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Terrible housekeepers support group - Page 4

post #61 of 121
I definately belong here with you! I am such a packrat that we just have way to much clutter and no where to put it! Add to that that I am a disorganized mother of a 4 year old and a 2 year old and my husband is hardly ever home..BAD combo! Lately I have been realizing more and more that I can't live like this any more..I want a clean, decluttered, simple house! But where to even begin is the problem!
post #62 of 121

Great site, unfortunate name.

Fly lady, pffffft!

I know the mess is there, I don't need nagging emails added to the list. This site is a great one for helping to declutter. It not only gives ideas on how to organize, but why we keep the stuff in the first place. www.squalorsurvivors.com

Give it a try!
post #63 of 121
so glad, am not the only one! thanks for the encouragement! I really think it 1 could get a handle on the clutter, I could clean, and keep things clean. more of ten & better. it REALLY helps to remember now far I have come... no time to go there, but trust me i)
post #64 of 121
subbing....i am tired of the clutter!
post #65 of 121

I live with clutter and don't want to anymore.

I like to throw stuff in drawers to keep the tabletops clean. If you open a drawer it is a mess. I say to myself that I will take on a drawer a day but I get busy with the kids. Laundry is another story. I always have two -three loads that need to be folded and a load in the washer and dryer. I am budgeting for a maid to clean every week and I clean before they come. Everything is cluttered but hidden. I like the Flyladys ideas but I have yet to put them into practice. I have always been a messy drawer and closet type person. Any laundry suggestions ? Any drawer tips. All of my drawers are junk drawers. I need help.
post #66 of 121

I live with clutter and don't want to anymore.

I like to throw stuff in drawers to keep the tabletops clean. If you open a drawer it is a mess. I say to myself that I will take on a drawer a day but I get busy with the kids. Laundry is another story. I always have two -three loads that need to be folded and a load in the washer and dryer. I am budgeting for a maid to clean every week and I clean before they come. Everything is cluttered but hidden. I like the Flyladys ideas but I have yet to put them into practice. I have always been a messy drawer and closet type person. Any laundry suggestions ? Any drawer tips. All of my drawers are junk drawers. I need help.
post #67 of 121

Pet Hair

I used to have a bad pet hair problem and found a solution for the cat hair and the dog hair. I get the two dogs washed and brushed at the groomers every two weeks. I also keep them out of the house as much as possible during the day and they are not allowed upstairs or on furniture. My dogs are hunting dogs so they are well trained. The pet hair has been cut by 85% since they go to the groomers.. I used to have a cat and we had it shaved. The cat actually liked it. Yes, I was scared and worried it would freak the cat out but I think he liked it. The groomer had no problem shaving the cat and the cat actually liked it. We did this because my allergies were terrible with my second pregnancy. We have a Hepa air filtration system hooked up to our furnace. I had an air cleaner at my old house also. I never thought getting the dogs to a groomer would make me as happy as it does.
post #68 of 121
I love you.
post #69 of 121
I was an organizational consultant for many years. I helped retail stores and teh mentally straighten their disasters. Now I am one of them. I am very clean but extremely messy. At any given time there is at least 20 things on the table. Fifty toys on the floor three laundry baskets full of laundry and cloth diapers needing to be washed and/or folded. My bedroom is a blast site and my closet is empty. All of this and more in a 800 sq foot condo.:
post #70 of 121
i emptied all drawers, shelfs, bags, closets, boxes, etc and dropped everything on the floor in the middle of the livingroom.
this time im for real. either a thing is useful and positive, or it goes out the window.

i sort out junk gradually:
first i push all paper/office-related into one corner, all texstiles/clothes another corner, hobby-related in one, etc etc.

then i sort out trash from one corner at the time. the big general throwout.
the remaning clutter i sort into subgrousp again - then sort out trash from these again.
repeat over and over and over.

when im done, all thats left is the things i have decided to keep. it has to be useful, not harmful to anyones health, positive, really worth keeping.

now that i know what things i actually have,
and a bunch of totally empty storage-space,
i use pen and paper and plan the most effective place to put each item.

voila. total renewal. no more junk! freedom.

it seems overwhelming at first, and many times i just walk around in circles and wonder where to start, how to sort, where does it all come from, why havent i understood earlier how damaging it is to my energy, etc. i put myself down, and i drag myself up. and just committ to whatever it takes, im gonna do this!

it just has to be done.
post #71 of 121
Viking, that is what I should do- put everything in a pile. Then I HAVE to go through it. Or at least empty our junk drawer onto the counter so I have to go through it, and then do another drawer... I just ignore it instead and hope it goes away!
post #72 of 121
lol, I do piles too but they don't bother me enough to finish. I eventually throw things in boxes or bags to get around to and never do.

