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A Losing Battle

December 6th, 2010

I always feel like I’m fighting a losing battle around here when it comes to keeping the floors clean. I can vacuum one day and by the next it’s time to do it all over again. I don’t even have kids running around, I do however have 3 cats (fairly large cats) and a big dog shedding all over the place (how are they not bald yet?).

We have dark hard wood floors, so the dust bunnies are highly visible. I wouldn’t change that for anything though, I’d rather see them and be able to get it all up than have carpet and not see it! Perhaps it’s just worse in the winter because I don’t have the weeds in the garden to distract me from the tumbleweeds collecting at the end of the hallway.

What chores feel like a losing battle in your home? the dishes, the floors, the bathroom, the basement, the kid’s rooms?

25 Comments to “A Losing Battle”
  1. Xeike on December 6, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I have two HUGE dogs. A saint bernard and a rottweiler mix. The sofas are perpetually covered in fur, as is the bedspread. And the carpets. and don’t even get me started on drool control…

    But honestly what bothers me the most, are the dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher. sigh.) and the laundry. I hate doing laundry SO MUCH…. And yet there is always more to do. >:( It drives me batty.

    Reply to Xeike's comment

  2. Shannon on December 6, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Dishes and laundry. It is a rare day when every last dish gets washed at the end of the day. Somehow 5% of the dirty dishes always seem to linger. And I don’t know of a week in recent history when laundry was washed, dried AND put away.

    Reply to Shannon's comment

  3. Melanie G on December 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Paper. No matter how much junk mail we return-to-sender or how many bills we elect to receive electronically, the paper seems to take over. Any horizontal surface is at risk. The kitchen counter is always the first to go, then the desk, dining room table, coffee table… It just feels like we can’t stay on top of it, and it drives me crazy!

    Laundry is our second greatest challenge – it’s usually clean, but often not folded or put away. And my husband uses the end of the couch for a clothes horse (for clothes he’s worn once and will wear again before washing) which also drives me crazy. To be fair, though we don’t have a good place for either of us to stow those clothes….

    Reply to Melanie G's comment

  4. Kelly on December 6, 2010 at 9:58 am

    The dishes are never 100% done. Like Shannon there always lingers a few that don’t fit in a load or are forgotten before I run the washer.

    The floors get away from me too. I have 3 cats and 2 little boys (and one big one) and I have thick hair that sheds a rather lot – I could vacuum daily if I wanted, but I don’t. I accept the dust bunnies as testament that I’m not a slave to my vacuum, that the terrain here is full of wild beasts, and as occasional entertainment to my cats who’ll watch them roll around on the air currents near the kitchen heater.

    Looking into the kitchen, though, I’m reminded that the recycling (which we pile up near the sink to “take out later”) is always overflowing. It annoys the crap out of both of us and yet it’s always overflowing. I need a chute or something.

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  5. kristin @ going country on December 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Everything. Everything you mentioned, your commenters mentioned, and everything else. And I DO have a kid, who is now squirming and walking all over our filthy carpets. It builds immunities, right? That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  6. glenda on December 6, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I thought I was the only person without a dishwasher!!! I have eight beautiful cats. The entire backyard is fenced in so they are in and out all day long. My poor floors. Plus I care for seven colony cats who get clean dishes everyday. I never get caught up on housework.But it seems we all agree the animals bring such joy I would never trade them in so I could have a clean house.They just say chill out and scratch my chin!!

    Reply to glenda's comment

  7. Michelle on December 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Totally with you…floors! A BIG dog who drops what my husband calls, “trolls”. (Lumps of fur that resemble troll doll hair!), two cats and a HUGE pecan tree in the backyard…which means that every time one of us goes out back we track in pecan leaves on our shoes. It is a never ending battle…

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  8. Terry on December 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I do not have a kid or pets and I still cannot keep up. The dust, the dishes, everything. The only thing I usually have done is the laundry. Maybe that is why I love traveling so much, there isn’t so much cleaning when you are traveling. :P

    Reply to Terry's comment

  9. Andrés on December 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I agree with floors being a constant battle, we have two dogs and soon to be three kids, and have dark wood floors like you. We have found one way to stay on top of the tumbleweeds of dog hair, is by using a Roomba every night. I set it to run was we go upstairs to bed, and when I come down in the morning, I find a nicely vacuumed downstairs.

    Reply to Andrés's comment

  10. Joshua on December 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Before we moved into our home, a log home, the previous owners recarpeted with a lighter-colored carpet to offset some of the oppressive darkness of the wood. It was a nice thought, but we constantly wish they had put stone, hardwoods, or nearly anything except carpet in the living room. During the winter, we carry firewood into the living room and stack it on the hearth every couple of days, and the carpet is constantly covered in the remnants of that chore. Furthermore, the chunks of bark are often big enough that only the shop-vac can pick them up without clogging, and that’s not something we want sitting around in the living room. If it was hard floors, we could just sweep.

