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What stops you from having a neat house? - Page 2

post #21 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
It's all about priorities.
I don't understand why cleaning is such a priority when there are interesting things to do with ds. Something will always need cleaning, but ds will only be this age once. I like things to be functional and not scanky, but other people's standards seem to be much higher than mine.

With dh, ds, and my mom all being packrats, I try to keep things in perspective. There is nothing wrong or immoral about mess. And I don't have enough energy to combat it .
post #22 of 119
Well, for me, it's two things; One, I have a toddler home with me all day, and two girls who seem to make it very hard to get on a roll (know what I mean?) When I didn't have kids I worked straight through and finished everything quickly. Now, due to constant interruptions, I have trouble finishing tasks in a decent amount of time. For example, it took me all day just to declutter and clean my girls room! My 23 month old Son, and Autistic 11 yr old must be watched at all times. It's so much harder now. I remember when my home used to be spotless, now I am lucky if one room is clean! Inside, I really am a neat person! HA!

Secondly, I am guilty of not having a cleaning schedule. I am trying to fix that though. I think I would do much better if I stuck to a routine. I'm reading flylady right now and am very inspired!

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Joanne
post #23 of 119
Thread Starter 
Joanne That is exactly what I am talking about. You have very legitimate reasons not to be able to get things cleaned. I worked in a Peds clinic for 2 yrs as a nurse. Autistic children's parents have my TOTAL respect for being able to face each day with and find joy with their children.
There truely are reasons folks can't keep up. I think someone mentioned a physical injury.
I guess the reason behind OP was to get a vision of true valid reasons vs. the I just don't want to. Sometimes I think folks just have to forget cleaning and organizing basically just get through the hand of life dealt to them. Sometimes I just think folks need to "get er done". It is so interesting to me.
post #24 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
I don't understand why cleaning is such a priority when there are interesting things to do with ds. Something will always need cleaning, but ds will only be this age once. I like things to be functional and not scanky, but other people's standards seem to be much higher than mine.

With dh, ds, and my mom all being packrats, I try to keep things in perspective. There is nothing wrong or immoral about mess. And I don't have enough energy to combat it .

This is me. Yes, we do have too much stuff. But, to me, I would rather go out to lunch with my grandmother(who won't be here forever), go play outside with dc, spend time at dc schoo helping out, etc. Cleaning is such a task to me because it is NEVER done. The things that you are spending so much precious time doing will be just as bad a day/week/month from now and you'll be doing them all over again. Like a pp wrote...some people's standards are way higher than mine. I don't mind crumbs on the counter or even a needs-to-be-mopped kitchen floor, if that means that I get to spend more time with the kids.

There is also the fact that I spend so much time on 'mom' mode...picking up, cleaning, etc. that I need time to decompress. The very time that I could get so much done(at night after dc are sleeping) is the time when I feel like I can actually 'leave work' for a moment and take time for me.

Other reasons why my hosue looks less than stellar...we spend the majority of the time in the car...going from school to home...so for this reasonI think it is just easier to stay closer to the school until its the end of the day....so I spend less time at home. Thes is good because Its not getting messed up more but, bad because i'm not here to clean it in the first place.

I just feel generally overwhelmed at the situation. The family is not really any help. Dh watches me clean or complains about it which in and of itself makes me want to strike...so that they could see what the house would really liike like if I STOPPED cleaning. The kids will do a little bit...but it usually ends up sa a screaming/crying match(me crying because I am overwhelmed) and nothing getting done. Or the kids will clean up one small thing and them drag out 80 billion others so it really didn;t make a difference, what they did/did not pick up because now it looks 100 times worse.

And yes, did I say I was overwhelmed? Organizational things are definitely my strong point but its about not having enough time/space/money etc. to get it done right. I mean, we have 2 closets in our whole house...like 2500 sqft. The kids things have to go in plastic bins under their beds....where do I get money for that? If I can;t do it right, I think I would rather not do it at all. Its just too stressful for me to think about doing it any more than an extremely little bit at a time. By the time I get around to having it look like I did something substantial, the place where I started looks like a wreck/is all dirty again.

