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NWR: How do you keep your house clean?

FI and I are not the tidiest people, although I'm better about cleaning up than him. We're not slobs, but our place is rarely in condition where people could pop by without us having to do some cleaning up. Particular problems are laundry (FI frequently has a giant laundry monster that slowly consumes our entire bedroom) and just random clutter everywhere - on our dining table, our end tables, our dressers etc. I'm getting sick of having to carve out several hours one day just for us to get the place in decent shape.

What do y'all do to keep your house clutter free? 
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Re: NWR: How do you keep your house clean?

  • Man I need these answers too. Currently the house ends up clean via H hiding my shit or throwing it into the spare room along with my laundry, aka Mount Washmore.

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    RebeccaB88Junebug2015lc07jules3964
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    How do I keep my house clean?

    I married a guy who's nearly obsessed with keeping it clean.

    Done and done.
    emmyg65jules3964
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Ok, no, but really. He is kind of a neat freak, and I'm very much not!

    He does clean up after me quite a bit (as he's figured, it's HIS issue about the cleanliness, so rather than fighting the uphill battle to get me to clean it's just easier for him to pick up my cups and socks.).

    I do do ok at putting my dirty laundry in the hamper, but I tend to accumulate a lot of not-quite-dirty clothes around the bedroom (jeans, pajamas, things like that that you don't usually wash after one wear).

    As a result, he's figured that it would be helpful to get me a little basket for the bedroom. A kind of hamper-not-hamper. It's helped so far!
    JaniV123
  • For clutter, I think a lot of people simply have no good storage solutions in their house. Do you have bookshelves with baskets for small items, magazines, etc? Do you have decorative containers to put odds and ends? Do you have a drawers with organizer inserts (seriously, get these, they are a life saver)? Have you thought about a storage bench/ottoman? For laundry, would getting a sorting hamper help - whenever one slot gets full, you do the the load for that laundry? 

    Walk through your house and note the things that typically get left around and then go through the Target organization section or The Container Store with that list and try to find items that could help you organize those items. 

    H used to be a slob between all his hunting/outdoor/Army gear until I bought some shelving and tubs for the garage/closets, labeled them, and now he can manage to shove everything into the right bin. 

    Otherwise, I just clean regularly, I suppose. I wipe the counters and briefly sweep every day. I put things back in their spots every day. I make donate and toss/recycle piles regularly to make sure we aren't holding onto stuff we don't need or use. Putting in 5-10 minutes every day means I can go way longer in between "big cleans."
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    JaniV123wrigleyvilleShellD13cupcait927
  • @lolo883 I would give anything for a stashing room, but we live in a one bedroom apartment. Meaning we live with a four feet high pile of laundry pretty much 90% of the time. I'm considering giving it a name.
    [Deleted User]
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Housekeeper


    She will only clean around the clutter, so that motivates us to keep up with the clutter.

    Every morning I take a few minutes just straight up.   Throw away (shred) mail, pick up dirty glasses/dishes.  We have coat hooks on the wall.  I'm forever picking up hats, coats even shirts off tables and chairs  and putting them on the hooks (looking at you DH).  We have a couple of baskets that seem to be catch alls for random stuff.  

     If  you do it everyday it's not that bad






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    lc07ShellD13cupcait927
  • I'm a clean/neat freak. I can't have clutter. I clean every day, even if it's just as simple as putting things away and wiping down the counters. I find that doing just a little bit each day helps a lot in keeping things tidy.
    This is me, too. I think things get behind when people don't keep up with them. If you set a timer for a half hour every day and picked up, wiped counters and swept, you would be amazed. 

    I also follow a cleaning schedule. After a year, I've pretty much got it down after some tweaking based on how we live. My mom doesn't do this, then 'deep' cleans (I don't consider it deep), "when it needs it" and she spends the entire weekend cleaning. 
  • I just make myself clean it. There's no fairy dust. When the hamper is full, I do laundry and force myself to wash, fold, and put away. I sort mail standing at the trash can and pay nearly all my bills online, so there's not a lot of paper clutter. Every night before bed, I brush my teeth, wash my face, and put all of the dishes in the dishwasher.

