Help Me Get More Organized

Updated on March 08, 2008
A.P. asks from Carmel, IN
54 answers

Hi Ladies,
New Stay at Home Mom here! I have been offficial for 1 month. I can not keep my house picked up now that we are all here during the day. My husband contributes to the mess but that is another post. I found I am having some anxiety about trying to keep picked up. I have tried going through every evening with a laundry basket and picking up what is not in its place. I know this is not rocket science but I feel a little like a failure this should be easier. Any tips?

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C.R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi A.,

Here is a website that I think may help you find the resources you need. http://www.emiliebarnes.com/home/ShopHere/tabid/54/Catego...

I am 44 years young and I have implemented Emilie's tips for 15+ years and most of my friends think I am so organized, but they just don't know how much I hate to clean. Emilie makes it easy in her books. She has books for stay-at-home moms to working moms. Her husband has written books for men. I found them so helpful and an easy read.

Hope this helps,
Paula

1 mom found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Tulsa on

Well, You have already gotten the advise to go to www.flylady.net -- she is awesome! I just wanted to add that I have struggled with this, also. Don't beat yourself up! I have said to my husband plenty of times that I am a stay at home mom for a reason -- not a full-time maid. I am at home to be there for my kids, and if I have time to do more than that, I will, but I won't put "keeping house" before that. And I tole all of them (hubby and kids) that, while I will do the cleaning, they need to do the picking up!!!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.L.

answers from Oklahoma City on

This is not going to be helpful at all! But I am a stay at home mom with 3 little ones. One is 5 and the other two are 4. We have one on the way! I can't keep up! I feel I did a better job when I was working 40 hours a week! So if you get some good advice pass it on!! And Good Luck!!

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A.M.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I agree with the ladies who suggested flylady.com. Lots of good ideas and tips there.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.R.

answers from Fayetteville on

I have been a stay @ home mom for 4 years and my house has never been spotless! It is something that you kind of just get used to. I have however found methods to keep me sane, and to help me keep my house tidy. I have found the best thing for me is to set the timer for 5 minutes and work on nothing but one room. (Sounds crazy, but it works for me!) I have 3 bedrooms 1 office, and 2 bathrooms. If I spend 5 minutes on each room including the bathrooms that is a total of 30 minutes! It really works...you should try it. When you have 5 mins. to spare, just set the timer, and start cleaning! It is liked a game, you are trying to get done cleaning before the timer goes off! Once the timer goes off, you have to stop, and tend to something else, or clean a differnet room for 5 mins. You can't try and get it done all at once, because there are soooo many other things to take care of besides cleaning, but 5 min here and there is easily added in! Now Laundry and Vaccuming and Mopping....well...these usually take a little more time than five minutes, but somewhere in that busy schedule, you'll find time for it, because of all that time you saved on cleaning your house in + or - 30 minutes!

I hope this helps a little!

Hang in there, A messy house, is one of the cons of staying @ home with the kiddos, but staying @ home with them is far more satisfing than a clean house!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.S.

answers from Tulsa on

I know the feeling! I think the main thing is not getting too stressed about it. You have two young kids! Try getting the older one to help pick up when she is done playing if she doesn't already. Sometimes we make a game or a race out of cleaning up toys, it seems to help a bit. Also, don't spend your whole day picking up after everyone. One or two times a day is good, while they are napping or after they go to bed. You need to enjoy your kiddos and all the wonderful, cute things they do at these ages. And as hard as it may be, talk to your hubby! Picking up his shoes and taking his clothes to the laundry isn't that hard and it helps so much. Don't be stressed! Good luck and hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful
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E.F.

