or is it actually impossible to keep a tidy house

(131 Posts)

and get food on the table and do anything fucking at all if you a 1 and a 2 year old child? I wanted to stay home with I love them but if I were at work my house would be clean right? it's fucking pig style, by the dh gets home and we get them to bed and do the dishes there's no time to do anything else. then we just go to bed. sad

pig stye but pig style works equally wink

monsterchild Tue 19-Mar-13 19:12:20

It is impossible with a12 week old child too! And I'm even working!

StuffezLaBouche Tue 19-Mar-13 19:12:43

I come home and despair of the mess the kitten's made during the day. Total credit to anyone who keeps a house tidy when it's full of OTHER PEOPLE to mess it up while you're not there!!!

I'm going to go find an easier job... like a cat herder

BertieBotts Tue 19-Mar-13 19:13:41

I think it's impossible with one four year old and myself, so YANBU.

Campaspe Tue 19-Mar-13 19:14:13

YANBU. I find it difficult enough with a 6 year old.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 19-Mar-13 19:15:34

YANBU! I have a 2 year old and a newborn. Enough said! Lol

do you think I could find a cleaner that would work for biscuits? I can afford to pay in biscuits

StanleyLambchop Tue 19-Mar-13 19:16:07

Stuffez- I read your post as your 'kitchen' had made a mess- I was wondering if it was randomly baking stuff when no one else was home or something!!!! Must get better glasses!!

cozietoesie Tue 19-Mar-13 19:16:25

You sure Hairy?

cat herding


pointythings Tue 19-Mar-13 19:17:03

Who cares? As long as it's reasonably clean, has food in fridge and cupboards and enough clean clothes for everyone to wear, neatness isn't that important.

Obviously there are limits - such as, when you're wading knee-deep through books to reach the kitchen - but people are far too house proud. Me, I'm family-proud, as in I'd rather spend time with my family than with a duster.

Flobbadobs Tue 19-Mar-13 19:17:42

A pre teen, a 7 year old and a toddler. My front room generally makes a bombsite look like a show home..

TheVermiciousKnid Tue 19-Mar-13 19:18:20

I've got two children at school full time, work from home most days, have a cleaner 6 hours a week and our house is still a tip. It's fucking impossible. Probably because I'm a lazy old goat.

wannabeEostregoddess Tue 19-Mar-13 19:20:15

A 4 year old and a 5 month old. House is tiny. Tripping over toys and baby equipment because theres nowhere to put anything.

But we are moving in two weeks and the new house has a dishwasher. <swoons>

I have no idea what they are actually selling but that's fantastic cozier grin

weegiemum Tue 19-Mar-13 19:21:07

Yeah! I've 3 dc out. At school all day (13,11,9). I tidy when they leave at 8-ish am. Then I tidy when they go to bed. Otherwise it's a sh*thole!

Brittabot Tue 19-Mar-13 19:22:48

I have 1 and 2 year old too and YANBU at all. Piles of washing everywhere, messy mealtimes, no areas safe from grubby, exploring fingers!

I just keep thinking how pristine my house will be once they're at school. (It won't be, I hate housework and have got some great ideas from the SAHM with school age children thread!).

AlwaysWashing Tue 19-Mar-13 19:23:28

I have a 2 yr old, a 4 month old & DH.
Tuesday is my (unofficial) cleaning day - by Wednesday the place is trashed.
By the end of a day of laundry (always f***ing washing), picking toys up for the 91st time, meals etc we too fall into bed with no will to do another thing.
If you find there are any opening in cat herding give me a shout grin

weegiemum Tue 19-Mar-13 19:25:50

Brittabot - my youngest is in p5 (y4). Apart from my cleaner days, my house is a biiiiiiiig mess!

magimedi Tue 19-Mar-13 19:26:07

A house should be clean enough to be hygenic & dirty enough to be a home.

OhMyNoReally Tue 19-Mar-13 19:26:22

Possible for 10 mins, possible while there out with dad for lovely walk or watching TV quietly. Then it's a heap, it's also amazing how much food a toddler can carry in its clothes and deposit around the house when you thing they've been shaken out sufficiently, also amazing how they can make every clean window dirty in seconds, also amazing how one dd can empty her wardrobe looking for leggings. Dh is just as bad he is a clutter bug, the only tidyish one is the baby but he's nearly 6 months so soon he'll be adding orange stains to the mix. I try, it's trying but i never get anywhere, I describe our place as homely, but it's a blatant cover up. grin

Ledkr Tue 19-Mar-13 19:28:29

Oh isnt it awful? My dh and I share childcare thus never get anytime without her. House constantly a mess it drives me mad.
Can I add the odd puddle of piss to the list of soul destroying mess. (Potty training bit weak pelvic floor)

StuffezLaBouche Tue 19-Mar-13 19:31:06

StanleyLambChop - I would kill for a kitchen that presented my dinner for me each evening! :-)

oh britta, my uncle was visiting and he asked if we ever get used to everything being sticky blush

Ledkr Tue 19-Mar-13 19:32:10

Can I recommend my box trick. I bought three pretty canvas folding boxes from Argos. Each dd has one and one for dh and I. I put clean clothes and "stuff" in each box outside their rooms and ours.
Dd1 is 11 and has to put it all away by saturday to get pocket money.
Dh and I do ours and dd2 it does help a bit.
We haven't even had lights in our bedroom or bathroom for two days as no time to buy bulbs hmm

yes potty training here too, love the faint smell of wee throughout house

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 19-Mar-13 19:34:59


It's impossible.

