Post # 1
This isnt wedding related. But it is oh so wedding related at the same time.
I’m messy. Not GROSS but messy. Clothes everywhere but no moldy food around. I’d like to think theres a difference. Right?
I’m not working (student) and my fiance is in training on a military base so its basically my job to keep everything clean. I like having them clean! I like having a nice place to live and entertain guests and, honestly, it makes me feel good to have a nice space for my fiance to visit on the weekends. (I swear I’m a feminest!)
How do I keep things nicer? I know I need to get into the habit and things wil work out, but how do I do that? Someone recommended the 30 second rule. If it takes less than 30 seconds to do something (hang up clothes, throw them in the hamper, clean up a spill, whatever) you have to do it right then. Larger things, laundry, dusting, so on, can be saved for a scheduled time.
Thoughts? How do you keep your house/apartment/whatever, clean? Do you have a cleaning day? Help!
Post # 4
I don’t worry about putting things away immediately (throwing clothes on the floor before bed, etc). But I DO take 10 minutes every morning before doing anything else to straighten up the house. Putting away clothes, making the bed, straightening up magazines, putting away things that got strewn across the kitchen table the night before…
It literally JUST takes 10 minutes! And the house is perfectly straight and ready for the day.
It helps having cute little bins and organizers around the house for our stuff: a nice magazine rack, a cute little bin for all my knitting materials, etc. It makes me want to put things in them!
We had a big problem with my fiance just throwing all his pocket stuff- wallet, keys, ID badge- on the first surface he saw when he came home, which really buggd me. So we bought a really nice small decorative clay bowl and that’s his ‘pocket stuff’ bowl. We agreed that I have permission to put his pocket things in that bowl if I ever see them around. That way he has a place for his things and he doesn’t get mad at me if I move his things and he can’t find him (because they are always going to be in the pocket bowl!)
Regarding cleaning, I consider cleaning ‘activity,’ as in exercise. The 1 hour it takes to vacuum and mop the floor definitely counts towards daily activity. Standing up and doing the dishes, instead of slumping in front of my computer, counts towards daily activity goals.
To make cleaning easier, I listen to podcasts while I wash dishes, iron, etc. I love listening to the news, the Daily Show, Colbert Report, This American Life, etc and listening to that while I’m cleaning makes it a breeze! I actually look forward to cleaning!
Post # 5
I never thought of it this way, but I basically do what you suggested for small things. If it doesn’t take long, then I do it right then. For example, I never have clothes lying around. Dirty clothes are in the hamper and clean clothes are either hanging in the closet or folded in a drawer. Having clothes lying around irks the crap out of me. I also make my bed first thing in the morning.
I never leave the dishes in the sink overnight. Every night after dinner, they get cleaned and put into the dishwasher. After I’m done doing the dishes, I take a lysol/clorox wipe or two and clean off my counters and stove in the kitchen. I cook almost every night, and I don’t want germs or crumbs from whatever I made to be festering on the counters.
I do laundry as it needs to be done, so I usually do 1 one white load and 1 dark load a week. Sometimes I can stretch that to 2 weeks. It takes about a minute to load the washer then a minute or two to switch the clothes over, so I don’t consider that a big task and can easily do it when I get home from work. I fold clothes as soon as the dryer is done to prevent wrinkles and fold them while I’m watching tv. Again, doesn’t take very long.
I dust/vacuum once a week, usually one day after work. My house is 3 bedrooms/1 bath, about 1100 sq ft, so it doesn’t take long at all–maybe a half hour if I’m really dusting every nook and cranny.
I save the bathroom for the weekend, and I’ll admit sometimes I do this every other week because I haaaate cleaning the bathroom.
Once you get into a routine, it doesn’t seem like a big deal at all. People always comment that my house looks like it belongs in a magazine because everything is always in its place, which I love. 🙂 Like you said, you just need to get into the habit of doing it regularly.
Post # 6
Flylady! I swear by the 15 minutes a day thing! It solved all my problems. I was always good about doing laundry and dishes, but clutter started apperaring everywhere. Now, at night I just go around and put everything away for 15 minutes and it keeps my home tidy. I even manage to fit a lot of deep cleaning, toilet scrubbing, windexing into my 15 minutes.
Post # 7
@OrigamiLove: I don’t have any advice, since I’m much like you, but I think PPs have great advice. And yes, there’s definitely a difference between messy and dirty
Post # 8
I have a few hard rules that I stick to every day. I always load the dishwasher and let it run before bed, and empty it in the morning. I always hang work clothes from the previous day before taking out clothes for the new day. I take a few minutes before bed to throw out any junk. Fiance has to take out the garbage before it overflows.
That being said, I’m a bit neurotic according to Fiance. In my own defense, our condo is 650 square feet! If things get out of place for too long, it looks like a zoo!
Post # 9
I have the same problem! I’m just generally messy. And kind of a perfectionist, which should be helping but it’s really not. If I know it’s not going to end up perfect, I’d rather just not do it at all – a real problem when you’re renting a furnished apartment that could be themed “most hideous creations in design”. If I don’t like something, I’m not going to take care of it. We are also really lacking storage space, so there’s no place for everything. I’m constantly reorganizing stuff to find out what the best solution is, but haven’t found it yet. All of it is just really demotivational.