answers from Little Rock on

Hi there A.! I've been a stay at home for 12 years and still would not change a thing! Even though they are both in school during the day now, I still stay home. In the beginning, it was rough. I had expectations of what I thought an acceptable home was. I thought that because I stayed home all day that my house had to be pristine. I was so afraid that if it was not, people would judge me. "she stays home and her house is a mess...what does she do during the day..." Just do what is right for you and do not worry about anything (or anyone) else! As long as the things that really should be clean are clean (i.e. toliets, sinks, laundry and floors!!), don't worry about things being out of place! It's normal. You are right in the middle of the hardest time to be a sahm! They are young and full of energy. Please cut yourself some slack. I love all of the advice that the other moms are giving you! I have never really had a schedule to follow...just did what I felt like doing for the day. A schedule sounds like something that may have worked well for me when they were little bits! I know that I always make sure that the kitchen and bathrooms are clean and if I manage to make the beds, I'm doing good! LOL And, stop trying to finish the laundry! If you are like me, I'm always saying that. It will not end unti they are moved out! LOL And, don't be afraid to take a "down day" as I like to call them. Just as paying jobs give you days off, I always reward myself with a day off here and there. I stay in my p.j.'s most of the day and just bum it! You can not be afraid to do that. Keeps you sane...I swear by it! I don't know that I'm actually offering you any advice here rather than I'm telling you that what you are feeling, the struggles of trying to keep your house up, are very normal. For me, I continue to stay home now as I said in the beginning. It's so nice to get my housework done during the week so that I can enjoy my weekends with the kids! Just keep on keeping on and remember that one day, this chaos WILL come to an end....and you WILL miss it....sort of! LOL You are doing the most honorable thing a mom can do....giving up your sanity for a little while! And the fact that you are worried about it just proves that you are doing a good job!! My hat is off to you!

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A.J.

answers from Little Rock on

check out organizedhome.com....the forms and advice on there really helped me a lot.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.R.

answers from Fayetteville on

Label, label, label! I find that if I have bins, baskets or boxes labeled so that everything has a home it is much easier not only for me but also for everyone else to put things in their place. For instance, a "disater zone" toy room can be picked up in 10 minutes flat and organized if you know exactly where to put everything. My 5 year old is a real stickler for putting the toys in the right bins so they fit.
Hope this helps!! He has also learned common words like cars, music, action figures, etc.

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A.B.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hi A.,

With babies that young, it is going to be difficult to keep things picked up all the time. I remember when my daughter was that age, I also kept a 2 1/2 year old girl and a 6 week old boy all day. I am a bit OCD, and I remember that I nearly ran myself ragged trying to keep everything clean! I finally had to sit down and have a talk with myself. I decided that I had to prioritize what had to be clean and what could wait (and this was SO difficult because I was keeping other people's children, so naturally I wanted these women to feel that their children were staying all day in a clean environment). The kitchen had to stay clean, that was a given. So I would load the dishwasher after every meal and wipe down the counters. For lunches I used paper plates for easy clean-up. Bathrooms, I decided, were also very important. So I would bathe my daughter in the evenings when everything was quiet and clean her bathroom immediately afterwords. In the mornings, after my husband and I had showered, I would clean our bathroom. The beds, I decided, did not have to be made every day (this was SO difficult for me!), and dusting/vacuuming would have to take place on Sunday afternoons ONLY, when my husband was at home and could take my daughter out to the store or park in nice weather. As for all the clutter? I went to WalMart and bought a bunch of those plastic bins with lids and after the two children I kept had gone home and my daughter was down for the night, I made a full sweep through the house and filled up the bins, put the lids on them, and stacked them up beside the couch. It wasn't the gorgeous perfect home I really wanted, but at least I kept a bit of my sanity. Did I mention our furniture and carpets were white back then? What a nightmare! Honestly, some days I had to just sit down and look at the chaos called my home and remind myself that once my daughter started school, I could finally have a clean home. Now my home is exactly the way I want it to be (well, at least Monday through Friday). I have to do serious cleaning on Mondays after a weekend with my hubby and daughter and my daughter's friends hanging about. I do hope this was helpful to you. I also really want you to know that people don't expect your home to be picture perfect when you have young children. As long as the little ones are clean and fed and clothed, you're already exceeding your expectations, trust me! Of course, I should take my own advice. If I see a SPECK of dust these days, I really stress out. :)

If you ever feel overwhelmed, feel free to contact me. We could message each other and take a break from cleaning!

Good luck,

A.

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M.N.

answers from Little Rock on

Ok honey, calm down... Enjoy this fantastic time!
If everything stays in it's place all of the time, no one has any fun. Pick up 3 times a day with the laundry basket, before nap time, (you pick which one), before your husband gets home, and before bed time. Don't get so caught up in the house stuff that you can not play with your babies!