And I make a lot of money off of it. grin

MrsWolowitz Tue 19-Mar-13 19:35:50


I have three under 5 and live in a pig-sty.

Babybeesmama Tue 19-Mar-13 19:36:39

Yes also impossible with 6 month & 3 year old! I've given up! So long as its a happy pig sty I don't care grin x

Meglet Tue 19-Mar-13 19:38:14

Yanbu. We're out at school, work and nursery most days, but the house still gets trashed. At weekends it's like holding back the tide, so I more or less give up.

I used to have a lovely house pre DC's.

Molehillmountain Tue 19-Mar-13 19:39:58

So, I think it is possible (at the moment-it goes in fits and starts depending on how much else is going on and hiw much sleep im getting) and I have three dc aged 7, 4 and 20 months. This makes me think I have lower standards of what constitutes tidy and so would like people to define what they mean by tidy!

Boggler Tue 19-Mar-13 19:40:36

I'm on maternity leave from my full time job, I already have one dd (10) so when I found out I was pg with 2nd dd (8mo) I thought I'd save money and so I did away with the cleaner and my ironing lady - and boy do I regret it!

My house has gone from being clean and moderately tidy most of the time to being a tip all of the time blush. I'm honestly quite ashamed of my inability to look after one baby, collect one child from school, and keep a tidy house. Thankfully DH is not bothered and is good at doing his share or else we would be festering in our own filth.

Molehillmountain Tue 19-Mar-13 19:41:46

Oh-best not mention lightbulbs! Ours stay popped for ages. It starts to become clearer than ever that I have low and superficial standards!

noisytoys Tue 19-Mar-13 19:44:08

I must be the only one with a tidy house grin I am a bored witless SAHM though wink

Katy do you work for biscuits and are you willing to commute to america?

Hippee Tue 19-Mar-13 19:50:01

I thought that this thread was going to turn out to be a safe haven for slatterns and then noisytoys turned up wink

noisytoys - you're not my neighbour are you? I am still cringing from my neighbour's four-year old proclaiming "wow, your house is really messy".

HerrenaHarridan Tue 19-Mar-13 19:56:23

I used to live next door to a very old lady and I would sometimes take my dd round to see her.

I didn't do it very often because I felt very uncomfortable about the fact she refused point blank to let me clean up any mess dd made.

Her house was always immaculate but she always said to me,
I like to leave it there for a while so I can see somebody has been here.

There will be plenty of time to live in an immaculate house but when you get there it will probably feel very empty.

pipsy76 Tue 19-Mar-13 19:58:51

Entropy- basic physics everything moves to disorder , hence I have given up trying to fight nature grin

HerrenaHarridan Tue 19-Mar-13 19:59:11

Fwiw, I have a policy of tidy up toys with dd before she goes to bed and do the rest after.

I will not spend my daughters childhood too busy worrying about keeping the house immaculate to spend time with her or allow her to make a mess

I'd never heard the word slattern before mumsnet. I have adopted it now though

noisytoys Tue 19-Mar-13 19:59:42

Maybe I am your neighbour. I have a 4 year old grin

notso Tue 19-Mar-13 20:04:40

YANBU I have a 12yo, 8yo, 2yo and 11mo and am a slattern.

my Mum thought she was playing with a bit of playdoh with DS2 today but it was an old soggy mini weetabix which I had to whisk away before she put her glasses on blush

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 19-Mar-13 20:11:30

Hairy If you pay for the commute, I will clean for free and bring the biscuits! wink

I'll think about it Katy grin . Damn Notso you are brave!

welliwouldnt Tue 19-Mar-13 20:16:41

I revel in feeling a bit superior that I am always doing such interesting things that the state of the house doesn't bother me. But it does.

There isn't really an excuse for our household but I do think some people just enjoy house stuff more than others.

Second an earlier idea of a box each. Here everyone has their own basket and once clothes are ironed and folded they go in and are brought upstairs. No more sorting. Has helped, a bit.

To answer your q, I have found it impossible to keep a tidy house esp once we had the children with their masses of toys and clothes. Do we all have more stuff than when we were children too?

each of my DC in their very short lives own more clothes than I have ever owned in total in my entire life. and people just keep giving them crap. crap with pieces

squeakytoy Tue 19-Mar-13 20:27:32

I would say it is quite possible.. if you have a playpen.

playpen? what's this playpen you speak of? do you mean the place where I now throw random junk when visitors arrive that has no real function because DD has been able escape it for about a year...

RubyGates Tue 19-Mar-13 20:37:44


idiuntno57 Tue 19-Mar-13 20:52:35

i have x4 DS and it is chaos.

i sometimes remind myself -unsuccessfully- that I will miss it when they are gone.

since DS1 is only 8 its gonna be a while confused

CatsRule Tue 19-Mar-13 20:58:16

My 1yr old ds is a pro at ransacking and destruction! I work full time and my house is only ever tidy if my lovely mum has visited and cleaned and tidied up for us while.we're at work...ds takes about 1 minute to undo all her hard work though!

