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The Battle for Sanity: Me VS My House - Page 3

post #41 of 58

Can't wait to see the after pics!  You can do it!


Since you've said you worry about keeping it clean, as it doesn't take too long to become a big mess again, are you planning to declutter and downsize a lot with all the things you own?  I just know it's tons easier to keep things organized and picked up if there is less volume.  Honestly, when I look at your pictures I wonder where you are going to put it all when it's cleaned up... do you have plenty of closets/storage?  Will you be moving a lot of stuff to the basement after the carpet is installed?  I guess what I suggest, even though I know you are rushed for time, is tossing/donating as much as you can bear to.  Otherwise everything will be more likely to get scattered throughout the house again.


Good luck!  I know it's that much harder with little ones. 

post #42 of 58
Thread Starter 

Everything has places to be put away, except that clothes get seriously packed in closets and dressers when they are put away. Those really need to be gone through and gotten rid of, but I have such a hard time finding time for it. Only the horse and crib in the living room are extras from the basement, everything else is able to be neatly put away, just isn't banghead.gif

post #43 of 58

Rather than making the hard, permanent decisions about clothes, could you put perhaps three-quarters of the clothes in boxes and try getting along with the remaining quarter? I realize that that means finding a home for the boxes, but it would mean that the excess clothes would be compacted into a controlled space, and you could see if life works better with fewer clothes. Once you learn that you do get along fine with X number of shirts, etc., then you'd know what your decluttering goal is.



post #44 of 58

I'm cheering you on!

Can't wait to see the after pictures.


Honestly, the thing that stood out most to me about your pictures was that the word "poopn" was on your fridge (fridge magnets).

I know...I'm immature, but I'm still giggling.

post #45 of 58

What type of carrier would work best for a bigger baby...around 14 pounds?  OP, you can do it!!! You are motivating me as I clean for my dd's bday party also lol.

Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post

I posted something similar a few months back about needing some motivation. Some very kind momma remarked that I didn't sound like I lacked motivation, I sounded exhausted! She was really, really right. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and she really helped me see that. You sound the same way and there are pictures of what my house looked like on Jan 1 of this year somewhere on this board. My house is bad. But it really helped me to be gentle with myself and realize that I didn't necessarily lack for motivation or inspiration. I was just exhausted and overwhelmed. Sound familiar? Go really easy on meals and let yourself off the hook about exersaucers, bouncy seats or swings. Just do what it takes. We aren't meant to spend our days alone with children and no other adult support. Finally, I also asked in the baby wearing forum on what people could do with a sling - it varied, but back carries and carriers seemed to be a LOT more helpful for actually getting stuff done and moving than a sling. I can't do anything but walk around a store with the sling. I can't do dishes, I can't bend over for laundry or clean-up.


I have a 7 yo (budding hoarder with anxiety issues) and a 10 month old so I know where you're coming from. The 7 yo EASILY outlasts me in the evening and the 10 month old is up at 5:30 or 6 am. But my DH is tremendous. He deals with the late bedtime of the 7 yo. I get up with the baby in the morning.

post #46 of 58

Wow, I can relate to a lot of your post.  Mom of 4, doing online school for two of them (that is like a full time job, OMG) and my DH works a ton and is travelling.  I think, finally all of it, has sort of caught up to me!  The house is not looking good...and this is coming from me who used to be super uncluttered and love having clean, clutter free home.  Just so busy, there is not enough time in the day (which probably means some things need to go LOL).  I live in a smaller space (your home space looks big to me LOL) and no basement (ACK).  


Seriously, you probably are exhausted!  Stay positive though, you will figure it out.  I've learned, with every new baby and new life occurance there is a period of time when you have a bit of a learning curve.  Just keep on going at figuring out what will work for you and eventually you'll figure it out.  At least, that's what I tell myself (it was true here for the last three babies at least, the more recent one has been longer to recover from I think!).

post #47 of 58


Originally Posted by Juise View Post


The thing with large bins for us (which is what I prefered as a kid, although I don't know about when I was 3) is that DD1 is very particular and detail oriented, she likes to have things organized and will get very frustrated if they are not and just start dumping everything out. She has a beautiful kitchen, but she will not play with it if it is messy, as goes for the train table in the livingroom and everything else. Hopefully this will be resolved some when we can use the basement, and we are working on making a bedroom for her as well, although that may be a while.


