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Old 11-17-2010, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been mulling over the idea of doing more study next year, by distance study, so at least I wouldn't have to travel, and I would get more mental stimulation that I am feeling a need for. The other thing I have been considering is part time work.

 

But the last two days I have had a lot on my plate with things I had to do outside the home, so I just wasn't here to keep going with my routine or my MM chores. I realised this morning that the place was looking like a mess after only 2 days of letting things slide, and I just felt like crying. I feel overwhelmed as I am a hamster on a wheel, and if I stop going round and round constantly, everything is going to fall apart.

 

We have a lot of stresses in our life right now, with business worries, concerns over elderly relatives, plus I am getting a lot of peri-menopausal symptoms; all these combined are making me feel panicky, so I don't know how much of my worry about these house concerns, is just in my head. Well I know there is a big world outside my house, but when I spend day in, day out going round in circles here just to keep all the balls in the air, I do start to wonder how will I cope if I take on study or work.

 

How do others who study or work, find time to keep the place in order?  Do most of you have cleaners? Or do you only do what is essential and leave the mopping, dusting etc till it gets really bad? (which is what I used to do before I started doing MM!) Or are you naturally organised, which I am not....do you take everything in your stride?  

 

Or do you have to spend the weekends cleaning and catching up with laundry, because you are busy all week?  I suppose I am just wondering what is the norm in other households around the planet....

 

Those of you who are SAHMs like me, do you ever feel overwhelmed often too, or am I just a rare breed who struggles to keep it all under control.

 

We can't afford a cleaner so there is only me to do it. The children help with some jobs, but getting them to help with cleaning is still a work in progress, even though the two oldest are teenagers. In fact I find that my youngest is more helpful....young children seem to like asking to help with chores, but they seem to grow out of that when puberty hits!   DH can't do any more than he already does...he is working so hard to keep his small business going, plus he does the lawns and the weeding, and any big outdoor jobs.

 

I don't want to put my life on hold for years just to keep the house tidy and clean, but maybe I have to drop my standards and let the place go back to not being so clean, just so I can have a life. disappointed.gif


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Old 11-17-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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My mom had my brother and I doing probably 2/3 of the daily cleaning when we were teens - dishes, cooking, vacuuming, tidying, and laundry.  Once a week, she would get us deep cleaning (we had to bleach the walls to keep mold from growing....ewww) and do it with us, but she was a single mom, worked some of the time, and had a chronic illness, so we had to do it or it didn't get done.  I am not really sure how she got us to do it, except we were expected to, it was dirty if we didn't, and then she yelled at us.... lol.  But even before when she and my dad were together, and she was not sick, and did not woh, we had to do our share, because that is what families do.  Mom is not the maid (healthy or sick, WOH or not), and kids should be participating in household upkeep, meal prep, etc so that they can learn how to be functional adults.

 

Can the kids do their own laundry at least?

 

Maybe talking about how it's respectful to ourselves to take pride and clean our surroundings, and respectful to others to share the chores and cleaning.  Many hands make light work, and all that?  I don't know... my only experience with teens was being one...  Good luck, though!


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Old 11-17-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I posted a whole thing only ..to have it dissapear...ugh.. anywho, let's try this again.

 

I am a student, worker, Mama, wifey and all around fun gal. I found minimalism and simple living has really helped. My best advice is to set up your home for the things you do rather than for a showcase. If you have too much to clean, even if you can't declutter, at least put it away. Much easier to clean off a bare counter than work around things. For me, I needed a desk area, to study, use my laptop, email, bills and store my school books and supplies out of the way. I also had a little file drawer. I kept a huge calendar to keep on task.

 

Since we have downsized majorly, I do the majority of my cleaning on Saturday morning. I find cleaning as I go helps too...wipe down bathroom sink and toilet, pick up clutter, wipe up messes as they happen, etc. I have the mantra that stuff will not get in the way of my dreams. Good luck. : )

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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I have no  advice, but I can commiserate. If I am off my game for just 1 day, things get messy, 2 days- forget it. My dd is 6 and is a mess. I really need to focus on getting her to do things like put her shoes away and bring her dishes to the sink and rinse them. But I have really bad habbits, so I am so busy trying to train myself and get things organized so that everything has a home. It's a lot easier to clean when everything has a home. My mom prefered to just clean herself than to have the battle, and I never learned to clean. However, we moved in with my grandparents for a while when I was in high school to help take care of my grandmother. I ended up having to cook dinner 2 or 3 times a week, and I cooked for 6-8 people. I learned so much and I am so greatful to have had that opportunity to learn. I groaned a bit sometimes, but I am so much better at cooking than I am at cleaning. My mom always says how she wishes she would have taught me to clean. 