Chiggers Tue 19-Mar-13 21:02:42

No. Not impossible if the effort is put in. I would have been thoroughly ashamed of myself if I had visitors and my house was a tip.

I wouldn't pay a cleaner to do jobs that I can do myself, so I do a big weekly clean (hoovering, dusting, bed linen changes etc) and keep on top of it by doing the usual daily things such as cooking, dishes (no dishwasher), washing and a quick hoover over the floors. Once those are done, I will sit down and play with my kids. That way, I don't have to worry about my house being clean and tidy if visitors call unannounced.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 19-Mar-13 21:32:48

Yeah, the usual monthly daily jobs like hoovering grin

Moving swiftly on...

Have just moved to a house with kitchen/diner, I had fond images of the DC (6 and 2) playing nicely with their toys in the dining area while I whipped up something delicious and nutritious in the kitchen, beaming at them proudly.

Turns out they'd rather hit each other with the toys and then escape somewhere else.

Yesterday the 2yo pulled over the kitchen chair the 6yo was sitting on. I don't even know how that's physically possible.

Today I burnt the casserole to cinders while trying to negotiate a compromise DVD they'd both watch.

<weeps in the corner>

Brittabot Tue 19-Mar-13 21:41:55

Chiggers what do you do with the children while you are cleaning?

Every time I try to do anything other than look after the children, one or the other or both of my children will climb, jump, wrestle, tip, push, poo, wee (toilet training) or vomit (bug) causing either more mess or attempted physical injury. I'm hoping its a phase....

AmberSocks Tue 19-Mar-13 21:43:31

Have to say its not that hard,ad i have 4 under 5!

Maybe your standards are too high?

Creameggkr Tue 19-Mar-13 22:08:33

I would have been thoroughly ashamed of myself if I had visitors and my house was a tip.
Really? Blimey! What a shame.

FreshLeticia Tue 19-Mar-13 22:22:40

I am going to be controversial here, but no, it isn't difficult to keep your house tidy. It doesn't need to be 'show home ' standard, but if it's a filthy mess then what the hell are you doing all day? Why is it so hard to wash up and put stuff away after you use it?
I have three DCs, two cats, a dog, six hens, DH, an awkward elderly mother and a full-on job and ours is pretty tidy. We have a big ( tidy) garden and fields and grow loads of veg and always cook from scratch.
I'm sorry, but I think many people are either plain lazy or spend too much time trying to entertain small children who, really need to be just left to play.
children come to live with you, so they fit into your life, not you into theirs.
Make helping you be their play. e.g. let's sort the washing, let's sweep the floors, or let's cook the dinner together. They love it and it helps them become able to look after themselves.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 19-Mar-13 22:23:08

"Maybe your standards are too high?"

Yeah, this is very much not my problem.

I agree with Brittabot, it has always been my experience that trying to leave the kids to their own devices to do any sort of housework, only results in the creation of exponentially more work.
Leave the kids to 'play' while you do 15mins tidying? They've created at least an hour's worth of work for you. Not including cost of wallpaper stripper/carpet cleaner hire. Maybe mine are just demons.

GrendelsMum Tue 19-Mar-13 22:24:07

Not intended as a criticism of anyone here, but I think it's perfectly possible, if it's important enough to your family.

A friend's DH has a disability which means that if anything was left on the floor, he could trip and hurt himself very badly.

Their DCs have always lived in a house where putting things away tidily is a fundamental safety rule, as basic as turning the gas off after you've finished cooking. If it was a choice between leaving the house on time for school, and being late because they were putting things away safely, it would have to be putting things away safely, every time.

And the result is that the house is extremely tidy. Which means its much easier to keep clean.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Tue 19-Mar-13 22:26:02

"Make helping you be their play. e.g. let's sort the washing, let's sweep the floors, or let's cook the dinner together"

That holds the 2yo for about a minute; the 6yo doesn't fall for it at all.

WafflyVersatile Tue 19-Mar-13 22:34:25

My living room looks like it's suffered an explosion of toddlers but I don't have even one.

midastouch Tue 19-Mar-13 22:51:40

My house is clean and tidy from about 9.30pm when i finish cleaning and tidying to 7.30 in the morning when the kids get up, ive sort of come to terms with it now

Hippee Tue 19-Mar-13 23:04:03

noisytoys - a 7 year old and a 4 year old? If it is you, I'm so blush

noisytoys Tue 19-Mar-13 23:21:22

Not me then. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old smile

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 23:23:37

I manage a clean and tidy house from about 10am once I've tidied it up, until about 3:35pm when when kids come home from school.

Then my artfully arranged cushions get chucked on the floor, my newly hoovered carpets get liberally sprinkled with biscuit crumbs, and all the crap I've shoved in a cupboard put away gets dragged back out again.

ceeveebee Tue 19-Mar-13 23:44:25

It's perfectly possible - I have 16 mo twins and house is tidy by 6 pm every day - it's a total shit tip during the daytime but always have a whiz round before bathtime so it's tidy when I come back down stairs. All toys chucked in a box, all dishes in dishwasher and kitchen floor swept - takes 2 minutes. Handheld Hoover helps too. And cbeebies for 10 minutes after every meal while I wipe up the carnage

INeverSaidThat Tue 19-Mar-13 23:57:32

I lived in Canada in a house with a huge basement so most of the kids crap toys were down there while the rest of the house mostly looked tidy. The house also had loads of storage which made things a million times easier.

