Couples who both work FT...

(61 Posts)
VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 15:14:39

... and don't have a cleaner, how do you fit it all in?

forevergreek Fri 30-Aug-13 15:18:39

We don't. We have a cleaner. She comes in 6 hrs a week ( 3hrs mon, 3hrs fri)
Because our flat is small she cleans for roughly half that time and cooks the other half.
She is brilliant!

We work approx 60hrs a week each so really wanted any spare time not completely taken up by cleaning

cookielove Fri 30-Aug-13 15:19:45

The flats a mess. It gets a big clean when it gets to much. Problem is we have to much stuff!

TheCricketWidow Fri 30-Aug-13 15:21:22

Its bloody hard work. The thing I find the biggest challenge is keeping on top of the washing and ironing, I wash every night and put it out to dry or on the airer every morning then I iron it every night. If I don't the ironing pile becomes enormous. I do bits of housework every day after work to avoid having to do the whole house at the weekend. It is a nightmare trying to keep on top of everything, I would love a cleaner!

Bellebelle Fri 30-Aug-13 15:23:17

cookielove are you me?

We keep on saying to ourselves that we'll get a cleaner but never quite get round to it.

About to embark on one of those 'big cleans' just now...

DipMeInChocolate Fri 30-Aug-13 15:26:42

Do a little bit every day, keeping on top of the kitchen and bathroom. A load of washing a day. Tidy up every night before bed, make the bed in the morning. Share the chores!!

jimijack Fri 30-Aug-13 15:35:20

Do some every day. Washer gets put on at night, stuff out on line before work or thrown on the radiators.
Clean kitchen as I go, dishwasher loaded as I use stuff then put on at bedtime.
Ds empties it before breakfast and it all starts again.
I Hoover while tea cooks every 2-3 days.
Ironing gets done while watching country file on a Sunday.
Wipe shower/ bath out every other day. Bleach chucked down the loo and bathroom deal cleaned on a Sat morning.
Ds also puts recycling out, and puts bins out.

I spend about 40 minutes a day on it after and before work.
It's relentless but I'm a clean freak so it has to be done.

Spirael Fri 30-Aug-13 15:35:31

Child labour. DD (3 YO) loves mopping the floor and 'tickling' things with the feather duster! wink

Aside from that we basically lose most of Saturday trying to keep on top of everything.

Would love a cleaner but unfortunately it's not something we can afford!

Tidy up and clean once a week. The clue is in the "FT" bit. We are never in the house to make it untidy or dirty.

When we move we are having a cleaner!

Ruprekt Fri 30-Aug-13 15:37:33

I am planning on being ruthless and chucking stuff out when we get home from hols.....less stuff means less to do!

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 15:46:14

The clue is in the "FT" bit. We are never in the house to make it untidy or dirty.

I'd have thought that too, but it appears the amount of hours actually spent in the house do not impact the mess created. Between the four of us it gets very messy, very quickly.

I'm liking the idea of child labour though grin

I get my teens to empty the dishwasher, I always have a huge ironing pile and proper cleaning gets done once a week if that. When I get a good promotion we will be having a cleaner.

Trills Fri 30-Aug-13 15:52:04

We don't have kids.

Trills Fri 30-Aug-13 15:54:06

grin That was a flippant answer, but you didn't specify that the couples had to have them, and they do increase the amount of cooking/cleaning/washing/tidying that needs to be done (usually by more than another adult would).

MortifiedAdams Fri 30-Aug-13 15:56:30

We have low standards. Priorities are dd and clean laundry so we have stuff to wear for work. Everything else is a bonus.

We do the dishes once a day. If that is before we cook tea, then tea dishes wait til the next day. Dinner is our stopping point so anything not done by the time we sit down to eat (7.30/8pm) doesnt get done.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 16:01:21

Aren't you in France, OP? Remember, domestic help is tax deductible...

SweetSeraphim Fri 30-Aug-13 16:09:34

I pay dd (15) to do a lot of cleaning for a monthly wage smile

She has to do most of the dishes, hoovering and polishing - I do all the washing, shopping and cooking. For this, she gets the princely sum of £25 per month.

