8/29/10

Digging Out From Under The Laundry Pile

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So my house has slowly turned into a disaster zone with piles of projects needing to be finished, laundry to wash and/or put away, shoes without mates, toys stuck in every nook and cranny of the kids' room, an organ that doesn't work and is STILL in my house, and three extra chairs that need posting on Craigslist. Whenever I have a moment or an hour to myself I think,"You should probably use this time to tidy your studio or fold that clean load in the dryer." And then I look at myself sternly. However, I'm not afraid of myself and I tell myself to put my feet up and catch up on a few blogs or make something just for fun. And the cycle continues.

So, I'm wondering...how do you set the stage for a good old fashioned deep clean in your house? Hire a sitter and order pizza? Send any extra people out for the day so you can focus on the dust bunnies? Take it an hour or two here and there all week in order to fit it in with your own busy schedule? Medication and loud music? Ha!

I know you'd love to see a photo for proof but I dare not loose something of this nature out into the great wild web. You'll just have to use your imagination on this one. ;)

Messy but happy.
xoxo,
Rachel

44 comments:

Mon Alisa Design said...

This post is me in a nutshell! I have no words of wisdom as I'm searching for the answer myself :) x

1 Funky Woman said...

When you find out how to get it all done, please let me know! I love your motto "messy but happy" I'd say it's one to live by!

I'm having a great giveaway over at my blog, I'd love for you to stop by at 1funkywoman.blogspot.com

Hope to see you soon!

Megan

Dianna said...

I was talking to my MIL about this a few weeks ago. My house is in a constant state of crazy and sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I just can't start! My MIL looked at me and said, "You're all wearing clean clothes and eating off of clean dishes. That is enough. You have children to play with! Treasure this time while they're small."
I have a long way to go, but those words have helped me get through some trying days!

Vicki said...

i do everything a little bit at a time - especially with kids!!!! everything seems to take longer LOL.... but getting them involved helps and just working through slowly. have fun and blast some music xxx

Emma Fourie said...

Haha love it...

As I sit here browsing blogs, I have three loads of clean washing needing to be folding on the couch, 1 in the dryer and 1 wet one needing to be hung!

PLUS about a hundred smaller little everyday jobs like cleaning bath toys, screwing in new toilet roll holders, spring cleaning the pantry....

Blah! I hear you sister :)

x

Jazmyn Alexandria said...

I'd probably send everyone out of the house. I hate when people mess with things while I'm trying to clean.

Anne said...

Eventually, I reach a point where I just can't stand it anymore. And then it's a case of chuck everybody else out of the house, turn the music up REAL loud, and just go for it.

It gets pretty bad before I get to that stage though!

Erin said...

I use to struggle with this too but I found a 'roster' helped! It sounds very regimented but it's really just to give me a little motivation each day because I know that if I do a little bit each day (what the roster says) then by the weekend it will all be done!

Having said that, sometimes I throw the roster out the window and deal with it all later! :)

xx

delliechan said...

Overall I do a little bit here and there constantly but one thing that always works that isn't premeditated at all, is having people over. I cant help myself - I have to clean before we have company ... Works every time - the house is spick and span before they arrive.

Its a deadline you cant change - you put yourself out there and there's no looking back.

Jaclyn said...

this must be a theme this weekend - i just wrote my post about not being able to motivate myself to clean. if you figure out the secret to getting it all done, let us know!

Toni Brockliss said...

Oh Rachel it's tough trying to fit it all in.
I find that the best thing that works for me is being strict but also giving myself lots of rewards.
I clean every single day. I have to or everything would slowly get on top of me.
I have two little children (3 and 4) and every part of the day is broken into little segments with a reward at the end. If I get the washing on and breakfast cleaned up then it's coffee time. After I make up the beds and run around with the vacuum then I can turn on the computer. Finish the ironing - go to the park.
It's certainly not exciting to be so regimented and I envy mums who can switch off and just relax about it all. I wish I could be like that. My dear little boy is autistic and our family benefits from the predictability of the day especially when it comes to having all his things just so - clean, put away and where he can find things.
But that said I don't sit down all day and my craft time comes in feast or a famine.
When you find the perfect balance please let me know.
x

Geek+Nerd said...

I definitely need motivational music. My mom always used to listen to ABBA while she was cleaning when I was little, so that helps. I can also seriously rock out to Prince while cleaning - usually I'll play "Let's Go Crazy" to amp me up!

Crystal said...

