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7 Inspiring Ways to Keep your House Clean

Updated on February 2, 2011

May 27, 2009

I returned home at midnight this morning, after being gone for two weeks, to find the house a disaster. Molding rice in a child's bowl, on the kitchen table. A bathtub with sticks in it for bow making, and a hamper overflowing with dirty laundry! Did I leave for vacation, with such a mess in my house? No!

My husband has been home, fending for himself, but not by himself: Before I left, I did all of the laundry, froze meals, took out the trash and generally put the house in order. The morning we took off I had a number of errands to attend to, and my guess is that some child was still eating when the dishes were being done, hence the moldy food -- I don't think my husband was eating out of a Peter Rabbit dish...

So, as I survey coffee mugs from the last two weeks, a refrigerator full of moldy food that I left ready for him to eat and overflowing trashcans, I am searching for inspiration. Part of me wants to just forget the whole mess, and go plant my waiting garden. Heck, paying bills would be more enjoyable than dissolving this mess; but, a woman must do what a woman must do, and children deserve a clean home to learn and create in. So, here is a list of inspiring thoughts to keep the cleaning going, even when you would rather be having brain surgery done by a pre-med student.

1. Make Something Every Day

 

Creativity is one of the driving forces in my life. Without a project or two on my horizon, I feel lifeless. Chores can be dull and uninspiring or a creative outlet. I choose to make, from start to finish, at least one thing every day. It may only be the bed, or a gourmet meal, but it is something that brings a smile to my face.

Thing to Make in the Home

The Bed: Make the bed in your favorite manner. Set out your nighttime book and favorite pajama's. Cut some flowers for the bedside table, and prepare to love your husband.

Meals: Eating supper together helps to hold the family together. Make it something to look forward to. When the meal is the focus of my creative efforts, I strive to serve it with high-end restaurant flair. This means that the colors of the food and its arrangement on the plate have been planned. Instead of eating the whole meal at once, serve the salad first, then bring out the main course. Dessert is always appreciated.

Set The Table: Simple, fun, whimsical or elegant, even the simplest meal is enhanced by a thoughtful setting of the table. Break out the tablecloth and napkins, even if you are serving macaroni and cheese, or give everyone a few crayons and a paper place mat. Don't have paper place mats? Try some large drawing paper, or even the old computer paper that is all strung together. How about using up those leftover party supplies, even if they are totally out of season? Serve with a smile and plan a party game or two. Children love to play telephone.

Clean Landry: Start a load. Hand wash your bras or wool sweaters. Grab a load of clean clothes and fold them, then put them away, rearranging drawers as needed. Throughout things that are never used. Match those socks and get rid of the mate-less ones.

Bread:  Making a loaf or two of bread, by hand, is therapeutic and pleasing.  The results delicious!

2. Do the Worst Job First

Choose the job you are dreading the most, and just get it done! Oh, the stress and worry that will lift when that job is out of the way. I just did my refrigerator, and it feels great to have it out of the way!

3. Pick A Number, Any Number

ONE

De-clutter one thing from every surface in the house. Don't cheat, just clear one thing.

One bag of trash. Grab a trash bag and fill it full of items that are no longer needed. See how fast you can do it, then tie it up and take it to the dumpster!

One surface. Choose one surface, clear absolutely everything off of it, and keep it clean for one week. At the end of the week, chose the decorations/accessories that are most appropriate, and put those back on the surface. Enjoy!

One box. Find a box, and fill it with usable things that you do not love anymore. Tape it up and mark it for good-will. Put it in your vehicle, to take to a second hand store.

One load. Completely do one load of laundry, even if you have mountains waiting for you. While the machines are running, do other small projects.

TWO

Two minutes. Set the timer for two minutes, and see how much you can get cleared off the end tables, or other commonly cluttered surfaces. Put things away as you work, so when the timer goes off, you are done! Do this twice a day.

Two things. Choose two things from every cupboard, closet and drawer that are not needed/wanted anymore, and toss them.

Two phone calls. If you are like me, you hate making appointments and orders. Take a few minutes, and make two of the most pressing phone calls. No more procrastinating.

