Encouragement - Overwhelmed with cleaning & homeschooling

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Re: I need to settle down - advice?

Unread post by TriciaMR »


Housework? On a school day? NO WAY... Besides laundry, meals, and dishes, it doesn't happen (unless someone dumps shoes full of sand on the floor, or spills milk over the kitchen floor that must be cleaned up immediately) in my house. Saturday is the day we clean house (really, it's mostly me, but sometimes my dd does help). At the end of each day, my kids pick up all their toys and put them away. I sometimes get organized for school the next day. If something were really stinky, sticky, or messy I might do a quick wipe up.

However, I have a wonderful DH who has no expectations about this. He starts a load of laundry when he leaves for work in the morning. He'll run the vacuum on Saturday morning for me, even though he has lists of projects he wants to get done. If he gets home in time for dinner, he will do the dishes for me after dinner. (I love how my husband steps up and helps out! He may not teach, but he does a lot of little things that keep my day going smoother.)

Are you putting pressure on yourself about having the perfectly cleaned house, or is this dh's expectation? (Have him read Todd Wilson home schooling books if he does have this expectation! You should read them too - they are VERY funny, and you'll get almost every cartoon in them.)

Your son is doing fine if he is finishing in an hour. My dd would take 3 hours to do 1st grade work way back when. (Okay, that was Abeka with TONS of worksheets, but still, it was stuff I thought she could do faster, but she really couldn't go any faster.) If he is faithfully working as diligently as he can, don't pressure him to go faster (like I did with my dd), it will just wreck your relationship with him.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
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Re: I need to settle down - advice?

Unread post by erikdeb »

Thank you. It is mostly my expectations, but I also know that dh loves it when I am on top of things. He doesn't want me to ask him to help on the weekends, nor does he really want me to spend all Saturday cleaning (and neither do I).

All we do is: load and unload the dishwasher, sweep under the table after meals, wipe the table, pick up the floor, and I try to keep the kitchen relatively clean. We do those things successfully (mostly). Then laundry is hit or miss, I'm considering packing away a TON of clothes to severely limit how much there is to fold and put away. Really, with 6 people in the house, we should only need to put away 6 shirts, 6 pair of socks, etc, each day.........right??? Not a load with 47 kids shirts in it every other day.

I am in the middle of one of Todd Wilson's books right now. I think I'll go finish it.

Deb, Mom to Isaac-8, Noah-6, Lydia-4, Micah-3, Simon-1
Once through MFW K, 1st, and ADV
2010-2011, MFW K and ECC
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: I need to settle down - advice?

Unread post by TriciaMR »


For me, this is house cleaning:

2.5 bathrooms - mirrors, toilets, sinks, counter tops, and tubs (or shower). My dd does the sink and counter tops. I do toilets, mirrors and tubs/shower.
vacuum main floor
vacuum upstairs
sweep and mop kitchen floor (kitchen floor gets swept every day, too)
sweep and mop 1.5 bathroom floors (the other bathroom is the master bath, part of the bedroom, and therefore carpeted)
sweep and mop entry areas (one from garage, the other a "foyer")
dust if we have small group at our house that weekend or other "event" at our house (my dd loves to help with this one, too)

This takes me about 2.5 concentrated hours of work. My boys hang out with dad, and my dd helps me out. Then there are the little extras - putting the mail away that has stacked up on the kitchen island, cleaning of the "main" desk in the office, cleaning off the "school" table.

I'm sure my dh would love it if "I kept on top of things" more, but it stresses me out too much.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Re: I need to settle down - advice?

Unread post by FreshKid »

I find that I had to lower my standards for "clean". I decided that "presentable" was more acceptable. We have a farm, a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and DH is out of town a lot. I had to make school the priority over housework. If we could keep the school area neat after lessons, it was a big help (dedicated space).

We finished MFWK at the beginning of April. We opened our first-ever U-pick strawberry patch at the end of April. I knew that if I were going to have any sense of control over housework, it would take planning. This helped some:
  • * roughly plan a few meals based on what was on hand -- some casserole-type things frozen ahead of time.
    * instead of everyone having a laundry hamper, put them all in one place and everyone sorts as they change clothes. then, you can just grab and go (this worked until the washer pump died 10 days ago ... I've had 3 techs out and still not working)
    * DD likes to help load and unload the dryer. I let her.
    * Use little burst of time to do small chores (at one point, DH said he thought I was doing better inside with keeping up since we opened the patch. I think it has to do with knowing that I have a limited amount of time to finish the task)
    * When it is time to clean up toys, I sweep everything into a pile. The kids can pick-up quicker since it is a concentrated area and they aren't distracted by the "size" of the job.
    * When there is a lot to get done, I either set the timer for everyone to finish the job or to finish their rest time and get back to work.
By no means am I Martha Stewart, but little things add up to a lot less headaches. There is a lot to do right now. Piles of things here and there that need to be sorted out. I'll get it done ... eventually.

