View Full Version : My house is a mess, please help!
01-08-2009, 11:51 AM
Okay, so I will admit that I was not a great housekeeper before I had children but now that I have three young ones I am finding it impossible to keep my house clean. The worst part is that it is being thrown in my face by people around us (who have no children FYI). I am looking for advice from other mom's about how they balance things. I feel like if I am cleaning all day then my kids are doing without and it is still a mess anyway. I am cleaning the kitchen, they are destroying the living room. I have endless piles of laundry a sink that seems to always be full of dirty dishes no matter how many I do, and no dishwasher. My hubby works a lot (one full time job, two part time jobs, and he is in the reserves) so he is never home to help and is very messy himself (throws his clothes on the floor, leaves his dishes on the table, shoes on the floor when he comes in). I have tried staying up at night after the kids are all in bed and cleaning but after about a week I am ready to drop during the day of exhaustion, I try to do things during the day and the kids are getting into things. I am so frustrated1 Does anyone else go through this? How do you deal with it? And don't get me started about the unannounced visitors and the ensuing embarassment! The moms around me all have housecleaners to help but we can't afford that.
01-08-2009, 12:25 PM
I'm the same way - I fret because my home is messy and the baby's not even here yet! How about spend alittle extra money on paper plates and it will save you time doing dishes - the other dish advice I can give is we are buying a portable dishwasher from someone on Craigslist for $100. That should help alot! How old are your little ones maybe you can make a clean up game for their toys - like "okay lets find all the blue toys and put them in the bedroom" If any of them are 5 or older they are plenty old enough to pick up their rooms and put away old toys before bringing new ones out.
If you can get even a tiny amount of help from any of them it would help you out. I know someone with 3 boys all over the age of 3 they each have toy boxes in the living room to help with the mess.
AND ps - your husband should not be leaving his crap everywhere! Talk to him about how difficult it is for you and try to get him to stop.
01-08-2009, 12:36 PM
Hey Tierrajo1, I know what you mean, I kind of went through the same thing too. What my problem was is that I really didnít have a schedule, and I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but trust it works, you will be more focused and less tired.
Letís start with your husband.
I know about a husband not being around at home, my husband works full time and goes to school, I donít see him until 9 or 10 pm. My husband was messy like yours too; I just had a talk with him and told him that it will help a lot if he put the dishes in the sink, clothes in the hamper, and shoes on the shoe rack. I donít think thatís much to ask for. Heís been great about it and he considers that helping me out, which is true.
About the house chores,
What I do is I do the dishes every night when the Abby goes to bed; laundry day is usually on a Sunday when my hubby is around, I donít know if youíre hubby has weekends off. If not just pick one day out of the week to do laundry. Wednesdays I clean the house, and Fridays I clean the bathroom. Try to leave a chore a day, you wonít even feel it.
About guests over youíre house,
I usually tell my friends they MUST call me to ask me if they can come over, otherwise believe me I wont open the door. This way you have time to pick up a bit so the house looks descent for a visitor, this is what I do.
Last, the kids
I donít know their ages but if their big enough you should tell them that if they are not playing with a certain toy, they must put it away or it will go in the trash lol. Iíve taken care of my cousins 3 year old son and thatís what I do to him, they will test you, so I did put it in the trash once, and never again were his toys laying around. In the case of my daughter who is 1, I made a play area for her so she understands that she could only bring her toys out there, no where else. :) I hope this helps you
01-08-2009, 12:39 PM
i was in the same predicament, but i have one son he is 21 months, leaves his toys all over the place! i dont have a dishwasher either, so i do what brandie said and i use paper plates. that cuts down TONS, i normally only have to do dishes right after dinner. so that does help. i vacuum every other day, and i have my son pick up his toys before nap or whenever it gets to bad and right before bed! i give my son a treat for being such a good boy, if you dont want to do a treat then think of something they really like that they dont get very often. i do all my big cleaning like the bathroom,and laundry on sundays unless needed during the week, it makes for a busy day but at least you wont be doing it all week!
