Working full time - keeping house clean?
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    Registered User gottadance's Avatar
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    Default Working full time - keeping house clean?

    Hi all - I am not great at keeping the house clean. I have a large house (3 bedroom, 2.5 baths, large rec room, large kitchen, living room, dining room) and am single, working full time. I have two cats and two bunnies to add to the mess. I recently started the daily to-do challenge, which has really helped, but I started looking at flylady and it just seems geared to people who are stay at home or working part-time - not people gone from 9-6 like me. She makes it sound simple - just do this, just do this and just do this - but all of her just do thises as up to a LOT of time daily. Heaven forbid you have a social life!

    I usually walk in the door at 6 (IF I don't run errands after work); by the time I feed the kitties, feed the bunnies, make dinner, change clothes and sit down, it's 6:45 - at least. If the boyfriend is over, he wants us to spend time together, talking, catching up, snuggling. Or, we go out to dinner and are out for a couple of hours. Or we have some activity planned. Or on some nights I have dinner with friends or a night out with the girls. On the weekends, I try to get stuff done, but again, the bf and I have plans - or - heaven forbid - I just need a day to relax, read and unwind from the work week.

    How do you other full-time working women keeping up with stuff? I let it go, then I get overwhelmed. Maybe I need to just keep doing the couple of things a day (when I can) and then it won't get so bad?

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    Registered User hippytreehugger4ever's Avatar
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    Pretty much just have to buck up and do the things that need to be done. Decluttering and getting rid of unnecessary things helps a lot because you don't have so much clutter to clean up, but things like cleaning, vacuuming, dishes, laundry, etc are daily chores that aren't going to go away.

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    Registered User NicJean's Avatar
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    Like you, I have long work days. I wake up at 5 AM (generally speaking), so I can get one or two things taken care of before I leave for work. I always have a 3 day weekend, so I have a built-in rest day with two work (on the home) days.

    It's never ending. I have built up routines that make sense for me. Laundry once a day, menu plan once a week, clean the bath once a week, make bed before I leave every morning, skin care daily, wipe a counter or fridge shelf daily, clear dining table daily, water orchids, bonsai twice weekly, water plants once a week. Although my home couldn't pass a white-glove inspection, it's not too bad, either. I've come to realize what my decluttering/cleaning flaws are, and I'm consciously trying to address them. (its Paper, and Piling - I really have to ask myself whether I should/could recycle ANY paper that comes into the house, and the Only space I have for ANY Piles is in a breakfast tray - which I'm not "allowed" to let overflow).

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    Registered User MaryCarney's Avatar
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    If you keep up daily on dishes and a 10 minute pick up, you can schedule the rest of it one room per day and it's not so overwhelming.
    And de-cluttering is the best thing you could EVER do to make your housework more manageable. Remember: the less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to take care of.

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    Registered User akolb's Avatar
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    I also work full time, as does my BF. The two things I have found that help the most to keep our house clean are simple, but if you do them all the time, it will SERIOUSLY help.
    1) Put things where they go. Take the time when you take something off, set something down or leave a room to put things where they live! Piles are the DEATH of a clean house.
    2)Put clean dishes away and dirty ones in the dishwasher/wash them as soon as you use them. This and wiping down the surfaces in the kitchen will keep the kitchen clean.

    Good luck. Remember, there's plenty of women who work full time and keep a clean house...and have a sociall life

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    I'm not great at keeping house either. However when I found flylady it worked for me.I tweaked the routines to fit my schedule but it worked if I worked the plan. This was while I had a full time job and went to college part time.Some of the time,I was caring for 3 seniors and of course a DH who worked uncertain hours. I learned not to try and catch up but jump in where I was.If I kept up with the basics----dishes,laundry and dinner,lots of other things fell in place.
    Just have to make your mind to "just do it". It will get easier as you keep doing it.

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    Registered User Uniwolf's Avatar
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    I also work crazy hrs. full time. I have a very great hubby who does help out with a lot of the things that are done in the house. He actually does about 80% of the laundry on a weekly bases. But then there are things that only get done 1 a week, that just only get done that once aweek. whether they need it more than that or not. Like vac, bathroom, ect. Dishes get loaded in the dishwasher, when it is full it gets run. I also have 3 days a week off, Fridays are for groceries, errands ect. Then the weekend days are for getting everything else done. I also do alot of large batch cooking. So dinners are alot of times grabed out of the freezer and stuck in the microwave. You just have to have a routine that works for you. I still tweak it from time to time. I agree that alot of the sites out there seem to be geared to the people who do not work 40 plus hrs a week. Good luck in your journey.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Pick it up and take care of it right away. When you finish dinner put the dishes in the dishwasher or sink, don't leave them sit on the table. When you change clothes, dropping stuff in the hamper is as easy as dropping it on the floor (I don't know why DH hasn't figured this out). Junk mail can go straight in the trash, don't leave it in the pile with your keys and the bills. This stuff takes a moment of time, but saves you an hour of cleaning and sorting later.
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    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    I have found that actually having a schedule is MORE difficult for me because if I miss something then I'm all off so I'm constantly trying to MAKE the schedule So, for me what works best is to tidy as I go. The tidying part of the cleaning is what is the most challenging to me normally so having that part done makes it so I can get the actually sanitizing cleaning done quickly all at once. We also skip somethings on a weekly basis- and kind of rotate. I may not clean the floor in the foyer or laundry room every week for example. We also try to clean for just an hour a week. It always goes a little over and there are 5 of us working (although some really are in the way more than working- haha). During that hour we clean the floors, windows, bathrooms, etc. If it doesn't get done in that hour we usually let it go until next time unless it is something crucial. I will vacuum every couple of days also. Laundry always gets me- still don't have a perfect method for that. Good luck!