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A.G.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi A.,
I stayed at home for the first 6 years with my boys that are now 9 and 6. The most important lesson I learned was that it is OK if the house is a little messy. Go through and put the majority of things in place but if there a few toys out of place or some books on the floor, it's OK!!! Remeber, it is their house too and wouldn't you rather have a home that looks a little like there are kids there or a house that is spotless?
I found that I like the lived in home! My friends still think I have the best kept house but it does it looked lived in and loved in.
Make sure they have a space of their own and keep the rest of it picked up and organized to you and your husband's liking. This way worked best for us but everyone is different :)

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M.A.

answers from Lafayette on

I have the exact same problem as you. I cannot keep up either. I have 4 kids...2 in school & 2 at home during the day w/me. I am about to try sending the 2 little ones to a private sitter on Mondays to allow me to do the things regularly like cleaning all of the floors, stripping the beds, dusting, & any other extra "picking up" that needs to be done. I have tried implementing a schedule, but it didn't work as well as planned as the 2 staying home w/me during the day are 6 mos. & almost 3 years. This is my last resort...the sitter is the same lady that cared for my middle 2 children the last couple of years that I was working.

I am at my wit's end about the house...I can't stand a messy house. It stays that way. So much that I hate it when someone actually comes by to visit.

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K.W.

answers from Dothan on

Everyone has the same problem at some point! Sounds like it's time to declutter. Go thru everything little by little and get rid of stuff. Make a bag of donatable items to take to your local missions thrift store or Salv. Army. Otherwise, always have something in hand. When you walk from one room to the other scan for items that need to be moved or put away. Take something with you to the next room to save an extra trip. If you have a lot of toy clutter, put some toys in the closet or in storage for later use. Your children can stay entertained with just a few items. It takes a little time in the beginning, but after awhile, you'll notice it gets easier.

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L.S.

answers from Orlando on

Hey A.,
Sounds like you got some really good advice. I had never heard of the website everyone is talking about, I need to check that out.
Just wanted you to know that if you are still feeling overwhelmed, I can help.
I own a housekeeping business and work for several doctors in the Birmingham area. I don't think very many kids are messier or more unorganized than docs. I help them get organized and make better use of space all the time. It seems that once you get an area completely organized it is easier to keep up with.
My business is posted on this website and I have excellent references.
Please let me know if I can help.

CLEAN GETAWAY
L. SOSEBEE
###-###-####

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T.E.

answers from Oklahoma City on

flylady.com She is a lifesaver! You don't have to do it all at once.

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H.L.

answers from Birmingham on

Hi A.,
My name is H.. I am a SAHM for a couple of years now. This is what I do. I make me a schedule of things that need to be done. Each morning I will start my daily chores by cleaning up breakfast area (that we messed up from eating that morning), when done with that I will go to my kids bathroom clean the entire room (don't leave until you get that whole room cleaned),then I will move to the livingroom clean entire room. move to my room, dining room, I do clothes in between the other stuff. I do take breaks in between some of those but they are not long breaks. I love doing this kind of thing. I have made a couple of my friends schedules to go by to keep on track and stay organized. I wouldn't mind doing one for you if you want (no I don't charge, this is something that I just love to do.)call me crazy I guess. :) but once you get on a schedule and stay on one you will feel much better about everything. Hope this helps
H.

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V.P.

answers from Pine Bluff on

I won't go into details on here. Go to WWW.FLYLADY.NET and read about Flylady. Don't print out everything you see on the website. Just follow her directions! Even if it sounds crazy, it works! It has worked for nearly 500,000 people with the same problems we have!

Try it!

After sending this message, I went through and read the other answers and besides mine, there were 10 others recommending Flylady! What does that tell you!

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L.M.

answers from Shreveport on

I have had the same problem in the past. Something that has worked great for me is to take 5 minutes about 3 or 4 times a day and just go through the house getting as much done as I can. You'd be surprised how much you can get done in those 5 minutes. Then at the end of the day there really isn't that much left to do. But, relax and don't stress. You'll find your own solution.

