Help! I don't want to have to do a full spring clean every single day!

(59 Posts)
Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 12:18:19

My house gets in such a state every day as I am the only person that does any cleaning or tidying. It seems to get not just messy by absolutely filthy, and it's getting so that every day I have to give it a spring clean, it's disgusting.

For starters DH and our 3 DCs are very, very messy. Not just a bit untidy, but things like leaving taps on, and taking shoes off in the front doorway and leaving them there so that the front door cannot be shut until someone (ie Me) moves them. They leave stuff anywhere and everywhere. The 3 year old trashes his room probably 3 times a day, and whilst I'm tidying that he goes and trashes another room. DH dumps stuff wherever he is when he's finished with it; on the stairs, bathroom floor, kitchen floor, wherever. I'd say each day before I can do any cleaning it takes me between 2 and 3 hours to clean up the mess generated the previous day. To cap it all off, DH decided a while ago to get a dog, which mainly lives in a run outside but is allowed in the house in the evenings, and it's a dog that moults a lot and there is dog hair everywhere so I have to hoover/sweep/mop through the entire house every single day.

Everything just gets so dirty, as no one seems to have any pride in living in a nice place. The sink in the bathroom is usually infested with toothpaste so I have to clean it every day. The toilets get in a filthy state. The lounge gets so dusty on a daily basis it looks every morning like it's not been dusted literally in months. The windows and walls get filthy as the kids touch them all the time and I end up cleaning all the windows, every single day. I get jealous of people that say they do housework 'twice a week', as I wish I could just do a job then know it's done and won't need doing for a few days. It is absolutely soul destroying having to clean every day like I do, and I have no life! Yesterday I cleared the kitchen table of everyone's crap, wiped it down, polished it and it looked great. This morning it is encrusted with food, with so much crap on it you can barely see the table. DH even went up the shop last night to get a few bits, got home and dumped them all on the table.

DH has made it clear to me that he will not do any housework. He'll maybe unload the dishwasher once a month, and cook a meal once a month (and then use every pan and utensil we have and leave it all for me to clear up). The DCs just make mess constantly, and won't clean up at all. It's just making me so depressed every morning coming downstairs to DH's plate from the night before left unscraped on the work top, and cups, glasses and wrappers everywhere. This morning the bin, which I disinfected and cleaned throughly on Sunday, is encrusted with food, all down the side of the bin and all up the wall behind it! Laundry piles up and no one will even put a pair of their socks in their own drawer. DH will go through the tumble drier looking for something of his, then get the whole lot of washing out and leave it all on the kitchen floor.

It is all sapping the soul out of me. I just want to go out all the time, but then of course I get home to the same mess. I have tried striking, talking to DH, reasoning with him, explaining why he needs to pitch in etc but it's no good. I don't necessarily expect everyone to do housework but I wish they'd all respect the housework that I do and play their part in keeping the house as clean and tidy as possible between cleaning sessions.

LeftMeInSuspenders Fri 22-Feb-13 12:26:56

I sympathise as I have a very messy DH and 3 DC too!
So I shall be watching with interest at replies.

I will say though, I've managed to get my very messy DC into a routine when they come home from school of emptying lunch boxes, shoes off and put in the shoe storage, coats hung up, school letters given to me.

How I've achieved that?
By standing over them while they do it, every single day! They seem to remember anything unless I'm like Sergeant Major!

LeftMeInSuspenders Fri 22-Feb-13 12:27:42

*DON'T seem to remember...

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:23:54

I'm glad it isn't just me LeftMe

I've tried the routine thing with my kids but they just kick off and refuse to do it. It ends up with all three of them having screaming tantrums and crying. sad

CelticPromise Fri 22-Feb-13 13:30:21

Oh my goodness. I'm not surprised your children won't help, they are getting a terrible example from their father! He sounds like an arse. I wouldn't be cleaning up after him. Does he havea reason for refusing to help and showing no respect for what you do?

