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Messy Moms help thread (dads and others too!) - Page 3

post #41 of 122
okay two things:

yes coupons are clutter, but I have saved thousands of dollars using them in the past 2 1/2 years, so i am not going to give that up. I do however have a designated spot for them and weed through them weekly, and I have stopped getting so many in the past few months, which has cut down on the clutter.

My yardsale last month, while did donate about half of the things, i kept the other half to either keep or save for another yardsale, well that is not happening. I don't feel like having one, and by spring i'm going to be as big as a house and i won't be having one with an infant or toddler, so i don't forsee having one or participating in one for at least 2 1/2 years, so Most the leftovers are going to donation. I did get some of the better baby stuff out to give to a friend and kept one small bag of stuff, (mostly baby stuff, that i was trying to sell prior to finding out i was pregnant), but tomorrow I am making dh go through some other boxes of stuff and i am making him drop everything off tomorrow. I know i won't miss this stuff, it is mostly clothes and dishes and as I tell my dh, just because we have a big house with lots of space, doesn't mean we need to keep everything. I swear I feel as though i get rid of so many clothes, but i don't feel like we buy a whole lot of clothes. I guess we buy more or get them as hand me downs than i realize, because how could i bring like 6 big bags last month, and have 1 big bag and 1 box this month and still feel like we have too much? I just don't know, but I am working on it and working on the urge to spend, I honestly have 0 zero desire to buy this new baby 1 article of clothing. Yes things are cute, but i have plenty left from ds if it is a boy and if it is a girl, i will get plenty in gifts. I am however concentrating on a few larger furniture pieces that are needed when the baby arrives, but that is it.
post #42 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearGirl View Post
Part 1: If you are not making your bed it starts today. Yes, sure, why make the bed if there are more pressing things to do. That's what I thought until I had to start making the bed to show my house, and it really gets you motivated and only takes a few minutes (not like keeping the sink clean, which we all know might require emptying the dishwasher, re-filling it, and then cleaning.) So, we will start with all the beds in the house. Make them. If your kids are old enough, make them do their own beds. You can teach them if they need to learn how.

Part 2: Dining room or the place you eat. Clean anything off of your table and the surrounding flat surfaces like buffets, you need to be able to eat in this room. Get rid of anything that does not belong in this room. So if you are shoving old bills in the buffet find a way to store, shred, or otherwise get rid of this. Recycle old magazines or catalogs, even stuff you might want to buy holiday presents from. You can visit their website, you don't need the catalog. If you need to remember the name and item make a Holiday List (preferable on a device like a phone). Get rid of anything you don't use like old napkins, place mats, burned down candles, whatever you are hoarding in the room you eat in. When you have cleaned out this room or area of a room then do the floors in this area with a broom or vacuum and wipe down the tables and your newly cleaned surface. Plan a meal at the table with everybody and enjoy!
this is so true! i've been making my bed and it does cause me to then grab the socks off the floor, straighten up the bedtime books, remove the water glass, etc. eta: and it feels sooooo much better to get into a "made" bed than a messy one, at the end of the day. insanely better.

here's a bed-making tip for messy mamas: simplify. seriously consider paring down to just a down comforter in a duvet cover, a fitted sheet, and 2-4 normal pillows. nothing else. then all you do is throw the pillows on top of the bed, shake out the duvet and fluff it on top of the bed. when i have sheets, blankets, little pillows, etc . . . it's harder for me to make it look right and i'm not going to do it. (however, if you want a prettier bed, then challenge yourself to make your bed EVERY DAY for a month, and reward yourself with an afghan or pillow shams. ONLY if it's motivation rather than clutter!)

the dining room advice is good for me. sooooooo many things happen on that table, not just eating, that i then tend to move that crap onto the nearest horizontal space when we need to eat (could be the countertop, the floor or one of the chairs!). yuck. i love when my dining room is clean and pretty. it's so nice to sit down to a meal with candles and flowers and no junk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minky View Post
I've got one that's proven to be a bit controversial in my IRL circle of friends.

No coupons.

