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to find it so difficult to keep my house tidy

(54 Posts)
L8rAllig8r Thu 18-Aug-11 12:08:51

I just don't know why. I was the same with my bedroom as a child, leave it for ages then have a huge blitz, and it's followed me into adulthood. I want a tidy house. When I've thoroughly blitzed it I LOVE it. I find myself staying up later just to enjoy the tidiness. But it never lasts more than a week tops, and then the mess seems to get on top of me so quickly, which demotivates me even more. I end up thinking, what's the point, it'll be a state again by tomorrow.

I'm a single parent of a nearly 3 year old and want a nicer home for him. I'm bidding on some more storage on eBay to cope with the sheer volume of toys but it's not really space I lack (even though the house is tiny, there's only 2 of us and I haven't got much stuff), it's motivation. Even though I love it tidy, I don't want to clean EVERY day, but if I don't by day 2 it's a tip again and I go back into the spiral of what's the point of tidying, it'll only get messy again...

Any advice/tips to help me kick this longterm? I'm going to settle in for a huge blitz today and would love it to last longer this time.

CustardCake Thu 18-Aug-11 12:13:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlpiniAddict Thu 18-Aug-11 12:15:01

I haven't got any tips but I'm exactly the same. I'm a single mum too,of 4 DC under 7. I'll stay up late at night,sometimes all night,to get it done but it never lasts more than a day. I feel like I'm fighting against an overwhelming tide of crap. Is that similar to how you feel? I know what needs to be done but lack the energy or motivation to do it. I too have a distinct lack of storage. Hope you get some good tips to help you smile

L8rAllig8r Thu 18-Aug-11 12:23:31

Sorry it's the same for you Alpini. Maybe the magic solution for both of us will come along soon.

CustardCake, I understand the logic of what you are saying. I know I need to, but somehow the motivation just doesn't come easily. That is what I am asking for help with! To use your diet analogy, it's like telling a fat person 'just eat less'. Technically correct, but not that helpful in practice.

TimeWasting Thu 18-Aug-11 12:24:42

It has to be done every day, tidying up, washing up, keeping on top of laundry, do a bit of dusting or hoovering, but it doesn't need to take long each day.

So do a blitz today, then tomorrow, set a timer for 15 minutes and keep on top of it.

joric Thu 18-Aug-11 12:25:54

The key to a constantly tidy home is to constantly tidy up. sad
I can't be bothered to keep this up.
My mum says from her massive house with loads of built in cupboards storage is the best way forward but I feel for you OP- my room was a mess when I was younger and I do try now... We have a cleaner who shames me into tidying and sorting before she comes...oh well...<sighs>

TimeWasting Thu 18-Aug-11 12:31:50

Getting rid of stuff is much more useful than buying storage.

I've got rid of all my ornaments, takes seconds to dust now.
I've gotten rid of about half the plates/pans etc. in my kitchen, so everything fits in the cupboards. Takes seconds to wipe the counters over now.
I don't keep anything on the downstairs floors, super easy to sweep and mop.

handbagCrab Thu 18-Aug-11 12:32:28

Maybe look at how much stuff you have and get rid! If you have less stuff then you have less to clean & then it makes things easier. My friend wants to buy a new house because her current one is full of toys, clothes they never wear, out of date gadgets etc. She's now going by my suggestion to declutter before spending a fortune on new storage or a new house.

Be honest with yourself, look round the room you're in now & count how many things you have in there that you never use!

CustardCake Thu 18-Aug-11 12:35:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 18-Aug-11 12:49:06

Do a little bit, often.
Encourage your children to tidy up after themselves! If they want to get something else out then they put away the first thing, first.
If you've decluttered then you'll have more storage for the things you want to keep to go in.
15 minute burst of activity. You can easily tidy the lounge, dust and hoover in 15mins.
If all else fails - flylady wink

L8rAllig8r Thu 18-Aug-11 13:01:49

I just really need to form the habit I suppose. I am so envious of people, my mother being a prime example, to whom it seems to come naturally. It just seems like a massive effort to me, which it isn't really, so why does it feel like it?! Arrgh.

Would I be insane to swap bedrooms with my DS? I have the bigger room and it is wasted on me, I only sleep there. I've just had the tape measure out and I could squeeze my double bed and 2 chests of drawers in his room for me, and he could have the bigger room with toddler bed, double sofabed (we have relatives that come to stay quite often), and one chest of drawers, leaving a fair bit of space for toys. I would share the 2 large cupboards in his room. Just think it would get some of the toys put of the lounge, which is one of the biggest difficulties. Thanks for the advice so far though, decluttering is a great idea. I am never quite as ruthless as I probably should be, especially with DS's toys.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 13:08:35

What about writing a list of everything that needs to be done in a house on a regular basis and making a timetable?

That way, you have everything planned in on a daily basis, it's less to do each day and because it's stuck there, in black and white, it's easy to stick to it.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 13:10:45

swapping rooms with him sounds like a great idea. He could keep his toys in his own space and they wouldn't be all over.

