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post #41 of 75
The best, most efficient way to clean up the sort of mess you have in your house - have a party. Get on the phone right now and invite a few friends to come over in two or three weeks. Make sure to include one who has never seen the hosue and might want "the tour".

That's what inspires me to clean, clean, clean.

I know what I need to be doing to get my house un-messy - I just need a real reason at times to get up and do it.
post #42 of 75
op, i think you're doing awesome - both in terms of the progress you've made this week on your house, and in dealing with this thread. reading some of the responses on here makes me think, "i will never post my house on mdc." i hope that when i'm trying to be frank, honest and helpful, i don't actually come across as harsh, bossy and judgmental, because that's the way some comments are reading, to me.

about the short, semi-emergency purging/cleaning burst and longer-term solutions . . . i started decluttering in earnest in january 2007. am i done? no. is my house perfect? no. but it's a lot better. the big pushes are part of it, just as learning habits are part of it. honestly, i think the habits are more critical in the long run, but getting a truckload (or a dumpster worth) of junk/trash/extra stuff out of the house all in one weekend is a big motivator that can make it feel worth it to make the daily effort and put new habits into place. when you're feeling completely overwhelmed, 15 minutes a day is doable but can also be discouraging. immediate relief is freaking awesome, even if, more than two years later in my case, it's still not completely "done".
post #43 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
op, i think you're doing awesome - both in terms of the progress you've made this week on your house, and in dealing with this thread. reading some of the responses on here makes me think, "i will never post my house on mdc." i hope that when i'm trying to be frank, honest and helpful, i don't actually come across as harsh, bossy and judgmental, because that's the way some comments are reading, to me.
Seriously, I couldn't agree more. The op is doing an amazing job! And sewing your kids clothes at the same time! I think you're my hero - lol.
post #44 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
The best, most efficient way to clean up the sort of mess you have in your house - have a party. Get on the phone right now and invite a few friends to come over in two or three weeks. Make sure to include one who has never seen the hosue and might want "the tour".

That's what inspires me to clean, clean, clean.

I know what I need to be doing to get my house un-messy - I just need a real reason at times to get up and do it.
Oh, I so agree with this! I can usually maintain the main living areas so that if someone calls and asks if they can drop by in 1/2 hour, it can be relatively OK. Not perfect, not even close, but they won't leave thinking what a disgusting mess my house is. Well, as long as they stay OUT of my laundry room, bedroom, and the toy room!

Then one night we had a family dinner over here. My MIL, FIL, SIL and her family, and my MIL's sister. She had never been to our house before, and wanted the tour. I couldn't show her our room. No way. The floor was COVERED in laundry. The bed was a mess. Every surface was covered with *something*. It was so embarrassing. Ever since then I make a point to make my bed every day. I've gotten the laundry down to one small mountain in the corner instead of it covering my entire floor. The horizontal surfaces are still a nightmare, but its getting there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twocoolboys View Post
Seriously, I couldn't agree more. The op is doing an amazing job! And sewing your kids clothes at the same time! I think you're my hero - lol.
Absolutely! You are doing a great job! Any progress is good progress...
post #45 of 75
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support. I don't know why but a post I just read has me crying. and I am not going to post this anymore. My parenting is just fine and oh hell what does it matter.

I don't know you you don't know me.
post #46 of 75
Ohmigoodness!!

FWIW, if I posted my house the responses would be the same, and I feel like I've been doing AMAZING compared to my past history. And I only have one little one! I thought the pics looked like one good toddler tornado hit; and I hope you found your motivation by posting, although I'm sorry it came at such a cost.


PS - my DD climbs on everything, too. And if she falls off, she gets up and tries again. There are worse things than rubbermaids to climb on! (Like the pile of used brick in our backyard....)

Go drink some coffee and love on your kiddos! And kudos to having the energy to sew!
post #47 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
Oh, I so agree with this! I can usually maintain the main living areas so that if someone calls and asks if they can drop by in 1/2 hour, it can be relatively OK. Not perfect, not even close, but they won't leave thinking what a disgusting mess my house is. Well, as long as they stay OUT of my laundry room, bedroom, and the toy room!
It works even better if you have a house like ours and kids coming over to visit. There is ONE room (craft/books/papers room) that can be closed off. Everything else is open. Last time we had guests they all ended up in our bedroom jumping on the bed.

And yesterday, I had to have the electrician into the junk room.
post #48 of 75
I do what the previous poster does - one "chore " at a time, and I get laundry baskets to house toys... then I barrel through.

I am doing that now

ETA: Hugs, OP. I could see from the pics your home was clean, just cluttered. Not even crazy cluttered, just in need of a good straightening. I am sorry you were made to feel bad by some posters. MDC has always been about support and tolerance and I am sorry you didn't get that.
post #49 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
Thanks for the support. I don't know why but a post I just read has me crying. and I am not going to post this anymore. My parenting is just fine and oh hell what does it matter.

