(Closed) We cannot keep our house clean – help!

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 32
1119 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

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@wannabecleanfreak:  I also tried FlyLady 2 years ago and it was too overwhelming for me. MoMo is much easier in my opinion, and gets the job done.

Post # 33
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@wannabecleanfreak:  I was just telling DH about an hour ago that I grew up in a house where we could never have people over  for surprise visits bc it was so messy. I never wanted that. I still am not perfect (who is?!?!) and DH is actually the “cleaner” of the two which is a great influence but I’ve developed some nice strategies to help me! 

1. “Track”: When my brother and I were little and my mom asked us to clean sometimes we would take a shoebox or lunch box or whatever and stuff our mess inside and then hide it and ta-da! it’s clean! I have no idea why, we called those boxes “Tracks.” To this day I still do it but in a more adaptive grown-up version. If there is a small mess that’s driving me nuts I put it in a shoe box (keep the box small so its not overwhelming) and then deal with it later. Usually, as I am putting things in there I take out a few things and put them in their place like “oh, im on my way to the bathroom, better take that lipgloss” or “oooh don’t want to lose that bill, let’s put it away.” Whatever is left in there I end up sorting (when I have time/feel like it) by categories and put it away. I just cleared one up and started by just putting all the makeup away. Then I put all the mail away and sudenly my track was only half full. It helps immediately clean your area which motivates you to keep going. Keep only one “track” box at at time so you have to clean it out. 

2. Create a weekly chore list  Just the important stuff, split it into days of the week. I like to keep wednesdays and weekends free. But this way I see what chores I have to do each day. Monday for instance is “wash linens” day. That is all I have to do. It’s not overwhelming so I don’t dread it like I would “clean the house.” Each day takes less than an hour, usually 20-30 minutes (obvi, laundry takes more, but you know, most of that time is spent waiting)


3. Pick your “every day” list. Keep it short! I’ve developed a routine of every morning either loading or undloading the dishwasher and wiping the counter.  Additionally, a couple of times a day I straighten up the living room. This consists only of fixing the couch cushions, straightening the dog blankets, picking up the dog toys. It takes about 1 minute but helps the place look better 

4. Make a list of the problem areas and then tackle one by one! 

  • DH used to leave his dirty clothes in the bathroom or on the floor next to the bed. I put a small pretty wicker basket into his closet and bam, the problem was fixed!
  • I tend to try on several things in the morning and used to leave a pile of clean clothes that would get jumbled with things I wore once but didnt have to wash. I put in a pretty fabric storage bin in my closet and now all clean clothes that is waiting to be hung up goes there. Obviously it’s better to hang things up immediately but you have to do what works for you, there was no way I was going to immediately hang things so the basket works for me, then when I do laundry, I hang that stuff up too

5. Let some things go. This is so small but DH leaves his stereo on the counter Every Day. He never ever puts it away. For whatever reason, it drives me nuts. BUT rather than nag him or make a stink about it I take the 3 seconds every morning to put it away. And if he makes dinner then another 3 seconds after dinner to put it away again. 6 seconds for a happier marriage? Yes please.  


Post # 37
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@wannabecleanfreak:  I feel like I practically could have written this post. I can deal with some clutter but hate dirt, but Fiance can’t stand clutter, but doesn’t pay attention to dishes, or when the toilet looks disgusting etc. I also grew up in a messy home, we actually had a farm, so I had lots of chores as a child, but they were all in the barn so the house got neglected. Anyway, sometimes I think I might be overly sensitive about about cleaning because of how I grew up. The other annoying thing is that Fiance is used to a VERY spotless, immacculate home. His mom and sister are probably the biggest neat freaks ever. So he has some high expectations for cleanliness, but I don’t think he fully understands how much effort is actually required to have a home that spotless. Right now we’re in an apartment with a cat, but once we get a house and a dog, and eventually kids, I definitely want to get a cleaner.

Post # 38
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015





Are you sure you’re not living in my house?! 🙂 BF will “clean” which to him is putting the mail in a pile, picking up stuff on the counters/tables and putting them into their designated spot, etc, but the sticky spot on the counter will for sure stay there until I come around and get to it. Annoying…absolutely! But after almost 3 years of living together I have come to the conclusion that my BF isn’t a deep cleaner. After many fights about it we found a solution: he does the picking up/organizing, and I do the deep cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, sweeping. It actually has worked out quite well. Oh, and BF does the dishes too 🙂 Now we just need to work on keeping up with it weekly. I find that we feel like we are too busy throughout the week to do a bit daily, so we will leave it for the weekends. I’ve tried the cleaning charts from offline, but that lasted for all of a week!




Maybe one day we can afford a cleaning person to come in bi-weekly or monthly! Ahh, a girl can dream 🙂




Post # 39
2022 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@wannabecleanfreak:  Hire someone?  Get quotes and negotiate!  We need to do this too.  I spoiled DH and I cleaned the house mostly except the bedroom and bathrooms.  Now I dont get home til 1030 two nights a week and I cook every night that I am home early enough to cook and I do try to clean but with school work and work, and cooking. There is barely enough time for me to clean the house.  I also hate spending the weekend cleaning.  Our house really really needs it right now.  I want to hire someone to come in twice a month and give it a good solid clean but we cant afford it ATM.  I am hoping we can in a few months.  I will be searching for a new job then and it will pay more.  Im sure DH will say, We dont need a maid.  And then I will say ok, you clean it then.  He will shut up.  lol

Post # 40
679 posts
Busy bee

Invest in those Lysol or Clorox wipes and leave a container out on the counter in the bathroom. I did that w/ my SO for his apartment and voila, a quick swipe every other day and for the most part the bathroom stayed clean (only needing a heavy duty cleaning maybe every other week).