I found a tumblr blog (UFYH), it contains lots of strong language even in the url, so I’m not sure if I can post it here. If you’re not opposed to sailor mouths, you should definitely search it on tumblr. They have a lot of great advice, and inspirational before and afters of real people with sometimes equally as hideous furniture as mine, as opposed to the desing blogs I am addicted to 😀
Post # 10
I used to be just like that–messy but not dirty! I was very OCD about my kitchen/fridge/trash etc, but my room was piled with clothes.
It was kind of a problem when I lived by myself, but we moved to a new place together and I just totally started from scratch and worked on forming new habits–weekly cleaning days, regular loading/unloading of the dishwasher, specified laundry days, all dirty clothes in hampers, all clean laundry folded within a week.
I agree with the 15 minutes and a day, and then we try to devote about an hour one weekend afternoon to divide and conquer–each of us takes a few major chores like folding laundry, vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom and we devote that time to getting it done. You can definitely change your habits…start with the small stuff and designate some time daily/weekly for cleaning!
Post # 11
I’m like you! Messy. I agree with some habit-changing–that’s just part of maturing into keeping one’s own place. But since PP’s have given a lot of great advice, I’m gonna go in a different direction:
DESIGN/CURTAIL YOUR SPACE AROUND YOUR HABITS
What this means is that some things (like doing the dishes, handling the mail) are a reality that you have to suck up and do. Other things (like your clothes) might be best handled by the types of storage, furniture, and system you set up to deal with things. I also throw my clothes willy-nilly and am reluctant to fold (hang is a different matter b/c those are my nice clothes!). So I have 4–4!–hampers. Seriously. Two for dirty (whites/colors), one for drycleaning, and–the most important one–the one for clean-clothes-that-I-can-wear-again-but-don’t-want-to-put-away, ie, the “throw bin.” That way, the clothes don’t end up on the floor and I can still “throw them” willy-nilly. They sit in my closet, out of the way, and my husband never has to tell me to pick up.
In order to do this, go through your rooms when they are MESSY and take pictures of your mess. Resist the urge to tidy up beforehand (I know, it’s painful). Then look at what’s going on in your pictures and assess: what’s in them that should be habit-changing (dirty dishes?) and what needs better storage/work around systems. If you’ve got magazines strewn everywhere, well, then, they need a place to go. Try to figure out why you don’t do what you’re “supposed” to do–ie, if the magazines are supposed to go in a recycling bin, is the bin too far away? Then you need another one closer to where you do your reading. If you’re the type who has aspirations to save articles and clip them and never do either commit to throwing stuff away, or perhaps create a “clip n’ save” kit–which can be essentially a nice box with a folder for storing clippings, scissors, and tape that you keep wherever you do your stuff. If you’ve got a pile of shoes by the door because you like to kick them off at the entry instead of walking over to the hall closet, then get yourself a shoe-bin or a bench to line up your shoes underneath.
This technique has SAVED MY LIFE when it comes to those sorts of things–I’ve got a fully-stocked mail station with everything I could possibly need because I know that the break-down with responding to things in the mail occurs just because I can’t find a stamp or a working pen!
So the gist of it is: half the battle is knowing how YOU live and customizing your space to accomodate it.
Post # 12
@BothCoasts: I LOVE this!!! 🙂
I’m a total slob. This thread is very helpful!
Post # 13
I try to live by the rule “a place for everything and everything in it’s place.” So if you feel like clutter is a constant problem it might be time to look at your current storage solutions and rethink them. I found that once I did this things stayed a lot neater all the time.
As for keeping our house clean, Darling Husband is kind of obsessive about cleaning and we do clean the house from top to bottom on a weekly basis (usually on Friday evenings, I know, we’re so cool, right?! But trust me, it’s better than wasting half of Saturday on it!). Throughout the rest of the week we keep things tidy by making sure we put everything away when we’re done using it.
We both work now, so it’s easiest with our schedules to have a single cleaning day once per week, but when I was jobless for four months in 2010 I did try and do a little bit every day to make it more manageable.
Post # 14
@OrigamiLove: I’m with you on this being a marriage issue!
I sound like you – clothes everywhere. DH is super neat. I realized that visual tidy spaces are very calming for him. To that end, I’ve worked VERY HARD at changing my habits.
Here’s what helps:
-Find a place for your clothes when you take them off. My cheat is hooks I put up on my closet walls and on the back of my closet door. It’s easy to just hook them there than hang them up. OR – if dirty, throw in the hamper instead of on the floor.
-When I leave the house in the morning, I’ll do a quick sweep of the house – meaning, if there are shoes laying around, I’ll put them where they should go (usually lined up a closet or in their shoe box), I’ll hang up jackets, I’ll pick up any other misc. item. This takes anywhere from 1-5 minutes, but it REALLY helps having everything picked up before I leave the house.
-The bed is always made. This automatically creates a nicer space vs. a rumpled up looking bed.
-Deep cleaning usually happens once a week, usually on the weekends. (vacuuming, sinks, toilets, etc).
But, seriously – the straightening up before leaving the house and hanging up the clothes I just took off have been the biggest things for me!
Post # 15
This is amazingly helpful. The tips are great but knowing that people were like me but aren’t anymore does wonders for my mood. I can do it!
I’ll definitely start with the 15 minute idea and checking out those websites for inspiration.
Post # 16
No advice but ironically reading this while I am supposed to be cleaning up for fiances weekend trip 🙂