I love a clean house. An organized house. An aaaahhhh-when-you-walk-in-the-door kind of house.
One problem. Okay, two: I hate to clean. And I (and everyone else in this house) never put stuff where it belongs (heck, we have things that don’t have anywhere to belong to!). On the three days of week that I work, when I come home after picking up the kid, I get grumpy.
There’s clutter all over the kitchen island. Dishes on the table. Dishes piled in the sink. Dirty countertops. Laundry thrown in the laundry room. Toys everywhere. Dog hair dust bunnies float across the kitchen floor (even short-hair dogs shed). I would like to sit on the couch, but first I have to move wadded up blankets, books and toys.
I head upstairs to “release the hounds.” The bed’s a tangle of sheets. There’s a plastic prehistoric gathering of dinos in the middle of my floor. There are balled up socks. The window seat is piled with clean laundry, now wrinkled, waiting to be put away. The tops of the dressers are cluttered with hair ties, random plastic garbage, a tea cup that needs to be in the sink of dishes downstairs. My bathroom is the worst probably. My jewelry and makeup is everywhere. I want to wipe the counter down, but there’s too much clutter to get to it.
I am so sick of it. But how am I supposed to keep this place clean and still take time for me to say…write a blog post…exercise…do some freelance work?
I did find this blog: A Bowl Full of Lemons. Kind of a random name, but her cleaning and organizing guides seem doable. But starting from zero is kind of hard because it feels like it’s going to take a few weeks just to get the place clean enough to maintain and then begin the daunting task of organizing and clearing out the clutter.
Sometimes I think it’d be easier if I was a stay-at-home mom, but even on my days off from work–like today–it’s already 2:40 and I feel like I have so much left to do. I’ve got an hour and a half to exercise, mop the floor and vacuum (but of course I have to pick up a bunch of dog and kid toys first) before getting the kid to track practice. And we’re just having leftovers, so thank god for that.
What do other moms do? How do you do it?
Oooh, yes!!! Your house sounds cleaner than mine. 😉 I recently found “Nony” at “A Slob Comes Clean” and reading that makes me feel less alone in my clutteriness. I tried the FlyLady methods too, but found myself rebelling (yes, i am a mature, adult parent, and i dont want a website to tell me what to do.). So now I try to draw inspiration from those sources, but remind myself that it’s like anything else – it took a long time to get into this mess, it will take time to get out of it.
And with that…there’s laundry to fold on the couch, if I want to sit I should probably fold it… sigh…
My house is no where near perfect and I am a SAHM, save for a 6-8 hr work week. The biggest thing that helps is that we have a very small house with one bathroom. I can get the whole thing clean in no time because there isn’t a lot of space. We also try to clean as we go, so don’t make a mess in a new room until the old room is picked up. Our biggest issue is zero storage space. Of course, when you are busy it is almost impossible.
We have space for storage; we aren’t utilizing it properly. Going to fix that!
i’m not even a mom and i can’t keep my house clean, lol! i feel ya!!
The two “secret weapons” I have are: 1. Enlist the help of your kid(s) and 2. Make the timer your taskmaster.
I bought a bunch of square fabric boxes that stick into a 9-square cubby (all at walmart) and all the kids’ toys go in them. They don’t have to be organized, or sorted, just IN the box and IN the cubby. Every night we have “10-minute cleanup” and we set the timer. Any toy still on the floor after the timer goes off becomes parents’ property.
The beauty of boxes is that they’re portable. I can put one box in their room, one in the living room, and one in the playroom and say “Go!” and they don’t have to run around the house putting toys away. They just fill the box and carry it to the cubby.
Second, the timer. I am prone to procrastination. I will literally take alllllll day to do the dishes or do two loads of laundry, if given the chance. The timer keeps me on task. I set it for 15, 20, or 30 min (depending on the task) and I ONLY do that thing until the timer rings. That keeps my “cleaning ADD” in check….you know, that thing where you start cleaning one thing, then get distracted by something else that needs cleaning…and then something else….and pretty soon the whole day is wasted.
Use the same theory of momentum you use for exercise, for cleaning. You know that saying “I’ll just exercise for 10 minutes” usually leads to more exercise. Same thing happens with cleaning. Sometimes you just have to take the first step even when you don’t feel like it. Right?
I started doing 10-min clutter pick up and it’s good. It’s just tough getting to square 1. I really like your boxes idea. Probably stealing that.
Completely get this. It’s an ongoing battle for us and success sort of ebbs and flows. We both work, have 6 kids and 2 dogs and a cat and it’s just an uphill battle both ways sometimes! But a few things that have helped us are (1) getting the kids to help – even the youngest at 5 empties the dishwasher, sweeps, picks up the shoe closet, etc. Not perfectly, but it helps. (2) Throw stuff away. Like a LOT of stuff. Like rent a dumpster and fill it. It is surprisingly fun. We have done this twice now (and I would LOVE to do it again) and it is amazingly freeing to give yourself permission to just get the stuff out of your space. I have a very hard time of letting almost anything go (I’m frugal… well, cheap and we have so many hand-me-down needs) but having the dumpster there sort of gives me permission to do more than I would otherwise?
My husband and I recently decided to hire a cleaning company and I was surprised how “cheap” they were. Well, it’s not cheap, but better than I thought. We got a full deep clean of a 3 level single home for $250 and if they come regularly it would be $100-150 every other week. Since we both work full time, it’s financially doable and I rather spend the weekends doing fun stuff than clean.