It is hard to keep things tidy if there is nowhere to store things

<<stating the bleedin' obvious emoticon>>

I work full time and DH is a SAHD. We have 4 year old twins and a 17 month old.

The house is still a shit tip.

So, in conclusion, YADNBU.

Things are slightly better since we bought massive PAX wardrobes from Ikea for all the toys. At least they are corralled now!

FreshLeticia Wed 20-Mar-13 08:34:30

You see it all comes down to the fact that you untidy lot allow your children to wreck wallpaper and carpets and throw stuff around. Put your foot down ffs.
As for getting them to help you, don't allow them to say no. They are children, they should not be allowed to ignore adults.
No wonder this country is so entitled, our children are being brought up to think that they can just do what they like.
And pick your battles - they can make as much mess as they like in their own bedrooms and you just close the door.

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 08:34:41

Yep. I would be thoroughly ashamed of a house that looked a tip. I feel it say to visitors that I was a lazy mare and CBA to tidy and clean even though I would have had plenty of time to do it AND play with the kids.

The world didn't revolve around me or my DC and housework would still need done, so I just got on with it and the DC had to accept that ther would be times when I had to do housework, They just played by themselves or with each other and had great fun bonding as siblings, even though they fight like cat and dog grin.

I feel unnerved, agitated and uncomfortable if my house was looking like a tip.

Creameggkr Wed 20-Mar-13 08:41:40

Gosh! Is that really how you value yourself?
If my home was a tip It would be because my entire family had made a mess and I don't see that as my sole responsibility to clear up and I certainly wouldn't feel any shame
Life is too short.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 20-Mar-13 08:48:09

I''m taking advantage of a strike day to get the hoovering done. It's soul-destroying, hauling our dying, protesting hulk of a Dyson around just knowing that as soon as DH and DS get home, the kitchen will again be knee deep in crumbs, chewed food, socks and dog-hair tumbleweeds.

Also depressing is when your small child becomes mobile and you're brought down to their eye-level - like if they trasported Honey I Shrunk the Kids to one of the Grimefighters houses.

Creameggkr Wed 20-Mar-13 08:52:48

The thing is I've got big age gaps so I remember after my three boys went to school I did go back to having a nice clean tidy home.
So now I e got the dds and work part time if much rather spend time with them as I know how quickly it goes.
Today it's my day off so its a quick tidy then toddlers then lunch and short nap during which ill prepare dinner then we have music,school pick up and dancing.
So not masses of time for housework but a fun day.
Can't have it all.

AmberSocks Wed 20-Mar-13 09:20:21

we have laminate floors and leather sofas and wipeable paint,that saves a lot of work,until a year ago we had cream sofas and carpet and expensive wallpaper,it got wrecked pretty soon and the house stank from potty training accidents and the cats deciding to piss everywhere for some reason.much easier now.

notso Wed 20-Mar-13 09:46:46

chiggers how do you get a 2yo and an 11mo to accept there a times when you have to do housework? confused
If I leave my two little ones to play by themselves or with each other while I attempt anything more than a 10 second swipe around with a duster DS3 won't see his first birthday.
As I've been typing this he has tried to eat a crayon sideways and DS2 has tried to stand on him and sitting I'm next to them.
The one and only time I took them upstairs with me to clean DS3 fell down the stairs and DS2 emtied all of DD's make up onto her clean white sheets.

this country is so entitled.... because we don't make our toddlers do housework grin

valiumredhead Wed 20-Mar-13 16:02:18

My house was never tidier than when ds was tiny, I hated mess and dirt.

Wicker baskets in each room help so you can scoop everything up.

Get rid of any clutter - makes keeping clean easier.

Invest in a slow cooker!

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 18:30:00

You just make sure that anything you don't want the DC to get a hold of goes higher than they can reach. We used to put an extendable fireguard around the telly so that the DC couldn't get to it, although we put the fireguard away when we were in the room with the DC, so we were able to intervene if necessary.

Everything we didn't want the DC to touch or break went up higer then they could reach. We figured that by the time they could get their hands on the stuff, the would know that they weren't allowed to touch the things unless either DH or I were with them.

We also started teaching them right from wrong when they were about a year old. It only took a firm "NO" and a steely glare for both DC to keep in line. DS ans DD were always taken upstairs with me if I was cleaning the upstairs rooms, and the stair gate was closed so neither of them could go for a tumble. I just left them to wander in and out of the rooms exploring and playing with the toys in the upstairs hall. Bad behaviour was punished accordingly, and good behaviour was praised and treated.

Keeping a house clean is mainly about seeing what time I have and making use of it. DD cried every time I put her down, so I just stuck her in a sling and got on with it.

motherinferior Wed 20-Mar-13 18:33:44

The thing is, housework is so...well, housework-y. It is impossible to feel a consuming passion for it, whereas sitting around with a gripping novel and possibly a glass of wine always fills that elusive spare moment so satisfyingly.

