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Subject: The House Cleaning Tips and Tricks Forum rss

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Archidamia
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This is totally not for goo at all. This is 100% for me.

But this is a place where we can all share the little things that help us stay clean and organized at home.

Or search for those things if we aren't so organized(like me).
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How I learned to fold shirts!
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Guenhwyvhar wrote:


How I learned to fold shirts!

but how do you fold fitted sheets!

Yes, i technically know how it's SUPPOSED to be done, but it never ever ever works that way. the elastic still bundles up, and so you know what? i roll them. I roll the damn things and shove them in the back of the sheet and towel closet.
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PeteVasi wrote:
Gelatinous Goo wrote:
miraria wrote:
ChickenSedan wrote:
Work.

yup. and tonight? I'm cleaning the house.

I want to start a house cleaning subthread but I'm embarrassed to. I like comparing efficient strategies, overarching strategies, etc.

Keeping the house clean with kids running around and 2 working parents is very hard to do. I like talking tips and tricks.

Our tips so far: learn to live in squalor.

(But really, I would read said thread. Add in a dog in our house that's shedding all the time and cleanup is a pretty constant thing. We'd added chores and an allowance for our eldest, but her help is sporadic.)
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I've seen it done. I think you fold it in half length-ways, tuck one end into the other, and then carry on folding it as normal.
 
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Guenhwyvhar wrote:
I've seen it done. I think you fold it in half length-ways, tuck one end into the other, and then carry on folding it as normal.
thats how i've been told it's done, thats how i see my mom do it. but THE ENDS ARE STILL CRINKLY AND ROUNDED!angrysauronangry

 
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Anyone who can fold a fitted sheet is a witch and should be burned immediately.
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For Goo:

Buy kid-size cleaning equipment and have them help you. Kids love helping with grownup stuff.

Disclaimer: be warned that they don't actually make the place cleaner, quite to the contrary. The actual cleaning will still be done by you. BUT, you will be free to do so, as they are simultaneously being entertained.
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miraria wrote:
Guenhwyvhar wrote:


How I learned to fold shirts!

but how do you fold fitted sheets!

Yes, i technically know how it's SUPPOSED to be done, but it never ever ever works that way. the elastic still bundles up, and so you know what? i roll them. I roll the damn things and shove them in the back of the sheet and towel closet.

Only buy one, wash it during the day, put it right back on the bed out of the dryer.
 
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What about overall strategy? There's clean the whole house top to bottom every week, 2 weeks, month, or whatever. There's half the house every week. There's a room a day.

We usually have some sort of schedule going, but we've been winging it for a few months. Often, we do something like this:

Daily:
-make bed every morning

-put away dishes from dishwasher, add breakfast dishes

-wipe down kitchen counters, breakfast table, sweep kitchen floor

-1 load of laundry (wash, dry, fold, and put away)

-clean kitchen/table after dinner (stove, sink, counters, etc.) This mostly eliminates cleaning the kitchen on the weekend because it is just always clean.

-15 minute "declutter" session. Everyone grabs a bag, actually set a timer, then go through the house picking up your own stuff then picking up everything else (shoes, backpacks, books, crayons, electronic devices, mail, blankets, clothes, homework, game pieces whistle, etc.). Everything should have a place where it goes ("a place for everything and everything in its place")

-all trash cans emptied (bathrooms, kitchen, etc.)

-consider breakfast/lunch/dinner for next day, plan accordingly

-run dishwasher at the end of the night bed

Then the weekend is just the bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, and projects.

The problem with this is that it works great for a while, then you come home tired and you don't feel like doing a load of laundry and there is a load in the dryer from yesterday and there is a girl scout meeting and on and on and it falls apart (though it is simple to reboot).

As much as it sounds like, it really isn't that much if shared by the family.

As a minimum each day: make beds every morning and do dishes every night. Never, ever leave dirty dishes out. Never. You aren't going to want to do them later either.
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That's an excellent regimen, Goo, and I envy your structure. We have done the "15 minutes of tidying go" thing before and it works really well, but much like going to the gym regularly or whatnot, it tends to fall apart the first time someone feels like they're having a hard week. Still, would be good to pick it up again.

Our setup is:

-Dishes every night, period. (MAYBE an exception after a really late game night or something when I'll do 'em first thing in the morning.)

