Cleaning my Disgusting House

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

I thought I would share what's working for me to get my house clean in case anyone else is really struggling like me. This is not for the cleaning super moms who want to know how to polish their stainless steel. This is going from "the teenage salesperson had to sit on my entryway floor" to "hmmm, this is what it feels like when I go to other people's houses." First, my husband asked me to clean the office/guest room and only the office/guest room. I figured after nearly 6 years of sporadic bursts of cleaning followed by pig-styishness and not being able to have clean clothes for church unless he did laundry that I could manage the guest room. Plus, his parents are coming next month so...Anyway, while my baby was taking a nap, I took my toddler upstairs to the office. She listened to music while I divided and conquered. I put the trash in one box, stuff that didn't belong in the office in another box, and put everything away that did belong in that room. I sprayed the surfaces with multi-purpose cleaner, wiped and scrubbed, threw the trash box away, and I was done. Sounds easy right. Surprisingly, it was. Smart hubby. It's the least-used room in the house so I closed the door and it stayed clean. It wasn't as demoralizing as cleaning the family room and then 5 seconds later it's messy again. With my baby's room I did the same thing--trash in the garbage, clothes on the floor in garbage bag, picked up toys, made his bed, done. Wow, I'm on a roll. The bathroom--dirty clothes in the garbage bag, trash in the garbage, spray everything with multi-purpose cleaner, scrub and sweep with my super-nifty Sweeper-Vac. Still many rooms to go but I'm feeling good. I'll admit--the family room and kitchen are still really daunting to me because we do everything in those rooms, but I keep telling myself, stick with the system, stick with the system. In the end, I'll have diaper boxes of stuff that didn't belong in the rooms they were in to put away, give away, or throw away. And I'll vacuum. Maybe I'll even get to shampooing or steam cleaning, but one step at a time, one step at a time.

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Bridgette - posted on 05/26/2011

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I completely agree with your method, it does work! One extra thing I do is have a three-compartment bin (laundry-type) that I use instead of one box to sort into put away, donate, or undecided. This helps to remove the one extra step of going through the items again later if I have the time to sort them out correctly the first time!

For the busy rooms, I have a bin in the rooms where I put things that dont belong in the rooms as soon as I see it. Then when I have time to clean I can take those bins and get it put away.

My last suggestion is a box that you put things in you dont think anyone needs anymore. Keep adding to it, and every 6 months move the box and dont touch it unless someone wants something from it. If not used within the next 6 months, it goes! That helps to keep down on the clutter of extra items which saves time cleaning!

Jennifer - posted on 05/26/2011

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Once you get everything clean, this is what I found really helps me. I used to listen to the other moms that would say to do the kitchen one day, then the living room another, then bathroom a different day, etc that way they weren't spending an entire day doing the cleaning. That just doesn't work in my house. I have 4 kids and a messy husband, and when I did that, I never had a day where I could actually look at the house and be satisfied with how clean it was. Now, I take one day a week (usually the start of the week if there aren't any appts), and I clean like mad. I scrub kitchen counters down. Scrub the kitchen floor. I dust the living room, and bedrooms and sweep the carpets. I scrub down the bathroom and the floor in there. Then I can sit back and actually enjoy the house looking really nice for at least an hr or so until everyone else comes home. Then the rest of the week, I close my eyes to the mess. I still pick up my husband's dirty socks off the living room floor, and of course do dishes and laundry, but I could care less how dirty the kitchen floor gets from dirty shoes as the kids run in and out getting drinks while playing outside. I may run the sweeper an extra day or two, but I don't pull out the crevice tool, or even move the coffee table. Basically, after that one day a week, I may spend a 1/2hr each day with dishes or picking up a thing or two, but that's it. My arch nemesis used to be the laundry. I used to do that about 2 times a week, but then I would either not get everything folded and we would all end up with a ton of wrinkled clothes, or they would all get folded, but since my only spot to really fold is the kitchen table and I wouldn't have time to put it all away before supper, clothes ended up on mine and my husband's bed. Then I would forget about them, and he would go in to go to bed and just lay them all on the floor. The cats would decide they made nice beds, cat hair would be everywhere, and then they would all need washed again. Now, no matter how piled up they get (even though it's usually not a lot since I do clothes about 4 days a week now), I refuse to start a load after lunch. We usually eat lunch at 11:30, and supper isn't until 5:30. That gives me 6hrs to get the last load run through the washer and dryer, and to get everything folded and put away.

