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Depressed over messy, cluttered, ugly house!! Help? - Page 6

post #101 of 255


Could someone tell me how I can subscribe to this? I'm sorry I'm so clueless!
post #102 of 255
Any time you post a reply to a thread, you are automatically subscribed to that thread....

Or, click on "Thread Tools" at the top of the thread, then choose "Subscribe to this thread."

Welcome to the boards!

post #103 of 255
Hi Katie! Welcome!

How's everybody doing?
I'm still on a roll, looking around the house and seeing with new eyes the things that I keep around mostly because I've simply always kept them around. Clothes I rarely wore ten years ago, crockery that's not that
chipped , toys that look cool but nobody actually plays with...
it's been great making all this clean space in the house!
post #104 of 255

QUICK pick ups for the not so neat people:)

This is going to sound like a really crude way to clean....but it works great for me! Yes, I am a little lazy-but I also have three kids ages 1,4, 13 and 15 horses (my business). So-not to bother with any more excuses as I'm sure that many of you know them already
I like this technique as it's fast and in about 5-10 minutes the room looks pretty clean!
In a carpeted room, I take a small plastic garden rake-yes a rake-I bought one just for indoor use! Rake everything into a pile, keep a garbage bag in one hand tossing trash and unecessary items as you go-toss laudry into a pile or basket as you come across it.

Keep moving-if something has a set "place" nearby put it away. Otherwise just keep sweeping/raking it along (unless it's breakable of course-then pick it up and put it away). Toys, I put into a big bin or, sometimes I just toss them (literally-the bedrooms are all close together) into the kids rooms and give them the task of putting them away. All of their toys are kept in big bins-so easy for even the youngest to put away.

What I am typically left with when I get across a room is maybe a shoe or two and some odds and ends-many of which I find easier to throw away than organize (magazines, catalogs, small toys etc). I also have a misc bin for each room so I can quickly toss the remains in if I am in a hurry. Then, once weekly (or when the bin gets full) I try to go through each bin and sort it (throwing as much away as possible!).

I try to avoid duplicate toys and anything with all lot of small pieces. I am also no longer shy about "disposing" of gift items that clutter my house just because they were gifts-like the 100 piece plastic food set, or the dozens of little plastic letters and numbers the kids got for christmas (did you hear that grandma.
With wooden floors, I use a regular old broom, otherwise the process is the same. The idea here is that everything is put into bins where you can find it and there is NO obvious clutter (it's all tossed away into neatly stacked, labeled bins).

This technique obviously does not work well on kitchens and baths (although to some extent you can substitute a wash cloth for the counter-tops in the bathroom)!

If you have time, follow up with a vacuum or mop and a quick dusting.

Carpeted stairs-I have a special hair brush for quickies to at least get the obvious lint, hair and what ever else the kids tracked in. Everything else on the stairs, gets put into individual bins according to who it belongs to (it's typically shoes, backpacks, books or toys, or into their rooms).

I also make good use of all the diaper wipe packages laying around-they are great for wiping down toys, furniture, window sills etc if you are sitting around with the kids....

I also am not, and will probably never be, highly organized-but I am able to keep lots of big labeled bins or decorative hat boxes to toss related stuff into so it at least looks tidy and organized....and I have some clue as where to look if I can't find something (if I am looking for a needle and thread, I can usually find it in the sewing notions box or the craft box!).

I also keep a box in the garage to throw unused/unwanted items into-as the house starts to get noticably de-cluttered (outgrown toys or clothes mostly). I actually find it easier to keep tossing things in the "to go" box as it makes the cleaning so much easier! Make sure this box is kept covered as it never fails that anything seen in the box all of a sudden becomes a very desirable toy, even if it hasn't been played with in months! : Then, make sure to take this box to "good-will" or the dump at least once monthly (or pass items on if you have friends or family with younger kids.

I also find it very helpful to try to take an objective look around on a regular basis-it's amazing how much junk, clutter, and unworn clothing I can get rid of when I look at things objectively, rather than for sentimental value!

