Seeking Help with Staying Organized and Clean House

Updated on February 26, 2007
M.D. asks from Kingston, NY
21 answers

I really need advice on how to keep up with everything.My house is not very organized right now.Also,all I do is clean,clean,clean.Does it ever stop?

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J.H.

answers from Binghamton on

I M. I have 3 kids myself, I wouldn't know how to do it with 6 kids. I am forever cleaning my house. I always make my older kids kids clean there own rooms. They pick up there own stuff from the kitchen and the livingroom and put it in there rooms, and then they clean their rooms. That system works pretty good for me.
i hope i helped
good luck with the new baby

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A.M.

answers from New York on

Hi M.,

Wow! 5 kids. I have 2 little ones, and I still can't get organized. My suggestion to you is that if you have not asked your kids to help around the house, then start. My eldest is 2 1/2 and I have her trained already to put her clothes and her baby brother's clothes in the hamper. She knows to put her toys away too. Little kids, maybe not your 12 year old, usually like to help mommy around the house. It makes them feel good about themselves when they know they have helped mommy. My mother-in-law gets some of her grandkids to dust for her and gives them a dollar or 2. The eldest one is 7. You should not have to do this all by yourself, even if you are a stay at home mom. Also, cleanliness is not everything. I don't mean to leave your house a filthy mess, but you also need to take time for your kids and yourself. Maybe just limit the days you need to clean. Like laundry on Mondays and Fridays, and vacuuming and dusting on Tuesdays. The dishes get done maybe twice a day rather than breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hope this helps.

A. from Yonkers. I am 35yrs old and work full time. I leave my house at 8am and don't get home until 7pm. So I know what it feels like not to have time for yourself except take care of the kids and do house chores.

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L.P.

answers from Hartford on

When I read this I get a strong feeling that you are expecting way too much from yourself. You really can't care for 6 children, work outside of the home and keep your house clean all at the same time. That is too much for one person. So, my advice is to enlist the other person in the house responsible for the making-of-the-children. If he can make them, he can supervise them, too. Then you can clean your house in zones...just keep the clan out of the zone you are cleaning. Also, you could enlist the children to help. Kids can "help" as soon as they can walk.

Or reverse it. You watch the kids while he cleans.

I've just learned to accept the fact that my house is "lived in". I have two children of my own with me full time, and I run a home daycare. So, I've got lots of kid with me all day...even though they are not all mine. With all those kids, I'm always cleaning something (or someone). Theres no way to avoid that I'm going to spend a majority of my time cleaning - and that my house is going to tend to be messy and disorganized. I don't always like it but that's the choice that I made when I decided to have all of these kids running around all day.

Just take is slow, enlist help, remember that having a clean house isn't the most important thing in the world and take time to enjoy your children. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.K.

answers from Burlington on

Hi M.,

I give you credit you have a lot to keep track off and a lot of responsiblity. One way I have been able to keep a clean and organized home is I have my son pick up after himself and that gives him experience on responsibility. And as far as keeping clean well I do the same I make it a habit of cleaning up right after I have finished something that way it's not staring me in the face till I get it done, so it's cleaned and picked up end of story. What a great feeling not having messes look at me in the face. And for cleaning the bathroom and cleaning the floors and the laundry, I take a weekend day and and for example while the laundry is going I am cleaning the bathroom and I do my floors at night, its faster and you don't have to worry about your floors getting dirty.

The trick of having the children clean up after themselves I learned from my mother and it works great. After all keeping a home clean and healthy is the responsibility of the whole family not just the MOM. Deligate it's all about team work.

I hope gives you some ideas. Good Luck

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L.M.

answers from Binghamton on

Hi M.!

Have you looked at www.flylady.net? It's a very helpful program, to help organize your home and family. Ending clutter is one of my new years resolutions and FlyLady is helping.

There are step by step (some so simple they seem silly) emails you can get to help keep you on track. This is especially helpful to Mom's (like myself) who tend to procrastinate. Eventually that procrastination leads to dispair as I look around my home (with 9 ppl in it) and think I'll never get there. But FlyLady and her tips & baby steps really do help.

There are also menue, craft ideas and other fun stuff there.
You can check them out on the web at http://www.flylady.net

Well, good luck to you.

