33 answers

I Can't Seem to Keep My House Clean!

I have been having an issue lately with keeping our house clean. I have very organized cupboards and closets with a spot for everything. I just can't seem to get a handle on the laundry, dishes and mail pile. All of these seem endless. I am home all day and feel like I should be able to keep the house clean, but I can't. I have had enough and would love suggestions for creative or organizational ideas for staying on top of these things. Thank you in advance!

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I put in a similar request a few months ago and I had about 6 people recommend flylady.net. I started getting her email reminders and it has helped me tremendously. Not only do I get my house clean but I can stay on top of it fairly easily. Wow! What a difference. good luck!

I have the same problem!!! Sometimes I feel like I just don't have the time. I try to set aside one day out of the week to just do the house work that needs to be done.

I am having the same issue, but I am a little more of the type that rather spend my time playing with my child then cleaning all day. What I do to keep things manageable is to pick one chore for each day and not worry about everything else. If it isn't kitchen day, I will run hot soapy water in the sink for the dishes or rinse them right after the meal so they don't get smelly. My 2 year old will help me do a fun clean up game at the end of the day before bed along with my 7 year old. It is best to teach them early and make it fun....maybe have a song playing to pick up to or something to sing along with that they like. I can relate to the laundry, and mail pile too. What I do is go through the mail as I get it in really quickly and sort out the junk, then post bills on a bulletin board we have for each time my hubby gets paid. The laundry can run as I play with my sons, and I put it away when we go up for changing diapers and such as he likes to play in his room with certain toys. I will put my older child's clothing away while my younger is asleep on school days even. Just have to keep in baskets a while until I get time to put them away.

D.

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you can try some of these suggestions, i have been doing this for years when i was in nursing school and then when i was working, it works for me. as soon as i get up i throw a load of laundry in the washer. by the time im ready for work it is done and it goes int eh dryer. as soon as i come home i trow another load int eh wash and right before it go to bed i put it in the dryer. with dishes, i keep a sinkful of soapy water and whoever uses a dish wahses it out right away and puts it away. i make it a poitn to washe everyting as im cooking and when i finish with my meal i wash what is left over. i have to do that now because my boys are out of the house now. but we used to take turns. they started washing their own dishes when they were 4. we never had a dishwasher. they started doing the last cooking dishes on their own when they were 5. they got extra money that way so they would fight over who did the last dishes. we get outr mail froma post office so i learned only to pick it up once a week. i sort it out and keep only the important mail. the catalogs and magazines go into a basket and if they dont get looked at by the next week, they are thrown out. bills go into another basket and they get paid before the next pile of mail comes in. also with laundry, i have 4 garbage cans. whites go in one, colors in another, jeans in another and towels and sheets in aother so it is easier to just throw the laundry in every day. i fold each load and set the clothes on the separatae beds after each load is taken out. if it is not put away by the next day, that goes into a grabage bag and they dont get to use it for a month. when my oldest ran out of socks he had to go without socks for three weeks so he never did it again. when my hsuband didnt put hsi underwear away, he went out and bought new ones but he sitll didnt have enough for the enxt three weeks so he had to do underwear on his own time. lundry time is qalso a good way to sort out clothes that dont fit anymore or socks that doent have partners and clothes that need to go to the trhift store or thrown away. that way you dont have a bundh of clothes taking up room in drawers that cant be used.when there were 4 of us we each took a week of putting sheets and towels away, now my husband and i take turns. oncew every three months we do a big house cleaning. we do it on a weekend and then everyone gets rewarded with as special outing. or at the suggestion of the kids we did it twice and and took a two day outing.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi R.!