There is no method to my cleaning madness. I will let it get so out of hand until it's literally driving me crazy and one day I'll wake up and just clean it all. Then I'll keep it clean for about a week....and do it all over again. So annoying. I'm just one person you'd think I'd be able to keep some order! Haha

Good luck with the laundry! :)

frecklewonder said...

well, we needed a swift kick in the rump to really get this one going- and that came in the form of a house guest, arriving on tuesday :)

also. our basement just feel into a real funk and i think we'd both just *had it*

next thing i knew, the stars aligned- right as dotty went for her nap (a whole miraculous 3 hours!) henry went up the street to play at his best friend's house, and matty and i dug in DEEP.

and yes, we ordered pizza and then got creative with how to still tackle the madness once the kids were back in the mix. (music, scooters, dress up, you name it- they kept busy together which was amazing.)

so i guess the formula for us today was 1 part lucky, mixed with 1 part absolutely totally necessary, plus one part good old fashioned hard work.

and i would bet you money that our mess was way worse than your mess. you should feel good about that!!!
GOOD LUCK.

Mandy - Crafty Angel said...

oh boy now I know that feeling! have it daily, hate that calling from the dryer!!! Kiddos are back to school here on Monday and I plan on a military style clean up, one room at a time, with cleaning tools & bottles in one hand and 3 bags in other, 1 for keeping stuff, one for trash and one for our local charity shop....hopefully inbetween rooms I will squeeze in a chocolate mocha and some blog hopping :) just cant declutter when my daughter is around, she is a self confessed hoarder at the grand old age of 6!

Dawn said...

I love love love that your real. Not to many will admit that life is crazy and the house we'll you know. I've been uber busy this summer and the dust bunnies started to call us by first name. So, instead of trying to do it all at once I took two room and de-clutterd, de-dusted etc..etc.. It felt so good to have them done. so instead of trying to do it all at once pick one or two things or rooms and go at it. the other thing i do in the craft room is the 15 min timer. i usually always have to set it twice but the kids cheer me on to see if I can make it. so, it becomes fun. Good luck. If youfind the magic cleaning fairy let us know!

Lauren said...

I start one room at a time ... and I have the music turned up LOUD! :)

Happy cleaning! :)

Artsy Momma said...

Just like everyone else here it is a balance i am trying to find. My normal kick in the butt time is a) someone is coming over or b)it gets so bad that I just go into clean mode, become a machine and just clean everything from top to bottom, except the laundry I still havent found the kick my butt into gear for folding and putting laundry away, argh. Good luck!

Sara said...

I did this yesterday and sent my boys out of the house with Daddy. They had a blast and I got a TON done! And then they came home and made more messes...oh well. ;)

April said...

I'm right there w/ you!! I got to send my boys away yesterday w/ the hubbs and got TONS done! I beleive that is the ONLY way. oh ya...good music and yuengling helps too ;) LOVE ur BLOG, super inspiring!!

kt_kthx said...

Unfortunately, a little bit at a time. If Justin (boyfriend) sees me cleaning our bedroom he'll magically join in! Last night he thanked me for everything that I do, including keep our apartment clean. I thought that was super nice.

Good luck Rachel!

laynemarie said...

Definitely medication and loud music. LOL. Oh and lots of coffee.

I'm not a mom, but the boyfriend might be the dirtiest boy ever. He's a mechanic, and loves gardening and painting, so his clothes constantly get super dirty. I don't even want to think about how much more laundry kids would bring. Yikes!

Liz said...

I'll usually break down big projects into smaller ones so that I don't feel overwhelmed and I'll feel like I accomplished something (rather than feeling defeated for not finishing the big one). If I need a little help here and there, I'll enlist the help of my hubby and daughter, even if it's just for them to put something away. When they're both out of the house, I get myself an iced mocha, turn on some music, and get to work. I never send them away just for the sake of cleaning, but I let them know that they have to feed and entertain themselves. A to-do list is always good so that you don't have 20 different thoughts running through your head. Plus, I enjoy crossing off what I've done!

Roxanne said...

You just really hit the nail on the head today. I'm looking at my messy house and sighing. I should be cleaning, but it's so overwhelming. Once it gets so messy I can't stand it, I usually take it room by room over a few days. I clean the room I hate first (kitchen) and the room I enjoy cleaning (my room) last. Good luck! And I sooo don't blame you for not wanting to post a picture.

miss thrash said...

Last night i finally beat my kitchen, its been in a constant state of dirty dishes all week no matter how fast i wash them and load the dish washer

and now im packing to move so i think im loosing another battle..

Mary said...

Please take a look at Flylady.com- has saved my sanity for years!!!

eberts4missions said...

Hey, what type of chairs are you posting to Craigs list? Dining chairs perhaps? If yes, I might be interested in grabbing them from you if the price is right...then you wouldn't have to go to the trouble of posting them. Send me an email or just post a comment here...hope it works out!

Gussy said...

you should probably ship everyone out for the afternoon, then get to work.

and when you're doing, and they come home, you ship out for a slushie. or a smoothie. something small to reward yourself :]

Kristen said...

I'm not a SAHM so my weekends usually consist of balancing playing with my daughter and cleaning the house. However, I'm very far from perfect and do not usually get the house work done. So my solution when the house needs a deep cleaning is to take a day off of work, send Lilly to the daycare, and clean. I try to take it room by room first, picking up things and straightening. Then I do the floors last. I also try to get the laundry done and folded if I can. Lastly, I make myself take a few breaks to just sit and watch tv or drink a cup of coffee or surf the web.

