If your house is immaculate, how do you do it? <wails> I want one!!!

(164 Posts)
sorky Sat 30-Apr-11 09:31:45

granted I have 4 kids, but still, I want a house that I can open the door to and say 'yeah, come on in' and be confident it's tidy enough for that.

I have been ill recently so there are cobwebs and a general scruffiness, but where to start? What level of cleanliness are we talking about?

I think I'm officially a slattern blush

sorky Sat 30-Apr-11 09:33:31

Open the door to people of course

suzikettles Sat 30-Apr-11 09:39:27

Speaking as a fellow slattern, my observations have led me to the conclusion that people with immaculate houses just do way more housework than me.

Sorry, but it's that simple sad

Of course, some of them contract some of it out, and some of them have tidier partners than I do, but generally I think if you put the hours in you get the tidy house.

Oh, and picking up after yourself as you go along (whole family). I fail at that as well.

NotaMopsa Sat 30-Apr-11 09:57:15

I AM constantly cleaning which is dull - don't do it!

sorky Sat 30-Apr-11 10:00:51

Is it really constant?

sorky Sat 30-Apr-11 10:02:45

But when do you do fun stuff?

Does cleaning become a form of fun/entertainment?!?

boosmummie Sat 30-Apr-11 10:03:08

I am slattern one month, domestic goddess the next grin. I am just coming out of my slattern phase and yesterday went through each room of the house tidying/fixing/throwing stuff etc. Very cathartic. Today I will be cleaning room by room and if I'm really good I'll do the windows too! Once it's done I am perfect housewife for about 4 weeks - tidying up as I go along, everything in correct home at the end of the day etc etc. The only rooms that are always clean and tidy are the bathrooms and kitchen.

Funnily enough, ten years ago, as a single parent with 3 primary age children and working full time, my house was show home like, but I think that was more a case of HAVING to be superbly organised in order for us to achieve/function. I now have just me and my 2 year old at home all the time and a somewhat laissez faire attitude (the older three are boarders) to everything. Come holidays/half terms and full house weekend,s military precision and order is reinstated.

I must say that the 3 older children have to sort their own shitpits out as I am frankly scared of what I may step in/catch on entering grin

Tortoise Sat 30-Apr-11 10:03:42

I wish I knew how. I have 4 dc too!

Collision Sat 30-Apr-11 10:05:27

I think tidying and sorting the junk is the key thing!

Once the room is tidy then a quick hoover and dust should sort it.

The kids can do that when they are of age. My 6y old loves hoovering.

Get a bin bag and start sorting stuff out.

We did the boys' room when they were out last week. 2 bin liners to the tip and they have not even noticed! grin

sorky Sat 30-Apr-11 11:36:04

I think my problem is the kids tbh.

It would be spotless if they would stop trashing the place!

No sooner have I cleaned the bathroom and someone comes in with filthy hands and the sink, tiles, soap, toilet seat & towels are covered in mud

Same with bedrooms....make the beds, return with clothes to find dens have been constructed with pillows and quilts

The fruit bowl looks like a good idea until you find half eaten remnants in unlikely places.

Maybe I need Nanny McPhee grin

I'm tackling the house today I am, I am, I am

Bonkerz Sat 30-Apr-11 12:10:47

I have recently found that good storage is key.
I spent £400 at IKEA and spent 3 weeks sorting all the rooms. We now have random drawer storage in each room which allows me to squirrel crap away and sort it easier one draw at a time! My house is not perfect! Right now it could do with a hoover and wiping of floor but everything looks tidy and its not dirty.

There are 5 of us in house, DH does his part and DCs (10,9,5) know if they cannot fit their toys in their toy boxes then they need to go in the bin! Harsh but effective! LOL

NotaMopsa Sat 30-Apr-11 20:38:03

You need to train the kids to be a bit cleaner and tidy up after themselves....mine make the dens etc but they tidy them up

One room at once for trashing - not allowed to move on without tidying

Bathroom - my teens have their own towels kept in their room

I do not enjoy the clening but enjoy it all being lovely and cannot chill if tis a dump

Maryz Sat 30-Apr-11 20:45:14

My house wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't for the washing. If I had a utility room, with a washing machine and enough space to dry fold and pile clothes my sitting room would be ok.

But all day every day there are piles of clothes (sorted for each child) on the dining room table, a dryer in the corner and an ironing board in another corner. Not to mention the piles of dirty clothes (usually about 3 baskets full, and a whole laundry basket in the bathroom) and the boxes of odd socks.

So I need a heated garden shed with running water, a washer and dryer and a tv to watch while I sort and iron.

