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Depressed over messy, cluttered, ugly house!! Help? - Page 2

post #21 of 255
wow this thread is amazing and possibly life altering for me!

I am also a "Im going to spend all day cleanign every day" if I want a clean house person..

My house isnt a disaster but yet its never quite "clean" I also get that heart attack feeling if my doorbell rings because laundry is always not folded in baskets and the beds arent always made, my table usually has junk on it and my DDs toys have taken over 3 rooms in our house when we have a large playroom just for her.. its time to take back my rooms again

it makes total sense everything that you are all saying! thank you all soo much
post #22 of 255
My apartment is similar to the OP's house. we are a family of five living in a 2 bedroom apartment. The baby sleeps in dh and I's room, 4.75 yo and 2.75 yo sleep in the other bedroom. This is what has helped us to help lessen our clutter:

WE ARE MINIMALIZING!! Yes, that's right. we are becoming minimalists, slowly but surely. Every time I do the laundry I have a min and two empty trash bags nearby when I take the clothes out of the dryer. As I'm folding them, if something is too small for ds1, it goes in the bin to be saved for ds2. If something is too small for dd, it goes in a bag to go to ebay listings. If something is too small for ds2, it also goes in the bag for ebay listings. If something has a hole (socks, underwear, shirts, anyones) it goes in the trash, and if something is too small for dh, or something I don't like to wear anymore, it goes in a goodwill bag. This has helped us IMMENSELY. Another rule in the house, is before birthdays or other gift giving holidays, the kids and I go through ALL OF THE TOYS and give to the local children's hospital any toys that they just don't play with much anymore. we have gotten rid of over 4 bags of toys this way!! It really helps!

hth
misty
post #23 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by calicokatt
Firstly, you will never get your house clean and in order until you are ready to live that way. It doesn't sound like you are, because you are still making excuses. There is no excuse for living in a disaster, I know this, because I lived in one for 10 years. You couldn't see the floor, or the counters, or even the beds. My heart would race and I would have to fight back vomiting whenever someone would knock on the door, so scared was I that someone would see how we lived.
I came to the realization that we couldn't live this way anymore after I stayed out of the country for a month and a half. I walked in the door after a 24 hour flight with two small children, jet lagged, tired, and suffering from a serious head cold, to my disasterous house. I spent all day cleaning it, and tried to figure out how I could have let this continue for so long. (I was seriously angry that day, and I got angrier with every passing minute)
I have 4 children and a very hairy dog, so we're talking some serious mess. I came to some conclusions that day. I discovered that I AM a lazy person, much as I resented my husband repeatedly telling me so. I also realized that it doesn't matter what size the house is, I've lived in 500 sq feet and 2000 sq feet, and the mess is just bigger when the house is bigger. It doesn't matter how many kids you have, the house was just as messy with one as it was with four. I also realized that it was terribly unfair of me to expect my children to live like this.
My house is clean now. I sweep the wood and tile and vacuum the carpets every day, and vacuum & mop the wood and tile once a week. Every two hours or so I walk through the house and put away everything thats on the floor, and make sure that nothing's out of place. Every evening I do the sweeping/vacuuming, and clean the kitchen. My evening routine takes about an hour. I change sheets once a week, on all four beds, and do laundry most days, but never on the weekend. I spend a total of maybe 2 hours a day on house work, but I always used to think that I would spend all day cleaning if I wanted to live in a clean house. Just another excuse.
I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to get up in the morning to a clean house, and make coffee and sit down at the computer with NO GUILT!! I used to always feel guilty because I wasn't cleaning. Not anymore. I have MORE time to spend with the kids, because I"m not wallowing in guilt and depression. When someone knocks on the door, I open it wide and invite them in, I actually enjoy my life now. It's the greatest gift I've ever received, and I had to give it to myself. I am free to enjoy my children, to play, to walk, to do WHATEVER I WANT TO DO! All because I am no longer shackled to the house by guilt.
Please do not think that I am judging you in anyway, because I am not. I cannot imagine a worse mess than the one I forced my family to live in for 10 years. It took a seriously life-changing experience for me to reach these conclusions, and now, I don't know how we could have lived like that for a day, much less 10 years.

Kathy

Thank you! I needed to hear that. I am full of excuses, but it's really just me not taking control.
post #24 of 255
What an awesome thread. I , like the momma who started the thread have an 800 square foot house...two bedrooms and no garage...no where to stuff anything. My mom says we "Can't live this way..the house is too small!" and she periodically tells me that Child proctective services would take my kids away if they only saw my house.

