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Um..where to begin?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just found this forum and have been trying to browse through past posts to get some ideas. Let me start by saying that I'm not an organized person and neither is my dh. He works 60+ hours a week and although I only work three short days a week outside the home, I tend to not spend much time there.

So, our bathroom has been in the midst of being renovated for the past 5 months. My ds finally broke down and had a plumber come in a couple of weeks ago, so-Yeah I have a bathtub again! Still need to put in a new floor, reorganize cabinets, hang towel racks and such.

We are moving our 2 year old ds into a new, big room. Waiting for the carpet to come in, so that we can get the furniture delivered. I've cleared out everything a pregnant lady should carry and the rest is up to dh. I want to paint before the carpet is installed, but dh doesn't want me to paint while pregnant and doesn't have much time to do it himself.

Those are two main things. In general life, though, our kitchen counter is always covered in clutter. I never seem to empty the dishwasher before a bunch more dirty dishes have already piled up. Our bedroom floor is forever strewn with clothes (old house and bedroom closets aren't deep enough to hang anything). And clean clothes often stay in laundry baskets until the laundry basket is needed again. Our entryway collects coats and diaper bags and everything that we bring into the house and aren't sure what to do with. Our basement is full of junk and our attic is full of junk (we've recently moved all of our books-A LOT- to the attic from what will be ds's room, too). We have no real system of keeping track of bills, so sometimes things end up late and such. There are toys everywhere.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but you get the point, right? It's really not quite so bad as it sounds, but it's really driving me crazy. My ds is still not much into independent play and doesn't allow me to do a whole lot in the way of cleaning and such. Lately I've wanted to nap more than anything while he's napping. I'd really like to get the house in order before new baby comes, though. I feel like I need to get day-to-day (i.e. neverending) stuff, like kitchen/mail clutter and bills under control before I tackle bigger things, but I just really don't know where to begin. Any ideas on where to start or how to change our unorganized ways would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 10
There's an awful lot to your post...but maybe I can give some suggestions for some of it. Here are some things that I do. I have a white erase board in kitchen with chores on it. I do one room a day. I also scheduled 15 min pick up at the end of the day...everyone helps. When I first started doing this I was really behind and to do one room took a long time. Now it takes at most 30 minutes. Except the bathroom, it takes longer and dh takes care of the kitchen for the most part.

Laundry...I hate laundry and I'm awful about leaving it stacked in piles. But I'm getting better about just putting it away immediately. I don't know how old Desmond is...but my dd helps with this. I give her a stack and tell her which room it goes in. When she was younger I would give her one item and ask her to carry it and we would go together. Then I just put it away. Really young, I had her in the sling. I also have a laundry day...and just get it over with. Maybe look at how you can reorganize your closets to allow more space. Double poles, crates in the bottom...etc.

Kitchen counters...two bins for mail. The pile that needs to be looked at, the pile that's been looked at and needs something done (bills, etc).

Your son's room, carpet and paint. I would do some research here and perhaps others can be more informative...but these both give off fumes that aren't good to breathe. When we re-carpeted dd's room (before she was born) I purposefully did it far in advance so some of the fumes could be gone before she arrived.

Anyway, that's all I got for now...good luck and one step at a time.
post #3 of 10
Oh and edited to add...she then spent the next year in our bed before moving into that room
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, Babybug. There is an awful lot to my post, I know. That's kind of how it looks in my head though- a bit overwhelming. My son is two years old and has recently weaned. It takes him much longer to fall asleep these days and I have to be in bed with him until he falls asleep. Unfortunately, I fall asleep with him pretty much every night these days and don't get a chance to get anything done. Late night tends to be a rather productive time for me. Last night my dh was actually home to put ds to sleep and I was able to straighten up and rearrange some of the toys in the living room and dining room and get some bills sorted out. It's a start.

Definite reorganization of dressers and closets is in order. Maybe that's where I'll start. The main clothes issue is that there is just nowhere to put them if they are all clean. I do diaper laundry almost everyday and that doesn't bother me at all, because the diapers have a place to go!
post #5 of 10
Yeah, things can seem overwhelming when you're first getting started!!!

My advice is to just pick one thing and do SOMETHING!!! Flylady suggests starting with the kitchen sink, but, IMO, the reason that's successful because it's concrete advice, not because there's anything magical about the kitchen sink. "Help, where do I begin??" Then Flylady says "Do this first" and you get started.

I'd suggest that, for now, just pretend you don't have an attic or basement, and work on organizing the stuff you can easily reach on a daily basis.

Laundry: are there clothes in the closet/drawers that are out of season or don't currently fit anybody (like your non-maternity clothes?) See if you can pack any of those up for now, to make more space for the stuff you do wear. While you're at it, donate the stuff that you really don't think anybody will ever wear again.

Kitchen clutter: how much of the stuff in the kitchen do you actually need? Do you have more mismatched dishes than you'll ever actually use, or appliances you haven't used in years? It's amazing how much you can get off the counters when you can actually fit the stuff you use into the cabinets!!

Would it be possible to hire somebody to do some of the home improvements and/or heavy lifting? It sounds like your dh is working too many hours a week to realistically do the work himself, you're working plus caring for a toddler plus growing a baby. You SHOULD be napping when ds naps!!!
post #6 of 10
no advice. Marie, I could have written your post myself.

Everyone here seems like they are so into simplicity and simple living and I feel like we live in complete chaos. I'm awake right now because DD (2) woke up in the night yelling. I told her she was probably cold because she won't wear PJs. Then she starts yelling that she wants the blue ones. DH goes to her room and tries to find ANY PJs but can't. We had like 4 pairs of them out last night and they're all over the floor. so i had to go find them.

So all I can say is that I'm right there with you. It has occurred to me that we have to much stuff but I'm unsure how to go about the mental work of getting rid of it. I can't get rid of DH's stuff without his permission. But I've got my own "stuff getting rid" of issues to work on first anyway. Just want to let you know I'm right there with you!
post #7 of 10
Ellien Have you thought of just picking a drawer to start with? Something small. Whenever I de-clutter I start very very small. Small enough so that I can complete the task within half an hour and hour at the most.
post #8 of 10
This is what I've had to do-just pick one drawer and work on it. Really, it only took me about 5 min. And, after going through mine and dh's drawers and closet space, I really had a lot to donate! Now, for the rest of the house......
post #9 of 10
marieangela- i know just how you feel. we live in an old house and have practically no closet space whatsoever. i think that does make it harder to get organized in general because you've got to combine things in closets (dh and i share, ds and dd share, bathroom stuff and linens all go together, etc.).

there will be a whole bunch of stuff about painting while pregnant and many, many women do it. some do it without any protection and some where a mask and some where a special fumes mask (i did).

one funny thing, i found that when pregnant and thinking about these issues, you may be able to just wait for the third trimester when the serious nesting urge kicks in. you won't need advice or time or anything. the drive to organize will just push you and push you and push you.

lots of great suggestions here in the meantime though!
post #10 of 10
I pick a room if the whole house gets crazy. I make it look perfect, even if I have to pile junk in another room. Then at least I have one room that feels "good" (I hate junk everywhere). Then I just keep moving along. One to the next. Even if you end up with a big pile of junk that belongs no where in the most unused room. Leave it there for a week or two. If you never use any of it get rid of it or store it somewhere like the basement ot attic.

Unfinished rooms... these are a Catch-22... if you make them too comfy, DH will never finish them, yet if you leave them a mess they can make you crazy... hmmm

Do you have someone you could ask to paint for you? Or have a yard sale, get rid of your junk annd hire a painter with the money.
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