General chatter - URGENT: Good housekeepers...what is your secret?

01-24-2006, 06:04 PM
I can't seem to get things in order and it is driving me mad!


01-24-2006, 06:22 PM
I hope it's okay for me to mention this, I have started using flylady and it has done wonders for me!! :)

Venus In Mourning
01-24-2006, 06:26 PM
The secret is......... live alone. :lol:

01-24-2006, 06:38 PM
LOL! I have to agree with that one too! I have a one year old and a clean house just doesnt happen very often! or very long ;)

01-24-2006, 06:39 PM
Liz, I know what you mean about going MAD!!! A few months ago I sat down and made a list of all the things that need to get done. I'll just cut and paste it so you get an idea. It is sooooo managable for me this way - when I get behind it piles up so quickly. I should add - I do not do everything on this list myself - my DH helps out too! He usually cleans the bathrooms and then anything else I ask him to do to help.

vacuum living room, dining room
spot clean bathroom

vacuum living room
windex mirrors (windows too if needed)

clean bathrooms
grocery shopping - doesn't aways happen this day
take recycling out
vacuum house

wash/spot clean kitchen cupboards/walls
mop floors
take all garbage out
vacuum living room

clean bedrooms
vacuum living room

bookkeeping if needed
vacuum living room
clean bathrooms
other chores

diaper/sheet/towel laundry
vacuum house

Each day
make bed
keep up with dishes
vacuum living room
straighten up
spot clean floors


01-24-2006, 07:25 PM
Thanks so much! I will definately incorporate what you said in my new solutions...........what is flylady?


01-24-2006, 07:30 PM
Thanks so much! I will definately incorporate what you said in my new solutions...........what is flylady?


I've been doing Flylady for about 3 years now, I love it and her. She rocks!
It is a way of removing the clutter and chaos from our lives and getting in control, I think you'd like it, its EASY and has been a blessing.

01-24-2006, 07:30 PM
She is right. The secret to housekeeping is doing a little every day. My husband and I split duties and every night after dinner, I set the kitchen timer for one hour (if I am home of course, sometimes I work late), turn on some great music and we clean as hard and fast as we can for one hour. After that we get to do whatever we want. I can work out and he can watch football (doesn't seem quite fair, does it?)

I also have a rotation for things that must be regularly done such as washing the bed linens, buffing the ceramic cooktop, dusting and clearing out clutter like mail and magazines, changing the glade plug-ins and so on...

It may seem in the beginning like you are spending your precious weeknights cleaning, but the reward is in not having to be your own maid all weekend. Plus you burn calories cleaning!

SW 165 5'7
CW 163
V-day Goal 154
TG 130

01-24-2006, 07:53 PM
i think the key is to have great music and do a little at a time. i used to program my coffee maker, and wake up to coffee, but now i make it and while i'm waiting for it, i've realized that i have time to swifter, and wipe down everything. i've looked over fly lady, and that's one amazing concept, but i just know i couldn't keep it up. when i'm sitting in front of the tv, i fold clothes, when i'm taking a shower, sometimes i clean it with wipes....i think just little things help.

01-24-2006, 08:17 PM
i'd like to get a cleaning lady... but i'd have to clean before the cleaning lady came! ug...

01-24-2006, 10:37 PM
When I worked I had a housekeeper but I didn't like it. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist and I like things how I like them. The lady we had did an awesome job but I always thought, "I could do that better myself." I suppose I am this way from being raised by a mother who pounded the notion that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself into my head. Anyway...

I agree that it is important to stay on top of things and doing a bit each day is the best way to keep up. It also helps to think about what chores fit together. For instance, the day that I dust is also the day that I vacuum (dusting comes first, of course!). And, the day I clean the bathrooms is the same day I do the kitchen floor since I already have the sweeping/mopping tools out. I am also a firm believer in investing in the right tools making sure you have enough of them to be in all the right places. Each bathroom has a scrubber and bottle of toilet cleaner as well as tub cleaner and mildew spray, I have spot cleaner and glass/surface cleaner upstairs and downstairs, I keep paper towels and sponges upstairs too. It is much easier than lugging a bucket of stuff all over the house. And if I happen to be upstairs and notice the toilet needs a scrub or that the mirror needs to be wiped down I can do it right then and there, without having to go downstairs (which would probably mean I'd get distracted and never actually do the chore).

