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I am so frustrated! I live in a 2 bedroom apartment (paying off debt and dreaming of buying a house) and I can't even seem to keep this place clean. I'm thinking if I could just get myself into some sort of pattern that I would be able to stay on top of it all. I'm looking for any suggestions or tried-and-true-tips that you guys may have - I'd even go for a cleaning list!

I've tried a few things so far that have been helping -

I do all dishes each night before I go to bed. I find if I skip even one night then they dishes seem to start reproducing

I try to go through all paperwork daily (mail and bills, etc.)

I try to clean out the fridge (throw out anything out of date and clean all tupperware containing leftovers) every time before we get a new load of groceries. And then I'll wipe down the inside as needed.

I also try to dust before vacuuming

But that's about as good as my cleaning tips are. My question is do you guys dust every day? And how often do you vacuum? Unfortunately every inch of this apartment is carpeted (including kitchen and bathroom which sucks) so I never have to mop floors. Do you clean your bathroom (tub, toliet, etc.) weekly or every 2 weeks? How about a top to bottom cleaning of your kitchen? And truth be told I've never cleaned the oven - I need to really do that. I tend to forget about my mirrors and windows until I see fingerprints. And I try to go no more than 2 weeks before I wash all of the bed linens. But what about curtains? How often do you taken those down to wash? And is wiping down the woodwork and walls more of a monthly or seasonal (spring/fall) cleaning task?

I'd also like to learn more about making my own more natual cleaning supplies like using baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.

I do have one tip for the microwave now that I think of it. You use 1/3 cup vinegar in a bowl full of water. You heat until the microwave is nice and steamy. Then everything - even the most crusty of gook - wipes off like a dream. You do have to leave the microwave door open for a minute before you start to wipe though b/c the smell is a bit overwhelming.

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You're doing a better job than we are, and we have 3 kids!

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Remember ladies, dust is a protective covering........

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sounds like you are 'normal' :ohyeah:

one thing i do is tidy the lounge room and my craft room before i go to bed...its nice to start the next day all tidy :dog: and i do try and totally 'do' one room a week top to bottom while i skim over the others...mind you this only works cos i have a tiny house...its 4 bedrooms but very small :p

hmmmmm having said all that...i havent done anything for 2 days now.....after all its 'spring fling' time, only 8 weeks to get it done and counting :lol:

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and i do try and totally 'do' one room a week top to bottom while i skim over the others...

Okay, I'm liking the one room a week idea - while still doing my normal straightening up in the other rooms. I could do bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, living room and that way everything gets a good cleaning monthly. The only other room left is the 2nd bedroom - which we call the Turtle Room b/c that's where the aquarium is, but it also houses the computer, David's weight bench, and now all of my hobby stuff (dollhouse, minis, scrapbooking supplies, and whatever new thing I'm trying.) It's probably the most used room in the house so I'll probably have to work it in anyway.

I'm going to sit down and make myself a list so we'll see how that turns out.

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What's house-cleaning??? :lol: I would think I was in the wrong house if I didn't walk thru total chaos everyday :dog:

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Well, I used to be such a clean freak it was horrible but I have gotten way better as I age. However, I scrub the master bathroom once a week from top to bottom. I wash and change bed linens once a week. I dust once a week. The kitchen is cleaned every day except for mopping. I vacuum once a week and I have a steam mop which I use on all floors except carpeting once a week.

Baseboards and carpets are cleaned twice a year.

And house is generally picked up every day because I cannot stand clutter or to have something out of place.

I would love to be able to not clean so much but it literally makes me nervous to have a dirty house. I get all fidgety when I visit my sister because she has a messy house big time, not dirty, just extreme clutter. I always threaten to clean it up and throw that crap out. :lol:

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I used to be a clean freak too but I have given that up because it consumed all of my time and energy. Think of it this way. If someone was going to show up unexpectedly to your home, which rooms would you WANT to have clean at their arrival? For me, that would be the rooms that they would most likely go in...the livingroom, the diningroom, the kitchen, and the downstairs bathroom. So I make sure those rooms are tidy at all times.

You are doing a really good job as it is. When I wake up more..coffee is brewing..I will think of tips and hints from my past..LOL

But I have a question for you.. Is Better Homes and Gardens coming over to take pictures for their next issue? If they are not, dont sweat the small stuff. Unless you have a picky MIL or Mother for that matter and she is coming over to visit..you are doing fine.

Off to get coff-ay!

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I am compulsive about some things. Dusting everyday is a bit extreme, and we are lucky that this house is pretty tight, so it doesn't get really dusty. I do have to clean the bathrooms, I can't handle a dirty bathroom or kitchen.

