View Full Version : Housekeeping - What works for you?

09-03-2016, 01:43 PM
Ive been trying to decide if I want to save all my laundry and cleaning for one day of doom, or do a little bit, every day.
What works for everyone else?

(Multiple answers allowed.)

09-03-2016, 01:56 PM
Outsource - I have the housecleaning people come bi-weekly, window-washers twice a year, and car-detailers twice a year. For all of the other stuff that cannot be outsourced, like going through closets/cabinets/bookshelves, I keep a mental list of what is bothering me the most, and tackle it whenever I have time/feel like it. And I do one load of laundry every single day as a routine, so it is never a pile-up.

09-03-2016, 01:57 PM
Nothing works for me! But you didn't have that voting option ;)


Actually, my house is at it's cleanest when I keep up with the old-fashioned day-of-the-week schedule. You know, pick one thing that always gets done that same day of the week.....all clothes washed on Monday, deep clean kitchen on Tuesday, deep clean baths on Wednesday, launder sheets and all dusting and vacuuming on Thursday.....something like that.

That is really the only thing that works for me.

09-03-2016, 02:10 PM
I had to admit defeat on the cleaning and we just employed a service. The house is too big and I don't want to spend 1/2 of a precious weekend day on it. Laundry mostly gets done at weekends, although I will throw a load or two on during the week. I used to do a load daily, but recent job changes and h/s demands have moved a lot more household stuff to the weekend.


09-03-2016, 02:21 PM
Wishing there were an option for "we mostly only keep the barest of life support going" because that's us more often than not.
I chose "only clean when guests are coming" because it's sort of true...but we never have guests, because we just cannot.
Hoping to see the end of this way of life at some point, but life events kicked my legs out from under me just as I was getting the decluttering ball going here.

It will happen. Not sure when, but it will happen.

09-03-2016, 03:15 PM
I had found some articles on Pinterest that had daily, weekly, and monthly chores. So, I made myself checklists for every day of the week and every week of the month.
So, for example, my daily things are declutter for 10 min. every morning and evening, do dishes, sweep the kitchen floor. Then, each day also things that need to happen every week, like Friday is laundry, cleaning toilets and sinks, and checking financial stuff. Each week, then also has a list specific to a particular room. Like, the second week of the month is bedrooms. So, that means change the sheets, clean windows, straighten out closets, etc.
Not everything gets done every day or week, but without the lists even less would.

09-03-2016, 04:09 PM
I try to have people over regularly, so I always clean for them. That's when the vacuuming and bathrooms get done. I try to keep everything else tidy everyday. I still have to sweep like 16 times a day because - babies. I wish we could outsource. I used to when I was working. The house was cleaner back then. By a LOT.

09-03-2016, 07:15 PM
Its funny I saw this today. I hate cleaning. More...I HATE cleaning after other people. I do the basics everyday. Sweep, dishes, wipe down the counter tops. I HATE cleaning.....cleaning up after people. once a moth i do a deep clean of the masterbath. I tell hubby wipe off your greasy prints...still there...clean up after you shave...still there...put your ointments and pills away, theyre collecting dust....:mad: they are still there!!! In the kitchen, they cook something and the grease is still there the next morning. :mad: Theres a grease cup and disinfectant wipes 2 steps away!!! C'mon!! I hate cleaning. And I hate cleaning up after people even more. I remeber watching wife swap, there was a woman who did as much as she everyday in 15 minutes. I so wish I could get away with that.

09-04-2016, 08:05 AM
I have to admit to some selfishness in that it's kind of nice to see that others have a hard time in this area and HATE cleaning as much as I do.

I try to keep up with things daily as best I can. With boys 2 and 3 years old things get messy FAST! I've sort of had to come to terms with the fact that my house isn't going to be the way I want it... for now.

The worst for me is laundry. I don't know what it is, but it's the one things I have a very hard time motivating myself to get done.

What helps to keep me sane is trying to keep the amount of "stuff" in the house to a minimum. No over abundance of toys, dishes... even laundry. I spend my mornings cleaning up what needs to get done (you know the typical dishes, vacuum, laundry, etc.). After my cup of coffee morning time is when I have the most energy and motivation so I take advantage of that the best I can. I try very hard to do what I call "walk-by cleaning". So if I pass by something that needs to be picked up, I do it right then and there. I'm not always successful.