LillianGish Wed 20-Mar-13 18:48:42

My house is tidy with minimum effort. Lots of storage so I can put things away, no hoarding tendencies so I throw things away and with everything away it's easy-peasy to have a quick whizz round with the hoover and a quick wipe of surfaces as and when required. I don't dedicate my life to it, but I would find it completely depressing to live in a tip. I've got two dcs, two years apart, and I can honestly say my house has never been a tip.

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 19:00:23

Yes, housework is boring, but no matter how long you leave it, it still has to be done and the more you leave it, the more that has to be done, because it piles up. So therefore, I feel it's better to do a big clean, once a week, and then do little bits throughout the week to keep on top of it. That way, IME, you get to spend more time with the DC and less time cleaning up because there's the small bits of housework that take minutes to do in between big cleans.

MamaBear17 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:05:17

I have one child - 19 months old. I work 4 days split over 5 - my house always seems to be in a mess! Hubby has been away on a school trip this week though and the house has actually stayed tidier!

JammyDodger1 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:06:44

my wonderful neighbour sadly passed away and her dd gave us a sign which dh and I always loved and it says
"This house is clean enough to be healthy
and dirty enough to be happy"

Chiggers Wed 20-Mar-13 19:09:06

My DC were 12 months and 2 weeks apart, so there was moree to do, but it had to be done and I would rather have had a few little chores to do rather than leaving housework to pile up and need a day to get things done. Thing that would take about 5-10mins to do.

I also had severe PND, so the PND made it even harder, but again, it had to be done and I just cracked on without thinking about it too much. Initially I started making a list of what had to be done. On one side of the page, there was a list of what had to be done every week, and the other side had the daily tasks.

Samu2 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:25:50

I have five children and 8 pets.
Mine is reasonably tidy. It is always clean and I never have to spend a long time cleaning as I am into a good routine of cleaning and tidying as I go along so it never takes ages to get it looking decent.

I am very strict about food only being allowed up tables, toys put away once they have done playing, shoes off in the house, no food or drink upstairs. I wash the floors daily and hoover/sweep a couple of times a day and wash the dishes and kitchen every time we eat. My children's rooms are messy but that is their space so I don't mind that.

It is no show home, I have a few things lying about that shouldn't be but my house is always company ready and I am never embarrassed by it as I make sure it is always at a certain standard.

It can be done if you have a good routine.

Creameggkr Wed 20-Mar-13 20:12:09

chiggers did your husband not help?
Many of us also work outside the home and housework isn't just a woman's responsibility.
As yours are older now you must also see how quickly it goes and how you should make the most of it. I'd far rather be feeding the ducks than polishing the house.

threebats Wed 20-Mar-13 20:35:05

You lot just wait till your little ones get bigger and into late teenage years... Debauchery in the bathroom - it like the shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and toothpaste just explodes all over the walls and mirrors and taps... I can't even get their bedroom doors open without a jack hammer thanks to all the mess building up behind them... Half my kitchen plates/mugs/forks and spoons are up there somewhere... Too scared to go look, last time I did it was like a science experiment at the bottom of mug. I left them for a weekend once - came home and I swear the microwave needed condemning.
'I am late for college' is the phrase of the year around here - Last week I refused to cook dinner until somebody washed up - three days later I cooked dinner - My living room is tidy - my dining room is immaculate on account of the fact they rather sit in the kitchen and practically eat right out of the fridge. You all wait... grin I miss my little children and all those lego blocks and toy cars to trip over and finding colouring pens stuffed down the side of the couch and marshmallows in strange places...

funkybuddah Wed 20-Mar-13 20:48:08

I have a 5 & 11 yr old...its even worse than when they were younger.

One day I will live on my own...yes on my own that includes DP, just me, in a tidy flat lol

Cocodale Wed 20-Mar-13 20:58:26

18, 13 and 10 and yes the house is a mess most of the time. Really struggle keeping on top of everything.
Have to accept this is the way life is at the moment and until its less busy I just need to not worry so much, having said that think my house was on a par with the Australian lady on OCC on channel 4 tonight which is a bit hmm

Chiggers Thu 21-Mar-13 08:00:02

What spurred me on to keep a tidy house (and make sure that things were stored so they couldn't fall over) was reading about a new mum whose MW came to visit to check on mum and baby. The MW went to the toilet, came back down the stairs and was clobbered by a pram that had fallen over as she passed. The husband asked the MW if she was OK or needed anything and the MW insisted that she was fine.

A few days later the couple received a solicitors letter informing them that the MW was suing them. That's why I keep my house tidy and things stored well.

Hoovering was easy because we had an upright hoover and the kids used to hold on to it and have a ride while I whizzed round the house grin, so I killed 2 birds with one stone by entertaining the DC and getting some jobs done.

JammyDodger1 Thu 21-Mar-13 08:09:25

Threebats grin I know exactly what you mean, and I only have 1 teen and an 8 year old shock
dd1 is always asking where things are and my usual reply is
"try your bedroom floor" shock

lotsofcheese Thu 21-Mar-13 08:22:57

Mine is tidy for 20 minutes, once a fortnight. After the cleaner has been.

I do spend a fair amount of time tidying up & doing dishwasher/laundry/kitchen etc. It's not easy when you have a toddler, work & have a DP who works long hours. Add being 7 months pregnant into the mix & it's hard work.

Semi-presentable is my aim.

