How do you manage household cleaning?

When I retired, for the first time in my adult life, I was to become, potentially, a happy homemaker. My plan was to make a cleaning schedule so that I’d have a little to do each day without having to go crazy. Yeah, that happened… :rolleyes:

So, in an effort to avoid some chores right now, I’m going to make a poll. How do you keep your abode from devolving into a super-fund site?


A mixture of “there are some things which have to be done in certain days” (if I have a job, laundry has to be on the weekends due to time constraints) and “do as you go”.

If I have a snack outside the kitchen, the resulting containers / dirty spoon / trash get put in their proper places and/or washed the next time I’ve got to go in that direction and my hands aren’t full. Drives my mother crazy that if I’m in her living room and she calls me from her bedroom (on the other end of a U-shaped flat, with the kitchen at the curve), I’ll grab whatever candy wrappers she’s left near her armchair and stop by the kitchen to bin them; drives me crazy to walk into her living room or her office and see a pile of candy wrappers…

Cleaning the bathroom, what’s that? Unless there’s been a broken bottle of shampoo or some such, the shower and basin get left clean any time I use them; the tile floor gets washed when the kitchen’s does (or, in my mother’s all-tiled house, whenever the floor does); the bowl gets some occasional love from the duck-shaped bottle.

There’s still corners which need to get Big Cleaning treatments - but those tend to consist of “oh noes, a dust bunny! where did that dust bunny come from? AHA!” and moving up a bunch of cables which normally don’t get moved when I wipe the floor.

Mind you: I live by myself in a place most Americans would find tiny, the furnishings have generally been chosen with “easy cleaning” in mind, the rugs are bamboo (I can roll them up and shower them, as I did after the bricklayer left drops of concrete all over them) and the floors are parquet or tile.

My husband and I split the chores, pretty much. I write the grocery list, he does the grocery shopping, I cook dinner every night, he cleans the kitchen every day. We alternate weekends for laundry, though we each help with folding. I clean the bathroom when it needs it, and I handle all cat-related duties because that was the agreement when I got the cat six years ago.

This works well for us, because you don’t have that diffusion of responsibility that comes from that naive, “Oh, we’ll just clean up when necessary.” If the bathroom gets dirty, it’s clearly and totally my fault. If the kitchen gets crazy, it’s clearly and totally his fault.

Sr. Olives is a very clean person, and I’m… not. I’m no hoarder, but I definitely tend to collect clutter. He calls me Shiva the Destroyer. He’s managed to train me quite well over the years, so my mess tends to be limited to certain areas of the house, such as the end table next to my side of the couch. I make my best effort to keep it from getting too ridiculous. He’s a very patient man.

My mother told me when I was 16 years old and she went back to work that if I ever worked full-time, I should take part of the money I made and get a cleaning lady, because I shouldn’t have to spend my days off cleaning the house. That was some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

Once a month is minimum, once every two weeks is ideal for me. Mr. Athena differs; he wants someone once a week, so as long as we can afford it, we get someone once a week.

Money VERY well spent IMO. For various reasons (one of which was to see if it really was as much work as we thought it was) we did it ourselves for about 6 months last year, dividing up the duties and doing them with regularity. Blech. I’ll gladly give up other non-essentials if I never have to clean a shower ever again.

In a word: haphazardly. One of these days I’m going to hire a cleaner.

Over the years, we’ve had cleaning services at various times, and honestly, apart from scrubbing the bathroom, which I hate, they only did an OK job. Seems to me if they can’t be bothered to slide a wooden rocking chair out of the way so they can vacuum, I don’t need to be paying for their services. I don’t expect couches to be moved, but small tables and chairs can be slid easily…

Anyway, I didn’t accomplish creating my schedule, but I try to keep the mess down, and the kitchen is kept clean. Dusting mostly happens when company is coming - that’s my second most hated chore after scrubbing the shower.

There are a few things that have to be attended to regularly to make life comfortable. Kitchen cleanup happens every night and clothes, sheets, and towels are washed once a week on certain days. Grocery shopping is a certain afternoon of the week.

Everything else happens when it’s needed, mostly on the two mornings a week that our daughter is in daycare.

I speak of my bachelor days, not current married life. I cannot keep up with my wife’s inherent talent for clutter and chaos.

When I was by myself, I followed my mother’s training, and did lots of little chores constantly, so when I got around to my designated Saturday morning chore time, just about all I had to do was my laundry and sweep the carpet. My mother was the type that did a deep cleaning just before we left for a vacation so that should she die while we were gone, nobody would see her ‘dirty’ house.

Married life: the house gets cleaned prior to a major event, such as my son’s arrival for a visit next weekend. Any other time, her sewing clutter consumes all available space in every possible room except the bathroom and my inner mancave (both are the smallest rooms of the house. Seriously) Any other time, something gets cleaned whenever I get tired of it being dirty, such as the kitchen or bathroom.

I’m somewhere between 2 and 3 up there. I tend to do some things on certain days - laundy, litter box, shit like that. And every once in a while I’ll take a look around and notice that the bathroom really needs to be cleaned, so I’ll do it.

But, yeah, a lot of the time it’s, “Hey, let’s hang out at your place.” “Alright, give me about an hour, kay?”

Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. :slight_smile:

Laundry might happen on any Mon thru Sat, but is always churning on Sundays.

We generally keep the house nice, but no one is obsessing. Sure, company coming over = ramp up the efforts.

I started by setting Sunday as “cleaning day.” It’s the day before the garbage man comes so I do a sweep through the house and first grab everything that should be tossed out. This includes decluttering, like throwing out catalogs and magazines.