That said, cleaning is not my strong suit. I try very hard, but it seems some people have a natural nack for it... not me. I'm missing that gene. I'm always struggling.

09-04-2016, 11:20 AM
Ugh, cleaning. I grew up with a mom who kept everything immaculate, and thought that was the standard to which I would be held for life, so I gave up early. When I had children I realized that chaos wouldn't work anymore, so I try to keep things picked up to a decent level. What helped me most was visiting friends with children, and seeing that my Mom's way wasn't the only way to live. A bit of clutter can be "lived-in and friendly" instead of "disaster of epic proportions."

Homeschooling Librarian
09-04-2016, 12:24 PM
I'm just now getting my housework rhythm back after buying a house, moving into the house, and having M2...4-5 years ago. :_l:

With a couple open spaces in the walls and kids and pets and yardwork, some stuff must happen everyday: Dishes/counters, laundry, and the floors. I ask the boys to clean up their toys at the end of the day, and we pick up our school area when we're done. Bathroom and kitchen are once a week, as is the coop and the gardening, but the garden will change as it gets more complex. Right now it's just trees and bushes. I subscribe to a CSA, and that helps keep me on top of the kitchen. Big cleaning projects happen as needed.

I know I do more chores than that, but my brain isn't working :P More tea for me!

09-04-2016, 01:25 PM
I used to be in the "barely life support" category.... then we started paying my mother in law to clean weekly. Then money got tight enough that we cant do that anymore, so Im foundering around trying not to get back to the "life support" zone.
And it is comforting to know that everyone else isnt living pinterest perfect lives, keeping an immaculate house along with raising enthusiastic, helpful, compliant homeschooled kids. ;)

I also have the discouragement at cleaning the boys messes. They seem to make them faster than I could chase after them cleaning. And whoa, the drama if I ask them to clean up one "play area" before going on making their next mess.
Decluttering has to be able to help, I think.

And then... Mt Washmore. Sigh.

Its comforting knowing Im not alone in struggling with this, or in being disstisfied with the overall state of the house. :)

09-04-2016, 02:32 PM
When we stopped our cleaning service it got really bad for a while. Esp when I was prego because I was just too tired to do anything. But I figured if it took a lady 2 hrs to clean it top to bottom I could make it work once a week. I looked up how cleaning ladies clean, and I still kinda stick to that. I hated doing one thing a day because the whole house never felt clean all at once. Here's what I do:

All purpose cleaner, windex, and toilet wands. That cleans everything. No specialized stuff.
I carry it all around in a cleaning bucket with me that also has rags, plastic bags, and paper towels so I never have to look for stuff.
One room at a time, top to bottom, vaccuum or mop, then close the door and don't return.
Easiest room to hardest so it feels like you're moving really fast at first.
Good quality vaccuum, broom, and steam mop save lots of time. Not the most fancy but not the cheapest either.

A couple days ago wrote a blog post about hs room tour and how I get the room clean in 9 minutes. I just have to add the video and pics. Keeping up the house is no joke. It's hard when everyone is in it all day long. It's so defeating when you make it all look great and five minutes later it's trashed.

Free Thinker
09-04-2016, 04:40 PM
I do some cleaning most days, and I also get the kids to pitch in. We do 30-ish minutes of cleaning everyday- I start assigning chores and everyone works. If your chore is an easy one and you finish in 10 minutes, you come ask me for another one. Everyone works the same amount of time doing various chores. I do not think I could do laundry once a week- too many kids! I do it at least 2 if not 3 days per week- I Like to do just 2-3 loads in a day (kids can fold and put away!). Kids clean up the kitchen (basic) a few times per day, they also clean the bathrooms (basic) a few times per week. I will go through every few weeks and do one of those bathrooms w/ them, so that it gets done more in-depth. I do all the vacuuming and most of the dusting of things that require moving small breakable items. Kids do general pick-up. I do the more in-depth cleaning on the kitchen (for some reason they never remember to wipe counters!) when I'm cooking. I do most of the organizing just whenever it's driving me crazy or I have a day that I don't have anything else to do... like today I switched over one kids closet to fall. Yay me! I really want to re-arrange the kithcne cabinets but that's doing to have to wait for a day I don't have anything else to do,a nd today I have company over in a bit, so I needed to make srue the rest of the house was clean ;)

09-04-2016, 07:01 PM
I think the biggest sacrifice whilst homeschooling is not getting that momentary, "Ahhh, The house is clean and the kids won't be home to mess it up for a few more hours...."