Crawling Thu 21-Mar-13 09:13:40

Mine is tidy from 12-5 other times its a pig sty I refuse to spend all day running round picking up bits. So at 5 I stop cleaning and tidying. I clean from 9:30 to 12 and between 12-5 I pick up bits I can see that are messy I have 3dc aged 1 3 and 7.

Im ashamed to admit I let the dc watch tv while I clean. But my wooden floor is constantly sticky unless I mop every day so I put up with a sticky floor. I also have a pile of clean washing in the living room which gets put away once a week.

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 21-Mar-13 09:59:02

threebats you are so right about teenagers and bathrooms.
Luckily they share their own bathroom otherwise I would cry every day.

Mind you, dh splatters toothpaste everywhere.

My house is always tidy .....dcs bedrooms aren't. I just shut the door.
I hate clutter and unnecessary things...am planning a morning next week of clearing out kitchen cupboards, starting with the tupperware box drawer. What happens to the lids?????

GrendelsMum Thu 21-Mar-13 10:19:40

My mum always said that the house was messy because they had 4 children. We believed her.

Then we grew up and moved away...

Turns out that the 4 children now live in clean and tidy houses and my parents' house is still a mess.

AmberSocks Thu 21-Mar-13 10:45:58

not so-put the 11 mothin a highchair in the same room as you?put them in a sling on your back?do it when they are asleep?

OhLori Thu 21-Mar-13 14:02:49

Agree, there will be plenty of time to have an immaculate house. Try enjoying the random mess of it of it all?!! The mess didn't bother me that much, as I was engrossed and busy with childcare etc ... That said, it did help me to have a cleaner 2 hours once a week. For half a day anyway the place was clean and tidy...

I also think it's possible.

The key is prevention. Food and drink only at the table. Cull toys and clothes that never get used. Big boxes to chuck everything into. Keep anything destructive like crayons and paint out of reach.

Those are pretty much my only rules and it means no matter how messy things get, it's never really that bad and can be tidied up in minutes. And none of this interferes with having fun!

I agree it depends on how important it is to you -- I cannot abide crumbs and stickiness everywhere, and we rent so we have to keep destruction to a minimum.

5madthings Thu 21-Mar-13 14:23:45

Depends how tidy you want it to be, I can keep mine relatively tidy and clean and I do little and often as I go along and a blitz once they are in bed. But its tedious and never ending, like groundhog day and all it takes is me or the little ones to be Ill for everything to go to pot....

Ok, some of the messy mumsnetters, can I come for a cuppa? Every house I go to is so tidy, and although we are clean there's stuff everywhere. If anyone was to go upstairs they would think we had been ransacked. If I'm doing anything apart from giving ds (2) my attention he's jumping on my back, hitting the Hoover with things, hitting me, climbing..... I want a nice house, im embarrassed by the mess, it's not just messy it's awful, then I go to anyone else's houses and they are spotless and tidy. I could cry!

Nagoo Thu 21-Mar-13 14:55:55

I can clean with my 5yo and 2yo. If I had to stop the 2YO from doing something to a 1YO I would have no chance whatsoever.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 21-Mar-13 15:15:23

I am ashamed of the mess my house is in - I always spend 2 days before visitors come cleaning. However, if they turn up unannounced I am mortified.

Having said that, the reason my house is a tip is because both DH and I would rather lie on the sofa and read/MN/play computer games/watch TV once DD is in bed than do the dishes/tidy up/clean anything. We tidy, clean and do laundry at the weekends. Oh, and we have a dog who likes to tip the bin over at nights, eat nappies and has the odd accident. DD is 1 and likes to 'help' me with the dishwasher by grabbing at sharp knives, dropping plates or climbing into it. If I shut her behind the baby gate she either howls or goes and destroys something else. If I let her stay in the kitchen with me she opens all the cupboard doors and tries to play with the bleach. I could babyproof, I suppose...

The only solution is for DH and I to stop being so lazy (or more charitably, so knackered) and do a bit in the evening after work. And we keep resolving to do so and not doing it.

CuriosityCola Thu 21-Mar-13 15:33:26

Yanbu. Not read whole thread, so apologies if this has been suggested. I have started following tasks emailed to me by flylady. Basically 15 minutes of tidying a day and I'm noticing a real difference.

I only put the toys away once a day. Otherwise it starts to feel like ground hog day. Try not to worry about it too much.

Bumblequeen Thu 21-Mar-13 15:43:53

It is not impossible to keep a house tidy. It is not easy either with dcs. I have one dc and she has the ability to make our living room look a mess just by sprawling her toys all over the carpet! During the weekends dd is free to bring her toys out but they are packed away come the evening.

Working fulltime means the house is always tidy in the evening which helps.

I tidy up as I go along. Everything in the house has its place. We go to bed with the house tidy and leave it tidy in the morning. I cannot leave the house if the beds are not spread, dishes not washed up.

We very rarely have visitors pop in but if they did I would not be panicking.

oldwomaninashoe Thu 21-Mar-13 15:50:09

Well ladies it doesn't get better when they are adults, and are STILL living at home.
I leave the house at 6am get in from work totally shattered (I am an old woman) at around 7pm and then sort out dinner. I have no energy after loading the dishwasherto any tidying cleaning neither, unfortunately, does anyone else!

curiousitycola, no, have not tried flylady alhough often see it on mumsnet. Need to check it out. oldladyinashoe sad

CuriosityCola Thu 21-Mar-13 18:29:29

You get bombarded with emails, so my house is tidier and my email inbox is a mess now. My mil can't judge that though wink.