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R.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Boy-can I relate. I have been a SAH mom/WAH mom for 9 years. IT is hard to get organized and stay that way. I take it in little bites. I like to do a 15 to 30 minute fast clean up. I see you have a 22 month old and she could really help with this. 10 to 15 minutes is probably all she could handle. We turn on loud, fast music and see how cleaned up we can get the house in a short amount of time. IF your hubby is home, get him involved... if you can. we do this about 3 times a day. I used to run a daycare and had 12 kids to deal with and that is how we kept things from getting out of hand.
Also, relax and realize that you are actually LIVING in your house ALLLLL day now. It WILL be a little messier but just work to keep it bearable and learn what bothers you most and focus on that. IF it is floor clutter, focus on having everyone keep their stuff out of the floor. If it is the dishes, have everyone put their dishes in the dw if you have one-otherwise, just make that part of your quick clean up.
Hope that helps. Good luck!!
R. www.biz4home.biz

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R.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

A.... I just want you to know that it takes time to get organized, focused, and stick to a daily routine. Don't be so hard on yourself. I, too used to struggle with the same things. From your "A little about me" it seems you and I are clones of each other.

What I have found is that every day is different. Some days, it's raining or cold and we can't go outside, so our schedule gets pushed inside= more clutter and less time to pick up. Some days, the kids aren't feeling well... or we're all tired... etc, etc, etc. You have to realize that as a stay at home mom, that is your job. However, it doesn't mean that you have to be a perfect mother/wife/homemaker. In fact, it almost means the opposite. THe most important piece of advice I can give you is to get to a schedule and stick to a schedule. A schedule will help your whole familiy transition to this "stay at home mom" period in your life. And, the second important piece of advice is to do a little at a time. When a dish is dirty, put it right into the dishwasher, don't let the dishes pile up. When your kids are done playing with puzzles, pick them up before they dig out the blocks. When everyone comes in from outside, put the coats and shoes in their spots immediately. This has helped me tremendously. The little things can pile up fast and make big messes/clutter to clean up which takes more time, effort, and energy to do later. And, you will realize shortly that there may never be "later".

Your kids are with you now most of the time - enjoy them. Enjoy your freedom to stay home with them. The house will get cluttered some days, that is life for EVERYONE! Take pleasure in being a stay at home mom/wife/homemaker. It is wonderful and you are very blessed to be able to have that opportunity. Sorry I have rambled on and on... maybe you can take a deep breath and realize that clutter is not really as huge of a deal as you though it was..

R. Cobb
www.mytobin.com

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J.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi A.! Where do i start??? I have been a stay at home mom for 5 1/2 years and I still have the same problem. I feel like I am constantly trying to keep things picked up. I thought it would be easier to keep my house clean since I'm home all day. Boy was I wrong. One thing I do is keep all the toys out of the living room. That way when you first walk in the house, it looks picked up. Other than that, cleaning at my house is never ending. Good luck! If you come up with any ideas, please post them, I could use the help too.
J.

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T.C.

answers from New Orleans on

I am a mother of two with a husband who is rather messy as well. I'm a neat freak and can never seem to keep up with the clutter. On those rare occasions that I do get ahead of the wave it is blissful -- and fleeting. One thing I do is to never go from A to B without something in my hands. I never waste a trip up or down the stairs without bringing something with me. I try not to procrastinate. And most of all I am teaching the girls to pick up after themselves. This is not easy. It has been a uphill battle but it is beginning to pay off. If I can get them to pick up all their books and put them on the shelf it is a HUGE help. I have sorting bins for their toys and we make a game of putting the toys in the right bins. They have lots of food toys for their kitchen and we use that time to learn which are fruits and which are veggies. This is all when I have the stamina for this type of thing. On other days I just freak out and yell -- but we are all learning... Occasionally my 4 year old will come and get me to show me that she has just cleaned her room. You could knock me over with a feather! Just keep going, you'll get a routine and the kids will learn it too. Some days they will be remarkably helpful and on others not so much. Roll with it. Good luck!

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D.E.

answers from Tulsa on

Please relax. Turn the music on when you can!
Get plenty of rest! The new life style you have choosen is wonderful but with it's own set of demands. For help with the house cleaning systems check out www.flylady.net.

Have a perky day!

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T.A.

answers from Alexandria on

A.,

First of all take a deep breath. This is something that all moms go through. I am a 35 year old mother of 7. I have stayed at home with them from day one which means I've really never been to work out of my home. I have had this problem of messy house and frustrated feelings both at my Dear husband and dear children. This past January I found a wonderful help on the internet. Guess what it is free!!! Go to www.flylady.net and sign up. You will get a lot of e-mails and at first you may think that what she tells you to do is a little crazy but I promise you if you just start it will get better. My husband constantly tells me how impressed he is! Want to have a little fun. Start doing it and don't tell your husband and watch how excited he gets. Any way I hope this helps

T.

