Sunday, July 1, 2012

In Need of Advice

Most of my local girlfriends follow me here, so I can ask for advice.

I'm a messy person. I always have been. J knew this when we started dating. He knew it when we moved in, when we got engaged, when we got married. He still isn't used to it, and eventually we argue a little about the state of the house.

I've never been very organized. I'm a stacker. I like to make stacks and piles, and then leave them there. Fortunately, I'm not a afraid of germs or dirt. Or maybe that's unfortunately, since it would probably help me keep a cleaner house.

I see my friends' houses and don't know how they do it. Especially the ones with kids. How do you keep your counter so clean? How do you keep things put away?

Another part of the problem is that I don't like cleaning. I mean, sometimes I actually say, "Oh, let's do some dishes. That sounds like the thing to do now." Sometimes. Other times I look at my dirty dishes and want to just throw them away and get new ones. I hate vacuuming, but have to do it because the dog sheds. I can't stand sweeping. I hate mopping. I actually don't mind cleaning the tub from time to time.

Can you believe I spent a summer in college as a housekeeper at a hotel?

So, my friends, let me pose some questions:

How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher?
How often do you vacuum and mop?
How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores?
How do you keep your counters and tables clean?
Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean?
If I made dinner and drinks, would you clean my house? (only half kidding on that)

Any advice is welcome here. If you want to come over and give me ideas, let me know.

I know some of it is just getting off my lazy ass (and off the computer) and getting things done. But I'll clean, and it all goes back to where I started. How do I keep it clean?

Final note - I'm glad y'all love me despite my messiness. 

9 comments:

  1. Funny story. My room back at home? I had a path going to my bed and to my closet. My room upstairs here? Will be the same way. I keep everything else clean or else Brian will bitch bitch bitch about it.

    How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher?
    Depends. Brian's supposed to clean if I cook. So, he mostly does the dishes, but sometimes he forgets, and I freak out about germs and bugs, so total? Maybe every other day, depending on how frequently we're cooking.

    How often do you vacuum and mop?
    Mop? What the fuck is that? lol, no really. Unless the floors are just gross, I mop twice a month. I normally vacuum once a week. Sweep every other day.

    How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores?
    He helps out if I ask, or if he's being nice. Though, he does the yard work, and will normally keep his crap picked up. He has been known to do a load of laundry every now and then.

    How do you keep your counters and tables clean?
    I'm paranoid about germs, so I always clean my counters before and after cooking, and the table after we eat on it. Normally, a hot slightly soapy wash cloth, or Clorox wipes.

    Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean?
    Yep. Wash stuff on a certain day, vacuum on a certain day, and just clean up after myself when I'm done with something.


    If I made dinner and drinks, would you clean my house? (only half kidding on that)
    Honestly, I will. As long as there's music involved, too. Dinner's not necessary, but snacks are nice!

    The first two things you need to start with, is to encourage Jason to help you keep things tidier, by putting all his "crap" in his room. I've tripped over his stuff a couple of times coming into your house, so it's not all you. The next thing, starting a room at a time, is to get rid of things you no longer want/need/use. Throw it away or donate it. Start there. And if all else fails. Watch Hoarders. Every time I watch that, I clean EVERYTHING.

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    Replies
    1. He is horrible when he comes home from the field. It sits in the living room until I move it into the laundry room or something.

      He usually does the laundry on the weekends, and then we usually fold it together, because we each fold our clothes differently. He never folds my stuff right.

      I think one of our biggest problems with the counters is that we pile stuff on it that counter between the kitchen and living room. I'm going to try to make a space specifically for some of that stuff.

      Maybe I should try posting a schedule on my wall. What chores need done each day.

      Thanks!

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    2. How do I keep my counters clean? I pick up all my crap (usually mail and papers...how does so much accumulate?!!), and shove it on my "craft" table in the office, and shut the door! Lol! The problem is, I never go clean off the table :/ I'll get to it soon (pffttt...).

      Josh is really good about helping me clean the kitchen (my most hated of all chores). He does a lot of his own laundry...but I don't always agree with his methods. And sometimes he does the vaccuuming.

