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Do you have any tips on keeping a clean house?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hey folks,
Well, my boyfriend and I are moving in together! Yay! Except I'm a slob. A really, really bad slob. -.- I'm working on it, and improving slowly, but the poor guy! He doesn't complain when he always does the dishes and 2/3rds of the time cleans the cat box, but.. I want to be better. I don't want to live in a gross house anymore!

Do you have any tips on how to be a cleaner person? We're moving into a new place, so we'll start fresh, but.. I wanna keep it that way!

Help please! =D
post #2 of 37
Tackle one room at a time. Sometimes if you let things go, the task is overwhelming. Try to put away stuff when you are done looking at it (papers, magazines, etc.) If something is empty - put it in the trash; don't put it on the side.

Maybe make a chart for yourself on the tasks you need to do and check them off. Once you make a routine (like doing laundry twice a week, dusting once a week, etc.) and do this for 3 or 4 weeks faithfully, then it becomes a habit to keep.

While your BF may tolerate things now, moving in and really dealing with this on a day to day basis may cause problems up the road.
post #3 of 37
He needs to learn to pick up after himself. It is too bad his parent(s) didn't teach him, but he's just got to make it a priority to put stuff away and do some cleaning.

I laugh hearing some of the stories about my husband when he was in college; evidently he was quite the slob until he lived with a guy who was stupendously slobby and it grossed him out so much he shaped up. Also, his mom made him help out with the housework when he was a kid and he's always doing stuff around here; picking up and cleaning. So there's hope.
post #4 of 37
Tidy up as you go, wash any dishes before going to bed as well because theres nothing worse than getting up to an untidy kitchen

Give yourself a day to do your housework, mines on a thursday when i get in from work, then after that the weekend is mine
post #5 of 37
We're kind of in the same boat. Keeping the house clean gets overwhelming and when you come home after work you just don't feel like dealing with it.

As pathetic as this tip is, it's all I've got- have people come over every couple weeks. That's the only time we really clean up the clutter is when we have friends coming over and we don't want them to know what slobs we are the rest of the week. We usually have people come over on Saturday evenings so we have all day Saturday to clean and don't have to rush too much.

Also, sometimes when I'm feeling motivated, I'll make a list of small areas that need to be worked on and just knock out 1-2 of them a day. Right now my list has about 8 areas on it, but I'll get through it in the next couple of weeks, I hope.

Another idea (ha, I didn't think I had any!) is to assign chores to each other in such a way that the person who has to do them doesn't mind doing them and hates for it to be any other way. For instance, I hate doing dishes, so he does all the dishes. He hates doing laundry and would sooner buy new clothes rather than wash them, so I do them. I hate a messy bathroom, so I clean the bathrooms. He hates having paper and trash all over, so he takes care of that. It doesn't make sense to have the person with the lower standards do that chore because it's just going to be a low priority for them and it won't get done.

Oh, and lastly, I try to live by my mother's motto- "Dull Women Have Immaculate Homes"
post #6 of 37
Originally Posted by lsanders View Post
Oh, and lastly, I try to live by my mother's motto- "Dull Women Have Immaculate Homes"
I beg to differ, it's aka a cop out
post #7 of 37
I admit I'm not the neat one in my marriage! But I have a few things that help for us.

One thing was already mentioned; divide things up so each of you get out of a chore you really don't like. DH does the grass mowing and cleans the kitchen. I do the cooking and laundry and bathroom. He does the trash (and litter-box 99.5% of the time, good man!). The me cooking and him cleaning up really helps as a day to day chore. After work I'm always tired and so is he, but I get home first and start cooking, then after we eat he puts the leftovers up and what not. He often leaves the big pots and what not for the next morning (soaking or at least rinsed) and does them then. That wouldn't work for me, but he's more of a morning person.

A tip someone gave me when we first got married and I was really frustrated with not being able to clean the way DH does, was to assign a room a day to be cleaned. That did help me for a bit. But then my DH can do in a day what it takes me a week to do, so sometimes I still feel so inadequate (though he does not hold this over me, ever!). We've just learned to compromise. DH will always be a better housekeeper than I am, and there are things I'm better at.

It's a personality thing and we've found that we balance each other. If it weren't for me, DH would have nothing but white walls, and blue black or grey everything with not a thing hung on the wall and probably no curtains or anything. I read the book Personality Plus a few years ago and it amazed me to see that it really is a personality thing influencing us to be the way we are. (It's a good book to read by the way! The author is funny and her writing style presents the information in a fun-to-read way.)

