Monday, September 08, 2008

Cleaning Woes

I've been wanting to ask about this for awhile. How do you keep your houses clean? I don't so much mean in general - if you have kids you know how quickly they can mess a room up (less than a minute on our end) and the question "how do you keep your house clean" becomes somewhat rhetorical.

What I would like to find out are things like:

How often day/week/month do you vacuum, dust, mop the floors, load/unload the dish washer change your sheets, clean the bathroom, sweep, do laundry, put away toys, sort through papers, etc?

What type, if any, of routine do you have? Are certain days for certain activities? I hear that people do that but all of my cleaning is done on an as needed basis. As in, you need clean underwear? Time to do the laundry!

As someone who is not a natural in this arena I would love to hear the good the bad and the ugly. Perhaps you'll inspire me to step up my game or perhaps I won't feel like such a slacker.

Also what is your Achilles heel when it comes to keeping your house in order? For me it without a doubt, not even a close second, it is the clutter and papers that are constantly being shuffled from one place to another, never having a true home and usually making their way to the floor as the kids decide these random items are just as much fun as their toys.

For instance, this morning our family room was clean. I had just vacuumed and nothing was out. A mear three hours later it is covered with crayons and tons of pages from coloring books as well as about six pairs of shoes that the girls were trying on. Granted I brough the shoes out so I could figure out what is going to fit them for the fall and the coloring is a result of Ella playing quietly by herself for over 30 minutes - can't complain about that! I'm sitting here typing this when I should just pick everything up and have it done with but then my eye wanders to another pile of stuff on the couch that is a bit more random and not as easy (ok, probably still pretty easy) to deal with and I just don't feel like it. There I said it - I am a procrastinator and I don't like to straighten up. I don't mind the cleaning part of things, but getting my house in order so it can be cleaned is where I typically fall waaaaaay short.

I would love to hear from you all. Whether you are neat and orderly or tend towards chaos like me, share your cleaning secrets with us - either in the comments, or make a post about it and let me know in the comments.


Rebecca said...

I'm a binge cleaner.

I clean the whole house in one maddening sweep not leaving a single corner undusted.

Then I heave my weary self up the stairs to bed at somewhere around 2in the morning and collapse and pray that I'll be able to keep the house clean so that I just have to tidy as we go.

Then I forget the tidying part! Repeat steps above.

And I think we all have those piles of "stuff" that remain homeless for far too long.

To swiffer or not, that is the question. I have a love/hate relationship with my swiffer.

The regular one, not the wet jet one.

And my achilles heel is putting away laundry. I don't like doing it.

And clutter piles.

I should have just done this in a post, huh? With pictures. Maybe, I will. I'll let you know if I do.

Jenn said...

What a good topic! I was just thinking about this today when I looked around and wondered when my house had become so messy. I'm like you--no schedule, no plan..I clean when I can't take it anymore, and I usually wait until I'm in the mood to do a lot of it at once--I'm not motivated to pick up that stack of papers here or there if everything else is still going to look messy. So I just wait until everything looks messy then I clean it up at once! I agree that stacks of paper are my worst enemy. I always strive to become more organized but before I know it I have more then I know what to do with. I blame junk mail-that gets me every time. I won't even tell you the last time I took a mop to any floors in my house, or cleaned my bathroom. Clorox wipes are my best friend.

Anonymous said...

This is Bevy - but I can't sign in :)

Now that I have my Hep C and other assorted things more under control, I actually have energy to clean.
So when the bathrooms need it - I can accomplish it - I vacuum a couple times a week, I load and empty the dw maybe 1 time a day - I do laundry as needed - but I HATE folding laundry and putting it away ... I know I am sad! I hope you got the girls to help you clean up that room. :)

renee said...

good post megs! hmmmm... i think i don't really enjoy
cleaning.... i think i enjoy staying organized though. i guess i clean on an as-needed basis, when the bathrooms start to look gross or when people come over... i definitely despise piles of papers and am a "tosser!" jon saves everything, but i am quick to toss when things pile up as i just can't live with clutter all around me. i think my "soul" feels cluttered when things are messy and i feel much better when things are picked up (that can be a bad thing at times though too). But Jon is the same way and we usually tend to clean the kitchen right after meals and go to bed with things tidy somewhat. the kids can definitely make a mess quick though... one of those unavoidable things we have to live with for awhile! i hardly ever wash my floors - i spot clean a lot, and wipe things down as i see them.
maybe you could call that professional organizer who talked at MOTS to help figure out a plan for the papers! :)

Erin said...

you know me well enough to know that i'm not super clean, but i do have a bit of a routine. living with three animals dictates that i vacuum twice a week. it really could use it more (probably every day) but i just refuse. i do laundry every monday and friday because i'm not working. i "wipe" down the bathroom about once a week, but i really only "clean" it about twice a month. gross, i know. I mop the kitchen floor only when i can't take it anymore or if someone is coming over. the bane of my existance is dusting. i hate, hate, hate to dust. i only dust when someone i don't know well is coming over. i've been know to actually vacuum the tops of my tables in the living room b/c they're that dusty and hairy. go me... as for the clutter, all papers go in a pile in the kitchen and then migrate their way down to the office where they enter the no-man's land called m.'s office. i have no idea what happens to them then... we don't have a dishwasher, so we try to do dishes right after meals. otherwise, it can get pretty smelly. and yes, we know that from experience.