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Looking for accountability

Unread post by jasntas »

tangomoon wrote:We're nearly halfway through MFW K with DD, and I'm realizing that if *I* don't make some big changes in the way our days run that homeschooling won't be successful because of me. &) I love what we've seen so far of MFW, enjoy the style of the program, and love how God-honoring it is, and I really don't want to lose the chance to take our children through it because of my inadequacies.

I should have things together more, but I don't. While I will jump at a chance to research something online, housework gets left behind. Emotions play too much havoc on the way I spend my days. I have plenty of head knowledge of what I should be doing, but somehow don't manage to put it into practice. My children deserve better, my husband deserves better, and the example that I'm setting lately is definitely not God-honoring. Changes need to happen (and have for a long time), but I feel like I've been in a holding pattern.

Does anyone have any suggestions, or is looking for an accountability partner?
You've been peeking in my window, haven't you. I soooo feel the same way. I think the holidays make it worse because we’re even more busy and, well, housework is always the last thing on my list. It's not a natural thing for me anyway. My mom is, well, I'll just say it, a 'clean freak' and my cleaning, bed making, dishwashing, etc. was never good enough so she would just do it herself which was fine with me. Even more motivation for me to do it 'wrong'.

(Ha! I think I just figured out why my keyboard kept missing letters when I would type. I think it needed to be cleaned. I just blew it out with that canned air stuff and it seems to be working much better. 8[] )

What were we saying about cleaning? LOL

I have been making a conscious effort to teach my dc how to clean. Even if it's not on a regular enough basis. I require them to make their beds every morning after they get up and get dressed as part of their morning routine. I was, and need to do again, having them straighten up their rooms for 10 minutes each day at the end of our school day. Got busy, went by the wayside for a while.

The other thing I've been attempting to do is to teach them how to cook. They each help make lunch every other day. DD on Mondays and Wednesdays and ds on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This has been going pretty well. They pick the meals and help prepare them. My dd had been loving this. She loves helping in the kitchen anyway. This was an idea I got somewhere here in the archives.

I’m trying to take baby steps to make changes. And I’ve been praying about it a lot lately.

Well, I just checked the time and I need to go. Have a dinner to go to tonight and I'm not ready yet, need to take the clothes out of the dryer and add to the pile on the couch and, and...

Maybe I'll be able to finish this soon. ;)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
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Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by gratitude »

On an encouragement note. Don't be too hard on yourself. I have that tendency too, so I know. I am sure you are GIVING far more to your children and husband that is God-honoring than you realize. Love comes first to mind. The one element that there is not nearly enough of in our world. Love speaks volumes to a child. The fact you spend so much time with them speaks volumes of love to a child. Children love it when parents spend time with them! Surveys show it is the number one request of teenagers when they answer without parents around!

As for your question, well, we had to face many of our character weaknesses when we choose to homeschool. We had to face even more character weaknesses when our youngest was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I have had some moments that could definitely put me under the floor. So we were put under enough stress with medical issues that we were forced to change some of our worst character weaknesses /sins of pride and selfishness, and believe me God is still working on us daily. He isn't finished with us yet!

The three things we have found that have helped the most for change, that can only come from God, and restored joy and happiness in our home:

6 am couple prayer daily
lots of repentance
Hearts open to the Lord, that hopefully allow him to do his work and change us with His Holy Spirit.

We are very imperfect human beings, but God is Helping us succeed at home schooling and as parents of a special needs child. My character weaknesses from life easily could have ruined both without the help of Jesus.
Julie in MN
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Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Glad you found a potential accountability partner. What a blessing!

I just wanted to say that as a mom for over 26 years now, I look back and realize there are seasons in your life. And you are in an overwhelming period that I look back on now, because it doesn't last forever. Really. You are in the stage when little ones depend on you for their every conversation, in a society when children cannot be sent out the door for the day, during the years when your children are growing so quickly that you can't keep up with their clothing sizes or eating issues. I have home videos of my house at that time, and I can tell you that I no longer have unfolded laundry or unending toys to try to get children to pick up. Life will move on, children will get older, and you will get your own space again.

Meanwhile, some general things that help me get things done when I get overwhelmed...

- The only way I get anything done is to just "do something." Deep down, I'm an easily overwhelmed person. Big jobs and big messes make me want to hide and do nothing. So, I try to find one small thing and just do it. I say to myself, "I can just separate the linens from the laundry. I see this one part that is doable for me." And after I have those sheets and towels in a separate lump, I realize I might have time to fold them. Then, I decide I can put them on the shelf. One step at a time, it gets done (usually). I personally never say, "I'll go to do all the laundry." Other folks are different. My mom said, "I do laundry on Monday." And that's what she did, for 50 years, with 4 kids. She never felt like laundry was taking over her house. Didn't work for me, since my kids often threw up the day after "laundry day" and so the next day was "laundry day," too..., but the idea is that we each found what was doable for us and stuck with it.