Along with that, a tip we got in marriage counseling: If you really don't like the way your SO is doing something, do it yourself! (By that I don't mean to not ever try to learn to do things the way your SO likes them done, but be reasonable.) The example they gave us was that he was in the military when they first got married and liked his uniforms ironed a very specific way, so he helped with the laundry by doing the ironing. It gave him his uniforms the way he wanted them, and helped around the house too.
post #8 of 37
If there is more than one bathroom have cleaning supplies in each-more handy that way.
Put away clothes daily and also put away laundry when done.
My problem is clutter-2 newspapers daily plus lots of mail so I sort out the mail everyday and put away the newspapers in recycling when done reading (which I do daily).
Sometimes I find it helpful to put a time limit on doing tasks using the timer on the microwave-breaking down tasks into smaller components. Or for instance when you are watching TV run and do a spot of cleaning (bathrooms are good) when commercials are on.
Make a chore list and divide up the cleaning duties.
post #9 of 37
I know quite a few people who use this website http://www.flylady.net/

I just tend to tidy up as I go.
post #10 of 37
Originally Posted by lsanders View Post

Oh, and lastly, I try to live by my mother's motto- "Dull Women Have Immaculate Homes"

hahaha, I can just see that painted on my side door with "fair warning" in small print underneath

I dont really have any tips, Im the kind of person that just doesnt notice the big puffs of cat hair on the stairs I think a list is a good idea, that way even if you dont notice that you need to clean the stairs or vacuum or whatever if its on the list it will remind you to do it.
post #11 of 37
I dont understand what the problem is, if you are a slob and your boyfriend cleans all of the time, doesnt that mean that you have it made? Stop trying to fix something that is not broken!

Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I beg to differ, it's aka a cop out
We know that you have the most imaculate home around and there is no dullness to you whatsover. That motto must be rubbish!
post #12 of 37
The only tip I can give you is to just set your mind to it and change.

There is no hard and fast law that says all cleaning has to be done one day a week. Daily cleaning goes a long way to keeping a place clean.

Use a calandar and mark down tasks to do each day. Of course certain things like wash dishes should be done daily. But things like vacuuming, cleaning bathroom, dusting can be done through the week. For example:

Monday: Vacuum
Wednesday: Clean bathroom
Tuesday: some laundry

Double up on some things that are small, such as on dusting days, do a load or two of laundry.

Also, make it a point to put things away after using it. That goes a long way to reducing clutter around and makes cleaning easier because you aren't wasting time lugging things from place to place putting things away. If you paint your nails in the living room, when you are done, put the stuff away right away.
post #13 of 37
Oops, I thought he was the slob... well, you just have to start picking up after yourself.
post #14 of 37
If you can afford it splurge and have someone come in to clean once a month and maintain it.
I love a clean home and I clean my bathrooms 3 times a week. The kitchen is cleaned every night with no dishes in the sink. If you stay on top of things as you go you don't have an intimidating pile to work through.
The thing is, if you do something everyday it takes a half an hour at the most to maintain.
I have a hamper for towels, my daughter has a laundry bag and I have one that hangs in my closet. It is really cute with ruffles. I have one day and I do all of the laundry and then I do a midweek small load.
I put garbage bags under the bag being used so as I pull up trash I can pull up a bag for the can.
Air fresheners and airing out your home is a must.
Have a wastebasket by the door to throw junk mail into as you walk in.
post #15 of 37
You just have to have the self discipline to do it every day whether ya feel like it or not, & it's always good when the man pitches in. Maybe you could work out a way to divide responsibilities so that you're not overwhelmed.
If you allow yourself a little bit of "downtime" when you first get home from work, then the two of you could do basic cleaning & get it over with, then you will both have more free time after that.
post #16 of 37
Never let your house get cluttered in the first place. It's impossible to clean anything that has stuff piled on it. If you need to, reserve a "clutter place" in your home and drop all stuff in that place.

Buy a hamper sorter with multiple bins and when you take clothes off, drop them in the appropriate bin to wash them in a load. It's amazing how much easier laundry got when I bought one of these a few years back (Bed Bath and Beyond).

Don't allow yourself to go to bed with dirty dishes laying around.

Assign different tasks to different days of the week and stick to your schedule.
post #17 of 37
I clean as I go. While I'm cooking dinner, I wash the dishes I dirty while things are cooking. Right after dinner, I load the dishwasher & run it, and then before I go to bed, I unload it & load any dishes we've used while its running. That way I keep up with the dishes, as I hate dirty dishes sitting around!