Curtains get it maybe twice a year, throws and afghans regularly because the dogs lay on them on the sofa and they smell doggie!

My big problem is with clutter and trash on the floor. Everything has to be where it belongs, and newspapers on the floor drive me crazy-I can just see the ink seeping into my light colored carpet! And everyone knows better than to leave one on upholstery! I also hate dirty dishes in the living room, but everyone around here knows better than to try that!!

The obsession with clutter and trash is driving me crazy right now-I don't even go in the part of the house where my DIL lives or we would come to blows. How can anyone live with so much trash and laundry on the floor that you can't see the floor?? The kids' toys are a normal part of life and don't count as clutter. 6 old Sonic cups sitting on the window seat do.

My only suggestion? Put things up when you are finished with them-only takes a second and saves a lot of work later on. There may be dust on the mantle, but people won't notice that like they do a Sonic cup collection on the end table!

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Ahhh! Blessed java beans.

-I would do laundry every day. I do not know how many people are in your home but if you can do one load of laundry a day, then it will not stack up. If you have to go to the laundramat, do it on a Sunday morning. No one is there. Take hubby with you. Fred and I would have the greatest two hours just sitting there and talking while we washed the family`s clothes.

- If dishes are you nemeisis, try to wash them after every meal. That way YOUR kitchen will not look like MY kitchen right now. Every single solitary cup and glass is dirty right now....I have had a busy week. Soak pans overnight and wash in the morning.

- I clean certain things every six months. Ceiling fans, windows (inside and outside), curtains, walls, pictures, baseboard heaters, baseboards, pantry shelves, etc. They get cleaned in September before I cover the windows for winter and in March/April after I take the plastic off windows. That is my schedule for those things.

-I have a dog and two cats so I vacuum every other day and mop floors once a week. We live in a 100+ yr old Colonial, we have animals, and we live near I-95..so dust is an issue in our house. I dust tvs and tables once a week. Everything else gets a once over once a month if I think about it. But I keep on top of it cause it can get really bad. I have to even dust my plants. I sweep and wash the staircase once a month.

-Throw rugs usually get washed every couple months but sometimes more in certain seasons..like it is muddy now so they will get washed more.

- Every month take a long dust thingy and walk around the house and get all the dusties that hang from the ceiling. Takes no time at all.

-Comforters get washed once every two months unless someone has been sick.

Clean your fridge as spills accumulate and do a thorough cleaning once every month or so..You really do not have to go crazy about it unless your family is like mine and looks like science experiments are growing in there. Take everything off the door and spray it down with vinegar and hot water. Close the door. Wash the outside of the fridge while that marinates. Clean the door, clean all the bottles, and put back. Start taking racks out one by one (closing door) and wash each rack one at a time and put aside. When the fridge is completely empty, spray it down with vinegar and hot water. Close door and wait 10 min. If you have perishables you can put them in a cooler but you really do not have to. Think about it. How long does your food stay in your car from the store to your house? Your food will be fine.

Then scrub out the ickies, wipe down dry, put your racks back in, put your food back in..this is your chance to toss anything you havent used in ages..like those capers..LOL And the marvel and the glorious clean fridge...Until the next time.

Wow I wrote a book! Swiffer is your friend..even the knock off brand. You can use vinegar, lemons,and baking soda to clean.

It does not have to be perfect 100% of the time. I did that for many years. You could have put a pizza on my kitchen floor to eat. That is how clean I kept my house. I decided that I was missing out on alot of stuff by following my Mother`s suggestions. She was a 1940s housewife and she had a rigid schedule for cleaning. They also say that kids that are brought up in a house that is not super clean, do not get sick as much. Something to do with building their immune systems.

-Oh Bathrooms! Sinks washed every other day, toilets once a week, tubs once a week or once every two weeks..matters on how dirty family has been. When you want to wash mirrors and glass, do it all at the same time! Do not get side tracked by the hair in the bathroom sink. Just walk around and do all the glass and mirrors.

-Gotta keep your mindset on stuff like that. Like if you want to pick up trash around the house (waste baskets, on the floor, under the bed)..walk around with a garbage bag and JUST DO THAT. You will keep up with stuff more when you keep it at one task at a time.

Okay...Now I am done..ROFL

Oops I forgot.. I am not done. Check out this website.. FlyLady. She has some good tips.