Hope this was helpful to some and not too offensive to the hyper-organized neat bugs
post #105 of 255

Dh and I just rearranged our living room to make it look bigger, but the best part is we took out the coffee table. What a huge difference that made in our living room, just for the fact that the table was the ONE magnet for EVERYTHING in the house, especially for the kids. Our kids would drag their toys and art supplies in and leave them on, under and around that coffee table. Piled so high nothing else could go on it, and as soon as I picked everything up it magically reappeared again. Dh and I never used that table for anything but kicking our feet up on and we have recliners so we don't even really *need* it!

Now with it out of the room the room looks MUCH bigger and the kids haven't brought anything in to play with- they've been playing with things in their rooms and on their art table outside on the porch in the nice bright sunshine.

I know it's goofy and probably just a fix in my house but I love it.

I've been doing so much more than that around here, like keeping my desk clean, tossing stuff left and right and letting go of things I've been dragging around with me my entire life (pjs I wore when I was six, anyone? ). It's so much easier now to look at something and just let it go. I'm having to fight myself to *keep* everything! I'm on a roll and now I think I could happily empty the house!

Flylady was a huge help for me in the beginning. Without the list I wouldn't have known where or how to start decluttering and taking my life back from my *stuff*. I didn't stick with it completely, but it's good to take and use it as it fits..
post #106 of 255
Thread Starter 
Wowzers, had no idea my thread was still going. I loved reading it all. It's great!!

Sadly, my house is still yucky, but I did clean up my kids very small bedroom the best I could. Ill see if I can take some pictures tonight and show yall.
post #107 of 255
I'm subscribing---haven't read it all--but what I have--I NEEDED!!!
post #108 of 255
Just read this whole thread. I've been thinking A LOT lately about the state of my house and what I can do about it. I am absolutely not an organized person and the mess and clutter just get out of control. I do that look at every piece of paper and think about it or focus too much/clean to thoroughly in one place kind of thing. Also, my 3 1/2 has a short attention span and my 10 month is crawling everywhere and getting into everything. Those excuses aside, I still get paralyzed and don't know where to begin. Our kitchen counter in constantly covered. I clean it, it gets covered in junk, I clean it, etc. Even though I know that the part of the house that we live in is the most important to clean, I can't help thinking about the attic and the basement. They are both filled with junk. One or the other could be turned into a playroom, but first we'd have to clean it out. Must stop thinking about that, though!
We had new neighbors move in a month or two ago and I thought about actually having the woman and her baby come into our house sometime. I'm under the impression that she is a neat and organized person and I can't imagine letting her see how we live. I must say that I'm not a very social person and don't have people come to my house often at all. In fact, I don't spend much time in my house and I think that contributes to the state that it's in. How can I clean when I'm not there? My dh works A LOT, but when he gets a chance to clean he is much quicker than me and doesn't think about things so much.
Anyway, good to read all of this. I think I'm going to start small with little bits of the kitchen and go from there with decluttering. Also, I really need to advertise some things on craigslist that we've been meaning to get rid of for a while now...
post #109 of 255
In a carpeted room, I take a small plastic garden rake-yes a rake-I bought one just for indoor use! Rake everything into a pile, keep a garbage bag in one hand tossing trash and unecessary items as you go-toss laudry into a pile or basket as you come across it.
I do this too! Now that we have linoleoum in our main room I get a broom and sweep absolutely everything into a big pile - dust and all. I get the children to remove what they need from the pile and put it in its place. Bits of paper go to the recycling box and clothes into the dirty clothes basket or washing machine - depending on which clour I'm collecting in there that day! What they don't want plus the dust, crumbs, fluff and goodness knows what was previously in our carpet (yuck) goes in the bin.

I imagine this would be even better in a big room because you spend so much time and energy walking around bending and standing to pick up bits and bobs whereas this way its all in one place.

Getting rid of the coffee table is also the best thing we ever did. Dh was emotionally attached to it but we trialled living without it and put it in our shed for a year. He eventually parted with it after he found he couldn't get stuff out of the shed very easily. Hea has a fantasy that one day we will have a bigger house and x,y,z piece of furniture would be great. Yes but it doesn't now does it? And *I'm* the one who collects items of furniture
post #110 of 255

Me, too!

