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Author Topic: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies  (Read 5184 times)

OpenHands

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Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« on: July 14, 2011, 09:50:35 pm »
Being a natural scatterbrain and not having received much...early direction, you could say, when it comes to keeping a home tidy, I'm the sort of person who has had to resort to a Chore Chart (without the gold stars and weekly allowance, although perhaps those wouldn't be a bad idea).  Otherwise I end up trying to finish 3 tasks at once while completely forgetting other chores and nearly burning dinner in my frenzied distraction.

So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

victoreia

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 10:16:49 pm »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010

So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

 
Well, I've been known to use a quote attributed (erroneously, I believe) to Mae West: "My idea of housecleaning is to sweep the room with a glance."

I'm rather lazy about some things, and housekeeping is one of them. My mother/housemate despairs over the state of my bedroom & office area. (She is only slightly better than I am.)

The theory I current go with regarding my lack of motivation is this: it's a ton of stuff I would need to move, in order to re-organize, and would spill over into the shared areas of the apartment. I'd never be able to do it all in a day, or even two days, and Mom would go batshit about the spill-over and about how long it takes. And I really don't want to rush major stuff like getting everything set up to my satisfaction.

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Starglade

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 10:28:36 pm »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010


 
While this  house will never pass a white-glove test, it won't be condemned for filth, either. :)

I do at least one sinkful of dishes daily, of pots/pans and nondishwasher-safe stuff. (If it's not me, it's one of the girls. They're old enough.) The dishwasher does the rest, every two or three days (when we run out of something, we run it. Might be glasses, might be spoons or forks, or plates--doesn't matter). The stovetop gets cleaned weekly, or I'd have to take a sandblaster to it. Same with the microwave.

Floors: We have NO wall-to-wall carpeting, only two areas of indoor-outdoor at each of our desks. Hence, we have no vacuum cleaner; we use a broom and/or the stick vac instead. Floors are swept two or three times a week, as needed, and carpets are vacuumed weekly.

Dusting? What's that? LOLOLOLOL Seriously . . . I don't dust much. Once a month I might do the top of the entertainment center. The coffeetable gets a onceover when I notice it's messy. I've always despised dusting and I just--don't.

Same with mopping. I'm awful about mopping. Maybe twice a year I'll hit the front hall and the kitchen, but the rest of the time it's sweeping, period. Same with the bathroom.

Laundry is done at least once a week, every week. The two older girls have started doing their own, which leaves only the little one's and my husband's and mine, and the "communal" stuff like towels. If stuff gets dirtier faster and we're in need, then laundry's done as needed--but AT LEAST once a week, every week.

There is no ironing in this house. I own one. It's currently sitting under the bathroom sink. Don't ask me why, I guess that's where it fit at the time I brought it here when I moved in three years ago . . .
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Monica Mc

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 12:23:38 am »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010

So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)


I have one day a week off work and I use it to clean the bathroom and floors, otherwise it is just a matter of doing the dishes once a day and the washing twice a week and extra if needed. with out the routine I would be stuffed though because I can rarely be bothered to do any more than the minimum needed for hygiene reasons. I don't even own an iron and things like dusting tend to be if I am having a house inspection or if I am having a meeting at my house and I feel obliged to.

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 12:44:47 am »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010


So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

 
We have a system this  summer, I yell, THEY clean, I open  a closet, things fall on my head, I do the housework myself next time, hence  things only get half done or  just not done at all. I keep saying there's  5 of THEM and  only ONE  of ME, I just can't  keep up. I do what I can, when I can with  the kids helping out  as  much as they are willing to. Surprisingly  there is only  one  basket  of laundry  in the basement, a half sink  of  dishes and  the  floors are not sticky this week! I can't see the top  of  my  coffee table but  darn  it I can  see the floor! So I can't be doing that bad of a  job!
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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 07:05:29 am »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010
(without the gold stars and weekly allowance, although perhaps those wouldn't be a bad idea).


Well, if you're a gamer, there's always Chore Wars:D.

Quote
So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

 
If I don't do "clean as you go", I get overwhelmed.  I was in my late 30s before I discovered that I'm not actually either lazy or a slob; if I do things right away when they're just one small job, it turns out I am naturally tidy.  I just didn't have much of a frame of reference for this before then.

It helps to think of the "tidying" stuff as being part of whatever I'm doing - f'ex, if I'm cooking, "stack used dishes/tools by the sink ready to be washed" is as much a part of the process as "get the dish/tool out of the cupboard".  It also helps if everything has a place where it belongs, so that it can be put away in that place - doesn't have to be out of sight (contrary to my mother's notions, which are pretty focused on non-residents not being able to see the side effects of "people have lives here"), it just has to be out of the way, preferably in a way that it's easy to find/get at next time it's needed.