 

 


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Old 11-17-2010, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies. At the moment I am coping well with things, my main worry is how I will cope if I suddenly have less time. But a friend of mine said to me today that sometimes when you have less time to get something done, it can get done faster. Having more time at home doesn't make it any easier always...and I think she has a point.
 

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Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

My mom had my brother and I doing probably 2/3 of the daily cleaning when we were teens - dishes, cooking, vacuuming, tidying, and laundry.  Once a week, she would get us deep cleaning (we had to bleach the walls to keep mold from growing....ewww) and do it with us, but she was a single mom, worked some of the time, and had a chronic illness, so we had to do it or it didn't get done.  I am not really sure how she got us to do it, except we were expected to, it was dirty if we didn't, and then she yelled at us.... lol.  But even before when she and my dad were together, and she was not sick, and did not woh, we had to do our share, because that is what families do.  Mom is not the maid (healthy or sick, WOH or not), and kids should be participating in household upkeep, meal prep, etc so that they can learn how to be functional adults.

 

Can the kids do their own laundry at least?

 

Maybe talking about how it's respectful to ourselves to take pride and clean our surroundings, and respectful to others to share the chores and cleaning.  Many hands make light work, and all that?  I don't know... my only experience with teens was being one...  Good luck, though!


Actually after I wrote my post I was feeling a bit irked about it so I had a big talk to my oldest, after all she is 19 and now she is on holiday for 3 months from university, so there is no reason why she can't help more, and I was pleased as she was really keen to get stuck into cleaning more. I think that during term time she is so overwhelmed with assignments, and she also has a weekend job, so I don't expect much of her then, but now she is on holiday, she has lots of time.

 

My 16 year old helps a lot with cooking, so that is still a big help, but I am going to get onto her about helping more with the laundry, especially as she seems to wear more clothes than anyone else in the house!

 

 


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Old 11-18-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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Clutterwarrior, I have some similar worries .... my kids are younger than yours but I've meant to start home studying for a while now ; I have everything at hand that I need but I either get distracted tinking I'm not doing enough chores or else I take on too many voluntary outside assignments ... I did read Time management from the inside out which helped out A BIT .... but obviously I need to read it again and learn more from it and APPLY its principles. It IS a hard balancing act.

 

+ I' m wondering about the same points as in your first post so I'll be watching & learning from it .... if you get many more answers ....

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Old 11-18-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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Whether I WOH or SAHM I am NEVER home. I take a day off once somewhere Monday to Friday, to be at home, but the rest of the time I am out. Saturday afternoons take DD to her dance class. Sundays go to Church / family time / get DD together with a friend. So I put a load of laundry in before I leave, unload / load the dishwasher, and that's about it. Then, when I get home - I reboot the laundry, do a quick tidy and then make dinner / eat.

 

I find things don't get too much out of control, if I stay on top of the laundry / dishes.

 

A major room that has been neglected is our bedroom. Gotta get that together. . . . . DD's room is always pretty close to tidy, because she nearly never spends time in there. I pick up laundry for her sometimes because I keep stealing her laundry basket for sorting. Sometimes I ask her to do it. We are decluttering her room for 15 minutes every Saturday (she's outgrowing some tchokes, at 10yo). And then there are things that I shoved on the top of her dressers, in the last decluttering / reorganizing phase half a year ago.Bolt.gif

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Old 11-18-2010, 07:39 AM
 
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I think you just have to find the routine that works for you.  I know I was so overwhelmed when I started working full time instead of part time.  But I got used to it and was finally able to get everything done.

 

I work odd hours so I'm up and getting ready before anyone else wakes up.  In order to let them sleep, I only get myself ready, fed and out the door.  On my lunch break, I usually run home and pick up a little, start some laundry or something.  After work, I have to get dinner made, kids fed, bathed and ready for the morning.  So dishes get done after dinner, I usually can sweep or tidy up the bathroom while my youngest is in the tub.  Before bed, we pick up any toys or any of their stuff that needs put away.  A typical weeknight pick up is 5-10 minutes.  Dh's home more than I am so he makes the beds and picks up after himself and the kids as much as he can in between studying and class.

 

I do take a few hours on the weekend to really clean.  Most of my laundry gets done on the weekends too, but I do one load during the week to keep it under control.  I go through spurts a few times a year where I go through everything and get rid of things we don't use or need.  And if I take care of things as they come in the house, it's easier to keep control.  My kids do pick up after themselves, they help with their laundry and sometimes they help with the actual weekend cleaning.