I can relate to nearly everything on this thread. I make all the excuses, and I also have the handy fall-back of "well, I'm a single mum, I can't possibly do all of this..." Well, that may be the truth, but that doesn't mean that my children deserve to live in a SuperFund site! : (And while we're on the topic of children, if I simplify their surroundings, they are more able - and more likely - to help with the upkeep...)

I am re-reading my absolute FAVourite de-cluttering book. It's called It's Here Somewhere by Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch. (It may be my favourite because I know these women personally; I went to school with their daughters.) It's from the 80's, but still applicable.

(Updates will follow.)
post #111 of 255
: :
post #112 of 255
Originally Posted by caramelcoffee_mama
: :
me too!
post #113 of 255
we got rid of the coffee table long ago and were amazed at how much bigger the living room looked! Never used it for anything 'cept to pile stuff on anyway lol
I come back to this thread every time I am slacking off and it motivates me
post #114 of 255
post #115 of 255

post #116 of 255
I have been keeping a word document with tips. So far, this is what I have.

Prioritize what you really need to own.

Minimalism rocks.

A place for everything and everything in it’s place.

Clutter has no point. You don’t use it. You don’t enjoy it. You don’t need it.

Leave a room cleaner than it was when you entered it.

Keepsakes should be memories, not burdens.

Set limits to amounts. (Once a bin, cupboard etc. is full it can’t be added to until some items are donated or given away.)

Anything that hasn’t been used in a year needs to go. (For example, you aren’t going to shrink down to the size of your skinny clothes until you have gotten rid of them all. They are just clothes and shopping second hand for clothes to replace your “fat clothes” once you lose the weight will rewarding.)

What are your favorite sayings and ideas that really help you keep a simple- declutered house?

Just had to edit this to add that I went directly from my computer chair to my bedroom closet and went through the clothes that are too small for me/I don't wear anymore. I am donating/giving away 30 items and two nice pairs of shoes. It feels so good to get rid of the stuff!
post #117 of 255

Just when I think I've made some progress...

I have been de-cluttering in bits and bobs, and I have a whole car trunkfull of things to take to Goodwill.

You would think that would be visible progress, but it's not. Everywhere I look, I see clutter, and just yesterday, I received two big black leaf bags full of hand-me-downs for my two eldest children. (The clothes are really nice; 95% of them are definately something we will use. It's just the sheer volume that is bugging me... )

I'm really tempted to choose a room and remove everything from it, like they do on television, and then allow only the "keepers" to return to the room in question. Has anyone done this? How well does it work?

Keep me motivated, mummas. I don't want to live like this anymore!
post #118 of 255

(Tiny) light at the end of the (really loooong) tunnel

ETA: Have I killed this thread???

I have been frustrated about the mess in my house since time out of mind. On Saturday, I had reached my limit, and I went into the loo, locked the door, and started de-junking and scrubbing. An hour later it was remarkably cleaner. (Not perfect, but definitely improved.)

I washed all the towels and put them into their basket. (I thought I needed to buy new bath towels. Turns out I just needed to wash the ones I already had. ) I did buy a laundry hamper (on sale for 50% off), and it is incredible the difference it makes to have the dirty clothes somewhere other than the floor!

The bathroom has stayed in good shape for the entire week so far. (I know it's only been 4 days, but still...) I will clean it again on Saturday, and deep clean the spots I missed last week. It feels great to have a clean bathroom!
post #119 of 255
If anything, you're reviving it!

I've been slipping back into apathy- our house is so darn big, in need of so much renovation still, has so many projects going on simultaneously, and is so full of stuff hand-me-downs from relatives... not to mention the steady flow of new unneeded toys and clothes from MIL... I'm overwhelmed again. Nothing I do really makes a dent. Something new always spills over to fill any space I clear. Feh.

I'm glad to see this thread again. It'll help me climb out of de nial.
post #120 of 255
my place is completely out of hand right now. dd is 4 weeks and i'm trying to figure out how to get the daily maintenance-type stuff done, much less decluttering. dd is 4 weeks old now and if me and the kids are fed, semi-dressed and somewhat clean then i'mcalling it a good day.
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