Then I clean the kitchen and start laundry, then sweep through rooms and make sure to return displaced items to their appropriate locations. Finally, clean bathroom and vacuum.

Now I still do a Sunday sweep but I prefer to keep up by working on things during the week as I notice them. I try harder to put dishes in the dishwasher ASAP and do laundry as soon as I have a load and keep the sink and counters clean every day. I try to declutter and clean up about 10 minutes every night before bed.

Every six months I do a major purge of my possessions and take stuff to goodwill. I have really pared down and have much less stuff to cause clutter.

Had to train myself to keep on top of it because I am a natural slob. Now people think I’m super neat and organized, but it’s all learned.

I had a point a few years ago where I got really depressed, and busy with work, and my house got quite messy (for me and my parents’ tastes) so I had to have my parents come help me clean my house one weekend. It was embarrassing.

Then after that, I was in a situation where I had a friend living with me rent-free, and it was his job to clean. He kept the kitchen tidy and vacuumed, dusted and did the bathroom once a week. This was ok but I did a lot of work keeping everything clean so he wouldn’t have to “clean up after me” because that would be embarrassing. I also hated that he would take HOURS to clean and I had to hole myself in my own house up waiting for him to be done.

Now I’m living by myself again and I am so happy that I’m free of roommate nonsense that I love cleaning and I spend a lot of time on it. During the week I keep the kitchen as clean as possible every night. If the dining room table gets too cluttered, I’ll tidy it. Then on Saturdays I do the vacuuming, dusting and bathroom. Every couple weeks I clean my room (there’s not much going on in there) and once a month or so I’ll dust and vacuum my home office. And clean the shower.

Until I became unemployed, I happily paid through the nose to have someone come in once a week to clean for me. Of course, that was one of the first things to go along with my job. Generally we go in spurts. When something really starts to bother either me or my husband or both of us, we’ll clean like mad to address that specific issue, such as paper, paper everywhere. Then we’ll get lax, then something else bothers us.

Plus, I feel more of a sense of urgency with some things than with others. And as I’m the one who does most of the cleaning, I tend to focus on what’s important to me. Clean laundry folded neatly in the family room = no big deal. Papers on the kitchen table = moderately ok unless they start to take over and we have to do too much reshuffling to eat together. When things get really bad or we have guests, we’ll do something about it. However, a dirty kitchen is not ok. Dirty bathrooms (especially the kids’ bathroom, where my son tends to pee everywhere) are absolutely not acceptable. We also vacuum one room or area every day or so to keep up with it, and also because I’m the only one in the house who doesn’t have terrible allergies.

I used to think people who had Clorox wipes were being wasteful and ridiculous until my son started to potty train. Now they’re in every bathroom and I use them three or more times a week to wipe down toilets, sinks and even floors.

My apartment is ridiculous.

I like to keep grossness at bay, so I clean the kitchen and bathroom regularly, take out the garbage, and etc filth-thwarting measures, but in terms of tidiness, my place is somewhat of a joke. It is prone to having clothes lying around, mountains of papers on my kitchen table (for reasons unknown), shoes left wherever I happened to take them off, only only to be moved when it’s time for me to put them back on. When company comes over, those clothes seem to find their way into my dresser, papers in the trash (they’re never important, so I just set them on the table and never revisit them), the shoes find my closet, then I sweep some.

I wish I were tidier, but I’m a [del]lazy[/del] busy woman.

Whenever things get bad. I tend to do laundry about every other week, although lately I haven’t been keeping up with it. Wash dishes about once a week (no dishwasher), although I should do it more often. Vacuum, um…

If I’m having guests over I try to clean and pick up.

Somebody comes in twice a month to do the floors, dusting, and bathrooms. I do everything else, including touching up the floors, dusting, and bathrooms, as needed. Since I don’t have to pound the clothes on a rock down by the stream, I do laundry whenever I have a load including Christmas Day. I am afraid I have pack rat tendencies, so it would upset me no end but secretly thrill me if someone would come into my house while I was gone and get rid of every stack of paper piled on every flat surface.

Panic cleaning when someone is coming and God forbid someone drop by unannounced; we’re screwed. We need at least a day’s notice and it will take that whole day.

The toilets are kept clean weekly, and laundry is done weekly, but the dust and cobwebs everywhere and dirty windows (dog nose prints) are the worst.

Same here. Time off is precious, so as long as we can afford it, we’ll have a housekeeper.

Dishes: done daily.
Sinks and counters: wiped down daily.
Laundry: done weekly.
Change sheets: bimonthly.

After that everything else can be done at your discretion. I’d say I “dust” using a Swiffer about once a month, when I start seeing too much and it bothers me. I probably vacuum about once a month, too. I don’t mind clutter to a point, but when it gets bad, I’ll put in an episode of a show I like and spend 40 minutes picking up the clutter and organizing it. 40 minutes is almost always enough, so it’s never that cluttered.

About once every quarter I do a “complete” cleaning of each room, like top to bottom.

I have no kids and no roaming pets, so take the advice with a grain of salt.

ETA: My SO is definitely messier than I am, but he cleans the bathroom, so I bite my tongue as much as possible. I do constantly pare and give stuff to Goodwill. He’s gotten better about it, but his shirt quantity is insane and he has about 4x as many clothes as I do. It’s crazy.

We have someone who cleans, but per my gf we have to “tidy up” the day before she comes. I guess this makes sense, since the cleaning ladies’ time is used more efficiently.