Oh my. That turned into a major rant didn't it? As per the 'why do people apologise for long threads' thread in TAO, I won't apologise for it.
post #25 of 119
well there's organized, and then there's un-dirty

my mom is GREAT at germ-phobic un-dirtiness--in fact she's completely OCD about it in my opinion--but she's terrible about leaving stuff out and is a huge packrat.

by contrast my house is very minimalistic. Partly this is due to a rebellion of my mom's pack-rattiness and partly this is due to not having much money to buy stuff either way it makes for a pretty easy-to-CLEAN house. less stuff means there's less of it to keep clean and put away.

the days when my house is in shambles are those days where I just don't have the mental/emotional energy to do much of anything, and what I do have, I'd rather spend enjoying my kiddos than cleaning
post #26 of 119
What gets in the way of me having a clean house? Living in it!
We homeschool and we make things and we are always doing some activity. There is a great Anne Lamott quote about how when she's eighty she's not going to wish she'd spent more time cleaning her house. That's how I feel.
post #27 of 119
My house is clean. I've perfected my routine.
I deep clean once a week, and pick up every day- multiple times a day.
If my house isn't clean I don't feel comfortable.
post #28 of 119
Thread Starter 
Since I started this discussion I will add "my take". My grandmothers both had very neat, clean homes and were minimalist. My mother has lots of antiques and stuff but her house is neat and clean. I used to be in a complete frenzy when we were first married to keep things spotless. Then came baby 1, then baby 2, then baby 3 in a 5 yr time span. So for a long time things were superfically cleaned but the closets, basement and drawers were a disaster. I was into "stuff". You know knicky knacky junk. Wall decor. Foo-foo. Then it was like a light switch can on one day. I thought this is insane. This stuff is adding to my unablity to keep things neat and clean!! So out it started going. Probably close to 700 items out!! Now we have toys of course but half as much. Pick up is easy. The kids are older and homeschooled. Cleaning and cooking are part of our education. Now I have no reason not to keep things clean. And I have figured out it is easier to wipe down the sinks when I'm done brushing my teeth. Easier to make the bed when I get out of it. Just a little here and there, but frequently. Anyway that's just me.
post #29 of 119
I saw this thread title and immediatly sad aloud..."My Brain"

But I think for me- it's more my priorities (as other people said), and I make a TON of excuses.

I've really just got to grow up.
post #30 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conteuse View Post
Let's see... for me it's mostly the decision-making process. I'm a "categorizer," and it's very hard for me to make decisions about where things should go and what "category" they should be in.

I think I read about this concept on a hoarding website somewhere: she'll take a book off the shelf and start reading it on the couch, and then get interrupted. Where does she put the book? Well, now it's in a new category of "partially-read books" and therefore doesn't belong with the others on the shelf anymore. So she just leaves it lying out on the couch. When you add this mindset to every single thing you get out, it's understandable how it could cause a mess!

I've had to re-train my thought processes, because mine is a very well-ordered, logical, and perfectionist nature. It used to really bother me when something from one mental category crossed over into another one -- like if my husband put my half-read book back on the shelf, for example -- but though it has been hard, I've been able to loosen up a bit.

Then there's the problem of not having enough storage space and not having the house laid out well. There's also the problem of my having a bad back and bad knees, and so can't bend over very easily to pick things up off the floor... which happens to be where much of our clutter lands.

Those are some of my reasons. I'm working on them, but it's a very slow process!

Wow I loved your post. I didn't realize it but this is me too.

I wouldn''t say my house is messy. It's just less organized than I'd like it. Can we find things?--Yes. I truely look at like this. What is more important to me at this moment in time--a clean house or enjoying my children? More often than not it's enjoying my children. 20 yrs from now I won't be saying "geez i wish I would've kept the house cleaner"
post #31 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZanZansMommy View Post
I wouldn''t say my house is messy. It's just less organized than I'd like it. Can we find things?--Yes. I truely look at like this. What is more important to me at this moment in time--a clean house or enjoying my children? More often than not it's enjoying my children. 20 yrs from now I won't be saying "geez i wish I would've kept the house cleaner"
While I agree with the general philosophy behind the 'I won't look back and wish I'd worked more / cleaned more' sayings. I think my house being messy and dirty contributes to things like depression, anger and frustration in me. Having a system of keeping the house clean helps me be in a better mood and have better time with my kids. It's a matter of degrees of course. I'm not saying the clean house is more important, but not living infested in clutter is really important to my mood and ability to cope iwth the demands of my kids.