- As a side note about keeping your home clean, I'm sure it's a good thing to keep under control. But, I'm not a person who thinks that a home is a showpiece for other people to ooh and ahh over. It's my home, here to provide shelter for my family and the stuff we're doing, and that's all. If I had a really clean, empty room, I might think I should give it to another family :) I might be odd :~ but it's an attitude that makes me feel less worried, I think.

- I also waste too much time online, but I think we all need to protect our mental health in different ways. The women of older generations had their own time wasters, as did the men. It's called rest, and it comes in different forms these days. The boundaries between work and relaxation get blurred, when you can pay bills, answer mail, and chat all at the same time. I'm sure setting limits is an excellent thing, but I don't think it's healthy to have nothing "fun" in your life -- it's a serious sign of depression when you lose that desire, and there have been moments in my life when I "made" myself do things that should be "fun."

- I wasn't as wise as you and homeschooling when I had kindergartners. You can be proud of following God's lead without making Him knock on your door for 18 years like I did :) But I do have strong feelings about better late than early and not pushing academics at a young age. It's worked for my kids, who lost nothing by starting kindergarten at 6 or close to it. Maybe your little one is just not ready for formal academics? One thing that happens when you wait is that they are less burnt out at 6 and more excited to try this new venture.

- When I did start homeschooling, it helped for me to set school hours. This was fairly natural since we had had public school hours for so many years around here. But I'm not a morning person myself (worked til midnight for over 20 years), so it was especially important for me to have a "school start time." Especially at the beginning of the year, to set the tone, but really all the time. I may be in my jammies and drinking my milk, but we start school on time (8:30 this year).

- Just as important, we have always had an ending time for school each day. Even with a high schooler, who sometimes isn't done at the ending time, mom still can be "done" and free to do my other responsibilities at a certain time every day, no matter how the school day went. I look forward to that time of knowing I can separate from school thoughts and get my other things done. I get more done at both times of the day, because I'm not trying to do two things at once.

- Whenever possible, I try to do everything "school" during school hours, rather than spending evenings preparing for the next day. It helps me be fresher in the morning. It helps me maintain a better relationship with my husband, which someone wise once said is the greatest gift you can give your kids. So, if I have a break during the school day I try to still stick to doing school -- correcting math, planning the upcoming supplies, pre-reading a book, or scheduling outside activities on the calendar. When I'm done with school, I try to do everything else. Then I try to relax.

- Oh, and maybe you are doing this already, but don't rush through Bible time with your family. Spend the time. Sing, pray their little prayers, let the Word speak to each of you. Let other things go before this.

- And at the end of the day, get some rest. And let the Holy Spirit take away your burdens, so you can start fresh again in the morning.

Sorry so long, but my heart goes out to overwhelmed parents. Maybe something in there will work to give you a bit of peace and sanity? You are in a hard stage of life. Life is building up your strength in ways you never would have accomplished on your own.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by cbollin »

I decided before typing to unload yesterday morning’s dishes and put a new load in.

I’m not sure I have enough ((hugs)) for all you are feeling. Just a huge amen to all that has been said from the “been there, still there” to the encouragement, and etc. Seriously, it sounds like me on all of this.

Successful homeschooling is not defined by a clean house. Part of me wants to scream at a certain famous homeschooling family out there with somewhere around 20 children. Reality TV ain’t reality. Do you know we don’t really know what it looked like in their house until the oldest was around 13 or 14 years old? I like how David Hazell said it once in some workshop. It takes about 10 years until it feels like you have the homeschooling thing figured out. But they never tell you what it was like in the first 10 years!

Lorri, my house is messy. I’m not agreeing with the junk that God’s enemy is whispering in your head about all of this. Yes, having functionally clean houses and good meals is an important part of life. Holidays make it seem like it’s more important than the other stuff. But only Jesus can provide all fulfillment in our lives.

I spend a lot of the computer too. I wish I had a way to show you the pile of mess directly behind me. I’ll just share the story. Ok, I had my rolling crate filled with junk so that I could just roll it out of the way to vacuum. It stayed in the corner for a long time. Then, I decided I needed the crate to go to the library.
So, on Saturday, I dumped the stuff on the floor.

It’s Friday now.

You have options. If your family NEEDS (not deserves) but NEEDS more cleaning than is getting done, then you either get them to help with it, or hire someone to help with it. I would suggest that you realize that success of homeschooling is not on your shoulders alone.

What makes you feel like it’s not a success right now? Are you like me right now and the kids are watching too much television while mom is resting? I’m totally worn out from work yesterday. I came home at 5:30, and apparently feel asleep on the couch for 2 hours. They tell me that I told them what to make for supper. My dh made it. It was really good even 2 hours later.