-Laundry is pretty much ongoing, usually a couple loads downstairs ready to be brought up and put away as soon as that basket of cleans is full. Try not to leave stuff in the washer (though it happens occasionally and requires a re-wash which is annoying and feels wasteful).

-Trash goes out when full. All trashes and cat boxes emptied twice a week for trash-to-curb.

-Recycling goes out when full, and also once per week at recycling-to-curb time.

-Bathrooms always wiped down with bleach wipes and tidied before guests/party. A quick vacuum before guests/party, too, if we're at the tail end of the two weeks before cleaning comes.
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StatSig wrote:
That's an excellent regimen, Goo, and I envy your structure. We have done the "15 minutes of tidying go" thing before and it works really well, but much like going to the gym regularly or whatnot, it tends to fall apart the first time someone feels like they're having a hard week. Still, would be good to pick it up again.

Our setup is:

-Dishes every night, period. (MAYBE an exception after a really late game night or something when I'll do 'em first thing in the morning.)

-Laundry is pretty much ongoing, usually a couple loads downstairs ready to be brought up and put away as soon as that basket of cleans is full. Try not to leave stuff in the washer (though it happens occasionally and requires a re-wash which is annoying and feels wasteful).

-Trash goes out when full. All trashes and cat boxes emptied twice a week for trash-to-curb.

-Recycling goes out when full, and also once per week at recycling-to-curb time.

-Bathrooms always wiped down with bleach wipes and tidied before guests/party. A quick vacuum before guests/party, too, if we're at the tail end of the two weeks before cleaning comes.

I didn't include "clean up dishes" because that's just kind of something that happens with doing the dishes, I wander around grabbing cups that might've been left out. The omnipresence of cats trying to lick unattended plates means that dishes get put into the sink pretty promptly after a meal.
 
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Our current system is that I do the regular stuff (washing up, laundry, bins, cat litter, hoovering, tidying) and my wife doesn't do the big jobs (gardening, cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen, sorting the kit room).
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Bigger jobs, we just sort of tackle when we notice they're a problem. Like Ruth pointed out some serious weed-growing that's going on, so we're gonna take care of that this weekend.
 
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StatSig wrote:
jageroxorz wrote:
Gelatinous Goo wrote:
miraria wrote:
ChickenSedan wrote:
Work.

yup. and tonight? I'm cleaning the house.

I want to start a house cleaning subthread but I'm embarrassed to. I like comparing efficient strategies, overarching strategies, etc.

Keeping the house clean with kids running around and 2 working parents is very hard to do. I like talking tips and tricks.

Hire someone.

I hate to be the yuppy capitalist here, but I'm with Jage on this. Hiring bi-weekly house-cleaners has been one of the best things that I think Ruth and I have ever done for our mental well-being and relationship. Chores stress people out, and very few people like 'em. They're one of the main reasons of relationship distress, behind finances. We accepted going out to eat less to pay for housecleaners and it's made a world of difference. We still do some general tidying and whatnot, but all the vacuuming, mopping, dusting, etc. drudgery that never seems to get done is off our shoulders.


I've considered.

I did finally break down and hire gardeners (just for mow and blow). I put it off for years. My yard got to be a mess. I could never garden because working in the yard was mowing and weeding--we never got to do any fun gardening like planting). Finally, I broke down and asked around. My gardener charges me $60 a month. I can't believe I put it off for so long. Now, I never worry about it, it looks good, and it is way more affordable than I was expecting.

I've considered housekeepers, but here are my thoughts (/neuroses):

-Our biggest issue is clutter. If everything was put away all the time, then housekeepers make sense. I think, how can housekeepers really get to the bathrooms if my kids stuff is all over the counters. Then again, impending housekeeper day might get everyone to put there stuff away (you can probably tell from my tone that my stuff is almost always put away--I'm that guy in the house, everyone else is not).

-The neurosis is that I feel awkward needing to have someone clean my house. Not in a need for privacy kind of way. But in a who the hell do I think I am that I have servants cleaning up after me. I was raised to take care of my stuff. I think, when did I get so busy and important that I can't keep my bathroom clean. I think it is a really weird sense of false pride and/or cultural judgement on my part. I know people who hire housekeepers and I occasionally think (to myself), get off your ass and do it yourself. I seriously don't know what it is about me that I would consider it a personal failure if I needed someone else to clean my house (man, spelling it out like this... I got issues, you guys).

