How do they do it? Every time I drop into my sister's place, it's always neat as a pin - clean, no clutter, maybe a nice Yankee candle burning. She has two kids, too. How does she do it? I live alone and my apt smells of wet dog and I have papers everywhere.
Do they spend 24/7 cleaning and picking up, and yelling at family members for disturbing the perfect order of the house?
They hire somebody.
I keep an eye on everything even my husband and kids they all hate me but I get the job done.
I don't know how they do it with kids, but then again, I don't know how you can't manage to do it when you live alone.
It helps if you have a high degree of obsessive-compulsive disorder and mysophobia.
My sister-in-law has 3 kids and her home is neat as a pin. One thing that helps is that she has storage containers for all sorts of things, including toys. She constantly cleans and has a weekly housekeeper. Her home is gorgeous, it was featured in Better Homes and Gardens a few years ago.
"How do they do it?"
When Mommie wasn't watching I would use a bent wire hanger to scratch the bathroom tile grout clean.
Do you have a link r6?
[quote]neat as a pin
Was this a phrase that was popular in the 1940s?
everyone born after 1970
R5, yes, as someone who keeps things obsessively clean I know that to be the truth
You clean as you go, never leaving anything lying around where it doesn't belong. I live in a 6-bedrom house with 3 housemates and we have an agreement. No dishes ever go in the sink, but always into the dishwasher. When it's full, someone runs it. If it's got clean dishes, someone empties it right away. If you go to the kitchen with plates or bowls and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, you empty it and then put your dishes in it. Always.
No laundry is ever to be left in the laundry room. Everyone's dirty clothes stay in their bedroom until they bring them to the washing machine and anything that goes into the washer is expected to be in the dryer and then out of the room immediately after. We have a cat that will wet all over laundry left on the floor, so no one is willing to risk it.
The common areas are not allowed to have any personal items unattended. If you are lying on the couch and kick off your shoes, drop your bag and have a drink or whatever, as soon as you get up, your stuff goes with you. If it doesn't someone else might hide your stuff. Trust me, when you try to leave the house in the morning and you have to search for your well-hidden keys, wallet, shoes and backpack, you remember it.
This sounds harsh, but we all get along well and we agree that we will not be picking up after each other.
Vacuuming and dusting are done occasionally by whoever gets the urge to do it. So far that works out okay.
That said, most of the individual bedrooms are disaster areas, but that's everyone's own business.
Why the need for the additional three bedrooms r11? I mean, since you're just a bunch of renters.
R12 can't do basic math.
Sorry, I meant to say I have 3 housemates, so there are 4 of us. We originally looked for a 4-bedroom and this house was listed as having 4 bedrooms but it has 6. I don't know what the confusion was, but we are very happy with this place. It has a huge yard and garden, a 2-car garage, huge storeroom, big laundry room and modern, updated kitchen. Oh, and hardwood floors. It's only $1000 a month and we split the rent. One of the spare bedrooms has all the pet stuff in it (yes, the 3 cats and 2 dogs have their own bedroom) and there's a guest room.
I got a little mixed up, geeze r13.
Some people have compulsive cleaning habits. I have family who are just on constant patrol for anything out of place.
R14 Lucky asshole.
Whenever I visit my bff, her house it spotless. If you open one of her drawers, it's all neatly arranged. I asked her how she does it. She said her and her husband are both neat freaks and they do it the 'McDonald's way'---clean as you go. She's one of those people who just won't sit down and watch tv, she always has to be doing something to keep herself occupied.
"Some people have compulsive cleaning habits."
Still, it's not sexy when he's cleaning me DURING sex.
As a rule, I'm a total neat freak, but I do occasionally will lapse into slob mode especially when don't have a regular schedule. I'm in slob mode right now and can't seem to snap out of it...
I find there are 3 things that will work.
First is organization, second is consistency and the third as others have mentioned is clean as you go.