When I come home everyday from work, I vacuum, tidy up any messes left from the previous night, or any from the cats , scoop litter boxes and put away any laundry or messes that I've made in the morning getting ready for work.

If you keep on top of things & not let them get out of hand, its easy to have a nice, clean home
post #18 of 37
The one thing that helps me out the most is having a very specific place for every single thing I own. I haven't achieved that throughout the house yet, but in the areas where I've established that rule, order does prevail!

Those inexpensive plastic drawer units on wheels are a huge help to me. I keep them in closets as much as I can, but if a couple of them show... I can live with that. It's better than chaos!
post #19 of 37
My personal solution to my intense dislike of cleaning? Living by myself If I want to be messy, I can be messy This was actually one of my exes and I's biggest problems, he wanted to complain about how the house wasn't spotless, but didn't want to do anything At least your guy helps!

One thing that I do though is throw things away or put them away as soon as I am done with them, that cuts down on the clutter at least I also eat out a lot so there's not a lot of dishes
post #20 of 37
I belong to a Yahoo group called Messies Anonymous that will send you tips for each day, and several cleaning /decluttering strategies, etc. to help get from being a "Messie" to at least having a house you're not embarrassed of, lol . Their motto is "The secret to success is making very small, yet very consistent, changes".

I'm working on it, forwarding the tips that apply the most to our household to my dh, lol, and I'm actually making some progress . Turns out (ironicly) that not being a good housekeeper can be tied to being a perfectionist (housework is never done perfectly, after all- it's always a work in progress ). Who knew?

One thing they mentioned is called The Ten Minute Tidy (yeah, I know, but it works). Everyday, set the timer for 10 minutes, and rush around and put stuff up, wipe stuff down, whatever needs to be done in a room for 10 minutes- you'll be so surprised at how much you get done!

Good luck!
post #21 of 37
I came up with a light, weekly cleaning schedule. DH and I work together the get each day's work done, and it really doesn't take more than 30 minutes most days. I'm working on a monthly schedule, which will include deeper cleaning (not just laundry and vaccuming, but scrubbing, etc.).

I am definitely the messy one in our relationship, but we made a deal that we don't do anything fun until housework is done. We want our children (when we decide to have them) to come home, do their homework, then have play time, and the best way to do that is to set that example ourselves.

So, no play (TV, games, etc.) until housework is done! Also, it might be easier to force yourself to get the chores out of the way right after work, so you have more time later in the evening to yourselves.
post #22 of 37
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I beg to differ, it's aka a cop out
I agree with that as well. I'm a spunky gal, and you can eat off my kitchen floor with no problems.

Set your self up on a schedule. Clean and dust one room a week (this should take about a half hour), and then switch it up.

Some tips for regular cleaning:
1. Sweep the kitchen at least once a day right after dinner.
2. Clean as you go while you cook.
3. Keep cleaning products on hand at all times.
post #23 of 37
Originally Posted by catsallover View Post
One thing they mentioned is called The Ten Minute Tidy (yeah, I know, but it works). Everyday, set the timer for 10 minutes, and rush around and put stuff up, wipe stuff down, whatever needs to be done in a room for 10 minutes
This is a great tip! 10 minutes may not seem much but if hubby & I both devote 10 min. each day to tidy up, our house will be spotless when weekend comes.

Great thread .
post #24 of 37
My tips from a neat freak.
Always pick up after yourself, now. Say you are in the bathroom using make-up, hair dryer, other hair products, picking out what earrings to wear, putting together your outfit for the day, and so on clean it up as you go. Don't leave that bathroom messy, it only take a min. to clean so regardless of the time leave it clean. When you are finished with your towel from a shower either hang it up or toss it in the laundry basket, same with your clothes, when you are finished witha jacket, hang it up or when you are changing clothes put the old ones in the basket right then. Dishes are easy, always rinse and put in dishwasher. Hand wash the dishes that need handwashed right then. I never leave the kitchen messy when I go to bed at night, nothing worse than waking up to a nasty messy kitchen. Just make little habits like everyone has suggested in this thread and it will get easier to become a cleaner person. Baby steps ya know.
post #25 of 37
My Mom's motto was "There's a place for everything and everything in its place." We had a schedule for cleaning and laundry and I was very neat. I was neat in college and grad school. I drove a couple of roommates crazy.

When I met DH, I realized he wasn't the neatest person in the world, to say the least. Early in the relationship I asked if he would mind if I cleaned his bathroom. I kept thinking that something was going to crawl out of the tile. He asked why would he mind if I cleaned the bathroom and I said that he might think I was trying to move in. He said that he thought that I already had (still lived in the dorm, too).