As a kid, my parents house was always messy and cluttered. It led to a lot of fights between my mom and I. I was embarrassed to bring my friends home, mostly because of how mad my mom would be that someone saw our house. The incessant demands that we clean, etc. I wish my mom had been able to look back at the whole picture and see how the stuff was what was causing it. If we had embraced more simplicity and decluttered more, we could have had a lot less strife, etc. So having a cleaner house would have made my childhood happier and honestly my relationship with my mom 150% better. Of course cleaning more wouldn't have helped, it would have had to have been decluttered to make keeping it clean easier.
post #32 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post
well there's organized, and then there's un-dirty

my mom is GREAT at germ-phobic un-dirtiness--in fact she's completely OCD about it in my opinion--but she's terrible about leaving stuff out and is a huge packrat.
That's funny! You could be talking about my mom. I never understood, how you could be so intent on cleaning, bleaching etc. and still be so cluttered.

Her cat has a whole set of plates for each feeding for a week. After the week is up, she runs the plates in the dishwasher by themselves. (You wouldn't want all those cat germs touching the plates you eat off of: ) But she leaves the plates in a stack at the top of the basement stairs until then
post #33 of 119

This thread has been so helpful!

I've really enjoyed reading all of your posts! I've been thinking so much about this lately, as I feel so overwhelmed by household tasks.

Background: I've got a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and I stay home with them. We try to go on outings most weekday mornings, which means a big effort to get all three of us ready (my 3 year old son is not very self-sufficient) and then a big scramble when we get home to give my son lunch and/or keep him occupied while I put my daughter down for her nap (she's ready by noon). Then I spend quality time with my son while she's napping, and then we try to play outside in the afternoon. I quickly throw some dinner together in the late afternoon/early evening, then we eat as soon as daddy comes home at 5:30, then it's bathtime at 6:00, storytime at 6:30 (Daddy reads to ds while Mommy nurses dd), and the kids are often asleep by 7:00. That's when we tackle the backlog of dishes and laundry from the day. My husband is very helpful and also grew up in a cleaner, more organized home than I did. My mom always seemed to be cleaning or cooking, but we never really had specific places for things, and my parents didn't assign us to chores on a regular, systematic basis.

My house isn't a total disaster, but there are definite problem areas: my desk and the kitchen counter are always cluttered, my car is often filled with the remnants of our outings (because when we come home, all I can manage is getting the kids inside and the groceries, for example). And the dishes and laundry accumulate during the day because I'm focused on feeding the kids, keeping them clean, and engaging with them, since I consider spending time with them my most important responsibility. (My mom wishes she spent more time with us and less time cleaning.) But that alone is a full-time job, and I often find myself feeling exhausted and discouraged as I face household tasks at the end of the day.

So, to summarize, here's why my home is not more neat and clean:

1) Lack of training - I'm not trying to put all the blame on them, but I think if my parents had done a better job of teaching us how to do chores regularly and to keep things clean, those habits would have stuck with me.

2) Kids - There was a period of time after college and before kids when I did a pretty good job of keeping the house neat and clean. But I focus so much of my energy and attention on them during the day that I don't get much else accomplished - multi-tasking often just makes me grumpy and frustrated because I'm constantly interrupted.

3) Underlying attitude - I guess I grew up with a different vision for myself. I always wanted to be a mother, but more for the nurturing/teaching and not so much for the cleaning/housework. I don't mind laundry and dishes, but it takes a lot of energy for me to tackle floors and bathrooms.

4) The "categorizer" syndrome - I have a hard time putting things away unless I know for sure what their place is, and I tend to want to leave things out if they require further attention or are not finished. This is partly due to the constant interruptions: since I never have a long enough block of time to finish projects, I tend to leave them out so I can work a little here and there.

5) Lack of a good organizational system - If I could just set aside enough time to get things organized in the first place, I could probably maintain it. But as it is, I can barely find enough time to keep up with the basics of cooking, dishes, and laundry!

Solutions:
1) I think it will get a little easier as my kids get older.
2) I need to change some habits and discover some shortcuts (i.e., while the kids are snacking in the car, I can sort stuff into separate bags for garbage, recycling, and laundry)
3) I should set a small goal for each day (Monday - kitchen floor, Tuesday - bathroom sinks, etc.)
4) I should watch less TV and movies (We don't watch THAT much usually, but we're giving up TV for Lent and it's definitely helping! And my dh and I really enjoy watching movies together, but we should limit ourselves to one movie per week.)
5) I can have my son (who is a very good helper) be my assistant during our "quality time" while my daughter is napping.