I'd first work on decluttering and organizing. Getting rid of the extra crap like papers, magazines, old bills should be your first step. Take a trip to the Container Store and look for products that will help you organize your stuff. Making a place for everything makes it easy when you are cleaning because you know where everything goes.
If you are serious about keeping your place clean, once you have your stuff organized then spend the next crappy weekend cleaning your place from top to bottom. Even at it's worst I usually can pull my place totally together in a weekend.
Once you get the place cleaned, you then need to figure out a plan for maintaining it. I have 7 rooms in my house so I take care of one room every day. I space out cleaning the kitchen and bathroom since they are the rooms I hate to clean. So clean the bathrooms on Sundays, I'd do the kitchen on Wednesday.
One the lighter days like the days I clean the guest room, I devote some time to a regular chore like cleaning out the fridge, cleaning the oven etc.
I'm always cleaning as I go, especially when I'm working in the kitchen. I don't have a dishwasher so while I'm cooking, I'm also washing dishes and cleaning the counter. When I shower, dirty laundry goes in the hamper and not on the floor etc.
I also try to do as many things at the same time as I can. So if I'm cleaning the bathroom, I'll throw a load of laundry in the washer. Vacuum the house while you let toilet bowl cleaner soak etc.
Now if I could just get off my ass and take my own advice in the next few days...
"A clean house is the sign of a misspent life."
Not a bad thing if the life being "misspent" is your maid's r21. I mean, what else were they going to do with their lives?
R11 : a cat that urinates outside its litter box may have a painful UTI. Please have it checked.
R24, she is 9 years old and has always done it. I figure she's just a bitch.
Clean as you go, then it never gets messed up. Put everything away when done with it, everything has its place. I wasn't into keeping my room clean as a teenager and my first apartments were messy. As soon as I hit mid 30's it came to me like an epiphany: keep the house clean and organized and i feel less stressed out. 10 years later I am still keeping things neat and under control.
r22 Go right ahead, Miss Troll.
Seeing a pattern here, and I totally agree. A place for everything and everything in its place. Clean as you go. Never leave a room empty-handed. There is usually something here that could go "there." If I'm going out, I try to think of anything that could go out with me, such as trash or recycling or returning tools to their spot in the garage, etc. Same on the way back in.
I have improved over the years by losing the idea of weekly cleaning. The clearer surfaces are, the more often you can swipe them with a cleaner. It's really less frustrating than before, when I dreaded the big cleaning day. There is no big cleaning day, just a habit of doing what is ready to be done when it's ready.
And yes, people giggle when they look in my organized fridge or junk drawer.
It's easy if you live alone and keep up with it, do your chores. I'm not a neat freak but I like a clean house. Having lived with my partner for 17 years though, he treats the place like a hotel and after 14 years I just lost the will to clean and, of course, the place turned into a complete tip.
We have a cleaner once a week now. She does a shit job but sort of maintains the status quo. Partner and I are in the midst of dissolving our relationship. Aside from having a life completely of my own design, I'm looking forward to keeping my own place.
I live alone and my apartment is always messy. I don't have enough storage space for all my stuff so I end up leaving clothes on the floor,draped over chairs etc. Any advice about how to keep my place neater would be welcome.
R30, you have to MAKE storage space. if your apartment is small, use the space up to the ceiling
go grab an IKEA catalogue and look for things that might work for your place. you don't have to buy THEIR stuff, just get some ideas.
What the hell is so hard about putting things away when you're done with them, dusting once a week, running the vacume cleaner. I hate slobs.
r30 you mentioned "apartment" so I assume that your storage solutions mustn't mar the surfaces. Whitemor Supreme Garment Rack Canvas Cover at Target $28. A tall rack of shelves with boxes. The Lack wall shelf unit $50 at IKEA is a narrow, tall storage solution.
Over-the-door hooks. I don't normally buy specific-task organizer items, but the one I have and love is the iron-and-ironing-rack holder that I have hanging off an over-the-door hook rack.