    I'm by nature messy and spent a lot of time trying to figure out how clean people do it. There are lots of different methods but it really comes down to actually getting off their butts and just doing it.
    RebeccaFlowerJaniV123
  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I put things away instead of throwing it on the floor and we clean the kitchen after dinner every day. I guess bathroom and vacumming once a week. It's easy for us because of our tiny one bedroom apartment, no kids and no pets. 
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  • I am NOT a naturally tidy person.  I didn't grow up in an overly organized household.

    1. Like some PPs mentioned- get a good organizational system.  A (cheesy) phrase that we use in our house is, "all items have a home".  Meaning, put shit back where it goes.

    2. Each evening (or morning), walk through your house and pretend that the Queen/ President/ someone you'd want to impress is coming over.  While my random stacks of laundry/ papers/ mail/ etc. don't bother me at all, I'd be embarrassed if I had all of that stuff out if someone was coming over.

    3. Make a list.  I bought a dry erase board and wrote down different tasks.  (i.e. cleaning the upstairs bathroom is broken down by toilet, shower, sink, and floor)  I might only do one task a day, but at the end of the week, I've cleaned the entire bathroom.  This has also really helped me to not have to ask FI to do things, and he sees how much cleaning I do.  (He is great with the day to day stuff, but not so good with the overall cleaning.)

    Take a blend of ideas to see what works for you.
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  • mrscatymrscaty Philly member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    The chore split is as follows in our house:

    Me: laundry, lunch packing, bills/finances, tidying, deep cleaning
    H: dinner, dishes, trash/recycling, vacuuming/sweeping

    During the week, H will cook, then I get home and we eat. While he does dishes, I pack lunches. On the weekends I do laundry. I have exactly 1.5 weeks worth of work clothes, so it has to be done every weekend. I try to tidy throughout the week (hang coats/pick up shoes). I deep clean the bathroom every 2-3 weeks. On Monday, H works from home, so he will take out the trash/recycling and sweep if he has time. 

    The biggest thing for us is getting into a routine. That really helps. Knowing what I need to do when helps me actually be motivated to do it.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I pick up after us constantly. If something isn't being used, it gets put away. No leaving the remnants of an activity sitting out. Also, I second the suggestion for containers, baskets, etc to contain clutter. Sometimes some stuff just has no real place, and those things go in a basket that is then put in a closet or cabinet so it is not "out." I try to get rid of stuff that we don't need as quickly as possible. Go through mail immediately and file stuff that is to be kept. We don't keep things like Christmas cards to avoid clutter piling up.

    My Achilles heel is the coffee table near the end of a grading period when I have my stuff spread out there for grading, organizing, etc. I need to stop doing that entirely b/c then I get lazy about the mail and just drop it there, too, and then it is a catch all for a couple weeks and looks like hell.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    I'm a neat freak. We live with roommates, and I've had roommates for ten years, and I am beyond tired of waiting for other people to do shit to my standards. I just clean it now. All of it. Every weekend and whatever needs doing during the week.

    Fiance has to do the floors every weekend (no carpet, so it's just a quick vacuum then a good mop), but other than that I just spend a lot of time doing everything, honestly.

    It makes me pretty grumpy, honestly, but I'm grumpier if it's not clean. So I am on a Clorox rampage more or less every day and I've just learned to accept it.

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  • I have been asking to hire a housekeeper for YEARS. DH is one of those people who doesn't like to pay someone for something we can do ourselves. We'll, that's fine, but with both of us traveling for work, me getting sick, and having four cats, I think we need to have some professional assistance.

    That being said, we have a fairly large home for only two people. DH stores most of his stuff in our third car garage. We also have tons of storage elements- baskets, console tables with drawers, and two walk in closets (mine is the size of a small bedroom. It's awesome.) I'm also a minimalist. I do not believe in having "things" all over the house, whether for decor or display.

    Thankfully, I'm mostly home by myself, so I clean one day, close the doors to the rooms we don't use, and make sure I clean up my mess as soon as I make it. I try my best to clean up after DH when he's here, so it's less work for me when he leaves. It's a lot of work on my part, but DH really keeps our yard looking great.

     







  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I get stressed when things aren't closed and organized.  So I have a pretty good system for where I keep/want things.

