Life in the Fish Bowl

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This Housewife Needs Help!!!


My house is a wreck. Well, not at right this moment (it was cleaned in anticipation of a playdate which I had to cancel....Grrrrrrrr), but pretty much most of the time. Neither my husband or I ever had to pick up after ourselves while growing up and now we are lazy, messy, slovenly piles of shit paying for it.

I get the house cleaned and have the best intentions of keeping it that way. I print cleaning schedules (thanks Mommapeas!), I make check lists, I try to trick others into doing it for me do a little bit each day, but nothing seems to work for me.

I LOVE a clean house. I love being able to walk through a room and not have to walk around crap in the floor. I love clean, shiny counters in the kitchen and I love actually seeing the counter in my bathroom. So, please someone, tell me why I have such a hard time keeping my house the way I like it? I mean, I'm no Albert Einstein, but I'm no slouch in the brains department either. So why is keeping a house in order so damn hard for me?

Once I get started I tend to do a good, thorough job when cleaning. The problem is getting started. I get up in the morning with the best of intentions and the next thing I know it is 9pm and I've accomplished nothing. As I am getting more in control of the other parts of my life it is really, really frustrating to still be struggling with something that comes so easily to most people.

I waited a bit late to take pics to prove my tale of slovenliness isn't exaggerated (remember? pre playgroup cleaning), but here is a pic I sent M a while back to prove I am indeed messy as hell. If you come to my house and all of the bedroom doors are locked? This is why!So, oh dear internets, please share your secrets with me! How do you stay motivated to clean on a daily basis? How do you drag yourself away from the blogs off of the couch to get started each day? Does anyone struggle as much as I do? If you can't give me the answers I want, at least tell me there is someone with a house at least as chaotic as mine!

33 comments:

Kim said...

i feel your pain because i am the same way. especially when it comes to laundry. don't mind doing it, but can someone else please fold it and put it away?

Kimberly said...

Ditto to what the other Kim said, and you are so not alone in this. I struggle every. single. day!

What works best for me is starting a google chat session with my best gal pal. We do the whole on your marks, get set, go...and then get to work. Whenever we accomplish something, we dash to the computer and enter it into the chat window. It's a wonderful motivator for both of us.

I'll also sometimes type up everything I do and then print it off and leave it somewhere Neil will see it. That helps too. Bragging makes me happy, is all. I'm going to be doing some more before and after pictures this week, that's for sure. And laundry is first on the list!

Emma in Canada said...

OH I remember that picture! As you know, I have a hard time as well. I was doing Fly Lady, they have great ideas, but I was overwhelmed by the amount of emails they send, though you can choose to limit them. I did keep some basics from them- I shine my sink before bed and I try to get a load of laundry done every day, and defo every 2nd day. It helps somewhat. I've started making lists of what I need to do before I turn on the computer or TV which seems to usually work alright.

Though quite frankly? Some days I just say fuck it.

Jen said...

So when did you come into my house to take that picture??? Oh wait... hang on.... that isnt my house.

I am feeling your pain. I have three kids - 15, 13 and 8 and I am now using a new word I heard the other day.

Its a 'Floordrobe'.

~JJ! said...

Am I SUPPOSED to be cleaning every day? Shit.

Mommapeas said...

Here's my secret... A diagnosed case of OCD. It unfortunately doesn't always work in my favor.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

You know I don't clean, right! Where you been, chick? I'm missing my daily dose of Blue.

Lil Mouse said...

my husband makes most of the mess. i have initiated a 'leave the room, take it with you' for myself, and try to get him to do the same, without shaming him. for instance, we drink mostly bottled water and canned soda, so once one is empty, duh you go for another, SO, when you leave the room, you take the empty with you before you get a full. same with a plate with food on it, dirty kleenex, etc. teach the little one to throw away his own tissues, or whatever, maybe in his own little can, so that if he does throw something away that's important, like car keys, you can go after them easily..

laundry goes in the hamper. teach little one that too! he should be able to sort clothes too! have him help with chores. he'll feel like a big boy and you'll get something done!
go blue momma!

Kellie said...

I hate clutter and things not being where they belong. Does that mean my house is ready for a photo shoot? Hell no.

I have a chore schedule--I don't always follow it, but I do for the most part.

I really have nothing to offer. Want me to come clean up for you? Don't let this get out, but I actually LIKE putting things back where they belong. The after picture always makes me happy.

Rather than doing a lot of cleaning/picking up in one day, set a timer once or twice a day. Set it for 15 or 20 minutes and go to town picking up toys or laundry or wiping down counters. Maybe after doing that a few times, it'll become second nature to you.

natalie said...

Well I am probably of no use because I live in a teensy tiny apartment, but that actually makes it harder to keep organized. I have no secrets because it gets downright messy here too.

Jettie said...

I am a cleaner!!!!!!!!!!! and this would be done in no time!!! have ya ever watched that show where those(I think) English ladies clean house? My 3 yearold does this on a daily bases to his room!!
are those dirty clothes? It's drivng me crazy already...can I come over and clean it for you????

lisa marie said...

My house is terrible too. :( It seems we just come home long enough to wreck it. I am cleaning today so hopefully tonight it will be beautiful. Yeah, right.

Catwoman said...

Sometimes I'll just set the timer for 15 minutes and do as much as I can during that time.

Sometimes, that 15 mn makes me happy enough to I keep cleaning for another 15 minutes. I've even had once where it led to a two-hour cleaning frenzy.

But that was just once. I'm not completely insane.

But I find if you set the timer, then you have to DO something.

