn the TV on and sit on my butt when the show's on. I surf the internet, read, crochet, whatever. Then on the commercials, I get up and clean something. My rule is that I have to keep cleaning the whole time the commercial break is on. You can get a surprising amount done in those few minutes.
My mom did this, too, and I learned it from her. It is amazing how much you can get done!

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Mine is a small thing, but I have a policy of never leaving a room without doing something to improve it.
This is a great idea. I'm going to incorporate it starting today.

My house is 2-story. I never go up or down the stairs emptyhanded. There's always something downstairs that needs to be upstairs (ex: pkg of toilet paper; placemats, napkins, and dishcloths for the laundry) and something upstairs that needs to be downstairs (ex: full trash can; empty coffee cups). No wasted trips!

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#17 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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I pop my kid(s) in the tub and clean the bathroom. My laundry is also in there so I fold a load or two while they play. Or if the laundry has buily up I take a couple loads and have my 3 yr old sort it for me into 4 piles (one for each of us). Then we fold and put away.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#18 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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Knowing how long things actually take helps me to just do them. Emptying the dishwasher takes less than 5 minutes. Loading a full load of dinner prep and dinner dishes takes 5-10 minutes with my child helper and five minutes alone. Taking a load of clothes from the dryer and putting kids' clothes on the kids' shelves and the grown up clothes in the bin to be folded later takes 5-10. Cleanin the fridge takes 15 minutes.

Taking the time to teach my kids how to do chores properly is probably my best housekeeping practice of all.



I love Danidama's post. My approach is a long way from hers but I do have an attitude of contentment about housekeeping. It's part of life and pleasure can be found in keeping order and making our surroundings beautiful.

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#19 of 36 Old 12-18-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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NEVER leave stuff in the sink. Wash it immediately, or rinse it and put it in the dishwasher.

This goes along with never leave a cup, glass or plate around when it's empty.
Yep! Do you do flylady? I'm so obsessed with my dry, shiny sink! haha I've yelled at poor DH a couple times for leaving water spots on the sink or putting a spoon in the sink and not just putting in the dishwasher immediately! lol

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#20 of 36 Old 12-19-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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thank you for this thread!

ParisApril- Put things away as soon as you are done using it. Everything has a place so put it there.


Dandimama-Be mindful of each thing you do.

If I did this I probably would have much less of a mess in the first place. I've been working on it today....being mindful of putting things away as soon as I'm done using them and I realized how I have a really bad habit of not putting stuff away...coffee cup, left on the table, ingredients, wrappers etc.


it's going to take mindfulness to change my habits



got some decluttering done in my kitchen thanks to this thread. I put away the blender, juicer and mini-food processer and after freeing up that space I felt energized and decluttered and organized some more.

I guess cleanliness attracts cleanliness as clutter is a magnet for clutter



I use google calendar and have a housecleaning one where I enter what i do so I can keep track of when the sheets have been changed, floors mopped etc.

(not related to cleaning but it's also great to keep track of what I've made for dinner or want to menu-plan , you can cut and paste links to recipes and look back to see what I've made before when i can't think of anything, I keep a seperate meal calendar)
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#21 of 36 Old 12-19-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Finish cleaning one room before you start the next.

I'm a terrible housekeeper- easily distracted and led off by the fairies. If I keep it firmly in mind that I'm going to finish the room I'm in before I start ANYTHING else I feel more like I accomplish something. To that end, if I pick up things in that one room that need to be put away elsewhere, I throw them all in an empty laundry basket and put them all away AFTER the room is tidied up, dusted and swept. Otherwise I walk into the next room to put something away and get pulled into a pile of clutter in that room and the next thing I know I've worked half the day away and don't look (or feel) as though I've actually accomplished anything because i've half way finished numerous jobs instead of completely finishing one job.
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#22 of 36 Old 12-19-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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After I finally got the house totally organized and deep cleaned when I quit work in Aug....( that took 2 weeks). I now DAILY (it only takes 30 minutes) wipe down the sinks and pass the toilet brush in the toilet, wipe down all counter tops in the kitchen, and dust mop the living room/ kitchen area. I do laundry every other day and put it all away as soon as it is dry. I clean the kitchen after every.single.meal. That way I don't ever get overwhelmed and it does not take much time and my house is always company ready. I make the kids put all the toys back in their playroom before bed too.

