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How on earth do you keep your house tidy?

(24 Posts)
Flowers54 Sat 07-Oct-17 20:58:54

Pre-children I was tidy and kept things pretty much in order. Now with 3 under 5s and with me off work on mat leave, the housework is relentless. I just don't know how to do It as ridiculous as that sounds. I try to tidy as I go, not leave a room empty handed but my house is just so messy. The kids can demolish a room in seconds, 4 year old is quite good at helping, 2 year old is not and the 10 week old wants me to hold him àaaaall the time.
This week I've turned down meeting friends a few times as I need to do house chores but these aren't massive cleaning jobs, it's just to keep on top of the daily washing, ironing, hoovering, cleaning bathroom, making beds, putting clothes away etc...
I was going to arrange to go out tomorrow but didn't so I can get on top of it. I NEED tips on how to get on top of this ....
Hubby works away a lot so doesn't help and I can't leave it because I just can relax when my house is messy or has outstanding jobs sad

0hCrepe Sat 07-Oct-17 21:03:38

Stop ironing for a start! Do the rest once they've gone to bed, don't attempt housework with little ones around it's just too hard!

NoCryLilSoftSoft Sat 07-Oct-17 21:08:03

With 3 under 5?? Umm a wish and a prayer? grin it's just not going to happen without someone to either take the DC away and let your do it on a regular basis or to do it for you. In your shoes I would hire a cleaner. I used to be a cleaner, the majority of my clients were families with pre school children.

Tumtumtitum Sat 07-Oct-17 21:20:34

It's so hard with a baby that just wants to be held, even with a sling you don't have the same flexibility of movement for picking stuff up etc.

Could you do yourself a week of easy meals to minimise on the prep and clearing up? Would maybe allow you to catch up a bit on other stuff.

Only iron stuff that really needs it. Put each child's clothes away at bedtime when you put them to bed?

I always find that going out at least creates less toy based mess, even if it leaves you fewer hours to get it all done.

0hCrepe Sat 07-Oct-17 21:23:24

Definitely do crafty stuff and baking out of the house! Plenty of places offer it.

CommanderDaisy Sat 07-Oct-17 21:33:50

I'm no longer a tidy paragon, and my house could definitely benefit from a cleaner these days but I've learned with kids to relax a bit and not beat myself up over it.
I don't iron ( throw whatever needs to look tidy in the dryer including school uniforms for 10 minutes before they are needed), I keep a pack of antiseptic wipes in the bathrooms and run them over the loos and handbasin when necessary, vacuum weekly, sweep kitchen daily, and the laundry sits in a spectacular pile till I can attack it once or twice a week while watching something on telly.
I used to run around like a lunatic trying to clean up all the time, but would rather spend time with the children and my husband. I have a monstrous 4 hour cleaning blitz once a week when my husband is around to control the kids.
I essentially relaxed my standards, no one died in the process and if the beds don't get made well...they don't get made.
With littles, you either need a cleaner or lower standards in my opinion. That way you still get to have a life that isn't all about housework and kids.

lasketchup Sat 07-Oct-17 21:45:09

You iron daily?? I don’t even own and iron. I promise you you need to stop ironing.

speakout Sat 07-Oct-17 21:56:09

I don't own an iron either.

Beds don't need made.

wobblywonderwoman Sat 07-Oct-17 22:00:25

You have a ten week old... Give yourself a chance. I do iron but I wouldn't if I had 3 ...

Have you large wicker baskets you can chuck all toys in?

Just clean the pillowcase and bottom sheets sometimes

llangennith Sat 07-Oct-17 22:12:06

I did all the chores when the DC had gone to bed. It's amazing how much you can get done without kids around.

Tumtumtitum Sun 08-Oct-17 09:18:52

Yes but a ten week old doesn't really go to bed, and if they just want to be held even their short sleeps don't provide much opportunity. A lot easier with a baby who is happy to be put down of course.

CrabappleCake Sun 08-Oct-17 09:21:56

If you can afford it get a cleaner.

Chimchar Sun 08-Oct-17 09:34:22

You need to give yourself a break...
Go out with friends, don’t miss a chance for some fresh air and a chat with other mums. That’s the stuff that keeps you sane!!