    Picking up things at the end (or beginning) of the day really helps.  So does putting laundry away instead of throwing it over a chair or on the floor (like those jeans you wore today but can still wear again).  Ditto PPs who say to wipe down the counters each day and do one or two small cleaning tasks.  Small things like making the bed, or keeping the counters clear really make a big difference.  Instead of having a laundry monster, try doing a load every other day so it never has time to grow.  Honestly, a lot of cleaning is just forming good habits and breaking old bad ones.  

    As far as the clutter goes, what are you defining as "clutter?"  Because true clutter should be thrown (or given) away.  I remember a few years ago I had a cleaning meltdown.  I was over having stuff, over having clutter, over trying to find a "home" for things.  I think I gave away nearly thirty trash bags of "stuff."  I can't even remember what the "stuff" was.  I think out of thirty bags I only had one item I regretted throwing away.  It was one of those things you throw in the junk drawer because "you might need it some day," but then never use again. 

    Good luck!


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  • OP, I have the exact same problem as you. One thing that helped us was having 10 minutes of cleaning every day. I would literally set a timer on my phone, and we couldn't stop cleaning till the buzzer went off. Whether it was folding laundry or putting clutter away or washing the windows, just whatever we felt like doing. A lot of the time we'd get some good momentum going and keep cleaning even after the 10 minutes was up. Sometimes we would get really competitive and see who could do the most the fastest.

    When we keep up the 10 minute routine, our house stays pretty clean. When we start slacking and we don't set that time aside every day, it becomes a mess again. We don't have much storage space either so we also try to make frequent trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff. Try to use every bit of space you can, like putting drawers or plastic bins on wheels under the bed, put shelves up to utilize all your "vertical space" etc.
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    jules3964
  • My daughter noticed the difference when she married a fussy, put-it-away man who likes everything neat.  She was amazed at the difference.
    DH is an obsessive engineer who wants to keep everything. He goes through the trash and rescues things that I threw out.  His family warned me before I married him.  When I clean out the closet, he goes through the donation pile and asks, "Why can't you wear this?  Why give it away?"  Um, shoulder pads?
    It is hopeless.  In heaven I will have a maid.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    My daughter noticed the difference when she married a fussy, put-it-away man who likes everything neat.  She was amazed at the difference.
    DH is an obsessive engineer who wants to keep everything. He goes through the trash and rescues things that I threw out.  His family warned me before I married him.  When I clean out the closet, he goes through the donation pile and asks, "Why can't you wear this?  Why give it away?"  Um, shoulder pads?
    It is hopeless.  In heaven I will have a maid.
    Your DH sounds like mine! I've been trying to nudge DH into trashing and/or giving some of our older kitchen equipment to the thrift store, but his response is always, "We can use it when we go camping." Aside from the fact that we've camped once in the last two years, much of this stuff involves plastic handles or other flimsy construction that wouldn't last two seconds in a fire pit or charcoal grill...Sigh...
  • These tips are all so great!!

    The biggest problem for us is probably the laundry. Clothing seems to take over our entire bedroom, walk-in closet, and space next to the washer/dryer closet. Getting new hampers with tops (so that once the top won't close, we have a visual cue to get our shit together and do laundry) will probably help.

    Our other clutter is stuff that doesn't have a place, but doesn't get taken care of right away (like unpaid bills, online shopping things that need to be returned). I think setting a ten-minute timer each night would help this stuff get taken care of. I know we have to be more proactive, but it seems like one second the house is clean and the next there it is untidy. 

    Cleaning isn't so much a problem because dishes never sit for more than a day and counters are wiped down every night. I sweep and dust throughout the week as dust and dirt start to accumulate, and try to deep clean every other week when it needs more than touching up.
  • OP, I have the exact same problem as you. One thing that helped us was having 10 minutes of cleaning every day. I would literally set a timer on my phone, and we couldn't stop cleaning till the buzzer went off. Whether it was folding laundry or putting clutter away or washing the windows, just whatever we felt like doing. A lot of the time we'd get some good momentum going and keep cleaning even after the 10 minutes was up. Sometimes we would get really competitive and see who could do the most the fastest.