I DID get rid of two, count them TWO, car loads of junk today in a community swap. Not little compact cars but big ol' station wagon fulls . I could of done a third but we didn't have enough time. I am so glad it's gone! It barely put a dent in the clutter though. Where does it all come from??? I didn't buy most of it. 90% was kid stuff, aka toys from their grandparents :

Now I have to get the house back in order from getting all that out and start working on getting more out. There is now a huge empty space in the basement and I can't wait to change things around so we can have a music area
post #73 of 121
Way to go Bwylde!

Viking - I used to do that sort of thing pre-husband and child, but I don't think I could pull it off now! DH would have a cow and DD would be in the middle of it all 'helping'
post #74 of 121
I just want to offer encouragement. I used to be a terrible housekeeper. About two years ago, maybe less, I just started picking away at our clutter bit by bit. It snowballed and I've gotten rid of a tremendous amount and I see our stuff and our space in a different light now. For me, the less stuff we have, the less mess we have, and I'm trying to keep that in mind as I go through our stuff little by little.

I was a total packrat and had boxes and boxes and boxes (and bins and bins and bins) of JUNK. One day I just started going through it a piece at a time. I got rid of a few things here and there, obvious stuff like trash and recyclables, and then I combed through my stuff again and it was easier to let go of more the second time. Then I went through it again. And again. And I have so much less stuff now, and I feel differently about it. I wish I could explain how it happened but it was literally just looking at one piece of stuff at a time.

I used to not get the dishes done for days and days sometimes. It was awful. The dishes always get me. Now, they pile up, but it's not as bad. My bigger kids help out with specific things (this has been a long process of getting them on board with helping). I have figured out which things make me the craziest and focused on that. I started verrrrrrry small. When my second child was born, I made a deal with myself that I would start a routine with ONE thing only. If I got the diapers in the wash first thing, I felt I did a good job, even if the rest of the house was piled high with crap.

Then after that started to feel like a pretty good habit, I added one more thing. Sweep the kitchen floor once a day. Because crumbs underfoot make me more nuts than anything. So for months and months, I did my best to get the diapers in the laundry and the kitchen floor swept every day. I missed days. The other housework was catch-as-catch-can and usually didn't get done. But I let myself feel good about what I could do.

After a looooooooong while I added a third thing, get the living room toys picked up and the floor vacuumed once a day. And after that the housework also snowballed and I think I do a pretty good job most of the time getting the most important stuff done.

It really, really helped me to lower my standards and minimize my priorities. When my standards were too high I felt frozen. When I lowered them to what I was capable of, I felt more positive. It's the difference between "wash and dry the laundry, fold it, and put it away" and "make sure the kids are dressed in something not too dirty." LOL. With either of those standards the basic result is the same - kids dressed in something somewhat acceptable for going out in public - but what I have to do to accomplish it is much, much different. A long time ago I stopped folding much of my laundry at all. If I thought I had to fold everything, I'd think I was a terrible housekeeper, but because I don't fold (except for DH and my clothes, and we don't have many anymore - less stuff, less work) I get the job DONE and it feels pretty good to know stuff is in drawers instead of in piles. Just an example.

Anyway, I have totally BTDT and somehow (I hardly know how) I wouldn't call myself "terrible" anymore. It took a lot of time and a lot of baby steps and being very gentle with myself and not giving up hope. I know you can do it!
post #75 of 121
Originally Posted by Shahbazin View Post
I am currently reading "Home Comforts" to figure out what the heck you're supposed to do, & how to do it
That's a great reference book for how you're "supposed" to do things, but not the one for a mother of an infant and toddler with no domestic help. Keeping on top of decluttering and the daily stuff is really hard - BTDT. If you want a great book on how to do weekly cleaning well and quickly (not decluttering, tidying, dishes, or laundry), I highly suggest Speed Cleaning. The author tells exactly how to clean and what tools to use, the same way that he trains the staff in his professional cleaning business. He also sells the supplies that he mentions, though most could be bought at local stores (except for the apron which could be DIY). To make it easier I just bought the stuff from him and I was very pleased. A lot cheaper and simpler than hiring cleaning staff (very expensive around here). I have found that his methods are thorough and efficient and I like the idea of taking a sense of pride in a job well done . I am feeling better about the cleanliness factor of our home .

My downfall is lack of decluttering. I've turned into my mother! : She wasn't a great housekeeper either, and I grew up in a messy home (and hated it). There are piles of "stuff" in most of our rooms. I am having trouble finding efficient ways of getting rid of stuff other than throwing them in the garbage too (which I refuse to do). Salvation Army dropoff is really far away, Freecycle is super annoying and Craigslist is a time-waster.

My kids also go berserk messing stuff up every day no matter how it starts out. :

Part of my problem is that I don't love our apartment (which we own). Dh isn't supporting me in moving ahead on minor renovations. I really think that I have to make our home more beautiful in order to take pride in caring for it to the maximum extent. That's my excuse anyway
post #76 of 121
Is there room in this thread for someone who can be a good housekeeper but just doesn't *want* to clean up after anyone anymore and therefore lives in a sty?
post #77 of 121
This is so me.