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K.E.

answers from New Orleans on

Hi I am a mother to a daughter 21.5 months and a son 10.5 months and have been a stay at home mom the whole time. I have learned that it's ok if things don't get picked up that night. Things will become out of place, you will see. Don't worry about it, they are kids. Just sit down, breathe and try to enjoy the time that they are little. Have your daughter help you pick things up with you before she goes to bed at night. Oh yeah I've also learned never to really clean until they are in bed. I hope that this has been of some help to you and not to confusing, as I have both of my children at my feet getting into everything right now. Good luck.

K.

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K.M.

answers from Tulsa on

Have you tried Flylady.com? I'm a SAHM too and I struggle with this constantly. The web site I mentioned though really helped me when I was breastfeeding and pretty much tied down for hours a day. Just remember, you can do anything for 15 minutes. I set my timer and tell the kids (ages 7, 5, and 2) that I can't help them until the timer goes off.

W.Q.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi A.,

I'm a sahm also and love it. My method of keeping the house sort of clean is concentrate on one room a day. Do a thorough cleaning of that one room only and do a general pick up in the other rooms. Of course I make the beds and clean my kitchen daily but the other rooms can wait their turn. lol

I'm a 54 year old mother of two...Amie (27) and JJ (15) and two grandchildren, Trevor (5 - just turned 5 and very proud of it) and Katie (16 months). Unfortunately we just moved away from my daughter and her family due to my husbands company moving their headquarters.

Good luck on your cleaning...

W. Q

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B.L.

answers from Little Rock on

I too am a stay at home mom and have a 3year old boy and very curious 18month old girl. My husband says that we can't have friends over cuz I am the only mother in the world that can't keep 2 babies and a clean house. I find that some days it is easier to clean what you can and let the rest go! (like grandma always said "choose your battles wisely") My mother always had a clean house and I never remember her setting down and playing with me or my brother. It was always "go outside and play so I can get this house clean!!" I am not an organized person anyway but I can tell you from personal experience that your kids will remember the times you sat down and played house or had a picnic in the backyard as to how spotless the house was. You'll have plenty of time to clean when they go to school!!!

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K.F.

answers from Oklahoma City on

When my daughter was 4-20 months I ran an in-home daycare out of my house and felt like the house was always a wreck! So to make it feel like a home I would pick a certain time of day, like nap time, to pick up all the toys and put them in a big basket that sat in the corner. It always got messed up again, but it made me feel better. Pick two times a day if you need to, but give yourself some more slack! Staying at home equals a messy house. In time you'll learn to live with it better. I used to be type A, anal retentive. Now I call myself: a recovering type A. I had to get over perfection and cleanliness all the time. Kids sure helped me with that! :) I hope this encourages you. Have a blessed day!

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T.M.

answers from Monroe on

I am a consultant for Pampered Chef (e-mail me if need PC products or need a fun, full or part time job - I am looking for good team players) and I was at one of my shows. The host and I were visiting afterwards and she told me about www.Flylady.net. This is a wonderful site that helps you get organized without being overwhelmed. They do it in fun, easy, and "doable" baby steps! It is great and helping me in a big way!!!

T. Moyers ([email protected]____.com)

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S.H.

answers from Huntsville on

I know exactly how you feel!! (Though I am not able to be a stay at home mom!) I've had my mom help me several times, but I'll share some ideas with you.

My daughter is about to be 2 years old, so close to your daughter's age. In our living room we have 1 area of the room setup with some of her toys. I got a Cubicals Storage Unit from Target (http://www.target.com/Cubicals-Storage-Unit-Cubbies-White...) and it is in one corner of her play area. It is PERFECT for toddlers to put their toys away. You can even buy separate canvas drawers to put in some of the cubes if needed. She won't have to worry about where she puts toys, as long as they are picked up off the floor. We have things like books, shape sorter, a see n say, and star stacker in our cubes. We even have a portable DVD player in the top center cube so she can watch whatever she wants! She has her own little chair to sit in too.