Homeschooling is just one constant mess making factory. :)

09-04-2016, 07:19 PM
Nothing seems to work. Usually clutter is picked up just before people come over.

Though we just recently made a schedule of what needs to be done daily (dishes, trash), weekly (laundry, vacuum, trash to curb), every other week (bathrooms, mopping), monthly (dusting). There are a few other things I am forgetting.

Now the goal is to remember what was done when. Sometimes 4 weeks go by and we go, when did we last clean the bathroom?

09-04-2016, 07:41 PM
We have a cleaning day (usually Fridays) every week. The boys (15 and 12) are responsible for: cleaning their rooms (pick up the worst of the clutter, dust, vacuum), cleaning their bath (rotate every week, and they're responsible for their own sinks (there are 2)), rotating cleaning the half-bath, and then there are assorted other tasks that they are responsible for. They help during the week whenever I need them to-dinner, trash, compost, etc. These are all "unpaid" chores-the ones that we all do because we live here.
My Friday chores are: cleaning my room and bath, mopping the kitchen (it generally stays pretty clean most of the time), vacuuming and dusting the other areas of the house, etc.
Those generally take us about an hour. I clean the kitchen every night. I did Flylady long ago for quite a while, and some things stay with you.
The boys each have their own laundry day, so I just have to keep up with mine and DH's, and it's a lot. Lol.
I am not big on deep cleaning, except once or twice a year I'll freak out and go crazy and do things like baseboards, etc.
I can't stand clutter, and I'll purge a lot of things a few times a year. I try to keep on top of it, but don't always. The boys and I go at their rooms in a deeper way about once a year.
If the boys want to earn some $$, there are things that can be done around the house-baseboards, window cleaning, other deep cleaning tasks that I dislike. They also are paid for other things that I don't want to do-yard work, car washing, etc.
It's taken us a while to get to this system, but it works for us. Every now and then I have to do "refresher" training with the boys-they can get sloppy on bathroom cleaning, but for the most part, they do a good job. And if I need extra help with kitchen cleaning and the like, they can and will do it for me. We work as a team, and honestly, I'll have to hire someone to help when they leave me! :D

09-04-2016, 08:32 PM
Also, check out Home - Clean Mama (http://www.cleanmama.net).

Her site has suggested schedules for cleaning, recipes for making your own cleaners and lots of good ideas. Also the site is secular and not as weird as other cleaning sites.

While she sells quite a bit of stuff, many of the good ideas are free from her website and social media sites. I follower her on Pinterest.

She is the one that at least gave me some ideas for a schedule. I didn't follow what she does, but I was able to make it my own.

09-05-2016, 07:24 PM
Here's what we do with the HS room at least. The rest of the house is similar. We all clean and then I do the dirty work deep cleaning when everyone is occupied or out of the house. Homeschool Room Tour and How I get my Kids to Clean it Up in Nine Minutes (https://somerandomlady.com/2016/09/05/homeschool-room-tour-and-how-i-get-my-kids-to-clean-it-up-in-nine-minutes/)

09-05-2016, 08:36 PM
Now the goal is to remember what was done when. Sometimes 4 weeks go by and we go, when did we last clean the bathroom?

There's an app for that. Clean House. It's free. And it tells me what ought to be done and how long ago I last did it (which is very helpful, because no paper method has ever worked for me).

09-05-2016, 09:16 PM
Attitude is all important--I hate being treated like a worthless maid who isn't good for anything except cleaning up other people's messes but I love creating a comfortable and welcoming home for my family.

