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Tidy/houseproud mums-please tell me your secrets/routines.

(122 Posts)
Mirage Tue 18-Jan-05 19:16:14

Hi,I have a 16month dd & am 20 wks pregnant with our 2nd baby.I have never been a particularly tidy person,but did begin to make a real effort once dd arrived,due to all the extra clutter/baby stuff that accumulates.

Sadly,it isn't working & when baby appears I'm going to be in worse straits than ever.I've met some really nice mums at toddler groups ect & would love to be able to invite them around for coffee without doing a huge clean up 1st.Our house is quite spacious but always seems cluttered & untidy compared to other peoples.I seem to spend every spare minute cleaning,washing ect,but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

What am I doing wrong.Do any of you organised tidy mums have any tips for keeping the mess at bay? I really am quite clueless.

doggiewalker Tue 18-Jan-05 19:19:17

OOps sorry Mirage - sounds just like my house. ! However I am finding it easier to cope now that the children are older and I have a bit more time to spend on the house.

sallystrawberry Tue 18-Jan-05 19:21:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkdiamond Tue 18-Jan-05 19:26:34

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RudyDudy Tue 18-Jan-05 19:28:40

Hi Mirage - not sure I would describe myself as 'houseproud' but I don't cope well with mess and clutter so try to keep on top of it. Mainly by having lots of storage boxes, especially for toys and being a bit anal about making sure they are tidied away after each play session which seems to keep on top of things and make the big tidy up at the end of the day a little easier. I used to find that I washing continuously so am now quite rigid about getting it all done over a 2 day period and then letting it build up for the rest of the week. The washing basket may be full but at least my house doesn't look like a chinese laundry all the time. I have a cleaner who does a lot of my ironing which also really helps and if I know the whole house is being cleaned properly once a week I just make sure kitchen surfaces etc are kept wiped at the rest of the time.

Not sure if that is any help to you but basically I just try to keep on top of things and find if I put stuff away as I go along it only takes 5 mins at a time whereas if I leave it, it builds up and becomes a big and daunting job. Also, as most of DS' toys are in the living room I like them to be tidied away at the end of the day so it is an adult space in the evening.

It can seem never ending but set aside specific time when you are going to do it so you can have some relaxation time too.

Good luck

spod Tue 18-Jan-05 19:29:39

my house has mess, clutter, stuff in wrong places, things on floor. i consider us tidy-enough, just cant get worked up about something that isnt that important. all i can suggest is perhaps to make more storage areas?

RudyDudy Tue 18-Jan-05 19:30:36

lol pinkdiamond - you sound just like me! Sometimes I have cleared a toy away thinking DS has finished with it and he spends ages looking really confused that it isn't where he left it

Grommit Tue 18-Jan-05 19:32:18

I am not madly tidy but I do the same as Pinkdiamond and declutter every few weeks and have big clearouts regularly. Sounds v boring but I do try to tidy up as I go along. I do have the advantage of working from home so most of my cleaning and tidying is done during long conference calls! Another tip - if you have toys downstairs make sure you have a couple of nice toyboxes to keep them all in. God - i need to get a life...

pinkdiamond Tue 18-Jan-05 19:34:04

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pinkdiamond Tue 18-Jan-05 19:37:17

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Caligula Tue 18-Jan-05 19:39:31

PD, I was a domestic terrorist for 38 years, until I discovered the joys of obsessive, Stepford-like tidying round about September this year.

Step 1: Like an alcoholic, don't try to do it all at once. One pile at a time, one spot at a time, one room at a time.

Step 2: Set up routines. Mad as it is, i've got recurring appointments in my Outlook which ping up and say: polish wooden furniture/ vacuum whole house and empty vacuum for bin-man day tomorrow/ clear out fridge, etc. etc. Friday evening is ironing, whilst listening to Any Questions. In other words, schedule in a time to do it, just as you schedule in hair appointments, TV programmes, etc.

Step 3: Try and have one room in the house which is yours, permanently comfortable and tidy, not a toy zone.

Step 4: Deal with post as it comes in, immediately. Even if dealing with it consists of putting it in a neat pile. Throw away junk mail at once.