Susan C. said...

Ugh. Cleaning. I clean the kitchen when we are having people over for dinner because I don't want them to think they are eating from a dirty kitchen. I clean the rest of the house when my in-laws are coming over. Laundry always seems to fall on Mondays- probably because I let it go all weekend and then by Monday we need to have clean clothes. Papers are the big clutter problem for me, too. I usually get it under control about once a month, and then manage to stay on top of it for a few days before getting sucked back under.
I rarely do in-depth cleaning- I might vacuum one day, dust a few days later, wipe down sinks another day. I love the feeling of having a totally clean house, but I rarely have the time (or desire) to make it all happen at once.

LifeatTheCircus said...

LOVED this post... I think if we lived in the same town, we'd be friends. :-)

No set schedule here... I have found having company visit, especially overnight guests (like siblings or inlaws) (hi karen;-) ) really helps me to tackle some of those tasks that keep getting pushed to the back burner (ie cleaning the carpet, scrubbing the bath tub, scrubbing the walls, cleaning the stove top)

My dog sheds so I vacumn at least once a week. Dusting... not so often, maybe once a month... clean the toilet and sink once every week and a half (when I see the rink around the toilet and the grim on the sink)

Paper piles... girl I hear you on those... they pile up on my counter till I stuff them in my room... I have been saying we gotta tackle our room for the whole month of August and now it is almost mid Sept... I do try to make monthly goals for big projects. It often helps. I am hoping to get a filing system in place so once I get the papers taken care of I can maintain it (yes, I am a hopeless optimist)

Laundry... I stink at laundry... been better the last two weeks... but honestly typically we pull the clean clothes out of the dryer or the basket or the pile of clean clothes on the guest bed. I THINK I am almost at a maintenance stage (as in that HUGE pile that has been sitting in my laundry room for a year now is finally ALL clean) and maybe I can try this plan I read about where you do one load a day and can keep up with putting them away as you do them... yes, I live in a dream world I know... but dreams are good, right?

Fun post... sorry for the extra long comment!

Teri said...

I think we need to trade places...I am better at the clutter control and not so good at the overall cleaning, however I'm very much on the "as-needed basis" as well!

Crafty P said...

I think I will just post about this... soon.

maybe tonight after the kids are in bed and I have a chance to clean up.


i just remembered that the iron is on in my room. guess I should go and finish that up before I play scramble.

oh wait, I need to get Gabriel off the bus.

well, there you go, some what of a typical stream of consciousness and why cleaning is not my top priority.

(but scrambling is ;) )

shannon_milinovich said...

i love a clean house...i think it is my mother's fault. she washes her windows (all of them) twice a year, washes walls and curtains twice a year. she is so clean! I grew up with it, so it brings me comfort. however, there are the kids, dog and my part time job, that make it impossible. so my house is neat most of the time and I clean when i can. i do laundry once a week - usually 5 big loads. my mother does a load every other day -- it always seems like she is doing laundry!

Dishwasher is run every night and unloaded before breakfast, everyday.

sheets not as often as i would like, too often for greg...

vaccum - once a week, dust - as needed, mop - kitchen once a week. now to my achilles heel - my bathroom -- i dislike it -- it is really small and i don't like the style, so i hate cleaning it. the shower, sink and toilet are navy blue and soap scum and toothpaste are always I avoid it...

i keep papers organized by tossing or filing them as soon as they come in. I look at the mail and file/throw away right then. today, I received 10 papers from my community bible study, I read them, wrote down the things I needed to remember, and recyled them.

here is my method for cleaning -- it works well if you have a deadline - like your parents are coming for the weekend. I make a list of everything that needs to be cleaned. I write down the days of the week until the deadline and assign tasks for each day. I love crossing stuff off!

megan - i would love to come help you organize -- but i am bringing a six pack of red bull this time!

Dawn said...

I'm actually at a computer where I can leave a comment :-)

My comment:
Get a cleaning lady! :-) It's the best money I've ever spent! I definitely can't stand a cluttered house, so now that I have someone else cleaning for me I can keep up with everything else!!

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