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Newbie wonders when y'all clean? DO you clean?


sherideane
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Sooooo... yeah. Busy household (like everyone else's September with kids) and I always feel behind-the-eight-ball when it comes to getting things done around the house. How do you guys fit it in? I can feel my INFJ-ness working against my schedule too - my insanely strong J thinks I'm Martha Stewart but my INF is in LaLa Land. This creates a frustrating scenario in which I'll never measure up to my own standards! Hahaha I know I need to "let go" of that a little... but meanwhile, when will the bathrooms get done? :glare:

 

:bigear:

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We do the bathrooms right after we use them every morning. :) Whoever is last out of the bathroom gives it a quick wipe down. On the weekend, I mop and clean them more thoroughly.

 

I find it easiest to clean up right away, so things don't pile up. Toys get put away when they're done being used, dishes go right in the sink, beds get made as soon as we get out of them, laundry gets folded when it comes out of the dryer, books go back on the shelves when we're finished with them, kitchen counters get wiped down whenever we use them, etc. A few minutes spent cleaning up right away means that things don't pile up. We've always done it this way, so it's just habit for all of us.

 

I also have morning and evening routines, and the kids pull their own weight. For example, in the morning, I switch over laundry, and bring up the clean laundry for the kids to fold and put away. My son unloads the dishwasher, so we can start putting breakfast dishes in it.

 

With 6 of us all going in different directions all day long, we need to stay on top of things, or it quickly gets overwhelming.

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I figured out years ago I can't do it all well. I can balance the balls in the air for only so long but something falls at some point.

 

I prioritized our home and while I wish I could clean more I don't. Honestly, I could clean more but I don't.

 

School is priority. It's my main job in the week and I make sure I plan and get teaching done.

 

My second priority is meals. I make sure we have meals on the table and keep pantry stocked.

 

Laundry is also up there on the list. I honestly don't have issues with laundry. I look daily and if the basket is near full I run a load. So basically colors and whites are done about every 3 days. I start it before school. Ds transfers it during lunch and we put it up after school. By doing it every few days and not a massive pile once a week it gets done and it's not overwhelming. Best household change I made years ago. I rarely have to do multiple loads in a day. So the laundry is running almost daily on some level...whites or colors or sheets/towels or sports clothes....but it's quick to put up and is manageable.

 

I clean once a week. Deep clean is monthly(dusting, really scrubbing tubs, mopping). We vacuum and wipe down bathrooms and kitchens. I am having kids alternate who wipes table and sweeps kitchen daily so that is done more often. We keep the house tidy. And if we have bad behavior their 'work' is dusting baseboards. So those get done often enough :tongue_smilie:

 

I am at peace with our priorities. I know it will change but we consider our schedule every year and I am mentally ok with the state of my home. I am ok with people coming over short notice. It's not white glove ready but it's tidy and we get school done.

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I homeschool two kids and work 25 hours a week. I clean when it is necessary, not on a schedule. I am pretty efficient at using small pockets of time between commitments; you can get a lot done in 20 minutes.

The key to efficient cleaning is to have no clutter that must be removed.

 

I am like this: no schedule. If I say I am going to clean on Sat. mornings then we will have 3 Sats. in a row out of the house, guaranteed. So I just do what I can. I get home from work, get something for dinner, and spend a few minutes switching out the laundry, running the vacuum, and sorting mail etc. If I spend 2o min or so a night, and have the kids put their stuff away every evening, it helps. The bathroom gets wiped down while I am in there, no schedule. And the mopping gets done when I can squeeze it in. Laundry is daily.

 

I do not have the clutter under control yet, like above. Working on that.

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The key to efficient cleaning is to have no clutter that must be removed.

 

:iagree:

 

We actually have plenty of time to clean. If it doesn't get done, it's because I'm lazy and using my time poorly (like posting on this forum :tongue_smilie:)

 

Laundry gets done regularly now since I learned that my kids can fold clothes and put them away (they're 8, 5, and 3). We often put away a clean load of laundry just before starting school work. I have kids pick up their toys regularly also. Really, the hardest thing to keep up with is the kids not putting stuff away that they have gotten out, so I'm trying to teach them to do that.

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We have a 'before 8:30' routine here which means that there is a list of things that must be done before 8:30am. On the list is....

 

- beds made

- dishwasher unpacked

- breakfast dishes packed in dishwasher

- table wiped

- living area vacuumed

- kitchen benches wiped down and floor swept.

