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I'm not ready to keep my house clean yet, and its getting bothersome :( EDIT: Maybe I am ready? - Page 2

post #21 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by missmich View Post
I really wish that I could come and help you. I love to to help and clean and organize. I hope that I can be of help here with my support at least.
missmich -- where in canada do you live? I'm in the GTA in ontario. I too am looking for a support group
post #22 of 80
Get a timer. 15 minutes cleaning. 30 minutes not.

I do this when I'm overwhelmed and it helps a lot because I feel like I am treating myself by lazing around twice as much as I clean!

Also, when I started doing this I realized how much can be accomplished in 15 minutes. You can easily clean a small bathroom in 15 minutes. If it needs decluttered then two 15 minute sessions should do it. I can also do a 'load' of handwashed dishes in 15 minutes. When I was swimming in dirty dishes that's about the time I needed to run fresh dishwater anyway, yk?

You can do, you just have to start.
post #23 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivgaen View Post
missmich -- where in canada do you live? I'm in the GTA in ontario. I too am looking for a support group
I'm in Montreal!
post #24 of 80
I would advise 2 things:

1. Get rid of something every day. Even just one single thing- one cardboard box or one piece of clothing. Trust me if you have to huge piles of clean laudnry, that you have not needed to wear, you can get rid of some clothes!

2. Clean one thing every day. Even if it is literally just cleaning up 1 tiny pile or half the couch or 1 half of the sink's dishes.

You will feel better when you start making progress, even if it is slow progress! If you can't do it with the baby, ask yout H to take the baby for 20 min. every night while you do it. It does NOT have to consume your whole day!
post #25 of 80
Aw, mama...I have so been there, done that!

The first thing to focus on is getting/staying healhty in body and spirit. If you are feeling depressed - all of this is going to be so much harder.

For today:

Step one. Get a garbage bag. Wander through the house and fill it with anything that should be garbage. If you can do this quickly -get another garbage bag. Throw them in the dumpster or put them wherever you put them until garbage day before you do anything else.


Step 2. Roam around the house and put stuff that is clearly in the wrong room in the right room. For us it is often dishes, laundry and pens/paper.

Step 3: if you have energy: make one space clean - the sofa may be a good choice. A tiny haven from stuff to enjoy. As you feel in control, this space will grow from sofa - to area around sofa, to entire living room...


You absolutely need to declutter! This may take a long time. I have been declutterring off and on for years. I really think we will always have to declutter - it is simple math, for every itme you bring into your life (if you have enough stuff) something must go out or you will have a surplus.

In essense, I do #1 and #2 almost daily, I do the dishes daily as the add up if I don't, and I declutter regualarly...it keeps the uckiness at bay. Good luck!
post #26 of 80
This has happened to my house before...more than once. When I'm feeling sick (like when pregnant) or depressed then it seems impossible to get it under control. It's like going in circles, moving clutter from one room to another, and nothing is ever really clean.

I finally figured out a method. Dedicate a day to decluttering each room. So if you have five rooms...living room, bathroom, two bedrooms, and the kitchen, then you'll pick a week to organize. If your DH has a weekend off of work, save the two worst rooms for his days off and tackle them together.

Go through each room and throw away all the trash first. Then take all the stuff you want to donate and put it in your car. If it won't fit in your car, put it on your porch or by the front door.

Either box up all the things that have no home and store them somewhere, even if it's just stacked in a corner, or get rid of those things. We have a small space and I buy those big rubbermaid tubs to store stuff in that I will use, but not often enough to keep it out on a shelf.

Don't worry about cleaning the rooms, just declutter, de-trash, and organize them one by one.

Then once you have that completed, no matter how many days it takes, you can make a cleaning plan. I keep mine in a binder. Or you can hang it on the fridge. DH also has a list of a few daily chores on the fridge, like taking out the trash and gathering up all dirty dishes.

Daily list--general pick up and put things away (I get DH to help with this every night before bed), wipe down bathroom sink so it always looks clean, make your bed, etc. Do one load of laundry everyday and put it away as soon as it comes out of the dryer until you catch up, after that you can dedicate a day of the week to laundry if you'd rather. I figured out that once we got a dirty laundry basket for each person everything was so much more manageable and less of an overwhelming mountain.

Do a load of dishes every day or every other day. If you have too many, get rid of some! Just keep enough for two days of eating and cooking.

Weekly...
Mondays--clean everything in the kitchen, get all dishes done, counters cleaned off, clean out your fridge.
Tuesdays--meal plan, grocery shop and refill your clean fridge, deep clean your bathroom.
Wednesdays--clean in the living room (dust, vacuum, etc.)
Thursdays--clean the bedrooms, change the sheets, organize kid toys
Fridays--errands or whatever you have left to clean
Weekends--relax in your livable house and enjoy it!