 

I've just found that I need to be totally organized and I can stay on top of things.  The fact that I can't go to bed unless things are picked up and put away and just generally tidy helps.

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Old 11-24-2010, 06:03 AM
 
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Many times you can't keep up, realistically.  If you work 5 days a week and the kids have extracurriculars, or you work 12 hour shifts or or or....

 

We are only one person, human, not super-heros.  We must sleep, and have downtime, and sometimes do things like go to the dentist, grocery shop, go to the gym, whatever it is that you do.

 

However, there are a few things that can make things easier (not perfect, though):

 

~make lunches the night before, or better yet, make the kids and hubby make their own lunches

~set out clothes the night before for every person you have to dress

~do the dishes the night before, wake up to a clean slate

~grocery shop at odd hours to make it go faster (without kids!  I work 12's, and if I happen to work a night shift, I'll grocery shop at 7:30 or so am, goes much faster then!)

~get everyone in your family on the same page, nearly everyone can do a chore or two.  Let the littles do what they can, it might take extra time now, but the lifelong habits will be much better when they are older (still working on this one here)

~do the "15 minutes at a time" way of doing chores.  Most everyone is ok doing even a hated job for 15 minutes, and you'll be surprised what you can get done in that short of time, next time may be you won't dread that chore so much if you realize "it's just 15 minutes".

~change your attitude about housework.  House work blesses your whole family, it brings peace, and rest for the eyes, and less stress when grandpa stops by the house for a spontaneous visit.  If all you have to do is pick up a few toys, you'll feel so much better than if everything had to be done.

~get rid of STUFF.  The less stuff in your house the more people will appreciate what they have, and the easier it is to clean. :)

 

Some of it sounds "Flylady-ish", I know, I've taken from her what works for us and left the rest.  But they are sound principles. 

 

I was in school for almost 4 years, now have been working for a year, was pregnant for 8.5 of those months, and there were days, maybe even weeks where the house did not get much cleaner.  BUT, now that I'm sort of in a routine (still working on-call shifts) things are much better.  Someday I won't have kids in the house and it won't be hard at all  :)  Not really looking forward to those days.


"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:08 AM
 
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I've been mulling on this for awhile.  I'm in a somewhat similar situation - many commitments, including homeschooling and a paid job and classes and volunteer work and other stuff - and feel like my house is never as tidy as I wish it were.

 

I think the key here is to be realistic with your expectations.  In our house, there is nearly always someone home using the house (DH and I both work from home and we homeschool) so the house never, ever gets to "ground zero." 

 

I can't afford a cleaning person either, and certainly the houses of friends who can are WAY cleaner than mine.

 

And I get frazzled and crazy in a cluttered house.  It's like my house is a reflection of my mind, or vice versa.

 

I generally choose to tidy rather than deep-clean.  I'll deep-clean a few times a year or when it's unavoidable, and I keep up the best I can with vacuuming and occasionally mopping, etc, but I can't do it all.  I do a very quick clean of the bathroom when I bathe (scrub the tub when I'm done, swish the toilet, wipe off the counters and mirror and sink).  So that isn't every day, but it helps to have it be quick and part of my routine so I'll remember it. 

 

Also my kids do have jobs - between them they manage almost all of the laundry, the cats' needs except for litter box, and some of the dishes.

 

If I miss a day or two of keeping up with the house because we're out doing busy things, stuff piles up and we do have to make a rallying effort to tidy up the best we can, but sometimes the priority is elsewhere, and that is really okay.  Houses with kids and busy parents get USED and they reflect that.  Though I do feel like I'm issuing frequent reminders to my kids, over time they're getting a bit better at some parts of cleaning up after themselves.

 

I guess for me, lowering my house standards has freed me up to manage the other stuff that is important to us.  I see this phase as temporary.  Before we know it, the kids will be grown and gone, the house will never get messy, and in some ways we'll miss it!  It's okay with me to have a certain level of messiness at this point.  I know it's not forever.

 

Also, having less stuff really has helped us a lot.  My goal with my kids is for them to learn to recognize when they have more stuff than they want to be or are able to be responsible for, and pare down accordingly.  It's a process and I help a lot.  But my "broken record" voice is the one that says, "Everyone pick up everything that you are responsible for (that you own, use, care about, want to keep, or caused to be out of place)." and "You should put things where you want them, because if I have to do it, you might not agree with where I choose to put them."  (And when I'm tidying up for my own sanity, the garage and the trash can are likely options.)  If time or motivation run short, I get a big bag or a plastic tub and just scoop everything into it and later we find time to rescue whatever wasn't truly unwanted.  It's the stuff that they don't care enough about to really handle carefully and put away to keep safe, that piles up.  Having less stuff means it's less overwhelming and everything they have (in theory) is a high priority to them.