If you need helps to take baby steps on cleaning and organizing and meal planning and stuff like that, it’s ok. One of my helps is a site called menus4moms.com In addition to a meal planner, you can sign up for zone cleaning. And just do the 15 minutes of zone cleaning that day.

I personally get so overwhelmed trying to make lists that I always feel like a failure. I never get the list made. Other people like flylady. some like the stuff that managers of their homes (that book and ideas made me feel like a failure, so i don't)

here's a picture of cleaning right now:
I have Newsboys christmas album going.
youngest is well, being her
middle gal made herself breakfast (ice cream cone) and is sorted the money to monopoly
oldest - why do teens need to sleep at least 11 hours a day? I can't believe she's still asleep.
I'm going to start a load of laundry. that will be a timer for 45 minutes to work with youngest on language arts..... maybe math

How about this? After you’ve read the replies so far, find one task to do for 10-15 minutes and then come back and we’ll all happy dance you got it done.
Hug your children and play with them
Play some music and dance with the children
Give everyone a cup of juice or water and review yesterday’s Bible time
Brush your hair and smile in the mirror

-crystal (yeah, we all need accountability and encouragement. but like Julie said, it changes and doesn't last 4ever like this stage)
Posts: 87
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Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by TammyB »

This has really been an encouraging thread to me. Most of you know that I am in the midst of an extremely difficult pregnancy right now...I'll be 22 weeks on Sunday. I have spent the majority of the last 17 weeks in bed. You can imagine just how much that has turned my family upside down! It has been a difficult road, but I've learned some pretty valuable lessons that I probably wouldn't have otherwise (lessons that are now rooted in my heart and not just in my head). I'll share a few....

***I am not in control, and even though the ground has been pretty shaky, the earth has not opened up and swallowed me or my family.

****No one has died from living in our messy house. Now, I've had some moments when I wanted to die of embarrassment when someone popped over unannounced, but I managed to recover. (Why do people do that anyway? Aren't you supposed to call first?)

*****My kids are basically slobs. I really hate to say that, but it is true. When I stopped telling them to pick up their junk, they stopped picking it up. They are 10, 8, and 5 and have almost ZERO self-discipline. After being really irritated with them, I ended up being really irritated with myself for not having done a better job at instilling responsibility. At their moments, their bedrooms are a DISASTER. (I know there is still carpet in their rooms even though I can't really see much of it.)

*****Homeschooling is not the most important thing in lmy ife. (Did I just type that?) Of course, it is important, but when my health was stripped from me, and I couldn't even talk to my own children, teaching them math or history was the least of my concerns. All I wanted was to be able to be Mommy again.

*****Life is about choices. Since I truly believe that God has called me not to send my kids away to school, apparently they are supposed to be here at home with me even during these tough seasons of life. I've made the choice to do what I believe God has asked me to do, and I can choose whether to be in despair about the state of my house and the state of our academics of late, or I can choose to trust God for the ultimate outcome. My oldest will probably not complete all the MFW years that at one time worked out so beautifully on paper. There was a time I would have lain awake at night worrying about that. I hope that time is forever in the past. Chandler doesn't belong to me. He is God's, and God has a plan for his life: to live faithfully for Him and spread the gospel in some capacity. I have no doubt that God can accomplish that without his having finished a four year history cycle before the end of middle school. :)

There is a lot more I could share, but I'm getting tired sitting here typing. :) (For some reason that children's song "The Old Grey Mare" is coming to mind.....)

Anyway, thank God He meets us where we are and helps us WHERE WE ARE.


Posts: 675
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by gratitude »

Thank you ladies for the encouragement this morning. I had time this morning to read all of the posts. I know it was written to help tangomoon, but it blessed me too.

P.S. If anyone else feels like their faith is being tested to produce patience and mature faith (the book of James), and being tested to produce a greater trust in God (Israelites in the desert) I read a great book on this topic last week and thought I would share it:
The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions, Jeff Manion (Author)
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:10 pm

Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by cefcdana »

From a self proclaimed "Messie", I feel for you. When I had three kids, ages two and under, is when my Messiness finally gave way to lots of crying, frustration, and a constant state of feeling overwhelmed. These suggestions may or may not help but here goes anyway....

I read the book Messie No More by Sandra Felton- it was so helpful because it got to the emotional causes of being a Messie. This book finally helped me to understand myself. After my husband read it also and could also understand where I was coming from, it gave me the freedom and motivation to see that change was possible (little by little). I don't care for Sandra Felton's actual cleaning methods necessarily but this book helped me to better understand my issues.

