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To ask how much cleaning/tidying is feasible when you work full time?

(31 Posts)
moutonfou Tue 24-Oct-17 19:36:55

I come home exhausted. I try to at least do the basics, put mess away, keep on top of dishes and clothes, wipe kitchen surfaces and toilet. I'll dust and vacuum when needed. But I feel like I'm failing because I can never do it all. I'm surrounded by little jobs I know I'll never get round to: dusty nooks and crannies, the most random things that attract dust (spice rack? Inside the cutlery drawer?!), fabrics that could do with a wash such as curtains, grimy corners of tiles, bins, oven etc. The whole house feels so lived in and never special. But by the time I get home and cook/eat/wash up/do a couple of other things, I'm spent.

Where should the balance be? What's actually feasible?

soupmaker Tue 24-Oct-17 19:38:27

A cleaner! It’s the only way.

Millybingbong Tue 24-Oct-17 19:40:21

i would do that lot as a periodic spring clean - maybe once a quarter.

lionsleepstonight Tue 24-Oct-17 20:17:55

I try to do a job a night. Only way I can keep on top without devoting too much time at the weekend on it.

Littlechocola Tue 24-Oct-17 20:19:13

Unfuck your habitat is a life saver. I still don’t get it all done but It’s more manageable.

JonnaSilvie Tue 24-Oct-17 20:27:34

I work 60-80 hours per week, and DH works 45.

I get up v v early (5am) on week days, partly so I can do half an hour's work before getting showered and ready, and partly so I can do half an hour's housework. This time of day is for the "dailies" (put laundry on/hang laundry to dry, dishwasher on, bins emptied, dehumidifer emptied, and tidy up of all rooms from where things got misplaced the day before.

On my way out to work, I put on the robotic Hoover so it can clean the floors while we're at work.

Each evening, DH cooks and cleans up after the cooking, and I pick one room to do a quick clean (kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom on rotation, whichever looks like it needs TLC). Usually takes just 20mins for me.

Then on the weekend I'll pick an hour to do a "proper clean" of weekly/monthly jobs, e.g. Dusting, wipe out the fridge, clean the oven, etc.

We don't have a cleaner, I'd rather save the money and do it myself! I also enjoy housework, I find it calming and straightforward with instant results, compared to my actual job!

My tips would be:

1. Embrace minimalism. Just don't have shit you don't love/need. It just creates clutter/dusting/tidying.
2. Find apps which work for you! My favourite is "Unfuck Your Habitat".

AfterSchoolWorry Tue 24-Oct-17 20:31:22

Watching with interest. I feel like I'm constantly holding back a tidal wave of chaos.

SilverySurfer Tue 24-Oct-17 20:34:35

I would do that lot as a periodic spring clean - maybe once a quarter.

Agree - goes to check dust in my spice rack - probably due it's annual dusting grin

DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 24-Oct-17 20:39:59

Single mum, work full time, have a dog. So i just accept the dirt.

MagicMoneyTree Tue 24-Oct-17 20:41:14

Honestly, I tend to think “would my husband give a fuck about this?” and if the answer is “nope” I leave it be. Yes I might have a dusty spice rack. Yes the oven might get left for longer than others would deem acceptable in between cleaning. But we’re certainly not living in squalor and life’s too short to sweat the small stuff. We share the basic regular stuff - bins, laundry, dishwasher, etc fairly and after that we do stuff as and when we care enough to sort it. Works for us.

Maelstrop Tue 24-Oct-17 20:46:00

I've had a brief look at the Unfuck your Habitat app, but I'm not sure how 20 minutes of cleaning then 10 minutes of a break would work for me, I'd rather set to and get it done. The dh is changing his work hours and we're going to need to change up how we do stuff and keep the place better than we currently do.

Didntcomeheretofuckspiders Tue 24-Oct-17 20:53:58

I’m with magicmoneytree. If DP can live with it, I can!

We both work full time. He trains about 20 hours per week and me about 10-15 on top of work so we’re basically always slightly comatose when at home! We both try to devote an hour or two to having proper clean and tidy ups on our days off work but otherwise just tend to do 20-30 minutes of washing up and/or laundry each every evening.

DailyMaui Tue 24-Oct-17 20:55:27

I work full time, am out the house for 10 - 12 hours a day. Mostly ten but I work in an unpredictable industry with lots of travel so it is sometimes much longer.

I do the absolute bare minimum I can get away with. There are areas of my house that will probably remain dusty for the rest of our time here. As long as it is reasonably clean and tidy, I'm happy. I absolutely, totally HATE cleaning and refuse to do more than half of it. My husband has to pitch in or I would kill him. I generally work longer hours than he does so I'm not taking on any kind of domestic mantle. As I repeat to my family ad nauseam - "I am not the cleaner."