FIVE

Five things. Pick up and put away five things from every room in the house. Likewise, pick up five things in the yard. This one works really well with my children, and after each child has picked up five things that belong to them, from every room, the house is presentable. It takes less than 10 minutes, when we all work together.

Five minutes. Set your timer for five minutes, and de-clutter in the worst room in your house. Repeat daily, until the room is clean.

Five chores. Make a list of five chores that most need to be done that day, and be realistic. Work at them until they are done. You will have a definite sense of accomplishment when the last item is checked off.

TEN

List ten things. Ten things you love about your life. Ten things you are thankful for. Ten things you want to do in the next week. Ten things you want to learn. Ten books you want to read. Ten movies you want to watch. Let these lists stretch you inspire you.

Ten socks. Find ten of those lonely or holey socks, and get rid of them.

Find ten items to donate to charity.

Ten minutes, to fold and put away two loads of laundry.

Plan ten main meals for the next two weeks. Make a list; be sure to include lunch and breakfast items, then go shopping. By planning ahead, you will know what you have available and spend less in the long run. Why only ten? Because there will be leftovers to use up!

FIFTEEN

15 minutes is enough time to complete most household jobs.

  • Wash the dishes from a single meal.
  • Change the sheets on a bed and start the laundry.
  • Iron two of shirts.
  • Sweep all of the floors in the house, or vacuum all of the carpets.
  • Scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors.
  • Pick and wash a salad for supper.

4. Contests and Rewards

Create a Contest

Time yourself and see how fast you can get a job done. Now choose another. Can you do this one faster? Are you working with someone? Challenge them to a race!

I find this works very well with my children. If I give them a small job to do, while I do a lager one, they feel that they can beat me and are motivated to do their best. When the job is done, we inspect each others work. They love finding places I missed, and work hard to make sure theirs is done thoroughly.

Designate a Reward

This is the carrot on the stick method:  Choose something that you would really like, then assign yourself a certain amount of work to do, in order to earn your reward.  Make it something that is useful in the long run or disposable, so that you are not adding to the clutter in your home. 

My favorite reward is a long hot bath, with a good book.  I will even take a special trip to the library to obtain that good book, if nothing on my shelf is begging to be read.  Another reward that I cherish is a back rub from my hubby.  I don't ask for them very often, so when I do, he is usually obliging.

5. Set the Mood

If my mind is not in the cleaning, the work goes very slowly.  I daydream, and wander from room to room, wondering what needs to be done next.  To help my mind get into the mood, I use several approches.

Music and Candlelight

I like to light a candle or two, turn on some music, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

Wear an Apron

An apron can be elegant or practical. Putting on an apron helps my to forget my inabitions about getting dirty. It is a small piece of cloth that is easily cleaned, and if it gets stained, "Oh well!"

Get Mad

I have a friend who swears by getting mad to get the job done.  She can clean anything in record time, if she is angry.  Not mad at the moment?  Drudge up a memory from the past, read some disturbing news or watch a few minutes of TV.  Getting angry enough to be be ruthless shouldn't be too hard!

6. Call in Reinforcements!

Friends, a cleaning service, the National Guard -- what ever you have available.  I love working with someone.  It makes even the most mundane things pleasant, and working alongside your child is a good way to teach good habits early on.

No one to help?  Get out those cleaning supplies that you never use -- they are servants, after all.

7. Reading or Writing

Read About It

Grab your favorite cleaning, de-cluttering, or feng shui book, open it up, anywhere, and read until you find inspiration. As soon as you feel motivated, go to work! Don't wait!

Write About It

Obviously the method I am using at the moment...

I find that writing about it in one form or another always inspires me. If I have a room to de-clutter, but I am not sure of the final results that I want, I write about it, in the form of a motivational magazine article. If I know what I want, but don't seem to be able to accomplish it, then I like to write about it in a fiction sense, to see myself using the space in the desired application. If I am frustrated, I rant!

Ivorwen, 2009.