I know exactly how you feel! I had the same problem and it seemed never ending also. I know it is hard but with a little bit of luck we can get you going. FIrst thing I did was set a full day aside for nothing but laundry. (I choose sunday because my hubby is home and he can deal with the kiddos while I do my stuff) When you get up in the morning first thing is sort the laundry, and throw in a load. Then go about a normal morning. As the loads get done don't put off folding and putting away, this is how you get behind. Just fold and put away right away! As far as the dishes go, I empty in the morning when I get up, load throughout the day, if its full at night I will run it. If not I wait until its full then run it. This way there are never any dishes in the sink! The mail is the hard part for me. It took me a whole weekend to get caught up in it. Now I have a box with folders in it and a shreddar (sp?. I have hanging files in the box and as the mail comes in I file it by two weeks from the date due. If it is something that is trash I shred it. As the days go by I check and if there is something to pay I pay it then shred it. Keeps my mail down and I also pay everything on time!

Good Luck!!

M.

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R.,

I sympathize since I have the same feelings about certain aspects of my home. I don't seem to have a place yet for everything. However, I have found that I feel better when keep certain areas (that stress me) under control.

I also do certain things together and have built some habits. I work full time, so when my daughter is eating her breakfast, I load the dishes from the night before into the dishwasher and pack her lunch. That way I'm with her and we are chatting (she's 2) and I'm getting my "chores" accomplished. Since I have things to accomplish, I don't rush her during breakfast like I use to.

With mail, immediately I recyle the junk, set up the payment in my bank account for bills, and pile the magazines that I hope to read one day. That leaves a few miscellanous items that can build up quickly (haven't figure them out). I also signed up online to decrease the catalogs that are sent my way.

Laundry is a battle that I haven't won yet. :) I found front loading washers did cut decrease the load count each week. The washing/drying is okay but folding and putting away does me in.

Good luck, I look forward to seeing how others keep on top of it.

D

Hi R.,
I can relate to what you're saying. Several years ago I was introduced to FlyLady. What a huge blessing that has been. She is a real lady with a great website for getting organized, keeping your home clean, and learning to love yourself in the process. Check out www.flylady.net. It has helped me in so many ways.
Blessings!
J.
www.homebasedabundance.biz

Hi R., I can relate. I too struggle with keeping our house clean and tidy. I just read a book (A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George) and in it she has some practical advice in this area. I see you have children, obviously depending on their age, this will vary. Have your children help. I have two boys 6 & 4. Since they were two I started having them put their clean clothes I washed and folded, away in their dressers. Now, they help load and unload the dishwasher (putting the dishes and cups down in a lower cabinet) and also they are responsible for folding and putting away all the towels in the house. I have them help with the laundry when they want to watch a tv program. It doesn't sound like much, but I'll tell you that the 20 minutes saved I've put to good use elsewhere. I also have them help when I vacuum, they go into the room ahead and move things off the floor and help with the cord, then when I'm done, they put things back. They also seem to enjoy being "family helpers".
Take care,
S.

Hi R.,
I understand the difficulty.... as my kids grow it seems easier to keep my house picked up. A couple things I do....
1. I try to always have my house tidy before I go to bed - especially the kitchen. That way I wake up to a clean house.
2. I found that if my bedroom is a mess & I don't make my bed then the rest of the house is messy the rest of the day! My sister has found that if her kitchen is messy then the house stays messy all day. So the first thing I do when I get up is make my bed..... getting up earlier than the kids helps me too (don't always do it - but feel very organized when I am put together before they are awake).
3. I have a large counter in my kitchen that I put my basket of clean laundry on to fold the clothes.... since I have my kitchen clean by the time I go to bed that motivates me to have the laundry put away from the counter. I also have my kids put their own clothes away.... I have 6, 4, & 2 yr. old girls. The 2 yr. old will take her stuff into their room & I will obviously put it away.... the other 2 put all their clothes away - I still fold the clothes that go in their drawers though.
4. I have found the older my kids get the more jobs I have them do. My 6 yr. old will empty the dishwasher.... anything she can't reach to put away she will put under the cupboard where it goes & then I will put it away. My 4 ys. old puts away the kids cups (which is in a cupboard that she can reach) & all the silverware. They collect the trash around the house for me, make their own beds, & for sure pick up their own toys.
I hope this helps.... I know it has taken me a while to get to the point where I feel like I have a system. I am like you & am very organized, but for a while felt that I couldn't always keep my house picked up. Good luck. :) ~C.

