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How do you keep on top of it all

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#26 28 Barbary Lane

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:28 AM

Next person who opens their mouth to start tut tutting hand them some rubber gloves and a bottle of spray and wipe and say “here you go, knock yourself out”.

It’s a no brainer if you go to someone’s house and they are obviously struggling you just pitch in and start doing stuff without making a big drama. That’s on them, not you.

#27 casime

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:30 AM

My trick for not having heaps of laundry laying around is to hang everything straight onto hangers before hanging up to dry.  When it's dry, it's just a case of putting those hangers into the correct wardrobe.  Everything I buy must be ok to hang up and be wearable without needing ironing.  I only have underwear and socks to deal with then.  For socks, I went and bought 20 identical pairs for myself, and 20 identical pairs for DS, so no worries about trying to match them up, or dealing with missing socks.

#28 4kids mostlysane

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:34 AM

You have a toddle and a newborn..... As others have said, if at the end of the day they've fed, warm and alive, that a win all around...

And you're renovating?  Hats off to you !

Tell your judgemental family to help out or feck off.  Seriously.

#29 seayork2002

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:37 AM

I drop my standards and try and do one thing a day

We do the floors/toilet Sunday morning, tidy a bit Friday night everything else just whenever (dishes daily though and washing every few days)

I iron Sunday afternoon or after work in the week.(max 9 shirts a week) while DH cooks

when I get home a little after 5 while DH is cooking I may bring the washing in one day, hang a load out another, put something away, fix something or whatever.

Once dinner is over and dishes are done we are all done for the evening unless an emergency.

These are nights we are home (and unless we are away for the weekend)

Dusting/Cobwebs/Beds changed/skirting boards whenever we get around to them.

Added- we live in a 2 bed unit on purpose because no way on the planet do I want to add anything else to our 'must do list'

Edited by seayork2002, 10 April 2019 - 09:39 AM.

#30 SeaPrincess

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:37 AM

View PostEmmDasher, on 10 April 2019 - 07:59 AM, said:

Nobody does keep on top of everything.

This needs repeating!

The early years are a huge time of change. I found it really hard to get used to doing 1 major job per day instead of having a full-on clean once a week. Even now, I regularly feel like everything is out of control, but at the end of the day, everyone is fed and has clean school uniforms. And I know that my friend whose house is always sparkling has different struggles than I do.

#31 Moukmouk

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:41 AM

No one stays on top of it all with a newborn, let alone a newborn and a toddler.
Lots of people have mentioned tubs for toys. They are brilliant. I had multiple sets of those ikea wooden stands that the tubs slotted into. I found if I made it really easy to pack things away then it made a big difference. There was a small bookcase just for kids books. DD was at daycare and they really worked on packing away. They even had a little song - “everybody pack away” to the tune of London bridge is  falling down.
Tubs in the bathroom and bedrooms for dirty clothes.
A cleaner is invaluable. Failing that, letting go of any environmental  concerns for a short time helps.
I had a packet of disposable cleaning wipes in the bathroom. Would wipe stuff over while toddler was in the bath. I would often “shuffle” a tea towel over the floor with my feet to clean it a bit.
Wash small loads often and put it away straight from the dryer.
Cook or at least prep dinner in the morning. One pot meals to lessen washing up.
This will pass, it does get so much easier.
And as for judgemental families? One of the many reasons I have a poor relationship with my mother......

#32 AllyK81

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:50 AM

As soon as I fall behind everything goes to pot so I do everything every day which sounds a lot but makes it easier in the long run. Hang washing immediately and put it away as soon as it is dry. Do the dishes as soon as a meal is finished. Wipe down the bathrooms every couple of days - it takes 3 minutes if you do it often but 30 if you don't.

We Kondo - if everything has a place to go away tidying up takes 5 minutes.

We both work full time and kids are nearly 6 and nearly 4.

BUT when we had newborns it was total pandemonium....

#33 Mollycoddle

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:52 AM

View PostRiotproof, on 10 April 2019 - 08:09 AM, said:

My 4 year old has stolen a washing basket atm. She has papers, and various things inside it. Whenever I ask her, she’s not finished with it yet.

