Friday, September 7, 2012

a housekeeping s.o.s.

Can I get an amen?

I'm kind of drowning in housework, y'all. And I'm getting mega-overwhelmed.

On the surface, it's not that bad. There are no dishes in the sink, there's minimal clutter, I vacuumed yesterday. But lurking behind my closed bedroom door are baskets full of laundry that need to be put away. The bathroom needs to be scrubbed like whoa. The floors are disgusting. 

I know that those things probably seem minor, but I just feel like I'm always behind on something. It's not just the laundry. It's the laundry and the floors and the fact that I could write love notes to Andrew in the dust on our dresser. Before Jack and before I quit working, I could knock out my housework on a Saturday morning and have my feet up by lunchtime. It's amazing how quickly things go when there's not a baby underfoot.

Not any more, my friends. Not anymore.

And I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining because I do stay at home all day so I should have plenty of time to get it all done. But there are obviously other things (read: babies) that fill my time and trying to balance that with my list of chores is not working out so well. I have come to hate housework. HATE. And I honestly didn't used to be that way. I kind of liked cleaning my house. ::hides face in hands::

Yesterday, as I was begrudgingly cleaning the living room, I was thinking that if all the people in my life who ask me what I want for Christmas every year pooled their money and got me a maid for a year, I would cry out of gratitude and relief. You think I'm kidding. I actually almost teared up just thinking about it.

It would be THE BEST PRESENT EVER. Because right now, I feel completely overwhelmed and trapped by my housekeeping duties. I hate it. There are so many other things I'd rather be doing. 

Here are my two main challenges:

Sweet Rudy. He tracks dirt inside. He sheds. And sheds and sheds and sheds.

Crazy Sweet Jack. He's not so much the source of the messiness (yet) as much as he is a deterrent from dealing with it. I can only get so much done while he's napping and if he's awake, I have to confine him to the high chair long enough for me to cross something off my list. Otherwise, he'll make a beeline for something that is not meant to be covered in baby slobber.

Essentially, what happens is that things pile up and pile up and pile up and then I try to deal with it all at once. Which is never good because a) I can't get it all done and b) it makes me a crazy person. I'm thinking that I need to break it down into bite-sized chunks. Do a load of laundry from start to finish every day, instead of 10 loads once a week. Clean the floors one day, the bathroom one day, and the kitchen after dinner every night. Something like that.

And it sounds good in theory, but can I really keep up with it?

So, my question is this: how do you keep your house clean?

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS TYPE-A. Someone please tell me how to get a handle on this.

9 friends said...:

  1. Aaah, been there.

    Try breaking it up into pieces, so you do a little something each day. Ex: Dust on Mondays. That's it. Vacuum/floors on Tuesdays. Nothing else. Wednesdays you do laundry. Thursdays are bathrooms. Fridays are maybe dishes, or windows or small clutter sorting, or whatever else. It's what works for us, but do what fits your family best. The point is just to make it manageable.

    Good Luck!

    1. I think there's definitely something to that strategy. I think that's my next plan of attack!

  2. Now...I by no means have this all figured out, but I do have a strategy. Week 1 I clean the first floor and week 2 I clean the second floor. Then randomly (i.e. if we're having company) I throw in the bonus room. I tried the strategy where you do bathrooms one day, dust another, etc -- but nothing ever felt clean at the same time. My new strategy at least ensures that everything I see is clean at the same time and every other week just has to be enough.

    As for laundry, I've gone to smaller loads more often. It pretty much means I am always doing laundry, but this way it only takes 5 minutes to fold a load instead of 25.

    And one bright side? In a couple years, Jack will be able to help. I'm not saying that Charlie is all that helpful, but he can help get clothes out of the dryer, pull up the bathroom rugs, run around with a Swiffer duster, etc. If nothing else, it typically prevents him from making additional messes while I'm in the process of cleaning!

    And finally, I pick my battles. Dust doesn't really bother me, so it's always the last thing. Dirty toilets make me sick, so they are the first. I mean, it is my house, after all. ;o)

    1. Yes, a helper will be fabulous. Although I liked it better when Leslie was my helper ;)

      I've been learning to tackle what bothers me most and trying to let go of the rest. I'm making progress!

  3. I had to learn to just let it go. I would be in the WORST mood if my house was out of order, but I have TWO deterrents and they can mess up quicker than I can pick up. I do keep my laundry caught up by doing at least one load a night. I also keep my dishwasher humming. My counters, floors, and bathrooms may not get cleaned every night, but my babies are happy and healthy. I will have a clean house when my kids are grown. Right now, I would rather spend these short years playing with them.

    1. You are so, so right! I'm working on that as well. A messy house means it's been lived in, right? :)

  4. "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow
    For babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow,
    So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
    I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep."

    My grandma wrote this in the card she gave me when Cole was born.
    28 years later, Cole passed away and I can honestly tell you, the condition of my house was not a concern.
    I feel sure you are your own worst enemy where this is concerned.
    (Watch the devil... he will try to take your joy.)
    Keep loving your husband and baby, do your best, and give God the glory.

  5. check this link. i came across it on pinterest a while back and it seems like a pretty good system.

  6. I definitely don't have an immaculate house by any means, but I try to do the phases of cleaning thing with Alethea. I clean for 20 minutes while she plays alone and then we play together for a while. I try to get in 1 or 2 sessions a day. And also, Ben usually tries to give me time before/after dinner to get dishes done. It is definitely a constant learning process as contentment for playing alone/staying out of trouble goes in phases for Alethea, lol!


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