But... I come to chit chat and see all the TV shows you guys watch and the video games you play, and the boardgames you play, and the books you read and I'm always thinking "why does EVERYONE have more disposable time than I?"

So, I am thinking maybe I should get my ass of my snobby high horse and hire a housekeeper (then again, it just feels snobby to hire someone--what do you do when they come over? Just go, yeah, I'm not up for taking care of my stuff. I've got other things to do. I dunno, I can't quite articulate my reservations about it.)
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StatSig wrote:

-Dishes every night, period. (MAYBE an exception after a really late game night or something when I'll do 'em first thing in the morning.)

There have been many times after a party where I'm kinda tipsy (or even worse for wear) and everyone has left and it's 2am and I'm cleaning the kitchen... and a quick run of the vacuum before bed.

I just can't handle waking up to a messy kitchen. No matter how late it is or how I feel, 15-20 minutes now is worth it, because I'm going to be dragging tomorrow.
 
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With me, it's both (a) we can't afford it and (b) I'm too working class to even consider hiring someone to clean up for me.

I do get neurotic about the cleaning. Every now and then I start looking around and I see mess and jumble everywhere and I have a quiet freakout and start trying to do everything at once. The house is not actually a mess, I know that. It's tidier than most of my friends' places, depsite the small child and the cat. But when I get wound up about it I just see the flaws.
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I totally understand the weird feelings of snobbishness and "what do I do when they come over." Ours come on my one work-at-home day per week, so at least I can say, "Well, I'm working, not just sleeping or playing video games while they work," but, frankly, it's their job. In the end, I think it's no more snobbish than, say, expecting the server to refill your drink for you at a restaurant. It just feels worse because I think we've been taught that house-cleaning is kind of a shameful secret and that we're supposed to pretend that our house always looks good.

I think what started it, for me, was starting to hire out repair work. There just came a point where Ruth and I would look at something like new doors that needed to be installed and say, "You know what? It feels worth $X per hour to have someone else do this for me, because I know how frustrating it is to do and we both have jobs and it's just tiring." From there, we just started kind of applying that formula to other things, including cleaning; here is the cost for a cleaner that isn't a shady Maids2Go sort of place. Here is the monthly cost. Is it worth that much to me to pretty much never have to vacuum again except as a spot-clean before a party? To never have to mop again? To not feel embarrassed when a friend drops by and I realize I haven't dusted in weeks? And the answer was pretty much a unreserved yes.

On the clutter thing: personally, we've found that having cleaners come does help us tidy our clutter a bit when we know they're coming. And, on the flip side... frankly, they're cleaners, and they know how to deal with clutter. Sometimes we have a room that hasn't been tidied, and they just clean around it, put things into nice stacks as they can, and carry on. They don't hate us for it (that I can tell?), they still do a good job. We held off on cleaners for awhile because of that reasoning, and then ended up deciding that the house would never be as de-cluttered as we'd like to feel comfortable having cleaners and if we were going to get them, we just needed to bite the bullet and do it.

That said, I totally appreciate where you're coming from and obviously don't presume to know what's best for you. Just giving examples of what it feels like on my side of the hiring-cleaners debate. I still have some middle-class guilt about it and even hesitated to mention it because I hate looking like the overprivilged white money dude who hires others to do his work for him (and, yes, we're going through a good company that pays well et al. but our cleaners are pretty uniformly Latino/a, which adds a whole extra layer of weird guilt issues to it). But I think it's honestly something that would do some (many?) people a lot of good if they can swing it.
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StatSig wrote:
(and, yes, we're going through a good company that pays well et al. but our cleaners are pretty uniformly Latino/a, which adds a whole extra layer of weird guilt issues to it)

I work at a university. There is one black guy I see on a regular basis at work. Guess what his job is?
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StatSig wrote:
I totally understand the weird feelings of snobbishness and "what do I do when they come over." Ours come on my one work-at-home day per week, so at least I can say, "Well, I'm working, not just sleeping or playing video games while they work," but, frankly, it's their job. In the end, I think it's no more snobbish than, say, expecting the server to refill your drink for you at a restaurant. It just feels worse because I think we've been taught that house-cleaning is kind of a shameful secret and that we're supposed to pretend that our house always looks good.