- laundry load pegged on clothes line

- bathroom/toilets wiped down.

- garbage/recycling taken out

 

At 8:30 we meet together for our reading etc knowing that the basics are done.

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Sooooo... yeah. Busy household (like everyone else's September with kids) and I always feel behind-the-eight-ball when it comes to getting things done around the house. How do you guys fit it in? I can feel my INFJ-ness working against my schedule too - my insanely strong J thinks I'm Martha Stewart but my INF is in LaLa Land. This creates a frustrating scenario in which I'll never measure up to my own standards! Hahaha I know I need to "let go" of that a little... but meanwhile, when will the bathrooms get done? :glare:

 

:bigear:

I think it's possible to have a clean house while simultaneously homeschooling. You just have to think about it more. :)

 

Also, I think that we err if we separate homekeeping and other life duties from Official School Stuff. Our job isn't just to teach our children to read and write and cipher. It is also to teach them how to take care of themselves and their families when they get to be grown-ups, and that all family members are responsible to work to keep their homes tidy and functional.

 

I only had two children and a small home, so my methods might not work for a larger home with more children . :)

 

By the time we started homeschooling (dc were almost 4 and almost 7), my daily routine was pretty set: shower at night, get dressed in the morning as soon as my feet hit the floor, make the bed before I leave the bedroom. Then, breakfast, clean the kitchen immediately, wash my hair in the sink (my grandmother would have been horrified at washing my hair in the kitchen sink, but after 36 years, still no one has died, so I think I'm safe, lol). Keep kitchen clean during the day (now that I have a dishwasher, dirty dishes go in there all day long, and I run it when it's full). Clean the kitchen immediately after dinner, even if I'm running late for an appointment. So that means when I come out in the morning, my bed is made, I'm dressed, and the kitchen is clean. If I get nothing else done all day, I still feel presentable. :)

 

Our eventual homeschool-homekeeping routine was the daily pick-up--vital and important to pick up the clutter all day, which usually involves nagging...er, reminding children to pick up after themselves, and keeping the kitchen clean, occasional vacuuming; all major housework on Fridays--laundry, bathroom, dust-and-move-the-furniture-and-vacuum. I don't like doing laundry on the weekends, and I don't like doing it Monday, because I want to ooze into the week. :) No Official School Stuff.

 

No errands on Friday, no field trips (but once-a-month park day), no appointments. Friday is sacred to house cleaning. :-)

 

No major housework on Saturdays. I want those to be free for family activities, which may include hanging around the house, but I want to be free to do that without worrying if we'll have clean undies on Sunday morning. :D

 

I also limited outside activities before 3 in the afternoon--no co-ops (which hadn't yet been "invented" when I first started hsing in 1982), no homeschool sports at 10 in the morning, field trips only on Thursdays, no errands before lunch and preferably only on Wednesdays (yes, it can be done, but you have to insist on it) after noon.

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Clutter is picked up immediately. For mail, throw away junk mail, pay bills, and file papers. Shoes, clothes, hats, and bags are put in their proper place. Cut down on extra stuff and get rid of visual clutter. My theory: leaving stuff out on flat surfaces causes clutter to increase.

 

Clean dishes are put away right after the dishwasher stops. This way dirty dishes go straight into the dishwasher, not the sink. Pots and pans that don't fit are rinsed and washed during meal clean-up so, again, dirty dishes don't sit in the sink.

 

Toys are restricted to certain rooms and put away every night. I take 10-20 minutes before bed to put things away. We take 5 minute breaks frequently to tidy up. "You want computer time? Put your shoes away. Play with your friends? Pick up your room." I actively help the kids when cleaning their space so they feel they are making progress.

 

I follow a weekly schedule, but I don't force myself to follow it religiously. If I missed a thorough cleaning one week, I know next week it's scheduled. I just try not to let too much time pass. My schedule:

 

Monday-kitchen (fridge and pantry clearing), budget and groceries

Tuesday-downstairs cleaning (vacuum, dusting, and mopping)

Wednesday-bathrooms and towels

Thursday-upstairs cleaning and linens

Friday-errands, field trips, and appointments

 

Clothes laundry is sorted by color in the laundry room. There are no dirty clothes bins in the kids' rooms. Baskets are washed once they fill up and clothes are folded and put away immediately.