For other toys we have plastic totes or laundry baskets. It's easy for a toddler to get the toys out and just toss them in. We have the toys somewhat separated by type. Stuffed animals/dolls/blankets are in one basket, sports things such as balls are in a basket, she has a set of wooden blocks in a tote, and waffle blocks in a tote. In her bedroom we have a bookshelf that also has little canvas bins at the bottom for little toys, and she has another tote of dolls & blankets, and a small box for her play kitchen toys. Oh & we also got one of those little Dora the Explorer pop-up laundry hampers, she loves to put her clothes in there when she changes!

Another tip from my mom, once you get any room organized the way you want it, every night before you go to bed, spend 15 minutes or so picking up and putting things back in their place. If you do a little bit every day then it won't be so bad! You just have to stick with it. Try to get your daughter to help put her toys away too. Pick up things with her and teach her where they go.

Other tips for getting other rooms organized... focus on one room at a time. If you find something that does not belong in that room, either go put it where it does belong, or collect these things in a laundry basket, or maybe a box per room, then put these things away when you clean up those rooms.

Let me know if you have any more questions! & good luck!

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B.A.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Hello I was a stay at home mom for a 4 2 and newborn. I undertsand what your going through. Go to www.flylady.net. Its an awesome website for organization it also helps you set up routines and areas to work on within your home. (Ex Zones). I swear by it and even use the system now that I went back to work! Let me know how it goes.

B.

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M.B.

answers from Huntsville on

A.
check out this website: flylady.net
i think you will like it. i am still trying to get organized too. good luck
M. ( mom of 2 boys-5yrs and 23mo)

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K.H.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Try flylady.net. When you work it, it works good. I don't always get it all done, but the routines help out a lot.

K. H.

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J.R.

answers from Mobile on

When I clean or have to get the house back in order first I go through and collect all the things that belond in the trash. Then I do through and pick up all the clothes that are out of place, followed by the toys my four year have left lying around, and so on. SInce my son is 4 he also helps with picking up his toys. I would have thought that staying home is much easier than working and trying to keep a house in order. I too will be a stay at home following the summer. Not really sure if i am looking forward to it. I am so use to working and having "my own." But on the flip side I look forward to being at home with my daughter who is 2 months. Good luck.

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E.

answers from Fayetteville on

I have been a SAHM now for almost 9 years. I left my management job where everything ran very structured and organized. After being home with my then 7yr old daughter and 15mo old daughter for about a month, I was like I can't believe I'm home all day and still can't manage to have dinner on the table at 5 and keep the laundry done, let alone keep the house picked up!! Since then, my kids have grown and we've now added 2 more kids to the mix. My kids are now 16, 10, 8, and 20 months old. Oldest 2 are girls and the youngest 2 are boys. Supper still isn't on the table by 5, the laundry is never caught up, and the house is definitely has that lived in loved look! A lot of it is you just let the small things go and love being home with your kids and there for your husband! You will be fine! Good luck to you!

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L.K.

answers from Biloxi on

Well, I might not have any terrific advice but I know what you're going through! I'm a brand new stay at home mom, too. It seems like I can't keep anything straightened up. I usually feel like I don't know where to start and I just procrastinate until I just can't anymore. I feel like my fiance is just frustrated with me, even though he hasn't said anything TOO bad about it. He works all day everyday and I can't even manage to keep the house straight!!! I'm in over my head...with laundry..lol.

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J.K.

answers from Birmingham on

Dear A.,
My children are 10 & 11. I'll try to contact you when we get the house cleaned -- probably in about 8 years when they go on to college.
Enjoy being with your kids!

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J.S.

answers from Little Rock on

I wish there WAS an answer! Same thing here. I clean ALL day just to keep up, but never get ahead. I'm starting to realize I might as well get used to it if dealing with it or feeling unsuccessful are my only 2 options. I do try to run around the house at night after all the kids are in bed and pick up, sweep, etc, but of course, the same thing happens each day. i guess it's like you said, being home all day. So I guess my suggestion is to realize there's no getting ahead and taking care of your children and keeping up is hard enough, so be proud of that.

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K.B.

answers from Birmingham on

A.,

Don't panic. Dust can sit, but kids grow quickly.

If it bothers you, then at the end of the day or before your husband is due home, set a timer for 15 minutes and make a game out of picking everything up as fast as everyone can.

