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how clean is clean enough? Where do you draw the 'finish' line?!

(10 Posts)
devoncreamtea Sat 11-Jun-11 15:57:49

I'm just wondering good is good enough when it comes to housework? I am a SAHM with 4 very young children and I'm just finding it endless - there's always so much to do, stuff I can only do really quickly etc - I feel a constant nagging pressure of cleaning and gardening...it's driving me crazy. Where do you draw the line?

Sanesometimes1 Sat 11-Jun-11 16:14:08

clean enough to be healthy but messy enough to be happy !

Slightlyreluctantexpat Sat 11-Jun-11 16:36:45

There is NO finish line! If you look for one you will go mad. Quite, quite mad.

When my four DCs were small I thought I was doing well if the place was tidy enough that I could find what we needed. Often it wasn't. I do remember the whole ghastly domesticity thing often overwhelmed me at that stage.

Absolutely no help to you at all there, then. Sorry!

(I would suggest cutting corners though. Don't iron. Don't peel potatoes. Get the bigger DCs to help with anything. Change sheets less often. All that kind of thing. Also, if there's enough cash, consider getting a cleaner for a few hours a week for floors and bathrooms, or a lawnmowing person, or both).

My final pearl of wisdom (I'm on a roll here now!) is don't judge yourself on your housekeeping skills. Concentrate on what the DCs need and ignore the state of the house, if you can.

NorthernGobshite Sat 11-Jun-11 16:42:58

When I can sit down and not want to tear my eyes out due to the mess!

Scholes34 Sat 11-Jun-11 17:10:56

Clean bathroom/toilets and kitchen. Clean the rest of the house when it really needs it, and when it's likely to get noticed and you receive praise!

superjobeespecs Sat 11-Jun-11 17:31:26

clean bunkers toilet and hoovered floors that was all i aspired to when DD was small and i will do the same once this bab arrives smile

PeanutButter99 Sat 11-Jun-11 17:32:35

The finish line for me is so far in the distance that I've given up ever trying to get close to it! I make sure my kitchen is clean and that my floors are hoovered and brushed as DS picks up everything and it goes straight in the mouth. DS is only 11 mo so brushing normally happens many times a day! I can't remember the last time I dusted the whole house and not just as and when I saw it. My ironing is piling up and overtaking the spare room. But, I've learned to live with it. I'm a full time working mother so the housework gets done when DS is napping during the weekend. The rest of the time I play with him smile He's a nightmare to get to sleep now so by the time that's done (usually 9pm) it's dinner, clean up and bed.

youonlygetonelife Sun 12-Jun-11 10:40:22

I'm pretty slack, because I'm busy, and I value my time in the evening with my kids and my husband all eating together, then talking and reading.

My rules are:
kitchen must be clean surfaces, nothing manky in fridge, sink empty, no dirty dishes;
bins under control;
toilets and basins clean;
everyone has three days worth of clean underwear and uniform/workwear;
and if someone sits on the floor they don't get up dirty.

That's it. On a 'bad' week (I work irregular hours) this is all that gets done. On a 'good' week everything is much cleaner. But this is all that DH and I reckon to get done in a busy week. When I didn't work at all we lived in show home cleanliness and splendour with fresh flowers and elegant seasonal arrangements of objects on our hall table. Now it's just a week's worth of post and piles of bags and shoes, but that's OK... smile

devoncreamtea Sun 12-Jun-11 18:59:26

thanks all! I think my thing is: bathroom/loo clean; kitchen clean; bins done; floors hoovered; tidy up at end of day; fall over exhausted....good to hear your advice - think it may just be a case of being stuck in staring at the same 4 walls (dirty walls in need of painting...) am going to try to RELAX about it all!

Beamur Sun 12-Jun-11 19:02:14

The finish line is always in the distance.
I aim for clean enough kitchen and bathrooms, on top of laundry and the occasional blitz of grot spots.
I'm aware that the house is never as clean as I would actually like it to be.

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