thread: How do you compromise- can't do it all!

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Mar 2008
    Nth West Melbourne

    How do you compromise- can't do it all!

    Because I am sick of feeling like everything I need to do is constantly overwhelming me, last night I decided I would at least take control of the housework side of things. I walked through the house and made a list of EVERYTHING that needs to be done, including things that don't currently get done but which I would feel really good about doing (eg- giving the linen cupboard a quick- 5 min- tidy once a month). I thought that maybe I could get myself really organised with lists. I wrote down how often each thing should be done and how long it would take.....and then I added it all up.

    It added up to 10 hours of housework per week (this does not include grocery shopping or cooking, but does include laundry etc).

    Frankly, I don't have 10 hours a week to do housework. Of if I tried to make 10 hours a week, other important things would definately suffer (work, time with son & hubby)

    So, obviously, I cannot get everything I want to done, but I am really bummed about it, and I don't know how to let some of the things I can't get done go and not be bothered by them. I mean, for example, I know the linen cupboard doesn't NEED to be tidied each month. The world won't end. But when I look in it and its messy, it depresses me and makes me feel like things are out of hand and there is so much to do that I don't have time to do, and like I am always behind. There are lots of little things like this. I clearly can't get them all done, but I don't know how to not be bothered by them.....has anyone got any suggestions? (I can't work less and I can't afford a cleaner).

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber & MPM

    Feb 2007

    Maybe look at your list and look at the priorty things first. Your linen really closet won't need cleaning/tidying once a month. If you give it one really good clean out/tidy up and then put things away neatly as you go then you really only need to worry about it every 6 months or so. I tidied mine when I was pg with DS2 (I was a nesting freak LOL) and it's only now 2 years later that I think "hmmm...I really should tidy it up again". That's because I put things away tidily as I went so it never really got out of control again.

    Can you set yourself a goal of having the rare jobs done over the next month? Usually if you do one really BIG tidy up/clean of all the things you don't normally get around to, it can keep you going for quite a few months. Then it all doesn't get on top of you.

    IKWYM about feeling depressed when things start getting messy, and you know it's not just a quick tidy up job. I try and set myself goals of a room at a time. This week I decluttered our bedroom, last week I cleaned out our garage, the week before I did my boy's rooms. Once I've worked through each room, it's easier to keep the house in a tidy state and I don't really need to do big jobs like that again for another 6 months or so.

    Don't get me wrong, my house is NOT perfect LOL! In fact I'm trying to keep my eyes shut atm so I don't look at the state of my floor LOL!!

    Good luck, I hope you can find a way that works for you

  3. #3
    DoubleK Guest

    i agree.. try and order your list in order of priority... then things that need to be done every couple of days.. once a week, once a fortnight.. i guess the key is routine. im trying to adjust our routine now that im cutting back my work hours.

    i'm also trying to organise myself with little things like- after doing dishes/wiping down benches, give the front of the cupboards a quick wipe, then sweeping the floor. im trying to incorporate all that with 'doing the dishes'

    things like your linen cupboard, i agree with what Trish said- have a clean out, organise it all so everything fits (less chance of just shoving stuff anywhere there is a spot) and make 'putting things back where they belong' a part of putting the washing away. it might take you an extra minute or two... but im sure in the long run, your cupboard will stay tidy for longer. i know my mum tends to fold towels/sheets/face washers etc and puts the one big pile straight into her linen cupboard then complains that its always messy!! lol

    good luck with it! and remember that its not the end of the world if you dont get everything done! id love to say i can and my house is perfect... but that would be lying!

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    This is advice from a very slack home maker ATM... so take from it what you will:

    Work out what MUST be done and what BUGS you if it's not done... then largely forget everything else until it fits into either of those two catagories

    Ok... obviously there are some jobs that have to be done: crockery has to be washed or else you will have nothing to eat off... so I do this daily... straightforward. Now... for me a pet hate is having a messy pantry... that BUGS the hell outta me... so i stay ontop of it... likewsie the fridge... doesn't technically need to be cleaned as often as I do it... but if I don't I get all twitchy. On the other side of the coin there is currently a significant layer of mould around the kids bathroom exhaust vent... meh... I can live with it.... until I think about a month or two... then it will bug me.... so i'll deal. Not terribly systematic but it works for me.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Mar 2006
    soon to be somewhere exotic

    one thing that helps me is the "waiters" trick - always have something in your hand, so if you're going to get something out of the kitchen, take something that belongs into the kitchen. Works wonders at dinner time

    I also have taken a few tips from flylady (ok I don't have a clean sink every night - maybe once or twice a week) but the one tip I have is stay focussed on one room at a time, so if I'm picking up stuff in the loungeroom I pile things for each room together & take them into that room when I've finished (big plastic buckets are good for this) - like I kick my shoes off when I get home, so when I do a clean/clear of the lounge/dining I pile all my shoes together and put them in my bedroom after I've finished doing what I need to do in the lounge/dining.

    Also the swish & wipe in the mornings, I don't usually swish but I do give the vanity & shower a quick clean when I've finished in there.

    My linen cupboard gets cleared out once a season (so twice a year), so when I do the cycle of normal to flano sheets I give it a quick sort. I've also seen in a few magazines (and I know that Niliac does it) that you store a sheet set together in one of the pillowcases, so you fold up the bottom, top & spare pillow case and store it in the other pillow case - keeps them all together.

    I also vaccum all my floors instead of sweeping the tiles, means I can do the whole place in one go (I use an extension lead), I've picked up my mother's habit and I mop the kitchen & bathroom each night before going to bed.

    When I was living with XH I used to seperate the washing the minute I went into the laundry - had a basket for darks, work clothes (his not mine), coloured, whites, sheets/towels - made it easy to throw a load in when I had 5 mins spare.