Help! I'm a slob and lazy

Ok, I coming to the end of my rope. I realize now that I am lazy and a slob. My husband and I really only fight about the messy house we have. You see I work full-time outside of the home and my dh is the stay-at-home parent. He does a great job with the kids and he tries to keep the house clean and tidy but it’s not exactly his strong point. I’m worse. I grew up with a sahm who did everything for her kids from make their beds to do our laundry even when we were out of high-school. Us kids never had any chores - not a single one. When I moved out I had to have someone show me how to use a washer/dryer and I vaccuumed for the first time at 19. So here I am with a family of three young kids and one on the way. When I get home from work I want to do nothing but just relax with the kids and dh. I know I expect too much from dh. He does the laundry, dishes and most of the other household chores. To help us out I convinced him to hire cleaning ladies to come twice a month to wash floors, clean the bathrooms and kitchen, etc. But we’ve had to send them home a few times because the house was so disorganzied that they would not be able to do anything (kitchen counters were cluttered with dirty dishes, magazines, mail, etc, living room floor full of toys). Nobody can come to my house, open up the fridge and help themselves to food because we have left-overs in there that are weeks old. Even at work I can’t take any co-workers in my car for lunch because it’s full of fast-food wrappers and food that the kids partially ate and then managed to drop on the floor - really gross I know. Now we don’t have bugs or anything really bad like that but most people would not be comfortable in my home (even if they could find a chair without magazines or toys to sit on). In the summer, our lawn is a joke as we only get out to cut it maybe 3 times. We cut back this fall on all the activities we had the kids in so we are home more, but that doesn’t seem to be helping.

How can I get started in gaining control and breaking out of my laziness? What do you suggest a messy, disorganized family do to get things under control? I really need help because I see my bad habits starting to come out in my kids (they rarely pick-up their toys no matter how much we tell them and they throw their clothes on the floor wherever they decide to take them off). Please, I need help now!!!

this is an awesome site and if you just follow her advice it will make all the difference…
i just started maybe 3 weeks ago and now my house and car is so good that i am not ashamed at all of anyone coming at anytime… infact i now do it all thetime and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction…
hope it helps you out too…

Gosh you sound like you had my mother:D

It has taken me a long time. I don’t know how old your children are but you need to get them to do things around the house. We started one child washing dishes at age three. Give them each jobs that they can do. Clean as you go. You use a measuring cup if you are through don’t put it down wash it and put it away.
It has taken me a long time and it isn’t easy when you have children. You will be doing your children a huge favor if they know how to keep house.

My kids are basically 6, 4 and 2. I know we have to start giving them chores and being consistent. We’ll start immediately. We have always had this messy/slob problem, even when it was just dh and I in a small apartment. It’s only gotten worse with all the laundry, dishes, toys and pets. I’m going to check out that flylady website and I hope to get some pointers.

Just a quick question, what do you do with kitchen recyclable waste. I find our counter piles up after one day with the plastic items and paper items for recycling. I’m looking for some kind of handy bins I can keep in the kitchen but then it’ll probably just pile up and overflow. Also, I have never ever cleaned my oven and fridge (we’ve had them six years). Any tips on what to use to clean them and how often should they be cleaned? Gosh, I’m pathetic eh?

Oh and one more thing, I have boxes of my wedding pictures as well as the pictures of my children’s lives - sad but my house doesn’t have a single picture of any of my children on the walls and there’s only one small picture of dh and I on our wedding day. Now with digital cameras we have tons of pictures saved on the computer. Does anyone have a suggestion of how to get started in scrapbooking? Or should I just put these pictures in regular albums?

