(Closed) How do you manage it ALL?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Well, most of us aren’t trying to juggle school AND work AND a long commute, so there’s that. My hat is off to you for taking that all on!! We’ve not needed to hire help, but we’d consider a cleaning service for heavy duty stuff once we have a baby. Right now we are both working, and I have a long commute (an hour to hour and 15 mins each way) and a demanding job (scientist in drug development). He works an IT job from home so he picks up a lot of the domestic slack. That’s so great that your Darling Husband is picking up some of it, too!

Post # 4
1631 posts
Bumble bee

You go girl! You have a lot on your plate but you can do it. I am not a newlywed but SO and I have been living together for almost 4 years. I don’t commute as far as you do, but I understand how work + school + driving = exhaustion and little down time.

For dinners, I found this amazing website where the blogger creates a grocery list for you and then gives you the recipes for 15 crock pot meals that you can put together in an hour, and freeze for the rest of the week/month. All you do is pull them out when you need them and plop them in the slow cooker and voila! Dinner when you get home.


As for helping out with keeping the house picked up, there was a wonderful post on here from the other day and NAvery gave some great tips:

NAvery (message) April 13, 2013 Indiana

#1. Work with your habits, don’t try to change your habits to suit your organizational system. If you always drop your bag when you come in the door – try and figure out a way to put a hook or shelf near or on that door where your bag can go. If Fiance always drops his dirty clothes in the bathroom – move the hamper in there instead of in your bedroom. That sort of thing. Think about your key problem areas and how you can fix the area instead of trying to fix yourself. MUCH easier to change your surroundings.

#2. Get ready for bed an hour before you want to go to bed and do a 10 – 15 minute pickup then. It will go SO fast if you do it every night.

#3. Make the bed. It changes your room and your whole house’s organizational mood.

#4. Clean as you go when you’re cooking – don’t put something on the stove and then go work on something else while dishes are still in the sink. Put the dishes away ASAP. If you can sit down to dinner with all the dishes in the dishwasher OR put away, you’ll be in much better shape.

#5. Along those lines, keep up with the dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher, there is never a reason for dishes to be in your sink (unless a pot is soaking or something). Unload the dishwasher the first time you go to take a clean dish out or as soon as you realize it is done. We put it off but it truly only takes 3 – 5 minutes and makes a huge difference in keeping the house tidy.

#6. Contain things. Got a bunch of magazines? They need to have a place they go. Is your coffee table always messy? I would always have some magazines, a couple coasters, the remotes, and maybe some hair ties or other little fiddly things on my ottoman/coffee table. I got a tray, and the rule is – all the “stuff” goes on that tray. It keeps the coffee table clear, looks stylish, and doesn’t require me to change habits much.

#7. Keep supplies where you use them. If you have 2 bathrooms, keep cleaning supplies in each of them versus having to carry the supplies around to each bathroom to clean. It’s more expensive up front to have two sets, but you go through them at half the speed and it evens out quickly – plus you use them more. Keep the vacuum somewhere easy to get in and out.

Hope some of these help – this is just off the top of my head.






Hope this helps!

Post # 5
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I work longer hours than my husband right now, so he very graciously has taken over the cooking. I also agree about the clean while you’re cooking — I get a lot done while I’m waiting on water to boil or chicken to bake — and trying to straighten up for about 15 minutes every night before bed. Makes things much more manageable!

Also, don’t be afraid to buy some things to help you out, like those Scrubbing Bubble toilet cleaning gels that you stick to the inside of the toilet bowl to keep it cleaner longer.

And don’t feel guilty for hiring help. You can only do so much, and if that’s the way to make your life easier right now, that’s okay! Your home should be comforting to you after a long day, not stressful!

Post # 6
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I have a teenager. I call him “free labor”. LOL

No, really, it is hard to work full-time, run a household, and do all of the other things of life. Some suggestions for your situation are to read your study notes into a voice recorder and then listen to them during your cummute. If you’re going to be commuting for that long, you might as well make it productive time for yourself. Also, crockpot cooking is a godsend. I have lots of go-to recipes for yummy meals that I can throw together quickly in the morning and be ready to eat when I walk through the door at night. Paninis are another go-to quick meal in our house. And cooking food in large batches (baked ziti, lasagna, chili, etc.) allows me to make a lot of food in one day and then freeze it for later use. Yes, it may suck up an entire Sunday, but it’s worth it. I also try to do one big chore and one load of laundry every evening so that I don’t have to devote an entire weekend day to cleaning. Vacuum one day, master bathroom another day, etc. Sweeping and kitchen clean-up happen daily in our house thanks to shedding animals and my propensity to make messes in the kitchen. But Mr. Lk and I divide those daily chores. He cleans the kitchen after dinner while I sweep the entire 1st floor. Then we meet on the couch to settle in for a bit before bed.

