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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you keep up with housecleaning/organizing/tidying with many small children in the house. I just feel very overwhelmed lately with house work -- I get less and less motivated the messier it gets. I just give up, I guess. I used to have such a handle on things. It is just that with several very mobile very into-everything children -- I can't seem to get it all together. It seems that even though our 5 yr old is good at cleaning up his own messes, he is very creative and is constantly making these messes, multiple times a day. Our oldest (7 yr old) is delayed/autistic and not a good cleaner. Our youngest seems too young to have any real chores, but will help tidy toys. If I clean the house in the morning it is a total mess by afternoon. I try to keep up with laundry but can't seem to have everything under control at any time. It is so frustrating. The worst is that the master bedroom turns into the collection ground for everything -- clean laundry, dirty laundry, mail, school papers, bills, anything I don't want the kids to get into, extra toys and books they leave on the floor. Someone help me!
 

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I think you need to focus on the habits that will bring about the biggest differences, at this point.<br><br>
Laundry: you said clean and dirty laundry both end up in your bedroom. Do you have a specific spot for dirty laundry? With my system, I have three laundry baskets. At all times one is collecting dirty laundry, another is sitting in front of the dryer, and the last holds clean clothes for folding. Ideally I'd only have two baskets so clean clothes never sat not put away, but I can't put laundry in ds's room while he's sleeping.<br><br>
Papers: For now, all of them need to go in one spot. Then, at least you'll always know where to look, and you don't have to worry about anyone messing up your system. You can put a more permanent system in place once you've gotten that under control.<br><br>
Toys in your room: Ds leaves his toys and anything random he can find in my room, all the time. So every time we're in the room together, I hand him one or two items he's left behind and tell him to take them where they need to go.<br><br>
I'm sure you'll get a lot of great advice here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Just here to commisserate. Ds is sleeping & I just had a breakdown 'cause I'm so overwelmed with the house & cleaning & yardwork. I'm ready to just torch the whole thing & move into the car.
 

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Honestly, sounds like you are doing quite fine. To me, it sounds more or less like an organizational problem vice you not keeping up. Having said that, it took a huge declutter for me to finally feel like I was keeping up and somewhat in control. I would start by looking at your spaces and seeing how you are using them. Making rules to keep toys out of bedroom may help...it might take time to learn, but it will eventually kick in. When DS was very little, I just gave up on chotskies and what nots. It was too much effort to walk behind him and constantly clean up. I just put everything in bins in the garage until he was older. It did help my sanity. Good luck!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Just here to commisserate. Ds is sleeping & I just had a breakdown 'cause I'm so overwelmed with the house & cleaning & yardwork. I'm ready to just torch the whole thing & move into the car.</div>
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<br><span style="font-size:medium;">gee, this sounds familiar...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
i look around and realize i need to clean up and get rid of stuff but just end up wandering aimlessly around, picking stuff up and wondering what to do with it.<br><br>
adamsmama, everything ends up in my room, too. i can't even close the door to my room b/c of so much stuff in there. i'm sorry i don't have any real suggestions for you, just <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> 's and understanding.</span>
 

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That overwhelmed feeling is very familiar to me also.<br><br>
What I have always found worked best to give me strength and energy to cope with it all, was just having time out occasionally to myself, a day to go out and do something enjoyable by myself away from the children.<br><br>
That way the constant need to clear up messes seems less overwhelming, when you feel more relaxed and therefore able to put it in perspective and see the light at the end of the tunnel. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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It gets better/easier as they get older. At least that has been my experience. As my olders have been more able to help and my youngers have been less resistant to cleanup, it's gotten much easier.<br><br>
But I don't know your family size/shape and I see you are expecting. I think even with little ones underfoot, having bigs who have matured into helpfulness makes a big difference. It's just a matter of time I would think.<br><br>
In the meantime, my basic strategy was...pick up the floors and sweep/vacuum once a day, keep toys and "stuff" reasonably minimal, and have a place for everything that fits your family's cleanup style (which might well be one big box on the floor in the spot where stuff gets thrown anyway.)<br><br>
I found it less stressful once I adjusted my expectations to fit reality...with littles underfoot, especially if they are home all day (we homeschool), there is never a state of "clean" - just "more clean" and "less clean." Do the best you can, enough to stay sane, and let go of any unachievable expectations that you might have.
 

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You've heard very important things already (like keeping your expectations realistic and decluttering on a regular basis). I've also found that routines are essential especially when it's "one of those days".<br><br>
Another thing is to involve your children early on - this is not a punishment but part of your job as a parent. (This is something I need to remind myself of on a regular basis. I was an only child but am now a mother of 4, you simply can't and shouldn't clean and pick up after 6 people!)<br><br>
Here are 2 sites you might find helpful:<br><a href="http://www.organizedhome.com" target="_blank">www.organizedhome.com</a><br><a href="http://www.flylady.net" target="_blank">www.flylady.net</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much for all the replies. Here is what we are doing so far and it is going great. I told DH how upset I am and I feel like I'm failing my family/the house. Sunday night we cleaned up together (once the kids were in bed because we were out pretty late) ... he took the kitchen and did all the dishes/cleaned the table/counter tops, I cleaned the living room/hall. Then I also downloaded motivated moms. I've started on that (I caught up on Sunday and did Monday and now Tuesdays) and the house hasn't looked this good in a long time. I'm so pleased. I think one of our biggest problems is I needed help and we just weren't working together to get the job done. I decluttered our bedroom yesterday and cleaned the bathrooms. I love how I only have a few things to get done each day through MMs and not huge projects. I've also been keeping a mental note of not leaving junk and clutter around -- if I'm done with a dish it doesn't get left on the desk/table/sofa, etc. it goes right into the kitchen sink or dishwasher. I've realized I needed to sweep several times a day and vacuum 1x a day to keep up -- the bathrooms should at least be wiped down once a day in order to stay nice. I like it nice and so does DH but we just lost control and now I feel like we are regaining order. The house doesn't have to be spotless but it does get me stressed out if it looks like it has been destroyed day in and day out. My oldest is autistic/dev. delayed so even though he is older (7yr) he doesn't help much in that way ... I do give the others chores, though ... actually my oldest and middle son (5) made their own beds today for the first time in a long time. So exciting! Thanks for everyone's advice!!!
 

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Keep it up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> You are doing well! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 
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