66 answers

Keeping the House "Neat and Tidy"??

I feel that I would be embarrassed if someone just "stopped by" because my home is frequently messy. It seems that I can spend a couple hours picking up and cleaning but so quickly it is a mess again, like that day. It seems that my friends homes are "tidy" any time. Any hints on how to keep a house clean and tidy w/o spending all my time on it? And do I have a misconception about other Mom's houses?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for the many responsed to this "hot" topic. I was helped by the suggestions of getting the kids involved and also picking up as I go. I am feeling better about it now and also realize that many people have messy homes and many have neat ones and there plenty in between! Thanks again!!!

Featured Answers

I love the fact that another mom thinks the same way I do. I'm a busy mom of 3 boys who works part time. My house is clean, but not tidy. When people come over they are usually stepping over toys, around laundry baskets of clothes (usually clean:)), tripping over the dog, etc. That's just the way it is. After being in lots of homes, there are those that are neat and tidy, but there are a lot just like mine. I've stopped worrying about it. This is just the way it is right now. I'd rather spend my time with my kids playing, than cleaning. One day, all too soon, the kids will be in school and I will have time to clean and keep it tidy. For now, I've accepted the fact that it's just "lived-in." My kids are happy and healthy. As long as we don't stick to the floor, I'm OK with it all.

3 moms found this helpful

Dear P.

Good Morning! What I do I have the kids pick one of the
rooms that they would like to keep clean and thats their
responsablity to do that every day before bed.Example
one daughter choose the family room and the other daughter
choose the mud room to do one son choose the coputer room
and I do the frontroom and bathroom and we all pitch in with
the rest of the house also my kids do their oown laundry
because we need to train them this has come in so handy
because I was really sick last year and they were able
to keep things in order so they didn't pill up for me also
they are to keep there own bedroom clean.
I hope this helps B. K

1 mom found this helpful

I love a clean home for so many reasons,my neighbor askes me what I do.My son is almost 5 and does well with picking up his toys by a certain time when asked my daughter loves to pull everything out.I have elimaneted some of my things from the home and put them away I don't like clutter and all the junk mail right into the garbage can right when I read it so no messy piles bills have a place and so does everything in my home.I'am constantly behind my kieds picking up what they missed to help them.I do have times where is gets get out sorts and leave it a mess for a few day's to remind why I work so hard to keep it neat and organized.For the kitchen I disinfect so many times a day,the bathroom well I have a son so I have to clean all the time in there and my husband is no help in that area.If I were you i'd shop at Hobby Lobby or some where else and get creative get containers that are cute and you have a place for them for example my sons shoes are by the door he isn't to leave them anywhere but there,reduces the need to hunt for the lost shoe,container for Barbies,cars etc.As thye pick up they will no where to put them.This has made my cleanup a lot easier.Good Luck!!!But it can be done,Kids are allowed to make messes but they also need to be taught to cleanup after themselves and respcet their home.Sahm of 2 and one on the way

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Been there...
This has worked for me. I do the basic daily list.
I will just go threw my every-day.
Make coffee
let the dogs out
feed the dogs
unload dishwasher
have coffee and read or watch TV
breakfast/pack lunch/prep for dinner
load dishes
clean of counter/ wipe down anything
sweep floor real quick
make bed
load of laundry
get ready for the day

M-W-F I home school 2 kids
T-Th I go into the office
JOB THE DAY
Mon- Kitchen & Bathroom
Tues- Living Rm & Dinning Rm
Wed- Master bed Rm & Bath Rm
Thurs- Art Studio & Storage area
Fri- Class Rm & Office
Sat- Barn & grocery shop

lunch
run errands (maybe)
horses
Dinner
have fun with family
have kids do chores
fold, put away
pick up from the day
wash face
lay out clothes for the next day
kiss husband for a good 2 minutes.

Rule of thumb- Don't pass it up pick it up.
If it doesn't have a purpose, function or is a decoration it needs to be put away or thrown away.