      I tried to come up with a day of the week to do each chore, but I always ended up putting it off. Honestly, the best way for me seems to be going room by room. I got one of those cleaning product caddies that I loaded up with everything I need to clean with. I go one room at a time...first I gather up everything that doesn't belong in the room and sit it in the hall, then I do the cleaning and vaccuuming (when Josh isn't home). I take all the laundry and put it in the laundry room (or go ahead and sort it if I'm feeling ambitious) to get to later. Then I take the stuff in the hall and put it where it belongs. Whichever rooms I don't get done that day, I do later.

      One of my mom's rules that I wish I followed more closely is "You can't organize clutter." I have way too much paper/mail that I put in piles that just rotate around my table in the office...ugh.

      P.S. Great post!!

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  2. My ex was a neat freak. My current is...NOT. I'm probably in-between, although I'm neater now that I live with someone who definitely doesn't give a crap. If the house gets too bad it makes me physically ill, because the low-level stress doesn't stay low any more.

    How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher? We don't have a dishwasher. Since he's gone and I mostly only cook on the grill outside, or eat salad, or microwave things in the container I bought them in, I can do dishes at least once a day, sometimes more. I honestly don't know what will happen when Ken comes home. It's just so HOT here I don't like cooking in the house.

    How often do you vacuum and mop? I vacuum several times a day because I have hardwood floors, a small house, and a white dog that sheds EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME JESUS CHRIST. I mop if I get too grossed out/a wild hair, or if I'm expecting guests. I think that varies from daily when Ken is home, to maybe once a month depending on if it's dirt season and the dogs slop water all over the floor, making mud.

    How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores? HAHAHAHAno

    How do you keep your counters and tables clean? I don't have tables. The counters are so small if I don't keep them clean I can't do anything. I keep a bottle of bleach water and a towel there and wipe it down constantly (so I don't get ants mostly).

    Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean? Mostly my big thing is putting things away when I'm done with them. That's HUGE. Our house is tiny, so we have to. Ken is in for a shocker when he gets home and he doesn't follow this rule more than once, because then his crap will be on the back porch or destroyed by his dog. The bedroom is so small that everything has to be put away or we can't get in or out of the room, so we don't really clean that room. The animal room gets done when we have guests or when I do a big tank cleaning once every week or 2, and I need the space. The kitchen is kept clean with the "put it away after use" thing. Living room, I kind of do a modified FLYlady, where I organize sections. First put the dogs outside. Then I do the desk, put away all the loose crap, dust, done. Then wash the couch (I hate that I have to do this and I can't wait to move omg). Then put away whatever I threw on the kennels that week. If the bookshelves look dramatically bad I might do something with them, otherwise whatever, I don't care. Maybe dust them, probs not. Then the TV area-this usually involves shredding stuff and maybe dusting. Then I do the bathroom (wipe down horizontal surfaces, clean toilet, clean mirror, sweep. Kitchen is put away dry dishes, do dirty ones, straighten counters/stovetop, wipe down counters/stovetop, maybe clean catboxes if it's the day before trash day. Then I sweep the LR/kitchen, vacuum the LR/kitchen, and mop the bathroom, LR and kitchen. We're hardly ever IN the bedroom so I only do the floors in there maybe once every couple of months, or if I notice a bunch of crap all over the floor. I pretty much said screw dusting because I live in a hellpit so if you've been to my house, yeah, everything is covered in it, whatever.

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  3. How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher?
    Almost everything in my house can go in the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is full, I will hand wash anything that won't fit. Also, Andreas likes a cleaner house than me, so he cleans up the kitchen almost every night before bed.

    How often do you vacuum and mop?
    I vacuum and mop about every 2 weeks. I sweep the hardwood floors about every 3 days or so.

    How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores?
    I am in charge of laundry most of the time. Andreas keeps the kitchen clean and makes our beds. He also dislikes clutter more than I do, so he often picks up little things that don't bother me.

    How do you keep your counters and tables clean?
    Andreas hates this more than me. I go through my piles every few days and pitch stuff I don't need or want. He cleans the counters, stove top and sinks nightly. We both load as dishes are produced and run it as needed.

    Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean?
    I have to clean the bathrooms every week, usually Sunday. Also, I change sheets that day, too. When I can't walk barefoot without feeling little boy things underfoot (like sand and grass) I sweep the floor. Laundry gets put away as I finish folding so I only have one load at a time to deal with.

    If I made dinner and drinks, would you clean my house? (only half kidding on that)
    Sure thing, Char. But it's a bit of a drive...

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  4. I became a neat freak (at least in the "public" areas) after living with an absolute slob/walking biohazard for 1 semester in college. I try to keep the downstairs area of our house as tidy as possible, in case we have unexpected guests and because I just don't like to look at clutter sitting around.

    Upstairs is an entirely different matter. One corner of our bedroom is completely taken over by Cam's Army stuff. It's in a big jumbled mess, but every time he gets ready to put it all away, it's time to head to the field again. I just try not to look at it. My craft room/guest room/office is currently in a state of disaster. I have my fabric and whatnot spread all over the bed, Bennett has toys strewn everywhere and the desk can barely be seen for all the papers!

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that, despite outward appearances, my house has hidden little pockets of mess!

    Anyway, to answer your questions, here's how our house works...

    *How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher?
    Almost everything we own is dishwasher safe. For those few things that don't, I hand wash about three times a week. (Now, when bottles re-enter my life in a few months, I will be getting dishpan hands from numerous washings a day.)

    *How often do you vacuum and mop?
    I vacuum downstairs twice a week and upstairs once a week. I mop about one to two times a month ... depending on what activities I'm hosting! I don't sweep ever because I just vacuum the small amount of linoleum in the kitchen/bath.

    *How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores?
    Cam is definitely messier than I like to be and therefore I find myself doing more of the "household" duties, just because I want them done. He is very good about all the yard work and has spent every weekend for the last few months working hard on our yard, so I give him a pass. If I ask, he will vacuum and help with dishes and laundry, but usually I do all the inside stuff.

    *How do you keep your counters and tables clean?
    I "deep" clean the kitchen once a week, but wipe down the counters after I cook each time. Our kitchen table is the catch-all for paperwork, mail, random flotsam and jetsam. I usually try to pick up our piles at least once a week, but those piles just usually migrate to the office upstairs and await filing/shredding until I get too sick of the piles.

    *Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean?
    Not really. Especially in the kitchen and the garage, I do try to put away whatever I take out as soon as I'm done using it. With Number Two on the way, I have been considering making a chart like Jessica N has which details daily, weekly, monthly, yearly chores. Maybe that will motivate me in my sleep-deprived days to keep the house relatively clean???

    *If I made dinner and drinks, would you clean my house? (only half kidding on that) While dinner and drinks with my Char sounds *fabulous*, after cleaning my own house, I have no energy left (and my Sciatic Nerve is killing me!) to do a decent job.

    Good luck with your goals! I have no problem visiting your "messy" house, because I get to see your smiling face and get kisses from Remy! :D

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  5. How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher?
    About every other day, generally. I absolutely HATE handwashing dishes.

    How often do you vacuum and mop?
    I have to vacuum about every other day. We steam mop once or twice a week.

    How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores?
    Hahahaha. He does his own laundry. Beyond that....let's just say, it's healthier for our marriage if I just do everything before he feels compelled to step in. Unless it's major event prep like out-of-town company or a party. Then he has a cause.

    How do you keep your counters and tables clean?
    Never. Absolutely never. Except last month when I went home and SoldierMan was home alone. He hates having anything on the counters, but he's learned to settle for clean floors.

    Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean?
    I used to, and in general I have a system. Vacuum every other day, try to have the dishwasher running every night, dust every Friday. That's about as firm as it gets.

    If I made dinner and drinks, would you clean my house? (only half kidding on that)
    Not that your food and company aren't tempting....but yeah, I hate cleaning my *own* mess. :) I definitely feel you. I guess I just got to the point last year where I decided, this is my job, really. The home economics stuff. So I should work it like a job. I fail at that to a fantastic degree, but I do try and at least make it a hobby.