 

Also "everything has to have a place" and "everything has to fit in its container or we need to have less of it" (WRT dressup, blocks, etc)

 

Of course, my stuff piles up because I'm helping to manage their stuff, but the same "having less stuff and a place for everything" applies to me, too.

 

Also having trash and recycling bins in multiple places help there be an easy out for trash.  And keeping our vacuum actually in our living room, and a carpet sweeper for the kids who aren't into vacuuming, makes it easier to get things clean.

 

It's an uphill battle, though.  Sorry, this is longwinded....but most importantly, figure out how important the tidy house is in the scheme of things, and how tidy you really need it to not feel crazy, and adjust the other things in your life accordingly if need be.

 

Also I find that hosting a big gathering a few times a year gets the house in gear, because I do actually feel urgently motivated to set time aside to really clean well.  Once a season is about right!  LOL.

 

Good luck - it's very hard to juggle all these things and motherhood, too.  And ultimately, most people's houses are not tidy most of the time.


- single homeschooling mom to 16, almost-15, 12, and 10
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:09 AM
 
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I've been mulling on this for awhile.  I'm in a somewhat similar situation - many commitments, including homeschooling and a paid job and classes and volunteer work and other stuff - and feel like my house is never as tidy as I wish it were.

 

I think the key here is to be realistic with your expectations.  In our house, there is nearly always someone home using the house (DH and I both work from home and we homeschool) so the house never, ever gets to "ground zero." 

 

I can't afford a cleaning person either, and certainly the houses of friends who can are WAY cleaner than mine.

 

And I get frazzled and crazy in a cluttered house.  It's like my house is a reflection of my mind, or vice versa.

 

I generally choose to tidy rather than deep-clean.  I'll deep-clean a few times a year or when it's unavoidable, and I keep up the best I can with vacuuming and occasionally mopping, etc, but I can't do it all.  I do a very quick clean of the bathroom when I bathe (scrub the tub when I'm done, swish the toilet, wipe off the counters and mirror and sink).  So that isn't every day, but it helps to have it be quick and part of my routine so I'll remember it. 

 

Also my kids do have jobs - between them they manage almost all of the laundry, the cats' needs except for litter box, and some of the dishes.

 

If I miss a day or two of keeping up with the house because we're out doing busy things, stuff piles up and we do have to make a rallying effort to tidy up the best we can, but sometimes the priority is elsewhere, and that is really okay.  Houses with kids and busy parents get USED and they reflect that.  Though I do feel like I'm issuing frequent reminders to my kids, over time they're getting a bit better at some parts of cleaning up after themselves.

 

I guess for me, lowering my house standards has freed me up to manage the other stuff that is important to us.  I see this phase as temporary.  Before we know it, the kids will be grown and gone, the house will never get messy, and in some ways we'll miss it!  It's okay with me to have a certain level of messiness at this point.  I know it's not forever.

 

Also, having less stuff really has helped us a lot.  My goal with my kids is for them to learn to recognize when they have more stuff than they want to be or are able to be responsible for, and pare down accordingly.  It's a process and I help a lot.  But my "broken record" voice is the one that says, "Everyone pick up everything that you are responsible for (that you own, use, care about, want to keep, or caused to be out of place)." and "You should put things where you want them, because if I have to do it, you might not agree with where I choose to put them."  (And when I'm tidying up for my own sanity, the garage and the trash can are likely options.)  If time or motivation run short, I get a big bag or a plastic tub and just scoop everything into it and later we find time to rescue whatever wasn't truly unwanted.  It's the stuff that they don't care enough about to really handle carefully and put away to keep safe, that piles up.  Having less stuff means it's less overwhelming and everything they have (in theory) is a high priority to them.

 

Also "everything has to have a place" and "everything has to fit in its container or we need to have less of it" (WRT dressup, blocks, etc)

 

Of course, my stuff piles up because I'm helping to manage their stuff, but the same "having less stuff and a place for everything" applies to me, too.

 

Also having trash and recycling bins in multiple places help there be an easy out for trash.  And keeping our vacuum actually in our living room, and a carpet sweeper for the kids who aren't into vacuuming, makes it easier to get things clean.

 

It's an uphill battle, though.  Sorry, this is longwinded....but most importantly, figure out how important the tidy house is in the scheme of things, and how tidy you really need it to not feel crazy, and adjust the other things in your life accordingly if need be.

 

Also I find that hosting a big gathering a few times a year gets the house in gear, because I do actually feel urgently motivated to set time aside to really clean well.  Once a season is about right!  LOL.

