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I live in a dirty house... HELP! - Page 4

post #61 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post
I think you need to work on letting go of the "I'm not going to do anything if he doesn't" mindset. You can't change your DH or what he does. Your dirty house is stressing you out, maybe he doesn't care or doesn't care as much or whatever. So you need to do what YOU can.
You know what -- you're absolutely right.

Maybe I've been approaching this the wrong way. What I should be doing is remembering why *I* want to do it. Instead of putting sticky notes around the house saying "remember to clean me", or whatever task I haven't been doing, I should instead be leaving messages like "You are worth it" -- and "You deserve to live in a clean house", and "Do it for you", and "Clean house == Feeling Great!"...

etc... etc...

I'm going to buy some bright, cheery colourful sticky notes today and get to work when I get home!
post #62 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
You know what -- you're absolutely right.

Maybe I've been approaching this the wrong way. What I should be doing is remembering why *I* want to do it. Instead of putting sticky notes around the house saying "remember to clean me", or whatever task I haven't been doing, I should instead be leaving messages like "You are worth it" -- and "You deserve to live in a clean house", and "Do it for you", and "Clean house == Feeling Great!"...

etc... etc...

I'm going to buy some bright, cheery colourful sticky notes today and get to work when I get home!
post #63 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post
I think you need to work on letting go of the "I'm not going to do anything if he doesn't" mindset. You can't change your DH or what he does. Your dirty house is stressing you out, maybe he doesn't care or doesn't care as much or whatever. So you need to do what YOU can.

FWIW, I've found that when I work harder at keeping the house neat, the rest of my family does too. Like I cleaned the bathroom the other day and straightened out my basket of stuff on the counter. I didn't touch DH's stuff other than to put his shaving cream, etc. back on the shelf where it goes. He came in and sees that the whole bathroom is clean except his area and guess what, he straightened it up a lot. Without any comments from me. My kids also seem a lot more likely to put their backpacks away instead of leaving them on the floor in the front hall when there isn't other stuff already on the floor in the front hall.


Yes Yes Yes...What she said 1 zillion times over!!!!

I definitely have a "victims" mind set about this. I used to always feel that no one is helping me..what is the point. Then I realized....I AM the point. This is MY house too. Why should I have to live like a piggy because no one else will help me? The only way this is going to change is if I just fix it myself. DH can hang out in his man-cave and he's never going to care. No matter how much I beg, plead, cry or scream for engagement. It only makes it worse when I sink into despair and follow his same pattern. My depression never lifted and I know it was because I was waiting on people around me to fix it.

That is never going to work. You have to do it for yourself, because you love yourself, because you do so much anyway. You put up with so much......you deserve the best and the best comes from inside. It is an outpouring of you into what it is that you need to do to make life better for yourself.

You can make a better home for yourself. It is up to you to do whatever you need to do to make it happen.
post #64 of 95
What works for me is going through a daily checklist. I keep a whiteboard up on the wall. I have a list of daily housework (I separate it by rooms/areas, not individual chores), as I'm going along I can add to the list of 'Weekly Chores' - the things I notice as I go, but don't do every day IE: cleaning the fishtank, shampooing the rugs. I also keep a shopping list on the whiteboard, so as I'm cleaning throughout the day I can add things I need to the shopping list. It helps me stay organized and saves me time when I'm not running out to the store for toilet paper.

It took me a while to get here. I pretty much spent 2 years just trying to declutter and keep the place tidy. Finally, one weekend the kids were at their dads, DP was out of town and I was bored - so I started in my bedroom - I decluttered and cleaned top to bottom. Even the walls! When that was done, I moved on to the bathroom, then my storage room....etc. It didn't happen overnight. It was a good 2 weeks of dedicated work. Everyday I made sure that my bedroom was clean, then the bathroom, then the storage area, then I moved on to the next room on my list. I made sure that the completed rooms stayed clean and I didn't just move clutter from the unfinished rooms to the completed rooms. I donated all the bags of clutter, toys, I sorted the clothes to store or sell. Maintaining the already completed rooms turned out to be quick and easy. Instead of an hour just to tidy the rooms, it's only 5 minutes. I have a lot more time. I make a point to declutter as I go about my daily life (IE: folding laundry...if it doesn't fit, won't be worn again, it goes into a bin in my closet which I sort when it's full).

