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As God As My Witness... I will never be embarrased by my home again!!!!

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

Or at the very least the embarrassment will be kept at a minimum.

 

A few weeks ago I happened to listen to an NPR segment on hoarding and something just clicked inside me. They were talking about me. They were talking about my home. And for the first time I realized that not everyone lived the way that I did. My home was not as cluttered as a hoarders; but the mentality was the same.

 

I made up my mind that by the time we had people over for my son's birthday in September; that every inch of this house would be non-humiliating.

 

For the past few weeks I've been working *so* hard; and I'm proud to announce that you can now come over unannounced and walk around my entire downstairs. I have:

 

Cleared a bunch of trash from our media room

Decluttered that same room; and rearranged the furniture so now we have a new *living space* instead of what amounted to an oversized closet

 

Cleaned/decluttered our downstairs closet; formal living room, and family room.

 

Cleaned/decluttered my craft room which I previously would not let anyone walk in because of the mess and pins etc all over the carpet. I'm still working on teh closet. DH rearranged all the furniture *and* got me a new craft table!

 

Cleaned and re straightened the nursery

 

Scrubbed miles and miles of baseboard (still have miles to go).

 

I'm so excited-- my home will never be as clean as my inlaws, nor as well decorated; but I do *not* want to be ashamed of the way I live (and by extension, my husband and children live) any more.

 

Just as an aside; I found 250 dollars of uncashed checks in all the junk.


Edited by texmati - 9/9/11 at 7:52am
post #2 of 53

That's GREAT!!!

 

I'm hoping to be right there with you. Trying to purge and clean and Oh sometimes I wish I were a minimalist.eyesroll.gif

post #3 of 53
Awesome. Good for you! smile.gif
post #4 of 53

That sounds amazing.  You must feel so fantastic when you walk into those rooms now.  Nicely done!

post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 

especially since I actually *can* walk in those rooms now. None of the rooms were unusable; but not user friendly for sure. I also *took back* my "MIL's' living room. As she hasn't been living here for a year; I think it's about time.

 

I'm shocked at how twisted my thinking was. I've had brown, dead plants just sitting in her room; because they were 'hers'. Well it's my home, and out they go! I have a box for her items; so I'm not chucking them, but no longer do they need to be cluttering up my kitchen, closets and living areas. I'm moving them out, and making room for me!

 

I've also gone through boxes, and boxes of stuff that I had from college. I have such an attachment to all the items from when DH and I started dating-- I think it was because it was the happiest time in my life. Well, I have those memories, and I have DH; so I've chucked all the ticket stubs, receipts, gifts and (i'm so embarrassed), *underwear* that I will never fit into again.

 

Next up... baby clothes. I've been really good about buying just a handful of outfits for my oldest each season; but there is still no reason to keep this stuff around after my daughter is finished with it. Between hand me downs; the stuff I sew, and gifts, my daughter has more clothes than she needs. I'm going to pick out a few 'like new' items for a future child (either mine or my sisters) and donate the rest.

 

 

I'm not really sure why I'm posting, I guess for support and encouragement. I'm shocked at how painful it is to get rid of these things. I'm shocked at how uncomfortable I am in an uncluttered environment at the end of the day; but I want my kids to be used to clean, not messy.

 

Anyone else want to join me in making the change from shamed to proud?

 

 

 

post #6 of 53

Congratulations! It sounds as though you've gotten tons accomplished. I began my decluttering journey roughly a year ago and I still have a ways to go, but I am amazed by how less stuff equals more peace of mind.

 

Great job! joy.gif

post #7 of 53

That's quite an accomplishment! Enjoy your hard work, momma. joy.gif

post #8 of 53

You should be very proud of yourself! Our whole culture has such a dysfunctional relationship with 'stuff" that to leave that path and forge a new one can end up being really, really hard. You are fighting on complicated emotional terrain, and doing awesomely! 