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  6. Hello My dear friend,

    So I know you - and I will say this - you are amazing so don't be so hard on yourself. I believe it is about compromise. Tony is a lot like you. The stuff does not bother him - he just lets his work stuff grow into a pile. In fact I finally cleaned up his papers and found $75 that he just left there. I learned a long time ago that if I want something done - I need to do it myself. Unless it is something that I absolutely can't do (like the cat poo while pregnant). Tony will pitch in here and there - taking out the trash, going to the dump, doing the dishes if I am not feeling well. But he does a lot more when I don't put the pressure on him. In fact Tony kind of mellowed me out (you know how anal I am about cleaning). He got me to see that some stuff can wait a little bit. It is about priorities. My mom gave me the best advise ever. If your bed is made, the dishes are done and the toilet is clean - the rest of the cleaning does not matter. It's kind of faking everyone out - and you will feel better. So here are my answers for your questions:

    How often do you do dishes that can't go in the dishwasher? Every other day probably - I will rinse them and do them when I go to start my next dinner or big meal. Or sometimes I will wash them while I am cooking - for example while noodles are boiling or something is simmering I will wash them to pass the time.

    How often do you vacuum and mop? Once every other week - sometimes once a week if I am feeling extra OCD and anal. More if my anxiety spikes lol - but I try to keep it simple.

    How much does your husband help out with chores, and which chores? Really it just depends on his mood - how I am feeling and what needs to be done. Tony is very big on not doing something unless it needs it.

    How do you keep your counters and tables clean? I keep a basket for all my mail and papers and every few weeks ill organize it. I bought a small filing cabinet and every 2 to 3 saturdays or sundays I will sit down and organize it. I like you will often stack stuff (you should see my bookshelves lol) but I found that the basket thing helps a lot. It does not look so bad and the papers are piling up on the table.

    Do you have a system of chores or keeping things clean? I kind of clean as I go most of the time. Especially with Sophie now - I cant just do a big clean all at once. So Ill scrub the toilet and sink after I go potty every few days. I wipe down the counters after I put away all the dishes. I keep no scrub bleach in the shower to spray daily (this helps a lot). If you start doing little things every few days it stays without having to do a big clean. It takes time but when you figure out a system its easy to keep up with it and it becomes habit instead of a chore.

    If I made dinner and drinks, would you clean my house? (only half kidding on that) I believe you already know the answer to this - but of course :). You would just have to hold your god daughter for a little bit so I could :)! I love you and you are amazing. Jason loves you too - sometimes boundaries have to be reset - I am learning this with Tony. Every few months we gotta reorganize how things are being done. It isn't easy but it definitely helps in the long run. Ok little one is squawking and I wanna give her some belly time!! We both love you lots.

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  7. I saw this post, and figured I would reply too. I'm not a house wife, I work 40-50 hour weeks, so I have been behind on house work. I understand how difficult it can be to live with a Welch. I do most of the inside work, laundry, dishes, bathrooms, kitchen, ect. Jeremy takes care of the yard, watering, trash and the litter box. Most of the time I do the dishes that cant go in the dishwasher daily, unless I'm too tired to care... I sweep and mop the house once a week, but I'd like to do it more, if I were lucky enough to not have a job I'd do it daily (you should too due to the pet dander). This is where women will hate me, but Jason shouldn't have to do any house work since its your job to be a stay-at-home wife. Since you're lucky enough not to work you should be spending a minimum of 20 hours a week doing house work, (which I include cooking in that area). Its not always fun, but I'm getting in the habit of check-lists for house work. I hate dusting... Its always an issue for me but because of my allergies I do try to do it every six weeks. However, like I said before my cleaning habits would be completely different if I didnt work. You have to remember we have hard footsteps to follow in, Dora worked very little, and kept a very clean house and raised her boys that they should also keep their houses clean. Even now that she works she keeps a very clean home. Its been an issue in this house too, we have too much stuff... When I lived on my own, my house was immaculate, all three of my apartments have been. Our house, another story, but I'm going to be off for two weeks, as soon as my hands are working again it will be immaculate again! :) Good luck Charla, I know cleaning sucks, but suck it up and do it! :)

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