C.S.

answers from New York on

M.- As I sit here now, I cant remember one time that my mom colored with me, painted with me, cooked with me, etc. But, I do remember that she kept a PERFECT house. I wish she would have let the house get a little dirty, so she could have spent time with me...
Even now, she hasnt seen her grandkids since Christmas...She lives about 10 minutes away...But I guarantee you, that her house is annoyingly clean...
Dont worry about your house...Spend as much time with your kids as you can! They will appreciate your time, not how clean the house was...
Unless you are infested with roaches and rats...If thats the case, you better get acleanin'. :)

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I.E.

answers from Jamestown on

lol, No it never stops! (truth really does hurt here) Haha! The closest I come to organized is throw everything possibly away! N with a new one on the way.... only will get more nuts! Good luck with the wrk hunting.... its such a break to go to wrk! ~Billijo

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L.D.

answers from New York on

Hi M., God bless you! and More power to you SuperWoman! I have a hard enough time with just one 3 yr old girl and a husband, and i work full-time too. I think it's just a Mom/Wifey thing that we clean so much. It's our instincts to keep our family's environment safe and healthy. If you're concerned about the products you use to keep your home clean and how they could be affecting your health, visit my website. I was always concerned about the toxins my family is exposed to. That's why I signed up with this team. I'm also supplementing my income with aspirations to be home full-time with my babygirl very soon. This might be a good opportunity for you after your new arrival because you will not have to leave your home every day. You can work around your already existing schedule. If you're interested, send me a note with a number and good time to reach you and I'll get you more details.

Take care!
L.
Working Mom Helping Moms
http://www.stayinhomeandlovinit.com/cgi-bin/team.cgi?id=A...

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D.G.

answers from Chattanooga on

Well all your kids are old enough to help . i know my kids are ages 10-3 & they have chores. My oldest helps make younger ones breakfast some days or fixs sandwhiches others. Make eack child responsible for own room. & split rest chores based on age & revolving chore chart. I think at this point you should just worry mainly on cooking & laundry & the new baby coming

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L.G.

answers from Buffalo on

Hi M.~ I work full time and have two children and my house often looks like a bomb blew up in it. The one thing that I do that helps is have everyone do the half hour race to clean up. I time us and everyone runs around and cleans as much as they can in that time. it is amazing how much better the house looks when we are done. As far as organizing.....well that seems to be a never ending project that I wish there was a better solution to. I heard this quote one that cleaning while the kids are growing up is like shoveling during a snowstorm.......makes so much sense to me. L.

oh ps. the other thing i do is make boxes for everyone, when i come across their stuff while i am cleaning like the living room etc. I throw it in their box. then the owner of the stuff in the box has to put it away and give me back an empty box. No dumping of box is allowed and no just setting the box in their room is allowed.

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H.M.

answers from Rockford on

Hi M.,
I know how frustrating and overwhelming it can be. Do you have anyone who can take the kids for a few hours so you can get stuff together? I find that when my mother takes my son for a few hours I can really get a lot done.

As for employment after the baby, what are you looking to do?
I am always looking for women to join my Lia Sophia team. The money is great and so is the flexible schedule. Check out my website: www.liasophia.com/heathermorin and contact me if you would like to learn more!

Good luck!

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M.F.

answers from New York on

Have the kids help out. When I was little I was responsible for cleaning my room and another room. We did this every saturday. I didn't get paid for it but when I wanted something, then my parents would get it for us for our work.

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E.L.

answers from Rochester on

Geez, you beat me (will beat me) by one child!! My five are grown now, but organization has always been and still is a big issue for me. I am trying. I HIGHLY recommend going to flylady.org and signing up. Use a separate email for it. I have gotten lax, but what I have learned on that sight is always on my mind eveno my procrastinating days. I wish I had known about her when my kids were young. When they are little is really the time to start. I think you will be very motivated by that website. I also just heard of another sight, which I joined as well ( I'll have to search thru my computer to find the name.)This one has a free booklet (at least it is free now) on tips for orgnizing, but I would start with flylady. There is also a local flylady organization, but I haven't had time to get involved. There are also very helpful adjunct sites for discussions. I'd be glad to give you more information any time. I email address is [email protected]____.com put something in the subject that I'd recognize like looking for flylady advice or something like that. It helps to have others that are involved and can help each other. I am not and have not been fully employed for many, many years, and I still have organization problems. I honestly don't know if I would have had it in be to have a house full of kids and a job!! But I would have had I had to! But working mothers can also fit into the flylady system. I believe there is a special section for working moms. Please check it out. Let me know. E.

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S.H.

answers from New York on

No M. it never stops, lol maybe your 12yr could help you with 5 kids its understandable but dont stress yourself. Remember kids like to get involved if you could afford allowance that would get you alittle more help. Have you ever thought about a homebase business? Let me know I would like to show you what I do ok. Good luck on your new baby. Hope I have been helpful. :)

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D.A.

answers from Albany on

You and I have similar stats...and similar problems. LOL

A lot of people have great success with http://flylady.com/. Some other things that help are schedules and meal planning. http://www.30daygourmet.com/ has lots of great advice about meal planning.A lot of people take issue with the recipes as they are high in fat, but the ideas as far as how to plan and cook ahead are great. Not all the recipes are useless either.