And i would be telling your hubby to pick his stuff up your NOT a maid! and he's a big boy he can help you out on his stuff!
well hope this helped, Good Luck
01-08-2009, 12:41 PM
One more thing, you donít have a friend that could come over and help you out with laundry or something? Or at least keep the kids entertained while you do something at least once a week? I sometimes have my bff over just to help me around with some things, and then when the baby naps we watch a movie or do our nails, its actually fun :)
01-08-2009, 02:36 PM
Schdule is my friend!!! I have certain days I do major cleaning on certain rooms. I do this when my four year old is playing a video game or coloring or has just gotten up and still cuddling his toy monkey. He has a limit to 30 minutes on video games. You will be very surprised what you can accomplish in 30 minutes. I am the first one up in the morings. I have a load of laundry sorted (the night before) ready to throw in the washer when I get up. I get groceries every week and have a menu on my fridge for dinner every night even for out to eat nights it is pre schduled. No more argueing about food issues everyone knows what to expect. I have done this for four years I worked with my older child and now with our second I am a sahm so I am a very schduled person but I am ready for pop in visitors at anytime. And hey what kind of friends are they if they cant over look a few things.? As far as quality time with kids they do need some alone time to learn to play on their own, and dont they nap. You just need to be prepared in your mind so when you have 15 minutes you can get something accomplished. I am so much in a routine now that on tuesday morning dh gets up and pulls the sheets off the bed and says " Sheet day right?" I just lost it, I laughed so hard I cried to see him standing there in his boxers still half asleep with sheets!! Anyways it gets my job done and by the time my 11 year old gets home I am ready for quality time for BOTH children homework help or anything they need. You can do it start out slow and make yourself a schdule on paper until its just second nature I think you can even gets kids to help put it on the fridge like its a game " O.k. lets see what we need to do next type of thing" wow I could go on and on I really enjoy being prepared. Too many years in Accounts payable/receivable/payroll hey?????
Ha ha ha, 4ofus&nomore I laughed so hard about your comment on too many years in accounts payable/etc... I work in the finance area of an insurance company, and it sounds like you and i are a lot alike. In fact, DH bought me a new computer program from X-mas that literally organizes your whole food routine. Recipes, meal schedules, shopping list, even sorts your grocery list by department in the grocery store. DH is already sick of the meal schedule on the fridge!
I too threaten to throw my son's toys away if he leaves them laying out. It works great. Just make sure your kids understand the rules ahead of time, and be consistent. Something else to try, designate "toy free" areas of the house. For example my son cannot bring toys into the kitchen or dining room. Also, I have him help with some of the house cleaning. (When I say help, I really mean I give him a clean, dry cloth to "dust" with while I dust. I have him follow behind me holding the cord when I vaccum. I have him help carry folded laundry into his room & put it into the right drawer. This make him feel like keeping the house clean is his responsibility too!
01-08-2009, 04:51 PM
Thanks everyone. I have tried to talk to my hubby, he will be okay for awhile and then resort back to his old ways, to be fair he does try to help when he is home. My kids are 3, 2, and 10 months so it is difficult getting them to help or distracting them while I do things. We do the clean up game but it only works so well. I have been telling my hubby we need a dishwasher and some more organization to help, we do the paper plate thing as well. I do not know if the laundry day would work because we just have so much, but we have gone to the laundromat and done it all at once a few times.
01-08-2009, 08:01 PM
I also have a schedule! I have school Monday & Wednesday nights, and when I get my work schedule (since it varies) I pick the day I have off to do the kitchen, bathroom & laundry (those seem to always be the worst) and then the other days that I don't have both work & school I separate between doing the living room, our bedroom, & working on the baby room (no baby until the end of Feb, but when we moved we dumped all of our extra boxes in there lol). I also do the dishes every night, but I have a dishwasher, so I just throw them in at night and put them away in the morning before work.
My fiance & I have had epic battles about what mess is because of who in the house. I mean EPIC. It got to the point where I would find a ball of paper under the couch and yell at him for it. Eventually we both got sick of that and the childness and had a little talk (and by that I mean I told him that he doesn't have to do any scrubbing around the house so I expect him to be able to put his shoes away, not leave his clothes laying around, and pick up his dishes & school stuff). He hasn't done it all completely, but he has gotten a lot better about doing some of it.