Another thought: There's a place to put everything away, but is it _easy_ to put away? One of my rules is that if you can't put a commonly-used object away one-handed, there's a flaw in the storage plan.
The classic example that I give is for plates. If the dinner plates are in one stack, the salad plates in another stack, and the saucers are in another stack, then you can put a plate away with one hand. (OK, at least once the cabinet is open. :)) If the saucers are on top of the salad plates which are on top of the dinner plates, then to put a dinner plate away, you have to lift a stack of plates. And when you're busy, that always seems like just a little too much trouble, and so dishes start to stack up on the counter or on any handy flat surface.
Is it perhaps similar for the toys? For example, I'm imagining a shelf with the manufacturer's box of Legos, stacked on top of the manufacturer's box of blocks, stacked on top of the box that the little wooden train came in. To put away the train or even one block is a three-minute operation. If, instead, you got a big plastic bucket to put the Legos in, and put it _next to_ a big plastic bucket to put the blocks in, and put that next to a big plastic bucket that contains the train and some other related toys, then you can put away the blocks one-handed, by just dropping them in the bucket. 
And if you have a shelving unit that's just right for three shelves full of big plastic buckets, with maybe the ones at the bottom being devoted to, "Hey, kids, grab all the little stuff and throw it in the buckets!", that could help. What they grab-and-throw won't be sorted, but not-sorted and off the floor seems better than not-sorted and on the floor.
For your DD who just dumps everything out, is there any chance that you could train her to dump it on a roll-up play mat? Then she could dump, pick out what she wants, and you could come along, pick up the mat, and "pour" the toys back in the bucket.
I find myself looking at your pictures and thinking, "Well, you could do X, and you could do Y, and..." but I'm not sure if that's  what you want, or if your response would be, "Yes, I _know_ that; I don't have the time!" So I just wanted to note that I could offer thoughts, that may or may not be useless, if you want them. :)
post #48 of 58

I don't think anyone has replied to your carrier question yet :).  Is your baby at least 4 months old, able to spread their legs a bit?  If so then the best carrier for cleaning could be an SSC (soft structured carrier) like an Ergo or Beco, a Mei Tai like Babyhawk or Bamberoo, or a woven wrap like Girasol or Didymos.  A wrap will work with any age baby.  Personally I think for bending over a lot a Mei Tai would win the comfort factor and would be easy to learn to do a back carry (there are straps to learn to tie but it's fairly easy really).  Ergos are very easy to use though -- the waist band is pretty stiff but you can get used to it.  I was crazy about wraps for months and tried just about everything; they are lovely and very comfy, but there is a learning curve and I never did master a back carry.


Hijack over....

Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post

What type of carrier would work best for a bigger baby...around 14 pounds?  OP, you can do it!!! You are motivating me as I clean for my dd's bday party also lol.

post #49 of 58

My house looked like your some days (many days) when my kids were small.  It will get easier to find the time to clean when they are older.


The clothing situation looks the worse.  Anyway to get rid of or store some?  Your not doing anything time consuming like sorting laundry or folding are you? (hint: those are uneccessary time wasters)


When my house is disastrous, I find wandering from room to room throwing stuff in a garbage bag really productive and quick.  


Sending energetic victorious vibes.....



post #50 of 58

You did a great job on your daughters shirt, so cute!



Keep trucking, you can do this! Show that housework who's boss!




I'm jealous of your 3 bathrooms btw. I imagine it'd be hard keeping them up though.

post #51 of 58

sending you lots of productive vibes thumbsup.gif

post #52 of 58

love the Ergo, have been carrying my 16 pounder on the back. Takes a little practice getting them in by yourself but very comfortable for you and baby afterwards!

post #53 of 58

Juise, are you still looking for motivation/going through this together buddies of some sort? While I'll admit you have more challenges than me (one kid plus husband who doesn't work long hours and a much smaller house with less stuff), I can completely relate to feeling embarrassed ... make that panicked, at the idea of someone coming to visit. We had the house pretty darn clean for visitors in December and told each other we'd keep the place clean from that point on ... but we went back to our bad habits of not picking things up immediately. Neither my husband or I are extremely tidy or motivated to clean more then the minimal. Dishes and laundry get done at some point because they need to, but that's about it. Mail and newspapers collect everywhere, coats always lay around the front room, shoes are piled by the door and I always have boxes of stuff sitting out waiting to be recycled, donated, organized, etc. With stuff laying out, it's always feels like a huge chore to clean anything. My son has bad allergies, so I really should do even more de-cluttering to make it easier to clean surfaces to reduce the amount of environmental allergies in the house. I love your idea of before and after shots and would love to do some for myself. Having an always dirty house makes feel anxious all the time, so obviously it's time for a change.


Good luck with all your cleaning and de-cluttering!

post #54 of 58
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much everyone! I only have a moment to write right now, so I will get back again later. I wanted to say, though, it is the day after her party and we made it. joy.gif I did end up just closing the door on the library / computer area and our bedroom, or I don't think I could have done it. The bedroom is much cleaner, but not clean enough. It was sheer frenzy right up until guests started arriving and I was saving those areas for last since there was the possibility of just shutting those doors. Oh, and our paint did get delayed and won't be here until this coming Wednesday, which is probably a blessing, really. I found out Thursday and so was able to just cross that off my list of things to worry about. It would have been nice to have the basement all done, but it was fine.