 

I once read a tip to time yourself doing various tasks and this has helped me keep the house clean. Dishwasher, five minutes to unload-done while I fix coffee. Kids' bathroom, 10 minutes-done while the kids are picking up their rooms. Fold clothes, 7-8 minutes-done during a break in school. Break cleaning down into little tasks and take 5 minutes to get that one task done. The little stuff adds up.

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Sooooo... yeah. Busy household (like everyone else's September with kids) and I always feel behind-the-eight-ball when it comes to getting things done around the house. How do you guys fit it in? I can feel my INFJ-ness working against my schedule too - my insanely strong J thinks I'm Martha Stewart but my INF is in LaLa Land. This creates a frustrating scenario in which I'll never measure up to my own standards! Hahaha I know I need to "let go" of that a little... but meanwhile, when will the bathrooms get done? :glare:

 

:bigear:

 

I'm a fellow INFJ; we're a rare breed. :D Honestly? I just fly by the seat of my pants for the most part. I do more of the real cleaning on the weekends and I also enlist my home-grown labor force. ;) Once in a while, we take off school and I thoroughly clean like a mad woman.

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I think it's possible to have a clean house while simultaneously homeschooling. You just have to think about it more. :)

 

 

I don't know what the OP's life is like, but believe me, more thinking about it doesn't get it done around here. ;) However, I have many small children. They do a lot of work, which lightens the load but does not eliminate all the things I need to get done. Then there's the fact that fitting in family time with my husband around his irregular schedule is more of a priority than clean clothing. Ok, so I'm kidding about the clothing part, but it is more important than having a house that is presentable at a moment's notice.

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:iagree:

 

We actually have plenty of time to clean. If it doesn't get done, it's because I'm lazy and using my time poorly (like posting on this forum :tongue_smilie:)

 

 

:iagree:

 

the big keys to me are:

1- Declutter- the less you have to take care of the easier it is and less you have to put away

2- Kids help mine are 8, 5, and 2.5

- 8 and 5 keep their room clean, clean bathroom, help set table, feed animals, put laundry in dryer/hang to dryer, fold and put away, wash walls, pick up around the house, dust-

- Every day they are expected to keep rooms clean, beds made, help set table, feed animals, pick up around house- everything else listed and other various things are as needed

3- I don't have a huge big schedule but mostly do as needed and as I have energy (as that is in low supply this pregnancy).

-I try to make sure the house is picked up twice a day around lunch and supper time usually.

-Dishes unloaded at breakfast, loaded after supper

- House picked up and tidied before bed- everyone pitches in after supper- I do not stay up late to clean by myself

- I prefer to sweep daily but these days it doesn't always happen, I like to do that in the am are while supper is cooking

-Bathrooms cleaned a few times a week

-Mopping is every 5-10 days (needs to be 5 but again I'm hugely pregnant with insomnia!)(My house is all hardwood/tile)

4- Realistic Expectations- It is not perfect, white glove clean. Things however are uncluttered and generally tidy. No nasty messes. Frig is generally kept clean throughout the week. Bathrooms never allowed to get very bad.

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We do chores daily, like taking out the trash, washing dishes, and collecting dirty laundry to be sorted out by the laundry room. For cleaning the bathrooms, vacumming rugs, sweeping hardwood floors, and bathroom cleaning we do that once a week. I like to do it Friday mornings instead of focusing on studies but depending on our week we sometimes have to do it on Saturdays. I will say that we I also clean as needed, if I see dust I clean it or if food gets on the floor of course we sweep it up but intentionally we tend to clean once a week. I don't allow my kids to keep out toys, every night they have to pick them up. My older 2 are allowed to keep out lego creations as long as the little pieces are picked up and the creations are off the floor. My toddlers toys are cleaned up every night.

 

Of course, depending on your household you could assign chores certain days or for certain children to do. In our family it just works better to have 1 cleaning day and do most of the laundry that day too. Sometimes, I do loads during the week, like for towels or play clothes or sheets but I perfer to do one day of cleaning and it works good for us.

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I don't know what the OP's life is like, but believe me, more thinking about it doesn't get it done around here. ;) However, I have many small children. They do a lot of work, which lightens the load but does not eliminate all the things I need to get done. Then there's the fact that fitting in family time with my husband around his irregular schedule is more of a priority than clean clothing. Ok, so I'm kidding about the clothing part, but it is more important than having a house that is presentable at a moment's notice.

 

oh shoot I lost my response before posting and only have a minute before ds9's online class.

