M.J. asks from West Roxbury, MA on November 25, 2007
Some of Your Wisdom Please...
I work and my husband's job does not have him home much (or awake much during the day when he is home). We have 2 little ones age 2.5 and 9 mos, and a dog (a continuously shedding Siberian Husky). Does anyone have any ideas/tips on how to keep our very small 2 BR apartment CLEAN and/or somewhat CLUTTER-FREE, without staying awake 24/7 or cutting too much into my family time? I can see all of you laughing as you read this...All your words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I feel so frazzled and tired! WHAT THE HECK AM I MISSING??!!??! (Besides a maid.)
J.N. answers from Boston on November 27, 2007
I can appreciate what you're dealing with. My husband travels a lot for work and we have two boys, 4 years and 18 months old. I seem to spend all my time following them around undoing the things they do!
I have two suggestions, one borrowed from my sister the army wife: she doesn't use ANY dishes or kitchen utensils that can't go in the dishwasher. She says, "if it doesn't go in the dishwasher, it doesn't belong in my house." She was even known to dishwash small toys when my nephew was a baby.
The other is get yourself some foldable storage cubes (the fabric kind that "pop-up" with a shake). They're great for tossing toys, clothes, etc in when you need to do a quick sweep though the apartment, and on the rare occasions when everything is in its proper place, they fold flat and can be stored under the bed (or sofa, or wherever you have spare room).
1 mom found this helpful
A.E. answers from Boston on November 26, 2007
I am laughing because I am a 40 year old stay at home mom with a 5 year old in Kindergarten and a 3 year old at home with me. We have a continuosly shedding Jack Russel/Beagle mix. Truth is, does not matter whether you are working or a stay at home mom. You will always be cleaning, straightening up and picking up clutter until probably the children are grown up and out on their own and you get rid of the dog (haha). There are no tricks or advise we moms can give you, just enjoy your family and give up the notion you will have a tidy house with everything in its place. My house is clean but definately cluttered with toys and whatever else. I go room to room and put away, 5 minutes later that same room is a mess again. You have kids, you have clutter...........Don't worry about every little thing. If you can't beat them, join them! Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
V.M. answers from Boston on November 26, 2007
B.M. answers from Boston on November 25, 2007
Hi J. -
Boy, can I relate! Someone on this forum recommended "www.flylady.org", which has all sorts of tips for keeping your home clutter free without spending hours doing so! Check them out - I don't use all their tips, but I do try a lot of them - they also have a section for moms who work. Good luck!
M.M. answers from Boston on November 28, 2007
Ugh... so hard! I'd say first off... lower your expectations! Enjoy your family first and keep things clean second. I'm sure its not as messy as you think it is! It is hard to let it go when you want things tidy, but with little kids, the cleaning is NEVER ending! Second... honestly, we don't have a lot of extra money floating around, but the best money I spend all month is for our cleaning lady! I never thought I'd have one, but when you have as little time as us mom's do, the LAST thing you want to do with your precious free moments is CLEAN! And I can't stand living in a dirty house. SO, I did some research and asked around and found someone AWESOME who is reasonably priced. Again, THIS is money well spent. We have had to cut in other areas, but the cleaning lady... she stays! It makes all the difference in the world! GOOD LUCK!
A.M. answers from Boston on November 26, 2007
Not sure if I really can help with this one but...as a stay at home mom of three little girls, I am faced with the same dilemma. I have found that if I invest the time & money to get organized - REALLY ORGANIZED - then my house feels less cluttered.
I invested in a ton of rubbermaid containers & labeled them. Pretty much everything now has a "place" so it makes cleaning up faster and locating things faster. If I find that it does not have a "place" then we really don't need it.
For example: we have a rubbermaid unit for crafts (paper, glue, paints, etc.), we have a rubbermaid that we keep all of the kids artwork that we want to save, we have rubbermaids for the clothes that the oldest has grown out of that can be passed down, etc.
I know it sounds like a lot of rubbermaid containers..ha ha. We have them in all shapes & sizes (under the bed, in closets, smaller ones in the cabinets for batteries, etc.) We probably still have just as much stuff, but it feels less cluttered to me.
The other benefit is that I always know what I have. There is never a feeling that some area of the house is a bottomless pit with odds & ends in it. I am sure that as the kids get older (they are only 4.5 and the twins are 2.5), that our system will get easier. But for now our life is crazy, so this is the best I can do.
S.F. answers from Boston on November 27, 2007
hi, i just started to get your posts and wanted to laugh when i read your post. (in a sympathetic way) i can relate! we live in a small,3 bedroom apartment and i have two girls, a 7 yr. and 19 mon. old. thank goodness the 7 yr. old helps,but not enough. i also pick up after my husband,although he does help some. our 3rd room is a playroom-yet the girls stuff is everywhere! i don try to weed out stuff constantly to donate and each time my children outgrow their clothes,,is cause for celebration,because it is less stuff in my house! i guess my only advice for you would be to start including the 2 yr. old in helping-like throwing the diapers in the trash,helping with laundry etc.... so he gets used to it. maybe give him a lint roller and see how much dog hair he can get on it! (right now my baby is throwing her bottle in the sink without me telling her to!)(whoops she also just pressed the computer keys here!
also downsizing works for us,trying not to have to much stuff. lots of pretty baskets to make cleaning up toys easier. also letting a lot of things go... dont have such high standards- with 2 children until 2 yr. of age i am sure you are pretty tired. good luck! S.
K.R. answers from Boston on November 25, 2007
Hello im Kristi from everett and im 29 ..
man i know how you feel im geting ready to have my second baby and my husband go to school and work the day he has school tho its all me but here how i deal with everything.. Depending on how my day goes, Ill one work clean in the after noon but as soon as my son who is 6 years old and may i add he has adhd quite a handfull also some learning disablities when he goes to bed i stop or if it too busy ill wait untill he goes to bed now mind you during the day if i can do it i will but after he goes to sleep ill clean for an hour then im done no matter what you have to form some time to your self. if you think your going to get everything done in one day your crazy.. time is to short to worrie about every llittle thing there alway tomarrow ..