I was also raised by a perfectionist who grew up with servants, so childhood chores were usually threats or punishments. I didn't do such a great job of giving my bigs a good attitude towards housekeeping so I try to set aside some time every day to clean with my little or at least have him see me cleaning with a good attitude.

I'd still rather get together with acquaintances at the park or another public place and I still have these revelations that geezus freezus, the reason I'm washing these dishes isn't because everybody hates me and thinks I'm a useless failure, it's because the alternative is eating who knows what is in that crap they sell at the deli that comes in those disposable styrofoam containers that I wouldn't want to pay to have two or trash canfuls hauled to the dump even if I could afford it which I can't.

The thought of spending my senior years in an institution because all my kids lived in motel rooms so they could have maid service is usually enough to get me out of my pity party no matter how much I'd rather hang out on the forums with you interesting people than go roll out these tortillas and wash the bowl. ;)

09-06-2016, 02:30 PM
BTW, this is the housekeeping app we use:

Chore Wars :: Claim Experience Points for Housework (http://www.chorewars.com/)

09-06-2016, 02:45 PM
BTW, this is the housekeeping app we use:

Chore Wars :: Claim Experience Points for Housework (http://www.chorewars.com/)

Thank you for sharing this!

09-06-2016, 02:47 PM
BTW, this is the housekeeping app we use:

Chore Wars :: Claim Experience Points for Housework (http://www.chorewars.com/)

Hahahhaha that looks like so much fun for a gaming household!

09-09-2016, 10:38 AM
I outsource with a biweekly house cleaner, then I just keep up with things in between her visits. Kid room = kid responsibility for the most part - dusting and keeping it neat. I handle the major organizing! I can't handle mess at all, so having the house cleaner has been a lifesaver.

09-09-2016, 04:51 PM
For laundry, we have to do it every day or we can't keep up. Saving it all till the weekend would not allow us enough hours for our slow, "efficent" washer to get through all the week's loads. Folding is another story. We let that pile up indefinitely.

We pretty much have to dust and vacuum once a week or everything gets gross. I suppose we could do one room a day, but it seems simpler just to have a cleaning day and get it over with, rather than having a major chore (moving furniture, etc.) every day. I am curious if some newer homes collect less dust for some reason, such as that they are more airtight.

09-09-2016, 11:31 PM
^^^^^Omg yes! Or is the filtration better? Why is this place so dusty? My parents place was built in the 90s, and I swear stuff didn't get dusty for months. Months!

Laundry - I wait until it is an emergency. Like I realize no one has any underwear. Laundry and dishes are my kryptonite.

09-10-2016, 01:32 AM
My method is probably a bit OCD - a least my DH tells me so all the time, but I have a binder with laminated lists. One for weekly/bi-weekly chores, one for monthly, one quarterly, and one yearly/semiannual. The top is labeled with the week, month, or season, and I check off as we do things. Then I know what's been done and what hasn't. I try to tackle at least a couple of things each day. Often not every single thing on the quarterly list, for example, gets done, but then I put a little asterisk when I start the next quarter so I know I have to get to it that time.

I try to do one load of laundry every day from start to folded and put away. I start a load in the morning while the kids eat breakfast, I put in the dryer during lunch, and then I fold in the afternoon while I watch the 5:00 news usually. Dishes get done (almost) every night - that's DH responsibility. Bedrooms get picked up and beds made every morning after we get dressed. I do our bedroom and DD does hers while I make her breakfast.

If it's just a crazy week and nothing else on the chore list gets done, we make sure the bathrooms and kitchen get really cleaned and sanitized (not just the daily counter wipe), and the floors get vacuumed and mopped every week - usually on Saturday.

The house is by no means spotless, but this system seems to keep the chaos at bay.

I do feel like the dishes need a better routine. I've been trying to get DH to empty the dishwasher in the morning so that we can put dirty dishes in throughout the day, but he "forgets" most of the time, and so breakfast and lunch dishes just kind of pile on the counter until he does dishes after dinner. I haven't figured out how to add unloading the dishwasher into my morning routine...

^^^^^Omg yes! Or is the filtration better? Why is this place so dusty? My parents place was built in the 90s, and I swear stuff didn't get dusty for months. Months! I think your HVAC can make a big difference. We got a new system about 2 years ago, and I saw a big difference in the amount of dust.

