Training a spouse and family members to be cleaner? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 11-14-2010, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lisa1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have always cleaned as I go. I could never imagine eating and then just getting up and walking away from the table leaving behind dishes or food. I could never imagine pouring milk and leaving the milk out. I just cannot possibly fathom opening something and dropping the trash on the floor.

 

SOOO....how is it that most of my family routinely does this and seems to think I am unreasonable when I get upset. But it seriously seriously bothers me. I have tried everything to get through to them, including stepped away and leaving things and letting them live with the mess (turns out, that does not bother them). I have tried everything I can think of, but it is even my husband. I watched him make some sort of frozen food thing and then the next day, I could still see the wrapping to it on the counter. As well as the dirty dishes to it all.

 

Suggestions?

 

I am not a neat freak, it is not that at all. But I am so frustrated that I can scrub and clean and then leave the house for 1 hr and come back to food on the floor, snacks on the floor in the living room, cups of drinks spilled in the living room, toys on the steps. My house gets trashed within an hour of my cleaning it, and the rest of the mess makers basically refuse to help. They seriously are not even capable, it seems, of cleaning up the huge messes they quickly make.

Lisa1970 is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 11-14-2010, 06:08 PM
 
homemademom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't know what to do about the dh. That would seriously tick me off!  Have you tried talking to him about it? It seems really disrespectful for you to do so much work and have a perfectly capable adult trash it :(  As for the kids, mine are horrible about cleaning up after themselves without some serious prodding (nagging? ordering?) from me.  

 

It's hard because I've been really bad about getting my kids to clean up after themselves. I wanted to avoid the fight, but realized I was doing them no favors by letting them live like that. So now, I'm having to discipline myself to get them to clean and then, check the work they've done so they'll be accountable. Actually, they're doing it with a LOT less fuss, so I really do believe this works. Hopefully these habits will become ingrained eventually. . . but maybe not before they move out of the house, lol.  For now, I'm trying to make sure that work comes before pleasure (that's what I think anyway) and that leisure after working hard feels better than leisure that hasn't been earned.  

 

Routines are good, too.  I'm starting to implement clean up time right before dinner.  It working okay so far, so hopefully we'll all stick to it.


I love homemade: cute skirts, apricot jam, and family! 
homemademom is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 11-14-2010, 06:30 PM
 
mrs_mandolini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm working on this too. I'm messy. I want to be not as messy. My DH is messier. I do most of the housework but I really want everyone, including me, to at least have basic cleaning-up-after-themselves habits.

What's working for us so far: when we eat dinner, for example, I take my dishes to the dishwasher. If I notice DH getting up without taking his dishes, I say, nicely, Oh DH can you bring your dishes over to the dishwasher? I am trying to remember to always bring mine after meals. The child doesn't always eat at the same time we eat, but when he does we make this a family activity.

Really any time my DH leaves a mess out and I see him walking away from it I just ask nicely, DH could you take care of the xyz thing over there that you left out? For me the trick is to ask right away, and be actually nice. If I wait until later then I am annoyed by the mess being left out. If I am not being pleasant to DH then I am not really succeeding at the end goal of making our house a nicer place to live in! At the same time I am working at picking up stuff I leave out IMMEDIATELY instead of leaving it out until later because I have the same problem.

For our young child, we are working on the same habit. Yes I will read you another story as soon as you put this one back on the shelf. Of course we can play that game once your toys are all put in this basket. I moved all the really messy and insane toys out of our main living area so that he is not overwhelmed with too many things being out at once.

Decluttering is helpful, too. When you get rid of small, junky things that are everywhere, it's a lot more obvious to everyone when someone has left something out or out of place.
mrs_mandolini is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 11-15-2010, 12:12 AM
 
clutterwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs_mandolini View Post



What's working for us so far: when we eat dinner, for example, I take my dishes to the dishwasher. If I notice DH getting up without taking his dishes, I say, nicely, Oh DH can you bring your dishes over to the dishwasher? I am trying to remember to always bring mine after meals. The child doesn't always eat at the same time we eat, but when he does we make this a family activity.

Really any time my DH leaves a mess out and I see him walking away from it I just ask nicely, DH could you take care of the xyz thing over there that you left out? For me the trick is to ask right away, and be actually nice. If I wait until later then I am annoyed by the mess being left out. If I am not being pleasant to DH then I am not really succeeding at the end goal of making our house a nicer place to live in! At the same time I am working at picking up stuff I leave out IMMEDIATELY instead of leaving it out until later because I have the same problem.

 


Your approach is the same one I have used which has helped.

 

I used to get cranky and grumble a lot about mess left...now I ask in a really nice way if they would please bring their plates and scrape them and put them in the dishwasher. I say a lot of "Please darling would you mind....doing xyz...thank you!"  

 

I am finding that this much more civil approach brings better results for me, than my previous approach did.

 


SAHM to three
clutterwarrior is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 11-17-2010, 11:53 AM
 
cyclamen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I am also working on being neater!  I've been thinking a lot about how I want to model self-respect by modeling respect for my space, and respect for others, by modeling respect for shared space.  So this is a good reminder.  My BF is a fairly organized person - not neat, so much, but he doesn't lose stuff like I do.   But after living with me for so long, he's used to being able to leave stuff lying around.  So I just try to be real sweet and remind him when I see it, "honey, the laundry basket?" since that's what I'd want him to do to me.  Or I just pick it up myself, but that is kind of a hazard, because I am well known for losing things.....

 

Also, I found that the more routines and designated spots for stuff, like laundry, etc, really helps all of us to stay neat. 

 

Could you have the kids label the shelves so that they know where stuff goes, and have them take polaroids of how the kitchen looks when it is clean so they can have a guide for how it should be?  Also, have them make checklists of what needs to be done?  I think it's really important that the messy person has some ownership of deciding how to clean, because the routine and the idea sticks more if you come up with it yourself than if someone hands it to you.  And then gradually you can add more steps as they get better at doing it.

 

When I told my BF that the clean house ideal I am striving for is not overly neat, but it is neater than we live now, he suggested we get it clean the right way and then take a picture of each room so we know what it should look like.  I think it's a genius idea.  Where the stuff goes is negotiable, but the end result is clear.   So, we agreed that people who leave stuff out don't get to complain if their stuff gets lost when it gets put away.  Because if we cared about our stuff not getting lost, we would just put it away right away.  He's actually better at this than I am, so it's mostly a threat to me....

cyclamen is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off