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#23 of 36 Old 12-19-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Never think you are "done" it is a constant cycle to keep it neat. You can't super clean every couple of weeks and not keep up in between. You will never feel like you are on top of things if you do.
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#24 of 36 Old 12-21-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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Cleaning on the phone is a big one for me. My Dh and switch off between bedtime for kids and doing the dinner dishes. So on my nights when I do the dishes and it's a big mess (after experimenting with a new Thai recipe, for example!) I call my sister and chat while I clean. I get them done without thinking about it and usually do a really good job.

Another thing I do - clean the shower while I shower. I'll get in there with a scrubby pad (naked, of course) and spray some cleaner and scrub away. Then I'll turn on the shower and shower while it rinses. I used to hate cleaning the shower because I'd get all wet and I couldn't reach a lot places without crawling in. (we have one of those showers with glass sliding doors, so it was particularly annoying to clean)

Just wanted to add - whenever I get overwhelmed with cleaning (when it feels never ending and I can't seem to keep up) I declutter. That is usually the cause. When my house is streamlined and decluttered it is SO much easier to keep clean.

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#25 of 36 Old 12-22-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Mine would be stick to a schedule. Every other day is my wash day. Dishes get done after each meal. Upstairs gets straitened, beds made, bathroom up there wiped down every morning. Floors get done every other day. Major clean up every two weeks. I know that all sounds anal but if i stray from it things get out of hand fast!

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#26 of 36 Old 12-22-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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Make your kids do it.





just kidding, but I have been trying to teach DS (23 months) to help with stuff around the house. He helps hand me clean dishes from the dishwasher, and helps pick up his toys before we go to bed at night. We're working on helping load the wet clothes into the dryer next. Someday he'll be able to do this all by himself, and I'll be able to sit on the couch with my feet up, sipping a Diet Coke and ordering him around! BWAHAHAHAA.

Um, I mean, um, what?

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#27 of 36 Old 12-22-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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Figure out when your times of feeling overwhelmed are in your daily/weekly/monthly schedules and plan a cleaning routine to pre-empt the overwhelming mess you usually experience.

For example, I have lots of month-end paperwork to do for my home business, and my housework goes to heck for a few days at the end of the month. So I do a big deep clean and declutter 5-7 days before the end of the month. That really helps.

Another example, I am on my own with the kids most evenings and have to do evening cleanup/bedtime on my own, which sucks. I figured out that if I start a kitchen cleanup at 3 pm, before the kids even come home from school, then my evenings are much happier.

So I have a "3 o'clock list" -- clean the table and counters, sweep the floor, empty the dishwasher (which I run after lunch), figure out dinner or prep "away" snacks if we are out that evening, etc. Usually little ones from my daycare wake up about this time and eat a snack while I'm tidying the kitchen. Having the 3 o'clock list and knowing I will be doing this stuff at 3 pm also lets me take a break while the little ones are napping after lunch, even if the kitchen is messy, because I know I have a plan to get to it.

I also have an "8 o'clock list" which includes things like feeding my kids a bedtime snack and reading stories to them, making sure toys are put away (by my kids), loading the dishwasher, safety checking the floors for small pieces (I have babies in my home daycare during the day) etc. That way, I can have all my kids in bed by 9 pm and have a couple of guilt-free hours to myself.
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#28 of 36 Old 12-23-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Make your kids do it.
My 10 year old is a huge help, even if it's just watching the 2yo so that I can clean. She's expected to help out, but I pay her if she goes above and beyond.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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#29 of 36 Old 12-23-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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A couple of things have helped me:
One keep your cleaning things together.I tried having a basket for everything and carrying it around but it didnt work so I have a set of cleaners (they are kept up high) in the back of the house and in the front of the house. I also keep washclothes, trash bags and anything I will need for that particular room near or in the room Ill use it for. That way when I clean I don't have to go to the kitchen 10092039 times and waste time, instead of 30 minutes to clean the bathroom it takes 10.
2) Make sure you end the day with an empty sink, an empty trash can and an empty washer/dryer. It doesnt stay empty long but you can go to bed without thinking of what wasn't done that day
3) At the end of the day think of everything you accomplished not what you didnt accomplish. For me, cleaning is much a mind game as a physical thing, I get discouraged thinking of what I didnt get done. Discouragement leads to me getting even less done the next day.
4) I write down three cleaning things I HAVE to get done that day and try to get them done. If I get them done I can move on to something else if not I dont worry about it and do it the next day (or not at all if it wasnt that important).

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#30 of 36 Old 12-28-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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This is so true.

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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
Never think you are "done" it is a constant cycle to keep it neat. You can't super clean every couple of weeks and not keep up in between. You will never feel like you are on top of things if you do.

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