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to ask those with nice, clean tidy home how you do it.

(159 Posts)
FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 10-Oct-13 21:38:35

I have spent 11 hours already this week trying to sort this house out. I have got rid of a lot of junk, but still have my wardrobe to sort out ( another 2 hours) as it is full of junk, clean the cooker and also do my nets and windows.

How the fudge do people manage to keep a nice, clean and tidy home.

No doubt by next week my house will be back to square one.

foreverchanging Thu 10-Oct-13 22:58:59

Storage and a place for everything.

Sadly, I have none hmm

It's like pushing water up a hill, honestly.

ToysRLuv Thu 10-Oct-13 22:59:52

However, the place is clean and tidy, as I try to clear up as I go and do a weekly clean (vacuuming, mopping).

PaperSeagull Thu 10-Oct-13 22:59:52

I agree with little and often, clean as you go. I worked out a cleaning schedule that we strictly adhere to. Certain chores are always done on Saturdays, others are always done on Sundays. Each weekend we also do one extra thing (e.g., washing windows) on a rotating basis. DH and I both work full time, so we do the minimum of cleaning during the week. But we've found that doing that little bit each day really helps when it comes to tackling the weekend tasks.

I can't abide clutter, so I try to keep on top of it. Someone told me that when you're sorting things out, you should touch each item only once. For some reason, I found that simple piece of advice so useful. Previously, I had been sorting things into various piles, then re-sorting them, becoming overwhelmed in the process. But if you have a clear list of where to put things, it can be really helpful (e.g., these items go straight into this drawer, these go on that shelf, etc.).

Flyingbytheseatofmypullups Thu 10-Oct-13 23:00:58

Cleanliness - lucky to have a cleaner, but may be relevant to note that she does a four bedroom house in four hours once a week. I.e. a measure of time spent rather than who does it. We literally do no cleaning between her visits.

Tidiness - DH and I are both 'tidy as you go' people and don't hoard although we love recycling - and DD appears to be turning put the same.

Things I don't care/ worry about - ironing, cleaning windows,

Things I do care about - shoes off upstairs, shoes off on furniture, tidying things away, hanging coats etc up, putting shoes away, things having a 'place', keeping cat out of lounge when we're not in, weekly washing routine (clothes, bedding etc not people!), bagging unwanted/ no longer needed stuff for charity shop, family meal plan, shared calendars, admin/ post pile dealt with when it gets too big, teaching DD to do things for herself.

ToysRLuv Thu 10-Oct-13 23:04:13

Yes to not ironing. Windows get washed, at most, twice a year.

We take shoes off indoors, and I think that helps a lot with keeping the floors clean.

ToysRLuv Thu 10-Oct-13 23:05:45

Oh, and that after shower spray stuff works well, so you don't have to scrub the shower/bath more than every couple of weeks.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 10-Oct-13 23:07:42

I can't even remember the last time I cleaned the windows.

The cooker now has to be cleaned though as I have bought those put in a bag cooker cleaner. It says 2 hours but going to leave it over night.

I just hope with these tips my house don't become one again lol

Goofymum Thu 10-Oct-13 23:07:56

It depends on your standards I suppose. I work full time and have 2 kids. During the week the house gets pretty messy but the kitchen is generally cleaned as we go along. At weekends I do about 1 hour blitz cleaning and can get a lot done in that time. DH does tidying and hoovering too. Just doing that little amount keeps the house ok by my standards. I think it is organisation too.

ToysRLuv Thu 10-Oct-13 23:11:15

Put a foil sheet on the bottom of the oven and you don't have to clean it ever again very often.

Sunnysummer Thu 10-Oct-13 23:12:28

The most important thing for me is to have tidy cupboards with a place for everything - this means that even when there is surface clutter it can quickly be put away.

Tidying the cupboards, of course, is the tricky bit! It sounds like you're already doing a great job - also, it helps to be really tough with yourself when going through things, as people have suggested above. When you get new things, try to get rid of something else either to the bin, donation or eBay (we have a one in one out policy with my shoes, DS's toys and my husband's sports and electronics stuff!). This also helps to stop just shoving a new thing into a cupboard and starting the slow slide back towards chaos. If you're really time poor, professional organisers can be AMAZING - we had one help when a relative passed away and then hired them for us when we moved house in my third trimester, as they can really help you speed up, set up good systems and be objective.