 

I may think about my cleaning to be done often but that doesn't mean I have time to get to it. I try to work at it little by little all day, clean the kitchen while kids do school, clean the bathroom while youngest in bath etc. BUT sometimes life is too dang busy and those times I put on hoarders online and clean at 11pm. With 4 kids, a tiny house, animals, renovations, a crazy busy schedule, and health issues, it is never 100% done in everyroom at the same time, but keeping at it daily keeps it from becoming too overwhelming.

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I *clean clean* whenever I have company coming. :D

 

I do *tidy* (laundry, dishes, generally tidying of toy tornadoes, wiping down a table after a meal) most days. :)

 

:iagree: I do have a schedule but I usually forget about it. We do a nightly 15 minute speed clean. We work best that way. My house is not as clean as I'd like it, but it's what I can handle.

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My kids do the vast majority of the cleaning, simply because I am doing school with someone from 8:30-4 every day, and when I'm not doing school I'm managing other things/people.

 

I load the dishwasher and put laundry in the washer, but they do most of everything else (including bathrooms...my oldest has been cleaning bathrooms since he was 7).

 

All that said...we're always so busy that I have not had a chance to fully train them in how to clean, and I'm not great at inspecting. So the standards aren't very high. I also struggle with having a PLACE for everything (so everything can be in its place).

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:lol::lol::lol:

 

I'm right there with you, OP. I can keep up with shopping, laundry & cooking, but cleaning?? I'm in the camp that gets it done (right) before company arrives, which is a good motivator to entertain every once in awhile! :D

Shopping is my downfall. I cannot get on a decent grocery shopping routine to save my life!:tongue_smilie:

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Monday and Thursday are vacuum and dust days, which includes sweeping/mopping wood floors.

 

Tuesday and Friday are bathroom days.

 

Laundry is done every day. Kitchen is always cleaned completely before bed.

 

General cleaning/decluttering is done almost daily. Each room has to be thoroughly vacuumed twice a week, so the children make sure their rooms are clean for that. They don't get too out of hand because it is done twice a week.

 

I'm able to keep things clean and do school. The problem is that I don't have much for extras - such as unpacking. I'm really frustrated because there are still boxes that need to be unpacked. In addition, I have painting to do. Trying to fit everything in is making me sick - literally.

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Yes. Every day my kids clean their rooms. They do not get to take part in family activities until their rooms are clean.

 

Once per week we stay home in the afternoon and have Deep Cleaning Day. My kids do half the house and I do half the house. They get less play time on Thursdays, but if they clean cheerfully and quickly, then and only THeN do they get to go outside.

 

I do Spring Cleaning in the summer.

 

In the past, I have used Motivated Moms. I highly recommend it for your first year of homeschooling, or if your kids are under 5.

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but cleaning?? I'm in the camp that gets it done (right) before company arrives, which is a good motivator to entertain every once in awhile! :D

 

Oh yes, my DH and I firmly believe that the frequent hosting of dinner parties keeps the house clean. If we have company every two weeks, the house can really not deteriorate in between .

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We did a cleaning "boot camp" this summer. Every morning after breakfast we all started cleaning every room in the house until the entire house was satisfactory. Every morning. Five days per week. I discovered that it took at least two hours of hard work for the four of us (three kids and I) to get the house clean - some days as long as four hours. I do not have two extra hours to work on housework every day during the school year, which is why my house was always messy! And that time did not include cooking meals or doing cleanup after meals. This was just tidying every room and keeping bathrooms and floors acceptable. Eventually the kids figured out that if they didn't drop food on the floors during a meal, they didn't have to sweep as often, and if they put things away after using them, they didn't have to come back later and put the things away. They figured out that it was actually more work to pick something up and put it where it belonged than to put it where it belonged while it was still in their hands when they were done with it - it was less effort to drop the dirty clothes directly into the basket than to drop them on the floor and then pick them up later and put them in the basket. They also realized that I meant business, and when I told them to clean a room they had to clean it, and whining just made the job take longer - it never got them out of doing the job.

 

By the end of the summer we were down to about half an hour daily, if they kept on cleaning up after themselves as they went about their day (and kept the whining about cleaning to a minimum). So besides the usual tidy before meals (common areas must be tidy before food is set on the table) and wash table/counters and sweep kitchen after meals, we do a quick clean of the entire house most days of the week and it doesn't take too long. I have six areas that need to be cleaned (3 bedrooms, the school room, the front bathroom, and the dining room) and three children, so they each clean two areas. They separate and each clean their assigned area, and I go behind them and vacuum/sweep/mop floors. Extra stuff (i.e. washing walls around the kitchen table) is done when we have extra time, once every week or so. Occasionally we will get very busy and the house will get out of hand, so we take several hours and get it back in shape.

