Finishing touches?

(10 Posts)
Letmesleepalready Wed 14-Sep-16 10:22:17

I'm very messy, but have slowly been improving my housekeeping skills over the years. Still a long way away to not cringe if we have unexpected visitors, but if there's enough notice I can get the house presentable.
But I'd like it if it was mostly clean and tidy every day and not just once in a while! My main issue is I'll clean and clear the bulk of the mess/grime but never get round to really doing it all (so all flat surfaces on the edge of the room are getting worse and worse but at least the sofa and dining table and floor are clear)
I'm just a bit fed up of not being able to relax knowing everything is put away and not just dumped there.

Do you clear all the surfaces every day? Or once a week? We'd be lucky if I get round to doing it once a month and it shows blush

PinkSquash Wed 14-Sep-16 10:26:04

I try and put everything away as I go, so the clutter doesn't accumulate. I have a file for paperwork and another for random bits that I need to keep but not to keep out.

If it's not needed it goes in the bin.

Once you get it clear it's easier to keep on top of it daily, but at the start it's overwhelming flowers

PinkSquash Wed 14-Sep-16 10:26:58

And wiping stuff down takes a minute while you're watching the TV, or after you've had dinner, even with a baby wipe

Letmesleepalready Wed 14-Sep-16 10:37:07

I'm rubbish at tidying as I go! So I'm just battling with mess from each day with no energy to even tackle older stuff.
I'm going to need constant reminders aren't I?

PinkSquash Wed 14-Sep-16 11:03:57

Just set an alarm for 5 minutes and get as much sorted as you can, or longer if you're feeling brave.

I remember a now well loved phrase of mine 'dont put it down, put it away' and it does help to stop the build up and you can eventually get through it all

ChipmunkSundays Wed 14-Sep-16 11:20:31

After being horrendously messy for years I seem to have cracked it at last.
I did a massive declutter to start with. Huge amounts of stuff got chucked out or given to charity. It was quite liberating! Secondly, I made sure that everything had a home. Tidying things up is impossible if you have no idea where stuff belongs. I also strictly limited the amount of stuff on surfaces. It just takes too long to move and clean. We do have some ornaments, photos etc out (our house definitely isn´t minimalist) just not millions. Say, one thing per window sill or a max of three things on top of a unit. We keep as little as possible out on the kitchen work surface. As much as possible either lives inside cupboards (bread maker etc) or it goes on the wall (knives, spices). Again, this saves huge amounts of time in cleaning.

Overall, the effect has been that stuff doesn´t accumulate, and everything has an easily-accessible home so it´s no bother to put it away. Paperwork either gets instantly recycled (e.g. junk mail), stuck to the fridge if it needs action (e.g. bills, letters from school) or put in a pending file (plastic wallet in the study) if it needs filing. About once a month I go through the file and put away the papers so there´s not too much build-up.

In terms of cleaning surfaces, I wipe the dining table and kitchen surfaces after meals - only takes a couple of minutes if they´re not covered in crap. Dusting other surfaces generally happens weekly, but I don´t fuss if it´s fortnightly instead. Again, not having stuff everywhere really is the key - much less daunting.

Letmesleepalready Wed 14-Sep-16 12:36:37

I keep forgetting to do the timer, and yes, I'm always surprised how much I can do in 5 minutes (especially as I'll have procrastinated for days instead of just doing it)
Just spent most of the morning trying to clear some surfaces, but it's still far from done!!
The other thing I've noticed is that because tidying up doesn't come naturally to me, I forget to teach the kids! The biggest tip I've read is to tidy in between activities. But I'll forget all about it until 3 different activities are out and the floor is covered. I'm almost thinking of timing the activities but that doesn't seem fair on the kids (either they would be bored or too engrossed to want to finish just to stick to my timetable)
Like yesterday, the DCs were colouring, then went to play with the building stuff, but instead of reminding them to pick up the pens, I forgot until they were engrossed in the building stuff, and obviously didn't want to tidy up by then! It must be so natural to some people though!

BoaConstrictor Wed 14-Sep-16 20:38:09

A home for everything is the key. Over the past few months, I've been through each room & thrown what I can but what I have kept is now stored nicely eg I am never going to do the filing every day so I have a pretty box file in the kitchen into which I put all paperwork that needs to be filed. It is better than a teetering stack of paperwork. Likewise, I accepted it is easiest for the kids art & craft stuff to live in the dining room as that is where they do it so we have some nice, big drawers which is gets put away into.

Bailey101 Wed 14-Sep-16 20:51:04

Have you read Marie Kondo's book? I found it to be a real game changer in how I treat 'stuff' in my home, and since going through the process, housework takes a fraction of the time!

Letmesleepalready Thu 15-Sep-16 06:25:02

I keep meaning to read that book but there's a massive queue at the library for it (understandably from the reviews!)
I'm getting better at a home for everything but there's always a few stragglers!

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