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    Moderator monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    I just went back to work full time and I can't get anything done around the house. It's really not a time issue, it's an energy issue. I get up at 6:30, get everyone dressed, fed, out the door and dropped off, then after work I get everyone picked up and home and try to get supper on the table. By the we finish eating I've already put in a 14 hour day.

    I'm doing everything on the weekend and just ignoring it the rest of the week. As long as everyone is fed on a semi-regular basis, I figure everything else will keep.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryCarney View Post
    If you keep up daily on dishes and a 10 minute pick up, you can schedule the rest of it one room per day and it's not so overwhelming.
    And de-cluttering is the best thing you could EVER do to make your housework more manageable. Remember: the less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to take care of.
    We do something similar here too. Dishes are always done after every meal and kitchen wiped down. (I generally try to load up the dishwasher so I can run every other day)

    Then I assign days for the bigger chores to ensure they get done once/week: laundry, dusting, floors/carpets, bathrooms, grocery shop w/food prep etc

    Lastly - I do a daily 15 minute round up. I pick up things that have been brought out and put them back where they belong. A book/magazine from the bedroom goes back, cups/mugs go back up to the kitchen and directly into the dishwasher etc. I mentally visualize what I am going to make DH for lunch if I haven't already made it after dinner. I prep the coffee maker so all I have to do is turn it on in the AM. Pick out/lay out the next day's outfit so its just get up and go in the AM's.

    I also find batch cooking and portioning them out into freezer containers a huge help on nights we don't want to cook. Just thaw, heat and serve (soups, stews etc). We also have a tub of salad on the go throughout the week. We keep plenty things prepared as well so its basically grab and go - huge block of cheese cut up into 1oz portions, dozen eggs boiled still in shell, veggies washed and cut up into snacking portions and plenty of fruit and nuts on hand.

    In the end, it takes more time trying to think of when you can squeeze a chore in OR psych yourself up to do a small chore - ie empty dishwasher or take out trash. Do what you can...now. Sometimes, its just easier to 'just do it' and get it over with.

    Hope that helps

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    My mother will spend the entire Sunday cleaning the house. No joke...

    She reserved Saturdays for errand running and Sundays was all about cleaning the house. She'd start at the top and work her way down and had a pretty good list of how she did her chores. She'd pick up all of the items that were scattered around, moving them to appropriate areas (dirty clothes to the laundry area, clean clothes into the drawers, etc.) and once she did that, she would dust from top to bottom and either vacuum or dust, then mop floors and clean the windows.

    She'd start really early in the morning and be done by about 5pm. Oh, and she'd also have to make an early dinner for five people.

    I would do one little thing each day and save the rest for one whole day.

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    I found Flylady about 8 years ago, and that's honestly been my godsend. I have always worked outside the home. If you read her book it's a little more accessible than the website.

    While I don't follow her system in its entirety, there's quite a few helpful pieces I've picked up that keep me sane - the biggest one being "You can do anything for 15 minutes." I also try and keep up with the zones - I may not do all the zones missions, but I know that if this week we're working on the kitchen I'll try and spend a few extra minutes in the kitchen, etc.

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    I just went back to work full time and I can't get anything done around the house. It's really not a time issue, it's an energy issue. I get up at 6:30, get everyone dressed, fed, out the door and dropped off, then after work I get everyone picked up and home and try to get supper on the table. By the we finish eating I've already put in a 14 hour day.

    I'm doing everything on the weekend and just ignoring it the rest of the week. As long as everyone is fed on a semi-regular basis, I figure everything else will keep.
    Feel your pain. Add to that a 6th day (Saturday at work every week) and it sucks. From 7:30 in the morning until home at 5:30 unless I have to stop for errands. Sunday is the only day off and YES! everything else will keep as long as everyone is semi-fed. What I don't get done on the weekend, in other words Sunday, it probably won't get done.
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    Registered User gmarie's Avatar
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    Have you thought about downsizing? That does sound like a very large house to clean by yourself!

    I can clean my tiny cottage from top to bottom in 2-3 hours. It used to take me all day when I was in 3 bedroom house, and it still never felt clean!

    I found that the fly lady is not really relevant to my lifestyle as well.. definitely geared towards stay at home moms with kids.

    I do clean on Saturday morning, but read an interesting book once that said you should clean like your grandma most likely did - assign a job for every day of the week... floors on monday, bathrooms on tuesday, etc.
    Last edited by gmarie; 01-24-2012 at 09:17 PM.

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