 

It takes practice and consistency to get your house clean and to stay on a cleaning schedule. Oh, and cleaning supplies. Get everything you need and put it in a carrier or bucket or something, anything to make the supplies handy.

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We have some rules/routines/habits for ourselves and our children:

 

 

  1. School Day = 7 Minute Rule. The children know this means they can get out toys, books, art stuff in the morning, but it can't be such a huge mess that they can't clean it up in 7 minutes. When I say, "Clean up!" they have to get it all neatly put away within 7 minutes (give or take a few). ;) Their toys have bins; their books have shelves -- so everything has a place. This prevents deep-level chaos.
  2. "If you see a basket of laundry [at the top of the basement stairs], dump it on the sofa and fold and put away what you can." This applies to all three children, since they were three years old. They can fold washcloths, small towels, match/fold socks, fold underwear (even mine :tongue_smilie:), all pajamas, etc., etc., etc. They also spread out everything else on my bed, so it doesn't get wrinkled. By having them fold the laundry, I can get supper started in the crock pot.
  3. Chores for everyone, every morning, as assigned on the spot by me. :D No complicated chore charts here. So after breakfast, I'll say, "Sa, you sweep the kitchen and feed the cat. Ha, you empty the trash and get out the vacuum cleaner. Ma, you go downstairs and begin the laundry [she pushes all the clothes from the chute to the sort spot]." They all get to work, while I wash, dry, and put away the breakfast dishes. I also get some idea of what to serve for lunch. Then I go down and put in a load of laundry, come up and vacuum, and one of the kids puts the vacuum away. All of this takes about 15 minutes.
  4. If your house is really tiny, like mine is, you can clean the whole thing in 20 minutes. So, one way of handling it all is to downsize. Seriously. :tongue_smilie:[Anyone want a dumpy 1930s two-bedroom bungalow with an assumable mortgage in New Jersey?]
  5. Sometimes, you just need to make homeschooling work for you, instead of you working for homeschooling. If you and/or your family function best with a well-ordered home, then take the time you need (within reason) to get that order. Yesterday we planned to "do school." I spent the ENTIRE day (from 8 am until 6 pm) pitching stuff out of the basement. I feel we are one day closer to moving out, which is also an important long-term goal for our family. Of course, I don't want to be like the teacher who spends more time on the math bulletin board than on the math lesson, but still... I give myself permission to be in charge of my schedule, and take the time needed for effective, mature home management. I am not back in school. :glare:

 

Edited by Sahamamama
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I think it's possible to have a clean house while simultaneously homeschooling. You just have to think about it more. :)

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

This. Exactly.

 

I try hard to capture pockets of time to pick up/clean. Homeschooling does not suffer if you spend 5-10 minutes here and there throughout the day cleaning. I am able to (usually) stay on top of laundry, keep the sink empty of dirty dishes, keep the bathrooms clean and organized. It takes time. And discipline. And more discipline.

 

Also, I will play devil's advocate for just a moment and posit that, those who say they have no time to clean and yet run up thousands and thousands of posts on the WTM forums, actually have plenty of time to clean. That was a lesson I needed to learn years ago as a new homeschooler.

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Forming and keeping good habits, not wasting too much time, being purposeful about how time is spent, training kids to do chores and then actually expecting follow through, putting most things on a schedule, putting as many household chores and responsibilities on auto-pilot as possible...

 

It is possible. Really, auto-pilot chores built into the schedule are what took me from feeling like a chicken with her head cut off to feeling in control. That and my kids getting older and being expected and trained to pitch in. I think when kids aren't carrying a reasonable chore load, it does a disservice to the kid and the mom, who frequently ends up becoming a martyr for home and family. Lose/lose situation, that is.

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:iagree::iagree:

 

This. Exactly.

 

I try hard to capture pockets of time to pick up/clean. Homeschooling does not suffer if you spend 5-10 minutes here and there throughout the day cleaning. I am able to (usually) stay on top of laundry, keep the sink empty of dirty dishes, keep the bathrooms clean and organized. It takes time. And discipline. And more discipline.