Finally, and I know I'm contradicting myself here, but since my children came along I've learned to drop my standards a bit. I have three -a 7 year old and 5 year old twins. I could scrub my house top to bottom every day and it would still look dirty by the end of the day. Messes come with the territory. To help I established a "toy cabinet" in the den. At the end of the day (or if company is coming) I have a quick and easy place to at least get the toys off the floor. I have a bin for each child in the cabinet. Every few days I make them take their bins to their rooms and put their toys where they belong. More often than not they put their own toys in their bins (I sometimes "accidently" put things in the wrong bin and nobody likes their toys being reassigned so they prefer to do it themselves. LOL). And put your 1 year old to work! Mine have always liked to spray and wipe, and they fight over who gets to scrub the toilets. There are plenty of non-toxic products available if that is a concern. Sometimes I have to go behind them and touch up a bit but the point is to help them establish a habit of neatness for down the road so that they have the skills they will need to be of help when they are older. And, at these young ages, they really do love the feeling of accomplishment when they've helped me with a "big" chore. I also "spring clean" each room on a rotation. All of the rooms get picked up each day and certain chores get done at certain times but, once a month or so one room gets a top to bottom, in the corners, super scrub down.

With a little one afoot it is important to keep your priorities straight. Just remember that there is a big difference between a dirty house and a messy one. I try not to let things pile up but, sometimes, a tea party with my little girl, or a game of freeze tag with the boys has to come first. The dirty dishes will still be there tomorrow. This is a hard one for me. Like I said, I like things a certain way. But, there is always SOMETHING that needs to be done and I'd never have any time with my kids or husband if I didn't relax here and there and let a chore or two wait.

In terms of general organization think of how you can make your life easier. All of our expenses are paid via bank draft so I never have to actually sit down and pay bills (I took the time to load everything in Quicken so that I get plenty of reminders and averages are automatically entered so that all I have to do in put in the actual amount). I cook in batches so that I always have something handy in the freezer. I don't necessarily do the once a month cooking (although sometimes I do) but I often double recipes or patty out extra hamburgers, etc. It makes hectic nights so much easier. I found a dry cleaner that has free pick up and delivery. I don't get same day service but I have one less errand to run so it is worth it. Set aside a weekend and clean out/organize closets and cabinets. If you don't use it or wear it, get rid of it. The more clutter you have the harder it will be to keep things tidy.

Like anything else, it takes a little planning. Put a little thought into what will work for your family and you'll have your house running smoothly in no time. Oh, and don't forget to ask for help when you need it! My husband is a big help around the house but, like most men, he just doesn't "get" cleaning. He appreciates that it is done but it isn't something he thinks about doing himself. I learned a long time ago that it isn't that he's a beast not willing to help but just isn't bothered by dirt and messes. I finally quit expecting him to take the initiative to do things that needed to be done. Now, if I need him to do something I ask him (nicely, of course!) and he always does. I had to swallow a lot of pride to do that, especially when I decided to stay at home with the kids because I felt like I should be able to do it all myself and I hated that he'd come home from work and have "chores." But, he understands and it sure makes life easier having someone that I can count on to help.

01-25-2006, 04:03 AM
I think that it is awesome that your husband helps you with the chores, lucky...(your name says it all :) I too feel like I should do it all because I am home and don't think he should do chores when he gets home. Maybe I will try to ask him to do a little more around the house because it is driving me insane. A while back he told me how important a clean house is to him, but needless to say with a 15 month old running around it is so hard to find time to make things look the way I would like for them too. He makes comments sometimes about the way the house looks, or that he needs some of his clothes washed, and it really frustrates me because he doesn't do anything around the house and it is not like I didn't notice that the laudry was piling up or anything. It is like he assumes that it is my responsibility to do all of the housework and raise the kids and his is to work outside the home. The way I see it, my job is raising the kids, his job is working outside the home, and OUR job is maintain a clean atmosphere. Maybe I am off the deep end here, but my mom raised us with the same atmosphere as yours, lucky, and a game of tag or barbies or whatever is always more important than a perfect house. Besides before I know it my baby will be all grown up and even then there will still be laundry to do and dishes to wash.