So, I'm a mess. I've tended to blame it on or that...I had morning sickness too, last fall and totally lost control. Before that I'd been doing Flylady, which worked, until I got pregnant. I blame the mess on my kids, my husband, my depression..depends on the day, really.

It totally messes up my life, too. It's like a black hole and drags me down emotionally. This is my home! This is who I am! Is this who I want to be? Why can't I grow up and get it together? I geet SOOO overwhelmed by it, I just cry.

I have managed to get control of my downstairs...and I feel 70% better because of it, but our bedroom is a DISASTER. I am stuck home today due to a heavy snow...I think I might be inspired to get in there aand at least start tossing stuff.

And thats the thing...stuff...we have TOO much. And like someone else said, if my house was twice the size...I'd just have twice the mess. This mess is part of me. And simplification is what I want which will mean I need to prioritze what I really need to own.

Americans are obsessed with the size of their homes...what do we really need? Thats why we felt we could live in this tiny house...because we were inspired by families in other cultures who live in so much less and are so much more content.

Do we manage well? No...but we will. I've got a vision of living simply...I just need to geet passed my junk (literally).
post #25 of 255
we just found out we're moving on may first! it has really given me a reason to go through and minimalize even more of our stuff.
post #26 of 255
We are two adults and a toddler in a tiny small home as well (and it's over 100 years old, so no closet space!). I look at a small home as EASIER to maintain but you have to pare it down to only what you use, and have a spot for everything. You can't have old tupperware and pyrex bowls and extra skillets under the sink taking up space that you don't use, you just can't. You can't collect back issues of magazines. You can't have a collection of blankets, or rarely used sports equipment. I promise you there is room for what you really need!!!

Imagine those display rooms at Ikea. They are tiny. They have everything to live comfortably and happily. It's not about how much space you have, it's about holding on to stuff. You gotta let that go. I can hear you are holding on because you talk about the future. The future is never going to give me enough time to use all those linen tablecloths I inherited from my grandmother, the extra sets of china, all the old magazines. The stack of blankets I hold onto because "blankets are practical, we need blankets". Uh, no. We need one blanket, get rid of the rest. We don't need all those unmatched plates and cups - we only need FOUR and we keep them washed. Whew, does that make it easier. We definately don't need clothes we don't wear often. Don't need old medications in the cabinets for just in case DS gets a cold or diaahhrea.... first, if it's cluttered you will never find the stuff in the cabinet. Second, how much is your storage space worth to you? Are you cluttering a cabinet with $4 half empty pepto bismol bottle and a half empty bottle of $4 conditioner you tried and didn't like? It's ok to get rid of stuff. Really.

If you are a planner, make an inventory of each room's contents - everything. Then go down the list and circle what you would take "if you were going to move into one of those tiny furnished Ikea rooms".

This doesn't have to be sad. Your small house is a good house. It has the potential to be small and happy and cheerful and everything you need in the world, it really does. It IS enough! You just have to fit it with only what you need and let go of the rest. The "work" of clearing stuff out is not hard. Pitch it in a bag, take it to the curb, call Goodwill. The hard part is the mental part of letting go. It's not your house, it's letting go that is the problem.

When your house is de-cluttered and rooms are so easy to walk through and you only have 4 plates to wash (I am serious) then you can think about taking a small bucket of paint and painting just one wall, in orange! Or purple. You have room to do whatever you want.

It really is possible to get rid of your clutter in a weekend. You just work your way from room to room and get rid of it. The problem is when you aren't willing to let go of stuff and you say you have to "store them" (like that extra iron you might need, in case your new one breaks or whatever). Shifting piles of stored clutter is no fun and of course you feel like you don't accomplish anything.
post #27 of 255
I've found this thread really inspiring as well!

I'm loving Kincaid's idea of only having four plates, bowls etc. so you wash as you go. Surely you have more plates hidden away though? What do you do when you have guests?

I'm thinking I'll put all but four sets up in a high cabinet. We have the horrid habit of using every plate, mug, bowl etc. until they are all dirty and it's a miserable chore to wash them all. We end up having to wash in shifts, lol! So to only have four out would force us to wash them up before it becomes an ungodly mess. And so much less intimidating to only have to wash four than eight of everything. Thanks for the idea!
post #28 of 255
I think you just described our house! Except we only have 1 kid, so we arent sleeping in the livingroom yet

We are always looking for ways to make our home more manageable, and aside from a new home or remodeling, the only thing we have come up with as a solution is lots and lots of decluttering.
I agree with pp's that just spending a day with some boxes and clearing out everything that isn't useful or makes your family happy.
We have 3 yard sales every year. Who knows where all that stuff comes from, but it sure feels great to get rid of it!