Lol I would definitely let her keep it, looks like she has the right idea re. containing her stuff in the one place!

Agree with all PPs re. minimise clutter, have set days for certain tasks eg. washing sheets and towels on Saturday and rotate the bigger jobs.  And do things often, as PP says, it's much quicker to maintain than have to clean after weeks of build-up.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 10 April 2019 - 09:56 AM.

#34 Mollycoddle

Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:53 AM

View PostNo Drama Please, on 10 April 2019 - 09:28 AM, said:

It’s a no brainer if you go to someone’s house and they are obviously struggling you just pitch in and start doing stuff without making a big drama. That’s on them, not you.

Not necessarily!  Some people are funny about their stuff and they can feel even more judged if you were to do this, feeling as if you only want to visit them if their house is up to your own standards  Even asking them if they want help can be dicey!

However if we were having a frank conversation in another context and it happened to come up that they were struggling I wouldn't hesitate to offer to chip in.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 10 April 2019 - 02:02 PM.

#35 mm1981

Posted 10 April 2019 - 10:21 AM

I don't.  I've got too many young kids to bother having a spotless home.

I always make sure the kitchen is clean and that they are only permitted to eat in the kitchen.  And I always put on a load of washing before I go to sleep.

Other than that, the place is generally a bomb site.  Occassionally I will have a burst of energy and go on a big clean but usually I have other things to waste my time on.

#36 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 10 April 2019 - 10:51 AM

I don't. Some days are better than others. It is what it is and I have better things to do than to knock myself around for not being a Stepford wife. That's not a job I have any aspirations.

My kids know they are loved to infinity and beyond, they are fed, they have a roof over their heads, they are safe and they (mostly) have clean clothes. My DH knows he is loved and I know I am loved by him, anything else is a bonus.

I am never going to get to the end of my life and think "well, thank god I washed all the sheets and towels twice a week and cleaned the bathrooms daily!" It's not a focus, nor do I find my sense of identity in doing housework. I do what needs to be done because it's necessary. It's just that my version of what's necessary might be different to someone's else definition.

#37 Jane Jetson

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:02 AM

I basically just got on top of living in a very messy house.

I mean, I don't love the laundry everywhere at the moment, but we've all had colds so we've let it slide more than usual, and the place is not great. DH cracked first and has been giving the kitchen a pretty serious clean the last day or two, so that's good.

Once kids are older you can utilise child labour and make them clean up the loungeroom/hang out the washing/do the washing up. There is whinging to deal with, but it's much more tolerable than doing it yourself.

View Postlozoodle, on 10 April 2019 - 08:55 AM, said:

and 238583453495345455 notes from school with things to remember

Everyone told me this would get better at high school. Nope. There are MORE notes. Polluting my inbox daily. Gah.

#38 Popper

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:10 AM

For us we never leave the house of a morning without beds made, dishes done, floors swept/stick vac and house tidy. On days I work I do the washing the night before. Ironing gets done every Thursday. I am an early riser and DH shares the load. School lunches made the night before.

#39 amdirel

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:11 AM

I don't. I can't. I'm totally incapable of keeping on top of everything. It gets to me tbh.

#40 quartz85

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:23 AM

I don't stay on top of it. Last year, things were more organised. But now, with a kid in FYOS and a toddler who has dropped their nap. Nothing gets done I hate it. When I do clean I just chuck out. If I'm sick of tripping over a toy it has either been going in the bin or getting cleaned and in a box for charity if it's good enough.

DH is fantastic, my kids pretty easy and helpful and still it's all just constant messy, and at times, dirty chaos.

It's rarely all clean at the same time, and even when it is 15 minutes is all it takes for it all to be destroyed.

I'm getting a house cleaner soon. I'd rather work an extra day a week than spend it cleaning.


Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:45 AM

I have always enjoyed cleaning/tidying/decluttering so that helps. Even when I was working 6 days a week, the only thing that really declined was the gardens/decluttering inside and in the shed.