Now, each day I start at the top of my checklist and work my way through. I pretty much put the easiest (or most important) stuff at the top. I hate cleaning my kids room so that is at the bottom, right below the kitchen, which DP is pretty good about cleaning and I hate doing.
post #65 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momo7 View Post
You have to do it for yourself, because you love yourself, because you do so much anyway. You put up with so much......you deserve the best and the best comes from inside. It is an outpouring of you into what it is that you need to do to make life better for yourself.

You can make a better home for yourself. It is up to you to do whatever you need to do to make it happen.
I got a little teary eyed when I read that
post #66 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post
It took me a while to get here. I pretty much spent 2 years just trying to declutter and keep the place tidy. Finally, one weekend the kids were at their dads, DP was out of town and I was bored - so I started in my bedroom - I decluttered and cleaned top to bottom. Even the walls! When that was done, I moved on to the bathroom, then my storage room....etc. It didn't happen overnight. It was a good 2 weeks of dedicated work. Everyday I made sure that my bedroom was clean, then the bathroom, then the storage area, then I moved on to the next room on my list. I made sure that the completed rooms stayed clean and I didn't just move clutter from the unfinished rooms to the completed rooms. I donated all the bags of clutter, toys, I sorted the clothes to store or sell. Maintaining the already completed rooms turned out to be quick and easy. Instead of an hour just to tidy the rooms, it's only 5 minutes. I have a lot more time. I make a point to declutter as I go about my daily life (IE: folding laundry...if it doesn't fit, won't be worn again, it goes into a bin in my closet which I sort when it's full).
I pretty much did the same thing. I started in one room and completely organized and decluttered it. I did every nook and cranny of that room. I threw away/donated stuff that didn't get used or was broken and I found a home for every single thing. Then I moved on to my next room and so on until just about the whole house is organized and decluttered. I still have a closet in the bathroom to do which I plan to get done this weekend. I keep a list of what needs to be done and cross it off as I complete it.

Things I do to maintain it - every night, I spend about 15 minutes straightening up and organizing any little thing that is out of place. I find that if I just let one thing go, then another thing goes and so on until it is back to being a disaster. As I am walking through the house, if I see something not put away, I pick it up rather than just say "I'll get to that later". Also, as stuff comes into the house (like mail or stuff from school) I go through it right away and put stuff away.

I have found it very difficult to change my mentality from "i'll get to it later" to "just do it now". Last night, I was working on some paper crafting and I found myself thinking "I'll just put this away tomorrow". I ended up taking the extra 5 minutes to put everything back in its spot.
post #67 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBikeLover View Post
I have found it very difficult to change my mentality from "i'll get to it later" to "just do it now". Last night, I was working on some paper crafting and I found myself thinking "I'll just put this away tomorrow". I ended up taking the extra 5 minutes to put everything back in its spot.
I did EXACTLY the same thing last night, but with my cleaning supplies. I finally got busy and cleaned BOTH bathrooms upstairs (which I have tolerated for many weeks, but after actually cleaning them, I realized how disgusting they truly were!) and then I started to run my bath. On the way to get my towel I realized that I had left my bucket, gloves, cleaning stuff, and bag of garbage just sitting in the hallway.

I was going to leave it, but I didn't. I put the trash in the garbage can outside and put everything else away. And by the time I had cleaned up, my bath still wasn't even full yet, so it took no time at all!

I'm working on the front entrance today. I bought some furniture from Home Outfitters (benches with a flip-up top), one to hide away muddy boots and shoes (with a mat inside to catch drips), and the second for storing everything that we need to take with us in the morning for work/school. I think it's going to work out great.

As I type this, I realize that I haven't put the other things away that I bought yet. I better get right on that now!
post #68 of 95
I did the same thing too the other night. We took the Christmas tree down and I put the stand in to soak for a while. I was thinking that I'd leave it. Then I thought...NO, darn it, I'm doing it tonight. It was so nice to wake up in the morning and have the laundry room clean and ready to do laundry in instead of having a big old tree stand soaking in the sink.
post #69 of 95
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling good...

Three bathrooms clean, one kitchen (almost) clean... (Floors are tomorrow!).
Front entrance (almost) clean (floors again)...

