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For clean/tidy: how many minutes do you clean a day?

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I can't believe I'm writing this, but I actually am beginning to think losing 50 lbs. was easier than trying to keep my house clean with a) a very cluttery dh and b) two homeschooling six year olds.


Admittedly, it would help if I were married to a neatnik and I soooo am not. He realizes that he let's things get out of hand which is a miracle that he's starting to see it. Still, he'll never be Mr. Clean.


So a lot of it falls on me. What should I expect if I want to maintain a fairly tidy home? I once heard it takes at least an hour a day. But sometimes I look around and think, gosh, I could spend an hour just cleaning my kitchen, stove and fridge. And not even touch the rest of the house.


Like with keeping 50 lbs. off, I totally get that I need to change the way I relate to my home and to cleaning.


When, for example, do you call in help? To get the rugs cleaned? Windows? A professional cleaner before your sister visits?


Please tell me your secrets!!





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I quick clean all day...I put things away as soon as were finished with them. I wipe down the bathrooms each afternoon, empty the trash, recycle at the end of each day. When I cook I clean as I go and then load up the dishwasher and turn it on as I go to bed.


As for windows --I clean them 3 times a year inside and out. I do it on my breaks from homeschooling.


I just do everything weekly and it all seems to stay caught up and done. I also trained the kids as they were growing up to do there rooms, bathroom, and clean up after themselves. If things start to go bad..I just start hounding people and they get the message in just about 2 minutes. ;)

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(sigh) It sounds like you're in a desperate need for decluttering and getting organized stage. This is a difficult stage! If you can get those piles under control, it only gets easier from there. Take a look at your husband's habits and see what you can do to help him get organized. To start, put out neat baskets as a "catch all" for where he tends to drop items. Later, you can see what's in it and what kind of systems he needs. If it's the top of his dresser, find a handsome box for him to drop that extra change, receipts, etc. You don't have to try to organize all of his stuff, just help him conceal it. Look for similar solutions for yourself and the children if need be.


A decluttered home is so much easier to keep clean.

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I exhausted myself in scrubbing it all to get it clean, then wanted to relax for a while. So while I was relaxing, the house got messy again. It was all-or-nothing for me.


I read everything I could get my hands on (um, can you identify one of my problems? :D) about how to get clean and stay clean.


Two sources of info and help stand out head and shoulders above the rest for me: Deniece Schofield and Marla Cilley (Flylady).


Deniece's books about household organization were more than the usual de-cluttering advice (as good as that is). It was about making my home's storage spaces more useful and logical, so that I could enjoy them. It made putting things away easier to do on a consistent basis.


If putting away the silverware & kitchen tools upon unloading the dishwasher means that you have at least 10 minutes of hard work pushing and straining to fit it all in, then you are going to put off unloading the dishwasher, eh? Good organization makes putting away the dishes easy & quick. So you can then begin to make it a habit -- and succeed.


That's where Marla Cilley excels. People who are all-or-nothing will dismiss her method because they don't like all the e-mails. H*ll, if that is the only thing standing between you and a peaceful, tidy home, don't you think it's worth doing some button-pushing every day to delete unneeded e-mails?


And they ignore the point of those e-mails, which is to slowly transfer the reminder from external (e-mail) to internal. Remind you of how we try to train our children? Hmmmm?


So, here's how to do it:


De-clutter every day, a little at a time.


Organize your storage spaces using the wonderful Deniece Schofield's advice.


Begin to put in place morning routines and evening routines, checking your calendar and the weather forecast every day.


Once those routines are in place, begin adding more routines, such as a mid-day tidy of your kitchen or a weekly vacuum of the family room.


Give yourself a set amount of time to work on one area of one room each day, if possible. One hour per day is not unreasonable if you need to work yourself out of a deep, messy hole.


Use outside help if you can afford to, as a motivation and time-saving boost to your deep-cleaning efforts: starting with a clean carpet makes a habit of frequent vacuuming emotionally easier to sustain.


My friends and I have helped one another with big chores like window-washing or weeding the flower beds. It goes so quickly and is energizing to work with a friend rather than alone. (I'm convinced we're biologically meant to work this way.)


So that's my big fat advice column. Take what works, and leave the rest. :tongue_smilie:

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I think you can battle clutter and keep the neat stuff neat in about an hour a day. Maybe a few more minutes, after everyone's gone to bed.


I'm going to get on my soapbox again, and recommend Motivated Moms (I'm an affiliate; if you click on my blog link below and scroll all the way to the bottom, there's a link for them).