My house was messy when the kids were little...I used to have a big basket in every room and launch all the toys in there every evening. It always looked untidy though. blush

Now they are older, I find the secret really is having a place for everything. That way it can be put away, rather than just piled up. We don’t iron in this house tumble drier works hard...I flap it so it’s straight before it goes in, and I fold everything when it is warm.

Good luck. Be kind to yourself. brewcake

Salene Sun 08-Oct-17 09:42:00

I’ve a 3 year old and a 1 year old husband works away offshore 4 weeks at a time I work part time 2 days a week I keep my house clean and tidy and this is what I do

Work days I get up at 5am take 10mins to prepare dinner and chuck it in slow cooker so when I get home with kids from nursery dinner is ready

House is tidy that days as Home, dinner bath then bed so no time to make a mess,

None work days I put dishes straight into dish washer and hoover whole of downstairs after every meal using a hand held dyson

I have a toy room which all toys are kept in but toddler likes to drag them all out of there and dump in other rooms, a couple of times a day I take 5 minutes to pick them up and return to toy room

I do s load of washing every day and fold straight from tumble anything needed ironed I stick in spare room and once kids in bed I iron quickly

Once kids in bed at 8pm I take 30 - 60 minutes to clean house and iron the odd thing. Because I do it daily the house stays clean all I need to do is tidy away toys then I set about cleaning bathrooms etc but do a different task each night, say wash floors, next night bathrooms, next night clean cooker change my bed etc

I am on the go from
5/6am till 10pm as but have excepted that’s just life with a young family.

newmumwithquestions Sun 08-Oct-17 09:42:34

Lower your standards.
Don't iron.
Get a cleaner (though actually I found that too hard with a baby - too much disruption) - have recently got one now and it's great though!

SongforSal Sun 08-Oct-17 09:43:45

Clean the kitchen after work each day. Make sure a load of washing goes on as soon as I get up, and another after work. Hoover, polish and mop twice a week, and Sundays I do a weeks worth of ironing (although, I am selective! I don't iron bedding, PJ's, and anything I can get away with not ironing) My DC's are in teens, so they have chores each day such as washing up, taking the bins out, and making lunchboxes for everyone (they manage that twice a week maybe!).

It's easier now they are older, but like the above poster. When they were little, I literally had a large toy basket in each room to throw stuff in.

jellyshoeswithdiamonds Sun 08-Oct-17 20:52:29

When mine were small I just did the basics.

Beds here are left fully open (duvet flung neatly over) that's my way of making a bed. I think its better to air a bed during the day rather than make it properly.

Washing - I put a load in over night, possibly two if I know its pegging out weather next day. Sort out a load, put it in front of washer so its ready to go straight in after the previous one.

Dishwasher - load it during the day, put it to go over night, emptying and put away clean dishes is my first job of the morning.

Swish over toilets and sinks daily so they are clean, bath can be swilled over after kids have their bedtime bath

Hoover high traffic areas daily but more likely every other day.

Put toys away once kids in bed, I kept one box in the lounge for them all others were in their rooms so my lounge didn't get over run.

We went out a lot, kicking leaves in the park, feeding bread to ducks, the beach.

ItStartedWithAKiss241 Mon 09-Oct-17 14:15:16

Basic Paper plates and bowls! So much less washing up or loading/unloading dishwasher x

Medwaymumoffour Mon 09-Oct-17 14:24:47

I have four kids, 3-14.

With each child I lower my standards

I never iron. I wash up every night, I wash something every day. Kids toys in a bucket every evening, hover the floor daily. Wash bedding less frequently ( oh dear ) and wait until kids are all out the house to blitz. I also have disinfectant wipes and wipe the bathrooms as it's needed before I go to bed.

No ones died yet. Once they are older I will get back into a routine

ferriswheel Mon 09-Oct-17 14:30:56

For a while I had 3 under 3. I'll read the whole thread properly later but here are my quick tips.

Make lunch at breakfast time. Cut sandwiches in small squares and pack in disposable container. This means when the hungry-window appears you feed everyone with small squares that go straight in their mouth and don't get abandoned. And the kitchen got messed up one less time in the day.
Fruit for anyone still hungry. Water bottles in fridge for drinks.