I think what started it, for me, was starting to hire out repair work. There just came a point where Ruth and I would look at something like new doors that needed to be installed and say, "You know what? It feels worth $X per hour to have someone else do this for me, because I know how frustrating it is to do and we both have jobs and it's just tiring." From there, we just started kind of applying that formula to other things, including cleaning; here is the cost for a cleaner that isn't a shady Maids2Go sort of place. Here is the monthly cost. Is it worth that much to me to pretty much never have to vacuum again except as a spot-clean before a party? To never have to mop again? To not feel embarrassed when a friend drops by and I realize I haven't dusted in weeks? And the answer was pretty much a unreserved yes.

On the clutter thing: personally, we've found that having cleaners come does help us tidy our clutter a bit when we know they're coming. And, on the flip side... frankly, they're cleaners, and they know how to deal with clutter. Sometimes we have a room that hasn't been tidied, and they just clean around it, put things into nice stacks as they can, and carry on. They don't hate us for it (that I can tell?), they still do a good job. We held off on cleaners for awhile because of that reasoning, and then ended up deciding that the house would never be as de-cluttered as we'd like to feel comfortable having cleaners and if we were going to get them, we just needed to bite the bullet and do it.

That said, I totally appreciate where you're coming from and obviously don't presume to know what's best for you. Just giving examples of what it feels like on my side of the hiring-cleaners debate. I still have some middle-class guilt about it and even hesitated to mention it because I hate looking like the overprivilged white money dude who hires others to do his work for him (and, yes, we're going through a good company that pays well et al. but our cleaners are pretty uniformly Latino/a, which adds a whole extra layer of weird guilt issues to it). But I think it's honestly something that would do some (many?) people a lot of good if they can swing it.

Thanks for this.

Though, it isn't so much class-guilt for me. I'm happy to hire someone to do something they want to be hired for. For me, it's an issue of pride (and I don't think I mean in a good way). It's more along the lines of maintaining the illusion of control. Proving to myself and to anyone who notices that I've got my shit together and I can do it all. Which is just the sort of ridiculous thinking that can make life a stressful mess. The result is often wasting time and effort swimming against the current to prove... what?

Mrs. Goo and I are going to have a talk about this. I mean the same things can be said about hiring gardeners and I eventually did that when things were hectic with my youngest daughter's medical issues. During those years, there was just no way I would have an afternoon to work in the yard. So, out of necessity and wanting to keep my house from becoming an eyesore, I got a gardener during that time. Now, I think, it was so ridiculous that I did not do it before.

I think it comes from thinking that my parents never did that. They worked hard, kept the house, took care of us, washed the cars, home cook meals every night. And I saw that go-get-em, hard working mentality of my parents take us from small houses in average neighborhoods to the more affluent community where we all live now. I have always been in awe of my parents and how they did it all and where they got us. I've never quite thought this much about these reservations and where they may have come from.

Stat and Goo:

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Gelatinous Goo wrote:
StatSig wrote:
jageroxorz wrote:
Gelatinous Goo wrote:
miraria wrote:
ChickenSedan wrote:
Work.

yup. and tonight? I'm cleaning the house.

I want to start a house cleaning subthread but I'm embarrassed to. I like comparing efficient strategies, overarching strategies, etc.

Keeping the house clean with kids running around and 2 working parents is very hard to do. I like talking tips and tricks.

Hire someone.

I hate to be the yuppy capitalist here, but I'm with Jage on this. Hiring bi-weekly house-cleaners has been one of the best things that I think Ruth and I have ever done for our mental well-being and relationship. Chores stress people out, and very few people like 'em. They're one of the main reasons of relationship distress, behind finances. We accepted going out to eat less to pay for housecleaners and it's made a world of difference. We still do some general tidying and whatnot, but all the vacuuming, mopping, dusting, etc. drudgery that never seems to get done is off our shoulders.


I've considered.

I did finally break down and hire gardeners (just for mow and blow). I put it off for years. My yard got to be a mess. I could never garden because working in the yard was mowing and weeding--we never got to do any fun gardening like planting). Finally, I broke down and asked around. My gardener charges me $60 a month. I can't believe I put it off for so long. Now, I never worry about it, it looks good, and it is way more affordable than I was expecting.