Anyway, my first solution was to hire a maid. Next, I cleaned up after him, because it got too messy in between cleanings. I yelled at him, of course. Time went on. I stopped yelling. I travelled and the mess got worse.

I gave up and joined the club. I am now no neatnick.

Our daughter cannot clean up. I told her to clean up her toys when she was little. She would just sit there and be lost at what to do. Her room is a mess. I would get mad.. Then I read an Ann Landers column where a mother had the same problem. Then she thought that her teen didn't drink, smoke, do drugs, was a good student, etc. So the mother just shut the kid's door. I do that now, too.

If the place is really messy, I give the maid extra that week. That is really not advice. But one piece of advice I have is to not have too many things around. It is really easy to clean if you keep things off the counters and dressers. No clutter then.
post #26 of 37
My bathroom is clean, my kitchen is clean, my cat areas are clean, and thats the best I can do.
post #27 of 37
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
My personal solution to my intense dislike of cleaning? Living by myself If I want to be messy, I can be messy This was actually one of my exes and I's biggest problems, he wanted to complain about how the house wasn't spotless, but didn't want to do anything At least your guy helps!

One thing that I do though is throw things away or put them away as soon as I am done with them, that cuts down on the clutter at least I also eat out a lot so there's not a lot of dishes
I'm with Katie! I tend to be lazy about cleaning, and have to do a ton in one day. All well, I just periodically do a deep cleaning of the house, I've divided it into segments & when I clean I do one segment at a time, then stop & treat myself!
post #28 of 37
I do the 15 minute timer thing daily. That helps on clutter and wiping down the bathroom daily and dusting one item.

My main rule: keep the bathroom and kitchen clean. If the rest of the place suffers, oh well....

I was a huge slob. I've gotten better. I also dont have high standards. I really do believe where you eat and shower should be clean, so I do it thoroughly often. It takes the pressure off knowing I can slack off on vacuuming for instance since cat hair won't kill anybody.

I'd prefer to have one spare room just for mess though

Dont own a lot of stuff - that's a big one that helps.
post #29 of 37
I like to multi-task. First thing I do in the morning is start the coffee, while that is happening I make the bed, take care of any dishes from the night before and any other little things that were left out that need to be put away, cloths, books etc. I make it a game, try to beat the coffee maker. For the litter box, its kept next to the toilet so its one of the first things I see. If it needs to be cleaned I do it when I am done before leaving the bathroom. I keep everything I need for it under the sink, plastic bags and the scooper so its right there. My DH does the vacuuming only, I do the rest. He just seems to always have something better to do and I really don't like the way he cleans, he gets it done but not fully. If I have him dust he will miss half the bookcase. So I find its best if I do it all.

For laundry, he always use to just drop his cloths on the floor and walk away. All I had to do was put them all in the hamper once. When he went to find his jeans from the day before where he left them on the floor he freaked and asked what I did with them, I told him "well I thought they were dirty you just left them on the floor" after having to dig through the hamper he learned to always put everything away in its right spot.

The big one for us is dust. He builds skateboards for a living now and does all the sanding in the house. Before we moved he did it all inside but now he can do most of the worst stuff outside but the final sanding and finish polying has to be done inside to prevent bugs from getting in the finish. Its a daily battle for me. Let me tell you its a shock to come home from work and see a layer of colored dust everywhere. Our nice clean white bathroom will become blue or green or whatever color he is using. At least I can see whats dirty.

Before I write a book my best suggestion is make cleaning a game. Time yourself. I use the coffee maker or a tv show, anything that has a set time to it. See how many jobs you can get done in the allotted time and try to beat it everyday. This morning I set the record, I made the bed, wiped down the bathroom and kitchen, did a few dishes and had my cereal all before the coffee was done. You will get faster and more efficient.
post #30 of 37
I'd like to caution you to stick to your commitment and do your share of the work around the house. Here, it's the opposite. DH is a slob, apparently doesn't notice or care about the mess, and doesn't care if it gets cleaned by either of us. I prefer to live in a clean, orderly house. However, since I'm the only one who's going to be doing it, often it doesn't get done, and I get depressed and very resentful of him sitting on his behind and not caring. So, I don't know if your BF would be inclined to eventually get resentful if he's doing the majority, but it could happen, since I didn't start out that way at first either.

Actually, my mother had the right idea. We always had to tidy up before we could go to bed. That way, nothing every got too far out of hand.

Good luck
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