I am having the same issue, but I am a little more of the type that rather spend my time playing with my child then cleaning all day. What I do to keep things manageable is to pick one chore for each day and not worry about everything else. If it isn't kitchen day, I will run hot soapy water in the sink for the dishes or rinse them right after the meal so they don't get smelly. My 2 year old will help me do a fun clean up game at the end of the day before bed along with my 7 year old. It is best to teach them early and make it fun....maybe have a song playing to pick up to or something to sing along with that they like. I can relate to the laundry, and mail pile too. What I do is go through the mail as I get it in really quickly and sort out the junk, then post bills on a bulletin board we have for each time my hubby gets paid. The laundry can run as I play with my sons, and I put it away when we go up for changing diapers and such as he likes to play in his room with certain toys. I will put my older child's clothing away while my younger is asleep on school days even. Just have to keep in baskets a while until I get time to put them away.

D.

Hi R. -

When things are going right inside us, and we are paying attention to the little hints, the universe manages to show us what is going on by affecting things around us. So.... my suggestion would be to look at relationships in your life. Is there a relationship that is kinda topsy turvey right now? Is it possible there are some "dirty" little secrets that are being hidden?

Just a thought.....no right or wrong.....

Blessings,

M. M. Ernsberger
Certified Life Coach

I put in a similar request a few months ago and I had about 6 people recommend flylady.net. I started getting her email reminders and it has helped me tremendously. Not only do I get my house clean but I can stay on top of it fairly easily. Wow! What a difference. good luck!

R.,
I can not reccommend www.flylady.net enough. It keeps me sane and HAPPY. once i started her system, our whole household changed. I felt proud of myself every day and actually had more time to do things that I wanted to do GUILTFREE. My husband LOVES flylady. He's always so confused about why she doesn't charge a dime for her program when it works so great. Go check it out. There's a lot of information, but start with the baby steps. It's fantastic.
Good luck

R.,

Oh you dear sole. Believe me when I tell you.... I understand. First and foremost, you need to cut yourself some slack. Being a SAHM is the hardest and most unappreciated job in the work force. It always has been. The key to the challenge is if mom is happy, everyone is happy. So if you start doubting yourself now, imagine what that will do later.

Here's my suggestion and it really does work. Put yourself and all tasks on a schedule. For me, laundry day is on Monday mornings. I do laundry until noon. In most cases I can get it done before then starting at 6:00 a.m. Bed linens and towels, etc, are done on Wednesday mornings same time slot. Dishes are done after every meal. The mail is stacked until Friday mornings because Saturday is bill pay day. If you live in a community where you have cluster boxes and you can leave your mail behind lock and key until every Friday or whatever day you pick, do it.

Take everything you do and put it on paper and map it out. The reason for this is because you get to check off as you go. Nothing feels more rewarding than getting the job(s) done. By putting it on paper, you get to “check it off”. It gives you a big sense of relief and accomplishment as it would in any field you were working in.

In return, you will learn to go off the schedule and say or think to yourself, I kept my schedule.... oh well that there is more laundry to do. You will also not view your home as “dirty” just because you have laundry. It's not you know. It just means you have some laundry....

I don’t know how old your kids are, but simple task delegations to them are worth it too. Have them do the same by checking off their tasks. It gives them a good sense of reward as well. Especially come Friday when you can treat yourself to sweet rewards for an awesome “task” week.

Hope this helps…..

R.,
I too am a stay at home mom for 18 years. I manage to work several home jobs(one being in home daycare) and keep a clean house.What I have done is I do certain areas on certain days. Main living area on Monday Wednesday Friday,Bathrooms Tuesday Fridays and Bedrooms on Thursdays. I pick up daily and nightly.I throw one load of laundry atleast in everyday. This has really worked for me and I have the weekends off for the most part except for pick up here and there. I have 4 kids of my own 2-18,1-15 1-13 so they have always had a list of things to do also. It has worked great in our house. I hope this helps good luck to you.
B. Garcia
Himalayan GoChi Juice Representitive
###-###-####

I think most SAHM's can relate. I wonder how I got anything done when I worked!!

