If you can't or don't keep a tidy home... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Organize & Declutter > If you can't or don't keep a tidy home...
Odessa15's Avatar Odessa15 05:19 AM 08-06-2006
to zoebird!
Thank you for such a balanced perspective. I. too am struggling with this. I think I've inherited every clutter gene in the family tree, although over the past year I have gotten much better. I find that if I allow myself to let go of my fear of being judged about the way I "keep house", my de-cluttering and cleaning skills blossom. Who would have thought?

mama naturale's Avatar mama naturale 06:45 AM 08-06-2006
I consider myself a mother b4 a housewife.
I rather play with the kids and make sure they are happy than have a super clean house.
Priorities please!
As long as the house is reasonable and my family is happy then that is more important to me.
sweetangelbrynlie's Avatar sweetangelbrynlie 04:19 PM 08-06-2006
I feel the same way all the time.
babybun's Avatar babybun 09:10 AM 08-07-2006
A bit of a rant from a lurker/newbie...


[QUOTE=treemom2] I mean, if we had really clean houses it would mean 1. Our children watch way too much TV which is how we get the cleaning done, 2. We don't get any sleep because we are up all night cleaning up the messes from the day, 3. We aren't playing with our children or letting them play enough, and 4. We are way too stressed about having a clean home![/QUOTE]

I consider myself a mother b4 a housewife.
I rather play with the kids and make sure they are happy than have a super clean house.
Priorities please!
As long as the house is reasonable and my family is happy then that is more important to me.


I just wanted to comment on this... I've seen it stated a lot that, "sure, I can have a clean house, but I'd rather care for my children, etc" and I kind of take issue with it. (Not a personal attack on you, treemom & mama naturale, just a general statement!

You can have a clean and orderly house and still be a caring and involved parent. I do what I can to keep my house at the level of cleanliness I am comfortable with and I don't do it instead of playing with my kids or meeting their needs.

I also:
1. Don't have a TV
2. Don't do any housework after 7:30 pm
3. Play with my DS often, and allow him to play (whatever that means)
4. I don't think I'm too stressed about having a clean home. I need order and cleanliness for a positive state of mind so I do whatever I need to to maintain a house I can feel peaceful in.

I doubt anyone here is sticking their kids in front of cartoons so they can scrub their shower with a toothbrush to win some Better Homes and Gardens contest! It just seems unfair to equate a clean home with neglect of the children.

I wash dishes as we use them, clean up toys at regular times throughout the day (before nap, before bedtime), wipe up spills as they happen - all as part of the rhythm of the day. DS helps sweep and dry dishes and loves to be involved in clean-up time. I don't see how doing these things implies a crisis of priorities!

If you are comfortable with the level of cleanliness in your house for your family, that is all that matters. I would not be so quick to judge others and assume that their cleanliness is the result of compromising priorities and familial neglect.

Ok... I'm done!
ucmomma's Avatar ucmomma 01:57 AM 08-08-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipumpkins
Does anyone else ever feel judged b/c your home is less than immacualte? :
Yes.. my mom refuses to visit. She feels mt home is dirty even though we keep it clean.. she doesn't like animals in the house and complains about my house smelling bad. She feels people shouldn't have pets in their home and can't possibly keep it clean.... also my children are assigned various chores of cleaning and she doesn't believe children can do that good of a job. That I should do it all. So my house wont be clean enough for her until my children are older and gone.
But we are happy with it. I am ruthless about tossing unused stuff. We vacuum and sweep and swiffer daily. Wipe down things and dust daily. :
I don't worry about her standards of clean anymore.
Enjoy your children .....be happy!!!!!
townmouse's Avatar townmouse 02:18 AM 08-08-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybun
A bit of a rant from a lurker/newbie...



You can have a clean and orderly house and still be a caring and involved parent. !
No, "you" can have a clean and orderly house and still be a caring and involved parent.

So could I, when I only had two kids, and neither had any special issues to consider.

With 4 kids (3 dx'ed with celiac disease, one with ADHD/mild Aspergers, and one with asthma and developmental delays)...and homeschooling...I can NOT keep a clean and orderly house right now.

Something has to give, around here. I choose housework to be the thing that 'gives'.