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    • profile image

      Johnd819 3 years ago

      Im not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. All the best eebecdebdbfd

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 5 years ago from Southern Clime

      What great cleaning plans!

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 5 years ago

      Wow..cool article..

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you timrussell.

    • profile image

      timrussell 6 years ago

      Excellent article. I totally agree with doing the worst jobs first, every time!

      I also like the pick a number idea

      Thanks Ivorwen

      Tim

      www.firstchoicecleaners.co.uk

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Zaina~ You are so welcome! I wish you the best in learning this skill and making your house the kind of home you want it to be. :)

    • profile image

      zaina 6 years ago

      i was born and raised in africa where we have maids, ppl there r very poor and maids take in 50$ a month for every day cleaning , i got married and moved to the U.S ... disaster stiked ... i did some cleaning here and there but taking care of a whole house was a bigger challenge than wat marriage already had ... prob was everybody came to my house with a comment of (u dnt knw hw to clean this let me show u how !!!!) ... 4 yrs on i have 2 kids and still was struggling but not any more ... i have been doing my research .. i never had a cleaning schedule b4 but it sounds promisisng ... and ur post made me smile and look forward with a smile to what have to be done for my kids to live happily and healthy and for me to enjoy my home as well . thank u so much ... i read ur post once and now i read it again but this time i have a pen and paper at hand :-) ... God bless you and ur family . thanks again

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Those are some good tips Pennie. It is nice that you and your boyfriend have figured out how to work together and share the responsibility.

    • profile image

      Pennie 6 years ago

      I love to cook and after i am done i don't want to clean up afterwords. My bf and I found out that its easier if u do the cooking and then afterwords he does the cleaning. I also learned that if you clean the same time as your cooking by the time dinners done you don't have any dishes.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks for reading Katrina! Enjoy.

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      Great tips. I will try to follow your suggestions.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Prairieprincess, I know the feeling of wanting to run and hide! But then it is all still there when I come back... what a disappointment. :)

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Ivorwen, I need lots of inspiration ... it's so easy for me to run away from it, because it seems so overwhelming. I will try out some of your suggestions and print this out for lots of further reference.

      Thanks so much for being so inspiring!

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Writer83, I hope it works too!

    • writer83 profile image

      writer83 6 years ago from Cyber Space

      You actually gave me idea. I hope it works for me. Taking care of children and cleaning the house can sometimes be tiring but rewarding.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you, FirstSteps. Glad to be an inspiration.

    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 7 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages :) Very enjoyable read , I opted to stay home with my daughters as well . This gives me an idea for a new hub as I have had writers block lately . Great ideas !

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Vocalcoach, I can so relate to your desk! I love a clean home, but hate dealing with clutter. I wish I could keep anything from coming into the house for at least a month. I think in that amount of time I could clear out enough clutter to make cleaning even more fun.

      Do you ever feel like Newton's law, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," is working against you? I through clutter out, more clutter comes in. How do I get the upper hand? And if it is truly and opposite reaction, why don't good things, that I know what to do with, come in?

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Wow! I sure needed to read this hub. Motivating and fun.

      You are really creative. I love cleaning - but hate, hate, hate organizing and my desk shows it. Just do not know how to start, where to put everything, etc. So I have these "piles" of desk papers and notes all over the house that all started on the desk. Urgggggggggh

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks Angela.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      I think this is a hub, I need to favorite, so that why I get inspired to clean! I sometimes feel like a failing housewife... although I work 30 hours, so I'm not technically a housewife.

    • profile image

      House Cleaning Maid Service New York City, NY 7 years ago

      very informative hub.... Great post. Thanks a lot to the author. Found this from search engine. ??????? ??????.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks Wilma. Too bad life doesn't work like that! :D

    • profile image

      Wilma Proops 7 years ago

      I found a link to this article on my favourite site of the moment (SnipSly.com). It is now even more favourite - I really enjoyed this article - you deserve to have a clean home just for writing it...

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you, Advikasingh. Be inspired!

    • advikasingh profile image

      advikasingh 7 years ago

      nice hub.....