Molehillmountain Thu 21-Mar-13 18:55:52

Flylady saved my sanity and my house.

Mine stays tidy enough if I tidy up every day. Having enough storage is the key - we simply don't buy/keep big toys we can't put away.

We are gradually working through our house getting more storage or less stuff until it is completely manageable.

LaQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 20:50:23

Hmmm...well, it can be done, but basically you simply do not sit down all day, ever (speaks from bitter experience). And, it just depends if you're prepared to put that amount of effort/hard work in - in order to always have a clean/tidy house?

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 20:52:32

It depends what you mean by "always". I never tidy/clean during the day except wiping up meal mess, but I spend 15 mins tidying and a quick clean just before DCs go to bed so the house is in a reasonable state for the evening

Creameggkr Thu 21-Mar-13 20:59:51

laqueen out of interest I have tried to keep the house completely tidy eg beds all made washing all away everywhere hoovered polished etc bathrooms clean.
I have literally not stopped. I had lots on with the dds yesterday and so with all the housekeeping didn't sit down until gone 9 after cooking and making packed lunches. I ate then had to put cooking stuff in dishwasher and wipe down sides then hang up wet washing!
I fell into bed with greasy hair no moisturiser and was too tired to even speak to dh when he got home from work never mind anything else.
Sod that! I'd rather have a life thanks.

LaQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 21:00:29

Sorry, pressed Post too soon...

My Mum always ran a very clean, tidy house...everything very ship-shape, and I think she brought me up to follow her good habits. When she used to take care of both our toddler DDs, for one day per week, I'd always come home to an immaculate house, freshly bathed DDs, and a stew in the oven...but, as I said above, my Mum never sat down all day, she was always on the go. But, at least I knew it could be done...and, I just followed her lead.

It was exhausting, but I hated the house to be a mess, and grubby, it made me feel far more horrible than the tiredness did.

So, I basically tidied as I went along, all the time. That means the mess never got chance to build up.

I used disposable wipes to give the loos a quick wipe every day, and kept those bleach bombs in the cistern, so our loos were always clean and fresh.

We lived in a barn conversion, so space was never a problem, and we had lots of storage which was vital.

LaQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 21:03:33

Creame it's always horses for courses...and, I found that if you kept on top of the house work, as in did quite a bit each day, then it somehow took less time, if that makes sense?

I'd always set aside a couple of days per week, where I'd do very little/no housework (otherwise I'd have gone loopy). But, when I was at home, I was always, always busy.

Then again, I've never been one for sitting, or watching TV, anyway, so I was happier being busy doing stuff.

Shaky Thu 21-Mar-13 21:06:21

I have a 3 yr old and work 4 full days a week.

I try really hard to keep on top of the housework, washing etc.

However, the mess gremlin creeps in and messes it all up, puts crumbs on the floor, puts extra washing in the basket, chuck dust all over the place sad

Toastismyfriend Thu 21-Mar-13 21:18:16

I tidy up like crazy when i know people are coming round, then apologise for the mess even though it's really tidy as if i'm usually some sort of domestic goddess!! If i go round someones house i couldn't give a fig if its untidy (unless a cat is sitting on the biscuits) ..i just can't bring myself not to mind about mine though.Nuts, eh?

Puddlelane Thu 21-Mar-13 21:29:48

I could have written your exact post OP just add another toddler to the mix

Creameggkr Thu 21-Mar-13 21:31:12

The other thing I find is that if I make a big effort to clean all the time and keep the house really tidy, I feel really anxious about it getting messy and turn into super anal nag bag picking on everything everyone does. Been like that tonight and its caused tension.

I don't think it's impossible (sorry OP) but it is time consuming and 'what's the point' feeling inducing. My dts are 14 months and one day last week I spent what felt like the entire day picking up toys and washing. I was worn out! The next day the house had gone to the dogs and I had another 3 loads of washing. That's where my 'well what's the point comes in'. So to some extent I agree with cream it is a BIG effort so you have to just decide how much effort you want to make. I do the minimum here- beds,dishes, laundry (hardly iron) tidy toys a few times a day. Hoover when it needs it. Wipe surfaces when I'm waiting for the kettle/dinner etc. Wipe highchairs, tables etc after every meal. Actually it sounds like I'm doing a lot but my windows are filthy and my cupboards and draws contain sooo much crap! (I'm not joking the other day I found a piece of toast the dresser draw) grin

LaQueen Thu 21-Mar-13 21:50:28

I think it depends on your personality type creame.

When our house is messy/grubby then I turn into a nagging, irritable cow...but, when our house is tidy and fresh, I am all sweetness and light.

But, again I think it very much in my nature, to want things tidy/organised - and I actually find it quite soothing to be always pottering about, tidying up, re-organising, stream-lining stuff.

Creameggkr Thu 21-Mar-13 23:39:50

Me too, exactly that. I like to think I'm taking a short break while I have my wild red headed feral child grin

threebats Fri 22-Mar-13 07:35:55

mrsrobertduvall Your teens have their own bathroom angry Serious bathroom envy going on here now....