Other strategies that have helped you? I'm really interested in what has worked for others as I feel I have a real need for improvement here! I think many of us are trying so hard to do everything right: provide fresh, home-cooked, nutritious meals; spend lots of quality time with our kids; be environmentally conscientious; keep our homes clean and tidy... But there's just not enough time in the day!!!

Sarah
post #34 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
While I agree with the general philosophy behind the 'I won't look back and wish I'd worked more / cleaned more' sayings. I think my house being messy and dirty contributes to things like depression, anger and frustration in me. Having a system of keeping the house clean helps me be in a better mood and have better time with my kids. It's a matter of degrees of course. I'm not saying the clean house is more important, but not living infested in clutter is really important to my mood and ability to cope iwth the demands of my kids.

As a kid, my parents house was always messy and cluttered. It led to a lot of fights between my mom and I. I was embarrassed to bring my friends home, mostly because of how mad my mom would be that someone saw our house. The incessant demands that we clean, etc. I wish my mom had been able to look back at the whole picture and see how the stuff was what was causing it. If we had embraced more simplicity and decluttered more, we could have had a lot less strife, etc. So having a cleaner house would have made my childhood happier and honestly my relationship with my mom 150% better. Of course cleaning more wouldn't have helped, it would have had to have been decluttered to make keeping it clean easier.
Wow! I could have written this post word-for-word. I think it's part of the reason I have tried so hard to learn how to clean and organize - I don't want to put my kids through that. Now, obviously, a little clutter here and there is not the same thing, but my kids deserve to live in a decently clean home. They deserve to feel pride in their home - not be embarrassed when someone comes over, not hide when someone drops by unexpectedly.

Not to mention, I honestly feel like being reasonably clean is just a part of life. If you take off your clothes they go in the hamper, not on the floor. If you spill something, clean it up. I want my kids to see this their whole lives - for them to learn this now.

Plus, I think I said this before, taking the time to de-clutter and organize and keep the house clean is honestly a time-SAVER, not a time-WASTER. It took me a long time to really learn that, but it's true (for me anyway).
post #35 of 119
i think this is a great thread. i have thought a lot about this recently, because i am absolutely horrible at cleaning and straightening. here's what i've come up with:

1. perfectionism - ironically, it's my perfectionism that has paralyzed me a great deal. if i can't do it ALL right now and have it be PERFECT, i get discouraged and don't do it at all. i know how ridiculous that sounds, but this mentality really does stop me dead in my tracks. i have lofty goals, the vision of perfection in my head and the reality sets in that it isn't attainable in the foreseeable future, so i think "screw it".

2. problems with categorizing: i have the opposite problem of what many here have mentioned. i don't categorize well. junk drawers are like mini-torture chambers for me. if i look at one too long i get sucked into a depressed abyss that takes me a while to come out of. if i see things together that are miscellaneous it is virtually impossible for me to figure out, in the moment, where things go. i don't know why but it's like my brain shuts off and i can't process that we have a place for batteries, a place for nail clippers, a place for puzzles pieces, shoe polish, markers, etc...god even writing that list freaks me out a little. : it's so so SO hard for me to categorize things like that in the moment and i get paralyzed and overwhelmed

3. too much stuff. pretty self-explanatory. waay too much stuff. WHY do we have the stuff?? well, i've got hoarding tendencies. nothing scary, but i do tend to hold onto things for bizarre sentimental reasons. if i can think of a memory attached to an item (any item, really), i will keep it. the paradox is that having SO many "memories" in the house makes it impossible for me to adequately display or protect any of them, so it defeats the purpose entirely. a friend of mine told me the other day to store something in my kids' memory box. i thought to myself "my god, my HOUSE is their memory box. that's not good." LOL

4. lack of knowledge - i don't really know *how* to do a lot of the stuff i need to do. i don't mean i literally don't know how to mop a floor, but i don't know how to create a routine for cleaning or a process. my mother is the supreme organizer of the universe. which basically meant that i never had to do anything. well, i did help out but i never had to *own* it, kwim? she was so great at it i just sort of followed her around and helped but never learned how to implement her system.

