My house is a mess! Help!

@thyst07 (2091)
United States
September 27, 2009 5:38pm CST
My husband and I both have full time college and part time jobs, and after all that it is so hard to keep our place clean and tidy! I could really use some tips and tricks on how to keep things neat when you don't have much time for cleaning on a daily basis. Our main problem is clutter all over the place. Our living space is very small and storage is limited. Our other big problem is that we can't seem to find time to do the laundry or the dishes on a regular basis, so they keep piling up. What do you do around the house to make things a little simpler and easier? I could use tips for all areas of the house, on anything from controlling clutter to how to make mealtimes quicker and easier.
1 person likes this
11 responses
• United States
28 Sep 09
I find myself in a pickle like this too. I work 2 jobs, and was going to school too. Found my house to be a wreck. What I would do and still do is focus on one room at a time per free day. Example, if I had a couple of hours free on Thursday night, I'd just pick up the bedroom. Sometimes I get up a little early and focus on the bathroom right out of the shower. So I rotate days and try to clean that way. I get way to bogged down when I try to look at the house as a whole big mess. I break it down in smaller messes and that way I don't get so overwhelmed. As for the actual clutter. I'm still trying to get a handle on that because I'm a visual learner and they tend to want to see everything. That's why (they say) I never put anything away. I wish I could combat that. I'd be good if I could. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
29 Sep 09
I think I'm a visual learner too! Sometimes if I put everything away in its little cubby, I can't find it later because I can't see it!
• United States
29 Sep 09
That's exactly how I am. And I get in trouble at work for having such a messy desk. However, I can't really find anything if I put it away. I try to make folder, lists, put files back in the drawer and come back to them later. I just can't do it if I don't see it. And I can't have post-it notes all over the desk either. I don't know how to solve that problem. LOL
@cher913 (25889)
• Canada
28 Sep 09
one tip i can think of off the top of my head is that junk mail doesnt have a life in our house. it comes in the mail and goes right into the recycle bin. if i am interested, i take a minute to glance at it but if not, out it goes. if you buy something for your house, get rid of something. if you have time on the weekend make simple meals ahead of time for the whole week and freeze them. hope these help.
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Sep 09
Mail is definitely one of our problems, whether it's junk mail or bills set aside to be paid next week. They tend to end up all over the living room or kitchen table. I think I will put a recycle bin in my entryway so that the junk mail can go in as soon as I get in the house, and then get a basket or something to collect the real mail in the kitchen.
@smileonstar (4013)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I can feel how much busy you are... I am a very busy woman as well and with two children... lolz. well, if you dont like to wash dishes then you can use plastic plates and spoons or forks and it will save time to wash dishes. About laundry is hard though cuz you have to wear clothes everyday and they are need to be clean as well. try to do laundry once a week. the house doesn't need to clean everyday, as long as you know what you are doing... If you keep everything so messy then doesn't matter you clean every day or every week, it still a mess. so try to cut down those mess(put back where you found your item, it will cut down the messy and misplace item)
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I think creating less mess in the first place is really what we need to aim for. I'm so glad that we don't have children right now. I don't think we could handle it.
@happy6162 (3011)
• United States
28 Sep 09
You need to just do the dishes after you eat it only takes a few minutes and if you do them together it should not take more then 5 minutes. You need to put your clothes up when you get home and try doing a load or two in the washer every night to get caught up. If you have a small place it should not take very long to either sweep or vacuum the floors.
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I wish I could do some laundry every day or every other day, but I don't have my own washer and dryer.
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I don't know if any of these ideas will help but I'll give it a shot. In order to reduce clutter you need to get organized and to have a place to keep things. Plastic containers come in many different sizes and shelves work well, too. Since you and your husband are college students you know about scheduling your time...classtime, study time...scheduling when you have to be at work...so schedule a laundry day. Take turns or one of you washes and the other takes the dry clothes out of the dryer, folds them and puts them away. If you have a laundry day set aside you won't feel guilty all week long, thinking about the laundry that isn't getting done. As far as dishes go, use paper plates and plasticware whenever possible. Use your microwave as often as you can since you can usually cook and store in the same container. If you have to cook and make a mess, clean it up as soon as possible afterwards, even if you're tired. If you're in a rush do as much as you can before you head out of the door. I hope this helps.
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Sep 09
Lol, we've already got so many shelves, containers, and baskets around our apartment that I don't think we could fit any more! Our coffee table even has storage baskets under it. We have places for most of our stuff- we just need to get into the habit of putting things where they go. Scheduling laundry day sounds like a good idea. Maybe I could have my husband get the laundry started before he leaves for work, and I could get it out of the laundry room when I get home from my job/school. We don't tend to cook in the microwave much- one of our "vices" is that we love food and we really do like to cook "real" food. We also try not to use paper plates because we're into sustainability and reducing waste. But I suppose it wouldn't hurt once in a while when we're really super busy and tired.
• United States
28 Sep 09
You poor girl! It's so hard to do isn't it, especially when you have jobs and college. Well, here's a link for you and I have NO AFFILIATION with this site, it's just a fun one......http://flylady.net/.......I hope it works. This woman is a cleaning coach and shows you all the tricks on organizing, keeping things tidy, etc., etc. If the link doesn't work just type it in or lookup flylady, she'll be there. Good luck! But Keep studying!