I've recently been using flylady.net - it helps you get organized slowly and gives you tasks to do each day - you create a journal and can get a better handle on it, plus, when you've done the list, you feel like you have accomplished something!

The down side is the number of emails you get for joining - BUT - you could always just go to the website each day adn look up that day of the month (or days since you joined). It is a reapeating 31 days I believe.

Good luck!

Have you tried flylady.com? That seems to work for a lot of people.

For laundry, I do one load a day. Wash, dry, and put away - that keeps it from building up horribly as it does if I try to do it weekly instead.

For clutter, I do my best to use a rule I learned a long time ago - whenever I'm walking from one room to another, I try to take at least one thing to put away. That seems to help a little bit. Also, taking time every couple of hours throughout the day to have a mini-cleanup helps to prevent the "tornado" look by the end of the day.

I think that housework is always a problem for us SAHM's - it's just something that has to be done a little bit at a time constantly, and is never completely done. Good luck!! Keep up the good effort!!

Hi R.-
A lot of the time, we are so busy running after our toddlers that we don't have time to do other things. I know it sounds wierd, but just keeping those little hands out of trouble is huge (and exhausting). You don't say how old your children are, or if you are still nursing. Are you up at night with one or both children? Are you letting hubby get all of his sleep, while you get none? or interrupted every hour on the hour? In that case, you will not be able to keep up. You are exhausted.

When my son was small, I thought that I would have a party. I invited one other couple for dinner. I made calzones. I was able to stay awake to make them, but not for dinner. Fell asleep with my face in my plate.

Take pre-natal vitamins, especially if you're nursing. Drink lots of water and milk. Eat peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat if you're getting too thin. Take a nap with your kids. Try to sleep when they sleep. Go to the Dr. & see if you might be depressed (be careful of medication if you are nursing). Having a child changes your life totally. Young children are more difficult than older ones, just because of the sleep patterns.

Child-proof the house so that you don't have to say 'no' all day long. It will give you some peace of mind. Laundry- do a load a day, first thing in the a.m. Fold it and put it away. Have any ironing done out. It ain't going to happen. Put dishes in the dishwasher as soon as they are used. Purchase (or use two stickies) to designate whether the dishwasher has clean or dirty dishes. Change the sticky from dirty to clean as soon as you begin the wash cycle. Wash at the same time(s) every day. Empty at the same time every day. Your children should be on a schedule, and so should you. Up at certain time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, children's TV if that's appropriate, naps, etc. By the clock. Make sure that you get your showers and time in the bathroom. Sometimes, that's the only place you're free of sticky, clinging little hands. Allow a lot of freedom. Dirt will wash off. The floor does not have to be spotless- it's good for their immune systems to be challenged. Don't get uptight about the schedule- if it gets broken, it gets broken, but once they're on it, you'll pay when it gets broken. Small children enjoy predictability. See if you can exchange play day time or babysitting time with another mom who needs what you need- some time alone to finish what you begin. Do that about twice a week. Try for some other mom company or playgroup. A lot of times, the hospital where the child was born will have organized something like this.

The mail- Depends where the mail is. If you have to get it in the car, that is your husband's newest job, because it will take you at least 40 minutes just to get out of the house. (That was my average, and I only had one). When you are asked out, routinely write the time down half an hour to an hour before time so that you won't be too late. An hour if you have that happen. A lot of us don't plan for the huge amount of time in preparation to get kids up and running somewhere. If your husband can't do it, put it on your schedule- same time every day. Get rid of the grunge at the post office. Have a cute basket or carryall that everything else goes into, at a designated place in the house where the kids can't get to it. You'll get get good at getting that double stroller in and out of the car. Diapering times should be on a schedule except for accidents. If you don't have a diaper service, get one. It was the best shower present I got- it saved my life. List everything, especially if you are nursing on your little pad that you carry around. (My hormones ensured that I would be very compliant and brainless for the duration- that's the duration of the pregnancy and the nursing). Your cell and a little pad of paper should go everywhere with you. List everything that you are running low on/ need, etc. Then, organize your car trips or walking according to where you have to go. Go someplace every day. That should be in your schedule. One day, get the mail; one day, go to the park, one day go to play group, one day, go to supermarket, etc. If you manage to get playgroup more than once a week, put one or two of the other things on top of another. Your husband will need to help you pick up some of the slack.