The other cleaning/sanity tip that was most helpful to me was to find what one area or thing makes you the most stressed/overwhelmed when it is messy, and at least try to clean that. For awhile, this meant for me to just have the living room floor cleared of things- not necessarily when the kids were playing. Just during naptime or when I wanted to rest or be in that room. Since I am in a new phase of life, that "area" has gotten larger to the living room as a whole. The key is to know what absolutely NEEDS to be done for your sanity. In the same way, my husband and I had to assess what our basic needs were from each other at that crazy time in our lives and let the rest fall by the waistside.

After I felt change was actually possible with my cleaning issues, the book that most helped me was The House That Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark. I have read A LOT of cleaning books and by far this is TOPS! It works because it is written not by an organized person trying to fix us Messies but by a Messie herself! Both of those books have changed my life. Over the past five years, the Lord has really worked on my heart and home in that area. It was truly a stronghold from lots of past baggage. He has set me free- not totally free-- but I am more or less released from the bondage. This does NOT mean my house is really clean. It means that my emotions aren't so caught up in cleaning anymore. The Lord is good. On a side note, my house is SO much more liveable and we have been able to find much joy in living a more organized life- not super organized- but as organized as I can be right now. For instance, before I could not find my keys about 90% of the time. Now I am down to being able to locate them 75% of the time with the methods in The House that Cleans Itself. I consider this a DRASTIC improvement! I will always struggle with being a messie, living a lot more chaotically than most would like, but I am better than before! Praise God. Sending you many thoughts and hugs and prayers. Hoping you are able to find freedom as well from the bondage that Satan loves to entangle us in and keep us in.

Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by 1974girl »

Ok, I am one who thinks God invented company so your house gets clean! We had a Sunday School progressive dinner yesterday and I was the first stop for appetizers. I cleaned this house so good but never made it to my bedroom. I just shut the door! LOL I apologized to them on the "home tour" but it just didn't get done that day because I had so much Christmas shopping to get done. I laugh and say "I don't want to raise the bar too high for the rest of the dinner!" They all died laughing and then started telling their own stories. We are all women and been there!

However, I am a firm believer that we have a hard time because we have too much stuff! Maybe streamline your stuff so it is easier to clean! I went on a big "this is going to Goodwill" spree and it has helped a lot! My dad told me that your house needs to be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy! I will never forget that!

As far as homeschooling....relax....you really don't even have to stress over kindergarten. My dd went to public school kindergarten and it was a joke. I was in there once a week volunteering and saw what really goes on. (Of course, I wasn't in love with the teacher either) But you will be fine with kindergarten!

I once combined the 2 things (cleaning and homeschool). We did "room school". We did each subject in a different room and then after it was over, we took 10 min. to clean that room. By the end...I had a picked up house and school done. The kids will still talk about that day. They loved it...and they were with me all day!
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."
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Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by tangomoon »

Thank you all so much for the wonderful replies. I had no idea that the past few days were going to get so chaotic right after I typed the message. Talk about resetting your priority button!

DH was in an accident on the way to work. Praise God he's alright, but the car will probably end up as a total loss. Much of the day was spent on the phone with insurance, etc., so we didn't even get to school work today. But that's ok. DH is doing fine after his accident, and there were loads of praises there. We're now in the "need to find a new vehicle" phase, so that's another chance to trust that God will lead us to the right "new-to-us" one. We've had some not-so-great used cars before, so it's a bit scary to think about entering that realm again, but we're praying to make wise decisions.

I'm going to print out some of these replies, since there are some wonderful suggestions here. I wish I had enough time right now to respond to each one personally, but know that your responses and prayers are very comforting! I think one thing that I'm taking away from this thread is that maybe it isn't so much *me* that needs to change completely, but my expectations. There are some things that really do need to be kept up better . . . . but then there are other areas where I probably could lessen my expectations without the world ending.

So in that vein, we're moving on from the I-i Insect lesson even though we didn't finish every activity or do school every day in the past few weeks. :)

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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Looking for accountability

Unread post by mandolin »

I think I feel a lot better reading these posts. I am really working on keeping my house cleaner and more organized, but am far from that goal. The main thing we seem to struggle with is the putting things back where they go all the time. With five boys who would rather be jumping, playing ball with anything or just sliding down my hallway, it is a struggle to keep up with the moment by moment. I think that they will get better if we just keep trying -" never give up, never give up , never give up "- Winston Churchhill.

widow, remarried now 5 years to wonderful hubby
Loving MFW!
ECC with DSons 11 and 13, MFW 1st with DS, 8
homeschooling for 13 years
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

How do you run your home?

Unread post by 1974girl »

Thought I'd throw this out there since this is has been a struggle week! A lady from church rang the doorbell today suddenly. I had the sinking feeling. I had laundry in the floor, library books all behind the couch, but the girls were coloring their China flags by Golly!! LOL Another friend told her husband, "I have to homeschool, cook, and clean. But I can only do two really well. Which 2 would you like that to be?" HA HA! So...here is what I do although I have just told you it is by no means perfect.

