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-   -   Household tip swap (http://www.mothering.com/forum/329-stay-home-parents/1351612-household-tip-swap.html)

pinoke 04-25-2012 12:42 PM

I wanted to start a thread to swap little tips and tidbits that you have either learned somewhere or discovered on your own to make managing a household with little ones a bit easier.

 

Here's one I read somewhere once that has made a difference for me: clean the bathroom while your baby is playing in the bath.  I don't think I have ever kept up so well on keeping the bathroom clean...even before having a child.

 

I thought this was a neat tip and figured there must be many, many more out there.

 

Have you got any tidbits to share that could make life a little easier?


philomom 04-25-2012 01:19 PM

I never go to bed without a clean kitchen.

I do laundry on weekends and every child puts away their own.

Twice a month, I mop myself to bed and wake up with clean, sparkly floors that no one walked on.

Katie8681 04-25-2012 07:55 PM

I am in no way ANY SORT of expert on household management. I'm constantly trying (and half the time failing) at just keeping my head above water. But one thing I learned over at flylady.net that has helped my morale immensely is to shine my sink and keep it clean. It's my one shining spot, no matter what. It keeps the dishes moving through the dishwasher and makes my cooking more organized, since I'm cleaning up as I go. And sometimes when I'm done with the sink I just naturally keep going and wind up with a tidier kitchen without even meaning to.


NewDirections 04-25-2012 09:37 PM

This may or may not be helpful redface.gif but work your butt off to get your house organized so that everything has a place.  Then you just have to maintain it by putting things back as you go along.  It's so much easier for me when I spend 10 minutes straightening up rather than letting things go and cleaning for three hours on Saturday.
 


philomom 04-25-2012 10:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewDirections View Post

This may or may not be helpful redface.gif but work your butt off to get your house organized so that everything has a place.  Then you just have to maintain it by putting things back as you go along.  It's so much easier for me when I spend 10 minutes straightening up rather than letting things go and cleaning for three hours on Saturday.

 

Yep. We call that the "everything has a home" speech at our house. I strongly encourage my kids to organize their rooms in ways that work for them, too.

FrenchieExpat 04-26-2012 11:45 AM

I'm really a bad housewife,I HATE to do the housework!

So I have some tips;

-I put the cleanser in the shower before the shower to rinse it like that while I wash myself

-I clean windows and mirrors in the bathroom after the shower because the mist help cleaning

-When I turn on the water for the shower is cold, I put a bucket in the shower and recovered water to the household or water the flowers

-I learned my daughter has put her dirty laundry in the basket, put his dirty plate and cutlery in the dishwasher, place the sponge on the table after the meals.She is two years and enjoys helping as much as profit in 10 years she will complain when I ask her.

-When my daughter takes a bath and it transforms the bathroom in the pool I take this opportunity to pass the mop heads

 

I think it's over, I share all my tips of bad housewife and bad mother!!!


Peony 04-26-2012 12:12 PM

I use table cloths. Not because I want a fancy table but because I take it outside, shake off the large chunks of food that happen with 4 kids and throw it in the washing machine. MUCH easier then wiping down a table 3 times a day. 


dovemama 04-26-2012 01:45 PM

I have certain days that I do things. Tuesday is wash day. We rarely leave the house on Tuesday and I catch up on all the laundry. We plan to stay in, and I have been able to stick to my goals of having everything washed and put away.

 

Great thread!


Mummoth 04-26-2012 01:56 PM

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrenchieExpat View Post

I'm really a bad housewife,I HATE to do the housework!

So I have some tips;

-I put the cleanser in the shower before the shower to rinse it like that while I wash myself

-I clean windows and mirrors in the bathroom after the shower because the mist help cleaning

-When I turn on the water for the shower is cold, I put a bucket in the shower and recovered water to the household or water the flowers

-I learned my daughter has put her dirty laundry in the basket, put his dirty plate and cutlery in the dishwasher, place the sponge on the table after the meals.She is two years and enjoys helping as much as profit in 10 years she will complain when I ask her.

-When my daughter takes a bath and it transforms the bathroom in the pool I take this opportunity to pass the mop heads

 

I think it's over, I share all my tips of bad housewife and bad mother!!!

You've got lots of good ones here! I may have clean mirrors soon :) Getting the kids to put their dirty laundry away was a big help to me, too. 

 

The kids load the dishwasher/do the hand washing after supper, they alternate weeks. 

 

I put things in the way. I make the bed and fold clothes on there... that way the clothes have to be put away before we go to sleep. And the bed is made. This works for the kitchen table, too.

