Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two Story House: Cleaning Woes

We're well over the three year mark of living in our first, and possibly last, two-story home. It still amazes me that 40 months later, I still consistently have to return upstairs, just after having come down, for something I have forgotten. You would think that considering how many times I have had to retrieve a hair bow, a hairbrush, a pair of shoes, socks, Jade's bay-bay, my cell phone, the dance bag, extra toilet paper, a library book, etc that my legs would be looking a lot leaner than they do.

Then there is the whole issue of laundry. As if anyone really enjoys laundry anyway, having to haul it up and down the stairs brings my loathe of laundry to a new level. Our master closet is right over our laundry room. We've toyed with the idea of putting in a laundry shoot, but Jerry is right, what we really need is a dumbwaiter.

In addition to those issues of having a two-story home, I also find it harder to keep things in the right place. Inevitably, things come down that need to go back up and vice-versa. My favorite is when various pieces of a toy or game get separated during the girls' travels. So fun.

Originally, our stairs became piled with everything that needed to go back up and there was always a little pile at the top of things that needed to come down. Seemed simple enough...when you pass by one of those piles, TAKE IT WITH YOU. But we all know that in a busy and often rushed life, that just doesn't always (ever!) happen.

When Kristen asked her readers to share their cleaning tips, my hubby's "bin plan" came to mind. He got smart and bought a large bin that we keep downstairs. As we pick up or find misplaced items that need to go upstairs, we just put them in that bin. When it gets full (or we get sick of digging through it), we haul it upstairs to our bedroom. In our bedroom we have 3 smaller bins. We then divide the contents of the large bin into the smaller bins...one for each of the girls' rooms and the playroom. Then each girl puts their stuff back in their room and we tackle the playroom together. If they are asleep, we just set the bin outside their door.

It works for us. Although admittedly, the downstairs bin is currently full and my stairs are piled with things. *sigh*

To see what is working for other people, visit WFMW (Works For Me Wednesday) at We Are THAT Family.


Rachelle said...

Let me just tell you what a pain it is when you laundry room is in your basement and the big closet is in the attic! Yep, 3 flights of stairs!!!! My legs should be MUCH leaner!

Kelly @ The Miller Mix said...

Oh, I could've written that post. I hate living in a two-story home. I can't wait to sell our home and finally all be on one level.

We use the bin system and it works well. I do have to remind my kiddo to take his bin up each night (and I have to remember to do that for my 2 yo), but otherwise it's nice to have a system that doesn't require more work for me.

H-Mama said...

I could have written this one too! Thankfully my laundry room is upstairs and my girls are old enough that we ask them to get the things we forgot. Child labor. ;)

Jackie said...

Great tip! We are moving next week to a three level home--we will definitely have to try this.

The Cunningham Family said...

yeah, i don't envy you at all! ;) ha!
when we visited family in colorado - they had 3 levels (upstairs, downstairs, & a basement). i was constantly leaving stuff in the basement when i needed it upstairs. i think a dumb waiter sounds fantastic!! :)

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Oh do I ever feel your pain! We just bought our first house -- a two story -- and my mom said something about all the stairs but we were like, "We're young! No sweat!" Ha! I love your bin idea.

And yes, I'd like our next house to be a ranch, please :)

Courtney said...

I do the same thing hear with a basket on the stairs, it works great!!

Amanda said...

I grew up in a two-story and now live in a two-story. The stairs are ALWAYS cluttered. I may have to try this tip. I remember when my mom just threw everything in my room and said "HERE! PUT IT ALL AWAY!" That didn't work well either. :)

That Girl said...

My laundry is in the basement too....so 2 sets of stairs to carry clothes up and down. yeah.
I sit things on the steps going upstairs that way I can just grab the item/stack when I am going up.

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