I know what you're saying -- its a nice feeling to know it's all under my control.

I've left myself sticky notes around the house, just so that I can remind myself if I start to slip back into old habits.
post #70 of 95
This thread has been inspiring!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
I've left myself sticky notes around the house, just so that I can remind myself if I start to slip back into old habits.
Yes! I did that for my morning abolitions, to remind me of each little step so that I would truly feel CLEAN and ready for the day. I have been feeling better since being on top of that. I need to make another note for the sink and dishes. I particularly forget to run the dispose-all before running the dishwasher, and if I don't, it backs up and everything in the dishwasher gets coated with grease.
post #71 of 95
This thread inspired me to start back up with flylady. It may be crazy, but it works for me. The attitude of doing it for myself, and doing it NOW instead of later, helps me so much. My house has been cleaned for two weeks now. I could have company over at any time and feel good. My sink hasn't had dishes in it for two weeks (this is the most amazing thing of all). My house was terrible about a month ago. Sink always full, dishwasher always full, too much laundry to do, too much dust to clean off, too many toys etc. It was just too overwhelming. The babystep aspect of flylady works for me. I disregard the things that don't work (shoes on everyday for ex.- we don't wear shoes in the house ever)


I keep telling myself that *I* want a clean house, so *I* need to do the work! And since i grew up hating housework, i'm trying to teach my kids a better way so that they grow up to appreciate a clean house, and know how to clean effectively so it doesn't take hours, and it's not a task to dread.
post #72 of 95
If you like lists and reminders, you should check out http://www.motivatedmoms.com/

I've been doing it for about a week now (well I used it last year for a bit and now I'm back at it) and my house has really never been cleaner. It seems like a lot of chores per day at first, but if I do them when I'm supposed to, they take no time at all since it hasn't been that long since I last did it. The chores are broken up too. Instead of "clean all bathrooms" it will have "clean toilets" one day and then "clean showers" another day. I like that because I don't always have the time or I'll just get distracted by DS or my nephew and forget to finish.
post #73 of 95
My greatest struggle is not feeling resentful that I seem to be the only one who cares.

Ultimately, I realized that even if I am the only one who cares, my comfort is worth it, and feeling resentful just left me feeling bitter while looking at all the stuff I needed to do. Doing it left me feeling better overall, even if it was unfair.
post #74 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
My greatest struggle is not feeling resentful that I seem to be the only one who cares.

Ultimately, I realized that even if I am the only one who cares, my comfort is worth it, and feeling resentful just left me feeling bitter while looking at all the stuff I needed to do. Doing it left me feeling better overall, even if it was unfair.
Well yeah...the resent-ful part of it will pull you down...because you you know it isn't just your house...you don't live in it alone and why doesn't anyone have any pride in how they live....it's depressing...so much.

But the point is YOU. The way that YOU feel and what you want/need for your own self being. You cannot depend on ANYONE to give that to you, or to get it anywhere else except yourself. Remember that the best comes from you. Only you can yourself the best because you know what the best is right?

Now I have to look around my own house and see how much that is lacking.... Gonna pull myself up today and actually see what my worth is.
post #75 of 95
I haven't read the replies, so I may be repeating other posters.

First thing you have to do is to ruthlessly cut back the toys. This is hard, I know. If you really can't bear it, pack 1/4 of it up and store it somewhere out of sight. A garage, an attic, your mom's house, something. I can almost guarantee the kids won't miss anything in there. I am one of those horrible parents that does this when the kids aren't around.

A few months ago we literally took every single thing out of the kids' room - every toy, every book, even the small furniture. Everything except the huge bookcase and their two twin beds. Then we put things back one by one, starting with their most favorite toys, and if there wasn't room or a space, then the toy did not get put back. When all of the books didn't fit, we got rid of some books. It took about a week of having excess toys piled in our living room, but slowly I packed up and gave away the ones I didn't think they'd miss, and then rehomed the others. But I was adamant that nothing went back into their room that didn't have a space to live. Now their room is easily picked up, and they play in there a lot more.