Where I fall short is first of all, I do not get on my kids enough to do their part. When that start to whine I say "oh forget it" and try to do it myself. That is really wrong on my part. The second thing I do wrong is I freak out too much about a messy house, when it is almost impossible to keep the house as nice as when I had 2 kids.I need to learn to cut myself some slack and have a realistic view of what needs to be done.

P.S. I just read the responses (I saw this post in the email digest first) and someone else recommended Flylady and the other advice is really good as well.

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K.L.

answers from New London on

I absolutely LOVE and live by FlyLady. She has taught me how to break cleaning down (into 15min increments). Its great! You can check her out at www.FlyLady.net and you can sign up for her emails at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FlyLadyMentors

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V.S.

answers from New York on

Good Morning M.,

Its great that you have older children, they can help out a great deal!!! Try and make it a fun task, which includes having some responsibiltites., make it a paying job or simply a chore that needs to get done, expalin to the children that everyone needs to chip in as a family ans that ytou can use all the help you can get!!! doing little things urself a day can also take some of the load off ur back as well. Example if ur children go out on a play date with friends, or even ask dad to take them out on a stroll for a couple just to catch up on household, then u can do as much as you can. my suggestion is trying not to let thinngs pile ona daily basis that wld make anyone frustrated and exhausted. Let me know how it turns out. hope this helps!! Good luck!! V.

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C.D.

answers from New York on

Hi! No it never ends. I have four kids and I work from home. The only thing that works it to do small projects everyday. I clean one shelf a day in my fridge. So my fridge is always clean. I spend 15 min organizing one area of my house, and for laundry I just keep doing it that is thea worst thing. But I found that taking 15 - 20 min organizing areas that are bad really helps just make sure you do it everyday.

C.
Mom to Danielle, Nicole, Amanda & Joe-Joe
http://colleend.stayinhomeandlovinit.com

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M.L.

answers from New York on

I agree with one of the other posts - we used to set the stove timer for 5 minutes (or 10 or 15 depending on how much time we had) and everyone had to clean until they heard it ding. The kids got competitive with each other after awhile - trying to clean more than their siblings. It makes cleaning fun (if that's even possible). Granted, it doesn't wash the kitchen floor, but it does help with clutter.
But I have to tell you...don't make a clean house your purpose in life. Seriously, it really doesn't make all that much difference. Play with the kids. Take walks with your husband. THEY are what is important, not the house. Trust me on this one...my screaming and yelling at every member of my family who didn't clean up - well, it almost broke up my marriage. So don't forget to take time away from cleaning to just enjoy your family.

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N.K.

answers from New York on

5 kids and 1 on deck? Wow, you've got your hands full. I have 2 girls (2 & 4 years), plus 1 husband (so that makes 3 kids all together) :). I work full time while my girls are in daycare. I also feel that all I do is clean, clean and then clean some more. I'm constantly responding to "mommy, come play with us" with "not now baby, mommy has to clean the _____ (insert room here). My husband says I clean too much but I don't want my family to live in dust. I don't have any advice, just sending a ((((you're not alone)))) hug. Looking forward to the responses other moms send in. Take care.

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C.P.

answers from New York on

It is very important that you teach your children the value of work and money and helping around the house is an excellant opportunity to do just that. My seven year old daughter has a chart hanging on the kitchen door that lists her chores - cleaning her room, clearing her dishes after she eats, picking up her toys from rooms in the house other than her bedroom, and making sure all her shoes and pieces of clothing are put in their proper places (the closet, drawers, or hamper). At the end of each day we decide which ones were done and she gets to put a sticker on the chart for the ones that were. After she has earned 14 stickers for each chore listed she can get a special treat from the store. If she does extra things around the house like water plants or help walk the dog she gets an extra sticker than can be applied to any of the areas she is lacking in. We have a set limit on how much the treat can cost but if she wants to work towards a bigger one then we negotiate for how long she will have to work to earn it.

My friend has a few children and she can't afford to get them all treats for their chores so they do it as a competition and whoever gets the most stickers is the one who gets the reward. I know it works well for them because the children are always trying to think of new things they can do so they can win.

Another way I keep more organized is by knowing how much stuff is controlable. My duahgter has bins in her room for different catagories of things, a bin for dolls, a bin for shoes, a bin for toy dishes, everything has a place designated for it but it is an easy system for her to manage. then, to keep it at a controlable level we have the rule that whenever you get something new you have to get rid of something old. It helps them to prioratize what is most important to them and keeps toys from overrunning the house. The items she decides to get rid of we either donate or dump which also helps to show her the importance of helping others who are less fortunate.

Or you could try what my mother did, anything left out and you got a waring to pick it up, if you didn't and she saw it again it went in her plastic bin at the top of the closet where you could either buy it back from her or it was goen forever.

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