Once your home is de-cluttered (that's the hard part!) you'll be able to get the cleaning tasks and daily tasks done in just a few hours, and the rest of your time will be spent in a clean home without stress.
post #27 of 80
We've so BTDT

We're now a lot better than we were, but not all the way.

I second the advice to get rid of as much stuff as possible.

One thing that really helped me was to focus on the main living areas and not worry about storage areas for now. For many years I tried decluttering the storage areas (mostly toys and papers) and I never got anywhere. Now that the main living areas of the house are decluttered and fairly clean, I'm finding it much easier to deal with the clutter in the storage areas.
post #28 of 80
Wow! you've taken the first step! That is... making a list of things you see that need to be done.

Honestly, pick the easiest thing on the list (maybe the box in your living room that needs to go in the dumpster) and do that. Now, today! after you do that, if you feel like doing something else on your list today (again, pick something that's easy, but if you feel motivated about something else, I'd say go for it) then do it, if not, figure out what one you're going to do tomorrow. Then do it tomorrow (and actually DO it... just the one thing)....

I do like pp's idea about just wandering around your house and putting anything that you see that is TRASH in the trash bag, but in my experience, with my house, usually the trash is even there because it's hidden under non-trash stuff that I have to go through.

Anyway, I think if you make yourself do one or two "easiest" things each day, eventually you'll declutter enough that it'll become second nature. I did the "holiday grandplan" this year, and while I didn't finish it all, my house looks *so* much better, and I found that decluttering became sort of addictive. That is, I was constantly on the lookout for what else could go... and if it was just one thing (like, not something I'd have to sort through) I'd do it *right away* because it just felt so good and freeing to ditch the stuff!

Good luck, mama... I am by no means a daily cleaner, but my house is in such better shape that it really is noticeable to me when things get too cluttered (like yesterday when I had laundry all over the living room in the process of folding) and I really *want* to do something about it instead of half-ignoring, half-avoiding it...

One idea, though, is maybe you could figure out why your dishwasher isn't working well? sometimes it just needs a good cleaning (like run it with a lot of vinegar in there?) and sometimes there's food caught in the trap and can make it work better... and if you have the ability to have someone come look at it, it might be worthwhile. I know the only reason our kitchen stays relatively dish mess free is because of our dishwasher... I'd be lost without it.
post #29 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by missmich View Post
I'm in Montreal!
Bonjour! from Ottawa and a former Montrealer
post #30 of 80
A few more points:

I think it is nice to have a picture of how much work it takes to keep a house liveable. For my household, it is about 3 hours per day. 1 for dishes/laundry, 1 for tidying/cleaning/declutterring and 1 for fod prep. This is the minimum.

It may be helpful to look at your timetable and figure out when you can fit in the amount of time that you need to keep the house liveable.

Concerning your husband or partner.....it may be that you and DH think it is reasonable that you to do most of the housework because you are home more often - but there are times in life when this expectation does not work. I would say this does not work when you have a newborn, a toddler or the house is in such a mess that you really could use some help. For the short term, I do think it would be best if you and Dh would work together to get out of this situation. It may not be like this forever - and when you do find your groove I imagine you will get the bulk of work done during the day so both you and DH can relax at night. Today is not that day.

When my house has been really bad I have made far bigger and faster progress by just throwing things out. When life is overwhelming, getting stuff together for goodwill is actually hard. Moreover, you really should clean clothes, etc, for before you donate them and I do not think you have time to do that. I think somtimes people procrastinate as they want to go through stuff for "goodwill" and it just does not get done. It becomes an excuse. While you are getting control of the mess you need to keep things simple. If you really cannot in good conscious throw everything you do not want out - be ruthless. The thrift store beside me throws out 1/2 the stuff they receive anyway. If you do not want it - there is a good possibility no one else will either.

kathy
post #31 of 80
I was going to suggest just throwing things away, too. I know that's not the best earth friendly way to go, but you really need to see progress quickly with as little effort as possible. Depending on your weather, you might be able to but things on the curb/next to the dumpster with a FREE sign. (I live in Mexico. People come by every trash day looking for cans to recycle, so we bag our can separately and also put out anything we want to find a new home for on trash day. Nothing usable is ever left by the time the trash truck comes. When I was in California, things didn't go as fast, but I would put up a post on CL or freecycle saying where and what I had out and people would pick it up. I didn't need to make appointments or haul anything).