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:30:52

I get so annoyed with DH when I see that in other houses the man and the woman are both striving to achieve the same thing, ie a basic standard of cleanliness and tidiness. If I don't do things they don't get done. I had a couple of days in bed ill fairly recently and it took me about 5 days to catch up with everything once I was half-well again as the house was such a tip. No washing was done, we needed food shopping and DH wouldn't do it, he just got takeaways and ready meals for him and the kids for 2 days, the floors were filthy, there was stuff everywhere and the kids even smelt as he didn't bath them or change their nightwear.

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:32:09

Celtic, he just says that he isn't prepared to do housework. I guess he sees it as my job, as he works full time and I work part time. I keep explaining to him that it's not a problem doing housework but it's making me more and more resentful having to tidy everyone's mess, even as much as emptying everyone's bathwater and picking their shoes up so I can shut the front door.

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:33:09

Then he moans at me when the house is messy when he gets in from work. I'd like to be able to have a couple of days a week where I just do the very basics and no housework as such. I just don't understand where all the actual dirt comes from. I did the whole house yesterday with the feather duster and there are cobwebs everywhere again today.

MajaBiene Fri 22-Feb-13 13:35:07

I think I'd move out to be honest.

Your DH is treating you appallingly, without any respect or even affection by the sound of it. And your children are picking up his example and consider you a housekeeper.

aftereight Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:30

Why does your DH 'refuse' to do any housework?
I'd say you need to start by addressing that problem. Does he realise that turning taps off, not throwing his clothes on the floor etc are just basic grown up things to do? He is not only refusing to do any housework, but also creating unnecessary work (for you). If my DH outright refused to lift a finger round the house it would be ultimatum time. He's setting a terrible example to your DCs.

With regards to the children, could you implement the following rules?
No food outside of kitchen
No toys outside of bedroom/playroom
Stairgate on e.g. kitchen to contain dog to one room
How old are your children? Give them specific responsibilities (shoes neatly for a week = small treat in friday)

CelticPromise Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:41

Good grief. Can he not see the example he is setting? Sounds like you didn't have a say with the dog- does he do any dog related cleaning? What are his reasons for not even cleaning up after himself??

ariane5 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:49

I feel your pain, it sounds like you are describing my house (except for the dog bit).

Today I am trying once again to get my stinking house tidy, this is what I will be doing this aft:

Deep cleaning bathroom/toilet and throwing away all 50 million empty shampoo/shower gel etc bottles.

Putting lots of washing on as have washing mountain in my house.

Taking 5 bin bags of stuff to charity shop

Tidying ds1 room and de cluttering as he has so many toys and its a total tip with 2 thirds of room buried under rubbish and toys.

It is such a nightmare I hope you manage to get things sorted out.

CelticPromise Fri 22-Feb-13 13:37:55

I'd be throwing him out, and setting rules for the DC. You'll be much happier, in a much cleaner house.

specialsubject Fri 22-Feb-13 13:38:38

LTB. And shoot the dog on your way out.

Snootymum Fri 22-Feb-13 13:40:56

He says he thinks the division of labour is fair, and that it's not fair that he would have to come home from work and start doing housework. I keep trying to re-iterate to him that I don't want him to do housework as such, but I think it would be fair if he would grab his clean clothes off the washing pile and shove them in his drawers, or if he could pop his glass in the dishwasher and put the dishwasher on from time to time. He honestly thinks he is right and I am wrong

thixotropic Fri 22-Feb-13 13:44:26

I think you should repost this in relationships.

Your problem is not with the housework. It is far deeper and more worrying.

Good luck.

issimma Fri 22-Feb-13 13:48:42

as a short-term fix, give him and the kids options 'are you going to put a wash on or empty the dishwasher?'
longer term? he sounds like an arse.

notso Fri 22-Feb-13 13:49:29

I think your DH needs to live by himself for a while and learn how to be an adult.

Don't shoot the dog! shock

But, yeah, kick the 'D'H up the arse and consider hoovering him out the door. I bet your house would become magically cleaner.