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks Merriweather. I like to take it one step at a time most days. Sometimes, though, a shovel is needed.

    • Merriweather profile image

      Merriweather 8 years ago

      Great tips here! Breaking the job down into small and manageable pieces really helps things from getting completely overwhelming.

    • profile image

      Brett 8 years ago

      thank you

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Morris Streak: Thank you so much! Your compliment is just the encouragement I needed I take on another writing project!

      typep: Thank you.

    • typep profile image

      typep 8 years ago

      Great hub! Good luck with the cleaning! lol

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 8 years ago from UK

      I applaud your can-do attitude, which I think led to your finding these inspiring ways to unclutter your house. I like it that you approach the sour idea of cleaning up after everyone without the sour face of someone who has to endure all that. Unlike the other house-improvement blogs I've read, yours come off as more personal.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      MindField, I am so glad you found it inspiring!

      Moonmaiden, you offer a different perspective, thank you. While I was aggravated, walking out never crossed my mind.

      As to what we are teaching our sons, mine are learning to keep house and be respectful. They are learning of the work that goes into keeping house (they practically did the whole job during my last pregnancy).

      What motivation do men have to change? My husband works hard to provide for the family and to teach his sons, even starting a side business, just so they can be involved and learn business. When I take care of my 'stay at home' job, he goes out of his way to make my life nicer, even doing things that he would rather not, like building me stuff. If we both worked outside of the home, I am sure he would help out more. He kept house when he was unemployed and I had a full-time job. :) BTW, how are you motivating your boyfriend to change?

    • MindField profile image

      MindField 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Ivorwen - What an excellent hub! I've copied it into OneNote to refer to again and again. You've inspired me to do a little something each day instead of being overwhelmed by that horrible "too much" feeling. I'm looking forward to following up on all the links you provided, as well.

    • Moonmaiden profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 8 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      I am thankful I am not married. If I came back from vacation to that, I'd turn on my heels and find a motel. If he came to his senses fine. If not I'd start over with someone that respected me.

      I do the five minute dishes once a day with a timer. The only reason it doesn't work perfectly is my boyfriend won't do it too. There is just the two of us. Ten minutes of dishes once a day and the kitchen would stay clean. But he won't. If we let men act like that, where is the motivation for them ever to change? What are we teaching our sons? That women are the maids and cooks?

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Just read this on FlyLady's pampering ideas:

      "The best thing I do to pamper myself, though, is to tell myself over and over that *I* deserve a clean house, a made bed, feet that don't hurt, clean clothes, etc. I tell myself that I do these things for ME and that cleaning up after everyone is how I bless them, instead of being angry at how much mess a family can produce. It really helps motivate me to keep moving!"

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      For a cleaning schedule, I have used a box of index cards that I made up ten years ago, based on the Sidetracked Home Executive system. It works for me, even when I am not motivated. Remember, five minutes worth of cleaning at a time is better than none.

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446677671/...

      The Flylady has daily e-mails to help keep one on track.

      http://flylady.net/

      Here are some other articles on house keeping for you to check out. I think the first one is an excellent starting point. Nothing too complicated, but complete.

      The Ultimate House Cleaning Schedule

      https://hubpages.com/living/The-Ultimate-House-Cle...

      Tips for a Speeding House Cleaning!!

      https://hubpages.com/misc/Clean-Queen

      How To Implement a Schedule if You Have ADHD/ADD

      https://hubpages.com/education/ADHD-daily-schedule

      Also, don't forget to rake care of yourself. :)

    • profile image

      CaseyBaby424 8 years ago

      my husband is always complaining that i don't clean like im supposed to a blah blah blah but he doesn't do shit excuse my french he complains about how the house is dirty ect how can i get him to help out how can i get myself to clean, i mean when i do try to clean im okay for a lil while then my back starts to hurt even with the medicine, an like i said how can i keep myself motivated like i no its important an its healthy an what not i just cant seem to get my self motivated an stay motivated an when i do finally get it clean i can never keep it clean, my husband does absolutly nothing he don't even clean up after himself an i think that's part of the reason i don't clean like im supposed to cause im thinking why clean if he aint going to help if im going to be the only one doing it an if he aint going to help keep it clean when im finshed, EVERYONE please help me help me set up scdules(spell) help me with motivation help me with making lists just basically help me with everything please im crying out for help

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      CaseyBaby, my heart goes out to you. I know how hard pregnancy can be with out other complications.