 

Also, I will play devil's advocate for just a moment and posit that, those who say they have no time to clean and yet run up thousands and thousands of posts on the WTM forums, actually have plenty of time to clean. That was a lesson I needed to learn years ago as a new homeschooler.

 

Perhaps but it is also possible that people are posting from their phone while sitting at kid's extra curric's, or finally sitting down for 5 minutes of adult discussion, or posting late at night etc, Or that they are on the computer right next to their distractable child. If I leave the table when my boys are working, no school work gets done, so to leave teh table to clean the bathroom can not happen, but I can sit right next to them and post online, or google things, or blog etc. It is multitasking not giving up time for cleaning in order to sit and do things online. Now there is certianly situations where that is what is happening, cleaning is being ignored in order to post online, but I think the bulk of those on here posting, are multitasking and not neglecting work for pleasure.

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Perhaps but it is also possible that people are posting from their phone while sitting at kid's extra curric's, or finally sitting down for 5 minutes of adult discussion, or posting late at night etc, Or that they are on the computer right next to their distractable child. If I leave the table when my boys are working, no school work gets done, so to leave teh table to clean the bathroom can not happen, but I can sit right next to them and post online, or google things, or blog etc. It is multitasking not giving up time for cleaning in order to sit and do things online. Now there is certianly situations where that is what is happening, cleaning is being ignored in order to post online, but I think the bulk of those on here posting, are multitasking and not neglecting work for pleasure.

 

Oh, certainly I have posted periodically when at an extracurricular or sitting next to a distractable child. As a matter of fact I am posting right now while sitting next to my 9 year old and waiting for him to finish copying his narration. But, many times while I sit and wait I grab a laundry basket full of laundry that needs to be folded, or meal plan/make a grocery list, or chop veggies for dinner, or sweep the floor in the room where my child is working, or, or, or.... I am simply trying to point out that we make decision all day long to do one thing instead of another. I am as guilty as anyone else of wasting time. But I don't think we should say we don't have the time when it is simply a case of choosing to do something different. One can choose any number of things to do while multitasking.

 

Once my kids are beyond the age of 5 or 6, I expect to be able to leave them for 5 minutes to go and switch the laundry, wipe down the counters, whatever, and still have them on task when I return. That takes training, but it can definitely be done. I wouldn't leave to clean the whole bathroom, but I might run out for 4-5 minutes and sweep it. If we were discussing their reading, or doing an oral quiz, that can always be done in the laundry room or the bathroom. If I make use of such little snatches of time throughout the day, I can keep nicely on top of things. It is also training my children to be responsible and follow directions without my having to sit next to them every minute.

 

I think that is the kind of intentional thought that Ellie mentioned earlier. Couple that with training the children to complete their chores well and in a timely way and the result is a pretty clean home.

 

I am not superwoman and my home is not spotless, but one can homeschool and have a neat, tidy home. It definitely IS possible.

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Forming and keeping good habits, not wasting too much time, being purposeful about how time is spent, training kids to do chores and then actually expecting follow through, putting most things on a schedule, putting as many household chores and responsibilities on auto-pilot as possible...

 

It is possible. Really, auto-pilot chores built into the schedule are what took me from feeling like a chicken with her head cut off to feeling in control. That and my kids getting older and being expected and trained to pitch in. I think when kids aren't carrying a reasonable chore load, it does a disservice to the kid and the mom, who frequently ends up becoming a martyr for home and family. Lose/lose situation, that is.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

 

(my house is pretty clean, and I post a heck of a lot)

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I only have two girls so...

 

The girls have to keep their room clean and save all toys after they are done playing. We have a chore/reward system in place. School for us does not begin until 9:30 so that gives us time to get the basics done before school. I put a load of wash on before we begin and throw that batch in the dryer in between subjects so that it is ready to fold after lunch. Our school is done by 3. I do a deep bathroom clean up once a week but we are all responsible for keeping it tidy until then. No one is allowed to leave a room in a mess. As for cooking...I prepare things like meat loaf ahead of time so that I can just throw it in the oven. We eat lots of baked foods here. :-) My house is not sparkling but it is presentable most of the time.