01-25-2006, 10:47 AM
I'm a SAHM to a 7yr old, 2yr old and 3 month old twins. I've found for me the biggest help is to do a morning sweep and a nighttime sweep.

In the morning I get everyone fed, diapered and off to school, then I walk through the house picking up things that don't belong and putting them back, I then start a load of laundry and do the morning dishes.

Nighttime after baths, stories, diapering and feedings and everyone's in bed, I do the same thing. Weekends I leave for major cleaning when DH is home to help with the kiddos.

01-25-2006, 11:08 AM
Am I the only one who doesn't care about the state of my house :?: As long as I can find the things I need and do the washing occasionally and the house is clean for visitors... I'm not too bothered that there's hair balls collecting on my hardwood floor and that I haven't "windexed" the mirror since I bought it! Life's too short! Live young, free, and messy! That's my motto!!! :rofl:

01-25-2006, 11:40 AM
You guys are awesome. I did have a cleaning lady at one time and I never had a cleaner home, but that was because I cleaned all the time, cause I knew she was I decided to pay myself to keep the house clean......that didnt work.
I am inspired and will continue to work on a system that works.
I think staying home and running a household is harder than any job.......I work partime. I told my husband he should stay home for a year and I'll work full time and he can run the house, appointments, cook, clean, organize carpet cleaning, do small repairs etc. Just having to get up and get ready and walk out the door is a good gig!
I recently discovered that I hate being home alone during the day and I resent the cleaning. I now work most days through the week so cleaning is done on the occassional day off, a bit in the evening and the weekends......but I am going to start doing a little in the evenigs and stay on top of it.
Lately I have been saying.......ok today I will do the bathrooms, today I will dust and vaccum, today I will do groceries and weekly cooking. It helps but I have to get on top of things.
Have a great day everyone!


01-26-2006, 01:39 AM
I know exactly how you feel liz321....I hate the cleaning and the alone time. So you solved the problem by working outside the home? I don't think my husband could handle what you said to yours about staying home and running the household. He thinks it would be all fun and games, but in reality it is a very hard job. If only we could switch places with them and then they would know what it is like....:)

01-26-2006, 08:07 AM
I'm not too bothered that there's hair balls collecting on my hardwood floor and that I haven't "windexed" the mirror since I bought it! Life's too short! Live young, free, and messy! That's my motto!!! :rofl:

You are not alone, oh free and messy one ;)

01-26-2006, 08:26 AM
I think we have the same philosophy on housecleaning - life is too short and in the big picture, you can't even see those hairballs!

01-26-2006, 09:07 AM
I with ya! Mine are 12, 10, and almost 5. I figured out LONG ago that I could keep the house clean and go crazy OR I could enjoy my children while I had them. My 12 year old is starting to show me why that was an important realization on my part - mom just isn't cool anymore. :( You don't have them til they're 18, not even close.

The house will wait ladies, you're children won't. :)

01-26-2006, 09:22 AM
Years ago, my secret was the same as Venus. Nowadays...with a husband (who BTW refuses to throw anything away) and an infant, it's basically turn on the water hose and hoser down.

01-26-2006, 09:20 PM
my number one thing is to have list and everyone has to abide by it. number 2
I refuse to own anything that I simply do not love. So I don't have lots and lots of stuff and #3 always put things back when you finish. this has helped me throught the years I wish you well

01-26-2006, 09:39 PM
Liz, thank you so much for this post! As a result of all the feedback from people, I worked out a schedule of chores for our familly! My son has taken over taking out the garbage and dusting in addition to tidying the basement and making his bed! My husband and I are sharing the other chores on an alternating day basis!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01-26-2006, 11:22 PM
I agree..........the posts have been inspiring and helped put things in perspective!


01-26-2006, 11:40 PM
I'm in one accord with some of the other ladies advice, set chores for different days, this way you don't get too stressed out over it, I used to think everything had to be done in one day, well, as you might guess I stayed stressed, and very tired...So now I just do a couple of chores per day, and by the end of the week, it all looks pretty good. I like my house clean and organized, and that is kinda hard to do with 3 children, and one of those children being my 39 year old husband, but it also works to have everyone do some kind of chore....after all I'm not the only one living here....;)