We only have 1 toilet, I clean it every single night before bed. That way it never becomes a big job.

A load of washing on at night, another on in the morning.

Sheets/towels are done on certain days.

My kids help (they are teens so a bit easier) for their phone bills.

DH is FiFO, but cooks on his days off and hangs out washing/brings it in etc.

I fold in front of the TV and put in individual baskets that I leave outside kids rooms for them to put away.

Good luck OP, I'm sure you will get tons of great tips.


Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:46 AM

Oh and I invested in a robot vacuum that goes on 1-2 times a day in different areas of the house. A life changer!

#43 Crombek

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:49 AM

Hang on - renovating too? BTDT, it *never* looks like you are getting on top of mess when renovating. We renovated for 5 years straight through DS1 & 2 as babies. Never again. Ever.

Tell judgy family to put their money where their mouths are and hold a baby or pick up a screwdriver. You are doing great.

#44 ~J_WTF~

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:50 AM

Just curious how does cleaning the toilet become a big job even if you don’t clean it every night?

#45 seayork2002

Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:54 AM

View Post~J_F~, on 10 April 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

Just curious how does cleaning the toilet become a big job even if you don’t clean it every night?

I was wondering that - we have 2 males and me and one toilet, it gets cleaned once a week and takes only a couple of minutes (even when I deep clean, once every few years it is not that bad)

#46 DaLittleEd

Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:00 PM

View Post~J_F~, on 10 April 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

Just curious how does cleaning the toilet become a big job even if you don’t clean it every night?

Yeah. I mean they pretty much clean themselves when you flush, right?

#47 lalalove

Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:02 PM

I've been there OP...2yr old and a newborn - you are well and truly in the trenches atm. Hang in there. Mine are 4 and 2 now and I am finally starting to feel on top of things.
My thoughts:
If finances allow, definitely get a cleaner
Do one thing at a time, gone are the days of being able to do all the cleaning in one foul swoop. If you only manage a vacuum of one room for the day, then that's a win!
Have a 'half hour of power' after the toddler//kids are in bed & tidy up as much as you can. Get your partner on board. Sweep/vac/mop if you have time. So nice to get up to a clean(er) house in the morning.
Give kitchen benches/stove/cupboard a wipe as you stack dishwasher/do dishes
Clean sink/wipe vanity whilst kids are bathing, give bath a quick wipe out with flannel when kids are done in it
When you leave a room take something with you that doesn't belong (e.g. heading to the kids room, take a pile of washing)
Give the shower a quick wipe over every few days when you're in it, invest in a squeegee for the glass screen
Simplify your adult meals and cook for the toddler in bulk and freeze and re-heat
Give your toddler a cloth and get them to help with dusting etc. They won't really 'help' but keeps them occupied and stops more mess creation while you do the real cleaning
Be kind to yourself. It's a hard time of your life but it will get easier!

#48 nom_de_plume

Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:15 PM

I don’t.

I outsource - so we have a cleaner who comes in fortnightly to give the place a once over, do the bathrooms, floors and dusting. I don’t do any other cleaning (save for taking the rubbish out) unless something is spilled and requires immediate attention.

I don’t iron ever. I don’t buy clothing that requires it. Clothes go straight out of the machine, onto hangers and on the line. Then they can be put straight in wardrobes. I wash on the weekends.

Dishwasher gets run every night and unpacked in the morning. Dinner dishes washed of an evening.

No one ever regretted not doing housework on their death bed.

#49 magic_marker

Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:21 PM

Kids clean and fed. Tick
Washing Clean. Tick.
Anything l get done after that is a bonus.

#50 Pocket...

Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:26 PM

I don't keep on top of it. If by some miracle I do one day, that's when someone decides I have time on my hands and tries to dump another project in my lap.

My sanity is helped by the fact that I have a toy area in the open plan living. Toys must mostly stay on the carpet area. That means few toys toys were out in the evening. 5 minutes to move them away and I could sit for a bit in the evening on a nicer space where I couldn't see the mess. Mess still existed, but not in my line of sight.

A room divider helped with this at your kids ages.

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