Hope this helps. S.

I had that issue when I started staying home with my son 2 years ago. I thought my house would be so sparkly clean since I was there all of the time and that just wasn't the case. Then I read an article in a parenting magazine where a fairly new work from home mom had the same problem and realized her house was less tidy because they were actually 'living' in it more when she worked outside the home. That concept made sense to me. Talking with my husband about my frustration with the endless 'piles' and chores, he simplified everything by saying, "I think your main job is take care of our son. Everything else comes after that." My solution was to let go of some perfectionism so I could enjoy my son's childhood. My house may be dustier than I'd like some times, but the time spent with my child (and my pay the bills work) is more important.

A friend of mine who has very high standards for herself and a very low tolerance for clutter does a little bit everyday to keep her home up to her standard. She dusts one day, vacuums another, does some laundry almost everyday. Spreading things out into small, manageable tasks helped her a lot. Every night after her kids are asleep, she does a general picking-up/de-cluttering so things start with a clean slate in the morning.

So routine and schedule is her answer, mine is adjusting my expectations. At my baby shower all of the guests were asked to write down 'advice.' Two wise friends who are wonderful parents said, "Spend time with your child. When he grows up, you won't care about the cleanliness of your house or the dishes in the sink when he was young. You will only remember the time you did (or didn't) spend with him."

Laundry: I only do laundry once a week on Sundays so I can chill out and watch movies at the same time so it seems like a fun day.

Dishes: My husband and I take turns loading and unloading.

Mail: I immediately through junk mail into recycling bin. 99% of my bills are paid via online banking from my bank and I don't get bills to my house so I don't even have to deal with them. The rest gets filed. I have a filing system that I carry with me that has different tabs for different things (things to deal with immediately, things to deal with soon, to file, tax info). I keep envelopes and stamps in there so I can take that anywhere and work on my bills.

I'm not a perfectionist about it, know that my son is the most important thing on my to do list, and that he's not going to be so little, cuddly, and cute forever. I take deep breaths and remind myself to stop judging myself when I get frustrated and focus on the positive things that I do like be an awesome mom, make good money to give my son what he needs, love my husband with everything I have, and acknowledge myself for the things I did get done that day. I used to be crazy with to do lists. Now I am happy if I get one or two things done on that list.

Hope this helps! I am going to try flylady out too. Thanks for the suggestion everyone.

I feel the same way. It seems as soon as I clean a room it's trashed in 5 minutes. And I can't seem to get my husband to make a system for mail and bills. I'm a stay at home mom and our house is just plain ridiculous sometimes. There's alot of good advice on here that I'm going to utilize....mainly the flylady. One of my dear friends swears by it. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

Hi R.! I understand your frustration when it comes to keeping your house clean!!! I stay at home also, and have 4 kids! At first, I was cleaning all day long in order to keep up with the messes that were all around me, and I was tiring myself out!!! After I had my youngest one(he will be 1 tomorrow!!) I decided I couldnt keep sweeping the floors 6 times a day, and mopping just the same amount!!! So what I did was I split all my chores into days! I do laundry one one day, clean the kitchen realy well on another, kids rooms, bathrooms and everything have a day! so of course I do them more than just once a week, but I dont feel bad, and I get more done when I finish my chore for the day! I also have to realize that my kids are not going to remember what a clean house they had when they were little, but the times we spent together!!!

www.flylady.com

Completely free, easy and supportive. It's a life saver!

