Thursday, May 05, 2005

Housekeeping Hints

LST-533-broomNo, not from me, silly. I need housekeeping hints from you!

All right, here's the deal: I'm a stay at home dad with two boys - Nolan is 3 years old and goes to preschool in the morning and Jackson is 1 1/2 years old and stays with me all day. Gathering your collective experiences, what are some methods you've used to keep the house in order without feeling like you're just cleaning all day long and nothing seems to look any better than before you started? I've tried doing the housework while the boys napped, but I found that I was being far too ineffective since I was too scared of waking them with all the noise that accompanies certain cleaning tasks. Quite a conundrum.

So click on the comments link below and hint away!

(unless you have a Blogger account, make sure you click "Other" or just "Anonymous" when leaving your comment)


Dan (Mr. Cheese) said...

In the grander scheme of thing a clean house is over rated…. I am not suggesting that living in a pigpen is acceptable… After all, we raise pigs on occasion and I wouldn’t want to sleep with them. Keeping the house “spotless” ( I don’t think you’re a perfectionist) is for those who don’t really live in their homes, they just tour the place to admire the shine. You know those folks. Perfect house usually means whole and complete; whoa be it to the poor unsuspecting person that accidentally puts anything out of order. Oh by the way, there is always something out of order the “spotless house” person needs valium to easy the constant pay of having to clean up alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the time so they can be whole and complete.

Sermon done…. When I was single and tending children, I allowed myself the privilege of keeping things generally picked up, and only did deep cleaning once a week.. Additionally, I included my kids in the work of keeping the house up… That helps ease the burden for you and more importantly, it is the beginning for helping them understand that they are connected to and a part of a bigger picture.

Elsie said...

i started cleaning the house when joey was born, age 14. i cleaned so much that when i had child number three, i just couldn't take it anymore. so, i asked daniel for a housekeeper. he said yes and we've had one ever since.

but there have been intervals when we did not have a housekeeper. so, here is my advice. if you can afford one, get one! because it's wonderful!! but if you can't, then set aside one day to be your cleaning day. then do it. get a routine down (how you're going to clean, which room you'll attack first, vacuum last) and follow through. give the boys some sponges and let them at it on the kitchen floor. do NOT spread out your cleaning over a few days or even over the course of a week. otherwise, you feel like you're constantly cleaning and that nothing ever gets accomplished. when i used to set aside mondays for cleaning and laundry, then i could always mentally tell myself "oh well, i'll do it on monday." it really helped. so, i hope this helps you.

Anonymous said...

Been thinking of housecleaning wisdom---your children will be young only once. You can never get back this time with them. iIf having the house clean for something really important is absolutely necessary then hire a mothers helper or get a cleaning service. God will give you the grace and time for the day to day necessity clean underwear, a clean dish to eat off of etc. I make a game out of the chores that are really necessary and involve the childrento do it with you---its not meant to be efficient its the journey of doing it together:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

I agree with all of the above comments. GOOD ADVICE! There is definitely never enough time to declutter the piles of stuff I have that I want to get to. Some days I accomplish nothing in terms of cleaning the house, because life and kids and other stuff take precedents. But after a while the dirt and the clutter "get to me" and I start feeling buried under my mess and the tornado that just struck my house.

During pregnancy #3 at 7 months, I just couldn't clean another dirty bath tub on my hands and knees. I gave in and asked Hanford if I could hire a housecleaner. I must say, it went against my frugal ways and bit into my pride as well, but OH MY GOODNESS--did it ever save me and my dirty house. My housecleaner comes every other week to do a major cleaning: vacuums, mops, toilets, bathtubs, dusts, kitchen counters, stove top, oven, changes my bed sheets, and other wonderful things. She is a life saver and an energy saver. She completes the necessary tasks in 4-5 hours, because it is her job. What she does in those hours would probably take me 2 to 3 days to accomplish, because I would get side tracked by phone calls, reorganizing things, decluttering, etc....If you can spare the change, it is money well spent for your peace of mind that at least twice a month, you house will be clean. I highly recommend finding a trustworthy person that your friends have used before and see what you can work out.
I do my laundry at night, when the kids are in bed. I fold clothes and iron while I enjoy some of my favorite TV shows. The challenge for me is to put the clothes away once they are folded. But, if I get right to it the next day, it really only takes 15 minutes or so. If I didn't do the dinner dishes, I always clean up the kitchen in the morning, to have a fresh start for the day. I agree that it is wise to try to designate one day in your week that you will "devote" towards cleaning the house, so you are not cleaning all the time. You will not feel quite so guilty about not spending the time with your kids, if you pick one day to focus on getting some of the house tasks accomplished. It will also allow you the freedom to plan more fun things on the other days. Depending upon how routined you are, you can pick the same day each week or you could pick a different day each week that suits your schedule best. I find that if I choose one day to stay at home and write down what I need to get down in the house, that I usually can accomplish it.
Best of luck to you. It is no easy task to get things done with little ones in the house. It is still my ongoing struggle as well. But, I don't beat myself up for it--there will come a day when there will be more time and less mess. Enjoy each day, enjoy your little boys, enjoy your home, enjoy the time you have to be with others, and enjoy cleaning when you can get to it. ;o) Whatsoever you do, do it with all your heart to the Lord Colossians 3:23 Cleaning our house is a service to our spouse, our kids, and others who come to our home. I try to approach it with a positive attitude--act of worship. ;o) Love ya,