    Reply to Joshua's comment

  11. Dave on December 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Of the choices you list I’ll have to say all of the above! Three kids makes for one very busy Stay at Home Dad who would rather be outside than doing house chores!

    Reply to Dave's comment

  12. Carol on December 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Laundry. I feel quite sure I will never again be caught up with laundry.

    Reply to Carol's comment

  13. Sense of Home on December 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    There are always dishes to be done. I wash by hand so I don’t have a dishwasher hiding the dirty dishes. They are on the counter reminding me I have work to do.


    Reply to Sense of Home's comment

  14. Sincerely, Emily on December 6, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Fur balls are a total losing battle around here too (or “trolls” as commenter Michelle’s husband calls them). And I was just commenting this morning to my mom that piles of dishes are a losing battle around here too. I have no possible solution for either, but will keep trying. But I know where every fur ball and dishes pile comes from and I don’t I will change cooking from scratch or having animals around just to get rid of either of them.

    I have made some “swiffer” pads from old towels that help keep the cost down there and I just wet them, wring them out well and use them to catch all the fur balls I can. Letting them dry outside and shaking out the fur helps too before putting them in the laundry. Sincerely, Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  15. Denise on December 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    floors – plus, I am a clean floor freak. I really don’t like feeling things under my feet. A good reason to wear shoes inside ;)

    Reply to Denise's comment

  16. Bethany on December 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Mostly clean clothes. I don’t wash everything I wear the first time I wear it. A pair of jeans usually gets at least 2 wearing before cleaning them (unless I’ve put them to hard labor). Work clothes too I reuse unless really dirty. The thing is, I don’t want to hang up my “dirty” laundry again, but I don’t want it in the hamper either. So I get piles of mostly clean clothes on the dresser, desk, and chair in our bedroom that I need to sort through to cloth myself. Usually I end up washing them anway, thereby wasting the effort of NOT doing the laundry the first time.

    Reply to Bethany's comment

  17. melissa on December 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    My house has felt like a losing battle almost from day 1. It’s much more manageable now that it’s just me and the cats living there, but the house is over twice as big as I really need and it’s a challenge to keep it constantly in show-ready condition (I’m trying to sell it). Same with the yard–I have a huge yard and the grass is constantly growing. It made my life so much less tiring when my mom said she’d pay to have it cleaned and the lawn mowed while I was trying to sell it (bless her a thousand times for that).

    Now I am just trying to keep up with my cat’s latest spate of litterbox issues. siiiiiigh.

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  18. Allison on December 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    It’s a constant battle with the hair! I had an attack last weekend and cleaned the entire downstairs. When we got Mabel (our dog) it became like 10 times worse…

    Reply to Allison's comment

  19. nic@nipitinthebud on December 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    the battle of the cat fluff too – it seems to be worst around the bathroom sink, the feet of stools and chairs and on the stairs. It doesn’t help that we have a white longhaired and shorthaired black and tortoiseshell cats so no surface or colour is safe from being fluffed! Wouldn’t be without them though and not about to become a slave to housework!

    Reply to nic@nipitinthebud's comment

  20. annie on December 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Our floors are constantly dirty too! Our lifestyle is just not conducive to a clean house. The dog sheds and tracks in dirt. We have chickens and grow a lot of food so we’re always tracking dirt and leaves in from outside as we go in and out to deal with all that. Everything we cook is from scratch so we make a lot of dirty dishes.

    I’ve decided to accept this as the price I pay to have the lifestyle I want. But it’s true, there is the occasional day when I fantasize about things being different… mostly about me having a paid staff because it is never my fantasy to give up the growing of food and meals from scratch.

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  21. Trish on December 6, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    It’s good to read the comments and know that there are others out there leading a hairy life. I have 4 dogs who can come and go as they please – not only do they shed but they track in lots of dirt, and mud in winter. I have lowered my standards, because I refuse to spend all my time cleaning. we switched to wood floors, and while they are noticeably dirty at times, I can just sweep and be done wiht it. If we had carpet I can’t imagine how dirty it would end up without one of those Dyson vacs.

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  22. Vegetable Garden Cook on December 6, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Ugh, my floors seem disgusting nearly all of the time. I know the feeling. Have you ever shaved your dog? I have some regular human clippers and shave my dogs down once it gets warmer. It cuts down on the hair for a very long time. But how to keep down the mud?

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  23. Sarah on December 6, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Dishes and the floors, I have a dog and cat that shed all of the time. Unfortunately I don’t really have time to keep up with it some my floors stay more on the dirty side than I would like.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  24. Dan on December 7, 2010 at 12:15 am

    I lose the battle with the basement. It is finished but we’re not basement people so it does not get used as living space. Stuff piles up, I finally clean it and say it will stay clean now….. then stuff piles up again.

    Reply to Dan's comment

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