Saves her having to get a paper round, and I get half the work done for me. Everyone's a winner grin

ihearsounds Fri 30-Aug-13 16:18:31

You use it, when you have finished you put it away/in the bin/in the wash.
Toilet you make a mess you clean it.
Bathroom, you use it you clean it. Even the dc's know they have a bath, they need to clean it afterwards.
Floors all get hoovered when dinner is cooking.
A load of washing gets done nightly. Dried. Folded/hung and put away. None of that ironing milarkly... Used to until I realised the hours I was spending doing something that doesn't need doing.
Floors mopped a couple of times a week apart from kitchen and toilet which are done nightly.
Windows when needed. Frames, handles, bannister and surfaces every night. Takes 5 minutes with wipes.
Kitchen cupboards lined with newspaper. Paper gets grotty, take out item, reline, restack, sorted.
Shaving tins etc in bathroom, coat the bottom with vaseline. No more scrubbing rings from surfaces.

Also get rid of stuff. Seriously. I had a massive clear out. The amount of crap I binned, sold and gave away I could have partially kitted out another 3 bed house. Was ridiculous. My kitchen has lots of cupboards. Not only were all of them full, but the top of the fridge/freezer/microwave and every surface had stuff on. All of which needed moving to be cleaned and under it. Now I see my sides and have empty cupboards. I did this in every room. Less crap means less time cleaning. All the crap you have needs wiping. All the crap you have needs moving so you can clean underneath it. Now I see something I ask myself do I really need it or want it. Is it really worth buying to clean it.

Takes less than 30 minutes a day. Tried the whole save it for the weekend. After 2 months of loosing a whole day, every week, realised that it wasn't worth it and went back to daily.

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 16:26:47

Have a routine and small kids can help out. DD turned two in July and she put away her plastic plates and cutlery while I empty the rest of the dishwasher. Since she did such a great job I let her take on the additional responsibility of feeding the dog this past Tuesday.

We also spend money on good cleaning products. My vacuum cleaner cost an arm and a leg but it is great. I can do the whole house in less than an hour. Dishwasher has a 1hr cycle that we use. It is run every night no matter how much is in there and it is emptied before bed.

Best tips are to all have showers in the AM/PM. First one (DH) in sprays the bleach 5mins before the run the water and the last one in dries down the walls with the towel (me). Also I vacuum daily because we have a golden.

Middlesexmummy Fri 30-Aug-13 16:38:30

Hi , we both work ft , have an 18 month dd. I do have a cleaner who comes either once a week or fortnightly . In between I get up early and whizz around hoovering ( washing up always done after each meal plus cleaning as we go along ... Bath toilet and kitchen also cleaned daily . I can get it done in an hour .....

We can't afford a cleaner so we have for some other ways. We have a monthly clear out. We help the DC with their rooms, and we check the clothes- we use a hanger thing- if you use it, you turn the hanger the other way. If, in a year, it hasn't been used, it's out. Because we have monthly clear outs, we have very little clutter. We also have three boxes which we use at any time- one fr a charity shop, one for throwing away and one for general tat which no one claims ownership of and so we can decide at the end of the month.

We have a toy tidy rule. If you aren't playing, you put it away BUT you can have things like Lego creations or a set up which you will use tomorrow or whatever to stay of course. Each night it's a scrabble round, it's fun for the DC.

We have good storage. We give sticker charts for tidy rooms at night, and on the weekends, by lunchtime too. So the possibility of 9 stickers for that one chore.

We split the housework so that the DC put washing in the basket (older ones for younger ones too) and can switch the washing machine on and put stuff in (older two only) and we try and get on top of stuff.

So I make sure that my desk area is completely tidy every day so it doesn't get too cluttered. I clear out clutter from the living room regularly because it takes five minutes due to doing it regularly, compared to half an hour if I let it build up.

We have a stop point. We can't care less. In the house, the DC, laundry and no clutter is what we do best. Hoovering and dusting and cleaning windows reserved for when only necessary. Clutter is easy if you do it as you go along, and as the DC are good about their own laundry, it means that ironing is easier. We don't iron too often, but it's relatively quick and easy.

