Need the calm voice of experience!(47 Posts)
I am finding it difficult to cope with running my home. Since I was 18 (October last year) I have been living in the family home on my own but there always seems to be something that needs to be done. Cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping: the list seems never ending. I am still at school so I am not around during the day except on Thurdays when I have 2 free lessons in a row. How do people manage?
Well personally I pay a cleaner to keep me from slipping into a pit of filth but a lot of people suggest the fly lady website.
I'm not sure the trustees who oversee my finances would go for that! Especially just after they authorised the money for my first car.
Okay well take a room a day and clean it. It doesn't take long to hoover and pick things up. Most of us only get to clean when the children are in bed so we have less time than you do!
My trouble is that I look at the school work that needs to be done (we are told 15 hours per week in our own time) - which is basically my future prospects and the gradually getting less tidy house and I start getting stressed.
It is neverending. Housework is not a task that can be finished so you must make it a habit instead. Attach tasks to things you already do and most things can be incorporated into your day.
In the morning when you get up, put the kettle on and while it's boiling, put a load of washing on and load the dishwasher. When you've finished your breakfast, wipe down the surfaces in the kitchen. After you brush your teeth, wipe down the sink. When you get home, walk quickly through the house, picking up rubbish and putting things away. In this way, the house will stay mostly clean in between your cleaning sessions.
It's okay to just clean the house once a week - take the bins out, hoover, wipe down the surfaces, mop the floor. You can do that in 20 minutes. You do have 20 minutes.
You can also order your shopping online weekly so you can do it on your phone on the bus or wherever. Before you check your email, check over your trolley and add anything you need.
Thank you acumenin. I was starting to think my life was school work, house work and not much else which was silly.
Some people have suggested I get a lodger to stop me being lonely (which I am) but that would create more mess I expect.
A lodger might help tidy up as well! You could get a rota going so you were forced to both do your bit.
I don't know if it would work in your situation but maybe an au pair?
No real advice but just wanted to point out that you obviously have a lot of work to do and managing a family home is a lot on top of it, especially for someone so young. I don't mean that to sound patronising, but I was crap at housework at 18 (still am at 29), but you are obviously taking a responsible attitude.
I do my best but sometimes (like now in the common room!) I think about my Mum and Dad (it has been 11 months since they were killed) and suddenly I have wasted another 30 minutes. Which is partly why the house is not a clean at it used to be.
Well I don't think thinking about your mum and dad is wasted time at all, so don't ever feel bad about that. What a lot you've been through! I know it is stressful living in an untidy/dirty house & feeling a bit overwhelmed. Is there anyone else who can give you a hand? Any college mates who might help you for an hour or two a week in return for
class notes dinner?
Goodness, i couldn't have looked after a hamster when I was your age, never mind a home. It sounds like you've had a really rough time.
I've got three children now and the stuff which get me through are doing a little bit every so often - put a wash on/dishwasher on before leaving the house so it's doing its thing while I'm out - and Internet grocery shopping. You can get an Ocado or Tesco app for the iPhone if you've got one, and have it delivered when you like.
It's hard - especially when you have loads of other stuff to do like your schoolwork. Don't worry about having a perfect house - education much more important. Twenty minutes a day better than a whole day every 4 weeks , give yourself a reward whenyou've done your 20 mins!
Good luck - I struggle now as a part time working 30 something, so I do feel for you. If your house doesn't look like Kim and Aggie might turn up then that's a pretty amazing achievement!
I lived away from home from when I was 18, but mostly shared with others so my experience is probably slightly different but here are some tips that I hope help you:
1. Do not expect to keep the house in the exact way your parents did. You need to find a level that works for you. I have no doubt that if your mum was there, she would tell you that it's okay if the place isn't as spotless as she kept it as long as you're keeping up with your studies and having some fun when you can.
