Looking back on last year and housework. Don't you wish you could make a new plan to keep things organized and the washing caught up? Trust me, it is possible! I'd like to suggest a few tips to frustrated and overwhelmed homemakers that I've used for many years. I've passed them down to my daughter and sons as well. Fortunately, my daughter picked up on it! As for the sons, well, they're still struggling but I figure one out of three ain't bad!
First, use the month of January to reorganize. Unfortunately, to do this you'll need to invest in storage products. After the Holidays, there are a lot of plastic crates, etc on sale. It doesn't matter if it's red and green or a holiday design, who cares! Go through one a closet at a time. To attempt more than one at a time gets you feeling overwhelmed, so keep it down to one.
My second suggestion is to form new habits concerning dish washing and laundry. Try this for a week or so and you'll make it a practice. If you're fortunate enough to have a dishwasher, do not go to bed without loading it. If you hand wash, use the same practice. Same with laundry, once you make one big laundry "catch-up day", make a practice to wash the days clothes before bedtime. If you do this; you can keep yourself caught up.
Now I want you to know, I'm not SUZY HOMEMAKER, by any means, but I raised three kids using this method. A piled up house and laundry room makes for a frustrated Mom. And you know the old saying "If Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Speaking of happy, Happy New Year!
By Sharon from Ravenna, KY
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By definition, the word "frugal" means to not waste. And I have always believed it meant more then to not waste money, but also work and time, energy and resources.
When I see a smudge or dirty spot, I clean the area right away. If I see something that needs dusting, I dust it. Once a week, I dust the entire house. The bathroom gets used the most, so on a daily basis I wipe this or that and it is clean and kept clean.
If you try to wait to clean, you shouldn't. Just get it out of the way so you can hang out with friends and family. Also, don't yell at your kids if they don't want to clean, because you remember being a kid don't you?
The best way I have found to ensure a spotless house is to go though it with a digital camera in hand, snapping pics.
Begin by washing the garbage can with a good cleaner. I used Awesome and alcohol. I sprayed the floor around the garbage can as well. Then, of course, the wall behind the garbage can. I let it sit and got on my knees to clean the area.
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I'm a young mom of two toddlers. One is 3 yrs old and the other is 17 months. I find I am constantly picking up after them, it's kinda overwhelming. And also at the end of the day I am tired and don't wanna do much cleaning after they go to bed. I am the type of person that needs 8- 9 hrs a night.
One of the ideas I have come up with is to put them in their bedroom with a baby gate and sweep and mop the floor for 30 minutes. And just play with them in the bedroom until the floor dries. What are some of your ideas to keep your house clean with your kids, babies, etc.?
By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario
I would begin training the three year old to learn to pick up after themselves and put their toys away. Children love to flit from one toy to another and then leave it. Let each one have a couple of toys out at a time and then see the oldest child puts the toys up before getting out something else or trade it for another. This is the only way I know you will get some rest and make your day of work lighter. The youngest will learn from the older child by observation and do the same when it's older or catches on to the task expected.
This is a creative, instructive and often successful idea that works with many toddlers and can be more specifically defined as the kids get older. Your three year old should be able to "get it" and with any luck, the 17 month old may decide to follow suit, at least for a few minutes. :)
Have a "Five Minute Pick up Party" at least once a day. Schedule it before a favorite activity (snack-time, play time, reading time, etc.)
*Set up a toy box, card board box, laundry basket (whatever you have) in a central location.
*Put on some hyper kiddie music, to get the kids excited.
*Set a timer for five minutes and make a big deal about saying "On your mark. Get set. GO!."
*Have the kids pick up as many toys, games, books, etc., as they can and put them in the box or laundry basket before the timer goes off.
*Make a big deal about their accomplishments when the timer goes off and move on to the fun activity as quickly as possible.
This is not a perfect solution, but at least it will get a good deal of the clutter into one spot. You could set your own timer, after the kids nap or go to bed, for 10-15 minutes to sort out the things that really don't belong in a toy box. (The timer thing is easier for us adults, too, knowing we can get on to more desired activities . . . sleeping :) :) :) . . . after just a few minutes work.)
Hope this is helpful.
How do I keep my house clean and tidy? I work like a slave every day, still the kids are not helping the matter at all.