Hope this helps P.. I am not the creator of this I just follow one. If you ever study the Bible He made two things a day and rested on the seventh. He could of done everything in a day. This has worked for me for years... find out what will work for you but, really keep it to 2 rooms a day and rest.

Anj

5 moms found this helpful

I'm one of those tidy homes =) But I think I just have a knack for it.

Here's how I keep things under control. I do not keep clutter around or a bunch of knick knacks it's just too much to keep organized and cleaned. My son has 2 medium sized baskets of toys and that's it.

Tackle each room of your house and give it a deep cleaning and decluttering to start off with a fresh start. Incorporate the rule everything has a place, so when something gets used that person needs to put it back, your kids are old enough to do this.

For me each room in my house has a day that it gets a deep clean each week. This is dusting, wiping walls and baseboards down, vacuming/mopping. It takes about 30 minutes to do this. Then I spend the other 30 minutes straighting up in the other rooms. The kitchen floor and bathroom floor gets mopped everyday since I have a kid and 2 dogs. I have hardwood floors in the living room and I do them every other day.

After I get ready in the morning I use the Lysol wipes and wipe down everything in the bathroom.

So in all I spend about an hour a day keeping up on the house.

The garage and basement gets tackled once a month.

Laundry: I have a hamper in my room and my son's room. Once they are full the clothes get washed, folded and put way in the same day.

Get your whole family involved. Do races to see who can clean up the fastest. Turn the music on.

4 moms found this helpful

I am reading your post with a huge grin! I too am in the "messy bunch" who is embarrassed if someone just pops by! When it comes down to it though, I'd rather have visitors to a messy house then live 1) spending all my time cleaning up just in case or 2) keeping people away due to my messy house.
I live with a messy kid, 2 messy dogs, and a messy husband, and I am not the tidiest person either! I cut a clear line between messy and dirty though, and will not tolerate things being "dirty". So my priorities are the "dirty" dishes, kitchen, bathrooms, etc. The messes are saved for "when I have a chance". I have recently tried to "tidy up our lives" now that I am at home full time (Ha ha...I thought I'd have all the time in the world to have a clean house! WRONG!)
I find that baskets in strategic places for the "things that need attention, but just not now", for things that need to go upstairs on the next trip up, for cell phones, keys, wallets, etc, have been VERY helpful to keep the "illusion" of organization! I also do "quick cleanups" of about 10-20 seconds before I leave a room...toys into the toychest, pillows on the sofa, etc. I also read something about keeping your sink clean at all times (which then helps you keep your counters clean) and that has been a huge help.
If I let just one thing go for a day, it's like a landslide and it all becomes too much! Then I have to take a day to "regroup" and start over. Know you are not alone in this one! I'm going to read this thread for all the other tips I hope to find! Thanks!

4 moms found this helpful

P., when I was pregnant with my first I got some really great advice from one of the gray haired ladies in our church. She told me that she'd wished someone had told her this when she was pregnant or when her kids were young...she told me to not worry about what your house looks like, because spending time with your kids is more important than keeping your house clean. So what if someone comes over and sees a messy house, at least they know you are spending time with your kids and not spending all your time cleaning every day. She also said she wished that she had spent more time with her kids than cleaning all day every day. My house may not be the neatest one on the block, but I know who my kids are and they'll tell you that they spend time with me. Now they are at the age where we all clean the house at the same time together and it gets straight fast. We only super clean the house once or twice a month. That takes several hours, but it gets done as a family.
I don't know if any of this is helpful to you, but I wanted to share it with you. I've never regretted a moment when someone came over and my house wasn't perfect. I knew that I'd spent quality time with my kids and a little dirt doesn't hurt them either, in fact it helps their immune systems. Good luck and God Bless.

4 moms found this helpful

You really want to hear the hard truth?

Most people I know with younger children (mine is grown and out of the house just this past spring) have waaaaaay to much stuff to ever look tidy.

Kids don't really need all that stuff. As a young single mother with a very active and smart child I got really stressed out after a long winter when my daughter had been sick with pnemonia on 3 seperate occassions. In a fit of rage, (or was it clarity?) I bagged up 1/2 of the junk in our house and made a hard/fast rule. No more cheap plastic crappe toys were to come into my house.