I put all pictures on disks. I have scanned all the old ones in that I had before I had a computer. Good thing too because we had a flood and it distroyed my albums

One thing that I learned is that I look at the whole picture and get depressed at the task but when I broke it down to little jobs it was easier. The kitchen is dirty I concentrate of one area of a counter. Clean out one drawer.
I don’t envy you that refregerator or stove.
What I eventually did in cleaning house was each day I chose one room to clean completely each day of the month. Then I kept it up during the week. Refrigerator once I cleaned it, is cleaned up daily. Get rid of all that old food. Once a week take your recyclables. Don’t let them overflow take them to your car when full. Do you eat meals together? After the meal, its time for the family to clean up. Your children are old enough to help. No one leaves until the kitchen is clean. With all that help it should only take a few minutes. Give them each a task. Do you use a dishwasher? Greates invention for us lazy slobs. Good luck

She beat me to it! Yes, try it! :thumbsup:
You are not the only one and FlyLady will give a place to start. Sometimes knowing that is the hard part.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! She will help you keep your house in shape, help you stop beating yourself up about it, and help you quit being a shrew (if you are) because you’re so bummed about how the house looks and what a mess your papers are and…

You really have to check her site out. I love the little daily e-mails, too. No recriminations if you slip off the wagon, either, just help back up…and help getting the kids on the wagon, too. She’s a lovely woman, not a taskmaster. She’ll help you start being the kind of boss to yourself that helps you to get things done, to prioritize, to not sweat the small stuff, and not the kind that just rails at you for not knowing how to do your job.

You’re not behind, because you’re going to jump right in right where you are…by checking out the FlyLady!

You are not alone! Slobs of the world unite!

We are constantly working on this too. I have a high tolerance for clutter, but I hate it at the same time. I have to MAKE myself clean. Using a schedule system helps. Have a couple things to do daily, then weekly tasks too. My DH has a slightly lower tolerance for it than me, and he usually gives me the kick in the pants I need to get going. We also work together on it, it isn’t so bad that way! He does one area in the kitchen, I do another. That way we have company. And for heaven’s sake, get those kiddos involved! Start them on age-appropriate daily chores, and have a family chore time. During that time, everyone does their chores, parents included!

Flylady is a good starting point. All the daily emails got to be too much for me, but her idea of keeping the hotspots clean daily, and working in one zone at a time is great! It keeps any one area from becoming TOO bad.

As for the fridge and stove…just block off one whole afternoon or morning to it. Know that during that time, that is all you’re going to do. Take EVERYTHING out of the fridge, throw out anything questionable, and scrub. Take every shelf and drawer out, and wash in hot soapy water. When you put it back, organize it. Put all condiments in one area. All sandwich stuff together, all fruits/veggies in the crisper, etc. It will be a lot easier to find stuff!

I know it is a never ending process, that’s why I hate it so much, but I also see it as a penance. Offer it up! Part of our vocation…

I’m constantly struggling with the mess in my house too, so I understand.

Maybe you could set aside a designated “cleaning hour” in your house where everybody works together to straighten up. We do this in our house and it goes pretty quickly. Within about 30 minutes, the house looks much better than it does when I’ve been cleaning on my own all day.

Your 6 year old can be a great help at just putting things away. Sometimes I’ll sit onthe couch and nurse the baby, and give specific directions for my 4 & 7 year old to put things away that are lying around the living room. By the time our nursing session is done, the room is clean. :thumbsup: At this age, they need specific directions…this goes here, that goes there, see that piece of paper behind your foot? It goes in the trash…see that sock over there, put that in the hamper…

Look into digital scrapbooking! Invest in decent photo software (like Paint Shop Pro… usually under $70)… and there’s lots of online tutorials and downloads.

I just got that program a few weeks ago, and I’m slowly learning it! We never print up our photos either… so this has been a recent goal of mine too!.. in what little spare time I have! LOL!

Since you’re pregnant, you could pray for the nesting instinct to visit you all pregnancy long :slight_smile:

LOL, nesting instinct? What’s THAT?! And why didn’t it ever hit me when I was pregnant?! :smiley:

No advice here… but I just wanted to say that it makes me sad to hear you call yourself a lazy slob.

Give yourself a break… you have 3 small children and one on the way AND you work out of the home full time!! That is alot to handle!

I know you said you’ve always been this way, but now is not exactly the easiest time to try and change your ways. KWIM?