I let my child play in her playpen while I put things where they belong (ie trash in the garbage, dirty cups etc to the kitchen counter, throw laundry in the basket, sort it and drag it to the laundry room)). With everything in it's proper room it is easier to work on each room individually. I keep my baby in her "safe place" until I am no longer walking from room to room. Then, once I have things in the room where they belong I tidy each room starting with the easy ones (bedrooms) and work my way forward doing the kitchen & laundry last. I take my baby to each room I'm working on and tell her she's "helping mama". Inevitably, she messes up the room in which I am working (pulling books of the shelf etc) making a little extra work but that's ok. If she is feeling restless I build a little barrier in the living room so that she can crawl around but not get hurt. I find that if I do these things early in the morning that I get more done. (baby gets more energetic as the day goes on). Having kids IS work so DON'T FEEL GUILTY about what you don't get done. All you can do is your best. Good luck!

I am also a SAHM mom and we use the 9pm-9am plan with aps where you save money by waiting until those times to run the washer, dryer and dishwasher etc... So, at night I always do a load of laundry then in the morning it goes in the dryer and then I start a new load. I do this while my son is eating. Whenever I take my clothes out of the washer I put my kids clothes on the couch to fold throughout the day and put away right away. Then mine and my DH goes in our room directly in a pack n play (he he) and I hang those while my son is playing in the tub. (it is in the same room) Also, in the morning after I got my loads of wash in I start on the dishes...put away the load from the night before and start loading then throughout the day the disherwasher gets loaded and by the time 9pm rolls around I just have to start it.

Hi R.,
I take a whole day for laundry and cleaning the house. I don't schedule any playdates or other activities, so I can get those things done. For the mail, I get it at the end of the day, go through and make 2 piles..one for me and one for my husband. I put his mail in a file that has his name, and he knows to check there and go through it. I go through mine and immediately throw out the junk. I open bills and put those in a bill file in the office, so we can find all of the bills to do them once per month. I have a file with my name, which I put my mail and other things I need to do soon. I have designated times (in the morning before everyone gets up, or during the day the kids know it is Mommy's time to work). I don't know about dishes, but everytime we eat, whether it is a snack or meal, I put the dishes right away in the dishwasher and wash the pots which we put into a drying rack (that saves time too). There is an organizational website to help as well: www.flylady.com or www.shesintouch.com.

I also love Flylady.com!

I have used the "room rescue" technique for years.
You set a timer (you can tolerate doing most anything for 15 minutes) and run around doing as much as you can in one room during that time.

Several short accomplished spurts like that during the day should do it for you, especially if you already have organized spots for everything and it is just a matter of returning items to their spot or loading and unloading the dishwasher.

Work up a sweat...challange yourself...race around like mad and STOP as soon as the timer goes off. Do not set it again for a few hours. That way you don't feel like you spend your whole day cleaning up the same messes.

Finally, does your laundry, dish, mail routine involve filing, putting away etc. Perhaps you should rethink it...keep the plates stacked on a plate rack on the counter, cutlery in pretty containers (no more putting away in drawers).
Assign everyone a basket in the laundry room and put clothes in there (no pressure to put away in drawers and closets or hang perfectly). Two of my kids like to put their clothes in their rooms, the other two leave evrything in the laundry room and treat it as their closet.

As for the mail or school paperwork (it is almost that time again) I have two baskets that everything gets sorted into one is for things I must deal with soon (bills, permission slips) and the other is to be looked through later (catalogs, children's completed assignments). I only sort the second basket every three months or so.

Hope some of these tips help! You are not alone in your frustration!

join flylady.net. It's the best!

Maybe it's not your organization methods or anything. Maybe it's just you. I go through bouts where I can't seem to get the house clean or make creative dinners. It's like a big block in my brain and I just can't get a handle on things. This can last up to to month and then, all of a sudden, I'm cool again.
Try mixing up your day. Our SAHM lives can get monotonous at times and getting stuck in a routine rut can contribute to not being able to get things done.
Maybe put on some music when it's time to clean. Or, if your kids are old enough, tell them to remind you to clean! Anything to get your act in gear. It's hard to get in the mood to clean!
Good luck. One more little idea...especially if you have a birthday or anniversary coming up. Get a maid! Just one time and have her scrub top to bottom. At least for a while after your house is spotless, you'll want to keep it that way. :)

I have the same problem!!! Sometimes I feel like I just don't have the time. I try to set aside one day out of the week to just do the house work that needs to be done.

