Your advice on keeping on top of chores? I'm not coping! 😞😥(54 Posts)
I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post on or if you already have a thread on this but I am pulling my hair out and need help so much.
I am really struggling with keeping on top of my day to day housework and chores, to the point where I keep bursting into tears and feel depressed. I could really do with some friendly advice on how to cope/make things easier/get a better routine because I just can't seem to do it.
I work full time with a fairly long day and 90min commute. My DH works a shorter day than me, and to his credit and my incredible luck, walks our 2 dogs every morning and cooks tea every evening. We then also walk the dogs together in the evening. He is a brilliant cook, but.... uses every single pot and pan in the house! It's my job to wash up every evening, which to say the least is not my favourite chore. And as DH doesn't 'do' any of the housework, he just doesn't seem to have foresight in what would make my life a bit easier (for example I came home this evening to find muddy dogs had trodden through our house and on to our clean bed sheets!, 😡)
Our lives are quite busy, and as a result our house gets neglected. It's always untidy and messy. The dogs seem to generate so much hair and dirt, and between the dogs towels etc and DH doing sport at least 4 times a week, and me once a week (!) the amount of laundry I do every week is incredible. I do a full Vacuum, wash floors and bathroom and bedsheets every week, and dusting if I have time, but it's nowhere near being enough and I never have time for all those little extra jobs.
The things I would really like advice on are:
How to keep the floors clean - we have mostly cream carpets throughout and cream kitchen floor tiles, the weekly Vacuum and mop is not dealing with it.
The dirt and dust just seems to be everywhere at all times?
Dogs and cats hair, everywhere! The cats also seem to get black hair all up the curtains?!
Filthy walls and doors
Keeping on top of excessive laundry (& Drying laundry without a tumble dryer)
We are hoping to put our house on the market this month and have a fresh start in a new home so any advice on what furniture and finishes to go for would be brilliant.
Thank you so much for reading this, I know there is more to life than housework but I'm just really struggling with this at the moment, and dreading anyone visiting our home for the shame.
I don't know how to answer about pets but I wouldn't keep a pet indoors.
In terms of cooking and cleaning it would be more helpful if you batch cooked a lot of curries, chillies, cottage pies etc and dh could use that hour to run the Hoover around some evenings
I batch cook a lot. Even veg and mash and have two babies and work full time. My house is about 80percent sparkling but wouldn't be if I didn't batch cook
What you need is for your DH to contribute 50% of the house work. This will solve many of your problems.
And avoid giving out medals to people who cook dinner, make a massive mess in the process and then sit back and wait for the applause. I agree that when someone cooks the other should wash up, but also cooks can take some care as they work so the place isn't left in an almighty state.
What on earth makes you or your H think that you should be the one to do all the house work?
Get a cleaner.
Load it together, walk the dog together, unload it together.
Do you really think possession of a vagina makes women more suited to cleaning?
Restrict the areas of the house where the animals can go.
Definitely batch cook, or meal plan in advance (you'll save money too).
Make a list of jobs and allocate them to each day, so that it's not impossible, keep on top of it.
Get DH to help, why should you be saddled with it all?
Agree there is no need for him to be cooking and using every pan that involves you slogging it out to clean up. Least twice a week either have half of previous dinner chilli/lasagna or freeze half and use again. Or really easy slow cooker or one pan dinners. Then he can spend the 30-60m making a dent on housework.
Do you both need to walk the dogs in the evenings? I appreciate its nice together time but but if your house is a state one of you can walk the dog the other can Hoover or mop even every other day would make a huge difference.
Who ever takes the dogs out should be responsible enough to clean them up when they get back not letting them run everywhere covered in mud.
Two things: buy a dishwasher and put a stair gate on to stop the dogs getting upstairs.
You need to have a chat about cleaning the dogs down before they come inside too and what needs doing. Consider getting a cleaner, at least while you are trying to sell. I find a cluttered, dirty home stressful - it should be a sanctuary.
Keeping a place clean and tidy for viewings can be hard work so declutter and streamline things as much as possible. Dusting a shelf is a lot easier than dusting twenty nick nacks on said shelf. I would use a damp cloth to dust as it is much more effective than a dry cloth. Maybe have a routine where a couple of rooms are cleaned each day rather than having a mammoth task at the weekend. Then you can run he hoover round periodically.
Having viewed houses with dogs recently, I would strongly recommend having the carpets professionally cleaned before you market the house. There is nothing more off putting than a house, especially bedroom, that smells of dog - we are dog lovers btw. If you are doing the viewings one of you needs to take the dogs out while the other one shows people round.
Sugar soap is great for cleaning walls and woodwork. If it's really bad, consider freshening up the paint before you try to sell. Put throws on the sofas/chairs that you can whip off before viewings too - contain the animal hair.
You need a dishwasher or he needs to learn to wash up at least half of the pots/knifes/pans as he goes along.
Look into getting a cleaner.
Do a ten minute tidy/clean each (that's 20 mins of cleaning/tidying) before walking the dogs together? I always do this with DH under the guise of 'I want to come back to a tidy house so we can just chill'.
Get a dishwasher and a tumble dryer. I've had a tumble dryer like this one for 8 years or so, just attach the hose onto the front and chuck it out a window or through the cat flap. It fits under a table, or in a closet and is light enough to take out and put away.
And get your husband doing 50% of the housework. He doesn't get a medal for doing cooking. Boys often haven't been taught how to keep house, so he may need help to recognise what to do and how to do it at first, but it's not brain surgery and he can learn. Make a list of daily, weekly, and monthly chores, and split them 50/50. Spend some time on the list and include details of each task. Get him to check them off when he's done them, you do the same with yours.