I am of the opinion that, as much as the mess irritates at times and I think, really, at the age my lot are at, its not on, is it? I have got nothing really to complain about as, if all I have got to complain about is the fact the house is a tip then I have got good kids. At the age mine are at, it could be a lot worse. I will take a sh*t heap for a bathroom and the kitchen looking as if shoes and coats exploded all over the floor by the door and dishes piled up in the sink and crumbs left for any ant invasion to be a resounding success - for as long as they carry on being polite to others, nice to me, funny and working hard at college. You read all about late teenagers drinking, drug taking and being generally horrible to their parents - I have none of that going on (touches wood about 100 times, crosses the chest and and kisses the crucifix around neck). So, long may the mess continue... And people knock the front door never the back - we use the back door so the hallway is lovely and tidy - if I do not actually let people in, all they glance is the hallway - they will assume that is the general, overall state of the house - tidy and clean!

LaQueen Fri 22-Mar-13 07:38:57

I think everyone sharing a bathroom, is really tricky to manage.

We're toying with the idea of moving house, and one of my criteria is that the DDs will each have their own shower-room. My friend has teenage girls, and she says that her DDs not having to share a bathroom with each other (or my friend) has been an absolutelty godsend.

FreakoidOrganisoid Fri 22-Mar-13 08:11:20

When I was a sahm my morning routine was
All up, dressed, breakfast
Load of washing on
Washing up& sides wiped
Beds made
Quick tidy of bedrooms
Quick wipe of bathroom sink and loo
Hoover downstairs - all of this in 20 mins or so (after the getting dressed and breakfast one)
Another job eg clean bathroom/dust/hoover upstairs/clean windows/ wipe marks off walls

Then tidy up toys as we went
Hang up the washing once it was done then iron and put away as soon as dry (either that eve if hung out or the next day in wet weather) - I didnt always keep up on this one I must admit.

In the eve washing up done as soon as dinner eaten, sides wiped again, floor hoovered again. Again less than 20 mins.

Then sit down for the eve in a mostly clean and tidy house. It was never immaculate as there were always bigger jobs that needed doing but it was ok on the surface.

Once I was at the stage of following this routine I didn't feel as though I was doing loads of housework but it did take a while to get into the routine and a few massive decluttering and cleaning sessions beforehand.

FreakoidOrganisoid Fri 22-Mar-13 08:15:19

Btw when I had a screaming baby and a toddler none of that happened and my house was a total pit grin

I remember complaining to my friend that it was impossible to have a tidy house and she said "or maybe you just need to organise yourself better". At thevtime

LaQueen Fri 22-Mar-13 08:17:39

My routine was very similar to Freak's - and the trick is to keep it up. It's hard work, but the more you do it, the better you get at it, and the quicker you get.

Plus, I was ruthless about not hoarding stuff, and routinely de-cluttered every few weeks. I've always hated that feeling of not knowing where to put stuff, or having to move stuff from one place to the next before being able to sit at the dinner table/cook a meal.

I regular donated clothes/toys/stuff to friends/the charity shop. And, every few weeks I'd send the DDs off to the in-laws with DH, and I'd spend a whole day giving the house a good, deep clean.

It just depends on what is important to you. I wanted a nice, tidy, fresh house so it was up to me to make that happen. I became very organised about it all, and found I still had time to meet friends for coffee, or take the DDs out. It was just that when I was at home, behind the scenes, I was busy smile

FreakoidOrganisoid Fri 22-Mar-13 08:22:52

Sorry that should have said: at the time I thought she was a fucking bitch but actually she was right blush

It's definitely a continual thing though, you do have to stay on top of it and whoever said while you do one job the children create another was right. I was lucky with ds once he got to 2.5 or so as he became obsessed with dora so I'd put on an episode of that while I whizzed around doing my 20 mins in the morning. With dd there'd be colouring pens and bits of paper and polly pockets everywhere.

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:13:05

Can I just say two words...Drunk Cleaning

Really I love my Friday and saterday evenings I make a you tube playlist, few large vodka and cokes (wine makes me sleepy so doesn't work for me for this) and I dance around cleaning getting tipsy finding more jobs to do because I don't want to sit down.

Works well with ironing to, you don't even notice the time going after your first large drink and old favourite songs.

Chiggers Sat 23-Mar-13 09:54:25

Freak your friend was right. It's about being organised enough to just crack on with the routine. All routines take a bit of getting used to, but once you're established, you can rock on and get things done.

I have to admit that if I lived in a messy house, I find that my thinking pattern gets disrupted, which makes me very uncomfortable and unnerved, so in order to think clearly I have to have a tidy house.

When I go to my friend's house for a cuppa, I get uneasy and fidgety as her house is a tip (says the same thing herself), but luckily she ignores my fidgeting etc as she knows it's my problem grin. I have told her to ignore me when I get like that.

Creameggkr Sat 23-Mar-13 11:42:42

My problem is that I have to factor in three days a week when I'm at work and dd is cared for in the house by dh who isn't as organised as me although he does try.
So on my days off not only am I on my own with dcs but I'm catching up on what hasn't been done the other days.
<has sudden realisation as to why its so hard>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now