Penny

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This year, I have built in "vacation days" with the sole purpose of giving me time to clean the house. We also have an afternoon activity each day. If the house is driving me nuts we clean (or do laundry) as our activity. :D

 

For daily upkeep, I generally unload the dishwasher and feed the pets in the morning. After each meal we put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. After dinner I wash any pots, pans, or other items that don't go in the dishwasher. I also scrub down counters and sweep/shark the floor. We try to tidy up the living room and schoolroom right before or after dinner as well. In the afternoons, I have an area each day to work on (Mon--entryway and dining room, Tues--kitchen, Wed--bathrooms and bedrooms, Thurs--laundry and cleaning catch-up, Friday--living room and schoolroom). I try to pick up, dust, vacuum, wipe down walls, etc. as needed in that area.

 

Laundry happens on days when we don't have activities (which is why it's seriously behind right now). I'm hoping to weed out their clothes so it doesn't take so long to get caught up.

 

BTW, my house is by no means "company ready" right now. The downstairs is not quite bad enough to drive me nuts...the upstairs is bothering me. I have a feeling we'll be cleaning upstairs tomorrow. ;) I am working on getting the kids more involved with cleaning, laundry, and cooking, but we have a ways to go on this!

 

Oh yes, my DH and I firmly believe that the frequent hosting of dinner parties keeps the house clean. If we have company every two weeks, the house can really not deteriorate in between .

 

Ours deteriorates in 48 hours. :leaving: This is why I no longer take "sick days".

Edited by Holly
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Sooooo... yeah. Busy household (like everyone else's September with kids) and I always feel behind-the-eight-ball when it comes to getting things done around the house. How do you guys fit it in? I can feel my INFJ-ness working against my schedule too - my insanely strong J thinks I'm Martha Stewart but my INF is in LaLa Land. This creates a frustrating scenario in which I'll never measure up to my own standards! Hahaha I know I need to "let go" of that a little... but meanwhile, when will the bathrooms get done? :glare:

 

:bigear:

 

The flippant answer? You clean after they leave for college!! (I'm tackling my closets for the first time in YEARS.)

 

The practical answer is to teach your kids to clean the bathroom and to vacuum and by the time they are teens to start doing their own laundry. And you just learn to be a little more tolerant of clutter, dust and grime.

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Keeping house and homeschooling are one in the same. When I do laundry, we do it together. (And when I have been sick, the children can do it themselves. They are very young, but I have always done laundry with them.) When I clean the bathroom, my 4yo gets a bottle of water, and my 7yo gets a small spray bottle of cleaning solution, and they clean it with me. They help set the table. I still have to work on getting them to help put dishes away. But you get the idea. I am not so organized as to have specific days for doing everything, and I need to do better with that. But I am a firm believer in developing these habits early on. If you wait too long, it is very hard to get them to do it. (My mom didn't make me do chores when I was young. When I was about 12yo, she decided it was time, and I rebelled the whole way. And there was little my mom was able to do to get me to do any of it.)

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I don't have any advice, except not to compare your house to someone else's... cleanliness is not close to godliness. Talk to DH and decide between you what is most important, and let that be your standard.

 

I also know that my kids are not going to remember if our house was spotless. They want and need my time more than anything else.

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I *clean clean* whenever I have company coming. :D

 

I do *tidy* (laundry, dishes, generally tidying of toy tornadoes, wiping down a table after a meal) most days. :)

 

That's me too...sometimes I am so glad to have people over just because it makes me do a good cleaning of the house. :001_smile:

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I told my dc tonight: "The messiest tooth-brusher is the sink cleaner." The last dc to brush rinsed the sink a bit after he was finished and the sink looked as nice as it did before they brushed.

 

 

The same works for sweeping under the kitchen table. It's amazing how neat and careful children can be when they realize that *they* might be the one to clean up the mess.;)

 

 

My days go much smoother when the dishes are put away first thing in the am so that everyone can load dishes as they are used.

 

 

I bought a steam mop. My kids call dibs for it every Saturday.

 

 

I send the kids to pick up any messes they made throughout the day while I cook dinner. Plus, I just moved 95% of all of their toys down to the basement. Containment is 1/2 the battle.

 

 

The ornery little one gets a damp rag to wipe walls while the productive citizens (:tongue_smilie:) get 'er done. (All of the wall smudges are at his height anyway, interestingly enough.)

 

 

We do the best we can. The house still looks very lived in. School is our priority. If I hired a tutor to teach my kids and she neglected their studies in order to put her dinner on or clean her toilets, I'd fire her. My dc deserve a dedicated teacher.

 

 

That said, my toilets get done on Wed and Sat. I take a 20min chunk of time and run between the bathrooms cleaning like a crazy woman. I only do the shower/tub/floors once a week.