      I know how 'doing nothing' can make you feel so overwhelmed and a messy house just reinforces that feeling. I was had restricted activity for most of my last three pregnancies, while running a Child Care, 12 hours a day. During that time, I motivated myself by doing what was most important to keeping my sanity. Keeping the dishes and floors under control was most important to me, followed by clean bathrooms. I made a point of doing just a little, every chance I got. For example, every time I used the bathroom, I used the paper towel that I had dried my hands with to wipe something down, before throwing it away.

    • profile image

      CaseyBaby424 8 years ago

      well my husband does absolutly NOTHING around here, all he does is play his stupid Xbox. I donno im going to explain my sitution the best i can but im not promising anything. well like i said my husband does absolutly nothing around here or helps me with anything the only time he does anything is when he is mad an he does it half butt an its not even a gaurentee (spell check) that he'll do anything. well i am pregnant an i have scolosis (curvage of the spin) an so if i don't have any medicine im hurting really bad alot of times, so with that said i don't get very much done even when i do have my meds i still don't get very much done im not ever motivated to do anything its like my house is so nasty that i just feel so over whelmed with stuff an i never get anything done. I don't know what to do. I cant stand the way this house looks its embarrasing to me i don't ever live like this i never have lived like this. So why now why am i now, i guess you would say im lazy but im not really lazy i just aint motivated to do anything. Well once i do get the house clean and the way i like it, it feels so good to me but i never keep it that way, my husband is an absolute pig an i think its causing me to be that way, like when the house does finally get cleaned an what not he just doesn't ever clean up after his self an he is just nasty i swear to god i donno i don't want anyone to judge me or my husband but its the best way i can explain it, Im juss so sick an tired of looking at this house an living this way its not me what can i do? how can i motivate my self to getting it clean how can i keep it clean how can i get my husband to see how much of a pig he is? i just have so many questions im so confused, Im literally begging for HELP!!!! please!!! Thanks for your time. :(

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Hello Ginger, I understand the way you are feeling. I am a stay at home mother of five boys, ages 1,3,6,8 & 10. Keeping house does not come naturally to me. It is a constant chore, one that I do not overly enjoy. My husband does very little to help out, and why should he? He spends 10 hrs a day at work, providing for the family. The home and children are MY job -- my chosen career! This is why I strive to do them well, even the parts I do not enjoy. No job is 100% wonderful.

      As to motivation, decide why you are doing what you are doing, and how clean is clean enough. If you saw my house right now, you would laugh that I wrote such a thing. I have been busy since 6:30 this morning, gardening, carding wool, cooking, looking over next year's curriculum, writing, and the house is in need of some TLC. It is not dirty, but very cluttered. Before my husband gets home, I need to make jelly, supper and make the main rooms comfortable. To do that I will pick up what is out and pick some flowers for the table.

      Cleaning always comes down to a few things:

      1. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

      2. Keep only what you use and love, keep nothing out of obligation.

      3. Realistic expectations and knowing what needs to be done.

      Start with what needs to be done every day. Then add weekly chores in where appropriate. Once a month chores come next. Build your habits slowly and carefully. DON'T try to do too much at a time. The best motivation I have found is to just do something -- what ever is bugging me most or what ever is easiest.

      Not knowing more about you or your son, I don't really know what to suggest. Do you have his respect, or does he think you where put on this planet to serve him? Does he know that he is a valuable part of the family, or is he just someone to be chased down and yelled at? Have you tried keeping your son busy, by having him work with you? It is not the fastest way to get things done, but I find that it gives them a sense of satisfaction and belonging, to help with 'grown up' things. My three year old helped to clean the bathroom, after helping his daddy work on the truck this morning and then colored while his older brothers did their school work. It is currently mid-afternoon, and he is napping. He can make messes and get into anything. He is quiet and sneaky, so I try to keep him engaged where the rest of us are at.

