Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Housecleaning with 8 Kids at Home

So I know I'm always posting my cleaning methods, chore charts, newly revealed housework inspiration and so forth, but that's because things always have a way of changing.

Cleaning house now is different than it was when I was pregnant with Baby Hippo, or exclusively breastfeeding infant twins, or homeschooling 6 kids. Some days it's harder and some days it's easier. Currently, with Baby Hippo still not getting around on his own, he prefers that I hold him constantly throughout the day. Thus, the only time I can really get any serious cleaning done is during his two naps.

This really does not allow me to accomplish what I need to, so I've discovered a way to break up the work throughout the day, and it has been surprisingly effective. Here is what I do...

Laundry...
As you can imagine, laundry is NEVER done at our house, or shall I say, it WAS never done. Things are different now. Every time I walk by the laundry room, I make a commitment to fold, hang up, or put away 30 things. This only takes from 2 to 5 minutes, and I have a little rug with some toys on it on which I sit Baby Hippo to play while I get this done. It feels so good to have finally come up with a system that doesn't completely overwhelm me.

The 4 Four and Under's bedroom...
This was a constant source of frustration for me in the past. Even the 15-year-old girl would stand in the doorway with her arms on her hips and say, "How do they get this room so messy, Mom?" I would throw my hands up in despair and disgustedly shake my head. Now, though, every time I go into their room, I pick up and put away only 5 things. You can't imagine what a change this has made. Their room is almost always clean now and I don't have to feel embarrassed when John goes in to put them to bed at night.

My bedroom...
I don't know about you, but my bedroom has been traditionally known as the catch-all. It's been the place where I throw stuff I just bought from the store, where my suitcases sit unpacked for weeks, and where clutter from other parts of the house is stored until I can think of a place to stuff it. But no more! The new system I use for my bedroom is the same system I use for the 4 Four and Under's room. I simply pick up only 5 items to put away every time I enter into my bedroom. And, if it just so happens that there is absolutely nothing to pick up because I've kept it so clean, which happens like all the time now, then I sometimes even find time to make my bed. See, look...

Photobucket

Looking at this picture, I think the next time I go in my room I will dust the railings on the top of my bed and the fans.... because John bought me a fan duster one time.

Anyways, that's my new system, and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for listening!



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19 comments:

alessandra said...

Thanks, thanks, thanks, I'll definitely do this.
And that picture with the baby...priceless!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Thanks, Ale! It's really surprising how much you can get done just doing 5 things at a time!

Anonymous said...

Good system. Sounds a lot like Flylady - only tweaked a little to suit your lifestyle. Have you ever heard of her? She lives in my hometown in Western NC! She has a great system - I just found you have to adjust it to fit your life more, but it's all based on what you are doing - baby steps - doing a little each day.

Janelle said...

I am very curious... How did you get that picture of baby on the bed?

I NEED to implement that in my bedroom. Good ideas.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Anonymous, yes, I have heard of the fly lady and I love her!

Janelle, I happen to have a loft in my bedroom on which I stood to get the shot!

Luvmy9 said...

I love your new system and I'm glad it's working for you. I know exactly what you mean about how you always have to come up with new housecleaning systems, new chore charts and new schedules. I've had so many different ones over the years. Now that we are down to only three children at home, things are really weird. I guess we must have done things like this when we had the first three, but it just seems so strange now. I've had to change the way I shop for food and I keep slipping up and buying too much. I had all the freezers and refrigerators cleaned out and pared down, but now they are full again and things are going to waste. I guess it will take some time to break years of old habits.

KB said...

Genius. Simply genius. I think I will implement that myself.

C said...

I miss you too! :-(

Your bedroom looks beautiful, I bet you love having your real bed set up now! Good system. I try to do something like that but I should have the numbers in my head like you do. I often get sidetracked into cleaning a whole room. I guess thy works but I wouldn't have to if i was always cleaning a little.

Anonymous said...

Do you mind me using this post to try to contact someone that I can't find an email for? If you do, just delete - it's ok! I am trying to email "C" your friend whose blog is "south of the border". Her blog doesn't have a contact email. I am just inquiring about an old post of hers that I can't find. Not sure how to do this since she prob. doesn't want her email posted publically. Well,
first "C" (from comment above) if you see this yourself, could you email me taraohtara@gmail.com. And
Jen, if you don't mind, could you just forward my email to her and let her know I am asking about an old blog post of hers? I would appreciate it!!

Bri Schaaf said...

Sounds like a great system! Glad you found something that works! :)

Taylor at Household Management 101 said...

Great system. I am trying to do something similar here, and it has been working for me too.

Olga said...

I always like it when you post about cleaning. You remind me that things need to keep changing,. Also, we need to keep at it, and we will find a system that will work. Also, you give me good ideas.

Thanks, so much!

Kristin said...

Jenny, that was SO inspiring. I am totally going to try it.

Homequeen said...

Lovely pic of your new little one!
I know what it is like to houseclean with four kids at home, and that is no easy task. I think your system of
tackling chores is the only way to deal with everything. There are always so many distractions from little ones in a day, it is tough to work on one huge task in one go!
Delighted to see your new "Title" - "Mom2my10"!! ;-)) Congratulations and God bless.

Keeley said...

Dang, that's impressive. You go, girl. Inspirational.

Christine said...

I love that picture of the babe on your bed. Dust and all! ha, ha! Although, had you not posted that I would've never known. :)

Amanda B. said...

I really like this idea. I get really overwhelmed. I feel like I can't get it perfectly clean right then so why bother- I tend to not get anything done until in frustration I attack it. Picking up just a few things at a time does make it seem less overwhelming!

Debbie's L'Bri said...

That is really good.. I have the kids help.. but I pretty much do the laundry or sweep things in to the middle of the floor. One kid picks up books, on clothes, on big trash, another toys like cars and blocks and another school books. We can get a room clean in 10 to 15 minutes. If I tell someone to pick up things to many times it either gets thrown away or given away. If you walk on it you must not want it to bad. Fly lady has taught me alot.
Congratulations on your system.

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