 

I wanted also to add support to the desire to teach the kids that a clean house is normal and a cluttered one is not-- I grew up in a VERY cluttered and even dirty house (though we were a very creative and happy family) and have had to teach myself the skills of taking care of "stuff" as an adult. I lived in Bohemian Squalor for many, many years, until having children put me over the edge to  slow, painful reform. My six-year-old daughter? When we do our daily/weekly cleanup stuff, I give her a zone, and she goes to town. Putting things away where they go, wiping surfaces, vacuuming (her favorite part). She doesn't do the kitchen, because she can't reach the counters without a stool, but she does the bathroom, bedroom, living room, entryway, playroom, craft table. Partly, it's easy because everything has its place. Partly, it's fun because we're all working together and we put on music and whatnot. But I see also that she enjoys the order it produces and the sense of taking care of our family by making a peaceful home. She has more self-care skills in this area at age six than I had at age 26. I love it that she won't struggle to function through the fog of "stuff" the way I did as a younger person-- she might choose to live in squalor (or Squalor) at some point, but it will be a *choice* for her in ways it never was for me. My three-year old, well... I don't know that he'll be as easy to indoctrinate, but he does get into the toy-putting-away if we time ourselves to see if we can beat the timer, or finish before 'Yellow Submarine' is over, or promise ourselves something fun after our tasks are done, which were all things I did with dd when she was younger. 

 

Anyway. Just wanted to pat you on the back for all your hard work. I've been there (including the boxes and boxes of college sentiment), and I know how much time and energy it takes-- but you'll never have to do it again in the same way, never.

post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

I'm shocked at how painful it is to get rid of these things. I'm shocked at how uncomfortable I am in an uncluttered environment at the end of the day;


This I understand. A certain amount of clutter feels right. But then it spawns. It can't be that way.
post #10 of 53

am so pleased for you.

+ happy you posted about it (post # 5 and you wondering ...)

because I'm hoping that reading about your progress will help me in my own efforts that are ever so slow

(I work in spurts, I do experience the 'click" effect you mention in post # 1 but it usually affects a very small spot//short duration

so the task still seems enormous ...)

post #11 of 53

Congratulations on your clean-up.   I am in a similar situation in my home where things have gotten out of hand.   We have been renovating (actually it's stalled out due to lack of time and funds) our basement for over two years now, and just this week I realized that I need to start thinking of my home as half as big as it really is because who knows when we'll get that space back.   We have waaaayyyy too much stuff for the "new" size.    I started looking at the holiday grand plan and am going to do the housecleaning and decluttering portions of it to regain control!    

 

I can totally relate to the emotional ties of stuff.   That is the hardest part for me.   Good for you for pushing past that. 

post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for this post! I feel like I should print it out so I can keep it with me as I clean. (but I won't as that would be clutter!).

 

I'm suprised at how emotional this stuff is for me. And I'm not saying that my home looks like better homes and gardens either-- I can defnitely see myself going through these rooms again and again in the coming years.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snanna View Post

You should be very proud of yourself! Our whole culture has such a dysfunctional relationship with 'stuff" that to leave that path and forge a new one can end up being really, really hard. You are fighting on complicated emotional terrain, and doing awesomely! 

 

I wanted also to add support to the desire to teach the kids that a clean house is normal and a cluttered one is not-- I grew up in a VERY cluttered and even dirty house (though we were a very creative and happy family) and have had to teach myself the skills of taking care of "stuff" as an adult. I lived in Bohemian Squalor for many, many years, until having children put me over the edge to  slow, painful reform. My six-year-old daughter? When we do our daily/weekly cleanup stuff, I give her a zone, and she goes to town. Putting things away where they go, wiping surfaces, vacuuming (her favorite part). She doesn't do the kitchen, because she can't reach the counters without a stool, but she does the bathroom, bedroom, living room, entryway, playroom, craft table. Partly, it's easy because everything has its place. Partly, it's fun because we're all working together and we put on music and whatnot. But I see also that she enjoys the order it produces and the sense of taking care of our family by making a peaceful home. She has more self-care skills in this area at age six than I had at age 26. I love it that she won't struggle to function through the fog of "stuff" the way I did as a younger person-- she might choose to live in squalor (or Squalor) at some point, but it will be a *choice* for her in ways it never was for me. My three-year old, well... I don't know that he'll be as easy to indoctrinate, but he does get into the toy-putting-away if we time ourselves to see if we can beat the timer, or finish before 'Yellow Submarine' is over, or promise ourselves something fun after our tasks are done, which were all things I did with dd when she was younger. 

 

Anyway. Just wanted to pat you on the back for all your hard work. I've been there (including the boxes and boxes of college sentiment), and I know how much time and energy it takes-- but you'll never have to do it again in the same way, never.



 

post #13 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane View Post




This I understand. A certain amount of clutter feels right. But then it spawns. It can't be that way.


This is the thing I'm suprised about the most. Having a clear room for me is almost anxiety producing! No wonder I coudln't keep it clean. I wonder if having it decorated/pictures up on teh wall etc would make it feel more like home.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaFrench View Post

am so pleased for you.