In the future my house will be very clean again. We are probably one year away from my house being consistently "orderly". I am learning to accept that.
volcaniclava's Avatar volcaniclava 03:37 AM 08-08-2006
i have to add my story:
I have 2 kids a roomate a husband 4 dogs (terrier/sheepdog mix 2 grman shepherds and a husky/chow mix) 2 cats and ALLOT of smells! My basements leaks and stinks....
my dh works 6 days a week and I work 4 to 5 shifts at a local resturaunt. my best friend whose husband work out of the house 2 days a week and she bartends 2 nights a week came over and tells me that basically my house is gross. Im not sure what to tell her, its not fair for her to judge me like that - i do the best I can... she tells me she'd help me, but then she doesnt. I am constantly depressed at the state of my house and I DONT need people (who love me) meking me feel worse.
babybun's Avatar babybun 04:47 AM 08-08-2006
Townmouse - I only meant that those who have clean houses are not necessarily neglecting their children for it!

I did not mean to imply that everyone should have a clean house all the time, or that something is wrong with not cleaning - just that I often feel the judgement the other way ("Well, sure, she has a clean house, but she probably doesn't love her children!).

Sorry if I offended
Avonlea's Avatar Avonlea 05:04 AM 08-08-2006
Yes, I do feel judged on this a lot. I am not a bad person, but I am not a great housekeeper. I'd love things to be better. i've tried S.H.E methods, I've tried fly lady, I've tried my Mothers method, I've tried cleaning one room at a time, I've tried tips from books, magazines, and tv shows. In short, I've tried it all, and I've failed.

The only time my house was ever clean was when my husband and I were 1st married and didn't own much of anything.

Now here we are 9 years later, a house, and 2 kids. We have LOADS of crap, most of which we don't need and I don't know how we ended up with it even.


I get tired of people making judgement calls on me based on a pile of clutter or baskets of clean laundry in my living room. We don't live in filth. I don't have but one housepet, and the litter box is in the cellar. I clean it out once a week totally and scoop it every morning. I wash dishes a minimum of once everyday, but usually I run the dishwasher at least twice a day. I don't let food sit, I take out the trash and do laundry and etc. All The Time, but you can't tell. Any and all flat surfaces have some form of clutter on them. There is a massive pile of clothes on the sofa, there are books and stuff on the steps.

I've had horrid things said to me by many folks over the years, and it hurts like the dickens.


I wish we were independantly wealthy so I could hire the housekeeping done and just focus on my kids. Then no one would give me any flack about not being wonderwoman. But, since I'm home all day there is that assumption that I don't have anything else to do all day, so I should just be cleaning and tidying.

Also, I get really irritated when the kids try to help. I know , I know, it is importnant they are included, which i try to do, but I just really Hate them helping me. It makes the task that much longer and that much more complicated...


No help, just chiming in...me too. Or 3 , or how ever many of us there are out there .



I must say that I've watched some of those organization shows on DIY or HGTV, and really wished I could get those people to come to my house and help. I am not good at doing stuff alone. I do far better if there is someone working laongside me to help keep me motivated and help me reach my goal of a cleaner/less cluttered and messy house.



I always think I missed the housecleanign gene as well. My Gramma Berthas house was/is always a mess. If you want to sit on a chair you have to lift the piles of newspapers off of it, or the cat, or both. She just always has stuff all over. Not bad stuff or rotten stuff, just, Stuff. Ditto my house. I just have Stuff all over.

We have way to much stuff, and I think if we had less Stuff it would be better, but I lose motivation to get rid of the extra Stuff after an hour of trying to sort through it and having the kids bug me or beg me to keep things that I know no one wants, really.

Right now, there are 6 huge rubbermaid totes in a closet upstairs full of toys they haven't played with in over a year. I need to sort those out and get rid of Mucho toys, and find the things like the wooden puzzles I know my 3 year old would love, but the thought of all that work makes me cringe.

And the CLOTHES ! Can I just say right now how much I LOATHE dealing with all the damn clothes ? Because I do. I have clothes that are too big, too small, etc. in every room. I have clothe form when I was 19 years old, and I'm 30. They haven't fit me since I was 25, and they aren't going to fit me anytime soon. I've got so much clothing up in my room right now that doesn't fit Any of us that I want to scream... or just start throwing it into a dumpster out the window.