I guess I just wanted to point out that yes, your house and car may not be as neat as you’d like, but that does NOT mean you are a lazy slob. OK? OK. End of lecture. :smiley:

This is one of the great things about the FlyLady. She got her name because she taught fly-fishing, but one of her devotees decided that FLY means “First, Love Yourself.”

Beating yourself up does not bring peace or joy into your home. The beauty of the FlyLady is that she always keeps the reason for a clean house first and foremost: peace of mind for you, peace for your family, and an escape from recriminations and chaos. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t give that to your family.

Do check her out. She has methods that work for a great many of us who are easily side-tracked or who procrastinate because the combination of our own perfectionism and how we get drawn away from our priorities with little stuff we never planned to do makes the job of home-keeping overwhelming. That sounds like our OP.

also, i decided to go for the digest version of the emails… which is one email a day which does not make you feel overwhelmed …
just read one email and you have caught up with everything…

We stopped GETTING magazines and throw out all junk mail immediately upon bringing it in.

If recycling is cluttering you up, just do cans for a while and throw away the rest. Not PC, but frankly, municipal recycling of glass and paper is largely a joke anyways. There is no market of mixed color glass and precious little for mixed paper. We canceled the newspapers too and just read online.

I’m the messy. My wife HATES clutter, but it cripples her ability to do any other cleaning. She follows behind the kids and cleans their messes all day and has no time or energy to fight grime. So I do all the bathroom cleaning and floor mopping. She manages vacuuming and dusting on weekends, when I chase the kids outside.

We’re still FAAAR from clean, but its starting to work… But the basement is just hopeless. Maybe I’ll just pour concrete down there and call it a crawlspace?

I have to second (or third, fourth, fifth, whatever) the Flylady suggestion. Get your husband in on it, and your house will be completely different in no time.

Also, a good book to get (or check out from the library) is called, Housekeeping With Kids and it’s by Tara Aronson. She breaks down different chores that kids can do at different ages. I was surprised how much mine could help out with things I figured were beyond them. This will keep your kids from dealing with what you are dealing with now, as well.

Good luck, and like the others said, DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! I love Flylady’s babysteps. If you start today, you’ll be amazed how different your house will look by Christmas!

I have been there. I tend to keep my house tidy most of the time, however, I also have 2 boys. I am a stay at home mom, but help DH with business by doing bookkeeping from home. When the time comes for me to do bookkeeping, about 2 days in a row, everything gets out of hand at home. Clothes pile up so by the time I know it, I got lots of clothes to wash. Dishes begin to pile up little by little until there is no more room for washing, so I tend to procrastinate. I find myself leaving the dishes dirty for a couple of days until I push myself to start cleaning and imagine my house smelling fresh again. The idea of my house smelling fresh drives me to clean up.

We put our kids to do chores, too and we praise them and reward them for doing it. They will pick up their toys and put them in boxes. They pick up all the clothes they leave around and put them in the dirty laundry or in their drawers, if they are still clean. Afterwards, we take them to the park or out for lunch to a fast food restaurant.

I don’t think I know of anyone who does not enjoy a fresh smelling and tidy environment. The problem is getting to do it which can keep us dwelling on it for a long time and as more time goes by, it tends to make us feel worst.

Bottomline, JUST DO IT…the rest will fall in place and most of all it will make you feel awesome!!!

When it gets out of hand, this is what I do:

I drop my kids off with my Mother for about 5 hours, come back home and get to work. I only do cleaning. If there is laundry to do, I leave that to the end. I just focus on cleaning.

Clutter - I make three piles. One, KEEP and put away stuff. Second, GIVE away stuff. Third pile is TRASH.

I mop after I clean.

We time ourselves and rush to finish like if we are going to win a price or something…LOL!

We do as much as we can for like about 3 hours (both my hubby and myself).

I am with you with hiring someone. It makes me feel more tired to hire someone because I have to wake up extra early to open up for them, I have to be telling them what to do and watch the kids so that they wont get on their way.

Hope this helps :smiley:

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