By Martina from Jacksonville, FL
I do this all the time, when I see lots of dishes are piling up in the sink, I start hiding most of them and leave only a few. If clothes are a problem, I reduce the inventory until said problem is fixed. If it is a mess that they are making, I take away the things they are making a mess out of. Anything extra I put on freecycle.org in my area and get rid of it. I keep a bucket of soapy shampoo water in the bath and they can throw in their socks instead of letting them get under beds and such. I have plastic trash bins to store things in all out on the patio, and I could put a wooden table topper on them but I just leave them as they are.
I have a play pen I got off of freecycle.org and it is a throw away stash place for junk.
It is mostly the things I make that I like the most; like the fabric spray, fabric softener and water, or the pine sol water, pine sol and water.
I like to use paper plates if they just don't get it and leave a mess all over the place. =When it is paper or toys, again, I find a place to store them out of sight. I might even take half of it out and either store it or give it away.
I also save change, and when the kids are low on money I pay them to clean up. It is bribery but it works, or else I pay them to go get me water or to take things to the kitchen. I have a wonder broom that is wonderful. I couldn't live without it. It is rubber and when drug along the carpet in short sweeps cleans like no ones business, and I generally use rags on the bottom of a swiffer or just my shoes and a wet towel with pine sol to sweep the floor. It is mainly a matter of environmental control. I also watch the kinds of toys and gifts I get them..don't want little things all on the floor, the dogs will eat them. LOL Hope this provides some inspiration.
I agree about not getting kids the real little toys,etc. The smaller the items the more mess they make. Also when my girls were little when they would get a new doll for Christmas, we got rid of the old one. Their board games and puzzles were kept on a shelf in the coat closet, not in their rooms, and when they wanted one of those things, they used it in the family area, not in their rooms or where ever.
As soon as my girls started walking, when it was nap time or bed time, we made a routine of them helping me pick up their toys and putting them in the toy box. We didn't get them all picked up, but it helped to teach them what to do. Their books and coloring books and crayons were also kept where they had to ask for them and use them in a certain area, be it on the living room floor, etc.
Both my girls shared a toy box that was about 2'x2'x3' and that is where they kept their dolls, doll clothes, the stuffed animals that they had, and a few of my old dresses that they used for pretend dress up. When it came to dolls and stuffed animals, they were always the larger sized ones.
Instead of feeling like a slave to cleaning make the cleaning fun for you and the children and, unless they're tiny toddlers, it's more than possible for them to help :-)
Dishes? Make it a game who scrapes, washes or dries. Laundry? Make it fun to sort clothes by color and a make it a game who's going to load the washer, who's going to put in the laundry soap, who gets to push the right buttons to turn on the washing machine, who gets to put the washed laundry in the dryer and who gets to be the first to take the items out of the dryer and fold them. Dusting? Who wins to have the feather duster. Vacuuming? Who thinks they can do the best job without hitting the walls or furniture with the vacuum.
Bottom line: make it a fun game and the children will be learning how to do these chores, how to pitch in and have pride for doing so :-)
Your bedroom messy? Oh well, you live with it and if critters take over because of it or you can't find something you're really looking for or it's dirty or damaged when you do find it? Well, oh so sad too bad and they'll figure out it's their responsibility eventually ;-)
You could create a chore list based on the age of you children. I have four kids; each one has one chore a day. (A chore that takes less than 30 min to do) Vacuum, dishes sweep and mop, dog duties, ect... along with keeping their rooms clean. I pay them for their chores. I divide the money daily for each chore. (5 chores 5$) If the chore is not completed by a certain time or correctly, I have them redo the chore and lose the money for that day.
Go to www.flylady.com. It has helped me tremendously!
Having raised four kids and knowing the sheer number of excess toys their kids have, I'd subscribe to the "less is more" philosophy. If the kids aren't swamped in dozens of toys, not only will your home automatically be neater, they'll appreciate what they have. Giving away their older, gently-used toys will make some poorer child very happy. Thrift shops of all stripes are more than glad to process them, and of course there's always the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots.
I'm also an advocate of turning cleaning into a game, a la Mary Poppins (without the magic, of course, lol!) Poor as we always were, I never could make the "chore chart" work for my brood. Simply put, I lacked the means for those cash incentives.
Please share any tips that you may have that can make housekeeping easy and ways to have the house always company ready.
By donnaschmitt215 from Glendale, NY
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