I've considered housekeepers, but here are my thoughts (/neuroses):

-Our biggest issue is clutter. If everything was put away all the time, then housekeepers make sense. I think, how can housekeepers really get to the bathrooms if my kids stuff is all over the counters. Then again, impending housekeeper day might get everyone to put there stuff away (you can probably tell from my tone that my stuff is almost always put away--I'm that guy in the house, everyone else is not).

-The neurosis is that I feel awkward needing to have someone clean my house. Not in a need for privacy kind of way. But in a who the hell do I think I am that I have servants cleaning up after me. I was raised to take care of my stuff. I think, when did I get so busy and important that I can't keep my bathroom clean. I think it is a really weird sense of false pride and/or cultural judgement on my part. I know people who hire housekeepers and I occasionally think (to myself), get off your ass and do it yourself. I seriously don't know what it is about me that I would consider it a personal failure if I needed someone else to clean my house (man, spelling it out like this... I got issues, you guys).

But... I come to chit chat and see all the TV shows you guys watch and the video games you play, and the boardgames you play, and the books you read and I'm always thinking "why does EVERYONE have more disposable time than I?"

So, I am thinking maybe I should get my ass of my snobby high horse and hire a housekeeper (then again, it just feels snobby to hire someone--what do you do when they come over? Just go, yeah, I'm not up for taking care of my stuff. I've got other things to do. I dunno, I can't quite articulate my reservations about it.)

I'm a little different on the how do i have time thing because it's just erin and me, i don't have kids in the mix. I don't know how to organize that much stuff.

Erin does the laundy on Sunday's. i do the dishes although not every night. We never make the bed. seriously? make beds? i do that if people are coming over and might walk by my bedroom. other than that. . . I don't get the need.

De-cluttering happens sporadically. Maybe I am just used to some clutter? The kitchen table gets de-cluttered for games, the living room gets de-cluttered for company. If someone drops by unexpectedly they will see mail on the table, laptops on the couch, and keys and movie cases on the coffee table. Just, well, we live here.

Erin takes care of the bathroom and shower in the basement and the half bath on the first floor. I take care of the full bathroom and tub on the second floor.

erin vacuums(my allergies-i hide for a few hours whenever he does it so we probably do this less than most people. vacuuming is AWFUL for me). Erin also does all the yard work but thats his choice. i hired yard people when i lived alone and he chose to have me stop that and take it over himself so I don't feel guilty that I don't participate. i am willing to pay someone to do that again at any time as long as I don't have to touch anything green.

As far as hiring someone for inside I grew up with a mom who was a first grade teacher and a dad who was a groundskeeper at the local community college. My mom reached a point where she was so stressed out by work and home that she hired someone to come in and dust, clean the bathrooms, vacuum and do the floors. My mom would always look at my brothers room and my room before she came over to work and she only vacuumed and dusted in our rooms if we had them clean. if we didn't we not only had to clean them, but then we were in charge of vacuuming and dusting them too.

I also know that she had a regular job and cleaned several houses to make extra money and i know that extra money meant a lot to her and her family. She is still friends with my mom to this day, even though she hasn't cleaned our house in years. If I could afford to hire someone to clean my house I would and I wouldn't feel any guilt about it. But I guess I look at it as it's their job, they need a job, they need work and money and it's their livelihood. maybe it also comes from the fact that I would clean other peoples houses for money in a heartbeat if I needed to and would be hoping people would hire me? I don't know what it is, but it wouldn't bother me at all.

In the end though, it's what's right for you and your family. I personally think that if hiring someone got you a little goo time, and or a little extra family time then it would be worth it. But it sounds like you also have ways to make cleaning a little family thing too.

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My wife's just found out she's got dust-mite allergies, so we're going to have to be a bit stricter about hoovering and dusting regularly.
 
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Gelatinous Goo wrote:
StatSig wrote:
jageroxorz wrote:
Gelatinous Goo wrote:
miraria wrote:
ChickenSedan wrote:
Work.

yup. and tonight? I'm cleaning the house.