I know how you feel b/c I feel the same way. What I am trying to do, which seems to be working a little better, is doing ONE load of laundry every day, start to finish. In addition, as soon as I get the mail, I sit down and sort it. Recycle goes into recycle, garbage to garbage and bills, important documents go into a basket that later gets filed. I am working on organization, too, and am curious to hear what others have to say as well. I will say though that the 1 load of laundry a day helps keep things at bay in that area, and is not so overwhelming anymore.
Hope that helps a little,
J.

R.,
You have already gotten many suggestions to go to Flylady.net. Let me recommend it again. You will get reminder emails, if you sign up for them, each day reminding you what area you need to focus on for the day. You will also get encouraging messages to take baby steps. That has helped me incredibly. I was feeling overwhelmed with my home as well, and I work from home as well. So I need to have an organized space to be efficient in my role as a homemaker and business woman. I often stumble along the way, but just like anything in life, you have to get back up and keep Fly-ing (as they say).

Check out the website and read the intro. If it does not seem like it would work for you, then you don't have to sign up.

If you go to www.flylady.net you can get some advice and a plan. This website was advertised on Mamasource one day and I looked at it briefly. I can't recommend it from my own experience, but it is something to consider.

Hi R., I was just reading these and it was making me laugh...if SAHM's can't keep up, what about us moms that work away from home! Your 3 issues of laundry, dishes and mail are my big problems too. I'm lucky that my boyfriend is one of those men who if he sees something that needs to be done...he does it. I have never asked him to take out the trash or take the cans to the street or anything. In fact, if I'm tired and don't get to the dishes or laundry, he just does it. I would talk to your husband and see if there is a few things he can do, like he should be able to do the mail. We do a load of laundry every night at least, throw it in when we get home then into the dryer before bed. We do sort of pile it up in our bedroom after it's clean and then we both just fold it and put it away whenever we get to it, usually the weekend. So we can do better at that I guess. I hate doing dishes but have been pretty good about loading the dishwasher and running it before bed and then either my boyfriend or I empty it in the morning while the kids are having breakfast. I read earlier where a mom was asking about a chore chart for her kids. I read and cut and pasted a bunch of ideas on that. I think the kids should be doing more to help with the house, I'm going to start working on that. We all live together and should be able to maintain the house. I hate housekeeping and am not good at doing it. And I don't think my family and friends when they come over care if I have dusted lately or if the floor is clean or not or if there is a pile of clean clothes in the corner of our bedroom! In the big picture, I want us all to be happy everyday and not stressed out. Oh, and I was going to say, one thing that helps my boyfriend and me is that instead of an iron, we have one of those big professional clothes steamers. So we don't care about wrinkles, it take 3-4 minutes to get the wrinkles out before you go to work! So that is my big tip for anyone who irons...get a steamer! it looks like you have gotten a lot of great responses and I'm going to try some out myself! About me: I'm 41, living with my 34 yo boyfriend, his autistic daughter 12, my daughter 8 and my son 5 and our dog and fish. We also are both in insurance, he is district manager for Aflac and I own an insurance agency. So we are not home much and when we are we like to swim, read, watch TV and movies and have fun with the kids. Nothing is perfect in our house, but we are happy and satisfied with that. Good luck to you!

Hi R.,

I used to think that if I was a stay at home mom, my house would be super clean. What the heck was I thinking?! If I was at work and the kids were in school or daycare all day, that would be at least 8 hours less of extra messes to clean up! Plus, if your kids are in daycare, the workers aren't responsible for watching and teaching your kids AND keeping your house in tip-top shape. I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old and I have to remind myself that they won't be young forever and I'm responsible for their well being while they are home with me. That is my priority. When they get older, are in school full time and can help out more around the house, that is when my house will be in order. For now, I just do the best job I can with keeping my head above water when it comes to household duties. I appreciated everyone's organizational ideas. Happy mothering!

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