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Practical ideas/advice to make living in a townhouse easier, please.

(11 Posts)
mumat39 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:20:48

We've lived here for about 6 years and there is no option of moving for the forseeable future.

I'm not very good at doing housework and am thinking of following the flylady threads but i think part of the problem is that things seem to be awkward all the time.

So, if you live in a 3 or more floor house, how do you manage with all the day to day jobs?

At the moment we have 2 vacuum cleaners but I still find myself lugging them up and down the stairs. One is a dyson which is excellent on the carpeted rooms and a Miele for the bathrooms and laminate floors.

Our washing machine is on the ground floor but the clothes live on the top floor where the bedrooms. Wuld it be worth moving the washing machine upstairs? We have a small room which has a desk, Dc's books and where the washing is hung out to dry. The Dc's old room was too small for 2 single beds so that will be a spare room for the time being.

We have a kitchen on the ground floor and is in what wasthe garage so there are no windows in it. That opens onto what was supposed to be a family room. Currently there is a dining table that is too big, and a sofa, so apart from eating in it, we don't really use that room. If anyone has any tips on how to make it more cosy that would be great.

So we're on the ground floor for meal times. Dc occassionally play down there when I'm in the kitchen. Mostly they play upstairs in the lounge which is on the middle floor. So I'm often up and down the stairs.

Pre kids I was able to think things through and find good solutions, but since then my head is just a mushy goo. Our house is a mess, and I'm embarrassed to have people over. Would love to have a lovely house that I'm happy in but at the moment I hate it.

We need a new dining table but again I can't decide on what sort. An extendable square or round that can see 4 at it's smallest would be great. Is round or square better?

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks for reading this long post.

Nooneelseisallowedafergus Fri 16-Nov-12 13:30:33

Maybe you should upload a picture of your kitchen / family room so people can give you some ideas.

I live in a townhouse too. I'm constantly up and down, up and down. Esp between the kitchen on the ground floor, and the lounge on the first floor.

But it is good for the bottom and the thighs. Mine have shrunk considerably now I have 2 dc as I just never stop running around. So cheer yourself with how many more calories you are burning!

My washing machine is in the kitchen, but my tumble dryer is in a cupboard on the 2nd floor, which is great as my 2 sons bedrooms are on that floor so it makes putting away much easier. (the cupboard is in ds2 room and it is vented out the front of the house).

Also, when the boys are older, it'll be easier to keep the ground floor and first floor tidy, as I can just dump all their things on their floor, and it'll be up to them to keep things reasonable up there. They also have their own bathroom on their floor, so they won't need to be using mine!

So there are pros to have a more divided living space.

HTH a little

megandraper Fri 16-Nov-12 13:39:22

We live in a townhouse and I love it. It does help to have routines though. Here is our laundry routine (boring I know!)

Our washing machine/tumble dryer are in the basement. We have laundry baskets there. We also have a set of rubber buckets (they are actually gardening trugs) that carry laundry round the house.

1. When the kids get undressed for the bath, they chuck all their clothes into one (on the top floor).

2. After getting them to bed, i bring it down a flight and leave it outside our bedroom. We chuck our clothes in there that night.

3. In the morning, I (or DH) brings the bucket down and leaves it in the hallway outside the kitchen (ground floor). Extra stuff from the kitchen gets dropped in if necessary.

4. When the kids are getting ready for school (coats & shoes in basement) I take the bucket down there, put a load of laundry on (stuff from the bucket and stuff from the laundry basket there).

5. Clean, dry laundry from the tumbledryer goes in a rubber bucket and is taken up to stand on stairs. When we go up for kids bath after tea, I take that bucket and put the clothes away.(I don't iron...) Then the empty bucket's there, ready for the kids to put their dirty clothes in.

And round it goes. It sounds a bit mad when I write it down. But it's really simple and pretty efficient. Plus everyone knows the routine, so they can help out (eg if DH coming down in the morning, and sees the dirty laundry bucket there, he'll bring it down with him).

megandraper Fri 16-Nov-12 15:35:06

I have killed the thread with my tedious laundry bucket anecdote blush

Rattitude Fri 16-Nov-12 15:39:00

No, no, no, bedhopper.... it was fascinating, really grin

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 15:53:47

We lived in a split level house on a hill when my sister and I were tiny.

Ever after, if her arms were full, DM muttered its like being back in the old house.

With a new baby she said she was forever carting things up and down stairs and planning to avoid extra trips.

She's lived in a bungalow since that baby was one, she's now 42grin

homeaway Fri 16-Nov-12 16:17:22

Bedhopper that sounds like a good system. smile

Mum2Fergus Fri 16-Nov-12 20:32:27

My house is only over 2 levels... But I keep a hoover and cleaning products on both floors. I also keep a couple of complete outfits downstairs...when he was still in nappies I had his changing gear on both floors too.

mumat39 Fri 16-Nov-12 23:55:19

Hello everyone. Thanks so much for your replies.

NooneelseisallowedaFergus, there is a pic of our kitchen on my profile already. We had it done about 3 years ago and I don't like it. I think I wish it was open onto the family room/dining room but we were restricted to where things could go because of mains pipes causing a problem. I think I'm still irked that we don't have a breakfast bar area which I think would make it more sociable. At the moment, if we havepeople o er, i'm usually in the kitchen with my back to everyone and I really don't like that side of it. I've actually been wonderingif we could fit a breakfast bar on the left hand side in front of the fridge so that it is at a right angle to the fridge on the left. Does that sound like a good idea?

Bedhopper, thanks for your detailed reply. That's sounds like a really good system. I'm in awe at how organised you are. Do you have any tips for what to do with toys. I've got rid of quite a few recently but we still have loads. They used to multiply live in the spare room but that's ours now. Until now the DC haven't had toys in their bedrooms apart from their bed time cuddly toys so not sure if that's where we should put them. I can imagine it being even more difficult to get them to bed at a good with toys there tempting them out of bed. Any ideas???

I've actually been looking for laundry sorters today. We have 2 laundry bags at the moment one for the Dc's stuff and one for ours. I think I could make the whole clothes washing thing less painful by managing smaller batches. Also if they were sorted into lights and darks, that would help and save time.

Do any of you lovely ladies use one of those? Or are hey just a bit of a gimmick.

I do love our house too, but it just all feels disorganised and cluttered. And I've lost my mojo with lots of things including what the hell I should do and where to start.

Thanks again so much for your help. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

1sassylassy Sat 17-Nov-12 06:58:01

I have two stainless linen bins,one for whites and one for coloureds,when one is full it goes in the wash.Its a system that works for me,as there are 2 adults and three teenagers in the house,I need to keep on top of my washing.
The thing I learnt when living in a similar house to yours,is never go up or down a level without something in your hands,if your going up to get the washing,see what needs to go upstairs to be put away,you will be surprised how many trips up and down stairs you will save yourself.Also when you go into a room say for instance to put some washing away,see what else needs doing in that room,again you will save your self trips.

BadPoet Sat 17-Nov-12 09:00:47

Not a townhouse but our house has three levels. Different to yours though because lounge is ground, kitchen dining middle and bedrooms upstairs. Tbh I haven't really found a good system but plenty (4) stackable laundry baskets (for clean laundry I mean) means that there is usually one around for carting around toys etc. Yes to never going anywhere empty handed.

We are in the process of making a laundry room in the garage and I am greatly looking forward to chucking clothers over the bannister from the top floor to the bottom.

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