And I like the spend 15min every day cleaning thing. We are recent converts to that system. Dh and I in the evening set the timer and rush around for 15 min cleaning everything and whatever else there is just gets left. If dd has been playing with something really cluttery, we have her help clean it up once she's done with it.

Hope you feel better about the situation soon.
post #29 of 255
This is exactly the thread I needed right now. Clutter is by far the biggest problem in our house. My house tends to be clean but cluttered - I will wash dishes and sweep floors and dust, but piles of junk are all over the place and it's really getting me down. I've always been like this, even before kids. In fact, I think I'm a little cleaner now that I do have kids because I HAVE to be on top of certain things or else it will get totally out of control. Having people over is a major stressor for me - it means either 1-2 days of cleaning, depending on who it is. When the house is really bad and dh and I want to get it under control, we invite his parents over, cuz that really gets the house sparkling. But then within a week it is back to chaos.

I was wondering if someone could comment on the biggest problem I have with decluttering - sentimental value. I have gotten over the "I might need it someday" issue, but I am really having a hard time with sentimental value, especially with the kids' stuff. Toys and clothes are the worst. I have a hard time getting rid of toys that they don't play with anymore because "they used to play with this." It's like I'm trying to create a time vault with all this crap. I've got at least 4 huge plastic storage containers of kid's clothes, and my oldest is only 4.5yo. 2 or 3 of those are clothes that ds2 has already outgrown. I have gotten rid of so much stuff, but still hang on to way too much purely for sentimental reasons. I gave away an outfit that both kids wore just a few weeks ago and practically started tearing up a few days later. It's not like I don't have 3 boxes of outfits both kids wore, but parting with just one was horrible. But I am sooooo tired of shopping bags full of outgrown clothes all over my house.

And paperwork - I should take a pic of my desk right now and post it here. Heck, I could snap a pic of any flat surface in my house. If it is level, there's a pile of crap on it. My number one problem is that not everything has a place. I know this, but I don't know how to make it happen.
post #30 of 255
Calicokatt, you are my freaking hero. I'm, too, am a lazy person by nature and a reformed cluttter bug. I have changed my messy, lazy, chaos-cleaning ways since one week before the new year and my life is really different now. I spend less time stressing and overall I spend less time cleaning and my whole outlook is different. I have a hard time around people who make excuses or live in chaos--too close to the bone for me still.

I got my house to a baseline clean/clutter factor and now I follow Motivated Moms, which I use as a rough guide.

I think I'll adapt the two-hour pick-up rule. that's great. OH, I wanted to interject that my KIDS are more ordered now as well. Many of our tantrums and behavior issues were a result of a disordered house (disordered house=distordered mood, mind and general sense of well-being).

Jesse
post #31 of 255
Anniegirl,
Yes, we really do have only 4 place settings! For the same reason you mention - with more the dirty ones just pile up. We don't have a dishwasher (very old house not plumbed for one), so eash washing is by hand either way - 4 at a time, or a mountain of dishes at a time. 4 at a time is much better.
I do have a set or two of beautiful china. It is stored in a box in the basement. Cause it's not ever used! If I have a party I can go get it out... but then, when people have parties they usually use paper products. Let's be honest here, LOL.

Oceanbaby, what you are talking about, the senitmental aspect, is absolutely the thing that's the hardest. I get VERY attached to objetcs. They almost take on a life of their own. Every little sock baby wore as a newborn... an ugly Pyrex bowl my grandma let me bring chili home in one day...

On the outgrown toys, I would take a photo of the beloved toy and put them in your child's photo scrapbooks. This will make it so much easier for you (and whomever inherits your photos) to see the kinds of toys your children played with and loved. It's like creating a "visual archive". Then pass the actual used toy somewhere you can SEE the item being passed on... like a Salvation Army emergency care shelter. If you can see in your mind the item used elsewhere, it helps a lot (I have problems with putting bags in a drop-box, my memory wants to see the new home!!).
With clothes, someone told me to narrow down to 5 favorite outfits per year of age per child, and put those in a storage box. I have not done this yet... this will be hard...
post #32 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
I was wondering if someone could comment on the biggest problem I have with decluttering - sentimental value. I have gotten over the "I might need it someday" issue, but I am really having a hard time with sentimental value, especially with the kids' stuff. Toys and clothes are the worst. I have a hard time getting rid of toys that they don't play with anymore because "they used to play with this."
Donate it to Goodwill!!! If your children do not play with it anymore donate it so someone else might find joy in it! My son is apraxic (non-verbal) and we bought some terrific toys featured in a speech therapy DVD at our local Goodwill that have helped encourage him to make sounds!!!