I don't know you you don't know me.
s

Just wanted to send some hugs. I think you did a brave thing sticking yourself out there asking for help.

I've been trying to get my home in order too...it's very difficult somedays with four kiddos (one a nursing infant who recently had a cold and needed all my attention). My DH (who hasn't helped out much previously) is finally stepping in and helping me out because I'm really doing pretty much everything. No family, no outside support either.
post #50 of 75
OP - I'm sorry - the internet stinks at times.

My house gets that messy lots of times - it did so especially last year when I was homeschooling with a preschooler around. My kids aren't robots, so even when I try to keep things clean and neat, the kids can cause a tornado like effect in only a day or so. And sewing is not an activity that leads itself to neat appearances while you are working on a project.

Please do not feel bad about posting or showing photos. I would love to drop by for coffee and a chat in your house as is. It looks lived-in by a real family and I bet we could have a nice chat while the kids played legos.

I get really, really frustrated by messes in my own house, so I posted my own best tip. I hope you will put the posts out of your mind and focus on the tips that will help you today or next month.
post #51 of 75
I'm kind of baffled at this. I didn't see anyone being overly harsh. It was mostly encouragement and advice from people who have had a house get out of hand.
post #52 of 75
i admit i'm sort of confused too about what has hurt you so much...maybe i didn't see the post you're talking about? and lordy, i hope it wasn't one of mine! i didn't see anybody criticizing your *parenting*! i mean, aren't we all here to improve ourselves? my house is messy as sh$# right now. i've hardly got a handle on things. but i do have moments of clarity and times that are better than others. and it's easier for me to *see* other people's cluttered spots and problem areas than it is to see my own. which makes me think that maybe i should take pictures of my own house to look at and maybe i'll actually *see* the worst spots clearer if they're in picture form??

anyway...sorry if you've felt attacked, OP. i honestly think that everybody just has your best interest at heart. we don't need people to tell us we're already perfect, we need real advice! at least i do, kwim? LOL

*hug*
post #53 of 75
I found post #19 to be a tad on the harsh side. I think that is why she is upsetto Allison.
post #54 of 75
I didn't see this mentioned, not sure if I missed it, but just when I got a brief glance at your photos one thing that really stuck out to me was that you had similar items all over the place... like sewing in multiple rooms, legos in multiple rooms, clothes in multiple rooms, etc... I used to put things where they seemed to fit, but I've found it's very challenging to keep things well organized that way especially when you've got a houseful of other people. Sounds like sewing is really important to you and I would suggest getting your home to fit your sewing needs rather than the other way around and I think that would really make a big difference in the flow of your home. I can't remember from the photos if you might have room in your laundry room to keep more clothes? Maybe repurpose some of those open shelves or that bookshelf that was almost empty and just plop the clean clothes out of the dryer right there? Maybe set up a fort around your own sewing center... I think I remember seeing a sewing machine in your daughter's room... maybe you could set up a more permanent sewing arrangement in there for both of you? I mean, I have no idea really what would work best for you, but that would be my main suggestion is to set up focused stations where you can keep all these similar themed things that are important to you in ONE location.... I mean even if you feel it's just a temporary thing, like maybe a manic lego obsession, it's just so much easier to corral it all in one area and also realize, hey, this is something I want to do so I'm going to make a place for it... rather than just trying to find room for it where ever you can -I know it sometimes seems easier not to make that effort, but having been through this numerous times it's definitely worth it. Think 'organizing from the inside out' and peter walsh, if you are familiar with those two... that's really what I saw from your photos, not sure if that's an accurate assessment, but it looked to me not so much as if you had too much stuff as too many places to put it all.
post #55 of 75
Allison-if I was one of the ones who hurt your feelings sorry. I was only trying to give constructive ideas to help. However, I must say the title said you were fed up up with your house and wanted us to look at it and give advice. Did you really want us to say it was fine and not to worry so you could let it go? Or did you truely want help? I think several of us have been in that place where you feel you can't get your head above water with keeping a home. And we know we wouldn't want anyone else to feel like that. So we gave ideas about how to help you. If you put up pics and ask for honest opinions and help you will get it on MDC. But remember from most of us it is because we've btdt.
post #56 of 75
To the OP: I am glad I didn't post pics of my home on a bad day! My messy home was never a sign of a lazy mother, ruined children or poor parenting. Sometimes, one or all of us had been sick, sometimes I'd get so involved in a sewing project, or schooling project, that the house would suffer. SOmetimes it was the kite-flying and donut-making that got us in a mess.

So, my 'babies' are 18, 21, 26 and 39 now. My house is reasonably clean. I didn't see the pics of yours, but i am the queen of overliaded horizontal surfaces and all of our storage used to be open too.