I create piles of things (clothes, papers, random coupons)…everywhere. It’s my vice and i seriously need to get it under control…

Post # 41
982 posts
Busy bee

@wannabecleanfreak:  Our house is spotless. SO is more of a neat freak than I am, but I make an effort to not leave things lying around. He’ll clean during the week, I’ll clean on weekends (while he’s at work, it helps pass the time). This means that we can enjoy Sundays without worrying about cleaning the house.

Under our bathroom sink was a cluttered mess with both of our stuff, so I went to a discount store and bought a heap of small plastic tubs, and put our stuff in separate ones. Everything is so much easier to find. I also bought a folder to put all our rent receipts, bills and car paperwork in the folder. This sits in a cupboard in the kitchen. I usually open my mail the day I get it, and either file it or throw it out. This saves a lot of hassle later on. I also bought this funky plastic popcorn container to sit on the bench, we put our sunglasses, wallets etc in it. You should check out some of those cheap shops, they have the coolest things. It helps cut down on the clutter and looks cool too. I know I feel more motivated to declutter and organise when I have somewhere to put things.

I would recommend cleaning one room a day, you’ll spend your entire week cleaning! I’d do it all on one day, so you can enjoy some downtime without worrying about it. SO does, on rare occasion leave things out. I just put it away. It’s not worth me getting upset over, or calling him in to take care if it. If I see it and it bothers me, I just put it away.

The cleaning really needs to be a team effort, you can vacuum/mop while DH declutters (but obviously not throwing out things that belong to you!). It might take one huge effort to get things exactly how you want them, but once you’ve done it, you’re more likely to keep it that way. I guess it’s like having one big clean a week, then just small maintenance until the next big clean. 

Post # 42
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

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@mommytobee:  What is Momo?  I can’t find it online and want to check it out.

Post # 43
2093 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@wannabecleanfreak:  OMG. This could be us! On so many levels. This is what we talk about the most. The difficult part is I’m kind of a neat person and DH is not. We have lived together a little over a year, married for 4 months and we are JUST now getting this addressed. Not officially addressed but at least talking about it… trying to figure it out. We will be able to afford a maid in a few months but not today and we have a year’s worth of maddness going on!!

I try…I honestly do. We’ve gotten his child on board with stuff so that helps but it’s US. We just don’t have the same idea of clean and honestly he’s used to the women in his life doing everything. That doesn’t work and it’s not how I live. So just yesterday we talked about what we both can commit to and now I’m going to write it and post it on the fridge. But my husband would keep chips open and out, dirty pots on the stove, milk filled bowls in the sink, live out of the dishwasher and dryer and use the same towel for 2 weeks, if I let him!! 

So here is what I’ve figured for us. Maybe it can help you:

1- Figure out your styles. It seems you are the same, just on different ends of the spectrum. 

2- Figure out what is your “must haves” and what you can live with. I come from living on my own for years and having a set way of doing things. He does not. But I agreed as long as our common areas are clean (ie areas we share) I can let go of other areas not being perfect. 

3- Weed out anything neither of you need. This has helped a lot b/c there is less “stuff” to clean or figure out where to go. 

4 – Repair or clean things that are left over. If you can’t…throw it out. Also get some great smelling candles or scent stuff…when it smells good I want to keep up the appeareance to go with the smell! It’s a great motivator, for me. Same goes for pretty containers and organizers.

5- Start with one room and scrub it. Then just do the upkeep. You see…he can take care of the clutter and you can clean. That’s one way to divide it.

6- Once all or most of your rooms have been cleaned out, then start the 20 min a day thing you were talking about. If you want his help ask if he’s willing to give 20 min each day of the weekend…at least you are getting help.

7 – Realize running a home and having it look good takes work. This has taken A LOT of acceptance from me to realize. Big pill to swallow. But each day I warm up to it, the more energy I have toward it. Not always but I feel a little better about it. 

Big hugs. I really feel ya. I tell DH that having a home that isn’t clean DRIVES ME CRAZY. It truly stresses me out! Causes so much anxiety. 


Post # 44
1710 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We do the cleaning on the weekend thing… weekdays are too busy. I find it works best when I assign rooms to clean, e.g. I told him the other day that I’m cleaning the living room and tidying up the kitchen and his room to clean is the bathroom. We switch it up too, so that one of us doesn’t always end up cleaning the same room. We also take turns doing the dishes (no time limit, but if you let the dishes build up on your turn then obviously it’s more work for you…incentive to do the dishes more often, less work!). Also, I’d say I’m the more messy one between me and my husband, so I’ve been working on really picking up after myself lately because I know it upsets him if I let things pile up.

Also is there some sort of filing cabinet or folder that you could organize your paperwork in so that there’s less of a pile up? We started putting all of our bills, work papers, etc into file folders in a drawer and it works awesome!

We also have things that only one of us does….I do all of the laundry and he does most of the outdoor work (I cut the lawn sometimes and shovel the driveway, but he takes care of the gardens and also cuts the grass and shovels the driveway), he also does indoor and outdoor repairs (changing lightbulbs, etc).



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