MinnesotaNice Fri 22-Feb-13 13:51:46

My mom used to have a system that worked pretty well, put it away or it gets tossed. Either in the trash or in a bag and we couldn't have it back for several day. I remember once or twice looking for homework that I had left laying about only to realize it had been tossed. Pretty sure I was able to salvage it out of the trash, but the scare was enough to fix that habit. Anything of value that couldn't be trashed, was confiscated. No amount of pleading would change her mind. TBH, at the time, I thought my mom was a hard-hearted bitch. Looking back, I realize that it taught us consequences and got us pickup after ourselves pronto! The house was relatively clean and I have turned into my mother started using similar methods on my own DSs! grin They picked up on the rules pretty quick and their toys generally stay in the playroom since they know any stragglers I find get bagged. I also don't allow them to do any TV or playing when we get home until coats are hung on the hooks, shoes are off (still working on getting them put on shelf), and lunch box is on the kitchen counter.
As for all the dog hair, I would recommend getting what we in the US call a stick vacuum (not sure if it would be called that in the UK since you all say Hoover instead of vacuum?) I had a dog that shed like it was his job and it was wonderful to be able to do a quick sweep without having to get out the big
vacuum. I have the Hoover Linx and it is fantastic. No cord and super light.
HTH!

thixotropic Fri 22-Feb-13 13:59:10

As for division of labour, I'll give you my own example. I am the breadwinner, I work ft, work plus commute means I am out of the house 7 - 7.
Dh is sahd 2 days, he has a pt job / studies when dd is at nursery.

He is the laundry fairy, does all washing and general tidying. All washing up, childcare and night walking. Most snacks, breakfasts and light meals. All shopping plus sorting energy suppliers and insurances.

I do any additional tidying, hovering and cleaning, and I cook 75% of the main meals. I do the banking.

We all put things away, tidy up our own mess, and he rightly bollocks me if I leave cups laying around (bad habit) he also did all looking after the livestock / pets when we had them.

So I think your dh is talking shite when he says he shouldn't be doing any housework.

You can have my first ever ltb.

I agree this isn't a housework problem, it's an arse of a husband problem.

Your kids are never going to treat you and the house with respect when their dad doesn't. angry Yu can try and work on the kids but doubt it will work when their dad doesn't bother. He's also shown them a huge lack of disrespect when you were ill by not feeding them properly or bathing them! This thread should be in relationships really.

I have to ask though - do you honestly need to wash your windows that often?? Cant remember the last time I did mine! (slattern). Is it sticky fingers on them??

I agree with maybe some rules with where food can go, limiting where dog can be, etc but I reiterate it's your husband that's the issue.

The state of your house is the least of your worries, sorry OP. Your husband sounds like he has a fundamental lack of respect for you and your contribution to the household. He's setting your DCs a crap example of male and female roles as well, and unless you want them to be recreating this scenario in their own households in 20 years' time then something's got to change.

For starters, as you had no input into the decision to get a dog, and your DH isn't cleaning up after it, I would be telling him that unless he takes responsibility for it then it will be rehomed whilst he's at work. Living in a run doesn't sound much for for it in any event. Ultimately I don't think I could live like you do though, and I would be speaking to a solicitor about your rights in the event of a divorce. If you don't want to do this, perhaps your DH would consider Relate? If he won't, then that would speak for itself, I think.

You will find great advice from some wise people on the relationships board. Good luck.

thixotropic Fri 22-Feb-13 14:03:09

Oh yes Minnesota, my mum binned stuff if we left it out.
Shoes left in doorway went in the bin. The reaction of my mate when she saw me rooting in the bin for my school shoes was a shock, I thought everyone's mum did this!

As a short term solution I'd hire a cleaner.

But I agree with a PP that your problem is not actually the housework, your problem is that you are married to a selfish arsehole who is setting a shocking example to your children, who are clearly following in his footsteps.

Unless you want to spend the rest of your life being treated like an unpaid skivvy, repost in the 'relationships' section and for god's sake, take the advice that people there give you.

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