My children have the large bedroom in our house and all their toys and games have to live in there grin they can bring something down if they want to use it downstairs, but it has to go back up when they've finished with it.

That way, rest of the house stays toy free. It looks FAR better to not have piles of toys and assorted crap in your living room.

cyb Thu 18-Aug-11 13:14:48

Chuck out half of the toys

he cant possibly play with all of them

Dont buy more furniture to store stuff that never gets touched

be ruthless and CHUCK

redskyatnight Thu 18-Aug-11 13:16:51

It helps if everything has a "place" to go. Then at the end of every day (or a couple of times a day) you can put everything in its rightful place (and your 3 year old can help put his own toys/things away).

The other thing I do is have a box and chuck everything in there that needs more time to be sorted out. And then make sure that once a week I do sort.

ComeWhineWithMe Thu 18-Aug-11 13:17:24

Music is the key, I have music on my phone a couple of times a day I go into a room put a song on and pick stuff up until the song is finished, it is amazing how much you can get done during one song.

You also need to form habits, if you see a mark on the wall wipe it there and then. Have some baby wipes in the bathroom and wipe round the sink as you are brushing your teeth.

Don't go upstairs without picking something up and so on and so on.

I fucking hate housework but I hate mess more, I spent years trying to avoid it and it just depressed me now I find doing it instead of thinking about doing it causes a lot less stress.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 18-Aug-11 13:17:39

ooh no, don't chuck 'em! bag them up and put them in the loft. You then rotate the toys, meaning that there are always toys he hasn't played with for a while and is therefore more interested in.

ComeWhineWithMe Thu 18-Aug-11 13:18:30

Cyb is right too, chuck things, Hire a skip or put stuff on freecycle. I did 6 black bags of clothes and toys last week.

petitepeach Thu 18-Aug-11 13:19:18

Hi I agree with above - little and often is the key!

There are some handy yahoo groups to join etc to make you more motivated...

What I found helped was to get rid of everything I didn't need ; duplicates/unwanted gifts, you name it! Either sell on ebay or take to the charity shop, you will feel sooooo much better!
Then have one of your mega blitz cleans as your 'new start' and carry on with a few routines....

The trick is to tidy as you go not leave it for a few days to build up.

I take 15 minutes to put things in their right place (kids toys, clothes etc)

Then take another 15 minutes to generally tidy/clean (you will be amazed how much you can do if you focus for 15 minutes)

Another tip which can be a PITA but has made a big difference to me is to do the timed 15 minute thing before I go to bed, really just putting things back where they belong, and lay anything out that I might need for the next day....

Being tidy dosn't come easy to me, but I felt the chaos was dragging me down, feel a lot better and more motivated now grin

Also if you feel overwhelmed I find if I clear all the dirty dishes etc/empty dishwasher and do a mini kitchen clean first I feel more inclined to do a little bit more...
good luck & hope we get some more tips!

L8rAllig8r Thu 18-Aug-11 13:19:41

I think that seems the best option. My dad won't be happy, as he painted DS's room for me when we moved in blush Its not a miracle cure but I do hope it will help. DS's room is too small to store anything much due to the silly layout of it, so 90% of his stuff is in the lounge. And with birthday and Christmas looming, it's only going to get worse.

L8rAllig8r Thu 18-Aug-11 13:21:57

Sorry, lots of x posts! Thank you everyone, this is really helping. I just hope it sticks this time.

lesley33 Thu 18-Aug-11 13:23:16

You need to get into the habit of tidying as you go along. So straight after a meal wash the dishes and wipe the cooker; put away toys before bedtime routine e.g. in a toy box, hang up coats as soon as you come in, etc.

Blitzing a house takes much longer than just doing a small bit each day imo. And once you are in the habit, it is fairly easy to do.

diddl Thu 18-Aug-11 13:25:49

I think it´s also finishing the jobs.

For example if I wash up & leave pots to drain, the next time I need to wash up, I have to dry & put stuff away first.

If I iron & don´t put it away, I end up with piles of clothes in various places.

Better to iron a little & put it away iyswim.

kaiteysmumma Thu 18-Aug-11 13:26:02

I know exactly how you feel OP, I'm exactly the same. Love a clean tidy house, but I just can't seem to maintain it. One website I found was - some of it is a bit OTT, but theres a lot of good stuff in there too. Routines, and doing a little bit each day has helped me loads

RalphGnu Thu 18-Aug-11 13:26:19

I am exactly the same as you, OP. I don't think I'll ever be a tidy person, but the best thing I've found is to give yourself tasks for each day of the week and stick to them.

Monday: change and wash bedding, clean bathroom, hoover upstairs

Tuesday: washing and drying, mop kitchen floor, dust and polish downstairs

etc etc.

Being an appalling slob, it gives me great satisfaction and it doesn't take long to do. I always force myself to put away all the toys once DS has gone to bed so I'm not faced with a bombsite the next morning.

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