Those 3M hooks that adhere to the wall, and remove safely when you choose, are great: I have some holding up bamboo rods for hanging various things, and several actually hanging clothes on the wall. Also, a tension rod in a cabinet can be used for hanging things so they don't get buried. Hang things on the inside of cabinet doors.
Make most of your furniture do double-duty, such as multi-level end tables.
You might be surprised at how few solutions you need in order to reduce your frustration.
If you live in a small space as I do, you need to make sure that everything does double duty. Don't use a coffee table - use a chest with a pretty wooden tray on top. End tables (both in the bedroom and living room) are small dressers. Roll-out, under-bed storage is also important. My friend bought me these things that raise my bed an extra six inches off of the floor. I can fit a ton of stuff under the bed now. Get the largest possible dresser(s) that you can fit into the space. Look into closet organizers with different shelves and bars at various heights. I have a shoe hanger inside of my closet door and a vertical sweater holder hanging in my closet for bulkier items. I second looking in the Ikea catalog, but also check out The Container Store for ideas.
I'm an early riser and I don't even have my morning coffee until everything is in order and a load of laundry is done. Just a habit I've gotten into. I spend about an hour picking up, sorting laundry, unloading the dishwasher, letting the dogs out, etc. Then I make coffee and sit down to relax for about an hour while I surf (DL and other sites).
I work from home and don't feel productive if I'm surrounded by mess and clutter. It also helps to have a cleaning person come in every two weeks. That way I only have to do light cleaning and straightening, but never the deep cleaning duties.
If someone stopped by my house it would be "neat as a pin" at anytime except maybe after dinner when sometimes I just don't feel like dealing with the dishes until the morning.
My place is neat as a pin two Thursdays out of each month. It goes downhill really fast. And I'm in a one-bedroom, just me.
I have a tendency to let things get a little skanky (& sometimes more than a little) and then blitz the place. It's so much more rewarding.
I like to listen to NPR for company rather than whistle while I work.
I'm with r28 - clean as you go. If you wait to do cleaning once a week it can feel overwhelming and of course it's just human nature to procrastinate, and then things just get worse until you can REALLY feel overwhelmed. In the course of your day, just take 30 seconds to clean off the tables and countertops, throw out anything you don't need anymore like papers, magazines etc. and wipe down surfaces. Once you do this for a little while, it really becomes a habit and you'll be picking up and doing quick wipe-downs of surfaces without really thinking about it.
I also have a rule that eating is only done in the kitchen, not in front of the tv or the bedroom. That really cuts down on messiness, because no matter how neat of an eater you are, crumbs and other debris still get everywhere and it adds up.
Usually people who have neat as a pin homes use too much cleanser and obsess over wire hangers.
10 Lifehacks That'll Trick You Into Cleaning Up & Organizing Your Place
Wow. I just got up and put the slimy dishes from the sink into the dishwasher. Took me five minutes. I feel like I deserve a medal.
[quote]You clean as you go, never leaving anything lying around where it doesn't belong
I moved to a new apartment 3 years ago. My old place would eventually become a mess, followed by a massive cleaning, then a mess. I vowed to do things differently in my new place. All the posters who said clean as you go nailed it.
I never leave the bathroom or kitchen a mess. I clean as I go and spend 30 minutes before bed, making sure they are clean for the next day. Twice a week I spend 30 minutes in my office, then 15 minutes on the bedroom. The living room stays pretty neat, since I spend a lot of time in my office. I dust and vacuum when needed.
Following this, I never have to spend hours on megacleanings. My friends always comment on my spic and span place.
Buck always kept his room neat as a pin.
The thing that helps me is that I often have friends and "company" (ie Grindr tricks) over so if I don't keep on top of things, my apartment would be pretty embarrassing. My apt isn't something out of a Martha Stewart catalog but I always make sure that there are no dishes in the sink, hair in the tub or dirty clothes on the bedroom floor.
When I worked 40 hours a week, it was possible. Now that I work 60 hours a week, it isn't practical.