 

 

If you could see me 6 years ago when I had 3 babies...you'd be so proud of how far along I've come. I am still tweaking to get into "auto-pilot" mode with the kids. (Much more motivated to get there quick with a baby coming soon!!!)

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Our kids have "stations" (i.e. specific rooms of the house) to pick up when things are getting out of control. They do this 1-4 times a day when necessary. Dh or I will say "ok, time to do stations" and everyone goes buzzing around doing their room, putting things away and getting everything off the floor. I still have to vacuum, do dishes & laundry, but just having the kids used to tidying up the rooms really helps. They are so used to it and pretty good at it that they don't bother complaining much anymore. They just get it done and get back to what they were doing.

 

I have also been making our homeschooling more and more independent work so that I don't need to sit with them for hours anymore. Ideally, I probably would, but I have realized it just can't work that way for right now when I have 5 kids under age 10, and the little ones need a lot of attention. So I pick which subjects I want to be doing with the kids carefully and whatever they can do on their own, I let them, and just answer questions and oversee *while* I'm folding laundry or what have you. Sounds simple, but really saves me from the nightmare of spending time on school with the boys and then, just when I'm worn out from teaching, realizing that the house looks like a bomb went off and feeling like crying. I need to be able to move around and be on my feet while overseeing their work, so I can make sure the house doesn't get out of hand, so the independent work helps me do that.

Edited by TaraJo29
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Oh, certainly I have posted periodically when at an extracurricular or sitting next to a distractable child. As a matter of fact I am posting right now while sitting next to my 9 year old and waiting for him to finish copying his narration. But, many times while I sit and wait I grab a laundry basket full of laundry that needs to be folded, or meal plan/make a grocery list, or chop veggies for dinner, or sweep the floor in the room where my child is working, or, or, or.... I am simply trying to point out that we make decision all day long to do one thing instead of another. I am as guilty as anyone else of wasting time. But I don't think we should say we don't have the time when it is simply a case of choosing to do something different. One can choose any number of things to do while multitasking.

 

Are you living in my head? I've gotten lazy lately, and the little voice inside my head has been reminding me of these very things.

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No major wisdom, since my house will never look like a model home, but the kids do pitch in with basic chores on Wed and Saturday before playing (vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, strip beds on Saturdays, empty compost, take a turn on dishes beyond just cleaning up after meals, wiping own tables, etc). Daily, they pick up clutter, haul recycling to the garage, scoop kitty litter. As needed they de-stick the yard, weed the garden, and help mow. It's still a pretty light load, but there's time... They're 9 and 11.

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Clutter is picked up immediately. For mail, throw away junk mail, pay bills, and file papers. Shoes, clothes, hats, and bags are put in their proper place. Cut down on extra stuff and get rid of visual clutter. My theory: leaving stuff out on flat surfaces causes clutter to increase.

 

Clean dishes are put away right after the dishwasher stops. This way dirty dishes go straight into the dishwasher, not the sink. Pots and pans that don't fit are rinsed and washed during meal clean-up so, again, dirty dishes don't sit in the sink.

 

Toys are restricted to certain rooms and put away every night. I take 10-20 minutes before bed to put things away. We take 5 minute breaks frequently to tidy up. "You want computer time? Put your shoes away. Play with your friends? Pick up your room." I actively help the kids when cleaning their space so they feel they are making progress.

 

 

 

Are we secretly the same person because this is a lot of what I do too. :001_smile: I am constantly tidying. If I get up from my desk to go to the loo then I grab kids shoes and a few stuffed animals on the floor to put away. If I walk into the dining room and there's stuff on the table then I take three minutes to sort it and clean up. I don't leave the kitchen dirty.

 

I'm in the camp that gets it done (right) before company arrives, which is a good motivator to entertain every once in awhile! :D

 

I thought I was going to be funny and post this also but it's true. My house is always tidy but not always clean. It takes DH and I an 45 with both of us working to get it spotlessly clean and we do that right before we have people over. We normally have people over for dinner once a week so we'll clean and be ready to go.

 

I find it much easy to clean when the house is tidy. Cleaning goes fast when it's just bathrooms, dusting, and running the vacuum.

 

Oh yes, my DH and I firmly believe that the frequent hosting of dinner parties keeps the house clean. If we have company every two weeks, the house can really not deteriorate in between .

 

:iagree:

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