Also, loved the recent thread with tips for less than perfect homemakers smile

valiumredhead Thu 10-Oct-13 23:17:37

No junk or clutter is the answer. You need to chuck stuff out on a regular basis.

treaclesoda Thu 10-Oct-13 23:19:42

I agree with little and often. And there are certain things that if you always do them, it gives the impression of everything being very very tidy, such as making sure that there is absolutely nothing (except people) sitting on your chairs/sofas. Or that your kitchen worktops are always cleared and wiped down. These things only take seconds really, a few minutes at most, so if you're in the habit of doing them you just do them on automatic pilot.

Also, get rid of clutter. You can't tidy clutter, you can only move it around. So if something doesn't make you happy to look at it, or it doesn't serve a purpose and get used, then its a waste of time having it in your house at all.

LightSky Thu 10-Oct-13 23:26:30

I think its a gradual thing, a bit every day, plus blitzes. I've been doing it for about 2 years and am getting close! One day!

My latest thing is to commit to sort out ONE extra thing a day e.g. a cupboard, a box, etc.

Then I will go to bed for a week.

jendot Thu 10-Oct-13 23:30:56

I have a cleaner!
I also continually tidy up as I go. I detest clutter...everything gets binned of filed straight away.
No ironing (except linen and work shirts and even then I try to tumble the creases out of them).
The kids have to keep their rooms/ clothes etc up to an acceptable standard.

Bumblequeen Fri 11-Oct-13 00:02:04

I too agree that everything must have a place in the home. The less items on show the better. It does mean putting things back each time you use them.

I cannot stand clutter and mess.

I keep the dining table and kitchen surfaces clean and tidy.

The living room is always neat bar dd's toys being out. Dd packs these away before bed every evening.

mrsrupertpenryjones Fri 11-Oct-13 00:12:09

Fly Lady! It's really american - but amazing!

BenNJerry Fri 11-Oct-13 11:11:15

DH and I hate mess. We split chores usually - he vacuums, dusts and cleans the bathroom. I do the kitchen, washing and ironing. Doing a little bit every day makes it a lot easier. DS's toys are usually on the floor though (he's still a baby, so has play mats and things all over the lounge.) grin

Jan49 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:34:29

Don't have lots of clutter or if you have, make sure it is hidden away in cupboards. Don't have lots of ornaments on surfaces - use a glass fronted cabinet instead so the stuff doesn't need dusting. Don't have lots more stuff than you need.

Tidy as you go or don't make the mess in the first place.

Clean the bathroom regularly.

Keep kitchen stuff in kitchen cupboards wherever possible, not on surfaces.

Have nice floorings in good condition - carpets or wood. My rented house has laminate/wood/lino in the places that get most messy and plain brown carpet everywhere else. The laminate floor in the hall is probably the only place where you can see when it needs hoovering. The rest looks the same all the time, clean.

Don't bother about cleaning windows. I can't see any difference in how my house looks when the windows are clean or not. I lived in my last house for over a decade and had a few inaccessible windows which I didn't clean on the outside. When a glass pane had to be replaced, you couldn't tell which was the brand new clean one and which was the one beside it that hadn't been cleaned outside for 10 years! Though as you say you have nets, they do tend to get grubby. Maybe pay a one off cleaner to do the windows and nets?

Sort post and junk quickly. Junk to go straight from doormat to recycling. Post dealt with asap so it doesn't pile up. Any newspapers get transferred to recycling every Saturday after I've bought the Sat Guardian.

StickyFloor Fri 11-Oct-13 11:40:15

1) DECLUTTER - if in doubt stick stuff in the loft or shed while you decide if you need it or not.
2) A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING - Once everything has a home it becomes natural to put things where they belong
3) Get kids in the habit of putting stuff away each evening before bed, without fail. At a push this means things go in their bedrooms so at least the rest of the house is tidy and toy free
4) Foil in the bottom of the cooker and grill pan to catch spills and avoid the need for a regular deep clean!
5) Establish a routine eg each morning after I get home from school run I clean the loos, wipe down kitchen surfaces, clean kitchen floor, load washing machine, empty dishwasher and then either Hoover upstairs / downstairs / dust upstairs / downstairs. This takes an hour or so and makes me feel like the house is basically clean.
6) Have rules that help minimise dirt and mess in the first place eg food in the kitchen only, no shoes indoors, clothes go immediately in linen basket when taken off
7) Only iron the essentials! Everything else gets a brisk shake then is dried on hangers ready to go into wardrobes immediately.

