how do you do it?(19 Posts)
My other half and I both work full time, except my hours are daft ones and his are normal 8.30-5. He will help me around the house on weekends and that but I still never seem to get on top of all the housework. Whenever I have a day off I either never know where to start or never have the energy to do any of it. My question is this, how do others cope with working full time and running a household? Do you have set routines or just tackle things as they come? I feel like I'm swimming in mud or something and would really appreciate any help/tips/experience anyone can give me. Thanks in advance
He will help me around the house on weekends
This isn't going to go well OP
Sorry, I was half joking.
Right, what do you mean by "he helps you"? Isn't it his house too?
Yep we have same problem! Happy to hear how other working couples with kids keep a shiny house?
I was thinking maybe neither of you were brought up with cleaning. Is that the case? I remember learning at a young age and I always preferred a clean environment, so it isn't a question of how I do it but why wouldn't I?
Actually we were both brought up with relatively clean environments. We both have siblings so our homes weren't always perfect but they were clean. My other half will hoover and do the dishes of a weekend if I ask him a few times but it feels like everything else is left up to me all the time
I think that's your problem then - you either need a cleaner, or both of you to pull their weight.
We can't afford a cleaner and the main problem is getting and keeping on top of all the housework. I never know where the best place to start is
Have you got lots of clutter hanging around? Does everything have a 'home'? If sort out clutter (by which I mean being serious about decluttering and chucking stuff out) and things are put away after use, cleaning takes so much less time.
If you can't afford a cleaner, probably best to get your OH on board and spend a weekend giving your home a thorough declutter and clean. Then it's a question of maintenance. Sounds easy I know. But that's the way to do it!
Well, your OH already has a cleaner- you! This is his problem, as much as yours. He needs to be thinking about what needs doing, not just doing it after you have had to nag him! In fact, it sounds like you work longer hours, so he should really be the chief housekeeper.
Next weekend ask him what he'd like you to do to help him out round the house...
We've got similar working hours here, we've split the house/rooms, dp does downstairs, the diy and the garden, I do upstairs, the washing, ironing and the food shopping. This split was natural as he cant "see" the mess upstairs..and hates shopping and has no idea what clothes need to be clean when etc. I have bad hayfever so can't mow/cut hedges and can't do any form of diy to save my life.
You should both have equal leisure time, he should not be "helping" you with the housework.
Tidying/ everything in its place
I have a set point for each room in my head so when I go in or Out I'm resetting, it's automatic for me though so doesn't take long just part of my wondering through house.
£20 a week for cleaner for vacuuming whole house and bathroom cleaning. Kitchen has to be done constantly anyway so never see point in getting cleaner for longer. Bathrooms and hoovering are what take me the longest if I have to do it myself. I spray and wipe with kitchen towel also takes a minute in a normal week as a top up.
I've been there with my DH I honestly think he doesn't see it. So we split what we are good at, I ignore outside, bins, cars and he will happily Hoover if we need it.
Washing I do as quick as possible, use dryer as hanging out to dry just drags it out, only ask DH to put clothes away as, if he gets involved in the cycle of laundry he forgets and it lingers which means build up in basket.
Appreciate I sound a bit ocd but if you want a consistent tidiness it has to be something that happens all the time. Spending time on it at the weekend when you work full time should be avoided. Also my house isn't sparkling but it is tidy and hygienic. It's not the cheapest with dryer and cleaner but it's worth my sanity.
How big is your house and you don't say if you have children.
Unless it's huge, I wonder if you need things like your iron checked if it's so exhausting.
I think the trick is to do specific jobs straight away, before you make a cup of tea or sit down
or log on to mumsnet
For example just come in and hoover, and the next day mop the hard floors, and the next clean the bogs/bathroom, the next go over paontwork with cleaning wipes, the next dust, probably no more than half an hour a day and it's all kept on top of.
I gave up years ago asking DH to do it but he does his share, rather traditionally, of man's jobs: the bins, the outside paintwork, fence and shed painting, the lawns and hedge trimming (and cleaning the pond). He's also the official remover of small mammals (cat prey) and every frog is worth four hours of housework imho.
