How do you work out how often chores need doing?

(24 Posts)
Jan49 Sun 04-Aug-13 23:39:44

I moved house this year and have carried on doing chores like hoovering as often as I did in our last house. However, this house has carpets that are only a few years old whereas in our last house the carpets were years old and worn out. I just did some hoovering today and the carpets looked fine before I did them. Actually the whole house looks clean all the time except for the bathroom where the wash basin and bath quickly get yucky. I have no pets or small children.

So I'm wondering, do you do chores according to whether the house looks dirty or not, or do you just do them according to a schedule and if so how do you decide how often? Should I wait til the carpets look like they need hoovering or is there lots of invisible dust that I should be hoovering up even though they look fine?

Nagoo Mon 05-Aug-13 00:27:25

Jan, sit down and drink some brew.

You don't need to clean things unless they are dirty.

Find a hobby. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

NatashaBee Mon 05-Aug-13 01:56:50

I have a list of things I do weekly/ monthly. I just do them whether they need it or not, I'm not very good at noticing mess so I find it easier to just go though the list!

NoComet Mon 05-Aug-13 02:40:27

When I'm having visitors, otherwise all chores except washing and the dishwasher, can wait until tomorrow.

Oh and putting the bin out, thanks for reminding me.

Vivacia Mon 05-Aug-13 08:15:04

I'd rather risk cleaning something that could wait rather than put it off and turn around tomorrow realising the house is filthy. I aim for this, so that the days it doesn't get done for one reason or another don't weigh on my mind.

Jan49 Mon 05-Aug-13 10:56:49

LOL @ Nagoo. I'm doing your first suggestion. smile

It's just that people are always posting here that they hoover their carpets every day or whatever and deep clean the house weekly and my standards are very low by comparison.blush When I was quite young, I knew a few older people for whom cleaning seemed more important than anything else and I always said I'd never be like that, but I've often gone too far in the opposite extreme. But I think having a smaller and less cluttered house than in the past has made a huge difference. My last house never looked good no matter how much I cleaned. I remember it being nice when we first moved in but then it got filled with stuff and became overwhelming.

Vivacia Mon 05-Aug-13 12:28:06

I also think back to my childhood Jan, and realise that it's one motivating factor in my having such a clutter-free, clean house. I guess it's important not to worry about what others do and just stay happy.

purrpurr Mon 05-Aug-13 12:34:22

I clean the same things once in a 2 week cycle. I basically clean like a robot - doesn't matter if it needs doing, if I do it all within the fortnight then it never gets to looking like it needs doing. But I only clean certain bits, because cleaning isn't really fun, so my mum will come round and go around writing 'dust me' on mirrors thick with dust, and I squash the urge to write underneath 'there are more important things than cleaning'.

For some people there is nothing more important than living in a show home. For me there is nothing more important than living.

You have to remember that the people on here who post that they vacuum every day are the exception - it's just that those who vacuum once a week/fortnight/month/at Christmas and Easter either don't want to say so on a forum where 'daily' seems to be often shouted about, or just don't go onto the 'housework' threads anyway.

Unless you have children or visitors who suffer from asthma etc, then the 'invisible dust' is not causing any harm.

So long as you deal adequately with things like kitchen surfaces, where 'invisible dirt' = germs = food poisoning, the rest of it is pretty much optional.

Keden Mon 05-Aug-13 13:00:34

It's just the two of us in a 2 bedroom, so not much work to do.

- Bathroom & Kitchen get proper cleaned every weekend, as they are the two rooms that get the most use during the week.

- Bedroom and living room get proper cleaned every 2 weeks roughly (unless say I've had people over or something).

- Other spaces (hallway entrance, guestroom, laundry room), get cleaned as needed, which amounts to maybe 2x or 3x a month.

I am HUGE believer in "Don't make a mess in the first place". Took the 1st year of marriage/living together, to get the hubby on board, but now he lives by it. I find that much easier than letting the mess pile up.

Nagoo Mon 05-Aug-13 13:29:56

See, I do vacuum every day, because I have a biscuit eating toddler and a cat and I have to. I dream of a house that doesn't constantly require a wipe over with a damp cloth grin

<makes more brew>

Jan49 Mon 05-Aug-13 13:53:59

Like Keden, I try to avoid making the mess in the first place. I live with my son (adult with SEN) and he isn't messy though he's a bit untidy. I disposed of most of our ornaments when we moved house and have things in cupboards which used to be on surfaces and need dusting, so they don't get dusty now. I used to have 2 large surfaces in my bedroom completely covered in knickknacks. I packed them and I'm not planning to unpack them until I've got a glass-fronted cupboard to put them in.

<Enjoys Nagoo's tea. Thanks.smile>

MarjorieAntrobus Mon 05-Aug-13 13:54:21

Gosh, I only clean when I see dirt, dust, crumbs or whatever. I mean it wouldn't occur to me to clean to a schedule, because then I'd feel I was cleaning whether or not it was necessary, and I dislike cleaning.

