I don't have time to clean - house is a disaster! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 04-06-2013, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want so badly to have a neat home and my daughter thrives on order and cleanliness, but I'm finding it extremely difficult to keep up with housework! I'm a single mom, I work part-time, college part-time, I'm a student midwife, doula, student herbalist, have a garden to keep up with and a magazine I started, and various other projects that need my constant attention - not to mention I have no help from my ex (her father)... he claims he's too busy to help, but honestly, I don't think he knows what busy REALLY looks like. dizzy.gif

 

ANYWAY, right now I'm broke as a joke, but really considering hiring a housekeeper... is it worth it?!? Suggestions? How much should I pay? I don't even know where to start but I do know I need to do SOMETHING... I can't live in a messy home anymore 


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#2 of 14 Old 04-07-2013, 03:22 AM
 
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Wow, you certainly have a lot on your plate!  How old is your daughter, and do you know any students you could hire to help you clean, as opposed to a cleaning service where they aren't going to do things like dishes or laundry.  Or maybe check out one of the small websites where people bid for services. Sometimes you can find deals on Craigslist, and my niece got a babysitting job that way, but I don't know if I'd feel comfortable.

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#3 of 14 Old 04-07-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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I recommend spending your time making your home easier to clean....this has made a big difference at our house.  First, I went through every inch of our home, not cleaning but just purging.  We got rid of probably 1/2 of our stuff.  Less stuff automatically means less to maintain, less that can be left out, less to pick up.  Having empty space around is so calming for me.  I feel like I do a pretty good job around here of getting rid of stuff, but it is crazy how quickly it can add up.  We can survive with so much less than we have.  After the purging I made sure everything has a place so it can be put away.  When someone picks it up they know exactly where it goes.

 

Do you have a Mama friend who you can help with the purging to get you on track?  It is so much quicker with 2 bodies to purge.  Plus, having someone else to help keep you on track.   A friend and I sometimes help each other out with big projects.  One day she'll come to my house and we'll tackle something that has been bugging me.  The next week I'll go to her house and we'll do her project.  It is so much easier and really fun that way. 

 

Getting rid of what I call "clutter zones".  Having a chair in our bedroom just gave us a place to put clothes instead of putting them away.  I hung a set of hooks behind our door where I can hang something I will wear again soon.  It is a quick place to put it and keeps it off the floor and the bed.  Less dishes means you will have to keep up with them and they won't get out of control.  It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now with work and your child.  Give yourself a break. Maybe on the weekends (or busy nights) you pull out the paper plates and have a little vacation from dishes... we have a yard waste bin that we can compost paper plates in.  

 

Also, starting little habits, routines can help.  We spend a few minutes after dinner as a family tidying up.  The kids each have to put away 10 things in the living room, playroom and their bedrooms.  It doesn't keep the house perfect, but it does help.  Every morning while my tea is heating up I get my hands on 20 things in our kitchen and get them put away.  It doesn't keep the kitchen perfect but it does help.  Just little pockets of time, a minute or so to put a few things away can make a big difference.  It takes a while for a new habit to stick so go easy on yourself.  After one habit (like a quick after dinner tidy) is set then you can add another one.  

 

Sending you a big hug Mama!  We can't do it all, none of us can.  You are doing the best you can right now.  If you can make your home easier to clean it will mean that cleaning is less of a job.  I hope this helps.


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#4 of 14 Old 04-07-2013, 11:38 AM
 
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Is it a clutter issues or a dirt (dishes, toilet, laundry) issue?
How old is your child?
I also suggest asking around for people that clean as a side job. Usually more flexible and cheaper due to lower overhead cost.

Less stuff is really the way to go. Are you at home often? Sounds like you are on the go and might need more organizational help

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#5 of 14 Old 04-07-2013, 03:15 PM
 
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ITA with the others: purge as much as you can. With lots of help from my mom and DH, we recently decluttered the downstairs, letting go of over 350 items and the cleaning/tidying downstairs is 100 times easier. A big part was paring down the dishes to a set of 8. Now we have to keep up with it each day and nothing has a chance to pile up. Next is upstairs with bathroom and bedrooms where clothes, linens and baby stuff will be tackled. Next will come the basement with lots of odds and ends and finally the attic and garage where a lot of things are stored out of sight. My aim is to do the upstairs by July (baby #2 is on the way) but the rest may wait a year or more. I know you have a lot on your plate but purging/decluttering will save a ton of time and headache in the long run. I love the idea posted above to team up with another mom and alternate projects. I think I'll ask a friend to see if she's interested. The company and child supervision alone is a huge help. Good luck!
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#6 of 14 Old 04-07-2013, 05:06 PM
 
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The other thing about teaming up with another Mama that is wonderful...if you have similarly aged children they will play together and be out of your way while you purge.  There will also be someone to get them snacks while the other Mama is still making progress!  :)  Two things done at once...my favorite!
 