5. laziness/fatigue. i have 2 kids (4 & 1) and i'm also horribly out of shape. HORRIBLY out of shape. i barely have the energy to play with my kids let alone something on TOP of that. i also have a horribly bad back, which prevents me from doing a lot of things. BUT - the biggest problem with this one is that i often use it exclusively to explain my issues. the fatigue, not the laziness. LOL! i COULD do more than i do, but don't. i could do more laundry but i don't. sometimes i forget (oh HA! that's another one - forgetfulness. and yeah, i forgot to include that one. LOL) but most of the time i am just tired, feeling run down, too damn lazy to get off my butt and do something other than surf the net and post about how lazy i am.

so what am i gonna do about it?
i've downloaded the motivated moms calendar and will start using it tomorrow. good lord that list has things on it that i've NEVER done. LOL!! i am also joining a gym so that i can incorporate exercise into my weekly routine - i am hoping that will jumpstart my body into having more energy overall.

i have to cut this short (lol short you say?? why yes, i had more to say) bc i have to eat dinner. thanks for starting this thread, OP.
post #36 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by IncaMama View Post
i have to cut this short (lol short you say?? why yes, i had more to say) bc i have to eat dinner. thanks for starting this thread, OP.
This reminds me of me, all my posts are like 3 pages long and I had to stop myself before it got REALLY long.
post #37 of 119

I laugh when I read about how we should just teach our children

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkprincess View Post
"...If you spill something, clean it up. I want my kids to see this their whole lives - for them to learn this now..."
to clean up and they should see our good examples of cleaning up after ourselves...

Tonight at dinner my 7yo told me she threw up last night in bed. She didn't come and tell me last night and neither did her 9yo sister who sleeps in the bunk below her!?!

My children have seen me clean up thousands of times! I have told them to clean up thousands of times! I have showed them how to clean up thousands of times and yet she threw up (it was a very small amount) and did nothing about it!?!

I read posts about teaching our children, etc. but sometimes it doesn't matter what you do or what you teach your children because children are just that - children! LOL!

Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10, 9, 7, and 45 mos
post #38 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntLavender View Post
to clean up and they should see our good examples of cleaning up after ourselves...

Tonight at dinner my 7yo told me she threw up last night in bed. She didn't come and tell me last night and neither did her 9yo sister who sleeps in the bunk below her!?!

My children have seen me clean up thousands of times! I have told them to clean up thousands of times! I have showed them how to clean up thousands of times and yet she threw up (it was a very small amount) and did nothing about it!?!

I read posts about teaching our children, etc. but sometimes it doesn't matter what you do or what you teach your children because children are just that - children! LOL!


Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10, 9, 7, and 45 mos
Oh I know! And I don't expect my 2 1/2 year old to be Mr. Clean or anything LOL. It all has to be age-appropriate anyway.

I'm just saying that I think an example of cleanliness is more helpful than not. But I think actual training comes into the picture too - I've known a lot of people who's parents were very clean and neat, but never actually taught their kids how to clean up for themselves and my friends go into adulthood not knowing how to clean and organize.
post #39 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
While I agree with the general philosophy behind the 'I won't look back and wish I'd worked more / cleaned more' sayings. I think my house being messy and dirty contributes to things like depression, anger and frustration in me. Having a system of keeping the house clean helps me be in a better mood and have better time with my kids. It's a matter of degrees of course. I'm not saying the clean house is more important, but not living infested in clutter is really important to my mood and ability to cope iwth the demands of my kids.
I think this is very true. Clutter and mess can really contribute to depression.

I don't think a house has to be spotless all the time but it's great if it's functioning.
post #40 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntLavender View Post
to clean up and they should see our good examples of cleaning up after ourselves...

Tonight at dinner my 7yo told me she threw up last night in bed. She didn't come and tell me last night and neither did her 9yo sister who sleeps in the bunk below her!?!

My children have seen me clean up thousands of times! I have told them to clean up thousands of times! I have showed them how to clean up thousands of times and yet she threw up (it was a very small amount) and did nothing about it!?!

I read posts about teaching our children, etc. but sometimes it doesn't matter what you do or what you teach your children because children are just that - children! LOL!
On the other hand, sometimes they learn too well. My DD got a bloody nose in the middle of the night a few weeks back and she cleaned it all up herself, didn't even wake us up! She'd never had a bloody nose before, and every other time she'd gotten enough of a cut to bleed she's freaked out - so it must have been scary for her. I didn't even know about it until the next day I saw a little bit of blood on a towel in the bathroom, then later found her pillow in the hamper covered in blood! Of course what a scary moment it was for me to find a bloody pillow in the hamper!
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