New here, looking for inspiration

amandanSeptember 11, 2007

--and I think I've found it! I've been lurking for a while and you ladies are a great inspiration to me!

My husband and I finally moved from a rather cramped apartment to a rental house (1200 square feet! and a yard! Hurrah!). However, over the past few years, due to a very hectic schedule, we've gotten rather lax about organizing and cleaning routines. I'm trying to get myself back on track. It does not come naturally for me--I'm a hoarder and piler by nature.

What I'm trying, right now, is to divide up the essential household chores into manageable chunks. I made myself a list of all the things that HAVE to be done (cooking, laundry, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, trash & recycling, etc.) and divided them up evenly across the week. I also made lists of the less-essential chores and any home-improvement projects, so when I have a bit of extra time, I can pick a project and work on it for a while. I've only been doing this for two weeks, but it seems to be helping. I can commit to doing a short list of chores after work, instead of coming home and thinking I have to clean the whole place in one fell swoop. It's not quite what my husband would like (he wants it perfectly clean, all the time), but the house is cleaner overall, so he's much happier.

What's giving me the heebie jeebies is getting THINGS organized. We don't have a huge amount of stuff, as such, but living in small apartments, we just shoved things wherever they fit, rather than thinking too much about function--and as a result, things we needed were always getting lost or damaged. I'd like to set this place up so that it's truly functional... but it's hard to find a place to start!

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Welcome! You know, I think if you start on the hardest place to organize (for me it was the kitchen) the rest of it seems much easier. I learned about "zones" when I planned our kitchen, and it's a very good approach. (You know, cooking, baking, coffee, cleaning, etc.) As long as you have a little space to create the areas you need, it's easy to figure out. If you have any questions, please be sure to ask!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 1:17PM
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amandan~ I found your post interesting b/c I just recently made lists almost exactly like that out for myself! My fiance & I & our 2 dogs are currently living in a medium sized house, honestly, it's almost too big for just us, there are actually 2 rooms that never get used (except for storage) & 1 that's used very rarely. We will soon be moving to a smaller house, only about 250 sq. ft. less, but I think this will be much better for us. Anyway, I have never really liked the layout of the house we're living in now, it's not functional, & I think that's the reason I've NEVER been motivated to clean like I should. So, I have set a goal for myself when we move into our new house: I'm going to keep it clean if it kills me! :)

My first plan is to not start until we are completely moved in & not bringing other stuff into the house, then go by a schedule no matter what. I only work part time, so this should be easily accomplished. The only problem I'm afraid I'll have is when my fiance is home; He works construction out of state & is gone anywhere from 4 days @ a time to 3 weeks @ a time & when he's home he wants to be gone doing fun things, not @ home cleaning. But, I'm going to try to stick to my schedule anyway even if I have to stay up a little later @ night to do it (I'm not a morning person, so don't want to get up any earlier, LOL).

What I did was write everything down that needed to be done, from daily, weekly, every other week, monthly, every 3 months, every 6 months to yearly. Very few things need to be done daily (as far as I'm concerned) if you keep up w/ them. But, one of mine is empty the ashtrays (we're both smokers). I have vacuuming down for 2x a week, sweeping down for 3x a week, etc. I also made sure to put them on days that seemed the most logical, like Thurs. is trash day, so I'll take the trash out on Wed., and I spread things out so there wasn't too much on one day, I also tried to keep the weekends pretty much clear except for very small things.

Anyway, I found a calendar program on my computer (that I didn't even know I had) & input all of this & just made the "appointments" recurr when I thought they should, for example: sweeping every Mon, Wed, & Fri., take inventory of supplies/groceries needed every 1st & 3rd Sat. of the month, etc. That way all I have to do is mark things off as I get them done, then when the month is over, click print & I'll have a brand new schedule for the next month. You're probably going to think I'm going over board w/ this, but I also put a binder together w/ my calendar page in it, some tips & tricks, a journal, etc... I found out about a website: and got the idea there. You should look there for many cleaning strategies, etc. I hope we can both accomplish our cleaning goals, good luck!

PS~ My fiance sounds just like your husband, he expects the house to be spotless, but still hasn't learned to pick up after himself. I've told him many times before that I refuse to follow him around cleaning up his messes! Also, when he tells me something needs to be cleaned, I remind him that he has 2 arms & 2 legs... get to it.... That usually shuts him up... LOL. I don't ask him to help a lot, but don't want him to complain about the way I'm doing it either. I have, however, forbidden him from doing laundry! :)

(Sorry this is so long.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Fly Lady

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:40PM
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claire, I guess that means I have to tackle the books first, then my office/craft stuff (I may wait until DH goes out of town to do the craft stuff, though). The kitchen is fairly well organized, although I'm still trying to find a home for bills, mail and shredder. We always dump the mail in the kitchen, so might as well deal with it there.

Mc Hudd, I don't think the binder is overboard at all. I'm not that great about using a day planner (something I have to improve on!), but I printed out a full list of Monday-Sunday AM and PM chores and posted it in plain view. (All the chores are mine, except "mow the lawn", which is for DH.) Also have a copy in my day planner, so I will hopefully remember to get any needed supplies on the way home from work.

Your fiance sounds like my husband, most of the time. Usually DH is lazy and unmotivated and is just as bad as I am about creating mess, but still views himself as "clean" and me as "messy", so he complains a lot about my housekeeping. Once a year or so he goes totally OCD. Decides he's been living an undisciplined life and gets Organized. When he's Organized, he cleans like a demon, but thereafter expects the entire place to remain ACTUALLY UNUSED (as in, no cooking, no using dishes or towels, no sitting on sofas or chairs, no sleeping in or on the bed, no work done on the desk, no craft projects, no games, no touching of glass or wood surfaces...he has actually demanded, during an Organization episode, that we sleep in the car instead of messing up the house) Fortunately for my sanity, he can only maintain this level of monastic, superhuman Organization for a maximum of four days.

I would settle for ordinary organized. :D

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Amandan~ That's funny, my fiance has never went as far as wanting to sleep in the car (LMAO), but he does that same "once a year" thing. He does this more w/ his garage than the house, but his organization lasts for about a week, then it's back to normal. I have to give credit where credit is due, he does (very rarely) help clean the house, but it's usually under durress (sp?).

Like I said before though, I'm going to try to keep w/ this schedule & when he's home I'm going to try to have him help me a little. Who knows? It may be fun to clean together. I've read somewhere before that a wife got her husband to help clean by doing it naked (both of them); I think I would rather just do it myself... Not real keen on the idea of using chemical cleaners while naked... LOL.

Anyway, good luck w/ the schedule & the husband, LOL! :)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 8:53PM
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