You mentioned a few specific things, too:
Cream carpets are a special kind of hell. Get a carpet washing machine of some kind. I have a vax 3 in 1, which is also fab for cleaning upholstery and sucking up puddles. They needed washing about every six months with no dogs in the house. Never buy cream carpets again! Carpets with patterns show spills and dirt much less.
I wash my curtains in the machine to get off cat hair. Check that the material is suitable first. I hang mine back on the rod to dry to avoid ironing, but you'd probably need to iron them if you're selling.
Filthy walls and doors need washing. I always just used soapy water, but there may be better products. I found once a year (spring cleaning) was enough, but didn't have dogs or children.
You are not "lucky" with your DH: he's clearly not doing enough of the domestic work. If he uses numerous pots etc he should wash up as well as cook.
Why do you think it's your job and you're "not coping" rather than the current set up is unfair?
Definitely a dishwasher and tumble dryer which just takes minutes.
Reading your op makes me gratefulI don't have pets any more. When I had a dog she was confined to the kitchen most of the time and never went upstairs as it was a new house with cream carpets everywhere. If you let your pets roam the house, then you will have the muddy hairy mess. It is impossible to keep on top of.
I don't do bedsheets every week. Do yours really need doing that often?
My top housework tip: get divorced and find a better man to share your life with, who won't use you as his skivvy.
Failing that, waste the rest of your life cleaning up his shit and never bring children into this ridiculous set up.
I would get rid of the cream carpets if you're only able to hoover once a week. Cream carpets are a special hell and need a lot of maintenance.
Also tell the husband he does the washing up from now on. Whoever cooks washes up here. He also needs to take more chores on.
Sorry may not be that practical but in your shoes I would get a cleaner once a week and reduce the number of animals.
I wouldn't have animals in a house but then I have allergies so don't know what it would be like to live long term with animals.
Not lucky with your dh - he should be pulling his weight. It's not helping you (why is it your sole responsibility ffs), it's being an adult.
A stairgate to stop dogs going upstairs is a must. You can then contain them downstairs and keep upstairs fresh.
We have 2 dogs and when they get back from a walk we put them in the tiled utility room to dry off with food and water and their beds (we had underfloor heating put in especially but they would dry out without it) and then give them a quick brush before they are allowed through the rest of the house.
We also have fleeces that cover our sofa that I put on a quick wash twice a week so my lounge doesn't smell "doggy". We too have a Vax carpet cleaner which we try to do every 3 months or so. We have a Miele Cat and Dog vacuum which is fab at picking up the dog hair, but before washing the carpet we use a rubber brush to get up all the embedded dog hair which really helps keeping it smelling less.
Your bloke is being a bit twatish by not at least giving the dogs a rub down with a towel when they get in and dry feet. Would he be mindful if he's soaking wet and flinging himself off the furniture?
A stair gate sounds like a good idea.
The good advice I have seen oft-quoted on MN is that you and your DH should have equal leisure time. He is walking your joint dogs and feeding himself as well as you; he's not doing you a favour by doing either.
You really don't have incredible luck to have a man in the house who walks the dogs and cooks dinner. HE has incredible luck to live with someone who does everything else! Let's face it, he doesn't even do those two things properly - when he's walked the dogs he lets them into the house all muddy and filthy and gets muck everywhere. Part of dog walking is to clean them off when you get back and make sure that doesn't happen.
Assuming you don't want to LTB, the both of you need to sit down and split an equitable list of house jobs. In terms of cooking, I'd suggest splitting it down the middle, and whoever cooks on one day does the cleaning up on that day. I find this to be a more fair split than one person cooking/one person washing up. There is always one person who makes more mess when cooking than another, and this was you only have to clear up your own mess.
As long as you have such a big gap in who is doing what, you're never going to be happy. I bet he is, though.
You definitely need a dishwasher and a tumble dryer for that volume of pots/clothing.
I would get all the carpets cleaned professionally and get an oven person to come and do the oven. Then I would get a cleaner or agency to do a one off deep clean and then for them to come regularly until you sell the house. It probably will impact your selling ease/price.
I don't really understand people bashing the op's dh. He sounds a perfectly fine bloke but I reckon he doesn't realise the extent of the cleaning problem. It's very unlikely that he deliberately let the muddy dogs run inside and thought to himself, haha lot of cleaning there for the op. Perhaps your best bet with your dh is to sit down with him and make a list of all the stuff that is dirty and have a discussion with him to divide up responsibility for things, including things you could both do to reduce the mess in the first place.
I definitely agree with the cleaner and try to use pockets of time. I put the washing machine on timer so its finished when I get up. I put an extra spin on (12mins) while I get dressed and make a cup of tea then I hang or shove in the tumbledryer.
Could you wash up while your oh cooks, and get him to cook 2 or 3 times as much to freeze for another day.
You should consider any/all of the following:
- get a cleaner
- buy a dishwasher and tumble dryer
- get carpets professionally cleaned
- stair gate on kitchen door to keep dogs out of rest of house
If you work long hours and have a house full of pets and au unhelpful dh you are never going to keep it clean without help
I work full time, DH works full time. We're both out of the house from 7:30am until at least 6pm. 2 kids, both in primary school and 2 long haired cats.
My house is sometimes a bit messy with bits of clutter - school bags, toys, papers lying around etc, but it's always clean. My rule is to clean little and often. Don't go to bed without doing the washing up and wiping the kitchen down. Vacuum high traffic areas quickly every other day. Do a washing load as and when you need to. If you see the basket is full, stick the washer on.
Don't put off cleaning. If you see it needs doing, do it there and then. Don't sit down thinking you'll do it later, cause you won't. And then it gets out of control. A quick 15 minute clean up and tidy up on an evening works wonders
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