Here's the reason; you have a list that someone else has made for you, to follow numbly when you're about to tear your hair out, and there's also room on the side of each page for a daily routine...something that's invaluable for keeping clutter under control. You can add your own stuff to the daily routine they have for you (clean sink, wash dishes, etc.), and here's where I'd take a cue from Flylady and put a few things on there that seem to be "Hot Spots"--areas that need to be kept under control daily. You can also pick one big ticket item a week and put on that blank list...clean out from under your bed, straighten a child's closet or the garage...this way, you can keep order in a reasonable amount of time and still get stuff that's waiting to be done handled.


The reason I tend to shy away from Flylady is because I know for *me*, having a routine tied to the computer is more problematic than helpful.:tongue_smilie: You can also have your list in a handy place, and accomplish things while you're in between other pursuits. (I'd pick two or three things a day to give your kids to do, too. Share the load!)


Anyway, hope this is helpful for what it's worth. Any woman who can shed 50lbs can tame a house, LOL! You can do it!

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About the not-so-neat husband...I feel for you.


I have struggled and struggled with not feeling disrespected about this issue, if I'm honest. I've had to let go of some things (okay, that's a work in progress), and I've had learn to be content with a different standard than mine, alone, and not return disrespect for disrespect. (Which really doesn't get anyone anywhere).


Here's the practical advice: Pick a time in the evening to straighten. If you've followed your Motivated Moms routine (hint, hint ;-), then all you'll have to do is pick up. So...if stuff is left out, have a laundry basket to toss it in. Papers/mail/etc. can have a little box for the kitchen counter.


Folks can either find it themselves, or you can sit on the couch and call them to you to come and get it, and put it away, when it's overflowing. Or sweetly direct them to it when they go a-hunting. You're not running around the house, picking up after people, and you get to enjoy a tidy environment when you're done.


Lather, rinse, repeat. Every day for the rest of your life.


And about calling someone in...I haven't done that in a long time. I had someone come and do floors and bathrooms when I was in a particularly difficult time, but now, we just plod along, and when the windows are unbearable, we wash them. (Another good thing about Motivated Moms; there aren't any HUGE, whole-house projects, done in one day. You clean things bit by bit, daily and weekly, which is a different approach from my upbringing, where you clean the ENTIRE bathroom at one whack, or the whole house on a particular day of the week.


Anyway, just wanted to offer some encouragement about the husband. It's harder than some folks realize, but it is possible to find some middle ground.

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I feel ya!


Get your 6yos to help with the stuff you don't like to do...mean, I know, but I have already started to teach my daughter how to vacuum with one of those sweeper thingies.:tongue_smilie:


As for your husband, I know the frustration and exhaustion that comes from not only having to clean up after your children but now an adult!?! I still clean up after my husband but he kind of has a corner in the house that includes a loveseat, a computer desk, and the area behind the desk. They are a wreck!!! I gave up/let him have it mainly because I couldn't keep up. But letting him have that has taken a lot of stress off of me.


When we have company over, he will clean his stuff up so guess what? I ask people over A LOT :D

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I second the response about the FlyLady. If I actually do what she says and keep it up, then yes, my house is very much in order and tidy. Problem is, I'd rather play, play, play doing stuff w/the kids or play on the computer! Um, guess that means I should get off of here and get dinner....:001_huh:

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I have morning chores and afternoon chores. So, total about an hour a day. Cleaning day is every Wednesday. Laundry is Monday and Thursday.


Here's the morning breakdown:


After working out and showering:

Make beds and take laundry out.

Get breakfast for the boys and start dishes.

Clean rabbit's cage while my oatmeal is cooking.

Clean rest of kitchen and living room while boys are getting dressed.

Start laundry and dishwasher if needed.


At 4:00 pm:

The boys and I start in the farthest room from the kitchen and tidy everything as we go, putting away all lost objects. I clear off the school supplies and the boys set the table. While they finish cleaning up, I start supper. We're ready for evening activities after dinner. I do dinner dishes the next morning, usually, so we can spend time as a family.


Cleaning day includes floors, dusting, bathrooms and deep kitchen clean.


3-4 times a year I de-clutter closets and bookcases, clean windows and oven, wash walls and baseboards and scrub the ever-lovin' life out of anything I've missed. These deep cleans are during school breaks.


As for clutter bug husband, well, I pick my battles. I've got an antique egg basket on the kitchen counter to catch the pocket crab when he comes home from work. I let the boots fall where they may because I know he'll just put them on in the morning. I don't mind picking up clothes in the morning as long as the wet towels get hung up.


All Hades breaks loose if I get off schedule though!


Oh, and size matters. My home is just under 1500 sq.ft.

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The reason I tend to shy away from Flylady is because I know for *me*, having a routine tied to the computer is more problematic than helpful.:tongue_smilie:

Or just check her book out of the library and use that as your springboard. I was rarely on the computer when I began and only checked my e-mail once every few days.


I only read the testimonials. Those were powerful for me.

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