KittiesInsane Fri 11-Oct-13 11:44:27

Do Not:

Have teenage children.

Or random, unidentifiable, but essential bits of computer wiring, musical instruments, sim cards, backs off remote controls, spare bulbs, ink bottles, art projects, replacement panels from rabbit hutches, solitary wetshoes, clay models, airfix models, sacks of apples, or a sick cat and sadly that's just what i can see in the kitchen.

Or anything on paper.

Without those things to organise, my house would be immaculate. Oh yes.

KittiesInsane Fri 11-Oct-13 11:47:36

The no-clutter advice is great, but if the rest of your family are passionately attached to their clutter, 'just throw it away' is not quite enough advice.

quoteunquote Fri 11-Oct-13 12:12:44

Every single person who uses this space as a base, pulls their weight in the day to day running of house, outside space and animals needs.

I have always considered incredibly rude if someone makes me address their behaviour, or effort.

My mother did not give birth to me for me to be someone else's skivey.

The rules in this house are if you see something in this space that needs doing, do it, selective vision is not an option.

When we come in everyone runs round for five minutes until all jobs are done, then we all relax.

It would take one person about four hours to clean and tidy this house, and five people about 20 minutes.

Because everyone is always involved, everyone does stuff as they move about the house and garden, so there is never really anything outstanding left to deal with.

everyone knows and is capable of doing every job, and knows it's their responsibility, and just gets on with it, who wants to chat about housework, it's hardly a stimulating conversation.

I would go batshit crazy if I ever had to ask anyone to clean or tidy, because it is so rude to make me into the person who would be conceived as a nag, no one would label themselves a nag happily, so for someone to put you in a position of being a person who has to hassle others is completely unfair, and so rude.

I never ask anyone to do anything, I just expect people to respect and take care of any space they are in and they all do.

livinginwonderland Fri 11-Oct-13 12:17:19

I do it little and often. I set aside maybe 30-40 minutes a day to do certain tasks and that way it doesn't get on top of me. Our flat is cluttered due to lack of storage but it's always clean and things are always organised.

For example, Saturday, DP and I did the bathroom and cleaned all the cat stuff properly. Monday I did laundry, we changed the bedsheets and did the dishes. Tuesday and Wednesday I took the rubbish out, vacuumed, cleaned away little bits and pieces. Yesterday I did the dishes again, cleaned the kitchen up and took more rubbish out. Today I just did laundry and put some stuff away.

Stop it building up and it won't get too off-putting smile

bishboschone Fri 11-Oct-13 12:22:37

Keep on top of it is the only way.. I go through the house once a week cleaning bathrooms and changing beds but clean the kitchen every day . It doesn't take much if you do it every day. Disclaimer I don't work but have a sn ds and dd at school.

Dahlen Fri 11-Oct-13 12:26:15

Ensure the rest of the household co-operates with operation clean and tidy on pain of death wink

My house is usually tidy. It's not as clean as it first appears because it is difficult to find time to polish/clean skirting, doors, windowframes, etc when you work full time and have a full, active life. However, because I don't let it get filthy and because it's tidy people don't notice.

Storage is the key. Baskets and cupboards are your friends.

As an aside, I think furniture makes a difference. If you have a knackered sofa covered by a throw, unless you've just straightened the throw it will always look a little untidy. If you have cushions that have plain backs rather than being double-sided, they will also look wrong unless you've just straightened them and turned them right way round. If your coffee table is losing its finish, it will never look just polished unless it has just been polished, whereas a newer one will, etc. I've found that as my income has gone up and I've replaced furniture with better-quality items, the place seems a lot easier to keep looking presentable.

I have the sort of house that always looks ok. Just don't open any cupboards. grin

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