+ happy you posted about it (post # 5 and you wondering ...)

because I'm hoping that reading about your progress will help me in my own efforts that are ever so slow

(I work in spurts, I do experience the 'click" effect you mention in post # 1 but it usually affects a very small spot//short duration

so the task still seems enormous ...)


 

Thanks! I will keep posting my progress; mostly because I'm ashamed to brag to anyone else. About the click.... I cheated. I've recently started on antidepressents and feel better than I have in years!

 

post #14 of 53

I have GOT to do something about my house, too. It is so completely overwhelming. I actually came here to post something similar, I can't wait to update my own progress. WTG, Texmati!

post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post

About the click.... I cheated. I've recently started on antidepressents and feel better than I have in years!

 

That's not cheating!! That is taking care of your mental health. I have taken an antidepressant for years and have taken Adderall since January. Each of those have changed my life; I could maybe give up taking Zoloft, but I don't ever want to stop taking Adderall, at least not until I don't have kids in my house.

 

P.S. "Gone With the Wind" is one of my top 5 favorite books, love the reference in the thread title!
 

 

post #16 of 53
OP, I'm so happy for you!
post #17 of 53
I just stumbled across this forum by accident as i joined the site seeking breastfeeding support and saw the title of your post on a random list of newest posts on the site and was intrigued..
I was raised in a cluttered home and think that has contributed to my comfort within a cluttered environment..there r days when i look around and finally realize how cluttered or untidy things have gotten and think my kids deserve better and we need to clean up, so we do, but within a day we can have it looking like that again..it is as though we are happiest to just let it be that way..but yet i hate it. I hate that i dont want ppl to stop in unannounced, or tbat i have to scurry around when company is coming because things aren't in order the way they should be. We r not talking a true vision from that show..we can walk around in all of the rooms, but mantles, side tables etc have things that dont belong just cluttered there..toy boxes and shelves r in need of purging and reorganizing, and the empty space behind the stairs is used like storage closet. I also identify with some of the traits of a hoarder ie. dont want other ppl going through and decluttering my stuff and lack the motivation to do it myself..
How do u get motivated to get on top of things, and more importantly how do you keep it that way? I feel like i can spend rediculous amounts of time reorganizing but reclutter in no time..
post #18 of 53

WTG!!! I say you take the $250 and use it to get some frames for pictures, maybe a throw blanket that you'll use to stay warm, and see if making an area more like home doesn't help with the anxiety. I know it has with mine. Candles in a favorite, comforting scent are nice to have around as well.

post #19 of 53


Quote:

I'm so excited-- my home will never be as clean as my inlaws, nor as well decorated; but I do *not* want to be ashamed of the way I live (and by extension, my husband and children live) any more.

 

I so hear you on this.  An example from this afternoon:  the battery in my upstairs smoke alarm has been "cheeping" forever.  I keep meaning to change it, but you know how that goes.  Today, my neighbor brought over his ladder AND a new battery and offered to change it for me.  I wouldn't let him because I was so embarrassed for him to see the inside of my house.  That's just nuts.  I've gotta get on top of this!

post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tincia View Post

I just stumbled across this forum by accident as i joined the site seeking breastfeeding support and saw the title of your post on a random list of newest posts on the site and was intrigued..
I was raised in a cluttered home and think that has contributed to my comfort within a cluttered environment..there r days when i look around and finally realize how cluttered or untidy things have gotten and think my kids deserve better and we need to clean up, so we do, but within a day we can have it looking like that again..it is as though we are happiest to just let it be that way..but yet i hate it. I hate that i dont want ppl to stop in unannounced, or tbat i have to scurry around when company is coming because things aren't in order the way they should be. We r not talking a true vision from that show..we can walk around in all of the rooms, but mantles, side tables etc have things that dont belong just cluttered there..toy boxes and shelves r in need of purging and reorganizing, and the empty space behind the stairs is used like storage closet. I also identify with some of the traits of a hoarder ie. dont want other ppl going through and decluttering my stuff and lack the motivation to do it myself..
How do u get motivated to get on top of things, and more importantly how do you keep it that way? I feel like i can spend rediculous amounts of time reorganizing but reclutter in no time..

I think the trick is not just reorganizing but decluttering, getting rid of stuff so that you have less stuff cluttering your space, less stuff to care for and find homes for, and monitoring what is brought into your house in the first place. At least those are the things that have been working for me. It feels good to donate items I don't use and just to see clear space. Also, I hate dusting with a passion and love that I have less individual items to dust. Good luck! thumb.gif
 

 

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