I hate all this tuff. it makes me feel like that muppet character in the Labyrinth movie..do you remember her ? She carried All this STUFF on her back and it was used to try and distract the girl from getting her brother...

Well, I'm beginning to think my Stuff is doing that to me as well. It is slowly choking the life out of me the way a creeping weed will kill another plant. I want it gone , and yet..I have no idea where to start.
Starflower's Avatar Starflower 05:39 AM 08-08-2006
My place is a big mess too. Strangely enough, my friends don't seem to care about the mess. Not even my neighbor up the street whose house always looks great. I think most of my judgment problems stem from my own mom and now my internalized issues.

My mom is the worst. She cannot relax at my house when she comes to visit. She and my dad have helped us do tons of work clearing out clutter and stuff, but I'd rather have spent time enjoying their company. They live 3 states away and stay at a hotel when they visit. We don't have a guest room so part of it is that they don't like the sofa bed, but I think my mom just can't stand my house either.

I still find myself apologizing all over myself to people all the time if they come over.

I'm hoping to get a handle on this soon. DD (who is 3) just the other day mentioned something to someone who came over about how we need to clean up the mess. : I don't want her to have my issues. I figure I can either learn to be tidy or learn to live with me as I am - and I don't anticipate becoming tidy.

Now I just work on little bits here and there. I think what is so frustrating with housework and kids (and DH & dog in this case) is that other people seem to undo a lot of what I am trying to do. What frustrates me most about housework is that it's never done - even when it's done - because it just starts all over again. And if I don't take care of it or assign it, it doesn't get done at all. That's just the way it is. DH will help out, but I have to be the manager. This drives me crazy. I'm tired of having to feel like I'm in charge of everything here - but I'm trying to get over it. At least he's willing to help out.

OK. I guess that was a bit of a rant. This is obviously an issue for me. I am really going to try to work on being at peace with life as it is. Ironically, things seem to go better for me (including housework) when I stop obsessing about it.
erikandgregsmom's Avatar erikandgregsmom 10:32 AM 08-08-2006
My house is the thorn in my side. It's big but small (meaning, many rooms but they are small). I work full-time outside the home (financial/survival necessity), and have 2 kids. DH works long hours and has a long commute. I guess my gripe is that I've become burnt out. (I sense a long vent coming!!) I WOULD like a clean home - everyone around my neighborhood seems to have one no matter how many kids they have, how much they work or whatever. I swear I don't know how they manage. Last summer, starting a couple of days before Labor Day, I worked for 5 days straight and had my house spotless!!! I'm talking windows, curtains, blinds, woodwork - WOOHOO! (BTW, Dh's contribution was to sit in the playroom for one afternoon and direct the kids cleaning up their stuff!) I told DH (and Kids) that this could probably be maintained with everyone spending 15-30 minutes a day doing something (example, I could vacuum while kids pick stuff up, DH could load the dishwasher when he gets home, etc.) Never happened - I did my 30 min. a day but no one else did.....and w/in 2 weeks the place fell apart. I'm most annoyed with DH because 1) he would put all your pack rats to shame!!! One of you mentioned that you gave your Dh a drawer? Mine has rooms!!! Most of the attic, side office and front porch with his collections. Albums, videos, CDs, DVDs, photographs, Beanie Babies (thinks he's going to get rich with them), wind-up toys, Viking statues.....I'm sure I'm missing a couple of things but you get the picture! They're all "collectors items" in his eyes, he stubbornly, STUBBORNLY, refuses to thin out anything. But the worst part is that he continues to accumulate...... 2) He is very sloppy...pours a cup of coffee, slops some on the counter/floor while he's walking away and leaves it there, drops socks/underwear on his side of the bed and leaves it there, pitches clothes towards the hamper and if they hit the floor instead leaves it there, leaves dirty pots/baking dishes on stove or counter and doesn't put soap and water in them to soak, cuts strawberries and leaves the tops laying on counter.... I could go on and on. Yes, I discuss/nag/scream, and he counters with "I was just about to clean that up, you never give me a chance!!" or something like that, but then 98% of the time he doesn't. He occasionally will do something housework related like mop the floor or load the dishwasher, but it's a "flash in the pan". Many, many times I ask for help and if he is doing something that interests him he'll tell me after he's finished he'll help, but if it's time to do something else, then he'll bag my request and do what he has to.