 

I think to myself "I am not going to feel like doing this later, I may as well get it over with." Unless there's a good reason to put something off, like one of the kids wants to play or the job actually will be easier later (ex: letting the broiling pan soak)

 

I called the two local papers and asked them not to drop a paper at our house... between the two, we got FIVE papers a week, with mostly the same news and a ton of fliers, which would either be forgotten on the porch until they were waterlogged, go straight to the recycle bin or get strewn around on the living room floor, that are just GONE now. I get e-fliers for the stores I actually shop at, and the paper is online, too when I want to read it.

 

I have a bulletin board in the kitchen for permission slips, homework sheets, birthday invites, etc. If it gets removed from the bulletin board, it's not my problem. The kids are generally pretty good about getting stuff up there, because it cuts down on the number of things they need to remember.

 

The mudroom... there's a shelf for recycling, returnables, a bag for outgrown clothes to be donated, a bag of plastic bags that can be reused (we don't need more than one small bag, we will get more groceries next week!) There's a box for bike helmets, a bunch of hooks for coats, and a shelf for shoes. Lost items are NOT MY PROBLEM.

 

Eating and drinking happens at the kitchen table, no where else (unless someone is sick or we're having a movie night)


*bejeweled* 05-15-2012 07:15 PM

Put out the kitchen trash every single day.
Wipe down the bathroom sink and toilet all the time.
Keep the dishes rinsed. Even if they're not cleaned, at least they don't stink.
Open the windows often.

reezley 05-16-2012 01:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post

 

You've got lots of good ones here! I may have clean mirrors soon :) Getting the kids to put their dirty laundry away was a big help to me, too. 

 

The kids load the dishwasher/do the hand washing after supper, they alternate weeks. 

 

I put things in the way. I make the bed and fold clothes on there... that way the clothes have to be put away before we go to sleep. And the bed is made. This works for the kitchen table, too.

...

 

I have a bulletin board in the kitchen for permission slips, homework sheets, birthday invites, etc. If it gets removed from the bulletin board, it's not my problem. The kids are generally pretty good about getting stuff up there, because it cuts down on the number of things they need to remember.

 

The mudroom... there's a shelf for recycling, returnables, a bag for outgrown clothes to be donated, a bag of plastic bags that can be reused (we don't need more than one small bag, we will get more groceries next week!) There's a box for bike helmets, a bunch of hooks for coats, and a shelf for shoes. Lost items are NOT MY PROBLEM.

 

Eating and drinking happens at the kitchen table, no where else (unless someone is sick or we're having a movie night)

These are awesome!   Putting things in the way is really ingenious, I must start that.  The mudroom advice is so good ----  I wish we had a mudroom! You are describing all the out-in-the-open piles on my kitchen counters with things that have no home.  Bike helmets, returnables. And the outgrown clothes are in a pile next to my desk.  Where to put all these things?  

Can I ask you about the bulletin board (or anyone who has one) - do you mean a big corkboard with pushpins?  Or is it a magnet board with magnets?  And where do you put it so it doesn't look like a big mess on the wall?   And the kids can reach it and be responsible to put things there?  How old are they?  I really do want to institute these things but I don't understand how they work in real life. 

For those of you who have the kids put their dishes in the dishwasher - how old are your kids, and do you have them rise the dishes/cutlery well at the sink first? 


earthgirl 05-16-2012 01:46 PM

We do a ten-minute-tidy every night after dinner. I don't remember who first shared this with me, but is fabulous! You can get a lot done when the whole family is picking up and putting stuff away for ten minutes. 


youngspiritmom 05-16-2012 10:44 PM

Make the bed EVERY DAY as soon as you get out of it, and open the blinds in the house. Even if the rest of room/house is messy, a made bed will make the rest of the room look better or inspire you to clean it, and open blinds will make the rest of the house look better or inspire you to clean it.

 

Get rid of as much STUFF as possible. Seriously. Start asking yourself "A) Is this useful? B) Is this also beautiful/do I like it?" The less stuff, the more organized and peaceful things look, and you don't have to sort/put away/organize/move things in order to start the actual wiping/cleaning of your house.


*bejeweled* 05-17-2012 06:15 AM

nod.gif Yes!
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

Make the bed EVERY DAY as soon as you get out of it, and open the blinds in the house. Even if the rest of room/house is messy, a made bed will make the rest of the room look better or inspire you to clean it, and open blinds will make the rest of the house look better or inspire you to clean it.

Get rid of as much STUFF as possible. Seriously. Start asking yourself "A) Is this useful? B) Is this also beautiful/do I like it?" The less stuff, the more organized and peaceful things look, and you don't have to sort/put away/organize/move things in order to start the actual wiping/cleaning of your house.

luckiest 05-17-2012 09:00 AM

This:

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

 

Get rid of as much STUFF as possible. Seriously. Start asking yourself "A) Is this useful? B) Is this also beautiful/do I like it?" The less stuff, the more organized and peaceful things look, and you don't have to sort/put away/organize/move things in order to start the actual wiping/cleaning of your house.