There is a website for mothers that talks about this, but I can't remember what it is. I hope someone else remembers and can help you.

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S.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Try doing at least 1 or 2 loads for lanudry a day. The rest leave for the weekend when the husband is home if that is possible. Then on Saturday tell the husband that it is his day to spend with the children so you can clean the house. That is how I have had to work it. If he doesn't want to do that then tell him he needs to help with the housework throughout the week because this is a 50 50 relationship.

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L.J.

answers from Alexandria on

Hi A.,
I think u r worried to much about keeping your home clean during the day. I work during the day and have a 2yr old son that goes to wk with me and two 5yr old girls that goes to school, you can imagine what I go through. My routine is laundry Mon., Wed., Fri.and Sat. As for cleaning I wait until my kids go to bed and clean up, the next day might be the same routine, but not all the time. So that's how I keep it together, when my husband wakes up for work the next morning my house is clean. hope this help.

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S.S.

answers from Jonesboro on

Just relax it takes time. I have been a stay at home mom for about 2 1/2 years now, and I am still not were i want to be. Some helpful tips that have helped me get more organized is that i set days aside for certain task: Mon. Laundrey, Tue. grocery, Wed. Bathrooms, Thur. Off(Just Have Fun), and Friday pick up in AM and sweep and mop and vacumme in PM during nap time. Like i said not down to a clean science yet but getting better. Also as my girls are getting older now 2 and 3 they love to help and can pick up some. Hope this helps. Just a quote form my 80 old neighbor "they are only young once and your have lots of time to clean when they are grown, relax and enjoy them being young".

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J.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

I was a new stay at home mom 4 years ago and at first I felt the pressure to be this "perfect" stay at home mom/ wife! But I quickly evaluated the true importance behind the greatest opportunity to stay at home with your children and it isn't to be anxious about keeping a perfect house. I have found that I simply don't let it overwhelm me, but at the same time I don't use this as an excuse to keep our house wrecked either. I am not sure about your spiritual condition, but for me I simply had to hand it over to God and ask for divine wisdom and counsel on how to manage my day and what is a priority to HIM, not to what my definition was of what I should be doing. I hope this helps in some way.

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E.A.

answers from New Orleans on

I have been a stay at home mom for 5 years now, or more. As a Certified Domestic Engineer, I have to say, do not expect your house to be perfect everyday. Your new baby eats 9 or 10 times a day, every 2 hours. I have a daughter almost 5 a son 3 and a son 1. My husband does not pick up. I throw his things in a pile and clean up after myself and my kids. I give the older 2 a game of sorting clothes and putting them in the right hampers. They have a system with toys and know where to put them in their rooms. Also toys with like pieces, like games, cars, blocks, can only be used 1 at a time and they have to ask me to get it down for them. After blocks are boring, they get picked up, by the kids and another thing can come out the closet. It involves me in the decision making. I can say, well this has too many pieces, lets play with music toys instead. I am very picky about mixing the room up. The books can get messed up everyday but they put them back before bed, they can only look at 1 at a time anyway right?
About cooking... I cook in the morning and reheat in the evening. Mornings are calm in my house. Evenings are homework and bath time. My kids go to bed at 7pm. That is when I wash the laundry they helped me sort and fold it. I put it away in the morning when they are not in their room. You will never get your husband to pick up his mess unless he sees it as a mess. He has to see the kids are following his behavior for him to stop. Allow him a task everyday, like a cleaning game with your 22m old. I have even stopped allowing most toys in the living room. Drawing things and stuffed things ok. My neighbors stop by and see lots of toys and it is embarrasing. My kids have gotten used to it and they rather sit on the rugs in their room and pull out the toys and listen to kids music on their radio anyway. We have an open door policy on their rooms! Hope my life helps. Good Luck!!

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R.W.

answers from Birmingham on

I have been a housewife for almost all of my five married years and I still have problems keeping everything straightened. I know that isn't exactly encouraging, but at least you know we are not all perfect!
My strategy is to spend five minutes in each room as I can during the day putting things back where they belong. If I pass through a room on my way to another, I pick up something along the way and put it back. When I do deep cleaning, I start at one corner of one room and work my way to the other side. I don't let myself get distracted and start on another room or lose my place in the one I am trying to clean. That way if I get interrupted I know exactly where to pick back up, and if I don't get back to it until the next day I can still see where I have cleaned and not get overwhelmed.