And the kids (2 boys) are copying their dad. They throw their clothes wherever they take them off, leave toys wherever (despite the fact I've issued a "no toys anywhere but playroom/porch/yard edict - I take the toys away if I find them elsewhere and then their dad gives them back...sigh and grrrrr!) I watched my oldest son yesterday walking along opening a band-aid and just dropping the paper on the floor!!! Of course, I called him on it, but you have to understand this is all day every day, I feel all I do is nag, nag, nag everyone. And now I'm just so burnt out (and truly a bit depressed as well) that half the time I don't even do the "lick and a promise". We can't afford a housecleaner or a storage unit for DH's junk. I'm truly at my wits end.

Wow, I'm sorry this turned into a lecture/tirade, but it feels a bit of a relief to get this out....
mor's Avatar mor 03:55 PM 08-08-2006
wow, erikandgregsmom's rant is about what I said yesterday to myself all day. for some reason yesterday was the tipping point and the mess was just too much. piles of junk all over, the floor in the kitchen was caked with dirt and covered in cat food-- what kind of idiot would put a white floor in a kitchen?

I cleaned the floor and put some stuff away, and after a while dh noticed and helped pick up his stuff and put the laundry out on the line for me. what made me laugh/steam was that when I commented on what a pigstye it was, he said "Are you asking me to help?" Seems I have to spell it out nice and clear and slow, but he does come through (sometimes) when he sees just how crazy it makes me.

My parents were not fanatical cleaners, but we had a big house and not a lot of stuff. His parents, on the other hand, had mountains of crud everywhere -- and I do mean mountains. I've ranted about this before, so I'll contain myself here and just say that it was REALLY bad and took weeks to clear when they moved into a retirement home. My partner is also a hoarder, all paper and old ragged clothes, and his habits are exactly those of erikandgregsmom's partner -- the clothes dumped on the floor right next to the basket, the coffee slops, the bandaid bits tossed on the floor. Piles everywhere that never get sorted. When I lived alone, I never had much of a mess; when I use something, I put it away. It just never occurs to me not to. When dp uses something, he just leaves it there. It just never occus to him to do it.
That Flylady is really something else when she advises people (women, in her worldview) not to act like martyrs and make a fuss about this, but to lead by example. Things have gradually shifted around here because frankly I'm not willing to martyr myself by shutting up and putting up with my partner's bad habits. I say yeah, let them know that they are driving you crazy. If you yell all the time, they just tune you out, but asking in a reasonable way, even if you are on the verge of hysteria, for the kids and the hubby to give you 15 minutes right now to put a dent in it sometimes works around here.
SRHS's Avatar SRHS 05:48 PM 08-08-2006
I felt this way for a while, but you what, everyone seems comfortable at my house...it's plenty cluttered, but not filthy...unless dust is dirty, then ok, it's dirty...I just call it dusty...but hey, those are just places we don't really use!!)....and I figure if people can come into my cluttered home with our science projects on the kitchen counter (not dishes, real science projects..right now waiting on a sphinx moth coccoon to be a moth)...then hey, we can really be friends. I only have so much time and energy in a day and I choose to spend it with my family and friends, not inanimate objects keeping up apperances!!

Sus
Jillson66's Avatar Jillson66 12:19 PM 08-15-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMoMof2
:
I have days were I sit and cry and stay depressed over it. My mom and dad have made it clear they are disapointed in me with how I do or more accuratly dont do in the house. My dad has went so far as to offer to come and help me clean

I feel like I missed out of the cleaning gene.
Might you be depressed? We all have days when we look around and think "Good heavens, what a pit!" but to sit around and cry all day over it isn't that common, I don't think. And if you are depressed, that's a big reason you may find it all so overwhelming. The important thing to remember is to not let your shame/embaraassment get in the way of fixing things so you feel better about them. For example, why not let your Dad help you? It's humbling, but it's so much easier to do when you have company, and the house is easier to maintain once it's on track, and seeing the kind of space you have will inspire you to keep it up, even if it's not "in your nature" (and belive me, it's not in mine, either -- I just got to the point where the joy of having a clean organized house outweighed my life-long hatred of housekeeping/cleaning). It's not a moral issue, it's just a personality trait, and nothing to be ashamed of, but it seems like if it makes you have that many bad days, you might want to get some one-time or occasional help to keep things at a level you're more comfortable with.