 

Good luck - it's very hard to juggle all these things and motherhood, too.  And ultimately, most people's houses are not tidy most of the time.


- single homeschooling mom to 16, almost-15, 12, and 10
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:57 PM
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there are two aspects here: clean and tidy.

 

the real feel of stress comes from the house being untidy. tidy actually doesn't mean clean, it means that things are put away in their proper places, that things are organized. this means you need to have a place for everything, so that you can put everything in it's place.

 

our house can sometimes get quite dirty, and yet still be quite tidy. it's the messiness that makes me a bit nuts. :) so, here are the things that i do to keep things tidy:

 

1. always tidy up when you're finished-- when you are finished with dinner, tidy up the kitchen. doesn't have to be scrubbed clean, but doing the dishes, wiping the countertops and table, and perhaps (if needed) doing a quick sweep of the floor will make a big difference. if you are leaving the living room to head to bed, just straighten up the pillows on the sofa, fold up any blankets you might have been using and put them in their proper place, and pick up any dishes that you might have been using. obviously, pick up any trash, too. take the trash to the kitchen and quickly wash your dishes (or put them into the dish washer), and then head up to bed.

 

getting the whole family into this habit makes a huge difference! all three of us do it, while i have to enlist my son every time (he's only two!), and remind my husband frequently, it's a pretty straight forward process for us. 

 

2. do it now -- if you are holding something in your hand and it is time to put it away, do it now. put it away right then. it's much easier to put something you are not using in it's proper place the first time, then to have to do it later when you do a full-on tidy. for example, when you walk in your front door, hang up your coat, put your shoes away, put your handbag in the right place, etc. if everyone does this, then there will be less strewn about to feel disorganized.

 

3. have "drop boxes" or spaces where messes can exist. i have a whole basket for my husband to dump his idiotic, random papers. when it is full, i force him to sit down and go through it (this is "cleaning" technically), but it allows both of us some emotional space. i'm a firm believer in having a place where you can "stash to clean up later"--so it is a place for everyhting before you've found a place for that specific thing. :) when you don't know where something goes, or even to whom it belongs, you can just drop it into one of these spots, and then go through it when it's full, or at regular intervals when you do your cleaning, and so on.

 

4. some things that seem like "chores" are actually "tidies"-- dishes, laundry, and general picking up and putting things away--are  all tidies, not cleaning. cleaning is vacuums, dusters, scrubbing, mopping, and deep organizing/decluttering work such as going through those drop zones. Tidy things can be done relatively quickly-- in those 2 minute to 15 minute bursts--whereas cleaning takes a lot more time. by shifting the focus of "this is part of tidy" as opposed to 'cleaning' it actually makes it more accessible (to me at least). I do not go to sleep until the laundry is folded and put away--that's tidy. i do a load each day: 5 minutes to load the washer; 5 minutes to load the dryer; 10 minutes to fold laundry and put it away--it's a 20-30 minute tidy job. But, some people do washing on one day, in which case it is more like cleaning. :)

 

in regards to cleaning, you just have to figure out what works for you. my mother would do one day a week, and we would have chores during the week (when we were 10 and up). so, enlist those kids. i prefer to break mine up throughout the week and do it that way. makes it easier for me. 

 

you'll just have to find the right balance. :)

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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I went from SAHM to Student Parent this year and it's actually been easier for me to get things done...I have to prioritze more as a PP mentioned so I get things done when I can (instead of putting things off for later, "because I'm home") Plus with my DD's in daycare 2x/week I've got a little more time to run errands, cook extra, etc. I'm not saying it's a cakewalk, it's definitely difficult to find time to do everything that needs to get done, but since starting school DH has pitched in a LOT more and the girls are starting to take on chores (they're 4 years and 2 years) such as making their bed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper in the mornings, bussing their dishes to the dishwasher/sink, etc. Every little bit helps.

 

I find what works best for me is decluttering, cleaning one space at a time. Having less stuff/a home for everything makes clutter less likely to happen and then the cleaning happens faster (because I don't have to waste time putting things away). I tackle one room each evening (the kitchen and bathroom get once overs daily) and then thoroughly clean 'em. Each room takes me about an hour (which is the time I'd waste watching a sitcom anyways) and then I check it off my list.

 

This is the current system that I'm using and it's been working fairly well. The holidays have necessitated a bit more thorough cleaning of multiple rooms on the weekends, but overall I feel like things are always clean/picked up and everything has a home (or at least a designated place).

 

It takes time, but if I stay on top of things I usually feel a LOT better and less overwhelmed.

Good luck mama! You can do it...


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