"Store up your treasures in Heaven"

Best wishes,
Debra
post #33 of 255

I've been married almost 12 years now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kincaid
I do have a set or two of beautiful china. It is stored in a box in the basement. Cause it's not ever used!
and I finally gave away the china my MIL gave me (it was hers and not fancy or anything more like an extra set of dishes) because I got tired of moving it and we never ever used it ever! LOL!
post #34 of 255

I use plastic with a lid under the bed boxes

under the childrens beds as well as the sofa and loveseat to store the clutter! At the end of the day we just throw the toy clutter in there! If someone wants to find something they know where to look!
post #35 of 255
subscribing, i hope we all keep talking on here, this has made more of an impact than "belonging" to flylady for almost 2 yrs . Btw i think flylady is GREAT I really do, but theres some really really good stuff in this thread, thank you all ~!!!
post #36 of 255
I see I'm not alone.
I go back and forth between being inspired (I try to do Flylady, but I have trouble sticking to ANYTHING, even something as easy as Flylady.), to being completely morose.

I should say also that my husband doesn't lift a finger unless I beg him to, and I hate doing that. He's a great husband, just doesn't shine in this area.

*sigh*
I'm not having an inspiring week so far (and you're right, it does contribute to depression. Well, I'm not sure if the state of my house follows my depression or vice versa.)

Anyway, I'll keep checking in. Maybe I'll have some more advice when I'm feeling more inspired.
post #37 of 255
I definitely needed to come back and read this thread again tonight. DS and I have been sick all week (and DH is deployed) so the house is now an absolute wreck. I had felt like I had it under control for the last month or so but not now. DS had rotavirus and I was throwing up myself, spent 2 nights sleeping on the floor in front of the toilet. All the dishes are dirty and piled in the sink, the laundry is piling up and it looks like the entertainment center exploded in the living room.

*sigh* I just can't seem to get up the energy to start again.
post #38 of 255
wow i logged on to mdc today to see if i could get reinspired to deal with my life and i can't believe this thread is real. the jist of a really big, yet regular arguement that i have with dh is "does anyone else have to live like this?"
he works 85 plus hours a week. i am sahm with only one dd and i am completly overwhelmed by housework. the basics such as dishes and meals and the long term stuff like those bags of outgrown clothes. i have done a little counseling and lots of planning, throwing away and buying of plastic tubs, even though i hate plastic, we can't afford other furniture/storage right now. but wow does it get so intense and overwhelming. it is so tied into depression too. i am better, but not really clean yet.
unfortunately it really really bothers my husband, that i fall behind on the house and it could stay in that scary i would die if someone came to the door right now, place and i get so paralyzed by all the mess. it makes me cry and sometimes i just sit there not knowing where or how to start. i will try the timer idea, that is good because i know it really doesn't take that long, it just looks like it would. you all are very very inspiring. i'm looking at a clutter spot now thinking i'd better get out the garbage bags and get on it today. i'm also glad to hear that although no one wants to be messy, there are other mamas out there that are struggling with these same issues. i wish i had some good advice. one thing that was helpful for me was post-it reminders, i put mine over the sink. to remind me why i am doing this. why i want to be cleaner. it is for my dd and it is for me. i have mastered the dishes, i am able to clean up after most every meal and atleast once a day clean the kitchen is totally clean. that took me one year to relearn but that leaves the rest of the house.
the tea bags quote that is awesome. and true. i made lunch and left everything out i don't know why it is so hard to relearn this stuff. but it sure is challenging. happy cleaning to all of you mamas. and thanks for all the stories and inspiration. good luck
post #39 of 255
I have to add that I bought the MotivatedMoms.com calendar and in the beginning, it was the single biggest factor in changing how I maintain the house.

Jesse
post #40 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyBug & BabyBug
I definitely needed to come back and read this thread again tonight. DS and I have been sick all week (and DH is deployed) so the house is now an absolute wreck. I had felt like I had it under control for the last month or so but not now. DS had rotavirus and I was throwing up myself, spent 2 nights sleeping on the floor in front of the toilet. All the dishes are dirty and piled in the sink, the laundry is piling up and it looks like the entertainment center exploded in the living room.

*sigh* I just can't seem to get up the energy to start again.
You are NOT ALONE!! Child number one got that bug last month, on a Monday. Child number two got it on Friday, child number 3: Sunday. I got it on Monday. I couldn't even get out of bed, much less clean anything until WEDNESDAY NIGHT!! My house was TRASHED. It still only took 2 hours to clean it up, though, because although it was a disaster, I knew where everything went. I just didn't even bother with ANYTHING until I felt like I could get up and do it all. I know you posted this a couple of days ago, but just wanted to give you a and let you know that you're not alone.

Kathy
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