When doing some work, do some other work too. Waiting for something to cook? Use that time to iron half the load. Or check the fridge or ask the DC to help you tidy up the house, and make it a game as mine are young.

And being able to relax. At 7, we stop. Only things we do after would be a toy clear up just before bedtime, and washing up after supper. We try and split tasks, like yesterday, I might have spent 10mins putting bits and bobs into the right places and 5mins doing the washing up, and DH spent about that time on ironing, washing up and sweeping the kitchen floor as it got messier than usual. So 15mins each but it means we don't have to buckle down and work for an 1hr.

eurochick Fri 30-Aug-13 16:42:04

We have a cleaner. It would be awful otherwise. I spend more than enough of my free time doing domestic shyte as it is (loading/unloading dishwasher, putting washing on, etc).

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 30-Aug-13 16:43:40

We have a cleaner for 2 hours a week.

We don't iron, at all.

Yama Fri 30-Aug-13 16:47:09

Everyone tidies up after themselves. Kids have additional chores too like setting/clearing table.

Ethos is 'what can I do to make your life easier?', rather than 'I do more than you.'

Dh and I work as a team in the mornings and after after work. Kids have early bedtimes and we enjoy a nice relaxing time once they are in bed.

We have a lot of storage which is good for tidying up quickly. Oh, and only school uniform and work clothes gets ironed.

Get a dishwasher, don't buy anything that can't go in it. Don't buy anything that needs ironing. Double cook and freeze where possible. Alternate night's cooking with dh while the other does some cleaning/tidying.

melliebobs Fri 30-Aug-13 16:49:36

Kind of tidy as we go. When We wash up in an evening the kitchen gets a quick once over. When we've had a shower the toilet/sink/shower get a wipe down. Wen we go upstairs we try n take 2-3 things up with us. I try n quickly Hoover as soon as I get in before picking dd up from nursery. Otherwise anything major waits till the weekend. And as much as I hate it I've given up trying to keep the place spotless

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 17:00:20

Yes Bonsoir I'm in France, I know it's tax reducible (we did used to have a cleaner) but I don't really want a cleaner because I'm convinced we can manage it ourselves <deluded> !

I'm trying to get everyone on board with the whole don't put it down, put it away mantra, and I'm going to succeed even if DH does things like gets a bottle of cold water out of the fridge to serve himself a glass, leaves bottle on the side, comes back 15 minutes later, does exactly the same thing with the second bottle <face palm>

blueshoes Fri 30-Aug-13 17:06:36

We have a live-in aupair who does 1.5 hours of cleaning a weekday, together with childcare. I don't have to clean at all. Seems to work well.

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 17:24:05

I wanted to come back on here and say that I know exactly where you are coming from. I think you have to really look hard at how you do things. Biggest change for DH and I is that we don't stop 'working' until everything is done. We do housework together or we wouldn't see eachother midweek.

Astr0naut Fri 30-Aug-13 18:01:41

we have a small house.

dh hoovers every night. bathroom done on sat morning. kitchen swished each night, washing done at wends.

dusting done when it looks a bit crap. I hate cleaning with a passion, but can no way afford a cleaner cos of nursery fees. besides, the house is so cluttered, there's no space to clean!

LadyMilfordHaven Fri 30-Aug-13 18:01:58

get a cleaner fgs

LadyMilfordHaven Fri 30-Aug-13 18:02:41

people clean the bath every time? christ

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 18:18:51

lady We clean the bath daily. It takes a minute to spray the cleaner on the bath tub, it does its work while DH brushes his teeth and then it's all rinsed away when the shower is turned on. If you do it everyday you don't have to scrub when you come to clean it once a week. We wipe the shower down (ie dry it) otherwise we get horrible limescale deposits.

I think my way takes far less time than doing a weekly clean.

LadyMilfordHaven Fri 30-Aug-13 18:25:54

wow. Are you very grimy? grin
I am the only one who bathes here so dont think its an issue probably

rubyslippers Fri 30-Aug-13 18:30:12

gawd get a cleaner

it will make your lives much easier

Daisybell1 Fri 30-Aug-13 18:53:53

This is really interesting. We do have a cleaner (2hrs a week) but I struggle to keep on top of things otherwise. OH works about 65hrs a week (but from home so he's around to mess it up) and I only do 26hrs a week, but we never get a weekend together (as he's working) to both get stuck in. DD is only 2 so is a bit too little to help, although she loves bleaching the carpet... hmm

Roasted - a LOVE your hanger suggestion!