I'm not a smiley kind of person, but if I were, this is where I'd put that huggy one.
marieangela's Avatar marieangela 02:22 PM 08-24-2006
Just thought I'd join you. My parents do their cleaning every Friday-my mom does certain rooms and my dad does certain rooms. When my brother and I still lived there we took turns doing dishes and had other household chores. These days their house looks a little cluttered because they have a lot of toys for my boys (we only live 5 min away). My mom tells me, though, that she didn't worry about her house when my brother and I were little. It's good that my parents are understanding. I used to clean like crazy when mil came to visit, but these days I just do a quick once over. She is judgemental and, as someone else mentioned, is always asking if she can do anything for me around the house or watch the boys while I get stuff done. When my parents offer, I know they're being nice. When she offers, I know she's looking down on me. That said, dh and I both would rather not be so disorganized and have so much clutter, but we can't seem to help it. Ds1 tries to help my clean sometimes, but has a short-lived interest and starts making new messes. Dh works a lot and I don't expect too much of him. He is much better at getting cleaning done quickly and thoroughly when he has a chance, though. In the time it would take me to sit and go through every piece of paper on the kitchen counter and decide what to keep and where to keep it, he would be done cleaning the whole kitchen. I'm not fond of housekeeping/cleaning. I'm not good at organizing. We have toys and books and mail and such everywhere. I do wish I could have one of those people that someone mentioned from the diy shows come in and show me how to organize my house, but I wouldn't want to be on tv!
KeanusMomma's Avatar KeanusMomma 10:51 PM 08-24-2006
babybun--are you a SAHM? Married? I do understand it's possible to love your kids, be a great attachment parent, AND have a clean, orderly house. If you have someone to help you. CERTAINLY not if you work outside of home, full time. That's the boat I'm in. If I'm wrong, and you do work, PLEASE tell me what you're secret is!!

I never cared that much about order and tidyness. My room was always messy, except when I couldn't go out til I cleaned it, and since leaving the nest I have let the housework slide while I enjoyed my baby/toddler. That is how I always thought it was best--I'm never going to regret having a cluttered bedroom or cobwebs on the ceiling, but I know I'll regret not enjoying my son to the fullest.

Recently, a clean house has become very important to me. I have a very real phobia to certain insects. Very soon after moving into my current apartment, I found I had cockroaches. I had been keeping this place much cleaner than my old place, and at my old place I saw maybe 1 or 2 roaches the entire 10 months I lived there. Now, my landlord is telling me it must be me (read my previous post), and my dad is telling me as long as I don't have food or water out, I should be fine. (Dad works for a pest elim. company) He (Dad) just now told me clutter is just as much a factor. I must have misunderstood him before, but .

I have no time to clean. I'm thinking about setting aside a weekend (or the part of it ds spends with his father) to get rid of a LOT of stuff, so I don't have so much to clean. I'll have to wait til I get my brother or someone to help me, though, because due to my intense phobia, I won't be able to handle picking up something and finding a bug. Actually, half of my fear is not wanting to look under there in the first place, because what if there is a bug there.

Sorry, I'm prob getting OT here and need to post in Personal Issues and find a thread about those that WANT to keep a clean house to get some advice.
magemom's Avatar magemom 12:06 AM 08-25-2006
clean= no dust or finger prints
tidy/picked up= what i do

work ft
dh is grad student/TA
5 kids 16-2 years old
incontinent dog

too many people who leave clutter
too much time spent on the dog's messes

it doesn't ever seem to be me they are judging- but dh. he should help more, he should do more. he is a packrat, doesn't see messes. but he still is a good guy.

i want a tidied house that doesn't have wet carpets. that doesn't have toothpaste smears all over, that isn't wallowing in crubs. counters wiped down. toilet paper on the spindles, no streaks in the toilets.


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