I use Managers of their Chores for the kids. That has helped alot. They have their morning and afternoon set.

I just ordered http://www.e-mealz.com for dinner. That is the one of the three that I let slack. I hate cooking. You pick a plan and a store and they will give you a menu according to what is on sale and grocery list. It is $5 a month but they will give you 7 dinners for $75-$85 a week. I sure spent wayyy less today than I ever have. I just signed up today so the jury is still out on that one. But my DH is excited that we won't be eating out as much because of my lack of planning. Does anyone else forget to thaw stuff out? Anyway, hoping this helps.

Now...I constantly have Mt. Saint Laundry. So any laundry gurus out there who have figured that one out...let me know. I am seriously thinking it would have been great to be on the prairie with only 2 dresses! At least the laundry didn't get piled up.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

This WORKS when I remember to do it ---

I load the washing machine at bedtime to start at 6:30am (using the delay starter). Then in the morning, I put that load in the dryer and start a new one. That way I get 2 loads done every weekday morning, and I force myself to put things away as soon as the dryer is done. Good school recess/chore time. That leaves me with remnant loads on the weekend.

I try to think of it as loading the dishwasher. I stack the dishes but don't hit start until I'm headed to bed. In the morning, I unload the clean dishes and put them away. I have to do the same thing with our clothes. Load at bedtime, put away in the morning.

I do NOT iron. I take my dh's dress shirts to the cleaners. Totally worth it.
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 »

1974girl wrote:Now...I constantly have Mt. Saint Laundry. So any laundry gurus out there who have figured that one out...let me know. I am seriously thinking it would have been great to be on the pararie with only 2 dresses! At least the laundry didn't get piled up.
I can totally relate to the laundry issue! I can do a fairly good job of washing the clothes and drying them, but it's folding them and putting them all away that eats my lunch every time! We typically have what we call Mt. Clean Clothes at the foot of my bed. I've come to the conclusion that dressers are highly over-rated, and a few wrinkled pieces of clothing never hurt anyone! :-) Once every two weeks or so we get where we just can't stand it anymore, and we have a two-hour folding session. But the daily laundry thing ... nope ... no suggestions here!

Now, for the rest of the house, we manage to do okay. I think assigning the kids "hot spots" has helped. The TV goes off at 8:00 every morning, and school starts at 9:00, so the kids have one hour to eat, get dressed, brush teeth, fix hair, and clean their assigned area (one has the kids' bedroom and the guest bedroom, the other has the kids' bathroom and any arts & crafts they have taken out in the school room). I do a quick pick-up in the rest of the house while they do their hot spots, so we basically start each day with a straightened (not clean, but straightened) house. But there's always the laundry. Ohhhhh, the laundry.
Jennifer, mom to:
Hannah, 8. Finished and loved K, 1st, & Adventures. Currently loving ECC.
Millie, 5. Finished Pre-K and K "lite." Currently playing her way through K "for real."

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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by TriciaMR »


My dh starts a load on his way out the door to work in the morning. We have a front-loading washer, so while I'm making the mid-morning snack for the kiddos, they shift the laundry. I've taught them all how to set it and start it. We have a 3 slot hamper - one for whites, one for lights, one for darks and have taught the kids how to sort their own clothes when they take them off. We wash whites on Monday, lights on Tuesdays, darks on Wednesday, whites on Thursday, lights on Friday, darks (and towels and sheets, too) on Saturday. If I don't get the clothes out of the dryer to be folded/put-away before dh gets home, he graciously pulls it out and will sort and fold and drop off in the kids rooms while I'm getting the kids ready. I'll hang it up then, while I'm reviewing AWANA verses with my boys.

The house gets picked-up every day (kids pick-up toys before bedtime, I straighten up the school room when we've finished for the day), but major cleaning just doesn't happen until the weekend. There isn't time.


Monday: Mexican night
Tuesday: Italian
Wednesday: Beef or pork of some form (every other week we go to Jason's Deli for Kids Eat Free Night)
Thursday: Chicken in some form
Friday: I like salmon; this is often date night with dh, so this may vary.
Saturday: Often something we can grill, dh likes to grill
Sunday: we have AWANA on Sunday nights, so DH picks up Burger King for the kids on the way home, or we have pizza (two of the kids can't have dairy, so I make it for them, and we eat Dijorno)

I have a few choices for Mexican night, it's usually spaghetti for Italian night, etc. I used to have a crock-pot night before we found out about Jason's Deli's kid eat free night.