I want to start a house cleaning subthread but I'm embarrassed to. I like comparing efficient strategies, overarching strategies, etc.

Keeping the house clean with kids running around and 2 working parents is very hard to do. I like talking tips and tricks.

Hire someone.

I hate to be the yuppy capitalist here, but I'm with Jage on this. Hiring bi-weekly house-cleaners has been one of the best things that I think Ruth and I have ever done for our mental well-being and relationship. Chores stress people out, and very few people like 'em. They're one of the main reasons of relationship distress, behind finances. We accepted going out to eat less to pay for housecleaners and it's made a world of difference. We still do some general tidying and whatnot, but all the vacuuming, mopping, dusting, etc. drudgery that never seems to get done is off our shoulders.


I've considered.

I did finally break down and hire gardeners (just for mow and blow). I put it off for years. My yard got to be a mess. I could never garden because working in the yard was mowing and weeding--we never got to do any fun gardening like planting). Finally, I broke down and asked around. My gardener charges me $60 a month. I can't believe I put it off for so long. Now, I never worry about it, it looks good, and it is way more affordable than I was expecting.

I've considered housekeepers, but here are my thoughts (/neuroses):

-Our biggest issue is clutter. If everything was put away all the time, then housekeepers make sense. I think, how can housekeepers really get to the bathrooms if my kids stuff is all over the counters. Then again, impending housekeeper day might get everyone to put there stuff away (you can probably tell from my tone that my stuff is almost always put away--I'm that guy in the house, everyone else is not).

-The neurosis is that I feel awkward needing to have someone clean my house. Not in a need for privacy kind of way. But in a who the hell do I think I am that I have servants cleaning up after me. I was raised to take care of my stuff. I think, when did I get so busy and important that I can't keep my bathroom clean. I think it is a really weird sense of false pride and/or cultural judgement on my part. I know people who hire housekeepers and I occasionally think (to myself), get off your ass and do it yourself. I seriously don't know what it is about me that I would consider it a personal failure if I needed someone else to clean my house (man, spelling it out like this... I got issues, you guys).

But... I come to chit chat and see all the TV shows you guys watch and the video games you play, and the boardgames you play, and the books you read and I'm always thinking "why does EVERYONE have more disposable time than I?"

So, I am thinking maybe I should get my ass of my snobby high horse and hire a housekeeper (then again, it just feels snobby to hire someone--what do you do when they come over? Just go, yeah, I'm not up for taking care of my stuff. I've got other things to do. I dunno, I can't quite articulate my reservations about it.)


It really depends on your housekeeper.

1. Clutter: My parents had a housekeeper after I moved away in college. Before the house-cleaning day, you clean up all the clutter. It makes you keep the house clutter-free, and you don't have to do all the mopping and scrubbing.

2. The way I see it: You have two working spouses. It's really a matter of how much value you put on your time.

If I make $x an hour at work, and I can pay someone $x-y an hour to clean my house, I'm basically "saving" $y an hour by hiring someone. (Since I need time to relax, etc.) It's fake saving, but it kinda works in my head. Don't think of it as "you're too lazy to clean your own house", but more like "There are things I'd rather be doing, and I'm willing to spend money to have more time to do them".

Like, you only have so many hours in life, man. If instead of eating out once or twice a month I can pay someone to come and clean my house every 2 weeks, saving me what, 3-4 hours a week, that's a no-brainer to me. That's time I'm never gonna get back if I spend it cleaning.
 
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We've been told from friends that we're "the laid back couple"... that's probably true.

Our overall cleaning plan is: if it annoys you, take care of it.

Myself, I'm the organizer. I hate clutter. Thus, I'm often the one rounding up the kids for a big pick-up session, or picking up the odds and ends in the evening.

My wife often needs things clean. So she'll be the one that gets the mop out first or puts the eldest on dish duty.

Now, we both know this about each other, so we do often help with the other's annoyances to keep the house happier. We also go into work-mode before having guests over and both put in some time to make sure everything is cleaned and tidy.

But we both have hard days where we don't want to do things. So we don't. We sweep a clear spot of toys off of the couch and enjoy our favorite shows together, or spend some time playing games with the kids. Ten years from now, it won't matter that the house wasn't clean every day.

I suspect that many of those with lots of free time haven't given birth to little entropy engines.
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