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Depressed over messy, cluttered, ugly house!! Help? - Page 8

post #141 of 255
Okay, I'm embarrassed to say my problem is not clutter. I have no problems getting rid of things the minute it gets on my nerves. I'm a minimalist at heart. The issue here is straight up mess. My kids try to drag food all over this house though the rule is they have to stay in the kitchen. The two year old takes advantage of me while I'm nursing the baby down and I find crumbs all over the place. I always keep my front living room super tidy and nicely decorated so that if someone knocks I don't have to step outside and shut the door - but heaven forbid they need a glass of water or use the restroom! I also suffer from major recycling guilt...so hard for me to toss something for the landfills when I know I could recycle it...then sometimes the bin is full so I have to wait until the next pick up...next thing you know I have three rubbermaid containers full of recycling sitting in the kitchen.
I've moved 6 times in the last 6 years and never have gotten to really settle in a place for good. Knowing where things will function well etc. So, now we are in a very stable place and I'm learning how to manage the household and come up with a routine that works. After 6 years of marriage I'm finally learning how to be a housewife!!
post #142 of 255
Anyone up for giving me a shot in the arm?

We've had our upstairs bathroom torn apart (complete re-do) for two weeks now, and we've got a way to go... the whole house is feeling the effects.
It's the I-don't-even-know-where-to-start blues all over again.
post #143 of 255
Subbing to this fabulous thread!
post #144 of 255
just bumping this is my favorite thread~ so inspiring!
post #145 of 255
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Someone famous said "if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing poorly." I say that to myself a lot. My dh doesn't understand since he heard the opposite growing up but it really makes a difference if it is a matter of doing it well or not at all.
Heck yeah! My DH used to get really irritated with me, we'd clean the house on a weekend and he would have picked up the living room, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed the floors in the whole house, etc., meanwhile I would be in the kitchen, cleaning minute cracks in the stove with a q-tip!

We laugh about it now, because I've realized that it's pefectionism causing an overfocus on the picky details while the rest of the house is a wreck!

Decluttering helps, and then it's easier to clean and keep clean. I really like Flylady, I don't do everything in the emails, but getting yourself up, dressed and ready for the day before trying to clean anything, keeping the sink clear and decluttering 15 minutes (or 5 minutes sometimes) at a time just can really help.
post #146 of 255
Glad someone bumped this up b/c it confirms what I've discovered the last two months: that it is possible to live in a tidy house (though not immaculate), even if it's too small and even with young children.

I was raised in a very tidy house, but married someone who was a bit of a pack rat. Over the past five years I've been working on this a bit at a time, and now, with our third baby on the way, I FINALLY am close to having a house as tidy and organized as the one I grew up in. My tips:

1. Be willing to spend a little on organizational devices. I shelled out some $ for about 3 dozen airtight containers and now have a functional, attractive pantry to store all of our bulk goods. Everything is neatly labeled and easy to find. Less food wastage and easier to make a shopping list. The same goes for the kids' toys. Even my 3-year-old and 19-month-old know exactly where every toy belongs. What doesn't fit in the toy box goes in a neatly stacked, labeled bin in the closet. I don't make my kids neurotic about picking up their toys, but it is something we do twice a day, once after lunch and right before bedtime.

2. Get rid of all the stuff you don't use, as pp have suggested. Dh and I finally got serious about this one and donated several garbage bags of nice sheets, blankets, and other good stuff because we simply had too many of them.

3. Give yourself permission to donate any knicknacks or decorations you don't really like, even if they were gifts from people you love. So much easier to dust that way. In a small house, too many knicknacks really create a cluttered look.

4. Utilize under bed storage for things like kids' shoes, hats and gloves, etc. (again, in easy-to-access storage boxes).

5. If you find Flylady too structured (I do), then simply decide how often certain chores need to be done (daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly), then give yourself a 3-day window for doing them. On the third day, no excuses.
post #147 of 255
I have been decluttering the last two days and it feels better. I need to finish the living room and hall this week.
three largs bags of stuff to donate.

and more to come...now to keep a schedule of cleaning. that will take some work.
post #148 of 255

toy thinning, decluttering before holidays, etc.

just chiming in about decluttering and toy thinning before the holidays.

I think it's important to IMMEDIATELY take things to be given
away out of the house. My back porch is a hot spot danger zone
and while I'm decluttering I end up with a huge mess back there
while the stuff accumulates. Somehow I think I'm going to "organize"
the stuff I'm giving to goodwill so that it's attractive and well
put together for the next person : . As if I could keep it
attractive and well put together for myself.

I also get really weird about getting rid of toys that have
missing pieces floating around the house. I will start collecting
a certain toy and it's pieces in a basket until they all turn up,
then either put it back into circulation or send it on it's way.