Then I could see the rest of the dirt my house would be beautiful smile.

MrsOliverQueen Sun 01-May-11 11:31:10

Depends what age your DC's are I think. I have two under 4 atm and am pg (madness). Have been severely warned that keeping the house spotless will be bad for my health and am currently in ironing rehab.

Have come to the conclusion that spotless is the impossible dream, particularly after half term....thought I had the place in order then popped into the DC's room and the floor, yet again is covered in toys.

Most visitors don't expect spotless and I reckon as long as you can give them a cuppa in a clean cup with fresh milk they don't mind too much (same for the loo, it has to be clean with a fresh hand towel).

I have had about 1 week in this house when it was spotless (it was a dull week for me though).

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 01-May-11 11:35:21

I have people to visit often - it ensures my house is always tidy. I will admit to a cleaner.

I have a utility room which can look like a tip, luckily that door closes.

BendyBob Sun 01-May-11 11:45:16

I can see what you're saying sorky. I feel equally blush sometimes and have 3 dc, but I do think the mess you see isn't probably what others see.

My neighbour commented that our house was lovely and tidy and calmshock. Lol It absolutely IS NOT I am 100% sure of itgrin. The washing alone makes me feel faint - but visitors see another perspective.

I grew up in an immaculate house. My mother is ridiculously houseproud and was also a huge martyr about it to boot. The arguments between my parents re cleaning, the endless bloody housework and the fact that it totally dominated my childhood makes me very sad. We didn't do much as a family in terms of going anywheresad. It was always housework first. I try to take a different (ok polar opposite) approach. It's hard becaue I'm torn having grown up in perfection, but I try to remember it came at a very high price.

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 01-May-11 11:51:04

But having a clean and tidy home need not come at a high price, admittedly I now have a cleaner but before we could afford it we all just pitched in and had to be organised.

Tortington Sun 01-May-11 11:55:05

seriously - get a cleaner just once a week to allow you to catch your breath.

its the best tenner i spend in a week

desperatelyseekingsnoozes Sun 01-May-11 11:56:52

Having a cleaner means that we are tidier. We have someone wandering through our entire house twice a week, it evens makes teenage boys pick up their pants!

BendyBob Sun 01-May-11 12:31:51

Oh yes I'm all for a cleaner. I had one a few years ago. I don't now but I do have an ironing lady who helps me beat the pile into submission. I found it was the laundry rather than the housework I couldn't manage.

Get any help you can. Do not feel guilty! And decluttering radically helps too. I have been trying to do this and it seems to help.

BeehiveBaby Sun 01-May-11 19:15:32

My DD's childminder has 4 DCs and is a childminder and has a showhome, but freely admits to cleaning until eleven every night.

Had a tidy house once. Found that I could keep it up for a short while by using a "zero tolerance" policy. So, once tidy (eg for party or visiting inlaws) then do not let anything at all sit in the wrong place for any length of time. Once a couple of slips per room are tolerated, the whole thing goes to hell in a handcart. IME.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Sun 01-May-11 19:29:43

I have a cleaner, it is paid for with DS1's child benefit. I figure the child benefits from a hygenic environment. (I am grateful that I don't have to pay for food and clothing from this money before anyone mentions it!)

however, I don't worry about the duvets being straight or the kids havin toys out in their rooms, I don't like having a messy hallway. I love being able to open the front door to the post man withut having to kick a pile of shoes away first.

sorky Mon 02-May-11 13:54:11

I've been ruthless with the clutter and toys. Will have a major ebaying sesh I think. Kids are 9, 7, 4 & 2. The 9 & 4 yo are the worst culprits.

The cleaner is a tricky issue. I advertised for one last year & 3 never turned up!!

Dh is reluctant to have one (he doesn't even like the fact that the window cleaner visits fortnightly....thinks it's an invasion of privacy hmm)

'course he's not the one with all the bloody work!

If I threaten a cleaner he will help out and isn't completely useless, he's just a bloke & they never do housework properly ime

How often do you have a cleaner then? Actually, I think I'll start a new thread 'bout that.....

Thanks for all the advice.

boosmummie Mon 02-May-11 14:39:54

Sorky well done!!! I think with the older three and to a smaller degree the 2 year old, you should have some kind of reward system. Be bitch mother from hell and stick to it and I think you may find an improvement!! If mine went into 'negative' points (and they did), I would remove a favourite item or toy. Oddly enough they only did this once each, the devastation of no DS/PS/iPod for a week was enough to make them see I meant business.

Not sure how it could work with your DH, but I'm sure you could think of something...... wink

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