Ruthla's suggestion about paper plates/plastic utensils is also a great one. There was a time that I was in a very similar situation as you - a baby and a small, disasterous apartment. One of the things we did was disposable dishes for awhile. Again, not so earth friendly, but we did what we could. I couldn't keep up with dishes, so we lightened the load until we got other things in order.
post #32 of 80
nodding at what eclipse said.

There is a season for everything. At this point in my life I do make more earth conscious decisions... it will happen.

At this point you sound depressed/overwhelmed...and changing that is the highest priority right now.
post #33 of 80
Thread Starter 
yesterday, I cleaned out that box of kitchen stuff, and filled the other big empty box with papers that really just needed to be thrown out. both boxes are still in the house, but in the corner, and i might keep them around a little to put more garbage in/store too-small baby clothes in. I think I had the living room cleared out, but I can't remember now, because it is a mess again I also cleaned the bathroom - swept/mopped the floor, washed the mirrors, walls, and outside of the toilet(i did the inside a few days ago).

didn't do the tub, because the only cleaner we have that seems to work for it is such a strong horrible chemical that I was afraid to use it while pregnant, and yesterday, DS was playing in the bathroom while I cleaned it. I was using vinegar mostly, but got out the windex for the mirrors. ds was really attracted by the windex, which worried me.... can you use vinegar on mirrors?

We're just about out of vinegar, so we need that plus a spray bottle to put it in. if you use vinegar to clean, do you dilute it? I've been using the pour it straight out of the bottle onto a paper towel method.

right now, i'm going to clean up the living room again, then bring the piles of clothes into the living room to fold while I listen to something for background noise(helps me work )

i have friends who said they can come over to watch DS, and i think i'm gonna take them up on that! i'm feeling motivated right now! i hope i STAY motivated long enough to get stuff done!

i think my biggest problem is maintaining the clean. before i was preg with ds, i did keep everything clean(but maybe that was because we were newlyweds, and it only took us a month to get pregnant, at which point, everything got messy its been clean before! we just can't keep it that way! I've made a schedule of what to do every day, but it literally seems like it takes up the whole day IF i stick to the schedule, which I know I wont be able to do because i don't have the energy for it. I think the depressed feelings come from not getting out of the house, because when i DO get out, i'm much happier,but nothing gets done, because when i actually get out, i spend the whole day out!

we only have one car, so if i ask dh to get a ride to work, or if i drive him, so i can have the car, I also have to be done with whatever i'm doing at 4pm, so i can pick him up. i can't manage to get out of the house by noon, because i have to change ds's diaper, get him dressed, maybe take a shower, get myself dressed, and then feed DS again. and in the meantime, DS has torn up the house again, or there are breakfast dishes in the sink, or stuff that DH left out. He wants a clean house too, but he's worse than me at maintaining "clean." he's better at getting the whole place clean at once in a few hours if company is coming, but that entails throwing things in closets or other places that company wont see.

we moved right before DS was born, and in order to clean up the house when people came over to see DS, we literally just threw everything into the spare room. then the people who came had some kind of weird urge to open the door and look in at the mess, then show it to everyone else! maybe they though it was the baby's room or something, but it was very very embarassing...

ok, off to clean!
post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post
We're just about out of vinegar, so we need that plus a spray bottle to put it in. if you use vinegar to clean, do you dilute it? I've been using the pour it straight out of the bottle onto a paper towel method.
I use a small 2$ spray bottle that I bought at ikea. (The kids use it too!). It's a little worse for ware, so I think I'll go to the garden center and buy a good quality mister that will last longer. I started to hate the smell of the vinegar, so now I add in about 10 drops of lavender oil and the same for tea-tree oil, and It has a very fresh scent now and I like it!

I use the vinegar on anything except marble. My FAVORITE use for vinegar is to remove stickers that have been used to "decorate" the floors, walls and furniture!

Always make sure to rinse and/or dry objects afterwards to make sure the acid in the vinegar doesn't burn things away or cause discoloration or damage over time.

I never dilute vinegar (when you buy "table vinegar", it's only 5% acetic acid, so you shouldn't have to dilute it further.)
post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post
We have a Furnace in a closet without shelves that we keep some items in, we have a bunch of nice trays and containers that we have no use for---we got them for our wedding, and have duplicates. we also have spare tires in there. I keep some of our wic food overflow in there too, as well as some items that we purchase in bulk such as zip-lock bags and also plastic grocery bags.
I'm surprised no one else mentioned this...

I'm going to be blunt here for a reason:

This is actually dangerous. The furnace is in a closet without shelves for a reason. There has to be air flow to the furnace AND there have to be no items close that could catch fire if something went wrong. Do you have a hot water heater in there, too? Is the furnace natural gas or electric?

