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Cleaning - what are the 'basics' and what's more than that?

(32 Posts)
vanimal Mon 08-Aug-11 08:46:13

Hello all,

I am after some cleaning advice after a row with DH.

DH is quite a clean freak, I am also a reasonably tidy person and like my house to be in order, look nice etc. It's generally very tidy, even with two preschoolers at home with me (we make a mess when we play/cook etc, but always tidy straight up afterwards).

Anyway, DH reckons I clean, but only do the basics. E.g. I'll clean the bathroom sink, bath, shelves, but haven't mopped the floor ever in a while. It's a black, grey swirly print and so spillsand stains aren't really evident unless you really look closely.

Similarly every room gets a tidy and a hoover, but I won't notice the cobwebs on the ceiling.

Does anyone have any tips on going the extra mile? What are the easy-to-miss things I should be looking out for?

acumenin Mon 08-Aug-11 09:01:08

I'm slack, I think, going off what people say on here. I do about an hour at the weekend and 5-10 mins a day maintenance through the week.

At the weekend I:

put away any clothes and put a wash on
empty the dishwasher
collect the crockery and fill dishwasher
clear the surfaces
chairs and rug up
sweep and mop throughout
hang up laundry
chairs down and wipe down surfaces

then I hop in the shower and on my way out clean down the bathroom and that's an hour. But I don't have much clutter.

My MIL's basics include also:

damp dust ledges and crannies and tops of doors
bleach down the sinks and bleach the bins
wipe down doors, handles, appliances

And tbh it's always much fresher and nicer when she helps me but I generally get really bored before I get to those jobs.

cyb Mon 08-Aug-11 09:02:55

Erm..if Dh has such high standards why doesnt Dh do the bits he thinks you ahve missed??

rookiemater Mon 08-Aug-11 09:03:57

Basics to me are what the cleaner does in her 3 hrs a week, plus general maintenance such as wiping kitchen etc.

Things that don't ever often get done - Window frames, have just been caught out badly by SIL ( though she was incredibly nice about it) she discovered a little bit of mold on DS's frames, well they are pretty clean now thank goodness although it took hours.

rookiemater Mon 08-Aug-11 09:04:58

Also with 2 preschoolers you would struggle to do more than the basics. If you want to do a thorough clean can you punt them off to anyone for a day or a half day you'd get loads done in that time uninterrupted

HoneyPablo Mon 08-Aug-11 09:12:59

Life is too short to do more than the basics. Especially with 2 pre-schoolers.
If you do want to do more then you should adopt the top-to bottom approach. Start at the top of the room. I use an extendable brush that we call the giant toilet brush to sweep in the corners of the ceiling and around the light fittings. Then I dust and wipe surfaces, straighten up and tidy away any junk.
Last I hoover/mop floors. You just need to adopt a routine.

TheProvincialLady Mon 08-Aug-11 09:15:25

If your DH notices the cobwebs but you don't, and the house is basically clean and tidy, then he should get the feather duster out and get busy with it. TBH giving attention to your preschoolers is much more important and I'd like to see your DH maintaining his high standards whilst being at home with his two children.

clam Mon 08-Aug-11 09:28:11

I'm afraid I'd be telling him to jog on. If he wants cobwebs dealt with he knows what he can do.

marriedinwhite Mon 08-Aug-11 10:35:44

I have five hours of paid cleaning/laundry a week and probably do an hour to 90 minutes of pottering, laundry, wiping, tidying, every day. Do 9 laundry washes a week and the dishwasher is on at least once a day. Two adults and two teenage children here (and two cats). It's a large Victoria house though and even as I type I can see a little webby in the corner of the sitting room shock.

Weekly: all carpets vacuumed - all other floors mopped, all bathrooms cleaned, all dado rails, bannisters, door plates, light switches, etc., wiped over. All surfaces dusted.

We are neatish and tidyish but it is never perfect, never ever.

DilysPrice Mon 08-Aug-11 10:45:05

I am a slob but would classify mopping bathroom floor weekly as a basic (ours really shows the dirt, and tbh looks pretty rank after 3 days so I often do it twice but obv all floors do get just as dirty whether or not they show).

But re cobwebs, dust etc, I'd hand the family member who cares a giftwrapped feather duster and let him get on with it.

Pootles2010 Mon 08-Aug-11 10:58:32

I'm trying to get on top of it all (I've been saying that for a while...), doing the basics of the house as you say, so hoover through, tidy up, laundry etc, then just focussing on one room of the house to do properly per week.

Well, say per week, obviously soom rooms take longer - so 10 days to do kitchen, but only 2 days to do hall + stairs.

For example, in living room I vac under sofas, clean the sofas, windows + sills, and generally dust. With regards to cobwebs - does your vac have a soft brush adapter bit? I use mine to dust, I do along skirting boards, and in the corners of the walls, and up in the coving to get rid of all the dust/webs.

Works quite well!

vanimal Mon 08-Aug-11 13:36:53

Thanks - I like the top to bottom approach.

DH is, quite frankly, a bit of an arse when it comes to cleaning. He is always fixing, cleaning, mowing etc when he is at home, but he usually works 7 days a week, so is hardly ever around to do it.

I would rather spend the time doing stuff with the girls, and I also work.

I am going to try to do more, but I may just have to get a cleaner in.