Gone was the old Nintendo that didn't really work well anyway, and it was never replaced. Gone was any thing that was broken or missing any pieces. Gone was the huge collection of stuffed animals, (they were making the asthma worse anyway) and gone was anything not played with in the previous 6 months. The only thing saved for "grandbabies someday" was books, dolls that didn't have ink marks on their little faces, and the sock monkeys I made for when my little one was sick in the hospital.

It was not pretty the first 3 days, lots of whailing and knashing of teeth, but on the 3rd day books were read and my house started to grow calmer without all the chaos of clutter.

My daughter starts Cornel in about ... 2 weeks. She will tell you that our "back to basics" lifestyle helped to focus her attention and exercise her creativity.

I do real estate appraisals now, and I am in and out of people's homes all the time. Trust me...most people have about twice the amount of stuff that will comfortably fit in their house. So do yourself a favor and get serious about decluttering.

Need some inspiration? Best book I've ever read..."Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" by Carol Kingston. Small book, you can read in an afternoon and it will change your life !

4 moms found this helpful

Hi P.,
I have the same problem, my house is a complete disaster, no joke, I want it to be clean but I don't have the energy. I have one daughter who is 6 months younger than my friend's daughter, and she also has a son that is 2. My daughter will be 4 at the end of the month. My friend who's house is always clean, even though she watches 3 other kids during the school year, says that it is because her husband picks up after himself and when she is tired even though he has worked all day, he helps out around the house. She cooks, he does the dishes. She's been home with the kids all day so he gets them ready for bed. They split things down the middle the way it should be, they both have jobs hers just happens to be at home. My husband is a slob, and she pointed this out, she was his friend first. They also have their kids pick up after themselves and always have, I don't know why, but I never have really tried on a consistent basis to get my daughter to pick up after herself. This is another thing, they have always BOTH been very consistent with their children, they both discipline the the same way, and they have always been on a very set schedule. I have other friends and family whose houses are always clean and they all say the same thing, they couldn't do it if their husbands didn't help. I am pretty sure if I ever get a divorce that it will be over this issue. Good luck!
M.
32 year old mom of a gorgeous almost 4 year old daughter, full-time college student, and happily married, most of the time, to a real great hard working guy who happens to be a slob!

4 moms found this helpful

I love the fact that another mom thinks the same way I do. I'm a busy mom of 3 boys who works part time. My house is clean, but not tidy. When people come over they are usually stepping over toys, around laundry baskets of clothes (usually clean:)), tripping over the dog, etc. That's just the way it is. After being in lots of homes, there are those that are neat and tidy, but there are a lot just like mine. I've stopped worrying about it. This is just the way it is right now. I'd rather spend my time with my kids playing, than cleaning. One day, all too soon, the kids will be in school and I will have time to clean and keep it tidy. For now, I've accepted the fact that it's just "lived-in." My kids are happy and healthy. As long as we don't stick to the floor, I'm OK with it all.

3 moms found this helpful

It's a learned behavior and comes from habit, you have to constantly clean. If you get something out, put it away when you are done. If your kids are playing with toys in the living room, then they take them back to their rooms when they are done. If you make dinner, immediately clean up after you are done. Our house is never messy. I've also grown up a tidy person. I've kept the house clean and organized since I was about 6 or 7 yrs. old. We have a daughter who is 6-1/2 yrs. old, I work part-time, go to school full-time, run a non-profit organization, do freelance graphic design and web design on the side, am the FRG leader of my husband's unit, run schedules for my whole family, cook, clean, etc., and my husband is a full-time soldier. It's a family effort too. You have to make sure that your husband and your kids pick up after themselves too. Also, you can't just clean a few hours here and there, it's an everyday, all day effort. If you want your house to look nice, you have to make sure it stays that way. You can't just clean for a few hours and then say, "Ok, I'm done!" I bet your friends with tidy houses will tell you the same thing. I don't have to ever do any major cleaning in my house because I'm constantly picking up after myself.

3 moms found this helpful

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