    When we keep up the 10 minute routine, our house stays pretty clean. When we start slacking and we don't set that time aside every day, it becomes a mess again. We don't have much storage space either so we also try to make frequent trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff. Try to use every bit of space you can, like putting drawers or plastic bins on wheels under the bed, put shelves up to utilize all your "vertical space" etc.
    I love this idea! We generally have no method other than 3-hour crisis mode when we're having guests or we can no longer stand the mess and we also are very short on storage space.

    I go to Goodwill every season when I change out my clothes from winter/spring or summer/fall. Anything that wasn't worn last year gets donated. It's a glorious feeling when you drop off those bags!
    novella1186
  • I started following a blog called UnFuck Your Habitat on tumblr. I think the main things I have tried to learn are put it away, not down, and also to try doing little quick cleans when I have down time. For examples, while water boils for my tea, I can handwash a few pans. Or while I'm drying my hair, I can clean the toilet or the sink. Our biggest problem was clutter, so I think putting things away when I get home or when I finish with them has been the most helpful. 
    Aray82Junebug2015beethery
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    OP, I have the exact same problem as you. One thing that helped us was having 10 minutes of cleaning every day. I would literally set a timer on my phone, and we couldn't stop cleaning till the buzzer went off. Whether it was folding laundry or putting clutter away or washing the windows, just whatever we felt like doing. A lot of the time we'd get some good momentum going and keep cleaning even after the 10 minutes was up. Sometimes we would get really competitive and see who could do the most the fastest.

    When we keep up the 10 minute routine, our house stays pretty clean. When we start slacking and we don't set that time aside every day, it becomes a mess again. We don't have much storage space either so we also try to make frequent trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff. Try to use every bit of space you can, like putting drawers or plastic bins on wheels under the bed, put shelves up to utilize all your "vertical space" etc.


    I grew up with the 10 minute plan! We still use it a lot.

    For heavier stuff, we hired a cleaning person. She started yesterday. She'll be here every 3 weeks to scrub things down.

    DH is taking a full course load while working full time. I work a lot ( ~55 hours/week on a good week) and have a hideous commute. We have a dog and a 15 year old who are both filthy. We realized that we couldn't keep up with things without a little bit of help. It was starting to get gross.

    In theory, we all have chores. DH is off the hook for the majority of his now because of school. I keep keep the family fed (shopping and cooking), clothed, and take care of SS (he requires a LOT of oversight). I'm not proud that we need help but it's worth the money for is to be able to spend our limited free time together rather than just cleaning.
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  • RebeccaFlowerRebeccaFlower member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    Aray82 said:
    OP, I have the exact same problem as you. One thing that helped us was having 10 minutes of cleaning every day. I would literally set a timer on my phone, and we couldn't stop cleaning till the buzzer went off. Whether it was folding laundry or putting clutter away or washing the windows, just whatever we felt like doing. A lot of the time we'd get some good momentum going and keep cleaning even after the 10 minutes was up. Sometimes we would get really competitive and see who could do the most the fastest.

    When we keep up the 10 minute routine, our house stays pretty clean. When we start slacking and we don't set that time aside every day, it becomes a mess again. We don't have much storage space either so we also try to make frequent trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff. Try to use every bit of space you can, like putting drawers or plastic bins on wheels under the bed, put shelves up to utilize all your "vertical space" etc.
    I love this idea! We generally have no method other than 3-hour crisis mode when we're having guests or we can no longer stand the mess and we also are very short on storage space.

    I go to Goodwill every season when I change out my clothes from winter/spring or summer/fall. Anything that wasn't worn last year gets donated. It's a glorious feeling when you drop off those bags!
    I'm with this, too. I watch those home makeover shows and people have decent sized homes and they 'need' a bigger home and I just want to scream at them to donate and throw away their shit useless shit. Bigger houses don't fix hoarder/gross people. 

    I'm a little judgy pants about how people live (not if I don't see it, but if you invite me into your home, I expect it to be clean). 

    ETA: typo

  • porkchops926porkchops926 Cape Cod member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I'm a clean/neat freak. I can't have clutter. I clean every day, even if it's just as simple as putting things away and wiping down the counters. I find that doing just a little bit each day helps a lot in keeping things tidy.
    This is me, too. I think things get behind when people don't keep up with them. If you set a timer for a half hour every day and picked up, wiped counters and swept, you would be amazed. 