I also had to pull the whole, "I'm not picking up after you and a small child" and I've had to go a few days without cleaning for him to get the point. So you might have to do the same.:(
01-08-2009, 08:22 PM
Well right now i have it easy because i only have 1 child and hes only 4months. So he is happy being in my pouch while i clean and do other chores. But i would really recomend getting a dishwasher it would really cut down on time. And as for the laundry well i would pick (depending upon how much laundry we're talking about here) Two days outta the week to do laundry i only do it when the basket gets full. I dont really have a set schedule yet. And for the bathroom im not sure what it is you need to clean in there but i would consider for the toliets they have cleaning tablets that last forever. And i would just have your kids play in one room during the day that would cut down on having toys everywhere to clean up. Just make only one room a playroom. As for vacumming i only vacumm once a week, but i would suggest getting a little vac. Because if you have only a little mess to clean up its easy to just get it out and then put it right away. So that would be a lot easier than dragging out the big vacumm cleaner. And also i would try to have the kids help as well, 3 yrs old seems old enough to be able to clean up after themself. Hope i helped
01-08-2009, 08:37 PM
I so hear you! I try and keep up on the dishes, the laundry, and vacuuming. Then every other month or so, I have a housekeeper come in and mop the floors, scrub the tubs, and just do the big heavy cleaning I can't seem to get to. It's only $60- which seems like a deal for how much she does. That really is the only way I can keep the house clean, yet still keep my sanity.
01-09-2009, 12:42 PM
Everyone else covered what I would have said, but I wanted to add that when I bake pretty much ANYTHING in the oven I cover the pan in regular tin foil for easy cleanup!! I know they have the special Renyolds wrap kind , but I use the off brand it works just as well!! It saves ALOT of time for me b/c like you we don't have a dishwasher!! I usually wipe it down after a few uses to b/c I am SUPER OCD , but it takes 2 seconds verses 2 minutes worth of scrubbing!!! Also I sometimes buy plastic cups to use occasionally & I re-use cups like 2 days in a row to save washing 3 cups instead of just 1 !!! Good Luck!!!
01-10-2009, 04:11 PM
I feel the same way! I have a 10 yr old and a 6 yr old who have chores everyday and they do what they have to do. I do laundry every day and the girls will put them away when they get home from school. My biggest problem is the tile floor. I have back problems and my husband is the one who does the floors so i have to sit around for him to sweep and mop. SOmetimes I cant wait and i do it and that leaves me with terrible back pain for the rest of the day. I don't let the mess get in the way, I use to freak out about mess but now with 4 kids I just try to do what I can my hubby undrestands!
01-11-2009, 10:17 AM
I find that if I spend 30 mins to 1 hour in the evening that my house stays very clean. Some days all I have energy for is de-cluttering and re-organizing of toys in various rooms/floors. Other days, like last night for instance, I vacuum (my kids sleep through it), washed my kitchen floor,put away clean dishes from diswasher, and put toys were they should be. This morning while my older child, three yrs old, has been watching a cartoon I put away some clean folded laundry. Also, after each meal I leave my younger child, seventeen months, in his high chair for a tad bit longer and clean up after the meal (dishes, wipe of tables, put away things, etc). And I usually will sit down to eat last and clean up a little bit of the meal prep, especially for dinner time. He has gotten used to being in his high chair just ten to fifteen minutes longer and if you dedicate that time only to dishes, table, and wiping counters it really does a lot. And things are tidy in your kitchen always that way. And then once a week, instead of other things, I will wash the bathrooms in my hour cleaning time in the evening. And of couse there are days I let go of the toy organizing as I can just do it the next day. The kids mess up the toys daily. However, I only go one day without cleaning toys as it can get crazy otherwise. And I really cant stand clutter. LOL.