A good thing of only cleaning when the dirt is visible is that other members of the household notice the dirt and will clean too, whereas if I had a cleaning schedule going it would always look clean and the rest of the household wouldn't even think to get involved.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 05-Aug-13 13:58:22

Marjorie DP and DTD2 will join in if I start scrubbing, but DTD1 is entirely capable of not noticing until someone passes between her and the telly, and even then she just picks up a book instead.

Keden Mon 05-Aug-13 13:59:48

Jan49 - This! I am very anti-clutter. It just makes it such a pain to dust. I generally prefer a more modern-spartan look which helps.

Marjorie - It's a habit I picked up from my Mum. She always cleaned on a schedule and as I grew up I simply adopted it.

I don't LOVE cleaning per se, but I do prefer spending 30 - 45mins 1x a week cleaning, than the several hours (I am assuming here!), it would take to get a house that was quite dirty clean again.

OrangeOpalFruit Mon 05-Aug-13 14:30:20

The key to having a clean and tidy home is to do jobs before they need doing. If you wait until the bathroom looks filthy then not only do you get irritated by seeing how filthy it's got, but it's also a lot more work to get it clean again. I don't follow this advice myself unfortuately.

Frontdoorstep Mon 05-Aug-13 14:52:22

I must admit that I go through the house cleaning in rotation, whether it needs it or not. But if I come to an area that just doesn't need cleaning I just give it a quick once over and move on to the next bit. I don't like clutter and am ruthless at throwing things out which helps a lot. I have a husband, 12 year old boy, 8 year old girl. They know that if there is a lot of stuff left lying aronund, I will tidy it up into the bin!

Jan49 Mon 05-Aug-13 14:57:46

I think I'm going to try to clean the bathroom more often and the rest of the house less often, as it's the bathroom that gets messy looking. The kitchen surfaces and sink get cleaned constantly as part of everyday washing up.

I have a list of cleaning chores because it gives me the satisfaction of crossing something off a list, which I like. I don't really feel any satisfaction at all from doing a chore or seeing it's clean.

There are certain areas that I like to keep clean. The kitchen for one, it's just easier if you clean the worktops/table after use so it's ready for next time. It gets swept once or twice a day depending on how much mess the kids make when eating.

Other things I clean when they noticably need doing. I did get into a bit of a routine of giving the bathroom a really quick wipe over every morning after getting ready. i.e. after we've all washed/brushed teeth just a quick wipe round the sink & toilet (I used disposable wipes as it was easier). I did notice that made a difference.

notso Mon 05-Aug-13 15:38:45

The only time I've been in a good routine for cleaning was when I was working and that was only for 3 years in between DS1 and DS2.
I do the toilets all the time and the bathroom sinks once a day but everything else is when I can motivate myself to do it and have a few minutes away from my two youngest, 2 and 1 to do it.
I am trying to improve and as the little ones are getting a bit older it is getting better.
DD is 13 and is really good at cleaning her room and will empty the dishwasher if I nag and bribe her but she also creates loads of mess by not putting stuff away.
DS1 is dreadful, he doesn't see mess and needs very specific instructions to get him to do whatever it is that he needs to do.
Saying put your clean clothes away is no good, I have to say hang up your school clothes, put the socks in the basket, put the trousers in the bottom drawer and the tops in the middle drawer.
DH comes from a family where his Mum does everything, she still does washing and ironing for BIL who left home to live with his then girlfriend now wife 7 years ago, and cooks for them and SIL and husband twice a week hmm DH is ok at doing the kitchen but shite at most other things.

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Mon 05-Aug-13 15:48:05

It will get done when it gets done. No schedule , no order. I can find far more interesting things to do so I do those first.

AlohaMama Tue 06-Aug-13 01:28:32

I do things on a schedule which I've adjusted over time, based on experience (and use Remember the milk for reminders). But if it's time to clean the skirting boards and they look ok, then I just skip it and will do them next time they come up. I find it helps to keep on top of things and stop dirt becoming more ingrained and harder to clean off. I'd rather spend 5 mins wiping something with a wet cloth than an hour having to scrub at it.

Looking on here though at past posts I do think I seem to do some things less often than other people do. Not sure if that makes me slatternly or we're just a clean family grin

EllieQ Tue 06-Aug-13 11:36:51

I agree with orange above that it's better to do stuff before it needs doing, as it takes less time and effort than waiting until it really needs doing!

I tend to divide housework into stuff that needs to be done daily (air bedroom & make bed, feed cat, cook dinner/ do washing up), weekly (clean kitchen sink, Hoover, quick tidy up) and so on through to yearly (clean skirting boards, empty kitchen cupboards and clean them out). This is based on how clean I want the house to be (I have quite high standards) vs how much energy DH and I want to put in. For example, we used to only Hoover every few weeks, then got a cat and realised it needed to be every week to get rid of cat hair!

So, each week we will do the 'weekly' stuff, and try to do one of the monthly/ every few months jobs. I don't have a rota, though, just a mental list!

BoffinMum Tue 06-Aug-13 19:02:04

I have a routine, which I have posted here:

Weekly cleaning schedule

I suppose it's a compromise between how often I would like it to get done and how much time exists in practice!

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