Not SF related-tips for keeping house when busy busy!!!!

fiveinallSeptember 12, 2009

So in the past month we have had a lot of changes. All three kids are in school, I am also in college full time, both girls are playing soccer, DH is coaching both of the girls soccer teams we are just running in every different direction. I cannot seem to keep up with my house! It seems like the minute one things cleaned up, another thing is messed up. We are constantly going to some activity or maintainng damage control to our home!!I would be embarassed to really have anyone come in our home right now and see the chaos...... So how do you all do it? I know a lot of you all too have really busy lives. Any tips? do your kids help out and if so how much? how do you stay organized?

I can't stand to live this way anymore!!!!!!!!!

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Don't put anything off!

DH and I used to let the kids trash their bedrooms and then we'd b*tch and moan but not really make them do much of anything.

A week before school started, I deep cleaned their bedrooms. Threw out everything that was broken or really old. I organized everything---bought them some extra plastic stacking storage bins for the closets, etc.

NOW---religiously---every night they are expected to clean up and put everything away. DH and I have been really good about not letting them say "oh, can't I do it tomorrow?" We don't care if they make a big mess when playing but we just remind them that whatever is taken out HAS to be put away that night before bed.

I do the same for myself! I do not let dirty dishes sit in the sink overnight. Sometimes after dinner, I just don't feel like doing them, so I will stack them in the sink. But come 9-10 pm I make sure to thouroughly clean up the ktichen---load the dishwasher, run it, wipe down the stove, counters, etc. I just FEEL better when it's clean when I go to bed---and wake up, of course!

The other thing I struggle with is laundry---namely, folding it and putting it away. I am TERRIBLE about leaving the clothes in the dryer and just getting them out of there as I need them. What I've done in the last few months is to sort/fold them on the couch while watching tv with DH. Then I have a distraction while I sort and fold, which helps immensely. I make different piles--ie, my closet, DH's t-shirt drawer, DD's room, SS's room, etc.

We have all hardwood floors and I notice I really need to sweep every other day. Frankly, every day would probably be better. Stuff gets tracked in, the kids have sand in their shoes from the playground, etc. I try to sweep at least every other day.

It is hard! I feel your pain. I am always amazed at how the house can from looking GREAT to a disaster zone in a matter of hours! It's frustrating!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 10:34PM
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i never had as busy household as you have so i command you on not going crazy.:)

I only have one kid. but i did have somewhat busy life because I had two jobs plus was going to school and DD needed to be at different activities plus she had to be transported to and from school (no bus). what i did is doing little things every day instead of piling stuff until the weekends. i still practice that. it helps to not be overwhelmed on the weekends. It also helps not to have too much stuff. more unneccesary stuff you have, harder is to clean. agree with lovehadley, folding laundry as you watch TV.

well I don't find it difficult to maintain anything anymore because there are no kids in the house. i do miss chaos sometimes. :)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:21AM
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one more thing. there was a rule in my house do not make mess in a living room, like not leaving anything in a living room. if you are running out of time throw your stuff in the bedroom but keep living room clean. when DD was little she was not allowed to have toys in the living room (and she had 1million of toys), so no matter how bad bedrooms get you can always invite people over and your living room is clean. maybe make this rule: no clutter or dirt in a living room. it does help a lot. at least house looks nice when people walk in.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:25AM
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Thanks ladies. I love both of your ideas!
DH and I are gonna start with the kids tonight as far as never going to bed with a dirty bedroom. They are all old enough to clean up there own rooms daily, normally I just keep shutting thier doors and pretending the mess doesn't exist...It's not a good example or heathy for the kids to have such a mess in thier rooms.
I also love the idea of no toys in the LR. My kids have a play room, but somehow things manage to sneak or leak into the Living room!
Today is a good day to start, as DH and I and the kids have cleaned all morning. I really HAVE to stay on top of them to pick up after themselves, that is the main prob I think, because DH are always playing catch up. The only thing we are good at is making sure dinner is cleaned up and no dishes in the sink, we do that always, but a clean sink with toys and papers and misc all over the place is still a big mess!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I feel like our house is always messy because we just have a lot of people and if people don't clean up behind themsleves right away our house can get trashed quickly! What has helped is that everyone has chores. They range from our youngest who is in charge of cleaning off the tables (where people like to leave stuff when they are in a hurry) to the older ones who have floor sweeping and bathroom cleaning duties. If we all spend an hour together straightening the house it is amazing how much we can accomplish!

I am also a stickler for nothing in the familyroom getting left out because after you walk in our front door you can see straight thru the foyer to the familyroom.

I also fold laundry in front of the tv and have all the kids put their own laundry away. The girls are good about keeping their drawers neat....but the boys drawers do have to get cleaned out a lot because they somehow make a mess of them. But I feel like cleaning out their drawers once a month is easier than putting away everyones clothes for them.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 4:58PM
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I have learned that there is nothing wrong with a little child labor :) I used to get so frustrated that I couldn't keep our house looking presentable; keeping up with housework seemed impossible! Then I realized that I was taking on all of these responsibilities myself- I have a demanding career where I must delegate responsibility - I had to learn to do this at home. I think as women we put that pressure on ourselves. Now I give the kids (and DH :) a post-it note with list of chores to do on the weekend. Simple stuff - like going around the house to find the garbage cans (bathrooms, office, etc) to empty into the big garbage in the garage- they split them up and make it a race. SS5 is also responsible for using the "dustbuster" to get cobwebs out of corners in the basement- he thinks its fun and feels a real sense of accomplishment. They also must put away toys at night. The funny thing is DH was the only "complainer" about our new system! I put "dust the basement (it's finished) and clean the bathroom" on his list and he was like "Awww...I don't do that!" I told him that when he decided to turn the basement into his "baseball man cave" it became his responsibility and I wasn't cleaning it anymore. :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 6:23PM
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