Alanna1 Fri 30-Aug-13 19:06:45

Am I the only one amazed that a cleaner is tax deductible in france? Wow.

We have a cleaner. But even keeping on top of everything else is hard work. One of us puts kids to bed (bath-books-bed), the other zooms around. Then we stop when kids asleep and enjoy some time together. Means the kids' room only gets any serious attention at the weekend but at least adult space is returned everywhere else!

Ironing - only shirts, and our cleaner does those.

forevergreek Fri 30-Aug-13 19:17:35

Oh and we live minimalistic ( mostly)

So out of the 3 hours cleaner cleans, she will roughly do bedding/ hoovering and mopping/ bathroom for 1 1/2 Monday, then hoovering mopping/ kitchen/ clothes wash Friday 1 1/2. It helps that she's there for 3hrs though as will put washing in , start cooking, then sort floors out whilst stuff cooks for example

We Weren't sure we should get a cleaner either but the money we save by actually being able to fit in more work pays it back easily. Ie we might both work fri night from home rather than clean.

Really advise getting rid of clutter though, as we barely have anything else to do now. So a quick Hoover is quick as floors clear of stuff in the first place, and kitchen sides are clear so it's quick to wipe down

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 19:50:42

I'd much rather spend the money on something fun though!

Basically here you pay a cleaner min 8€/hr, then you pay about 5€/hour to the state, then you get about 50% of the total back when you pay your tax.

olivo Fri 30-Aug-13 20:09:10

I'm really surprised at those saying 'just get. A cleaner'! They cost money! Me and DH both work full time, we have 2 children, and would love to have a cleaner but we can't afford one.

We do a bit each evening then blitz at the weekend, takes a couple of hours to be done properly.

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 20:19:41

I gave up with cleaners because it took too long to manage them properly. As to lady, your comment came across as rude. Not sure what your intent was.

With doing a bit each day and using things like wipes and paper towels it doesn't take long at all. Excluding the vacuum cleaner it costs us about $10 a week to keep our house clean. It would cost me about $200 to hire someone and the dishwasher would still need emptying, food cooking and the laundry put away.

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 20:23:55

I am working through the clutter, but there is so much stuff that I want to keep but which doesn't have a home. I think I need to buy more storage. We have boxes and boxes of books in the attic and in the garage, but the two bookshelves are full already. Maybe I need to go to Ikea and pick up some cheap Billys.

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 20:38:27

In our house books are borrowed from the library for the children. Adult books are borrowed using ebooks only. So much easier as no late fees and no storage issues.

I have two of these bookcases for the children. Our Billy bookshelves have doors on them so contents don't need to be dusted and children can't climb them. I frosted the glass so you can't see the mess inside of them. smile

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 20:48:41

Alanna I think all domestic help and childcare costs employed by two income households should be fully deductible. The current system results in double taxation and I think it is a huge barrier to women progressing the workplace. I think if the UK changed to this system it would result in a lot more families getting the financial help they need. I have friends in London earning GBP100k and are bringing home about GBP10k a year after taxes and childcare costs for 2 children under 5.

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 20:54:08

Living in France, library books tend to be in French, so we end up ordering them off Internet.
I like the idea of Billys with doors, just looked at the website, the doors are three times the price of the bookcase shock

My mum comes once a fortnight and does a big clean blush. We keep on top of it in between.

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 21:00:54

I don't know how families in England manage. We paid about €250 a month for DD when she was at the crèche (the amount you pay is calculated on your joint income; we were on about 40k back then I think). Then at the end of the year it's tax deductible, so although we didn't get any money back, it meant we had less tax to pay (in fact we didn't have any tax to pay, we got a rebate because we bought a house 4 years ago and yes, that's tax deductible too).

