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How do people manage to have such tidy, beautiful houses?

(83 Posts)
carrotsandcelery Sat 26-May-12 18:56:19

I have being doing flylady (ish) for well over a year now.

I have developed some basic routines for the morning etc so I get through the basic jobs required to run the household. eg the dishes and laundry are under control, the bathrooms are hygienic etc. Despite this the house never looks lovely really.

For short spells I can maintain the house such that I am not totally mortified if someone comes by unexpectedly. I can't keep it going indefinitely though.

Am I just a lazy mare? Is there a secret trick? Does a nice home require constant motion, or constant nagging, or throwing out everything I own?

Where am I going wrong?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 26-May-12 19:01:30

I don't know.

My cleaner came yesterday. I am now sat on the sofa with a glass of wine before we take the boys up for bath time. Around me are the following items.

2 Gruffalo soft toys
The box for the water play-table we bought today
Half a ton of Happyland
The TV remote

There are cushions strewn about, and sand everywhere. Also a trail of small puddles going along the hall from the downstairs cloak to the back door - I think water rather than wee hmm
There is a small heap of damp and sandy clothing in the utility sink waiting to go in the washing machine, the kitchen is covered in the remains of a BBQ and the garden looks like a hurricane has hit it.

We've all had a lovely day though grin

ggirl Sat 26-May-12 19:01:43

I was pondering the same thing just yesterday.
I was in a patients house and it was absolutely gorgeous ..not a speck of dust or anything out of place.Everything was co-ordinated and cream.And she was beautiful.
NO idea how she does it!

MaureenMLove Sat 26-May-12 19:05:43

I think you have to be boardering on Monica from Friends basically! grin I am one of them! My house is acceptable for recieving visitors at all times. Even when we're cooking dinner! It drives DH mad, that I clear up around him!

I can't help it though. It is built in to me, I cannot relax unless my house is clean and tidy!

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Sat 26-May-12 19:05:58

Declutter - massively.
Organise - with plenty of storage.
Everything has a home and gets put back.
Don't put it down, put it away.
Make your paperwork/bills easy to file/sort/pay.
Give the children away Get the kids into a 'tidy' routine.

Or stop giving a shit grin

Ali - sounds like a fab day has been had by all!

Shoshe Sat 26-May-12 19:08:15

I manage it easily, MY KIDS HAVE LEFT HOME grin

Only DH and myself and the dogs, and we are both basically tidy anyway .

oshuk Sat 26-May-12 19:42:49

I think Chipping is right. Minimalistic definitely makes a difference. We had to empty our lounge room to have a carpet fitted, and as it was coming up to Christmas, I decided not to move everything back (ornaments etc) to make room for the tree and all the tut that goes with it. It looked really nice, but now things (nice things) had crept back and it looks cluttered again. Maybe we should have a post a pic of your living room thread? What may be cluttered and untidy to you, may be seen differently by others.

When my kids were younger, I hated all those toy tubs, and when we moved to an apartment, because the bedrooms were all on the same level, it made it easier to keep it tidy as they played in their rooms. I'd have given anything for a playroom/den type thing in other houses we lived in though.

Nikkim30 Sun 27-May-12 08:49:22

"good mums have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and happy kids" - not sure who said that but I like it!

carrotsandcelery Sun 27-May-12 10:02:49

I like it too Nikkim. I actually got up early and hoovered then mopped the floor. Maybe I am a crap Mum as well hmm grin

GrendelsMum Sun 27-May-12 21:33:15

Plenty of storage, get rid of things if they are neither useful, frequently used nor attractive, and everything has a place it ought to be which everyone in the family agrees on. I think that if you don't have to think about where something needs to go, it takes 5 seconds. If you constantly have to decide where every object ought to be, it will hang around for weeks.

But my real secret - no children smile

More seriously, I think that you have to continue to apply the rules above to your children's possessions as well as your own.

ibuyjaffacakesnow Mon 28-May-12 09:41:20

I am at slightly before the stage you are OP. Mostly keep up with kitchen and bathroom and laundry. But not always. Haven't got enough storage space for the number of people in the house.