My kids don't remember the house being messy. They remmeber the picnics, the kites, the days we spent sewing little dolls, or beanbags, or baking cookies. They talk about the kitchen table forts and the popcorn and rented movies, the days at hte playground or raising chicks or piglets. I have pics of kids, walls and floor covered in choclate pudding that I wouldn't trade for an interior decorator.

Tonight is my DD's 21st birthday. The sink is full of dishes I'll do tomorrow morning while I make and drink my tea. My dd is here, with us, hanging out and enjoying 'her' day, not out drinking with friends.

My messy house didn't make me a bad parent. THe proof is in the pudding.

Saying, "I dont' mean to say anything hurtful" or "I'm just being honest" usually means that whatever you were planning on saying next isn't nice. Let's be nice.
post #57 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post
To the OP: I am glad I didn't post pics of my home on a bad day! My messy home was never a sign of a lazy mother, ruined children or poor parenting. Sometimes, one or all of us had been sick, sometimes I'd get so involved in a sewing project, or schooling project, that the house would suffer. SOmetimes it was the kite-flying and donut-making that got us in a mess.

So, my 'babies' are 18, 21, 26 and 39 now. My house is reasonably clean. I didn't see the pics of yours, but i am the queen of overliaded horizontal surfaces and all of our storage used to be open too.

My kids don't remember the house being messy. They remmeber the picnics, the kites, the days we spent sewing little dolls, or beanbags, or baking cookies. They talk about the kitchen table forts and the popcorn and rented movies, the days at hte playground or raising chicks or piglets. I have pics of kids, walls and floor covered in choclate pudding that I wouldn't trade for an interior decorator.

Tonight is my DD's 21st birthday. The sink is full of dishes I'll do tomorrow morning while I make and drink my tea. My dd is here, with us, hanging out and enjoying 'her' day, not out drinking with friends.

My messy house didn't make me a bad parent. THe proof is in the pudding.

Saying, "I dont' mean to say anything hurtful" or "I'm just being honest" usually means that whatever you were planning on saying next isn't nice. Let's be nice.
What a lovely post. Thank you!


ETA: I just printed this and am posting it on my fridge.
post #58 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post
My kids don't remember the house being messy. They remmeber the picnics, the kites, the days we spent sewing little dolls, or beanbags, or baking cookies. They talk about the kitchen table forts and the popcorn and rented movies, the days at hte playground or raising chicks or piglets. I have pics of kids, walls and floor covered in choclate pudding that I wouldn't trade for an interior decorator.
:::

I'll bet the OP's children were glad she wasn't Martha Stewart the day they made that spiderweb that covered the whole living room. Or the box fort.
post #59 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post
To the OP: I am glad I didn't post pics of my home on a bad day! My messy home was never a sign of a lazy mother, ruined children or poor parenting. Sometimes, one or all of us had been sick, sometimes I'd get so involved in a sewing project, or schooling project, that the house would suffer. SOmetimes it was the kite-flying and donut-making that got us in a mess.

So, my 'babies' are 18, 21, 26 and 39 now. My house is reasonably clean. I didn't see the pics of yours, but i am the queen of overliaded horizontal surfaces and all of our storage used to be open too.

My kids don't remember the house being messy. They remmeber the picnics, the kites, the days we spent sewing little dolls, or beanbags, or baking cookies. They talk about the kitchen table forts and the popcorn and rented movies, the days at hte playground or raising chicks or piglets. I have pics of kids, walls and floor covered in choclate pudding that I wouldn't trade for an interior decorator.

Tonight is my DD's 21st birthday. The sink is full of dishes I'll do tomorrow morning while I make and drink my tea. My dd is here, with us, hanging out and enjoying 'her' day, not out drinking with friends.

My messy house didn't make me a bad parent. THe proof is in the pudding.

Saying, "I dont' mean to say anything hurtful" or "I'm just being honest" usually means that whatever you were planning on saying next isn't nice. Let's be nice.
i LOVE this post! what a wonderful example! i was raised in a house much like this and my mom is one of my closest friends. even though we were taught to pick up after ourselves with chores, etc. the fun stuff was still at the top of the list of priorities.

as an actual interior designer (and self professed neatfreak), even my house can quickly become a disaster if i'm not careful.....but i would NEVER trade the time and activities spent with my children just to keep my home some kind of showplace (which it's NOT! LOL!). both of my children are now in school all day long (dd is almost 12 and ds is almost 10) so now i have plenty of time to get stuff done! but when they were really little i just didn't have the time......and i was much happier spending what time i did have with my kids.

to the op: i'm very late in seeing this thread or i would have loved to have helped you out in some way. and please listen to the post above! a messy or cluttered house really has nothing to do with how well you parent your children, or a measure of your "worth", or your children's "happiness" at all......not unless you *make* it a problem.

if you're house is really causing you problems, feel free to pm me and i would be happy to see what i can do to help......i do this for a living so i'll need photos and exactly what your concerns are, etc.

ETA: i promise, no judgment. heck, i'm almost guaranteed to have seen worse!
post #60 of 75
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