I also stopped buying certain toys. For instance, moon sand. My kids love this crap, but it makes such a huge mess I refuse to buy it. Playdough has to be done on the plastic mat on the dining room table. They can spread all their legos or blocks around while they are building something, but all the legos or blocks have to fit back in one big container. If they don't, we get rid of some. Litebrite lasted about 2 days in our house, and then I gave it away - too many little pieces I had to pick up all the time.

www.motivatedmoms.com When I use this program, my house is clean. I do end up spending quite a bit of time cleaning, but it's in manageable chunks, and after awhile it all comes together. Even if you don't do every single thing on the list, it still helps. Flylady was too much for me, but I love this program.

ETA: Another thing that helps us is that there is absolutely no food or drink except water allowed in their bedroom. Not dry cereal, nothing. I am super uptight about this. Our kitchen, dining area and living room are all pretty open to each other, and they are only allowed to bring non messy food into the living room. That means no smoothies, no cereal with milk, no yogurt - that all stays in the kitchen or dining room.
post #76 of 95

Wits End-REALLY

I am really feeling so horrible. I feel like a failure because of this dump of a house. I've become depressed. This house, all that we could afford, was an outdated dark grimy pit when we bought it but I saw potential and felt a great deal of hope. I put hours, weeks and a couple years into working hard here. I got NO help from my husband unless I would BUG him relentlessly and then he MAY help a couple hours half heartedly and then wander off. I've always been a hard worker, full of optimism and I am not a diva who needed to newest and greatest to be happy but I did always pride myself on a nice clean home. We could not afford much so I hauled home curb finds and joined freecycle to make due. I dared not ask my husband for anything as he would freak out over the money. We could have afforded something but mainly I needed some HELP with the doings.

So just after getting married for the second time, my new husband and I bought this 1960's house with the ugly orange and green carpets and pink walls. I ASSUMED he felt we would work together and do it up to some level of comfort but instead he won't do a thing. He works hard at his job but at home he is useless and YES I am angry and bitter now. I have tried so hard. Now my health has failed completely and I am left in this DUMP 24/7 with the horrible walls and ratty old carpet. I freeze all winter and bake all summer while he is in comfort at his nice clean bright office. I won't have guests over because the house is just such a pit. To name a few things.
Broken tiles in the bathroom
Cracked leaking toilet
Dark damp basement
No diswasher/tiny single kitchen sink
Basement laundry
Steep stairs to basement
Steep stairs to get into house
Rusty Bathtub
Old mismatched furniture
Semi working deep freeze
Orange and green shag carpets
Tiny useless kitchen with no counter space to work
Pink walls
Rotting wood exterior that needs residing
Overgrown yard-MASSIVE 100 foot ((+++???) high trees
I feel like a witch naming these things but my point is MUCH of the things are things that I, alone, cannot fix. As a result I have let the house go. Partly due to the illness but much is due to utter depression over living like this. It's so ugly and hopeless. I just want to cry all the time. I don't know where to start. When I do get something CLEAN my husband can manage to track it up, mess it up and just clutter it in one hour and I have to start again. No sense talking to him, he married me later in his life and lived alone before and before that his mom did it all for him. He is slovenly. There is no other word for a man who won't flush the toilet. Who eats and leaves his dishes where he is done eatting. Who sits on the sofa and won't move all weekend or else he sleeps. This has ruined our relationship. He is mad because I dont spit shine the house anymore. I can't due to health and won't because what is the point of a spit shined dump? When the place was clean and spotless it still looked horrid but I thought we were going to DO things as we could afford it but that has not been the case. We can't afford much but we could do some. But I cannot do it alone. And frankly I have lost interest. We are both in our 40's. At this rate we will be 65 before we have a livable house if then. I have done many many jobs here such as painting etc but I can no longer do it all myself. I cannot fix major things. I can't repair tiles and walls.
I've dealt with bugs and rats and got those under control. The rats were not caused by poor housekeeping according to pest control they are a major problem everywhere here and they are getting in the house to keep warm because there is so much wood rot. I feel like there is no use now. I do know I have not helped matters as I am afraid to throw anything out because I feel I might somehow be able to use the items to fix something but now I know how stupid I have been. I have made things worse. But I do want a clean home, a decent relationship again where I dont feel full of resentment.
I would give anything to have a nice clean bright cheerful home. But the depression now has taken me to such low levels, I am barely functioning. I am scheduled for 3 operations and I can just not face much more. I have tried to cull and throw out and organize but I have all but given up on LIFE.