Empty the bins before they need it. I'd empty my kitchen bin twice a day so it never needed it.

Floor wipes round the messy floor parts, buys you extra days before cleaning.

Put them in the car and dash back in and do a very quick dash around putting things away for five minutes.

When you are going out get each person COMPLETELY ready, don't wait til you are ready to get their shoes on. Do it when you are doing it anyway.

Cut as many corners with food prep as possible.

Oh, the other thing was feed their main meal at lunchtime and give them those sandwiches for dinner.

I sometimes also give them a huge meal for breakfast so its done.

Put a lock on the toy cupboard. These days most toys are in the garage.

I'll try and think of more...

BitOutOfPractice Mon 09-Oct-17 16:36:20

Ferris you really are a genius.** The tiny sandwich and the car ones in particular. Genius.**

ferriswheel Mon 09-Oct-17 19:23:20

Thanks... not sure I'd score any genius points today.

I'm the queen of picnics. I have thermos flasks I fill with shepherds pie, lasagne or whatever. I'll feed them after a busy time in the park when I know they are famished. Then they eat heartily so they are more or less fed for the day. I then give them strawberries or a squeeze yogurt, maybe a biscuit and use wipes to damage control the picnic mess as much as possible. I end up with wiped down dirty dishes and a bag of crap for the bin.

Depending how well I time this I can top them up for the rest of the day with bite sized bits and pieces of cucumber, baby bel, sausage so they may not need to sit down to eat, thus avoiding the carnage and ordeal of meal time.

Always keep a roll of bin bags, the white not too big ones, in the boot of the car. Always keep kitchen roll in the boot of the car. A packet of wipes in each door glove pocket.

When you are doing all of this you are not home so by default your house is tidier.

I'm a single parent and whilst I do try and do reading bedtime stories I'm so tired I often ruin it by being angry. We have two bedtime programmes, I use this time to sneak a bit of tidying.

Floor wipes for the bathroom. Bleach everywhere now and again when they are in bed. Leave it and wash off.

Packet of crisps in a supermarket cafe is a morning out. Thus no mess in your own house. Take a water bottle, save expense.

Try and do one extra job each day, maybe three times a week, and never at the weekend. By that I mean bedcovers washing. If you can afford it always strip bed and make up with clean covers in one swoop.

Empty the bin, empty the bin.

Personally I hate waking up to emptying the dishwasher, as much as possible start afresh each day.

Totally complete small tasks like buying a gift. Usually you'd set it aside and wrap it on the day of the party. Now, buy, wrap, write card, put in bag, hang on door. Now you've done it you might find you have a minute or two extra to tidying empty the bin before you go to the party.

Order big cleaning, nappies or whatever on Amazon. Then you mostly just need fresh food shopping which makes it easier to put away.

Declutter is probably your number one tip and there are amazing threads on here. I have very successfully decluttered two rooms in my house and it is a life changer.

I might have more food tips. I'll have a think...

ferriswheel Mon 09-Oct-17 19:29:37

I've just read your op again.

If I was you I'd give your kids they're favourite food that is very, very simple to prepare. Take food prep and tidying up right out of the equation.

What about a baby swing? I didn't have a baby swing til my third came along and it does buy you time because they do settle. Well mine did. I have a friend who has four kids, she said it was like having a third pair of hands.

Then washing, keep it going steady and put it away immediately. I used to iron and now never, hardly ever do. If you get divorced like I'm doing it saves you ironing their shirts?

Then just get the stuff away. If you have a garage maybe as a short term before you get help to properly declutter you could box up some toys and put them out there?

Wipes for dusting and hoover.

I know what you mean about relaxing in a messy space but its sometimes important to just go to bed and ignore it too.

NoNamesLeft86 Mon 09-Oct-17 19:47:25

Dont make beds
Dont iron
Dont tidy up toys untill they are actually finished with - maybe before older 2 go to bed you can have a tidy up time together?
Go out. Life is too short. And while your all at home 3 under 5s are going to create as much mess as you can clean anyway. It's important for you all to get out and away from it when you can.

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