Jennifer - posted on 05/31/2011

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Alison!!! That is great!! "A clean home is a happy home!" might sound silly, but it is true true true. Don't clean so much the family is neglected though :)

Mirie - posted on 05/29/2011

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I've got the same problem Alison. Too much stuff and not enough space for everything. That makes cleaning tough, because first you have to find a space for everything. Finding a space ultimately clutters your cupboards up, because it's not the item's space! UGGGHH!

I hate that, don't mind cleaning at all. It's just so difficult to find a space where there are no space anymore. I used to clean my house in one day & then just keep it tidy and clean where something might spill during the remainder of the week.

I got a cleaner, because it's breaks my spirit if I only get time to do one room at a time. By the end of the week when you're finished with the last one you have to start all over again! There I totally agree with Jennifer.

Good luck and enjoy the time that it's clean and neat :)

Jane - posted on 05/26/2011

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If you haven't heard of her before, you might check out the Fly Lady ( http://www.flylady.com/ ), She has a book out, too, but she developed a system that took her from slob/hoarder to decent housewife. She often has great ideas to help those of us who are cleaning impaired. One thing she says that does seem to help is this: first thing after getting dressed and everybody off to school and work is to empty the sink by washing all dirty dishes and then leaving the sink absolutely clean and sparkling. It does seem to help me set the mood for the day, and oddly enough, even if the rest of the kitchen is a swamp it seems to set the tone for a clean kitchen.

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Dionne - posted on 05/29/2011

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I have 4 kids, a messy, lazy spouse, 1 dog, 2 cats which are my daughters but she does not live in a place she can take them yet. Supposedly she is working on getting a place where she can take her cats. I went to an organizational community seminar. This helped with some of the items in my house. I have not heard of the flylady, I will check into that to see if there are more ideas. I clean as I walk through the house. I usually pick a day when no appointments are and start at one end of the house and work through the house. I have not dusted bedrooms for a long time but 2 of them have been done over the last 2years with my daughter moving out and my son taking her room I was able to get those 2 rooms cleaned. I have my bedroom to do yet for dusting. I cleaned the walls last summer they need to be done again since the dog likes to sleep in the room he gets the walls dirty walking past them. I also organize the toys, they have $1 containers so I sort through the toys each has there own bin. Like the cars, action figures, dishes, swords, doll cloths, etc... This helps the kids when they want to play with something to go directly to what they want to play with and for clean up it is to put them in there container and on a shelf. My living room is a 12x24 room so it looks messy since the toys are in one area. I have hardwood and vinyl floors so I sweep and mop. With having the 3 animals, there is hair all the time on the floor, I can sweep up to 3 times a day and still hair. Dehairing the curtains takes an entire day, only to not last. Very disheartening. I really don't like dusting so that always is last, but needs to be done the most. I usually struggle with keeping up with the normal stuff like sweeping, mopping, cleaning clutter, laundry, dishes so the dusting gets put off. I rinse dishes if I don't have time to wash them or put them in dishwasher. I try to do laundry twice or three times a week so I don't have to spend an entire day doing it. The bathroom I spot clean since 2 of the males have poop fights on who can stain the toilet with poop and then leave it so everyone else has to loook at it. Gross!!!! I will clean the bathroom thoroughly once a week though. Even though I clean, it still looks cluttered. I have a spot for everything or at least I try to this helps with the clutter. Small house to much stuff makes it look cluttered. I really don't have a method for the stuff I get rid of outside of putting it in a plastic bag and put it by the front door or in the porch. It usually sits there for a while unfortunately... My house only stays clean for minutes if I am lucky. I cleaned before special olympics, dishes done, floors were spot mopped and swept, some dusting done, laundry done, bathroom cleaned, gone 3 days. The dad and oldest son were the only ones home, came home to dirty dishes, dusty and dirty floors, pooped stained toilet and messy floor, unorganized areas of the house that were organized. Disappointing!!! No respect thats for sure... Good luck with the cleaning and thanks for the ideas on how others do things!!!