They work well for non-messy people. I'm sure they save money. But in our household, they become clutter. If I save them, I'll never clip them. Even if I clip them, I'll never use them. It's not a "habit I can get into." It's just more clutter.
totally! i've felt guilty about this in the past because my mom is coupon-crazy, but my time is worth something too. my time and my zen kitchen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post
yes coupons are clutter, but I have saved thousands of dollars using them in the past 2 1/2 years, so i am not going to give that up. I do however have a designated spot for them and weed through them weekly, and I have stopped getting so many in the past few months, which has cut down on the clutter.
that's awesome! i have certain things like this, which could easily be clutter for another messy person, but i have a system. with coupons, you have a system!
post #43 of 122
geargirl, i looooooooooooooooooove you!

i donated 444 items this weekend (mostly clothes, also shoes, bedding, etc).

because of your post on media, i also made a (for me) pretty radical decision. i'm going through a divorce right now and stbx took all my CDs and records. we had agreed that he could take most of our collection (which was massive, we're both musicians) but that he would leave the things that were obviously mine - stuff he doesn't like or care about, which if he took, he would just sell. he initially took 'his' 90% of our stuff and left mine, but then he came back and took the rest (which isn't stealing since we're still married). i just have the few CDs that were in my car.

however (sorry for the long back-story!) . . . i decided to go strictly ipod. i'm a little freaked out by that. maybe as a reward, like after a year or so of a beautiful clean house, i can start buying records again. but for now, not replacing cds/vinyl means i don't need a stereo, don't need a record player, don't need to store all that stuff either . . . it's actually a liberating feeling.

post #44 of 122
Add me to the growing fanclub for GearGirl!
post #45 of 122
I made two trips to Goodwill this weekend and donated tons of stuff! I had plastic storage boxes full of outgrown clothes stacked 5 feet high in my girls' room. I just hadn't been emotionally ready to donate them, even though we aren't having any more kids. I finally realized that my girls deserve a clean, open place to play more than I need to hold onto old baby clothes, so out they went!

I have a lot more to go, but it's a start. My goal for today is to start getting some picture hung up that have been sitting behind the couch for waaaaaaaay too long.
post #46 of 122
subbing...
Thanks for your time and effort to write these tips! They are great!
post #47 of 122
This is so helpful to me! One thing that I have learned about myself: I cannot have plants. Period.

Maybe one day...
post #48 of 122
OH, and weather permitting, I encourage the kids to eat snacks and lunch outside. They are young messy eaters and I otherwise should really mop after every meal, which is not going to happen.
post #49 of 122

v


Edited by Bluebird9 - 11/27/11 at 10:02am
post #50 of 122
I so relate to this thread. Geargirl, I love you We've done/are doing a lot of what Geargirl talked about and it's helped my stress levels so much.

I get really bogged down in the paper though. Bank statements, paid bills, insurance statements, etc. There's just too much! I need to put these ideas into practice re: mail and paperwork.

We do donate quite a bit because we have a thrift store that has a drive-through drop-off. Awesome, right? I don't even have to get out of my car! I keep a bag in the hall for clothes, shoes, toys, etc. that I find during the week. When it's full, I drop it off.

We use Netflix and AppleTV (like an Ipod with movies/shows for your tv). I am a writer, so I buy some books in my genre, but I try really hard to get most books at the library (I still need to declutter the books I have, though). We have ipods.

Kids clothes are another area I struggle with. It's hard to keep up with the sorting for 4 kids. They grow too fast and/or the seasons come too early or late!

On cleaning, it's probably kind of a sad method, but here it is: I grew up in a really horrible house. In some ways, I was blind to the mess. I became desensitized and certain habits/conditions seemed normal to me. When I got older and more observant of others' homes, I became really ashamed of my house. I never had any friends over, never let friends inside. But I was like a hawk when it came to watching how things happened at my friends' houses. All to say that when I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start, I sometimes have to look at a room and say to myself, "If I were looking at this as a visitor, what would I see?" And that usually helps me to start: clear a countertop or table, straighten pillows, shake out a rug (or vacuum), pick up the floor, dust.