LadyMilfordHaven Fri 30-Aug-13 21:53:16

Get a kindle fgs. Bin the book clutter

SummerHoliDidi Fri 30-Aug-13 21:59:59

I employ dd1 (13) as our cleaner. She gets £10 per week for hoovering, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, and she also does the dishes twice a week. She's not as thorough as a proper cleaner would be and she moans about it , but she's cheaper and it means she doesn't have to get a paper round or ask us for money every time she wants to do anything with her mates.

I do the washing and drying of clothes (I don't iron unless it really needs it), mostly at the weekends. Dp does most of the cooking and the washing up that dd1 doesn't do. Dd2 (3) makes the mess and occasionally helps tidy her toys away. We do have lower standards than some people, which helps I think.

nulgirl Fri 30-Aug-13 22:12:04

Well in our household we both work f/t but my dh does all the cleaning and tidying. He starts and finishes work early so comes home and tidies/does some light cleaning then makes dinner. I tend to wash the clothes so will put on a load after the kids go to bed. At the weekend I will normally take the kids out for a couple of hours and he'll do some more intensive cleaning/ hoovering.

I know it sounds like my dh is my housekeeper but it works for us. Plays to our strengths - he does the house, I take the lead with the kids.

MortifiedAdams Fri 30-Aug-13 22:15:36

I straighten the couch cushions and clear any used crockery to the kitchen while im waiting for the kettle to boil.

VikingVagine Fri 30-Aug-13 22:20:59

I have a kindle thanks, you know not all books are available for e readers right?

Trills Sat 31-Aug-13 10:34:11

"Book clutter" doesn't create work though, does it? Books just sit there on shelves.

VikingVagine Sat 31-Aug-13 10:56:09

I love my books, but do indeed need shelves because right now most of them are cluttering up the place in boxes, but yes, once they're put away they definitely don't count as clutter!

Astr0naut Sat 31-Aug-13 11:25:21

They do make the place look cluttered though. I have an alcove with shelves for my books, but it always looks busy, iyswim. my neighbours' living rooms seem so much tidier without.

forevergreek Sat 31-Aug-13 11:37:13

I couldn't cope with book 'clutter'. They get way too dusty and look messy unless sets/ matching ( to me).
Hence the books we have kept are all hidden behind doors, and just x2 shelves of children's classic are on show but behind glass door ( all red/ blue/ green, gold lettering, same size). Iv had them since a child and now read to my children ( things like secret garden/ jungle book/ Swiss family Robinson)

VikingVagine Sat 31-Aug-13 12:12:02

Ah yes, but we will be keeping all our bookcases in the office/library. I agree in a living room they would look cluttered.

blueshoes Sat 31-Aug-13 12:20:02

Our books are in our study. We got a carpenter to build shelves practically up to the ceiling on one wall with cupboards at the bottom to store lever arch files (house admin).

Viking, well worth looking into this, if you can. It makes things so much neater and easier to access (esp files), with masses of storage so you don't feel guilty buying yet another book.

Peregrin Sun 01-Sep-13 15:32:25

We have low standards.

Even so it turned into a major strain on our relationship - we both hate the lows that the state of our flat could get to, we both agree intellectually that the chores should be divided equally, but we'd always end up with arguments and petty bookkeeping on who has done how much and who is more stressed with work/admin obligations.

I also felt like a failure for contemplating hired help to tackle something that I felt I should be able to do.

We now have a cleaner who comes twice a month to tackle the worst of it. We do the dishes and laundry and spot treat the worst disasters in betwen.

Chocolatehunter Mon 02-Sep-13 13:59:00

We do a bit every day. All our friends think that it's funny and that I am a nightmare because we have a blackboard on the kitchen wall which outlines what we have to do everyday. Monday is bins, Tuesday is beds, Wednesday is floors, Thursday is full bathroom clean, Friday (because DH finishes early) is hoover and dust.

We both work full time so we have to work together and this is something that DH took a while to accept, but hey ho, he didn't marry a slave. On top of the daily jobs, the shower gets sprayed and toilet gets wiped over with toilet wipes every other day. The kitchen tops and cooker are cleaned every time we wash dishes and clothes washing is done whenever there's enough for a wash.

Chocolate, I'm liking your thinking, and I might adopt it for DP and I!

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