Advice for the housekeeping challenged

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Does anyone have any tips for keeping your house, clean, neat and organized?
    I live alone, and am away from home 10-12 hours a day (one hour commute one , way, 8-10 hour work days).

    It seems I am ALWAYS picking up after myself, nonstop. I usually have piles of laundry either waiting to be put away, or to be washed. Im always doing dishes, and there is always house cleaning to be done, non stop. I usually spend anywhere between an hour to two hours when I get home each night doing all this stuff.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for making "keeping house" more efficient?
  2. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    Matters, what sized home do you live in? Townhouse, Single Family, Apartment, Mansion, Bill-Gates typa house?
  3. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    It is a single family ranch house. Approx. 1500 sg ft of living space, plus basement, and two car garage (plus 1.5 acres of lawn to mow, but thats another story).

    Im not worried about the basement and garage, mainly the upstairs living area. The main things that seem to get out of control are the laundry, dishes, and general cleaning.
  4. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    my best advise is to get the little things (that one cup or out of dusty table) while its a simple task because when they pile up, they WILL come back to bite you in the ass (marathon clean up session every 3-4 days in my case :( ). as for laundry, i usually wait on that because its obviously more efficient to wash in loads, rather than one shirt haha.
  5. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    Well, if you can remember or something, you can just use hampers and have one for Whites, and one for colors, or however you seperate your laundry.

    And also, for dishes, as soon as you're done cooking/eating, clean up the mess and wash the dishes.
  6. geekgirl macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2007
    I suggest checking out Flylady. It's a little hokey, but it's a system of building up routines, and gradually cleaning up that has worked for me.

    Basically, you set a timer for 15 minutes, work on a task until the timer goes off, and then you are done with that task, move on to something else. The house is divided into zones, and every day, you spend 15 minutes in your zone, cleaning, picking up, etc. Each day, you also should spend 15 min. tackling a "hot spot", where stuff tends to gather/breed/collapse. Each month has a goal.

    Main routines that have been helpful to me:

    1. Make bed every morning, as soon as you wake up. Makes the room look neater.
    2. Laundry: One load = wash, dry, fold, put away. Do all loads straight through like this, and you will not have to iron as much, your clothes stay fresh, and you always have clean clothes to wear.
    3. Declutter!!!!! If you have lots of stuff around, you have to move it to dust, or clean. Keep only what you absolutely love, and get rid of the rest, either by selling, donating or tossing. One mission is to spend 15 minutes a day gathering 28 items to toss, sell, or donate. At the end of the week, or earlier, take the items to donate to goodwill, don't wait until you have a big pile, just get it out of the house.
    4. "Shine your sink". I stopped piling dishes into my sink, and like magic, cleaning up after dinner was a snap. It started with the sink, and moved around the counters, until I automatically put dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and quickly clean up the remaining dishes just because I want to keep that area clean. Run the dishwasher every night, and empty it every morning before work. I timed this: 5 minutes, all it takes. You'll always have clean dishes and pans, so you'll start cooking more, saving money, etc.
    5. Never get out more than you can put away in 15 minutes!
    6. Take breaks. You do not have to spend a full 2 hours cleaning every night to have a nice home. Baby steps are key to keeping from getting overwhelmed. It will take time, but you will be able to enjoy your home in the evenings and on weekends, instead of spending all of your down time trying to catch up.

    Good luck!!!!!
  7. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I agree- just be organized. Clean up right after you eat. That's the biggest help right there.
  8. és: macrumors 6502a


    Damned straight. If you have a sandwich or something and just leave your plate on the side or in the sink then stuff is going to start mounting up. It is the same with everything.

    What I do is have a massive clean on day one and then just pick up everything straight after I've used it. One person can easily look after themselves, the problem starts when a wife is looking after three kids and a lazy husband!
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Dishes = get dish washer and enough dishes to fill up the dish washer.

    As mentioned, separate your laundry makes laundry much faster as you don't have to sort them out.
    Get more clothes or larger laundry machines so you don't have to do laundry every day.

    2 hours each night is definitely over kill.
  10. CalPoly10 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2006
    The best way to go about this is cleaning hte mess after you make it.

    When I lived with my parents, I would have 10-20 people over on weekends, and before I passed out, I would just clean. Turn on the music while half drunk and go into clean mode.

    That way, there is no mess to worry about.

    The worst mess is one that has been sitting for a while. Drinks get sticky, food cakes on, bugs, etc.
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If you clean up each night, who is messing up your house during the day?

    I lived on my own before, and I didn't have much of a mess, or not enough of a mess that 15 minutes of cleaning wouldn't be enough to fix the mess.
  12. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    What I have found is that if you let the mess get started, it will just continue to get worse. What's another shirt on a pile of laundry? What's another dish in a full sink?

    Take a weekend and CLEAN and ORGANIZE. I do this to our house about once a month, I just clean. Everything. Mostly because our house has some sort of dust generator that makes everything get covered in dust after only a couple of weeks. Drives me nuts.

    Before about 6 weeks ago, we kept mostly clean, but it was just that it was not wasn't really organized. So, to put something away was even more work than dealing with it every day. When we had piles of laundry or dishes or whatever junk laying around, those piles just got added to each day. Since we finally cleaned up completely and gave pretty much everything a place, we've been able to put everything back in that place, and our house has remained nice and clean.

    When you have a spot for everything, it's so much easier to just pick it up and put it there, rather than thinking, "what am I going to do with it this time?" Shelves and cabinets are your friend. :) That's not to say you need to be like a guy whose apartment I went in, and he had a plastic bin for every single item in his pantry (everything out of it's boxes and into these bins), all labeled with P-Touch labels. It was psychotic.
  13. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    For laundry, even if you have a washing machine in the apartment, if you really want to get it done quick and not spend a lot of time doing it.

    Go to a laundromat and do it all at the same time, turning multiple loads that can eat up a lot of time, into something that takes about the same time as a single load.

    If you have enough clothes to last a couple/few weeks the time it takes to do a single load of laundry might shave off some time.

    But if you have really smelly clothes, and refuse to keep them in the laundry basket, the clutter and the smell might not be worth the time savings.

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