I hope to one day not resort to the "visitor" tactic because I am more self-conscious about what people think than others probably are, but for now, this is how I have to stay on top of things.
post #51 of 122
LOL Bluebird, that is certainly inventive! I just rip things into tiny bits, as I don't have a shredder either, well DH does in his office...but I can't be bothered to go into his office and disturb him; it is quicker for me to just rip the paper up, as I don't often need to do this. For people who have lots of documents to dispose of I can understand why they would invest in a shredder!
post #52 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by homemademom View Post

We do donate quite a bit because we have a thrift store that has a drive-through drop-off. Awesome, right? I don't even have to get out of my car! I keep a bag in the hall for clothes, shoes, toys, etc. that I find during the week. When it's full, I drop it off.
OMG I am so jealous!! If we had this available I would have made so much more progress by now with decluttering. Last time I attempted to donate, I couldn't get a park anywhere and gave up and brought it all home again.
post #53 of 122
The VVA (Vietnam Veterans Association) truck is coming tomorrow and I have a big box for them. Wenesday I am off to the consignment store with another load and anything they don't take will go in St. Paul's box or a Goodwill drop off center.

I also sorted through a bunch of toys and today for the first time in a long time, my kids played with their toys because they were organized and had all trhe pieces.
post #54 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by homemademom View Post
All to say that when I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start, I sometimes have to look at a room and say to myself, "If I were looking at this as a visitor, what would I see?" And that usually helps me to start: clear a countertop or table, straighten pillows, shake out a rug (or vacuum), pick up the floor, dust.

I hope to one day not resort to the "visitor" tactic because I am more self-conscious about what people think than others probably are, but for now, this is how I have to stay on top of things.
i think that's a great technique! know what really helps me? taking a picture. i don't even have to print it or transfer it to my computer. somehow looking at it on a screen, rather than being in the room, helps me see it way differently.
post #55 of 122
I SO wanted to print and highlight important tips from this thread... but I decided not to b/c it WILL get thrown in trash to avoid clutter in my household.
post #56 of 122
Add me to the GG fan club!

I found this thread because I started looking for some cleaning tips after reading the CPS thread in TAO. These tips have gotten me sufficiently motivated and DH and I are having a total house makeover cleaning session this weekend.

I have never really been able to keep a clean house and it drives me crazy! Part of the problem is that DH and I work opposite shifts so that one of us is always home with the kids. Plus I WOH and we seems to have sports practice or activities or school functions at least 2-3 evenings a week. So, honestly, by the time that I get home, cook dinner, do homework, baths and bed and try to spend at least a FEW minutes playing with my kids, I don't WANT to clean my house.

However, I am not happy with a messy house. It makes me feel terrible. So it's obvious that I need to do something about it. I am hoping that if we spend this weekend cleaning, I will just need to commit to 30-60 minutes a day to keeping it that way.

Anyway, thanks for the motivation!
post #57 of 122
I'm gonna intend on coming here everyday... I actually do have the neat gene, but I am a packrat...and worst of all, DH is very messy and over the years my way of dealing with his mess has been to slack on my part too and just not worry about it...if you can't beat 'em join 'em... but I know I need to somehow "train" him or encourage him to be less sloppy, it is just really difficult. He is a great deep cleaner, once he gets to it, but the day to day keeping things in order, putting things where they belong, not destroying things when trying to find something and leaving his stuff all over the place... that is the issue.

I like the idea of just making the bed upon waking in the morning! I'll start that tomorrow... I also need to designate a place for everything, which will be difficult because there so much stuff piled up around here(not ours, it is his aunt's house). We really need to and have a lot to do, to move things around and make space for being able to live neatly.
post #58 of 122
subbing and I'll read tonight after the kids go to bed
post #59 of 122
I've been doing the "just throw it out" thing... which feels awkward to me. I threw out a bunch of stuff, but man, throwing out books? Just feels wrong. I don't know what else to do with them, though...
post #60 of 122
So, I rarely use plastic grocery bags, but occasionally I forget and end up with some. Someone give me permission to throw them away. They're taking over my under-the-sink cabinet and the trunk of my car waiting for me to take them to the store recycling box.
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