I rent a small condo and both the furnace and hot water heater (both natural gas) are in a small closet off the LR. There is a sign in there that per FIRE DEPARTMENT orders, NOTHING can be stored in there. NOTHING.

Spare TIRES? Rubber smolders nicely if it caught on fire.

If you have all the trays and serving dishes you don't use, get rid of them. Donate to thrift store. Or if you're a member of a church, maybe these items would be useful in the kitchen for events and such.

If you have such a small place that you're truly overflowing, you really need to NOT be buying in bulk. You don't have space for it.
post #36 of 80
For cleaning the tub, a nice, gentle, but still effective cleanser is Bon Ami powder. It's considered to be enviro-friendly, too. Doesn't smell weird. Wet the tub, sprinkle some on, and leave for a bit before you scrub.

I find baking soda to be too hard to rinse, even when I don't use a lot.
post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post
didn't do the tub, because the only cleaner we have that seems to work for it is such a strong horrible chemical that I was afraid to use it while pregnant, and yesterday, DS was playing in the bathroom while I cleaned it. I was using vinegar mostly, but got out the windex for the mirrors. ds was really attracted by the windex, which worried me.... can you use vinegar on mirrors?

We're just about out of vinegar, so we need that plus a spray bottle to put it in. if you use vinegar to clean, do you dilute it? I've been using the pour it straight out of the bottle onto a paper towel method.
hooray for progress & helpful friends!

as for the above, you could dump out the windex, wash out the bottle and use that for vinegar. just a thought. vinegar is ideal for mirrors and glass. i do dilute mine because i don't like the smell, and it still works well. i do about 1C vinegar, a squeeze of dish soap, a couple drops essential oil and fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. i clean practically everything with that!

for the tub, if you need a 'scrub' you can use baking soda and/or salt. works great with a wet sponge or rag. or . . . you could use one of those magic erasers just to get it back to normal, and after that it will be fine with a quick vinegar wipe-down on regular basis to maintain the clean.
post #38 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post
Hugs, momma. Been there!

Do it in layers - go around the house and collect trash, dishes, laundry. Just put them where they go (you don't have to do the dishes, or take out the trash, etc. yet). Then do shoes, toys, electrical stuff, etc. Break it down into categories.
This is how I work, too. If I make a list or start in one area I get paralysed and can't do anything else, and then nothing gets done. You just need to do anything, don't worry if it's perfect or not, everything you do helps your home. If you can only fold laundry for five minutes, that's something done at least, and better than doing none at all.

Try to look at your systems. Obviously laundry is a challenge. So why not get a laundry basket, store it on a shelf and make that where your clean clothes are stored. Then it's no longer an un-done task, it's the way things are supposed to be.
post #39 of 80
My home is so much less messy than before. There used to be piles of dishes, lots of laundry in various stages, and stuff all over the floor. It's gotten so much better over the last couple of years! I've been gradually decluttering, organizing, changing the room functions, and working on keeping on top of the big 3 for me: dishes, laundry, and finding the floor. Even with things less cluttered, I still have to be totally on the ball every day or I get behind. When I stay on top of things, it does bring me peace and my hard-won habits are really worth it. Just chipping, chipping, chipping away every day will bring rewards. I do a lot of housework after the children go to bed. I don't watch TV and don't read novels any more. For a long time I didn't even go on MDC much. It's easy to get used to a bad environment and not realize how much it is affecting you. I finally realized that I had to do this for myself, even if no one was willing to help me (and dh even actively discouraged delcuttering and organizing). I've figured out that it's a mental health issue for me to keep my home in decent shape (not spotless or even close). I'll know that I'm in the maintenance phase when I'dm proud to show people every room in my home. You can do it!
post #40 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper44 View Post
DH also has a list of a few daily chores on the fridge, like taking out the trash and gathering up all dirty dishes.
I agree with everything that she has said, except for this point above. This doesn't work with my DH...

If you're DH is anything like mine, then this would work for a few weeks, but then suddenly he would stop doing the things that I was relying on him to do, and I started getting frustrated with him for not "making the effort", and I would get depressed, and then *I* would stop, and then the house would fall apart again.

I've decided that I'm not going to do that anymore. If I get sick, or whatever, and everything falls apart for a week, then I'll just try as much as possible to take it as a compliment. Look at how needed I am, and look at all the good work that I do! I have turned it around once before, I can do it again. Where should I start today?

When DH helps out, it feels great (and he knows it, and he does his best). But if he doesn't do it, for whatever reason, I'm not going to let that stop ME from choosing to live in a clean house!
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