 

Plus this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewDirections View Post

This may or may not be helpful redface.gif but work your butt off to get your house organized so that everything has a place.  Then you just have to maintain it by putting things back as you go along.  It's so much easier for me when I spend 10 minutes straightening up rather than letting things go and cleaning for three hours on Saturday.
 

 

Minimalism is a beautiful thing!  It makes organizing what you do have so much easier, and when everything has a home, you lose less and stop replacing things you just can't find.  

 

With an 18 month old, my main cleaning issue is that things get put in the most random places, all over the house.  I find toys in kitchen cabinets, wooden spoons in the bathtub, shoes under the couch.  Rather than picking up a few things at a time and returning them to their home and walking the house twenty times, I walk around with a laundry basket and do one sweep putting the lost items in, and a second sweep putting them away.  It's not a new trick or anything, but it's one I had to learn!

 

Also, we have a chart with one big chore for each weekday (Monday - floors, Tuesday - bathrooms, Wednesday - surfaces, etc).  That doesn't necessarily mean that it gets done on those days, but if I get around to it I check it off, then on the weekend DH and I can tackle together whatever I didn't get done.  Or if he's feeling inspired before work one morning, he can see what I've done and move down the list without me needing to prompt him.  It's a huge help in keeping us on track and making sure nothing gets too out of hand.


willfulmama 05-17-2012 09:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

 

With an 18 month old, my main cleaning issue is that things get put in the most random places, all over the house.  I find toys in kitchen cabinets, wooden spoons in the bathtub, shoes under the couch.  Rather than picking up a few things at a time and returning them to their home and walking the house twenty times, I walk around with a laundry basket and do one sweep putting the lost items in, and a second sweep putting them away.  It's not a new trick or anything, but it's one I had to learn!

 

 

I've got a 19 month old and my house is very much the same way!

 

I try to collect one or two misplaced things in each room as I move throughout the house. For instance, if I'm sitting down and get a drink, I grab a few things from the living room that SHOULD be in the kitchen to take with me.

 

I love the basket approach, too. Tossing things in there keeps the house relatively tidy throughout the day and makes cleanup a little faster.

 

I've become kind of vacuuming-cleaning obsessed. My son is always getting stuff in the carpet in the living room and having snacks in the carpet and on the couch drives me crazy. I just keep the vacuum out during the day and vacuum whenever I see a mess. Having mostly-clean floors keeps me a bit more relaxed. (I usually only hide the vacuum at night before DH comes home or when we're having company.)

 

And finally - I have made a point to start waking up earlier than anyone else during the day. Giving myself an hour of peace and quiet in the morning is absolutely vital to me feeling relaxed and peaceful during the day. I use that time to catch up on emails, read a book, or just sit and think quietly. Making sure that I'M in a good place makes an enormous difference in my day!


Alphaghetti 05-17-2012 09:17 AM

Downsizing has been the best thing that ever happened to us. We have nothing that isn't useful. At all. The only things we store are holiday crap and camping gear.

 

I couldn't believe how much easier my life got when I started the ten minute house cleanup. My kids are all school age, and when we band together, things get clean in a hurry.


OrangeMoon 06-05-2012 10:32 AM

I love this thread! So many great ideas! I was talking to a Mama who said she "uses paper plates in times of stress" and I thought that was so, so great. It's kind of my dirty secret, but it's all I've been using for a while now. They really do make things so much easier. We're surprised to be expecting our third so soon which will make three kiddos in 3.5 years so I figure if we don't deserve to use them for a while now, WHEN? lol. 


MrsBone 06-29-2012 02:08 PM

Well, I learned a new one today..leave the kids with a trusting friend to get the deep cleaning done. I left my kids with a friend down the street, and in 2 hours got as much cleaning done as I can get done in a week with the kids at home. It was a lot of work ,but I'd rather do it all at once than throughout the week. I'm going to swap with her and watch her kids so she can sleep(she works a ton, single mom and needs some downtime). We plan on swapping babysitting every week for a couple hours to do whatever we want. This week was cleaning, next week I plan on tackling some projects around the house that I never have time for, maybe another week I'll go grocery shopping alone, or just veg out :) I have 2 friends I plan on doing this with, so I'll have at least 4-6 hours a week to do what needs to be done. I'm hoping that I'll be able to have more time to actually just spend with my kids, and not worry about cleaning constantly. It drives me crazy..crazy!! I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old and I do make my 3 1/2 year old help out with the day to day, but scrubbing shower doors, and mopping is something that I'd rather do myself. Totally saving my sanity :)


MrsBone 06-29-2012 02:09 PM

I use paper plates on those nights where dishes just seem like way too big of a task! I rarely use them but I'm glad they're there!