The carpet got installed Friday, they finished around 6pm or so, and after they'd left I found that all the tacking stuck through the carpet irked.gif There was a quarter inch or so of nail sticking through the carpeting all the way around all the walls, and in a couple other random places. Unfortunately, I found them by stepping on them at the bottom of the stairs, ouch!! bigeyes.gif I am still angry about that, but I haven't been able to talk to the carpet company yet. At this point I am just really glad that it was me who stepped on them and not one of the kids, who were the next day running around the basement screaming giddily and bouncing off the walls. And also that my little brother came Friday night, since he lives a few hours away, and was willing to spend a couple hours going around the basement with a hammer eyesroll.gif I don't really like to confront people, but there are a number of issues with the carpet, so I am going to have to... not looking forward to that, but at least the tacking was the only problem that was actually dangerous rather than an inconveniance. angry.gif


Inga Anne - Definitely. I will probably start a new thread for maintenance support, but I will link to it from here.


Okay, back probably tomorrow with pictures and such.

post #55 of 58

YAY!!!! joy.gif WTG!



boooo about the carpet though!

post #56 of 58

I know that you've already gotten through a lot of it, but I can relate to your post so completely that I had to share what has made a huge difference for us. A couple years ago, my house was much the same- I got tired of being exhausted by trying to stay on top of it. 


Less stuff-  You have so much stuff in your home that you are trying to hold back the tide each day.  I mean, in one of those pictures, there are three computer towers-  Anything not being used every day should be stored in a single space away from the main living/playing area or sent down the road.  


Limit Access to Stuff - If I let the kids take out toys freely and without my help, they wind up strewn across the house.  I have a few that are left out, and I rotate these on a regular basis.  They can certainly play with other toys, but they need to ask for me to get them and they need to put them away as soon as they are done with them. (The toddlers need help with this, my oldest is pretty self-sufficient.)


Don't Try to Play Catchup - All the laundry?  Toss it in bags and take it to the laundromat. Get it all done at once and while you do it, take a hard look at what clothes you really need.  Stop and donate any clean clothes you don't really NEED before you head home.  The house and organizing- I would spend a little money to hire someone to come in to help get caught up if that is possible- or enlist family.  Screw pride, you deserve rest, peace and time for yourself. 


Accept your husband as the person he is, but don't allow him to undo all the hard work.  Things left lying about should be put away.  There is no need to make a big deal about it, simply pick them up, toss them in a tote or a box, and put it in the afore mentioned storage area. If they aren't looked for within a couple months- they can go down the road.  He'll be upset, but he'll learn.  He has to share the house with other people, you are his wife, and not his maid.  He needs to be responsible for his own stuff. 


IMO, if you can't do a 10 minute walk through of your home to get everything put back in it's rightful place, there is too much stuff out and about. 


Dishes- wash as you cook, and after every meal.  If you have a dishwasher, never leave clean dishes in it, and always wash when it is full. If you don't, wash everything as it is used. For me, I had to set aside a single set of dishes- just enough for everyone to have a meal together.  Extra dishes in the cupboard meant I could put of washing them- then I was overwhelmed and didn't want to wash them at all so I started at them as they took over the sink and counter.  I fill the sink with warm soapy water before I start cooking and pots and pans go in as I cook.  Dishes go in the dishwasher.  If i won't have enough to do a full load, I will simply wash them up after a meal.  I like to keep a pretty wooden drying rack on the counter beside the sink. 


It's overwhelming to get started- but-  once I created a more calm environment in my home, my kids started settling into better rhythms, and started sleeping better. When they are up while I get things done, they help me.  Their behavior improved!  If a chaotic house makes ME feel bad, imagine the chaos and unrest it creates in young minds. 


post #57 of 58

ITA. Excellent post :D

post #58 of 58

So your one DD just turned 3 am I right?  You need to get her to help!  She should be able to clean up her toys after using them, even with direction from you.  My DS is almost 2 and will put his toys away in the right bins while we BOTH clean up from play.  He probably wouldn't be apt to start picking up his toys on his own, but he will help mama.  Also, I don't do much cleaning while my son is up either - he gets into a lot of trouble if I'm not paying enough attention to him.  So I have him help me - which I really think your DD can do.  I give him his own spray bottle and rag and he wipes down stuff while I wipe down stuff.  He may spray more into his mouth, but he's occupied for the ten minutes I need to clean the top of the stove for example.  Even if thats all I clean in the kitchen for the day, at least I got that done.


Also, I bought him a child's size broom and dust pan he uses to help sweep while I sweep.  We make it a game and do dancing and singing with our brooms too.  He'll put the dirty clothes in the washing machine with me too.  If I need to wash some dishes by hand or load the dishwasher, I give him a clean bowl of water with some bubbles in the clean side of the sink and he'll play with bubbles and some water while I get it done.  Sure he may get his clothes a bit wet (or a lot wet) but hey its just water and it will dry. 


And believe me my house is hardly ever clean but I just figure if I can get one or two things done with the help of my DS, it helps me have to do less when he goes to bed.  Plus most of the time I crash when he does at night so i don't even clean when he goes to bed (and I like to nap when he does too).  And i am only able to do anything around the house if my 4mth old decides to nap without me holding him, so I feel ya on having the two kids and not being able to get stuff done.  

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