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Deep cleaning??? :lol: Oh you were serious. Right?? Living in the country, on a gravel road, with a dirt driveway and no sidewalks the grit that gets tracked in is great and to top it off a wood stove I gave up on deep cleaning years ago. But since I like a house that is fairly tidy home I do my daily routine. I sweep the kitchen daily. Sometimes the kitchen gets swept twice a day depending on what has gotten tracked in. Dusting is done when I have time, or I know company is coming or when I am very bored (this is rare). Kitchen/bath/stiars to upstairs are moped every two weeks. Bathroom sink is cleaned out daily, toilet weekly or as needed during the week. Tub/shower is once every two weeks or so or as needed. Fridge is checked weekly and those un identified leftovers tossed. Spills are wiped up as occur and about once every 2 months I wash it out. Dishes are supposed to be washed every evening, but that depends on how much time I have. If I can't wash them, they get scraped and rinsed. Garbage is removed daily. I try to keep ahead of spills on counters and finger prints on cabinet doors. When I am cooking a meal I keep a pan of hot sudsy water read and wipe as I got. Living room gets picked up everyday and vacuumed weekly or as company is coming. Bedroom is kept picked up daily. Laundry is done as needed, full loads. I wash windows in the fall, before the plastic is put on. I use a swifter duster on long handle and remove cobwebs about once a month. I used to keep the house spotless, but I find I have many more enjoyable things to do in life than clean. Rita

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I used to keep my house spotless and stress over every little mess than I gave up. But even though my house is a mess I am having more fun than I did. I think when you have a little apartment it is more irritating because even the littlest mess seems like it takes over. I remember those days. But someday when you get a house you'll have lots of room to spread the mess around. :lol:

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Nice to know that I am not alone in having a messy house - clutter, clutter everywhere!

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Clean house? What is that? I sweep my floors daily (I have all hardwood floors) and the dishes are done. There is lots of clutter but it is mostly my kids toys. Right now of course there is more boxes of stuff as I am also packing up the house to move soon. My husband gets mad because he says that it is not clean enough. But I just tell him to do it himself if he wants it any better. I mop the floors once a week. And usually as soon as I mop the floors, my husband walks across them in his dirty work boots. Or my kids will walk across them in muddy shoes. My house looks lived in but not terribly messy.

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Personally, I think housecleaning is a pain in the butt! However, it has to be done. I like my house CLEAN...but I'm not a fanatic. I change sheets Saturday morning religiously. Laundry is done Saturday or Sunday (since there is just the two of us, that works fine), master bath once a week, dusting every other week (very little dust down here in FL), floors and carpets are vacuumed once a week, all tile floors (90% of house) are mopped every other week, guest bath every other week (barely used). The dishes are done as they are used, counters are wiped after every use. Once a month I clear the counters off and do a thorough cleaning including appliances. Garage is swept out periodically, porch is hosed down once a month or so. Vertical blinds are wiped down as needed. Windows are washed as needed, inside and out. 

Like I said, major pain in the butt!

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Housecleaning??? I don't think I know what that means...?? :thumb:

Oh yeah..I remember. When I was growing up my mother had this absolutely unbreakable routine of housecleaning. Now mind you, we lived in a very large house. She was a widow with 3 kids. The house always looked like a museum -- spotless, dustless, shiny everywhere. We kids were trained from infancy on to never get anything dirty, including ourselves. Each day of the week had chores assigned to it, and nothing would get in the way of that schedule. School events, parent-teacher conferences, graduations, birthdays, nothing was done if it couldn't be worked around the schedule. If it was THURSDAY, then the upstairs got cleaned; Friday was for the downstairs; Saturday was laundry (and we didn't have any sort of washing machine; this was all done by hand, hung out to dry, ironed..all day, late into the night if necessary); Sunday was sort of a "free day" -- church and visiting the cemetary; Monday was... and so on. She didn't attend either my high school or college graduation ceremonies because one occurred on Friday, one occurred on Thursday, and those were her two busiest days, cleaning. We scheduled our wedding for Saturday afternoon. By the time we married, us 3 kids had moved out. Good thing, because she nearly didn't make our wedding because she was busy ironing her clothes, and would not let them go until the next day...

Cleaning meant everything got cleaned. If you were "cleaning the upstairs" that meant that every inch of every surface got dusted, wiped, washed, polished, whatever was appropriate for that surface, including woodwork, baseboards, mirrors, dusting, lightbulbs, ceiling lights, whatever. Same with the downstairs. Sheets were changed weekly. "Cleaning downstairs" meant that not only were the "formal rooms" thoroughly cleaned like above, but the kitchen was also sanitized, the refrigerator thoroughly cleaned, the oven cleaned, etc. Curtains were taken down and washed twice a year, as were the windows.