Those are my top tips. You can also have a look at the FlyLady website. (, I think - if not, google) She's full of shit, but you get the ideas from her, while dumping the 1950s homilies.

MistressMary Tue 18-Jan-05 19:45:24

A bit at a time.
When Ds is asleep the iron comes out.
Storage boxes for clutter.
Ds in play pen when dusting. C beebies helps too for distraction.
Henry the hoover is a toy to be chased.
High chair and wooden spoon to bang when washing up or cooking.
Anything else I do straight away make the bed, the second we get out.
clean the shower when Im in there.
Sound like flaming mary poppins.
Only wish we could click our fingers and the work is done!

morningpaper Tue 18-Jan-05 20:10:30

Basically you need to start when you are about 4 by having parents who drill obsessive behaviour into you.

Us people with ultra-tidy houses are in a frantic state of nervousness all day. It's nothing to aspire to.

Sure, your house is messier, but you'll probably live longer.


RudyDudy Tue 18-Jan-05 20:54:36

Reading MM's post reminded me of something else mirage and that is that I do 'housestuff' when DS is around as I think it is good for him sometimes to entertain himself and I don't want to waste all the precious time he is asleep doing housework! So if he's happily engrosed in something I'll put a wash on, hang a wash out, etc. When I'm getting his tea ready I'll do some prep for our dinner so it's ready to start when he's gone to bed.

Having said all of this I would do what you feel comfortable with and what works for you. If it's just because you won't invite people around otherwise then I wouldn't worry too much - I'm not sure other people would mind the mess, especially if it was toys and they're bringing little ones around. I certainly wouldn't let it stop you from inviting people over.

makealist Tue 18-Jan-05 21:04:17

Hide everything in the cupboards, just don't open them when you have company

goreousgirl Tue 18-Jan-05 21:05:45

Totally agree with Morningpaper - hate people coming round, as all that hard work I've done gets messed up when they dare to sit on the sofa and squash the plumped up cushions! Weaning food fills me with dread - the crumbs don't hit the floor before Henry hoover is out - and friends who come round with kids who put their hands on the walls when walking downstairs never get invited back. End result: Billy no mates. Keep it messy, chill out, have fun!!!

jabberwocky Tue 18-Jan-05 21:06:52

I've always had an issue with clutter. For the last couple of months I have been going through things and sorting, tossing, storing in clear bins and trying to find permanent homes for things that seems to wind up everywhere due to lack of.
Will let you know how it works out - dh thinks I've gone mad but he likes it

Peckarollover Tue 18-Jan-05 21:07:55

Anyone who does use a routine would you be so kind as to detail it down here?

jabberwocky Tue 18-Jan-05 21:08:01

If you go to the FLyLady website don't join. You will get zillions of emails a day!!!

janeybops Tue 18-Jan-05 21:31:42

omg just checked out the flylady website. Feel exhausted just reading through it! The bedtime routine is unbelievable! Do people really do this?

Not sure I could cope with the demands of having a tidy and clutter free house...

MistressMary Tue 18-Jan-05 21:35:01

Hehe I must admit I checked over fly lady and if she was that busy surely her figure should be leaner?

Seriously though the ideas are good but a little on the keen side?

galaxy Tue 18-Jan-05 21:35:23

My Tip is marry a dh who is obsesively tidy and likes his routines. He'll make sure there's plenty of storage boxes for toys and that everything's away before you go to bed

The downside is, he'll mutter when you make a mess and decide you can't be arsed to tidy it up straight away

MistressMary Tue 18-Jan-05 21:37:14

Not sure I could do with sleeping with the enemy style hubby though..
Nah a litle at a time is a better option for me.

galaxy Tue 18-Jan-05 21:38:13

He's not that bad really. In fact, he's positively mellowed out since dd was born and he realised I wasn't gonna take any notice of his moaning about the mess.

Merlot Tue 18-Jan-05 21:40:30

Thanks for starting this thread Mirage. Me, like you, could really do with some tips and I look forward to checking out the flylady site

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