She's 19...and she can't clean?!

United States
February 4, 2009 8:43am CST
My friend just moved out of her parents house in November. I went over to her house yesterday, and it was a complete wreak! How do I teach her to clean (yes, she asked; I'm not just being nosey)? So far, we've gotten it basically clean, by putting away clothes and doing dishes. We're just sorting clutter right now. After that, what should we do? Any recommendations?
1 person likes this
6 responses
• United States
15 Feb 09
I'm a little late here, but this is what I do... I have a monthly schedule (made in Excel) with time blocks for each day. Since I have 2 special needs children and I'm one adult, I really have to schedule things tight. At the end of each month, I go through my planner to see what appointments are coming up; I check their school calendars for 1/2 days and days off. After all those times are blocked out, I fill in the little things. I only have access to do laundry during the week between 8am-3pm, so laundry is scheduled next. If we have an appointment near home, I'll put laundry on before we leave, and switch it as soon as we get home. If we have an appointment far away, I make sure a lot of laundry is done the day before. I also schedule appointments and out-of-the-house chores around the times I have money (can't work, so I'm on public assistance and food stamps). I make sure homework is scheduled for an hour each day, and kid chores have a 2 hour time block (total between am and pm chores). I also have a basic daily routine starting at 5:30am and ending at 9:30pm. The basic just reminds all of us to DO the basics; hygiene, dishes, and we all have a show of 2 that each watches. Mine is House Md! My plan certainly isn't fail-proof. If you came by right now, you'd wonder what I've been doing! My place is currently destroyed from top to bottom. But I do know how to get it back under control.
@cyberfluf (5005)
• Netherlands
8 Feb 09
Moving out can be overwhelming, I guess. A lot of people underestimate the time you will need to clean your house, do groceries and stuff. It might be an easy guidance to make a routine for the week. Take a piece of paper and make columns for every day of the week. Then ask her to fill in all possible chores (put the more time consuming ones on days she has more free time from work/college). Put in everything from cleaning the bathroom to doing the dishes. Some things will be on daily, other things once a week. Off course she can change days as long as everything gets done. She might want to have a list to check of what she did. It feels good to check things off and see that you have managed to reach the goals you set for yourself. Good luck!
• United States
7 Feb 09
We went through this with my sister. She lived with my mother until she was twenty-two, and then with my grandmother until she was 30. When my grandmother passed away, she had no choice but to go out on her own. Her "chores" were always handled for her by either my mother or my grandmother, so she was absolutely clueless. Her apartment looked like a bomb had gone off in there and the smell was terrible. We all had to pitch in and teach her the basics. Growing up, I had to handle all the chores because my family viewed my sister as the "talent" of the family and she couldn't be bothered with any of that. It really annoyed me to have to teach her how often to scrub her tub, and that the kitchen needs daily cleaning . . . yet, I felt bad for her at the same time. I printed out check-lists for her to follow on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to get her in the habit of keeping things clean.
@maean_19 (4662)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
I have a friend too who desires to be independent, but i told her that she cannot make it without knowing the basic chores. It's an advantage really to know the chores when you plan and decide to live independently. It's been 3 years now that am living an independent life and survived without anybody's help. I wash my own clothes, clean the house, wash the dishes and cook for myself. It is a girl thing when you really know how to properly clean and organize your place and be proud inviting your friends coming over. What to do? Clean up the room. First, clean up the closet then the room. Organize it in their proper classification. Next is clean the dining area because that is where more bacterias go. Again, Organize where you place the things and utensils. After that, clean up the bathroom then the living room. If you have done all those, you can schedule general cleaning every after 2 weeks or once a month depending on the availability or clean a certain area in a weekend then another area next weekend and so on. Tell her also that a clean space is a reflection of ones personality and that is the real essence of an INDEPENDENT WOMAN. Cleaning my place or doing the chores is or are my way of exercise or work out. I consider it as my stress release. I had survived living solo.
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
6 Feb 09
Sit her down and make a schedule of when to do things. It might even help her al ot to use Basically that site is all about keeping a home together. Actually any advice I could give is directly from or at least adapted from that site anyway so that's probably a really good place to head to. Other than that let her know that it takes time to get into the right routine and to not get discouraged or overwhelmed. If she takes things a little bit at a time, she'll be alright. As encouragement, my room mate is almost 31 and has fewer house keeping skills than my 2 year old. Your friend is 19, she'll learn fast!
@jessi0887 (2794)
• United States
4 Feb 09
She may just be overwhelmed. If its her first time on her on she may not be used to the idea. She grew dependent on her mom keeping order to her home as a child but now she is on her own. You can only guide her. Show her things to buy that will help her maintain a clean home. Thats my only advice really.