I am a Master Purger. Seriously, I am the Queen of Decluttering.

However... I am not a cleaner.

The decluttering process began for me about 5 years ago. I am now a minimalist, and I LOVE it. We make a trip to Vinnie's to donate stuff at least once a month, sometimes once a week, so I'm good at continuous purging.

I am currently working on a new system for sewing and fly tying supplies, and DH's workbench in the basement needs to be cleaned off, but other than that, my whole house is tidy and organized... and dirty.

I do manage to stay on top of laundry. DH usually does the dishes. Because our house is- um... I dunno, emptyish? Maybe I should post pics?- it is really fast to clean it - it can be thouroughly trashed and I can scrub the whole thing, top to bottom, in couple of hours (if someone else is occupying our little peanut ). The problem is, I just don't. Everything is dusty and pet-hairy, the floors are seriously gross, the walls have handprints, the glass is grimy, and on and on.

So yeah. I'm here for support. If you can motivate me to clean, wise mamas, I will be forever greatful.
post #78 of 121
Emptyish? Please post pictures if you are able......I need inspiration! I don't mind cleaning--the actual washing, scrubbing, vaccuming----BUT---and it's a big BUT----I have so much....stuff. My house is not emptyish in ANY way, shape or form. I have a lot of piles...and some of it is great stuff...but it needs a place.

For example I have a stack of daily menus from the 1920's, from a Vermont Lodge...and they are all original--hand typed each day--and I can't toss those...I see endless possibilities for them, as well as the pile of cashmere sweaters I am felting to do ?...something with...? the 1/2 made puppets I started...but never finished...their heads everywhere.... An empty space would be very cool---but I'd need my "stuff" somewhere...stored away, or ideally in a big spacious art studio.
post #79 of 121
Countrymom - I'm just like that! I don't mind the scrubbing but I can never really do it because there's too much stuff in the way! But it's gooooood stuff!

Honestly, not all of it. I am in the process of trying to clear out at least the stuff I don't really mind parting with. I figure if I start there, then I can go back and do more rounds after the first 'sweep' and eventually pare down enough that I am satisfied (which for me will probably be no where near minimalist ). The problem is it never makes it out of the house - it ends up piled up in the basement.

amyamanda - thank you for the encouragement! It really does help to hear that you were 'here' not that long ago and you are now 'reformed'
post #80 of 121
Okay, here are pics of the entire main floor of our house. Not the upstairs, nor the bedrooms, basement, or garage.

Please refrain from judging me. We need to remodel (no, there is not a bathroom on the main floor ), our floors still have the glue on them from where the carpet was glued down, and we have not so much lifted a paintbrush since we moved in.

My house is in very average condition in these pics, which I took today.

1. Living room. That's it- couch, recliner, and TV stand. On the floor next to the couch is the dog's toy box. And, of course, baby toys strewn about.

2. Dining room. This room is the biggest room in our house, and this is the one that I think of the most as being empty, even though it really has a ton of stuff in it. Note the smudges all over the walls from baby (and adult hands.

The big dark cabinet is, we think, the top of an antique hutch. It came with the house. When we refinish it, we are going to add feet and wheels. On top of it is DDs changing pad, baskets with her diaper stuff, and two pictures whose frames I painted, but I got paint on the glass, so I need to finish them with a Q-Tip and nail polish remover, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The pail on the right is the diaper pail. Inside the cabinet (which is 2' deep, so it holds a ton) are about half of our books (the rest are in the bedrooms), our boardgames, and our CDs.

Here is our computer desk (which is also a huge, heavy antique so it holds a ton- family notebook, phonebook, paper, tape, scissors, stapler, pens pencils, sharpeners, etc.), the file cabinet that has the printer on it, DD's downstairs toybox, and the carved stone table (also came with the house) that holds our stereo and DD's baby monitor. To the left, draped over the stair bannister, is a bunch of clean laundry that needs to be taken upstairs and hung up.

This is the corner for DD's play table. On the top of the radiator is DH's grandpa's cigar box. It has hankies in it. (Prettier than a kleenex box, IMHO.) Next to that is our incense burner/case.

(Right now, my dad is building DD playstands, so once we have those I want to flip the spots of the play area and the computer desk. But we have to get an electrician in to put an outlet on that wall, and figure out a place in the living room to put the stone table. Hmm...)

Okay, final dining room shot of our non-antique table, covered with diapers that need to be put away.

3. This is our kitchen. And here it is from another angle. Note the filthy floors. DD also likes to get "toys" out of the recycling, so that accounts for some (only some ) of the trash. Here is a shot of part of the pantry.

4. Back porch. This is pretty standard. The tubs are the recycling, and that wall is covered with hooks for coats and bags.

5. Front porch. This actually looks worse than it is, because the pile in the corner is the sewing/fishing stuff I've been reorganizing, and the desk on the left is outta here! Vinnie's is picking it up tomorrow.
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