I just found it easier to do it that way, and have 2 or 3 meals to pick and choose from so it doesn't get to boring. I have one picky eater, so I try to have at least one thing he'll eat at each dinner.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by schoolmom2 »

Laundry is my thing, but dusting is NOT! So, you can be sure of clean clothes at my house, but beware of the dust bunnies lurking in dark corners! =)

Our laundry rules are: wear your outer clothing at least 2 days in a row, unless they get dirty. Clothing must be visibly dirty or smelly to go in the wash basket. Bath towels are only used to wipe clean bodies, so they only get washed once a week. No "dry clean only" allowed. No "line dry separately" allowed. If it doesn't make it through the washer and dryer in one piece, it wasn't meant to be. If you want it ironed, learn to do it yourself.

I do two loads of laundry on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which takes care of our entire family. I think that 1) not having too many items of clothing, and 2) not using a clean bath towel each day, really cut down on the amount of laundry I do. It took awhile to school my boys on what "dirty" really looks like, but it is paying off in more freedom from the laundry machine!

Hope that helps!
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

There are two overarching ways you can clean house. The "flylady" way where you just work on each project a little at a time, do a load or two of laundry each day, give the bathrooms a quick wipe down each day with a clorox wipe as you get out of the shower, that kind of thing. In this method everything gets a little attention everyday but you don't have a big overwhelming project to do.

The other way is to set things up into projects. One day is laundry day and that day you do laundry and basic pick up only. The next day is cleaning day and you do the bathrooms, floors and basic pick up only. The next day is grocery prep day where you clip coupons, make your lists and clean out the fridge. The next day is errand day where you pick up groceries, go to the bank or those other little things you need to do......

I tried to do things the flylady way for years and years. It finally dawned on me that I simply don't work like that. I prefer to do a "project" and then not have to think about it for a week. It is just the way my brain functions. So now I have a day for laundry, a day for shopping and errands, a major cleaning day and a cooking/ baking day. The other days I sort of pick up whatever didn't quite get finished otherwise.

However, I can manage this because the only kids at home durring the day are a very independent 8th grader and a 5 yo. and a couple of months ago I significantly de-cluttered my house. I set up a place for all of those sunday school papers to go and in general gave everything a home. It's not perfect by any means, but I can pick up the whole down stairs in about 30-40 min. even if it is a big mess.

We have wood floors so I got a broom/ mop holding rack for the downstairs in the laundry room and for upstairs, they tuck into the linen closet. This way I am saved from running up and down for my cleaning tools. My husband was skeptical about having to have 2 sets of mops and brooms but I told him that these were my tools and they cost a lot less than the ones he buys. ;) The point was taken.

Now I am going to get another laundry hamper for my room. My dh and I dress in different areas and one area always has clothes on the floor. Basically I am looking for problem areas and trying to get the tools necessary to lessen the work. When I realized I was always upset at the kids for having dirty clothes on the bathroom floor I found hamper to put in there. Problem solved. When the toothpaste in the bathroom sink bugged me I got a tub of clorox wipes to put under that sink so that it was easy to clean up anytime. Problem solved.
I quit trying so hard to change the people, and changed the environment to match the people instead.
Last edited by HSmommi2mine on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mom to 3 great kids
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by sojen »

Man, you ladies have some great ideas!

First thing in the morning (after coffee and quiet time) I make my bed and put a load in the washer. I switch it out periodically during the day. Mondays I wash whites, Tuesdays darks and Wednesdays everything else. I have a collapsible hamper that I put clean clothes in and I follow the ten rule. Every time I walk by the hamper I fold and put away ten things. It takes about a minute each time and usually by the end of the day the laundry is all done. If it's not, I put it away during commercials while watching evening t.v. The great thing about the hamper is the clean clothes are all in one place, so you can quickly move the hamper if the doorbell rings. :-)
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by zeo2ski »

For the laundry, I've given up on putting it away. Since it was constantly in a clean pile on the "laundry counter" I figured it wouldn't make a difference if we just put it in baskets, so that's what we do. Clean loads go directly from the dryer into the appropriate person's basket. The baskets are all in the shelves under the laundry counter, and linens are the only thing that end up where the previous mountain was, so I fold and put away those whenever I get around to it, but all the clothing is "away" without folding! Wrinkles are no more of a problem than when we use dressers or closets. Boardering the laundry counter and washer/dryer are 3 baskets for dirty: parents, boys, and girls. Everybody gets changed right there behind the counter or in the bathroom, the diaper changing station is on the counter too. My kids are young (4, 2, 1, infant) and can't reach the dryer since it's stacked on top of the washer, but the 4 and 2 year olds stay on top of loading the washer because they each have this one pair of pj's that grandma gave them which they want to wear every night. I'm glad they love doing it!

Once a month cooking/shopping has been a huge help around here, but you do need freezer space for that. We've used a monthly menu for a bit too. Still have to get fruit/milk/eggs during the month, but shopping this way has gotten our grocery budget lower than it was before we had kids--and that was before prices shot up too!

Working my way through reading MOTChores. Even if you don't want to use the chorepacks, it's a good resource.