I am amazed at how much time people spend doing housework, as Endod says - do you have a very large house/children/pets?
Surely if you are both out all day there can't be that much to do?
A quick 20 minutes a day should surely be enough - one day bathrooms, one day kitchen, one day hoover through, one day dust etc.
I rarely spend more than 20 mins a day cleaning and I don't think I live in hovel. (5 bed house, one teenager - although I only do his room three times a year ).
Of course your DH should be doing his share as well - does he do the garden/DIY etc?
I think when things are really piled up it seems a much bigger job than it is. It's finding a starting point that makes a difference.
I found fly lady really helped me to get started and the 15 mins a day rule has made a massive difference to my whole life. From exercise go housework to work tasks in my job, most things can be done in 15 mins.
I'm going back to work after being off all summer and I've recently moved house so I drew up a household chores list and stuck in on the fridge and it's working great already.
I have a list of things that need to be done daily, like wiping down the kitchen after meals and the table and floors and downstairs loo wiped down. Then I have a room an evening during the week to give a once over which takes 15 mins. I also schedule in shredding and filing at the weekend, an hour's deep clean after work on a Friday while my mil still has the kids (bathrooms, full house Hoover and floors mopped etc) and I have a four weekly rota of bigger jobs so each gets done at least monthly - like cleaning fridge, cleaning cars, Windows etc.
I make dinner, then I take 15 mins to do the room of the day, then we both put kids to bed, then hubby tidies kitchen while I do a workout or paperwork for the next day's work then we sit down for an hour before bed.
It keeps things ticking over without being overwhelming.
When I first moved out of my mym's 8 years ago I couldn't have people over unannounced as my house was always a pigsty. I had so much anxiety from it. Now I can have a visitor any time and not feel embarrassed.
I'm in the same situation and until 6 weeks ago lived in a complete tip: almost channel 5 documentary standards There was other factors like MH going on too but my main excuse was working full time and not having chance to keep on to of it. I don't have children but do have 2 dogs and hadn't done any house work for nearly a year, so you can well imagine the mess.
Anyway I solved it. It wasn't easy and it took some graft but I now live in a gloriously clean house and no longer panic when people want to come round
This is what I did:
Took a week off work and spent it tackling 1 room per day. Start in one tiny corner of the room and just keep going until the room is done. Don't even think about the next bit of room until the first bit is done. Don't worry about the amount of rubbish you're throwing out, just stack it up somewhere and deal with it at the end by taking the whole sorry lot to the tip.
I ended up with nearly 40 binbags absolutely bursting full of crap to take to the tip. I'm sure your house isn't nearly as bad as mine was though! The rule is: Only keep something if it has a place to live. Everything MUST have a home.
Next plan your week so you're only doing MAX 20 mins of housework a day, plus 1 1 hour session at the weekend.. To do this, split your house into 3 categories by room: High traffic rooms, medium traffic rooms and low traffic rooms. High traffic need at least 5 minutes of your time per night for a quick tidy round etc, plus 2 sessions or so a week of 10-15 mins for floor cleaning. Then the medium traffic rooms probably only need a go at 2-3 times a week. Low traffic are once a week.
To do mine I wrote all the jobs out on a whiteboard and moved them about until I got a routine I was happy with. Put the board somewhere you will see it every day. For me this was on the side of my fridge.
Then set yourself 1 "wildcard" slot of 1 hour each weekend. This is for projects like organizing cupboards or for bigger, less frequent jobs like cleaning the oven etc. Have these jobs on a rotating basis, so one week it's a project, the next week it's cleaning the oven, the week after it's washing the curtains etc etc.
This way, you're only doing 20 mins of housework a day and 1 hour each day at the weekend but still manage to have a clean house
We also have a rule in our house where one of us does the cleaning, the other one does the laundry and cooking. Ends up being a pretty fair division of labor
I do 10 minutes of housework before work and 10 after. It's amazing what you can get done in 20 minutes a day and I find I barely have to do any housework at the weekends.
This morning, for example, I hoovered and mopped the hall, emptied the dishwasher and took some washing out of the dryer.
Tonight I've got to clean the bathroom which will take me about 10 mins.
then the house is done for this week.
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