01-11-2009, 10:59 AM
Also, what helps me with the dusting, say the kids are in the family room playing I'll dust whatever is in that room. While my daughter is getting ready for bed in her room, after her story, I'll quickly dust off her dresser and picture frames before giving her a kiss and saying good night, my dining room is right near my kitchen so while my kids are sitting down to thier morning/afternoon snack I will dust in my dining room. In the evening before I take a shower in the master bathroom I'll dust my dresser in my room and nightstand quickly and then drop the dust rag in my hamper before hopping in the shower. So, it gets done room by room. You just have to be able to pick up on the opportunity and just do it! Usually things don't take long...and you have to realize it is much easier to maintain a house then to clean the whole thing at once! At least in my experience. My daughter also, only three, loves to put away her underwear and socks in their proper drawers so even if its that little she can help with laundry. And she is very able to put legos back in the container or toys back into the toy box or books back on the shelf after playtime. Even our seventeen month old will "help" by returning a few items into the toy box during clean up time as he sees the two of us doing it. I don't know what time your kids go to bed at but mine are each in bed at the latest 7:30pm and usually by 7pm. So if I start right away I am done with my hour of cleaning in the evenings by 8/8:30pm so I can still get in a shower, some tv/reading time, and still get to bed at the latest 10pm and the earliest 9/9:30pm depending on how tired I really am. My son gets up at 6am and my daughter a little after 7am. My son takes one nap and I'll also take that time to do laundry or tackle some de-cluttering. Somehow things end up in rooms they shouldn't so I work on putting them where they belong. I also have rules about which toys belong in their rooms and which toys go downstairs in the family room where they also play. They can bring a toy down but must take it back up to their rooms once done playing with it because not everything can fit down here! My husband works a lot too and really this is the best method I have found.
01-11-2009, 01:40 PM
It's hard to keep a home nice, clean, neat and functional!! I feel your pain and you have 3 under 3! It's quite a hassle. I have two 3 year olds and when I have to do the major cleaning I ask my mother if she can take them for a few hours and that's when I get that done. When I have to do laundry my boys are always running in to help. they like to throw the clothes in the washer and dryer. I just have to organize it and they go at it. But i have to keep a good eye on them because i'm afraid they'll throw in something they aren't supposed to. Like a red hand towel in white clothes....or a toy in there! lol! I keep their toys to a minimum and i rotate them every so often so their room won't get bombarded with toys and clutter. and anywhere I can find extra storage, i use it! You can buy multipurpose cleaning supplies so you won't have a crap load of them. I use Seventh Generation. They have sales at Babies Rus, like buy one get one free! and if you sign up online you can get coupons! It's tough keeping the boat running smoothly! good luck to you!
I know it's easy to say pay no mind to people who talk about what you do or about your home, but it can easily get under anyones skin. grr
01-13-2009, 03:14 AM
I have to start off saying I don't have any kids but my house was still a mess. We have been trying for a year and I kept thinking if the house is a mess now how will I ever manage with a baby. So with that in mind I started searching the internet for tips on how to make cleaning easier, determined to concur this once and for all. I was disappointed with what I found. The advice is 'you just have to do it'. Pick stuff up when the mess happens and don't let it get so out of control that it over whelms you. I really didn't want to hear this I wanted a magical cleaning solution. But after another week of nothing to wear to work cause none of the laundry was done I decided to take the whole weekend and clean. I cleaned for 8 hours strait both days and didn't stop. I have kept up with it since then and I hate to admit it but its so much better and easier to clean up right when the mess happens. There were a few tips that helped though. They wont help you find more time but they might help you make the most of the time that you do have.
-Music! I put on some fast paced workout music it gets you in the mood to get up and move and get stuff done. Its the #1 thing that helps me clean.
-Have a place for everything. We didn't have a place for dirty laundry so it went on the floor, that was bad idea.
-Carry your cleaning products and tools with you in an apron. This keeps you from running back and forth and looking for stuff. Also wear a sock on your hand and dust as you go.
-Have people over once a week so you have to clean.
01-13-2009, 11:59 AM
Thanks everyone. I have been trying some of the tips this past week and it has gotten better. I got paper plates and cutlery to use, we are getting a dishwasher soon. I had my sister come over to help, she ended up just distracting my kids for a couple of hours and I was able to get a lot done. I have been picking a room a day to concentrate on, so my house is a lot more organized and cleaner, but I have let my laundry go and it has piled up! So I guess the net couple days I will concentrate on that! I know I should not let what other's say bother me, but it does. I keep telling myself that if someone is going to judge me based on how clean my house is knowing my situation then screw them!
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