I Need Cleaning & Organization Help!!!

Updated on October 07, 2010
J.G. asks from Sturgis, SD
15 answers

I have 3 year old Twins and a 9 month old & my house is a DISASTER!!! I can't figure out how to keep my house clean & organized and still give my kids the attention they need. I feel like I can't relax when my house is so messy & out of order... It's stressing me out too much right now & I need some ideas or helpful tips!

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answers from Honolulu on

Clean when Hubby is home.... or have Grandma or someone come over... so you can clean.
You have 3 kids... and cleaning is not real easy doing that... with 3 young kids.
Or, you tell them for the older one's that you are cleaning... and so put them in the same room you are cleaning and tell them they need to play by themselves... and put the 9 month old in a play-yard corral or something.

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answers from Boise on

flylady.net....but take it slow! don't get overwhelmed, or jump in too fast.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My sister has two-year-old twins and a nine-month old, so she is in the same boat. She had struggled to balance everything but now swears by a program from the "FLY Lady." Check out the website at www.flylady.net. She offers free online coaching to help organize household chaos. My sister swears by it and says it has helped her so much. Hope it can help you too! Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

I have the same problem as I'm sure so many mommas with little ones do. I am really trying to just simplify right now. Donate or throw away all the things that you don't want anymore or need. I've tried to have a garage sale, but won't do it again. It just makes more work for myself. My biggest problem is mail and papers piling up in my kitchen. I still don't know how to organize them all and have tried lots of different types of storage things and organizers. I just try to throw away all the papers I don't need anymore. Looking forward to reading all the answers to get some ideas for myself... : )


answers from Oklahoma City on

here's something i do, i followed off my ex sister in law who now has 3 kids. i clean 1 room a day, (starting from one end of the house to the other end-includes vacuming, and dusting) i do my laundry as i go (bunch of granny loads) every night after everyone is done with shower's their dirty clothes go straight in the washer, along with towel's, the last person in the shower, puts the soap in the washer, and starts it up and in the morning part of my routine is putting the wet clothes in the drier, and folding when i get home while cleaning whatever room i'm on that day...saves a lot of time, i love it.



answers from Dallas on

What Denise said - flylady.net is a great resource. If you can afford it, (or ask for it as an early christmas/chanukkah/birthday present), have someone come in and clean - at least once to help you get back to sanity, and then use flylady to stay closer to where you're happy. Professional organizers can help you with the organizing, but of course, you have to pay for the service.



answers from Erie on

try to tidy the bath tub while they are in it.

pop in a movie for them, in this instance i think a little boob tube is forgivable.

ask friends, church members, family etc to play playdough with the kids while you clean 1 room or hire a few neighborhood kids to be a "mother's helper" pay them cheap.

try some yoga



answers from Minneapolis on

First of all, get your husband involved. Tell him how you feel and come up with a plan together.

I suggest that you hire a cleaning service, even if you just do it once. Ideally, you would hire an organizational service first, to help you sort and get rid of lots of stuff, and then you could get the house cleaned after that.

If you can't afford either right now, then hire a babysitter to come in regularly (once a week for 5 hours? daily for 2 hours?) so you can clean.

There are a few key things to keep in mind: Get rid of stuff, find a place for EVERYTHING, do at least one daily trip through the house.

You can't have a neat, organized house without getting rid of stuff. Don't just go to Target and buy lots of cool tubs to put things in -- be ruthless and get rid of as much as you can. Baby stuff you won't need anymore? Get rid of it! Keep doing it; as soon as the baby outgrows things, get them out of your house, either by selling, trashing, or donating. Clothes you don't wear, kitchen gadgets you don't use, paperwork from 6 years ago, jars of ancient who-knows-what in the pantry -- get rid of it all.

(My husband goes through the house thoroughly before our 2x a month cleaners visit and finds stuff that we don't use anymore to get rid of. I go through all of my clothes and the kids clothes twice a year and find tons to give away. We have a designated spot in our basement for bags of stuff to give to ARC.)

Next, once you have cleared the clutter and you have space, find a place for everything. And I mean Every. Single. Thing. We have a place for the kids' sunglasses. Baskets for each person's summer hats. There is a pair of scissors in the art cupboard (part of our dining room built-in) for cutting paper. In the kitchen knife block there is a pair of scissors for cutting food packages or other food items. In a drawer there is a pair of scissors for cutting open packing tape from big packages, or for opening clamshell containers. If you need to, label the spots.