Fay 07-05-2012 08:58 PM

I am not a great housekeeper, but one thing I am really good at is getting rid of stuff.  I'm always offering stuff to friends on Facebook, donating to community garage sales, freecycling, dropping off bags at various charities, etc.  It's karmic - last weekend, a friend gave me a bag of boots in several sizes for my younger child.  There's no virtue in holding onto possessions beyond their usefulness.

 

The other thing I am good at is having fun with my kids.  The kitchen floor doesn't complain if it's not mopped.  My kids have real emotions.  I will have plenty of time to live in a sparkling clean house again someday.


*bejeweled* 07-06-2012 05:39 PM

Love this! love.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fay View Post

I am not a great housekeeper, but one thing I am really good at is getting rid of stuff.  I'm always offering stuff to friends on Facebook, donating to community garage sales, freecycling, dropping off bags at various charities, etc.  It's karmic - last weekend, a friend gave me a bag of boots in several sizes for my younger child.  There's no virtue in holding onto possessions beyond their usefulness.

The other thing I am good at is having fun with my kids.  The kitchen floor doesn't complain if it's not mopped.  My kids have real emotions.  I will have plenty of time to live in a sparkling clean house again someday.

loveandgarbage 07-06-2012 06:39 PM

Making my kids think cleaning is fun is my only tip. I'm sure they will outgrow this, but right now vacuuming and getting to use our all-purpose cleaner is heaven to them. I plan to milk it for all it's worth.


childsplay 07-10-2012 10:39 AM

Industrial trash bags. Seriously, our biggest problem seems to be the accumulation of stuff. Once a week I clean house, I have a bag for garbage, a bag for donations and a bag for odds and ends that I cant seem to part with (those bags go in the basement storage and if after 2 weeks  havent desperatly needed something out of them (or my kids haven't) they're tossed.

But, I have 4 kids and a home daycare. And a dog. And I have this thing for clean open spaces.

 

One other thing I do is every 2 weeks I clean the fridge/freezer, potato bin and under sink garbage bin area. Makes a huge difference : )


proudMoMmy2634 08-04-2012 11:07 PM

Dont know what to share, but the tips shared will surely be helpful!joy.gif


tropicana 08-04-2012 11:58 PM

i've had a lot of success with the "do it now" philosophy, as in, you see it needing done, do it now.

this frees my mind from the burden of remembering that it needs to be done, and creates a happy feeling the next time i walk by and see that it's already done.

 

a little at a time works wonders, it's cumulative and you get inspired as things overall "get better."

 

OTOH, piles of clutter are best tackled in one fell swoop of concentration. i cannot simply pick one or two pieces of items to "relocate to their homes" and leave the rest... if i'm going to do it, i best finish it, or if there's not enough time, then wait on a large pile until there is.


*bejeweled* 08-05-2012 07:22 AM

If you're trying to declutter somthing, dump its contents or empty it. Then separate into 3 piles: keep, donate, and trash. Once you dump it, you've gotta do something about it right away.

Use peppermint Dr. Bronner's to clean everything. The fresh scent makes it pleasant.

MamaBice 08-05-2012 09:16 AM

I also use bath time to pick up in there, at least once a week. :)

I picked one day a week to change all the sheets in the house - Tuesdays. Then I wash all the sheets and towels on Wednesday. I try to do a load of regular laundry every day other than Wednesday. I take a break on Sunday from laundry.

I make sure to vacuum EVERY day in the play area - just having a clean, non-crumb filled floor makes me feel accomplished. I vacuum during clean up time before bed.

 

I found that really downsizing our toy collection has helped. I only have learning toys and few other favorites out. It is organized and easy to clean up.
 


rdehoff-us 09-07-2012 08:46 PM

I've used bath time to clean up too, but maybe only once or twice a week.  The other days I take time to paint my nails, make a grocery list, balance the checkbook, or do my hair & make up for the day while my baby chatters and shows me all his bath toys.  During his breakfast I prep things for dinner.  I have also found its far easier to keep up with the house throughout the day picking up little bit here and there.  When I pick up a room I find its easier to make piles before dispersing the items where they go it saves a lot of time walking up and down the stairs.  Even though my son is only 20 months old he loves to help.  It slows things down, but sometimes we get more accomplished than if I was doing it all by myself and he is constantly being disruptive or destructive for attention instead.  He likes to help me shake out the clean clothes and pair socks.  We have really deep cabinets along the floor and its difficult to reach for things all the way in the back, but he'll crawl right in there and pull out what I ask for like its a game.  If I start picking up his toys or books he jumps right in.


philomom 09-07-2012 10:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthgirl View Post

We do a ten-minute-tidy every night after dinner. I don't remember who first shared this with me, but is fabulous! You can get a lot done when the whole family is picking up and putting stuff away for ten minutes. 


We did the ten minute pickup every night before starting the teeth brush, storytime and cuddle rituals. It helped a lot to wake up to a house that's tidy... especially on a weekend morning.


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