After these deep cleaning sessions I can usually keep my house fairly clean for another 2 months, minus laundry. I get kinda OCD and pick up and straighten everything as I go because I love the way my home looks when it is clean!

ronda said...

I usually write something for each day either on our family calendar, or on my personal planner. That way, when I look at my calendar/planner I feel more convicted too do it. If you designate certain days for certain things it becomes MUCH easier (i.e. Mondays = vacuuming). It's taken me about 5 years to figure out how to accomplish it all, with kids! Good luck and hope you figure out something that works for you!

pinksuedeshoe said...

I start in one corner of one room and work my way out. And keep your back to the mess and just look at what you've finished. It's much harder to be overwhemled when you've got your clean corner looking back at you. I should take my own advice. I can hardly walk into my crafty room because of the stacks. And yet here I am... checking up on blogs :o)

Michelle said...

I hate it when my house is like this. . . so I make a list of what needs to happen. . . and enlist my hubby's help for some of the tasks he doesn't mind doing. . .and just go after it all at once so I won't loose focus. Feels so good when it's done. I always swear I will keep it up but then slowly let it spiral out of control again :( Endless cycle.

Josephine said...

When it gets to this stage in my house, I invite people over for a meal within the week – then I HAVE TO tidy ;-)
However, a proper cleanup can't be forced, the universe will tell you when the time is right. So, till then, as you were...

KatrinaE said...

I HATE.. HATE.. HATE cleaning! I don't know how you moms do it! I have no kids yet, but am still recovering from some recent trips between my husband and I. I just can't seem to get to the bottom!

Upbeat music really helps me! I've typed in "Regina Spektor" on Pandora and listen to loads of similar artists.

Enjoy cleaning ;)

kateortiz said...

i'm at home with three little ones and browsing through "home comforts: the art and science of keeping house" by cheryl mendelson kind of rocked my housekeeping world.

the book is extremely detailed and i can't imagine actually doing all she does, but the intro is worth the price of the book. she's a lawyer who loves keeping up her home. her suggestion of having a set cleaning day and laundry day and grocery day totally helped. now, every thursday is cleaning day and mondays and thursdays are laundry days. nothing ends up getting crazy dirty in one week so the house usually stays in pretty good shape.

and the laundry pile never gets too intimidating anymore.

ringmaster said...

this is the life i live!! if you find out a good way to tackle it let me know!!

Karen M. Andersen said...

Rachel, I can SO relate. Best of luck getting it all sorted! And just in case I don't get the chance to come back to your blog and say it beforehand, have a happy birthday for a couple days time!!!

Karen xx
http://karenmandersen.typepad.com

eaitkens said...

3 months after our son was born, reality set in and I was feeling overwhelmed and defeated by the responsibility of raising a child and keeping a home. So, my husband (yeah him!) suggested we get a cleaning lady and I have never looked back. For a small fee, they come twice and month and clean for two hours. They do the down and dirty work and then we are responsible just for the day to day stuff like putting our junk away and keeping the dishes and laundry done. It is the best decision we ever made and even though my son is 16 months old now, we will always have a cleaning lady!

Mandy said...

This is something I constantly struggle with, as I love to be clean, but I feel guilty cleaing instead of playing with my little ones. My priorities are clear at this stage, and sometimes I just let things pile up. That being said, once the (pre)school year starts, I try to have something that I do every day to keep things a little more organized. I do that one thing and don't feel as guilty once I accomplish it... baby steps!

astr!d said...

i. hate. cleaning.
personally, i'm waiting for christmas, as i've already requested a full time maid, a robot, or a cleaning fairy.
i don't know how to do it on my own. i work full time, have 2 kiddos in school, and a huge mess, all the time.
ughhh!

Wendy B said...

I'm on the same line of thinking as you. I go to bed sometimes thinking of all the housework that needs to get done, but then again, all my fun projects that are calling to me. I usually get the housecleaning done when we are expecting company. Not the best solution, but it works in my house!

greta said...

I do cleaning and laundry monday morning, and whatever i get done, i get done. if i dont get it done, it stays pilled in the laundry basket or stuck to the floor until next monday. some mondays are great, others are a joke.

another life saver is my hubby does bath time in our house. as soon as my little girl is in the tub i run around like a mad woman picking up toys.

scrappyjen said...

I know what you mean mess makes me crazy and feel like I haven't got anything done. So I get it done 15 minutes at a time - the Flylady way. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish in 15min. You should check it out (www.flylady.net) it's all about helping you clear the clutter and keeping the housework from overwhelming you and best of all doesn't lay on the gulit. It sure helped me.

James and Summer said...

FLY with the fly lady flylady.net - take a little bit of time for the house a few times a day and you have lots of FREEDOM to do whatever else you want! Takes a bit to form great habits - but oh sooooo worth it!