And something is better than nothing.

Although, my closet, looks just like your picture right now.

Obviously the 15 minutes has not been used in there for a long time.

The funny thing though? When I looked at the picture I though "hey! Little Man has that yellow dump truck too!"

Jennchez said...

just found your blog today and am lovin' it :)

i dont function well when my house is messy. so because i'm always short on time and would rather spend time with my kids than scrub toliets i deep clean/organize one room daily M-F. and this really works. i also vacuum daily but this is more due to the fact that our old very loved yellow lab is shedding like crazy but we don't have the heart to put her outside.

hope this helps.

Melanie said...

I only keep the house picked up b/c hubby is anal about stuff laying around for him to trip over. And really if things are put in a certain place all the time, the house seems clean for the most part. I always have people tell me that my house always looks clean, but really it isn't. It just looks that way. I think if you get in the habit of putting things away then you won't think about it after awhile. Plus, organizing things has helped me a lot.

That Chick Over There said...

I struggle too, mostly because I'm not at home very much and when I am? The hell with cleaning!

Serina Hope said...

Ugh...I am no help here.

Alison said...

that looks just like my daughter's room!!!! I do a 10-15 minute pickup a few times a day, and I make sure tokeep my kids' mess under control...they clean up after themselves. Now that your house is picked up, if you do a run through a few times a day you should be able to keep it under control!!!

Jennifer said...

I think it's really rude to take pictures of my house and post them on YOUR blog!

buddha_girl said...

Holy bajoly, woman! I thought I was stepping into my sister's house when I saw that pic. Honest. She's got the whole double-door thingy going on as well. I laughed my ass off.

At your expense. I'm sorry. *snicker*

I let mine get sorta hookey, and then I just go at it 100 miles an hour. I don't let my husband help with anything other than moving heavy shit because I'm too OCD to trust him to do it MY way. Har! Bad, I know.

How about color-coded baskets for laundry? One for you, one for hubby, and one for Punkin? I have no other advice other than to keep your head up!

mjd said...

I have do not have any helpful advice or secrets, but I do have useful excuses. When I was a stay-at-home-mom, I was busy being mom so the house tended to be messy. Later, when I returned to work, I failed (and still fail) to keep a neat house because I was busy working. When and if I retire, I will be busy blogging and doing volunteer work. See the secret is in the right excuse. (I would say keeping things tidy is somewhat easier once the children moved away from home.) People more clever than me are able to raise children who help in maintaining order.

Rosie said...

I'm not supposed to clean every day am I?
My trick is to have one room where I throw everything that is lying around if someone is coming round, and then put some bleach round the sinks so at least the place smells clean!

random_mommy said...

Did your closet throw up all over your bathroom?

Kidding! My secret is to maintain... pick up before going to bed every night, and it never gets too bad. Also, designate one drawer or basked in every room as the ??? Basket. Put the things that don't have a place in it. Then walk through the house with it... you'll find a spot that makes sense. Organized spaces are easy to keep clean, you need a system... and that doesn't mean an expensive unit. We'll discuss this in detail next time I see you.

Yankee Belle said...

I would have a heart attack and die. Hubby wouldnt mind the mess, but I am OCD and would literally have a coronary. No joke. =) In college, my roomie was a PIG and there was like an imaginary line drawn down the middle of our room. (I will try to find a picture.) I also had Little Mermaid stuff (my humor coming out) and she had all this goth stuff. It is amazing we even got along.

Crys said...

One word: Zoloft.

Jenni said...

I do laundry every day, pick up every night and my house still looks like that by 9am!

But, I have the solution!

Wait 18 years.

My2Suns said...

I'm no help, I have a little bit of OCD too. You of cours know that with my obsession over my floors. I do like the ??? basket Random mommy suggested, that may keep me from walking all around the house fifty million times with toys and such. I pick up at least twice a day, but it is a MUST for everything to be in it's place before I go to bed. I get a little out of sorts in the morning if I come down and see stuff out of place and the rest of the day seems to be chaos.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I do the "five item" rule. If I'm in the bathroom, put away five things. That's it. No more. Same for the kitchen. Same for the bookcase. I get so overwhelmed with how much SHIT is everywhere that this is the best way for me to cope. It really makes a difference.

Poodlehead said...

HOLY SHIT!! Hahaha - and I bet under all that shit the floor is sticky and crunchy too.

I can't wait for you to get your tutorial from Random Mommy. Hahahaha!

Poodlehead said...

HOLY SHIT!! Hahaha - and I bet under all that shit the floor is sticky and crunchy too.

I can't wait for you to get your tutorial from Random Mommy. Hahahaha!

justmylife said...

My husband says I am OCD. I hate a messy house, I don't clean, I just gripe about the mess! I am no help in this area. Seriously a messy house drives me crazy! Of course my house looks like that pic most of the time.

SandyHills Momma said...

LMAO ... Oh, blue momma, how I wish I had an answer to your query!! Unfortunately, my children's dressers/closets look like they have puked too! I love watching my boys walk through their room picking up shirts, smelling of them, and deciding which one is the least dirty!! NOT!!!

elena jane said...

a little bit at a time...and i clean as i go. but i clean and straighten and vacuum and mop and wipe and wash ALL day long....i enlist the kids to pick up their stuff. and if you step on it, you pick it up.
AND if i ask someone to pick it up and they don't, i toss it.....they learn rather quickly. even my 2 yo can pick up toys.....and everyone helps...cos at some point everyone was 2 and someone else helped them...it's pay back time....