Sueha - posted on 05/28/2011

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unfortunately i have three kids and NO dishwasher :( i cook everyday an i don't like paper plates. dishes are the WORST thing in my house. if the whole house is clean and i have dishes i feel like the house is trashed. i would rather clean the whole house then wash those stupid dishes. i'm very lazy about it too i will leave them till the next day sometimes before i do them. i wish i could be more motivated to clean like a lot of these moms but just trying to keep up with toys and clothes not being on the floor is killing me. i swear to god i pick up toys and take them to the kids room then i walk back to the living room and my youngest is walking out of her room carrying the toys i just put in the room back to the living room :( i got myself an mp3 player and put that on and drink a big cup of coffee and ATTACK!!! the house hahahahaha. i found that putting the toy box in the closet on top of something helps with them only taking a few toys out and playing with them instead of dumping the box out. i tend to have packrat tendencys but my hubby will nicely let me know that the room is getting cluttered then i take a day, and declutter the room and omg it makes me feel like i moved to a new place haha. sometimes i don't just clean the rooms i rearrange the furniture in them too, it spice's things up a lil haha. good luck to all the moms out there fighting a never ending battle with keeping the house clean when you have small kids. like someone said to me once, "cleaning the house while the kids are awake is like shoveling the driveway when it hasn't stopped snowing yet" lol

[deleted account]

It's hard when not everything has a place to go. That's what holds me up in our family room--too many functions and too much stuff. But if I just pick things up and put them somewhere and get the floor vacuumed, it makes me feel a lot better. You can do it Nichole!

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 05/27/2011

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Hey, I just did all of this in order to get our house functioning.... yeah, it didn't even function. So I had to organizeeeeeee, yikes.

Brittany - posted on 05/27/2011

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Thanks Jane for sharing the fly lady website, I'd never heard of her before. (:

Megan - posted on 05/26/2011

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i tell myself if you clean up what you just created like perhaps dishes and then you clean them you ll feel good that you just washed them and put them in the drying rack so then nothing ever will pile up.

philosophy is clean up the mess so there wont be a mess! GL

[deleted account]

I do have a dishwasher, thank goodness. And right now, except for closets, my upstairs is clean and SOOO nice. My husband just told me he might actually want to come upstairs to bed now instead of tripping over everything. :O) Thanks for your support everyone.

Maria - posted on 05/26/2011

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One step at a time girl and once the whole house is clean, it gets much easier. I clean the house 2 seperate days (I have a soon to be toddler and 9 yrs old). Don't over do yourself and once you get your house clean, it's just a quik clean once or twice a week. Good luck and ask your hubby for some help.

p.s. I am ALWAYS doing dishes through out the day, if you can get a dishwasher (i don't have one)

Karen - posted on 05/26/2011

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Yeah I do that too. And since I have hardwood floors, and little toys get spread everywhere through the house. So when I sweep, everything gets swept into a pile. I then pick out the little toys and throw them in a bag or bucket to be brought to their room and tossed in the toybox. Lately though I have been letting most clutter (bills or whatever) just lay where hubby puts them. Every 6 months or so I go and try to get rid of all that but it takes sooooo much longer. I need to get motivated to get EVERYTHING and go through it all right away.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the encouragement. Dishes are out worst problem too. I really need to do what you do.

Brittany - posted on 05/26/2011

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Sounds like my cleaning style lol....I have 2 children 15 months apart & my house is not always the cleanest. I've found a great tip for the dishes is to set ground rules. (Around here dishes are my biggest mess.....& boy are they ever!) After I went through washing about 3 loads in the dishwasher I vowed to always rinse dishes & put them in there immediately after use. My husband is in charge of emptying when clean. Any dishes that can't be put in are washed immediately....even though sometimes I have to force myself lol. It usually takes me 5-10 mins tops to do the dishes everyday if I follow this routine. So much better than hours of cleaning if left unkempt. (: Good luck with the rest of your cleaning....hope it's as smooth as the beginning! (:

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