Obviously, having a regular cleaning lady helps. It's worth every penny.
Cleaning old crap out of the fridge before I go to the grocery store is a good trick.
I stash cleaning tools and supplies around the house close to where they will be needed. I keep dirty clothes hampers in each bathroom and bedroom.
Maybe three times a week I will do a 20-30 minute clean up around the house. No more than that or I'll blow it off.
My downfall is dishes. I leave them in the sink when the dishwasher is right there. I don't know why but it's the one truly slobby habit I cannot break.
[quote]The thing that helps me is that I often have friends and "company" (ie Grindr tricks) over so if I don't keep on top of things, my apartment would be pretty embarrassing.
I can just imagine!
I would be horrified myself to have unfolded socks on my dresser or unscrubbed countertops when I have a trick over to eat out my asshole.
I keeps my dirty jocks under the bed so when i find me a growlr hook up i can rub that jock in his face.
Well there is a method to the madness. I mean, think about it. I've hooked up with enough men to know that a messy home = a messy hole.
If you can't bother to do basic house cleaning then I'm to assume you also can't be bothered to make sure you're "spring fresh" down below.
I'm a bipolar 2 who had the messiest home and now has the neatest. (Yeah, I don't do middle grounds very well.) Many people on here nailed things to do and here are the specific things that really helped me:
!. Identify the real problem areas. Saying "My place is a total mess" isn't going to help you find exact solutions. Either is trying to do everything at once. Pick the worst offenders whether that's clothing all over, leaving dishes in the sink or living in a sea of papers -- or all of these.
2. Brainstorm options for correcting each problem area -- just let yourself go with it as you may be surprised. (My brother had a dump of a place complete with cracked fish tank and couldn't afford furniture/storage at the time, but he came up with the brilliant idea of cleaning up the tank and using it as a coffee table. It looked really good actually -- with the crack side used as the top and a bowl covering it.)
(Similarly if you can't afford Ikea or the container store or can, but won't get around to going/ordering just yet, be resourceful and label cardboard boxes free from the liquor store with paper labels or masking tape ones using a marker and stack the boxes in a closet. This will work wonders for clothing everywhere and I did it until I was recently able to get a dresser -- a large one from Ikea for $300. Yes to the person who suggested getting large dressers! They will work not only in bedrooms, but hallways, living rooms and sometimes even dining rooms too -- just to hold stuff -- crafts and just and things you don't know where to store. Papers can be placed in file folders and stored in drawers too. It's not written in stone that you must have a file cabinet. I store my tax info in an old suitcase that was my mother's.)
For the dishes problem, just don't allow yourself to leave the kitchen after a meal until you put them in the dishwasher -- or wash them and leave to dry on a dish rack.
Once you've handled your 3 biggest mess issues, you'll feel more in control and will likely be ready to move onto other good cleaning habits which are what others have said:
*A place for everything -- figure out the best place for all of your possessions. If you haven't used something in a year, give it away, throw it out or recycle it etc.
*Clean as you go -- keep not letting yourself leave the kitchen after a meal until the dishes are taken care of and the counters are wiped. It's easy once you start! The same goes for not going to bed until your clothes are picked up, not leaving the bathroom after a shower until you've hung up your towel etc.
Really, it worked for me and I actually began to feel good about my cleaning abilities and enjoy having a decently clean home. Vacuum, dust and scrub the toilet/shower whole bathroom once a week. I swept when I didn't have a vacuum -- never make any excuses not to clean! Just do it and enjoy the place you pay for!!!!
Good luck on your new start R29.
Oh let me just add that you must write down your new rules on paper and place these in each room if you can. It will remind you what you committed yourself to doing.
The Lysol wipes (or equivalent brand) that come in the pop-up container are great. I keep one under the kitchen sink and one under the bathroom sinks. They make it very easy to clean countertops and also the floor in front of the counter and around the toilet. Literally takes one minute and if you do this every day the area stays clean.