For a while I wouldn't even throw out one of the myriad shoes
of the dreaded million-pieced Polly's (can anyone sympathize?)
But now I toss and toss and toss. I'm funny about the playmobile though...

Love, love, love what people are saying about sending "keepsake" toys on their way and taking a photo instead of hoarding them for the future as a memory. Since I have nothing from my childhood I want to keep a lot of my kids stuff, but my sis is expecting so I'm boxing it up and sending it on.

Glad to find this thread...it certainly is a process and not a destination.

post #149 of 255
Originally Posted by mama2babybeans View Post
just bumping this is my favorite thread~ so inspiring!
Thank you ...... I needed this thread RIGHT NOW :
post #150 of 255
oops .... don't know why it has posted .... so many times
post #151 of 255
whoops .... double post
post #152 of 255
I think if you look at the messes as a whole it is too daunting and it's so easy to say forget it. If you take it one mess at a time, one project at a time then it's not so overwelming. It's managable. My house was alway a mess, but not total disaster. The beds were never made, sheets changed once a month, toys all over the upstairs, laundry in piles in each room and hallway. It's too much to think about. I work best with a list and so does dh. I post our list on the fridge and we mark things off as it gets done. Some things are a daily must and others are a weekly must. Other items are a once a month must. I find breaking the jobs much easier to handle. I don't clean the whole bathroom all at once. It take an hour and I don't want to spend an hour in the bathroom cleaning. I clean the tub/shower one day, the toilet another day and the floors another. I clean out the sinks and counters daily. It takes 5-10min and that piece is done. I clean the fridge this way too. One week it's the top shelf, the next week the bottom shelf and so on. I work on those extra cleaning project like the microwave, oven, fans on a rotating basis...and not all in one week let alone one day.

The biggest thing is that I don't work ahead of schedule. I do not do Wednesdays chores on Monday. When I'm done for the day, I'm done and whatever I see that needs cleaning goes on the list for the following week.
post #153 of 255
(just subbing for now...great thread!)
post #154 of 255
Don't have time to read the whole thread, but two thoughts come to mind:

Get rid of everything you don't LOVE (like someone said), and

Plants plants and more plants!! They really bring joy to an otherwise dreary room.
post #155 of 255
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
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.
I have a funny story about this book.

I got it out from the library a few years ago, for a month-long loan. When it came time to return the book, I couldn't find it. It was (needless to say) completely buried under the piles of junk, and while I did spend quite a bit of time poking around looking for it, I wasn't able to unearth it before the due date.

Or before several more months had gone by.

Feeling terribly guilty, I finally went to the library and told them I would just buy the book, because it was my responsibility for having lost it and I felt bad about having it for so long. At least then they could order another copy. I even told them what had happened to it (that I had lost it as I was cleaning my house.)

"Sure," they said. "What's the title?"

"It's Here Somewhere."

"Yes, you said that, but what's the title?"

When I finally made them understand that WAS the title, we made the arrangements and I left. As soon as I was out the door, I started to turn back and when I got closer to the office door where they were, they just burst out laughing!

Wow, was that ever embarrassing! But funny. I don't think I stopped laughing all the way home, and the librarians probably STILL get a chuckle about it!

For what it's worth, that is an excellent book.
post #156 of 255
This really is a great thread. Just now I got up off my chair, went to the hall closet and purged two electric blankets and one crochet blanket into the goodwill bag. Someone else that will actually use them should have them!
post #157 of 255
Originally Posted by Conteuse View Post
"Sure," they said. "What's the title?"

"It's Here Somewhere."

"Yes, you said that, but what's the title?"
post #158 of 255
Even my 3-year-old and 19-month-old know exactly where every toy belongs.
OK- so how do you do it? I'm orgizational incompetent, and I guess I need step by step instructions. I'm a very intuitive person except when it comes to organization. Explain more--I know you talk about having orgizational materials, and labeling, but can you kind of run down how your toy closet works. Thanks!
post #159 of 255
nice ideas. My favorite sidetrack, I love to take apart the entire fridge and clean and dry everything, including any jars of jam or ketchup that look less than completely clean. Meanwhile my children are dragging everything from one side of our home to the other....
post #160 of 255

Depression is a HUGE part of many of these stories. Sometimes you have to work on you and get to a better place for any of this to work! If you just "can't" do it... then please work on you so you can get there!

Come and join the "500 items in November Declutter Challenge" it's a good start!

How are you doing?

I too second the vote to get yourself out of the living room. If the two littlest are sleeping with you anyway... you should have a room. Heck all your kids are still young... they could ALL share a room! You and your hubby NEED private space.
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