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#7 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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jazzybaby--I think you're in Denver, right?  I am too and I totally geek out over organization and would love to help you with that piece of it if you're interested...maybe we could work out some kind of trade or something :)


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#8 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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jazzybaby--I think you're in Denver, right?  I am too and I totally geek out over organization and would love to help you with that piece of it if you're interested...maybe we could work out some kind of trade or something :)

That would be awesome! I'm actually pretty organized though - I just refiled all of my paperwork and set up new shelves for my books! Everything is pretty organized it's just the usual housework I have issues with.

 

 

 

 

To everyone on the decluttering, I declutter every year around this time... we have VERY little we own. In fact, I could easily say we own minimal furniture, clothes, a small apothecary, kitchen utensils, a few toys, and my laptop, that's honestly about it besides school books. What I really have issues with are dishes, laundry, and overall cleaning - like wiping down counters, cleaning floors, vacuuming, etc.


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#9 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, thank you so much for your replies! I think I'll look into finding a student who needs extra cash. Thanks again!


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#10 of 14 Old 04-09-2013, 07:01 AM
 
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... what is positive when having someone helping out for cleaning ... is that, if you do also clean some whist they are there cleaning for you ... by the time they leave, with two pairs of hands, much more has been achieved, and it definitely shows.

i have fatigue issues but knowing i wasn't going to have to "do it all by myself" motivated me to clean some stuff i hadn't touched in quite a while last week whilst the cleaning lady was doing what i had asked her to concentrate on !

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#11 of 14 Old 04-09-2013, 07:04 AM
 
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+ maybe you could have daily lists (dishes, laundry, wiping in the kitchen ...) and weekly lists (with vaccuming on one day, bathroom surfaces on another day, ...)

a bit like in the "motivated mom calendar"

if you search MDC with motivated mom you should find some threads where people posted quite a few ressources ...

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#12 of 14 Old 04-09-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Wow, you have a whole lot going on. I'm exhausted just reading your post. How old is your daughter?  You might want to take a look at what you have written here and consider whether you have realistic expectations. 

Quote:
I'm a single mom, I work part-time, college part-time, I'm a student midwife, doula, student herbalist, have a garden to keep up with and a magazine I started, and various other projects that need my constant attention.

 

 

Quote:
What I really have issues with are dishes, laundry, and overall cleaning - like wiping down counters, cleaning floors, vacuuming, etc.

 

 

Whether you're conscious of it or not, you are choosing to put dishes, laundry and cleaning at the bottom of your list of priorities.  Which is just fine in my book!  lol.gif  Just understand that this is what you have chosen. I agree, having a clean, tidy home is really helpful for both you and your dd's well being.  Hiring a student to do it for you is money well spent, if you can manage it. 

 

You also might consider putting an 'or' instead of the implied 'and' between everything on your first list there.  Go to college or be a student midwife. Or a doula. Or run a magazine. But not all of it at once!  You've heard 'work smarter, not harder'?  Put one or more of these goals on the back burners for a while (give yourself a concrete schedule- revisit your goals in 6 months or 1 year or so) and you will find time and energy to focus on the other priorities, including your daughter. And to just chill by yourself regularly, because you can't run yourself ragged and expect to achieve your goals. 


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#13 of 14 Old 04-11-2013, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, you have a whole lot going on. I'm exhausted just reading your post. How old is your daughter?  You might want to take a look at what you have written here and consider whether you have realistic expectations. 




Whether you're conscious of it or not, you are choosing to put dishes, laundry and cleaning at the bottom of your list of priorities.  Which is just fine in my book!  lol.gif   Just understand that this is what you have chosen. I agree, having a clean, tidy home is really helpful for both you and your dd's well being.  Hiring a student to do it for you is money well spent, if you can manage it. 

You also might consider putting an 'or' instead of the implied 'and' between everything on your first list there.  Go to college or be a student midwife. Or a doula. Or run a magazine. But not all of it at once!  You've heard 'work smarter, not harder'?  Put one or more of these goals on the back burners for a while (give yourself a concrete schedule- revisit your goals in 6 months or 1 year or so) and you will find time and energy to focus on the other priorities, including your daughter. And to just chill by yourself regularly, because you can't run yourself ragged and expect to achieve your goals. 

Funny you say that- I just ended my apprenticeship for that reason. I'm also putting my studies on the back-burner this summer. That being said, I cleaned my entire house spotless the other day. MUCH better.
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#14 of 14 Old 04-11-2013, 01:42 AM
 
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what about setting "blocks of time" every day ?

one 15 to 20 minutes block could be for doing whatever you need to do daily in your household

and then you could have another block of time later on during the day during which you'll vary more depending on what's needed

but at least, knowing that you have a set time for a certain duration to address household matters .... might make you feel that the situation is less of a disaster ?

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