R48, my flatmate has hook ups, and he doesn't give a shit how his room looks, but he goes for younger dudes who probably don't care either.
But I'm with you, the embarrassment of letting my friends see my house in a state is enough to keep me clean.
I suffer from perfectionism though.
Rule number One, everything has a home!
I think the main rule is to keep rooms tidy. You can't clean an untidy room and, if you have to tidy first, after that you're too tired and bored to continue.
At least that's what I used to find!
I do what alot of you suggest, which is clean as you go. Straightening up - as my Mom used to call it - is done every day. Clothes and shoes are taken out of the living and put into the bedroom; dishes are either cleaned or put into the dishwasher. I have a one-floor condo with all but one room being carpeted so I'm able to vacuum the whole house in about 30 - 40 minutes; that's reserved for Sunday mornings. HOWEVER, I am not a big duster , i.e, the ceiling fan has NEVER been cleaned by me.
Also, I generally keep my curtains closed when I'm not at home. The other day it was nice enough to open the windows and I noticed a small cemetery of assorted bug carcasses.
Do any of you have the "Bree Van de Kamp" gene and vacuum and dust places like that?
R52 has it - I realized late in life that keeping all the cleaning stuff in one location was kind of dumb...I keep the cleaning stuff right in the room where I use it - wipes, etc in the bathroom, cat litter, bags and cleaning stuff in the closet by the cat litter...another trick is to put all your medicine in a nice box or somewhere other than the bathroom - use the medicine cabinet for toiletries and grooming stuff.
For the clothes bomb, I am a person who drapes clothes over a chair if I've worn them - I don't like to hang them back in the closet right away. I got one of those room dividers, and hung hooks on one side, so I can drape and hang clothes but keep it hidden.
I also run the dishwasher ever night, instead of waiting for it to be chock-full. It takes less time to empty and if it's empty I'm more inclined to put the dirty dishes in it.
I also throw stuff out - old magazines, books I've read that I don't need to reference again, clothes that have a hole or ratty collar, etc....I used to cling to all this stuff but I don't have the space and I got tired of the clutter.
My dad was a carpenter. He always stressed the importance of the preparation/clean-up that made each job complete.
Add to this a scene from "My Dinner With Andre" wherein one character describes a society where everything (living/inert) is respected.
Add to this my fear that whenever I leave the house, I may win the lottery which I don't play or I may be killed by a bus. I don't want others to deal with too much of a mess.
The result is that the experience of home life is very much about returning things to their rightful homes and giving them the care they deserve.
A few things helped me. I now do most of my bills online. Most mail that comes usually goes right into the recycling bin unopened.
I read newspapers and magazines online. No more piles of papers.
I brush my cats outside. They are indoor cats but look forward to their time outside every day.
When cooking, I clean as I go so there's no big mess afterwards. When finished, I store any leftovers and finish washing pots and pans. I always run and unload the dishwasher before I go to bed. I run it about 3x a week.
I make my bed every day. It takes 2 minutes, if that, and sets the tone of the rest of the house. Even if your house is spotless, an unmade bed makes it seem messy.
I decluttered. There is nothing on my tabletops that needs dusting.
I force myself to do laundry start to finish. Otherwise it gets out of control and this is what messes me up. I usually have 2-3 loads a week. Hehe. Once out of the dryer, it gets folded and put away immediately. I don't even fold in front of the tv anymore, I do it all in the laundry room.
I have a cleaner come 2x a month. They do the regular stuff so I can focus on big projects once in a while like closet cleaning. In between cleanings, I'll Swiffer the floors and do a little dusting as needed.
I hate cleaning, but, with the exception of laundry, it really only takes about 30 minutes of upkeep a week for me.
Single best invention on the planet - windex touch up.
Hey R59 -- I do the "Windex touch up" too. Makes things smell nice as a bonus.
LIKE WITH LIKE is another great rule.
Like if you feel overwhelmed, put all the shampoos together. All the conditioners together.
In kitchen, all the bowls together, all the plates, etc.