09-10-2016, 01:50 AM
Wow TXlib! Laminated lists!

I think I could manage a load a day... and things like sheets would get done more often! But I would wash/dry and then fold the next day. That counts, right?

It took me a week to get to Target for a toilet bowl brush, so I have an ambitious plan to hit the bathrooms on Monday. Its been... a couple weeks, much to Grama's *sighs*. Im pretty sure she thinks Im hopeless at it.

Today I tried teaching DS10 the superior KonMari method of folding t-shirts... oy, thats going to take some work! Next week I hope to go through his drawers and set aside everything that is too small - after a proper ceremony of appreciation for its service, of course! ;)

I really appreciate all the stories here. :)

09-10-2016, 02:02 AM
I think your HVAC can make a big difference. We got a new system about 2 years ago, and I saw a big difference in the amount of dust.

Changing the filters in the HVAC helps too. Our house has some sort of electronic dust zapping system but we don't use it. We found using really good thick filters, and changing them often, helps a lot. However, when it is not hot and humid I like to have all the windows open and I think that causes more dust or simply blows it around a bit.

09-11-2016, 01:53 PM
Cleaning? I'm avoiding it Now! My place needs an ocd person to come and freak out. The 80's posters we had as kids with the messy room...that's my house. 700 square foot, always on the go, drop & run, 4 able bodies and no one wants to or is motivated to. Yep, we're sad here.

10-08-2016, 03:20 AM
I forgot to put multiple choices in. We clean:
Weekly - bathrooms, kitchen (thorough clean), dog bed.
Daily - kitchen (end of day tidy up and put dishwasher on), laundry (We get 1 hour of free power each day with the supplier we are with, so we try to do a load each day, even if its wet, and dry it mostly outside or on a rack, and then finish it in the dryer during 'power hour'. If I have more than one load to do, I save them up for when it is forecast to be sunny and warm or windy, so I can get it dry on the line), some vacuuming (just do whatever needs it most, the kids trek a lot of dirt in from the garden and we have a hairy dog, but don't get to the whole house and if I leave it all for one day a week its too much and too dirty), fold and put away some dry laundry.
As we go: kitchen (wipe benches, put dishes in dishwasher after each meal or baking), after doing art/craft, sometimes after play (the kids have a playroom and are welcome to leave it as messy as they like - I just shut the door if it annoys me).

10-08-2016, 03:23 AM
Cleaning? I'm avoiding it Now! My place needs an ocd person to come and freak out. The 80's posters we had as kids with the messy room...that's my house. 700 square foot, always on the go, drop & run, 4 able bodies and no one wants to or is motivated to. Yep, we're sad here.

We were the same in a small house. Its hard to keep tidy when you don't have much space to put stuff. Even now in a big house, the kids prefer to just drop stuff so I find baskets are great. Then at least if they drop it in the general area, I can just pick it up and drop it in the basket and it looks tidy until I feel like putting it away.

10-08-2016, 03:54 AM
When I am doing daily tidying, I often do a 'pick three things' tidy. I can't remember where I first read about it, but it involves picking three individual items in the room that you are in that need put away. So these are little things, not like 'tidy the bench' but 'the cup on the bench'. Put those three things away, and if it you end up in another room when you have put the three things away, pick another three things in that room, and repeat as many times as you can be bothered or have time for. I find its a great way to get lots of misplaced items back in the correct place, without feeling overwhelmed by the task of having to tidy an entire room.

10-08-2016, 04:16 PM
ds does chores (supervised) first thing in the morning before he does his (almost) independent schoolwork, but I need more time for cleaning so it makes sense to take that time while he is playing Minetest with his friends.

They're in a different time zone. Their bedtime is his Time For Lessons time. It's the best schedule we've ever had except for how shocking it would appear to the normals that he's playing video games all during "school hours" and staying up until 11 or midnight.

I think I need aselvarial to come pat me on the head and tell me I'm not a bad mommy.

We're in a small town that can be very provincial and the friends are in an "exciting" part of the world, so he's learning a lot of social studies as well as reading from the daily whataboutsocialization.