Is there an area your DH would be willing to take over? Maybe just the shopping or the dishes or laundry would be doable for him, if he'd like you to concentrate on a different area.
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by BHelf »

This is a great thread! To the OP, i tried emealz. I really enjoyed it. My husband, who is more picky, did not.

One thing that worked well for us when we did it, was 5 minute pick ups. After each meal, the kids did a 5 minute pick up in a room of my choice. This way, things stayed relatively clean. We really need to start doing this again.
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
maritime momma
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by maritime momma »

I really appreciate this thread too - mostly due to the fact that it is a challenge for me!

I am still teaching College ECE full-time now (will be off on maternity in about 8 weeks and then home for good - YAY), so running this home is not easy for me right now, mostly because we are always SO much more interested in spending quality time with our barely 3yo when we are home mornings and evenings that any and almost ALL cleaning and chores are put on the back burner (plus I grew up in a home where I never saw my mom cleaning so I am learning as I go - she did it all once we were asleep...But that's a whole other story).

Once we are all finally home by 5pm, DH plays with DD while I cook up a storm - although I don't have a set weekly menu, I enjoy grocery shopping and cooking, so it comes easily to me, as long as I have 20-30mins alone in the kitchen (although DD loves to help in the kitchen, we incorporate cooking and baking activities on weekends and on weekday evenings when we are home early or don't need to rush).

I have relatively little issue actually getting laundry done, but as others have mentioned, folding and putting it away seems to be my weekly battle. If we ignore the wrinkles (which DH cringes at), we always have clean clothes (ironically, I am in the midst of folding 2 loads right now). Some of YOU may cringe, but I wash all colours together, everything goes in the dryer and all DH's dress shirts are bought "wrinkle-free" at Mark's Work Warehouse. A tad more expensive, but when it comes to doing laundry, SO worth it. DH is a high school Phys.Ed teacher and he goes through a sickly amount of clothes in a week. I, on the other hand, don't tend to sweat much in my office clothes, and rehang them in the closet a few times before throwing them in the hamper. At 3yo, DD, has a lot less spills, but I really encourage messy and fun play, so her items rarely get worn a second time.

Cleaning is my biggest area of weakness - where I need the most help. We have been decluttering and finding "homes" for all things in the past 2 years, but we still have a lot of work to do. I try to do little bits here and there, so that it doesn't build up too much and become overwhelming, but it does not come easily for me. I think I need to make a more structured schedule to keep me on track. Certain chores or rooms per day, is probably what I need. And then a way to keep me accountable to doing it. HELP! Surface stuff and clutter is pretty well under control in most rooms, but it's the deeper cleaning that simply haunts me.

I reread my post and hesitate submitting it, I'm in no position to help anyone except not feel bad in their own situation! haha
Looking forward to more of your suggestions and experiences!
"While we teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life's all about." ~unknown
Audrey: Happy wife to Jason of 9 yrs, DD Clara - 3 (MFW PreK) & sweet newborn DD Renée, born April 1
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Re: How do you run your home?

Unread post by IdahoGrown »

I don't RUN my home...I run FROM it!!! :-) Lol!

Actually, what helped us the most recently was doing a major declutter in preparation for selling the house. My goal is to be able to clean an entire room...any room...in ten minutes or less. That includes dusting, windows, everything. So in order to do that, we had to declutter majorly. I have thrown away some stuff in the last couple of weeks that I was holding onto for no apparent purpose other than thinking I 'might' need it some day. :~

for dinners, I try and have a couple of quick backups if I forget to thaw something. This has come in handy more than once! I keep a bag of frozen chicken patties in the freezer, a couple boxes of hamburger helper, some cans of soup. I don't use these regularly, but save them for emergencies.

Laundry is a really tough one and always has been for me. I greatly detest folding. I was just putting it all in separate baskets and letting everyone fold their own...but I was finding baskets of wadded up clothes in bedrooms. NOT cool! (My kids are.not.allowed to wear wrinkled clothing!) When we get moved and settled, I want to start a family closet. We will have one dedicated space where everyone puts their clothes! Hopefully I will have a big enough laundry room that it could work as a closet too.

We had the house spotless for the realtor to take photos on Monday. I hope to keep up with the house by working on it every day for about an hour. Then on the weekend I will have to dedicate a couple hours to do the deep down stuff I don't have time for during the week.

Gosh. With all the modern appliances to help me, I still get overwhelmed. Imagine Ma Ingalls...having to beat out rugs with a broom, scrub clothing by hand, and being in a constant battle with dirt and no way to Swiffer it.

Oh, and I forgot to add that a number of years ago, I read about the five minute rule. It it takes less than 5 minutes, do it right away instead of putting it off. This really works!!!! When I use the 5 minute rule, my house stays much neater.
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011
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