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Sep 09
Oh, thanks for the reminder! I've been to that site before, but I had completely forgotten about it. I'll have to take another visit.
@k1tten (2320)
• United States
28 Sep 09
My partner works a full time job, I'm a full time college student with a part time job but I've learned a few tricks along the way. When making a meal, try to do the dishes at the same time. That way you can clean the dishes while waiting for a meal to finish, have clean dishes of course, and get the dirty dishes out of the way faster. Ten minutes. Ten minutes to do a quick clean of each room. We live in a one bedroom apartment. So in total I do about 40 minutes total for the whole apartment. It does work. Try to get small containers that you can get up with shelves. Got two shelving units from lord knows where that have the plastic storage bins that serves as our pantry. It works well. You can use the bins for things other than a pantry of course. I try to do a once a week full cleaning as often as I can. It's nice to know you vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed the floors and counters that one day and that it can wait until next week. When cleaning the bathroom, I find an after shower spray useful. It does keep the shower pretty clean and it doesn't need cleaned as often. I also find that if you need to clean the shower fully then spray it before your shower and try to clean it while in the shower. You save money and time. Which is great. Laundry. Laundry is a toughy sometimes. It all depends on if you have a washer/dryer in your place or if you have to go somewhere. If you have it at your home, then wash clothes while you do your ten minute cleans. It seems to work well enough. If you have to go somewhere to do laundry then one or the other should be able to do it. All in all, it comes down to making the time. You have to make the time to do the cleaning and the laundry. If it helps at all try to make a check list of things that need done and check them off as you finish them.
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Sep 09
I'm definitely going to try to start getting the dishes done right after dinner. I think that will help a lot. I'll hold off on cleaning the tub while I shower, though. My shower is often the only "me time" I get, and I'd prefer to keep it enjoyable. Unfortunately, I also live in an apartment and I don't have my own washer and dryer. That makes getting the laundry done so much more difficult. So I try to re-wear things as many times as I can without being gross.
@malamar (784)
• Canada
27 Sep 09
Our days do tend to get busy, don't they? However, there are a few tricks to help you keep on top of that ugly old clutter. First of all, don't always buy into the "too busy" excuse, that only makes it easier to keep putting it off, resulting in more work for you in the end. The two of you doing dishes together would take less than 10 minutes. Hanging up your jacket when you come in the door takes about 10 seconds longer than throwing it across the chair. Likewise with bookbags, etc., etc., When you are cooking, always plan ahead for other meals. Portion and freeze extra for easy heat and serve after a long day. Once you get in this habit, it becomes second nature. I never cook more than 2 or 3 times a week, I just prepare two or three meals at a time. That's because I am lazy. Yes, we are busy people. But by actively looking at ways you are contributing to the clutter, you will find ways to put things where they belong in the first place. Just try it for a week, you just may be pleasantly surprised at how much of that clutter is not necessary at all. Clearing up household clutter clears up mind clutter also - that should be of value to busy college students, right?
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
27 Sep 09
That's exactly why I want to keep this place clean- I've noticed that when the place is cluttered, my stress level is higher and I can't concentrate on my school work. We do have a tendency to cook every night, so I will put some effort into your suggestion of cooking meals ahead of time so that some nights we can just pop something into the oven to heat and have a little more time for other things. Thanks!
• New Zealand
27 Sep 09
set times when you are free to do a job lets say you have a few hours free wednesday night. Set that time to do the dishes you have piled up. Like wise with the washing, set s time like saturday morning to put the washing on. If you do your best to plan your chores your place will look better in no time. I remember when I was a kid we had a chore table. Good luck with keeping the clean :)
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
27 Sep 09
We both work in retail. If we're not at work on a Saturday morning, either we're sick or Armageddon has happened. We might be able to schedule some of our chores, though. I don't know how well it would work all the time, since some weeks we have more homework than others, but it couldn't hurt to give it a try. Good tip.
@ElicBxn (60892)
• United States
4 Oct 09
remember, you can study at the laudromat, I remember in college we had to take our clothes down to the basement to wash and I can't tell you how many times I was down there with a dozen or so other girls studying our own books. Staying on top of the dishes means its less of a chore in the long run, at my job I wash dishes before, during and after meals, and then after my client finishes eating. The only day I have to take any real TIME to do them is on Mondays and Fridays because the one is the dirty dishes from the weekend and the other is the ones I dirty fixing food for the weekend. you've gotten some excellent advice on the clutter control, I have no grounds to talk about that since I have a major problem myself with it. the dishes only pile up here because the roomie is supposed to unload the dishwasher and she falls down on that job often until I nag her - tho there are times she has to nag me to do them too. but heck, I'm always cleaning at my job, I want to come home and clean?
@schentil (98)
• India
28 Sep 09
hi, since you and your husband are engaged in activities such as you have mentioned, you have to keep an eye on your usage of things such as costumes, dishes, etc. Keep your dresses not to get exposed to too much of dusts and do not use unnecessary dishes to cook, always limit them. To make more room in your house, you can arrange shelves so that you will avoid things occupying more space.