I always seem to be getting rid of stuff, but must need to get rid of more.

I'm torn between thinking it shouldn't matter as long as the kids get attention and wanting it nice so they aren't ashamed to bring friends home!

Congratulate yourself you have got as far as you have. Flylady says somewhere she did the shiny sink only for about 9 months. So you have progressed well.

nosleepwithworry Mon 28-May-12 09:52:14

Im in the organisation camp, everything has a home, gets put back there, declutter, we have no crap anywhere.

Routine, everything gets done as per routine...but
This pisses me off mahoosively so we bought a wee caravan because every week its the same week in week out, full working week then weekends cleaning, washing ironing, shopping, gardening we just feck off int caravan, and stuff gets one when it gets done!
Its humdrum!

My house is always clean & tidy with just 30 mins a day really...flylady stye.

CalamityKate Mon 28-May-12 09:56:55

A place for everything and everything in its place. Simple, but so effective. Have a huge declutter/tidy up first and maybe get some cheap storage doodahs.

Never leave a room without scanning it to see if there's anything you can take with you (this becomes second nature and makes a huge difference).

Pannacotta Mon 28-May-12 13:18:20

I struggle with this hugely, partly as we are doing up our house so storage is not sorted at all, I think having a home for htings is the key, as a tidy house is much easier to clean than a messy one (voice of bitter experience...).

Do any of you know of good storage boxes etc which are cheap? We need temporary storage but cant afford to spend lots (and live miles from IKEA)....

Lulabellarama Mon 28-May-12 13:23:05

I think you just have to be the sort of person who does it automatically. I am fundamentally lazy, but realised a while back that it takes more effort doing a big clean up, than just maintaining. My house is visitor ready at most times, though I would prefer to have 10 minutes to do a quick hoover and swizz of the loo.

GrendelsMum Mon 28-May-12 15:10:09

Storage boxes are so expensive, aren't they?

We have a big window seat in our sitting room and you can hide an incredible amount of stuff in there. Plus I think that we all keep much more than we need. We had a huge cupboard full of stuff that had to be dealt with before building works - almost everything could be given to the chuch fete without regret (where it all sold very well).

carrotsandcelery Mon 28-May-12 15:36:07

I am constantly ebaying, donating, recycling and throwing away.

When I look around me just now it is nearly all bits and bobs left here and there by the dcs that are causing the mess.

They have loads of storage and a place for all their stuff. I have clearly just failed on the training front. Is there a crash course for training dcs to be tidy?

dreamingofsun Mon 28-May-12 19:43:47

carrot - i found giving asking them nicely, giving them a warning and then putting all their stuff not tidied in a blackbin liner in the garage. they hated going through it to find their prized possessions. actually i need to start doing this again.

obviously don't do with delicate or school things as you don't want to be rifling through yourself in the morning

dreamingofsun Mon 28-May-12 19:45:04

oh and another one is to threaten to throw it on the front lawn. i only had to carry this through once. Obviously be clever about what you pick and only do it with their prized possessions

Tortington Mon 28-May-12 19:46:27

boring people hae tidy houses

carrotsandcelery Mon 28-May-12 19:49:20

I have done the black bag thing to dd. She had to earn each item back one by one. She also now has a tidy bedroom and helps a lot around the house. <glares at ds>

I suspect ds is in need of the black bag treatment then...

Francagoestohollywood Mon 28-May-12 19:53:38

Attractive storage is the key.

SkinnyVanillaLatte Mon 28-May-12 19:57:53

I have given up caring.

Things are acceptable.No health and hygiene issues (that a good immune system can't cope with...grin ) and the kids are happy.

Not expecting the Queen any time soon.... <shrugs>

GrendelsMum Mon 28-May-12 21:35:14

Boring people have boring homes.

Tidy people have tidy homes.

out2lunch Mon 28-May-12 21:41:33

i think if you have a really clean and tidy house it is your top priority all the time

i do what i can (and absolutely have to) before i choose to do something else - mumsnet or sit on sofa and watch tv or read

people i know who have these neat houses do stuff all the time - i like to sit

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