The kind of jobs that can't be done that way - cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, that sort of thing - are still a bit of a challenge, but it's a lot easier to say, "It's that day of the week on which I vacuum the living room," and then actually do it, if I don't have to put away a week's worth of stuff left lying hither and yon before I ever get the vacuum out.

I DO NOT do well having roommates who prefer to leave stuff wherever it landed all week, then spend all day on their day off having a monumental cleaning session - not just because the accumulation itself overwhelms, but also because I've spent all week in an increasingly disordered environment, which I find to be draining in itself.

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Wood Rose

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 07:13:08 am »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010

So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

 
When I work I only empty the cat box, I work 12 hour shifts not gonna happen.

On my first day off I sleep. On my second day I do the house work. Dishes, bathroom, vac ext. Laundry waits until the day before I start working again. Also on my last day off I make something that will keep for a few days and eat off that no cooking.

To make myself clean I have a "thing" (reading, cross stitching) that I won't do until the house is clean.

Waterfall

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 09:45:22 am »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010
So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)


I sorta just clean as I go, especially in regards to the kitchen. If I use a dish, I clean it as soon as I'm done with it. My roommate is the opposite and lets dishes pile up and then cleans them all at once every week. It's a small kitchen so if I don't clean as I go, we'll have no space since I use the stove regularly and it's also where we put things sometimes since there's very little counter space. My roommate only uses the microwave, so she doesn't have pots and that sort of thing to clean up, so it's okay that she doesn't wash them all the time.

With everything else, I just clean when I feel like it. I don't actually have all that much stuff to clean. It's a really small apartment. Of course, it looks a bit messy because it's small and since I have next to no furniture, things just sorta end up where they end up. Sometimes I have a stack of towels next to my sleeping bag or a loaf of bread on my bookshelf. And since I'm sleeping in the living room, sometimes my roommate leaves things around in there too. But it's not like she leaves her dirty clothes in there or anything or food containers. Mostly just packaging materials and what not and I really don't mind picking that up when I pick up other things.

HeartShadow

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 01:25:35 pm »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010
Being a natural scatterbrain and not having received much...early direction, you could say, when it comes to keeping a home tidy, I'm the sort of person who has had to resort to a Chore Chart (without the gold stars and weekly allowance, although perhaps those wouldn't be a bad idea).  Otherwise I end up trying to finish 3 tasks at once while completely forgetting other chores and nearly burning dinner in my frenzied distraction.

So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

 
I'm gods-awful.  There's no polite way of putting it.  I'm not naturally neat, tidy, OR worried about clean.

OTOH, I'm more worried about clean than I am tidy - there will be a STACK of dishes in the drying rack for months, f'ex, because hey they're clean I'll put them away sooner or later.  It's that last step that I'm worst at.

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 02:39:59 pm »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010
If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

 
My mother is a naturally tidy person. I'm not, but as I've gotten older, I've gotten more and more Virgo in my desire for tidy surroundings (without having really good methods for getting there, which is tedious...)

And then you add the complications of the chronic health foo, which make some kinds of cleaning tricky (anything that raise dust and dander means I need to be out of the house for a few hours after to let the air filter work, the more recent stuff means that I'm much better off dong small bits well spaced out.)

What's helped for me is to deconstruct what makes sense out of various systems that work for people. FlyLady works for a lot of people, but there are lots of pieces in it that drive me up a wall, for example - but getting the book and figuring out the pieces that *do* work for me helped a lot.

Stuff that helps me:
- Break things down into smaller tasks, and then do 10-15 minutes at a time.

- Have a short daily list of stuff that really makes it easier for me to keep up (tidying stuff off of the flat surfaces where it tends to pile really helps, for example.)

- Using technology to help me track (I use an iPhone app called Home Routines that is awesome for this.)

- Figuring out what I can do to minimise the cleaning I dislike, and in general.

(For example, I don't have a dishwasher in the current place. I figured out early on that I *hate* washing glass glasses by hand. So I replaced with ceramics, which I like a lot better, and doing dishes is no longer miserable. Likewise, I own almost no clothing that can't be washed together, on hot, without a lot of special care.)
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sailor

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 04:12:14 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;5136
Well, if you're a gamer, there's always Chore Wars:D.


(snip)
Sunflower

 
That looks cute.

As for the rest of your post, that's my style also. Clean up and put away as I go.