On every day every dish got washed immediately upon use; things didn't even wait until the end of the day. If all you had was a cup of coffee, then the cup got washed when you drank the last drop. On every day both bathroom sinks and toilets got cleaned. The tub got cleaned on Thursday (it was upstairs; see above). Beds got made the instant we got out of them. Clothes were put in drawers or the closet, (or in a hamper if dirty) never on the floor.

Well, you get the idea. A "clean freak" if there ever was one. ME? I do try to wash dishes once a day. We tend to eat out in the evening, so usually after lunch I'll wash whatever dishes we've used, and then wipe off the counters, stove front, refrigerator front, stove top. And I clean the bathrooms at least once a week, sometimes more often. The bed linens get changed one a week, bath linens "as needed" but at least once a week. Only rarely does the bed actually get made. I usually just fluff up the pillows and pull up the comforter. But otherwise -- with my husband the "king of the clutterbugs", our tendency to get deeply involved in our various hobbies -- like I spent the morning putty-ing my Tennyson, and four lovely but always-shedding cats...

dust, cat fur, clutter are all part of life around here. Along with sawdust, putty dust, metal shavings (from my husband's main hobby), books and newspapers stacked everywhere in "states of being read", more clutter...

so no, I don't clean. I clean "as needed". I don't have any sort of routine, except the dishwashing and wiping down thing, but nothing rigid. Dustbunnies as big as cats could be found under the bed. The woodwork gets wiped down whenever my husband gets around to mopping the floors, or when I get around to vacuuming the carpet in the rest of the house -- maybe once a week, but often less than that.

Every once in awhile I'll get into the "cleaning mode" and thoroughly wash down kitchen cabinets, or clean drawers, or wipe down walls in the hall that get smudged all the time, or.... But that's pretty darned rare.

I've been to lots of funerals over the years. My mother's funeral was the only one where someone commented, "She kept a really clean house!!" Such a comment would never occur to anyone at my wake! But then, I think I'm having a heck of a lot more fun... :)

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I just dropped in for a minute, I'll have to check back and read this thread.

The reason I stopped to post is, guess what? I copied out all the odds and ends of various cleaning tips i found over the years and put them in a binder so I could actually find them when faced with a cleaning dilemma.

My new binder is going to be my own version of a rolltop desk.

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My house is always in a state of clutter. But with a 39 year old son that lives at home and is always going in and out the back door I gave up trying to be a neat freak. The country we live in is dusty and you learn to live with it. So I pick up and vacmun the rugs every day. But we have two dogs and 5 cats and a couple of mini horses that come in the house when the back door is open and they are in the back yard. And I just feel better if I run the vacnum cleaner over the floor every day.

I do wash once a week and heavy laundry on saturdays if I can hang it out. Really don't like to use the dryer.As for dusting we have a gravel drive way and a dirt road that runs behind the house so keep the tv and computer screen clean the rest gets dustied when you can write your name in as the kids say.

Every thing else gets done as need after all I can find a house to work on. :thumb: :)

Cayrol

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I've decided that any guest that checks under my sofa for dustbunnies doesn't need to be invited again! And if they get offended at dog hair, then they need to get out of the dog's place on the sofa.

I used to justify not cleaning by saying that with a full time job, I don't have time. But the fact is that during summer vacation...I don't make time either! Life is too short to spend with your head in the fridge looking for dirty spots.

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Somebody once came to visit and was about to sit down on my couch (which doubles as the cat's bed)..and commented, "Oh! There's cat hair on here!!" To which I commented, "That's why they call it FURniture..." :thumb:

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I've decided that 'clean' is overrated. I'm aiming for 'sanitary' and that's good enough for me.

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Clean enough so the health department does not put a sticker on the front door!

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You beat me to it! As long as the ASPCA doesn't come after my dogs, it's clean enough.

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Anne's description of her mother's cleaning regimen is the way my husband thinks I should clean. He was raised that way and thinks it's normal.

I absolutely hate to clean, and prefer to live in a sort of controlled havoc, but I do try to keep abreast of things, and my cleaning schedule sounds pretty much the norm from reading this thread.

Lately, when I'm busy handling my side of NEM, DH has been cleaning up in the kitchen. This would be just wonderful, but he always ends up telling me how he's been slaving away cleaning up my filthy kitchen. My kitchen is NOT filthy, and if certain people would use just one or two drinking glasses during the day instead of littering the counters with them it would make a HUGE difference. I use one glass all day long, DH and sonny boy go through the other 11to 15. They just litter...litter..litter.

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