I like the top-to-bottom approach, I've never really thought of that. You're right though, I need a routine, at the moment I just wander around each room, and do whatever catch my eye first.

Ormirian Mon 08-Aug-11 13:45:20

Hoover all the carpets.
Sweep and mop all hard floors.
Clean bath/shower/sinks/toilets.
Dust all surfaces.
Wipe down all kitchen surfaces and clean cooker top.

That gets done once a week. Now the DC are on holidays it doesn't get done all at once sadly so it never looks really nice.

I have found a small helper in the shape of DS2 who is quite prepared to do little 'extra' jobs for the sake of 10p a go (who said 'child slave labour'?). So we now have all the stupid little ledges on our panelled doors and the skirting boards cleaned for the first time since we moved in. Disclaimer: he got paid more than 10p for that lot!

vanimal Mon 08-Aug-11 13:49:09

That is a fab idea smile

DD2 is 26mo, she luuuurvvves her baby wipes. I may get her doing the skirting boards...

strictlovingmum Mon 08-Aug-11 13:55:52

make beds,
put the load of washing on,
clean basin and two toilets, not the whole bathroom,
general tidy, put the toys away and any clutter.
top to bottom bathroom and cloakroom,
mop all hard floors,
change beds
sweep and hose patio,
overhaul the fridge,
sort out dry clean.
clean windows inside and out,
move the beds away from the walls and hoover,
dust the blinds,
clean inside kitchen cupboards(under sink one),
Go trough papers and mail, trow away surplus,
dust tops of kitchen cupboards and freestanding furniture,
tidy underwear and socks drawers.
DH thinks I am a freak, and all of this above is unnecessary.grin

vanimal Mon 08-Aug-11 13:58:32

Strictlovingmum, my DH would LOVE you! Thank you for that list, it's exactly what I need (to hand over to a cleaner) wink

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 08-Aug-11 14:07:01

Acumenin, you're single and work fulltime? Because the amount of housework you describe in your post would have kept my place alright when I was single, out of the house most of the time, and had a small place. It didn't mean I was slack, but it wouldn't come close now. Do you really only load and unload the dishwasher once a day?

OP, with two preschoolers and a paid job, you're doing brilliantly, your husband can get a cleaner if he's not happy. But for what it's worth:

At least one meal cooked.
Kitchen tidied, dishes loaded/unloaded, surfaces wiped. This is twice a day on weekends if we're all home all day.
Toys, paperwork, books, etc., put away after DD's bedtime
Some sort of laundry done. We don't have a dryer, so we keep it running throughout the week; hang up, rotate on clothes horse, fold, put away, etc. We don't iron.

2-3 times a week:
Floors mopped in kitchen and downstairs toilet/bathroom.
Upstairs (main) bathroom wiped down and tidied.
DD's room tidied, it gets messy faster than ours.
Downstairs rugs vacuumed.
Living areas wet dusted.

Upstairs wet areas mopped.
Upstairs carpets vacuumed.
All bed linens changed and washed.
Couches, ottoman and dining chairs scrubbed with fabric detergent. This is only because we have a toddler and DH lets her snack in the living room. It was a once-in-a-blue-moon task pre-children!

DIY, gardening, decluttering, bigger jobs like windows, done on weekends as energy and time permit.

addictediam Mon 08-Aug-11 14:09:22

Strictlovingmum thatnkyou, that is exactly what I've been looking for. I'm a bit of a slattern when it comes to cleaning and am having trouble keeping ontop of everything.

strictlovingmum Mon 08-Aug-11 14:09:35

vanimal you lucky, lucky, gal envy

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 08-Aug-11 14:14:20

*once a week, I mean, acumenin. That's what surprised me.

I should also point out that the above list is what we do as a couple. Not what I do as an individual.

mousesma Mon 08-Aug-11 14:14:38

imo the basics are:

Daily tidy to pick everything up from the floor where DD has put it and back to it's proper home plus wipe down kitchen surfaces, fill/empty dishwasher.

Weekly - clean bathroom, clean kitchen including cupboard doors and oven top, dust, hoover carpets, sweep and mop all hard floors, washing, ironing, clean mirrors and glass surfaces, change bedding.

Cobwebs get done about once a month or whenever I notice them smile

My house generally looks nice for about 30 mins on a sunday once I have finished the weekly clean then falls into an increasingly degenerate state thoughout the week.

strictlovingmum Mon 08-Aug-11 14:23:22

Tortiseonthehalfshell that sound great doing it as a couple, and it's a great idea, if I could only persuade DH to do his bit.
He has no idea what the iron is for, hoover is a unnecesery noisy mashine, and once in the blue moon he will turn the dishwasher on(not load and unload).
He can't cook to save his life, and on a very few occasions when he did, he used every utensil and pot we have in the kitchen, it took me ages just to clear after him, all that mess for a very mediocre dish, no thanks.
I much rather have him out of the waygrin
I would love to have a cleaner, but we can't afford onesad

strictlovingmum Mon 08-Aug-11 14:24:31


startail Mon 08-Aug-11 14:29:28

blushthere are jobs in your lists that I don't think I've done in the 12 years I've lived here.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 08-Aug-11 14:32:02

Gosh, it must be embarrassing for him to be so challenged that he can't manage day to day tasks due to lack of understanding of simple objects. Does he manage to hold down a job?

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