Next year, I will have a cleaner. I cannot wait.

JonnaSilvie Tue 24-Oct-17 20:59:23

Why are you people staring at dusty spice racks? Decluttering your cupboards and put them away! Cleaning problem solved wink

JonnaSilvie Tue 24-Oct-17 20:59:54


wombatron Tue 24-Oct-17 21:10:36

50 hour weeks here.

Kitchen: cleaned daily (wiped down), dishes always put in dishwasher.

Weekly is:
a hoover of downstairs and mop kitchen floor, bathroom is cleaned weekly also.
Laundry - Saturday morning, bed change and towels also. Aside from drying time this takes 1hour.

Every other week OH hoovers the carpets upstairs (downstairs is solid flooring). This is a townhouse and as we work, have no DC and the dogs don’t go up there I’m comfortable the carpets aren’t that dirty. I will also use the pledge duster brush thing and sort of fluff it about the hallway,
Stairs/landing and lounge. Takes me an extra 20mins to the weekly.

Once a month I dust and polish EVERYTHING and move everything (even in the rooms I don’t go in) including the outsides of the kitchen cupboards and kickboards. My whole house from top to bottom took me 4hours on Saturday to do everything. But I’d been lazy and hadn’t done it for about 2months.

I personally don’t struggle with this, but I’m very organised and structured and will spend the time doing it. Most weekday meals are healthy and simple so easy to do and don’t take much time so clean up is easy.

My advice is to identify what you can achieve weekly and make sure you do it. The longer you leave in between the worse the jobs are

wombatron Tue 24-Oct-17 21:13:34

And buy a spice rack that is a set of drawers - mine sits in the cupboard and I only need to wipe the top of it wink

I also refrain from clutter to keep cleaning easy!

MagicMoneyTree Tue 24-Oct-17 21:20:43

*Disclaimer, I don’t have a spice rack. My spices are on the cupboard. I was using examples from a pp.

abitoflight Tue 24-Oct-17 21:26:25

When I was in this situation, I’d say first lower your standards
So as to focus, I did a twenty minute thing (idk which but some book/mag) where I would set a timer for 20 minutes and go at a room for that time only - amazing how it focussed me on just doing the bits that led to most reward and not getting distracted into other stuff. After the 20 minutes, forget it. Work your way round the house like this
If there’s only 2 of you and no dogs it’s really not going to get that dirty is it with u out all day?
More important things

NapQueen Tue 24-Oct-17 21:29:43

Mon to fri we only do dishes pre dinner (wash the previous nights), and put the washer on. If I remeber I put the done washing on the rads. If I forget I do it in the morning before work.

Friday eve we dash round clearing the living room, laundry away, clean bathroom and do bedsheets (one week ours one week kids).

Vacuum sat am.

Thats it.

MagicMoneyTree Tue 24-Oct-17 21:29:56

ffs IN the cupboard 🙄

FenceSitter01 Tue 24-Oct-17 21:30:47

I assume no children and both adults working? How does a house get untidy/dirty when you are both out all day? I don't understand this. It really seems to be a big thing on MN. Two adults, normal sized property, housework should take a maximum of 90 mins on a weekend - unless you are doing a big job like washing windows and clipping hedges.

Surely people just whizz the hoover round every evening, in need? Two people do not create ridiculous amounts of washing unless both are gym bunnies and do manual jobs necessitating a complete change of soiled clothing (as opposed to shaking out your suit/uniform).

Wipe the bin when you take the bag out - who wants a build up of germy detritus in corners? Stick the extension on the pipe when you hoover if you have crumby drawers. Squirt the shower when you get out. Bleach the loo as you leave in the morning. These are all as-you-go jobs, not massive household tasks

TonicAndTonic Tue 24-Oct-17 21:35:49

We both work full time, and just accept that the house gets messier/dirtier over the course of the week tbh. We are pretty bad at getting much done on weeknights - cooking, stacking/unstacking the dishwasher, wiping the worksurfaces and maybe some laundry are all that really get done in the week. Everything else gets blitzed at the weekend! Does suffer a bit if we are away at the weekend though (and makes for a crappy Sunday evening).

AWhistlingWoman Tue 24-Oct-17 21:36:28

Before DC - completely manageable especially as DH worked Saturdays so could just get on it with it and rest on Sunday.
After DC - not a chance! We have a wonderful cleaner smile

NapQueen Tue 24-Oct-17 21:50:32

How does a house get untidy/dirty when you are both out all day?

In our case because there simply isnt time in the morning to sort the pyjamas/breakfast dishes/etc before havig to do the drop off and dash to work.

And in the evening between a long day at work and sorting the kids I can just about rouse enough energy to do the dishes and make some dinner. Nothing else.

So stuff builds up.

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