2. Online shopping, as suggested by others.
3. Do you prepare food for yourself? What kind of things do you eat? When we were students, we tended to use every pot in the house, but learning how to prepare a couple of very quick and easy meals, preferably in one pot, will revolutionise your food preparation and cleaning tasks. Go to the food or recipes section here and you'll find lots of ideas, or post a request and I'm sure lots of people will offer good suggestions.
4. How big is the family home? Is it worth closing up one or two rooms and just going into those every few months for a big clean? Focusing on keeping the kitchen, living area, bathroom and your bedroom clean and tidy?
5. CHEAT ALERT: if you are untidy, allocate a chair/ a cupboard/ a wooden box in each room as the "junking spot" and dump things there when you're trying to tidy up quickly. You can go through it weekly or so to put everything away properly.
6. Washing: Commit to x number of loads a week and make sure you only do washing when you have a full load. It's worth putting on before making supper so you can hang up the washing when you are finished eating and tidying up.
The big thing i find with keeping a house is to put things away as you use them otherwise it all builds up. It really is so much quickerthat way.
I presume you have some sort of study scudule? You just need a cleaning one now. Personally when working ft I found it easier to do bulk of actual cleaning on a sat morning. A wAsh can be put on overnight or during the day then aired to dry.
It us a never ending job that almost everyone finds hard especially to begin with. Dh and I still have disagreements about the state of the house and he's 40!
Make sure you are getting the support you need. You've had a very tough time. My dad passed away in nov sobi can understand to a degree. Do not think time thinking of your patents as a waste. It may be happening when you feel it shouldn't but I've found the same thong over the last week or so. Think it's part of the cycle of grief!
I'm starting a new regime with DH where we have tasks but each takes less than 15 minutes, so when you feel tired or are procrastinating you just have to think 'It's only 15 minutes'. Pick the hotspots of your house (for us it is laundry and clothes) and say you'lldo 15mins a day (apologies spacebar is sticky!).
Ps you may find that a cleaner would not be out of the question.
Also do you have a relative or family friend that could help get you sorted? Maybe a new year blast and then you maintain?
I agree with others - put stuff away when you've finished with it as it only takes a few minutes (if that) but takes a lot longer if you let it build up. Also closing any rooms that you don't use much.
Throw rubbish away regularly and keep the kitchen clean by wiping stuff while you wait for the kettle/toaster etc.
Rinse round the bath/basin or shower when you finish and that is really all they need. Check the loo when you've been for any "marks" and clean off immediately (or they stick!), brush round at bedtime and put loo cleaner down to do its stuff overnight - just remember to flush before using it again.
Put a nice basket near the bottom of the stairs to put stuff in that needs to go up.
I'm a lot older than you and I hate housework so just concentrate on the main parts - clean kitchen, bathroom and loo. Also the living room. You are young so your bedroom is supposed to be messy but just make sure you don't leave anything food related festering in there!
When you cook, do a big batch and put portions in the fridge/freezer. You then have lots of quick and easy meals and it's cheaper too.
Every time you leave a room, pick something up (that needs moving or tidying away)
You're having to grow up faster than many but you sound like you're doing really well
I'm home from school now. I will try to make use of what you have all suggested. So I will do a big tidy-up, a big wash, a medium iron, then go out to do some shopping and then start my school work (lots )
I do get a bit jealous of my friends who still get most of this done for them - and yes I know about the deadly sins!
It has been 11 months since Mum and Dad were killed and with Gran not too well I don't like to bother Grandad about feeling quite weepy today. So I had better keep busy.
Good luck, MissD!
I lived on my own at sixteen and it was hard bloody going. It gets lots easier! It's just practice and habits for the most part. Don't worry about not having everything perfectly together, no one does. And remember the house is not a performance, it's your home. It's there for you, not you for it.
its a shame you don't have a big sis and little bro to help you out
what happened to your parents?
So sorry to hear about your parents MissD. What a difficult time for you x
They were killed in a two car crash with a speeding 17 year old. I was cut out with just cuts and bruises because I was sitting in the back. I don't remember much about it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.