      Have you heard of No Greater Joy? Their materials have done more for my parenting and marriage than any other.

      http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/

    • profile image

      Ginger 8 years ago

      Great tips. How does one get motivated enough to do it when it is in complete chaos and no one else will help out. Hubby never helps with house work sometimes he does if it is bad enough like the piled up dishes or the messy bathroom. But most of the time its on me and my 3 yr old son is constantly making messes I have to clean up and it seems I am always afer him to keep himout of things or the reprimand him for something. I have tried flylady it just seems so daunting and overwhelming at times and I did a little good for a little whild but my sons discipline problem has me on him most of the time now. I love all the ideas and if I can just get it done and without being always interrupted then I could accomplish something for a change. My hubby doesn't appreciate anything I do seems like I think once everything is in ship shape order maybe he will. He wants me to do everything at once otherwise I am not doing anything in his eyes. Well, that's probably what flylady calls stinking thinking, huh. Well, I need to take some notes since I can't print anything from my pc. I need some suggestions from stay at home moms who have little ones to deal with all day long by themselves with no other help.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I've looked at Flylady, and have recommended her too, though I prefer Pam and Peggy. These are the things that keep me going when I don't want to do my job, or it just seems too big. :)

      I'll definitely check out your hubs, as I'm sure to find more inspiration!

    • dineane profile image

      dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina

      ok, this is only the 2nd hub I've read of yours, but now I'm convinced you must be a "flybaby" :-) If you have not heard of flylady, you must have been separated at birth! Lots of great tips! (and no, I get nothing from promoting flylady, except maybe the hope you'll check out one of my earliest hubs!)

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I've been wondering about that whole OCD thing -- think I have it too -- just wish I had it like Munk!

    • profile image

      mamahops 8 years ago

      Great list - breaking up housework definitely helps to keep one sane! And I do the same thing with numbers (maybe it's my OCD), I'll count how many dishes I rinse, then load them into the dishwasher. Repeat. Housework is a part of everyday life if you are in charge of a household, so making it more adventurous of fun is always helpful! Thank you.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Cami, relax? That is what hubpages is for, unless you are here to make $. Then it is "nothing but work, work, work, all the time." Thanks for reading and taking time to comment! :)

      Thanks for stopping by Jimmy. I have found two things by leaving the worst things for last. One -- that it gets even more disgusting, especially when it is on the bottom of the list for days. Two -- it didn't really need to be done at all!

    • profile image

      jimmysmithtrainin 8 years ago

      #2 Do the worst job first. I'm the worst. I end up leaving the worst thing for last and it never gets done. I know I need to do it sooner but it's a pain.

    • cami825 profile image

      cami825 8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      I agree with getting upset before cleaning. I do my best housework when I am mad or upset...it is like a theroputic experience, but afterwards when the house is clean, I really don't know what to do with myself. It's like I just can't tell myself that I have nothing left to do but relax. Relax...what is that...never heard of it.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Tom, I like your idea of getting everyone to pitch in, every two weeks. That would be great, because it wouldn't take too long to get the job done, and no one would feel like they had the brunt of the load. Ha! Who am I kidding? Every child thinks they were given the worst chore around... oh well, it is still a great idea, and the sooner everyone is done, the soon they can have fun. :)

      LOL, RedElf! More than once I have gotten after the children, only to find out the husband made the mess.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

      These are great ways to pyche up for housework. I try to develop the habits of doing dishes while I cook, getting the kids (my youngest is 13) to load the automatic dishwasher automatically, that kind of thing. Every two weeks we do a big cleaning in which everyone who's able participates. It's like a barn raising: a real community effort.

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      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Great information. It would have been a toss-up which had left the dish at our house - could have been either little or 'big' kid. I also remember one college roommate who was that absolute master of the refrigerator "science experiment".