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M.B.

answers from Lawton on

Hi A., Enjoyed your letter! First, you are not failing. Often time we as moms like our homes looking and feeling a specific way. The first time, that look and feel are out of place, we stress. Remember you have a 22 month old as well as a six month old! That is work all by itself! I'm a 44 year old mom with 8 children, ranging in ages 21-9! I can remember the times of being home with my little ones and feeling tired. Didn't seem as if anything was accomplished through the day. If I wasn't doing for the kids It was for my husband. Have you tried to make clean up time like a game? I read where you love music. Put your music on get into the feel of rest instead of chores, and let your little one feel apart of the fun! sing while putting on laundry, be kind of silly (if you will) and help your daughter have fun with mom and learning how to be a good helper! Trust me it'll come with time and patience. Stay encouraged, and keep on smiling! I almost forgot, my name is Tamara Burton and I'm a mom of 7 girls and 1 boy(finally got that boy!) Soon to be 1st time Grandma! I'm a Teachers [email protected]____.com of the Ele. schools here. Nice meeting you hope to talk again soon, God Bless You

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A.A.

answers from New Orleans on

i have a 3.8 year old, an 18 months old and a 41 year old that keep my house messy most of the time. i have come to understand that if i keep trying to keep the house picked up i am going to be on the front page of my local paper. give yourself permission to have a little clutter every once in a while. both of my kids go away during to day to school and my husband goes to work. then i get to clean. at night when i am about to drop i take 10 min. and pick up. it is not usually mother in law clean most of the time but it keeps it under control. we are women and that means the true superman!!

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K.M.

answers from Anniston on

Oh, I have the answer. Check out www.flylady.net

It is all about routines, which I know can be hard with kids, but trust me - it will save your sanity!

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D.H.

answers from Monroe on

I am a very well organized person! This is a hard lesson to teach. I would suggest some simple things at first.

Opening Mail- have a certain spot that you open your mail at everyday- go thru it right away- throw away the junk and have a basket for bills or important stuff.

Toy basket- at the end of the day- make a game of it- put all the toys in the basket or back on the shelf. This will teach responsibility at a young age. It might take a week before it kicks in. Rewards are always good. Maybe an extra book at bed time for helping.

As far as older kids or husbands- I have 2 flat baskets in a certain place. If it belongs to them or they have mail, it goes in the basket. If it is to big for the basket, it goes in their closet or on their dresser for them to put in the right space. I see them every few days going through their baskets and cleaning them out.

Hope this helps,
from the "Queen" of organizational skills.

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S.W.

answers from Shreveport on

A very wise person told me once. while your children are little enjoy your time with them and your husband and don't stres about you house beinganing to one day a week, you choose the day maybe a day where your husband or someone else maybe a grandparent can watch the kiddos and go at it. You will be a much happier person if you don't stress over the little things, beleive me it gets easier as they get older because you can get them in the swing of things by putting their toys away etc. I have an 11 year old boy and a 4 year old daughter and she loves to help. If hubby stresses over a clean house then he needs to pick up after himself some, if you be a good mom and a good wife (you know meet him at the door when he gets home with a kiss and/or hug and have dinner cooking or ready whichever) you will have plenty of time to keep your house back up to your standard when the kiddo's start school and the older they get the more time you will have, so spend that special time with them playing or what ever you like to do and be a Mom not a maid your kids will be happier too!! Me and my daughter go for a walk everyday she loves it and so does my dog, my son walks with us on the weekends we enjoy the time together. Good luck I hope everything works out well, you will be very happy you didn't miss these young years with your children, I am, I wouldn't trade it for the world!!

A.B.

answers from Tulsa on

Just a idea... Have your 22 month old help! :) Make it a fun game! Play a song that she likes and have her help mom pick up all the toys in one room before the song is over- or use a timer. Which ever you decide.
Also keeping the toys to one room helps to keep the other areas of the house clean..another idea- giving stickers on a chart for her helping...
Hope this helps,
A.

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C.O.

answers from Lawton on

Get the book by Donna Smallin called "Organizing Plain and Simple". I did this and it helps so much. I am not completely there yet, but have made a good start. She seems practical and that is what I like. I even got the cleaning one to go with it. I like the organizing book better though. Good luck!

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