Post # 7
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I know that we sometimes feel obligated to get it all done. Here is my advice: Don’t feel like you have to do it all! It sounds as if your Darling Husband is understanding, and you certainly are going through a lot right now. Work together and decide what needs to be done and who is responsible. And if the house is a little messier, or if someone can’t cook every night, let it go. It is MUCH more important to take care of yourself and your relationship in this stage than to worry about whether the house is perfect.  

Post # 8
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We used to have a similar problem, except we commuted together in the evenings for a while, so no one was home to cook πŸ™

What saved me was: (A) making a cleaning schedule. It was something like Mondays: wipe down kitchen, Tuesdays: do laundry, Wednesday: vacuum, etc. I had one ~30 minute task per day that could be done while dinner was in the oven/after dinner when one of us was doing dishes. (B) my crockpot. and (C) making a dinner menu. Then every week, I would shop for what I needed (and I only planned for 4-5 days a week, in case we went out/had leftovers). I did my major cleaning (scrubbing the bathroom) on the weekends.

Also, some people love to double batches (like lasagna) and put one in the freezer. This doesn’t work for me because my freezer is tiny. Honestly, for us, things weren’t as clean for a while. Which drove me nuts. But sometimes we have to let go of our expectations for what we want, and take the circumstances we’ve been handed (I’m not saying you should stick it out forever if you’re miserable though). Also, not sure if you own/rent, but have you thought about moving closer to your work (if possible) so that your commute home isn’t as long and/or getting a job closer to home? To me, that seems like the easiest, yet biggest, change for your situation.

Lastly, good luck studying for your exams!

Post # 9
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think a big trick is to learn what you dont have to do everyday/week and shortcuts to help.

I spend time cooking on Sunday so that dinner or pieces of dinner are done for the next couple of days. I make extra and freeze, I use the crockpot etc. I plan items so that leftovers can be lunch or a new dinner.  

Cook once, eat twice. Making steak? Cook extra then the next time you can have fajitas. Making crispy chicken? Dont batter half and boil it to make chicken salad for paninis the next time. 

As other have said, do more than one thing. Dont have time to wash the kitchen floor? Spray some cleaner and surf around on a towel while you cook to give it a quick wipe.  Taking a shower? scrub one wall each day while you are letting your hair get wet.  Use those after-shower sprays to prevent the mildew etc. 

Look into grocery delivery. Its worth the $10 fee they charge to save an hour of your time.

Our house isnt always spotless, the clothes will sit in the dryer an extra day, and the place is not perfect, but we place our value on not eating takeout food and sitting down to dinner rather than spending it doing the last few items to pick up the house to make it pefect.

Lastly, Do not feel guilt about getting help. Its better to use any extra time for your relationship, not cleaning. Think of it as an investment in your love.


Post # 10
8453 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I don’t have suggestions, just applause for you.  You sound like a super woman.  I don’t work or go to school, and I feel like keeping the house tidy and meals cooked is a big job.

Post # 12
587 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I have a similar schedule – I’m up around 6 and am home from work at 7 at the absolute earliest. Honestly, I just don’t cook. I pick up food or he picks up food or I make eggs or pasta or something really quick. I’ll tidy up a BIT but for real cleaning we have a cleaner come by. I just dont see the value in turning every minute of life into a responsibility and obligation. Get some rest! Don’t guilt yourself! If and when your circumstances change, you’ll use your time differently!

Post # 13
145 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@glitter86:  Actuarial exams! I feel you pain darling. =) 


That’s all I have to say on the subject though. Sorry! =) 

Post # 15
1631 posts
Bumble bee

@glitter86:  I’m with you! I’ll be trying out these recipes this weekend as well πŸ™‚ Hope they’re awesome!

Post # 16
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@glitter86:  Neither my husband or me have your schedule, that’s tough!  Do you have weekends free?  If you enjoy cooking, spend time cooking meals on Saturday and Sunday.  I’ll make about 3 meals on Sunday that last us the week (i.e. tomato sauce for pasta, chili, jambalaya, soup, etc).  We have home cooked meals that are easy/quick to heat up.

Don’t feel guilty about hiring help.  You have a lot on your plate!

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