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Forum -> Household Management -> Cleaning & Laundry
Routine and minimum baseline

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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 11:32 am
I have ADHD. I have cleaning help that cleans the kitchen bathrooms surfaces and floors and I am still always drowning in housework.
I hate it, I'm bad at it and I want to do the minimum baseline.
What happens is I neglect things for a day or 2 or 3 and then I'm overwhelmed and ya.
There are places that need to be decluttered as well.
It feels like I never have it under control and the needle never moves forward.
So here's my question: what do I need to do each day to keep my housework under control?
And question number two- if I'm not well or something is going on what is the minimum baseline of daily tasks? I noticed I can get into a decent groove but life happens I let things slide and then the build up is way harder to deal with.
Don't tell me to skip wiping my baseboards or my windows. That's not even on my radar.
I'm talking basics.
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 11:51 am
Counters/stove cleared and wiped down
Floor swept
Quick walkthru of bathrooms to make sure all laundry is in hampers and all towels are hung up
Beds made daily

I've found it really helpful to set myself a timer for 10-20 minutes and just straighten up and put things away. It's always less than it seems but can get so overwhelming. Set a timer and clean until it goes off. Use this system with your kids also. At the end of the day, set a 10 minute timer and assign an area to each kid and have them straighten up until it goes off. Everyone feels good at the end of this activity because it really does make the house neater

Prioritize neatness over deep cleaning in order for your house to feel orderly. Try keeping surfaces like counters and tables cleared, beds made daily, don't let things pile up on the couch. It'll make a big difference in terms of the feeling of the home being put together even if you're not washing your floors or cleaning your bathrooms so often.

A short amount of time cleaning every day makes a big difference. A few days of buildup is so much more overwhelming than a few minutes at the end of every day!
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 11:52 am
I have ADHD.

Baseline for me is that dishes must get done once a day. I really really try to get them done before I go to sleep at night. Empty sinks make me feel better. After I do the sinks, I also quickly walk around the kitchen and put away enough until the counters are as clear as they're going to get. Maybe not crystal clear, but good enough.

If there are any kids eating in your kitchen, sweeping it once a day is probably helpful. If you're not good with getting rid of old food in the fridge, maybe include that in the nightly routine.

Since you have cleaning help, I'm not sure how much else needs to get done daily (besides laundry, depending on how many people you're clothing?). If you have a very messy toddler, you may have to straighten up the toys. If not, I'd say straighten up once a week right before the cleaning lady comes. It's a big job, but it has the motivation factor then, which helps those of us with ADHD.

And then maybe schedule one slot of time a week to work on decluttering. Make a list of places that need decluttering, and prioritize them. Then just go down the list each week.

Seems easy, right? I got it, it's not. But in my mind, a clean kitchen is the main priority. If the bathrooms and floors are getting tackled once a week, that's enough for me.
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 11:56 am
Amazing to read this op since I needed to double check if I didn’t type it.
After the minimum baseline routine we need the push to actually do it...
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 12:03 pm
Decluttering will really help as well. The less things you have, the easier tidying up is.
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 12:27 pm
I can completely relate to baseboards not being on my radar. Trust me, I notice them but can't ever manage to get to them. I prioritize the dishes as the smell can get really bad if they sit. I also find that when I put just 5-8 minutes on the clock and get my whole family involved we can accomplish a lot. This is just to prioritize the front area looking manageable. The rest of the house, forget about it
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 1:28 pm
Ok maybe I wasn't clear enough if the answer was make beds.
I never make beds, anyone who wants their bed made makes their own.
This is a great example of something that if I don't do it it DOESN'T add up. You're bed doesn't get worse or become more work if it isn't made each day.
Basically it sounds like I need to tidy up my entire house every day. Ughhh I don't want to. Is there anything I can just leave??? It's so hard for me. No joke. It really is. It is so unnatural for me to tidy up, I literally barely see the mess.
I actually find decluttering the easiest. I'm good at it. It's one project that there's actually a difference and you don't have to do that drawer or closet for a long time. And dopamine hit😉
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Post Tue, Nov 07 2023, 2:05 pm
"How to keep house when you're drowning" by kc Davis. She has a Ted talk too.

The minimum is a nightly kitchen reset. Wash dishes or load dishwasher. (10 min)
Put away food that's out. Clear table and sweep floor. Set a timer for 5 min and that's it.
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