    I also follow a cleaning schedule. After a year, I've pretty much got it down after some tweaking based on how we live. My mom doesn't do this, then 'deep' cleans (I don't consider it deep), "when it needs it" and she spends the entire weekend cleaning. 
    I completely agree with both. Cleaning does suck but I love a clean house and am probably a little too obsessed with it. It's just a matter or training yourself to put things away, laundry, dishes, etc. and keeping  a cleaning schedule. Fortunately my house is small enough I can do the whole thing top to bottom in about 3-4 hours. So I'll do that every three weeks or so, and then it's just vacuuming and wiping down counters every now and then in between to keep it looking up to par. 

    FI is not as obsessive about it as me, but he does like it when it's neat and tidy so now we have a system of splitting it up. It's like military style. I do the bathrooms and surfaces and he does the floors and the linens like a pro. When we work together it's like hour and a half tops.
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  • missxasiamissxasia Traffic, Atlanta member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    Just to throw in my 2¢, I don't like my place to be untidy and unorganized. I can't think straight if my place is a mess. My bf is not a naturally tidy person and neither is my daughter. So I've had to tell them both they need to clean up after themselves. I can handle everything else. I just clean up in the kitchen as I cook. Before I go to bed, I straighten up the living room and cut the light off. On the way to our bedroom, I check the kitchen and make sure stuff is put away, it's usually wiped down already, if not, I'll wipe it down, put stuff away, turn off the light and head to bed. If I take those few minutes before bed to straighten up, I only have to deep clean every couple of weeks. I have a terrible cold right now and knew I wouldn't feel like doing much, so we ate off of paper plates, and the pot and pan I used will be put in the sink until tomorrow. ETA - I'm in a 2 bedroom apartment, im crossing my fingers this will work when we get a house lol
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We also have a cleaner who comes by every 4-6 weeks.  She gives the whole house a good overhaul, and we have to clean the clutter before she comes so she doesn't have to work around it.  

    Before we started using her though, we tried to do 1 hour each weekend.  We'd decide what needed to be done and go from there.  You can get a shit tone down in 1 hour with 2 people going hard.  

    Laundry gets done on a weekend when the basket is full.  Kitchen is done daily as we go.  We don't vacuum/dust often, but then again, there's only 2 adults and no pets, and we're generally pretty clean people.  
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  • We send our laundry out (gotta love NYC for that) and have a woman who comes and cleans every 2 weeks.  We try to keep it tidy but we are both pretty messy.  We are so those people who clean up before the cleaning lady comes haha
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  • ShellD13ShellD13 Can't get there from here member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I hate clutter and I lived on my own for nearly 2 decades before I met H.  Setting up a home with him has been a challenge to say the least.  He has two teens from his previous marriage who are with us 50+% of the time and his former wife ran a day care out of their home for a number of years - H has mastered overlooking clutter!

    I do many of the things PP have mentioned - opening mail immediately and in front of trash can.  Bills go to my nightstand until I balance my checkbook/pay bills.  Take 10 - 15 minutes to straighten living areas that guests might see every night (living room, dining room, kitchen).  Laundry every weekend.  I used to try to CLEAN the whole house every weekend but it was making me pretty grumpy because the skids do not have any chores around the house and they don't pick up after themselves ever.  So I stopped cleaning their rooms - period.  If they want to live like that more power to them - I still do a sweep every morning to remove dishes from their rooms just so we don't get insects but that is it.  Luckily, their bedrooms and bathroom are the only things on the second floor of our house so I never have to worry about guests (other than their friends) seeing the disaster zones that they call bedrooms.  In the meantime, I am trying a new method of truly cleaning one room every morning before work.  It allows me to maintain a semblance of a free weekend and still know that the house is always presentable. 
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  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    If you saw my apartment right now, you would call me a damn liar. We are still recovering from the wedding and the explosion of boxes and laundry.

     

    I wake up really early naturally, so I am up at the ass crack of dawn even on the weekends. I really like to devote a couple of hours on one of the weekends to cleaning. The kitchen is my space, so I will spot clean that. H uses the living room more than me (blame it on the video games), so he will do that area. We split the bathroom and the bedroom.

     

    I think the key is to find something that you enjoy doing/cleaning more and then dividing up the chores. It seems to work out well for H and I. 

     

     

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