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Well said Brenda! "It is a thankless task, and no matter how long you spend on it, there is always more waiting to do..." But still, it must get done, and so I try to have while I am at it. Thanks for reading!

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      \Brenda Scully 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this hub..... I hate housework, and if I am honest, very lazy about it, It is a thankless task, and no matter how long yu spend on it, there is always more waiting to do....... will try out some of your suggestions, I have to say I have got really bad since I found hub pages. Maybe I will do 5 things then treat myself to 5 minutes on here... x

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      Laughing Mom 8 years ago

      Frieda Babbley says:2 days ago

      Ah, clean sweep. I couldn't remember the name for the life of me. One can always count on Laughing Mom.

      ------------------------------------------------

      I wouldn't count on it, Frieda.

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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Good luck Dink96, and enjoy that clean house while he is gone!

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      This one's a keeper! Husband's out of town this weekend, so I'm going to GET BUSY!!

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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      De-cluttering when I am angry is very effective for me, because I see the clutter for what it really is: trash. Other than that, I just tend to wander when upset. Glad it works for you!

      Night time cleaning is very effective for me, assuming I don't decide to vacuum, and wake the children up. :0

      Ashley, I'd agree, keeping on top of it is best. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 8 years ago

      Just by doing a little a day I seem to keep on top of the cleanlyness of my house. It can sometimes seem like a daunting task though.

    • Ellandriel profile image

      Ellandriel 8 years ago from Portugal

      Getting mad works for me, if I get mad I clean everything, even the things I hate doing!

      I also love to clean at night when I can't sleep...

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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you Alekhouse.

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      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Enjoyed the hub. Lots of good and creative ideas for cleaning, Since, I've had a bed and breakfast for 15 years, I turned into "Super-cleaning-Girl". But can always use another tip. Thanks.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Oh, Cashmere -- I hate it when the cupboards are stuffed to the point of exploding... Usually it means I'm not cooking enough.

      Yes, Laughing Mom came up with the answer!

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Fantastic tips! I need to start doing the cupboards. The stuff is ready to fall out on me now!

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Ah, clean sweep. I couldn't remember the name for the life of me. One can always count on Laughing Mom.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Ironing and videos sound like a great idea, but I'm afraid we'd run out of clothes before I had several hours worth! Maybe I don't iron enough things...

    • LiftedUp profile image

      LiftedUp 8 years ago from Plains of Colorado

      Ivorwen--

      I used to use the "Pick up 10 things as fast as you can" as a part of the bedtime routine. It sure did make the house look better after a full day of homeschooling, baking, etc.!

      I like the music idea too, use it all the time, and if I get desperate to get husband out of the house in the morning so I can really go to work, on what I want to do, I will, once in a while, put on something I know he doesn't like. It doesn't always work, but I enjoy the music anyway.

      Ironing and videos go well together, if you leave your ironing hanging in its storage place until there are two to three hours' worth. I seem to do that more often than not.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      MindlessBrute, I have a great respect for single parents. I would make a lousy one. Three teens and that many pets would lead to a certain amount of chaos in any home.

      P.S. I like your method of doing laundry.

    • TheMindlessBrute profile image

      TheMindlessBrute 8 years ago from Orlando,Florida

      "Ten minutes to fold and put away 2 loads of laundry",I feel so completely inept.I've had a load of clean laundry in the dryer for 2 days and ten minutes;-)"15 minutes to iron two shirts",I spent 15 minutes looking for the ironing board a few years ago,until my oldest son admitted that it broke when he tried use it as a ladder, to get his football off of the roof.Now it takes me 15 minutes to make the round trip to the cleaners and a week to pick up the clothes that are ready the next day;-)

      You are the bomb Ivorwen and after the last 11 years I have the utmost respect for motherhood.I'll have to come back to this page often,the brute needs all the inspiration he can get.My daughter's cat is close to dying and I just got a call this morning that she found two kittens outside and they followed her home.Three teens,three cats,a dog,some fish and moi,barely in control of the chaos.I still have no idea where socks go?It is the greatest mystery of all time!