Annie Roonie

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 09:27:43 pm »
Quote from: OpenHands;5010
So.  Are you a naturally tidy person?  Or were you raised to be an accomplished housekeeper?  Any secrets to your success?  If you aren't so blessed, have you developed any strategies to stay on top of the housework?  Or do you regularly flail against the growing piles of laundry and dishes cluttering up the sink?  Just curious.  :)

I am not so much tidy as organized. I create spaces and systems for things and that makes cleaning easier. I only clean when the dirt gets on my nerves which is about every 3-4 days. Then it's just a light cleaning 1-3 hours with a video or book playing for company. About once every other month I do a deep clean where everything gets moved and the organization is evaluated and modified as necessary.

It gives the illusion that I am tidy. I do sometimes help friends organize their homes so that they don't get to that overwhelmed place. A good plan goes a long way in taking some of the cleaning pain out the bum.

I don't have children though. My mother made a chore wheel when my sister's and I were tots. She separated all chores into 3 arenas (the number of kiddos). Kitchen, laundry and Max. Kitchen and Laundry are self explanatory, but Max was the name of our dog and it entailed: dog care, clutter cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, polishing and trash out/recycling. We spun the wheel one time only (she kept the little wheel so that if we went on vacation and forgot or one of us was absent for some reason, we could restart) and from then on we were on a rotation. All of us had to share in yard work. That rotation lasted about 15 years.  The house looked kind of tidy, but none of us were particularly, just organized.

Juniperberry

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 09:40:06 pm »
Quote from: Jubes;5073
We have a system this  summer, I yell, THEY clean, I open  a closet, things fall on my head, I do the housework myself next time, hence  things only get half done or  just not done at all. I keep saying there's  5 of THEM and  only ONE  of ME, I just can't  keep up. I do what I can, when I can with  the kids helping out  as  much as they are willing to. Surprisingly  there is only  one  basket  of laundry  in the basement, a half sink  of  dishes and  the  floors are not sticky this week! I can't see the top  of  my  coffee table but  darn  it I can  see the floor! So I can't be doing that bad of a  job!


Oh, hi, other me!

Four kids here (five if you include hubs) and I've pretty much accepted that my house will never be clean until they're all off to college.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 09:41:07 pm by Juniperberry »
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OpenHands

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 09:56:46 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;5036
Floors: We have NO wall-to-wall carpeting, only two areas of indoor-outdoor at each of our desks. Hence, we have no vacuum cleaner; we use a broom and/or the stick vac instead. Floors are swept two or three times a week, as needed, and carpets are vacuumed weekly.


Our house started out with wall-to-wall carpeting, but after our second rescue dog was finally potty trained, we celebrated by ripping it all out!  We've found that carpet with a lot of animals just tends to trap hair, moisture, and odor...bleh.  I'd say floors and mats get done at my house about as much as yours.  

Quote
Dusting? What's that? LOLOLOLOL Seriously . . . I don't dust much.


Oy, dusting is a rarity here too!  Honestly, much of that comes from how much dust it kicks up into the air, which sends me into a sneezing fit.  My great grandmother was known to tell people who picked up her knick knacks to "make sure you put it back in its dust ring."  :)  

Quote
There is no ironing in this house. I own one. It's currently sitting under the bathroom sink. Don't ask me why, I guess that's where it fit at the time I brought it here when I moved in three years ago . . .

 
We don't iron either unless it's a very special occasion and the dryer can't get the wrinkles out sufficiently.  I mostly use our iron to smooth out my quilting fabric, heh.

OpenHands

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Re: Housekeeping: Styles & Strategies
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 10:11:21 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;5136
Well, if you're a gamer, there's always Chore Wars:D.


Not a gamer, but that's pretty awesome.  :D  Love the concept!


Quote
It helps to think of the "tidying" stuff as being part of whatever I'm doing - f'ex, if I'm cooking, "stack used dishes/tools by the sink ready to be washed" is as much a part of the process as "get the dish/tool out of the cupboard".


This makes sense and I try to use this method when cooking too so there's not that horrible mountain of dishes to do afterwards.  One of the benefits to doing more of the cooking is that my husband isn't as apt to get in there and use nearly every pot, pan, and utensil to make something, then leave me with a kitchen that looks like it vomited on itself to clean up.  :rolleyes:


Quote
The kind of jobs that can't be done that way - cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, that sort of thing - are still a bit of a challenge, but it's a lot easier to say, "It's that day of the week on which I vacuum the living room," and then actually do it, if I don't have to put away a week's worth of stuff left lying hither and yon before I ever get the vacuum out.


*nods*  I'm trying for this tactic too.  I'd ideally love to have a neat schedule of daily/weekly/monthly chores to stick to.  Definitely more managable that way.

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