Please don't worry that I am anyone's mother....the three are pets. We are childless. I found this forum when I was Googling ugly depressing homes. I am so desperate I hope someone will understand and suggest what I can do. I am sorry if I sound like a horrible person, I did not used to be bitter and angry. I hate myself now.
post #77 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mummyofthree View Post
I found this forum when I was Googling ugly depressing homes. I am so desperate I hope someone will understand and suggest what I can do. I am sorry if I sound like a horrible person, I did not used to be bitter and angry. I hate myself now.
Awww, don't hate yourself.

I do want to explain that you didn't start a new thread with your post, you just added to the end of someone else's thread. You might want to copy/paste your entire post into your own new thread in this section, so that more people will read it, commented, offer support and give suggestions.

Is there any way you two could go for couples' counseling? It sounds to me as if you need to figure out if there is anything you actually want to save in the relationship.

Also, what are the financials on the house? Do you have any equity?

Do you have family or friends who give you support, perhaps someone who could help you?

Hugs to you.
post #78 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mummyofthree View Post
Please don't worry that I am anyone's mother....the three are pets. We are childless. I found this forum when I was Googling ugly depressing homes. I am so desperate I hope someone will understand and suggest what I can do. I am sorry if I sound like a horrible person, I did not used to be bitter and angry. I hate myself now.
Do you have any family that can help? Mother? Father? Siblings? Cousins? Aunts/Uncles? Friends? Neighbours? Anyone?

Where do you live? Perhaps I can help you to find resources of other avenues you can go to for fixing up your home. What about writing to some of those shows that help people to turn their lives around. Some that come to mind: Extreme home makeover, while you were out, Dr. Phil, etc.
post #79 of 95
mummyofthree:

i hear you on those troubles. while i haven't entirely experienced that extent, it can be difficult to dig yourself out.

first, though, i would budget for and consider getting professionals for most of those jobs. obviously, you can't do it yourself and you and DH combined aren't motivated to do it. so pay someone. the job gets done, someone gets much needed work, and you both are happier.

second, i could go through this process in this way:

A. having a cleaning/decluttering party--tell friends and family that you are desperate for their help, but will make the process as painless as possible by making it a party. food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks), funny/stupid games with prizes, contests with prizes.

people come and you have donuts and coffee, an ice breaker, and then draw names to create teams. each team is given a room, and one team is assigned to help you with the decluttering.

the first step is that each team is given boxes for their room. anything on or under a surface is put into the boxes and brought to you to declutter with your team. the first team to get their room emptied gets a prize.

then, they go to clean their rooms, while you and DH declutter every box. your team will help you divide them into keep, donate/sell, and toss (recycle/trash).

once the rooms are clean and you have decluttered, everyone is done with teams, and so you reassign. these folks will take things to donation, those folks will take pics and put ads up on craig's list and the like. others will prep things for trash/recycling, and then still more will help you organize what you plan to keep.

finally, when it's all done, you have a real party! food, drink, fun, and of course, prizes for "miss congeniality" and "best sweeper!" and so on. celebrate the accomplishment.

B. After this cleaning party, get the other work done as time and budget allows. find and hire good professionals and work your way down the list. you might notice that as things get done, you'll both be more motivated to do what you can do, and what you can't still gets done.

I would start with structural things first, then carpets (i can't stand bad carpets personally), and then walls and then furnishings and what not. this is just an order that makes sense to me, but it will work.

and while it may take years to get everything perfect, it's ok. you'll feel good in the process.

It can be done and you'll be ok. it will just atke some time and elbow grease.
post #80 of 95
Just jumping in with a thank you to the OP (you might as well be, well, me.. lol) as I've picked up a lot of ideas and inspiration from reading this. If this makes any sense, I love everything neat and tidy, but i was never really taught how to maintain orderliness in a house with kids and chaos (growing up we had a housecleaner come twice a week who did all the maintaining - changed the sheets, swept/mopped, vacuumed, dusted, washed windows, scrubbed the bathrooms, etc) so things get out of control the second we have a busy day or two. Anyway, I'm following some of the tips in this thread immediately!
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