I knew someone whose kitchen table was unusable because it was the dumping ground for newspapers, purse, backpacks, and anything coming into the house like shopping bags. She would not have had this problem if she'd had a place to put her purse, a place for newspapers, etc.

Next, you have to maintain. Do a walk through every room of your house at least once a day. (I do it once mid-day, and my husband does it in the morning and again at night.) You'll always find little things to put away, or notice things that need to be repaired or replaced or whatever.

Remember your husband? You can't do this without him. Your plan for getting the house in shape has to involve him. It's his house too; what will he do daily to keep the house clean and organized?

Good luck. You are in one of the toughest stages of motherhood -- three under three!!! Give yourself a break and don't be hard on yourself.



answers from Dallas on

Wow - you have lots of juggling. My kids are older but I have seen lots of women on here recommend having something they do each day and rotating. That way not trying to do it all at once. Do something small ie vacuum one days and another day do a bathroom or something. More power and energy to you.



answers from Minneapolis on

Small steps! You're overwhelmed. It's ok if your house is messy!

Like you, I like a little organization, too.

Here is my MAIN house rule:
Toys stay in the kid's bedroom. If they pull toys into other parts of the house, at the end of the day, the kids put them back themselves. (I think I started that rule at age 3).

Here are the 2 tips that saved my sanity:
1. Get bins for the bedroom. Label them with words or pictures. My boy's bins are labeled: Dinosaurs, balls, guns (toy of course!), trucks, books, etc. That way I can give him very specific directions, such as "put the dinosaurs in the dinosaur box."

2. The kitchen counter used to be the place to dump mail. Then mail would get wet, bills would go unpaid, etc. Chaos! I got one of those small vertical file organizers and set it on the kitchen counter. I labeled all 4 tabs: Unpaid bills, paid bills, mailing supplies, receipts. Now when mail comes into the house, it immediately goes into the filer. I pay bills every Friday. This has solved a LOT of problems.

When to do all this? Eventually. You need a good night's sleep and your husband's help!



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi J.!
I too have twins (4 y.o. b/g), so lots of toys around the house! I found it easiest if I had bins for their toys. My son has a bin for transformers, a bin for iron man toys, and a bin for army guys. My daughter has a bin for barbie stuff, a bin for Dora, and a bin for Polly Pocket. They share a bin for legos. I keep puzzles, books and games on a bookshelf. Then they have a toy box for those "other" toys that don't belong in the bins. They have learned from early on to put the toys back into the bins where they belong before getting the next toy out. With a little bit of time, I think that it might make your life a lot easier and less stressful.
Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I also recommend www.flylady.net. She is invaluable in helping you set up routines without it becoming overwhelming in keeping your home clean.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you ever checkd out www.flylady.net? Great tips for staying on top of things!



answers from Sioux Falls on

Definately check out www.flylady.net
She advocates getting yourself a kitchen timer and doing one room/activity for 15 minutes. Set your timer and go. then stop after the 15 minutes so you don't get overwhelmed. She also has routines set up for different times of the day. It's definately worth checking out.

Do laundry every day. Whether you sort your clothes or not just make sure to do at least one load everyday. I also have twins plus one other child and I know how quickly laundry can accumulate with all those babies in the house.

I did bins for my kids toys. Sometimes they got sorted into categories and sometimes they just got all thrown in together. As long as the floor was clean i was OK with it.

I hung a shoe organizer on the back of the kids bedroom doors for small stuffed animals, dolls and other small toys.

Get help as others have suggested. Have an young teen from your neighborhood or from church come over to keep the kids busy and then take on a room. Get your mom, your husband's mom, your sisters, brothers, cousins, girlfriends or whoever you can think of to help you clean and organize or at least watch your kids while you get things done.

Get rid of the clutter. List stuff on craigs list or just give it away. Take kids toys, clothes, equipment to consignment shops or have a rummage sale. You have to get rid of all the extra stuff in your house that is bogging you down. Flylady can really help with this step. You need to have less stuff to manage and rountines in place to manage it.

Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

MY mom is a professional organizer and mother of 5 kids (and about 12 grandkids so far). She is the best! Check out her website www.projectpartnerservices.com
She is a miracle worker and very organized herself. She used to be a single mother of 5 young kids while in school full time and working - you have to be organized to do that :)
Good luck!

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