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Joy At Home, I can identify! My husband assures me that HE is the neat one in our home. Oh, and according to him, I'm ADD. Crank the stereo!

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joy At Home 8 years ago from United States

      This is a greatly inspiring hub. I already do many of these things...but I still need more inspiration once in a while. In fact, just this morning, I went in the bathroom and about gagged...the toilet needed cleaned so desperately. :( I stood there asking myself why I don't just DO IT, instead of waiting until it's totally disgusting. I finally took a deep breath, and at least cleaned the bowl...I'll need a bit more inspiration before wiping the grungies off the outside. I'll try the before-the-bath thing. That sounds like a habit worth having.

      On the up side...Hubby said to me a couple mornings ago: "I sure am glad I married an automatic dish-washer." I gave him a "look", and he clarified: "I mean, a woman who keeps a neat house, and does the dishes before we run out!"

      Now wasn't THAT romantic? It made me want to put on some of that aggressive music you mentiond. ;)

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Clean Sweep! That's it. Never thought about the neighbors -- I should invite mine to join me in a garage sale, because they have at LEAST as mush junk as I do.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 8 years ago

      I think you're talking about "Clean Sweep", Ivorwen. I'd be too embarrassed for my neighbors to see how much JUNK I really have!!

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you Mighty Mom! I love Mary Poppins.

      For cleaning, I like music that is a bit aggressive. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed -- and yes, the moldy rice is all gone. I'll have to check out Kelly Willis.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      This hub is so inspiring. The Hub equivalent of that wonderful old song from Mary Poppins, "Just a Spoonful of Sugar..." so light, cheery, and positive.

      Reminds me of my bachelorette days. My favorite cleaning CD was by Kelly Willis. Don't know why. Just was. Thanks for writing this, Ivorwen. I hope you got that moldy rice cleaned out! MM

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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I love those cleaning gents. A man mopping is so sexy! :)

      Thanks 2 patricias!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      We think the best way to get the cleaning done is to find a good cleaning lady (or chap). Otherwise, we like the advice in this Hub - breaking it down in little chunks.

      Your idea of turning chores into 'projects' is a good motivation.

      Thanks for a good Hub - particularly like the way you've arranged the pictures.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks for the warning Laughing Mom! I always clean the bathroom before bathing, but never in the nude.

      Freida -- I'd forgotten about watching cleaning! Those shows can be very inspiring. What's the one where they always have a garage sale? That always gets me dreaming of giving the home a complete makeover.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 8 years ago

      Well if you send your kids to the neighbor's Ivorwen, be sure you have a frosted glass window in the bathroom, or your kids may start charging the neighborhood kids for a peep show.  (Don't ask me how I know that.)

      Frieda--I'd be too afraid I'd look up and see hubby hiding behind the clothes in the closet watching all the action.  I thought it was odd the other day when I saw Dave's comment about looking forward to cleaning day....

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      lol laughing mom, the eating from the Peter Rabbit bowl would be mine too. I do the same thing as your friend with the bathroom. It's awesome and the shower after is the best. You're the first one to use it.

      Great tips Ivorwen. I do find that making the bed and setting out your bedtime book or a favorite magazine really makes the whole day go by wonderfully. It sets a tone. I don't always do it, but I swear by it. I find that watching some of my favorite HGTV shows like Candice Olsen and such gets me really going too.

    • Ivorwen profile image
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      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Cleaning in the buff -- I'd have to send the kids to play at the neighbors!

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 8 years ago

      Yeah, I wouldn't have been able to focus on anything else until I'd "dissolved" the mess hubby and kids had left. But if your hubby is anything like mine, he MAY have been the one eating from the Peter Rabbit bowl if every other bowl had already been used and I wasn't around to clean any for him. He's even been known to use the little toddler utensils. Now really? How hard is it to rinse the stuff and throw it in the dishwasher? It's even easier to turn the blasted thing on!!

      Those are pretty creative ways to get the chores done around the house. A friend of mine swears by cleaning the bathroom in the buff before she takes a shower. She says it makes her work faster.