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I need hand-holding as I declutter: NOT FLYLADY

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have a huge urge to zen-out my home. I have a few boxes for donation going already, but I'd love a system that doesn't involve a ton of emails and religious overtones.

Any ideas? Something simple, but effective.

Thanks!
post #2 of 38
I made a list of everything I need to do in my house, it included line items for each task, about 30 items in all. I then wrote down how often I need to do each task. Kitty litter and load dishwasher was everyday. Vacuum stairs was every month. Everything else was inbetween. I then filled out a 28 day calendar with each item, and did 2-3 task per day.
post #3 of 38
I use motivated moms. Not so much decluttering as household chores, but over the course of a year you get a fair amount of junk gone.
post #4 of 38
LOL. I know what you mean about Flylady. I get it on Digest and send it to a folder. I only look at it on my terms.

If you are looking for another less religious website and forum there is
My Messy House
http://mymessyhouse.org/
post #5 of 38
I really like this book. I go back to it whenever I need a little motivation.
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston

And yes, I realize the irony of suggesting an object to bring into the home when you are trying to declutter.
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkin View Post
And yes, I realize the irony of suggesting an object to bring into the home when you are trying to declutter.
Perhaps the op could find it at the library?
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post
Perhaps the op could find it at the library?
or even an e-book. That's what I did with It's All Too Much
post #8 of 38
My sister generously donated most of a day to help me get started on decluttering . Part of the problem was that I was getting all jumbled up with not knowing where to even start. She helped me look at the situation objectively, decide what the priorities are, and write out a game plan for how to tackle making our home more liveable. Having an outside person there IRL really makes a difference . Anyone who doesn't live in your home could help because their eye will see different things than yours will. Emotional support does help when you're feeling overwhelmed .
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masel View Post
LOL. I know what you mean about Flylady. I get it on Digest and send it to a folder. I only look at it on my terms.

If you are looking for another less religious website and forum there is
My Messy House
http://mymessyhouse.org/
The site owner seems to be renovating, and is behind because of grad school. Do you use this system? I like the lists, and was curious about the 5/5 and what the schedule is for the LROTD, if there is one?
TIA
post #10 of 38
I have a small tip...(really small) I keep a empty box in the garage. when I find something I don't want/need I put in there. Once full I call the Vets.
post #11 of 38
:
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
I made a list of everything I need to do in my house, it included line items for each task, about 30 items in all. I then wrote down how often I need to do each task.
Would you be willing to share your list for those of us (like me) who get overwhelmed just trying to make a list?
post #13 of 38
I'll tell you what: I'll help you if you help me! ;-)

I'm serious, though. Isn't this stuff easier to do with someone else? Especially if D and R will go play in the backyard while we're at it? ;-) (Here, anyway; I'm sure R can show off the equivalent at your place.)

A couple years ago, someone on another list I was on had started a secular Flylady clone. Try googling "secular flylady" and see if you can find it, maybe?
post #14 of 38
My simple, but effective tip is to start with ONE room in your house. Go sit in there. Sit where you normally sit or wherever is comfortable or bring a chair with you or sit on the floor is that's all there is. Just hang out in there for awhile while not doing anything else and pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel calm? Do you feel restless? Can you identify what makes you feel uncomfortable?

I would just move the item that bothers you right then and there, but that may not always be feasible. A list might help with those things (like light fixtures, as an example). Anyway, spend a few minutes each day in this one room. Invite the family, if you wish, or not. Once this room is the way you want it, it feels peaceful to you, then move to a different room.

Expect this process to take awhile.

Read that sentence again.

Meanwhile, I subscribed to FLYlady years ago (6-7). I got a lot out of it, but I am actually more of what she calls "born organized" so I didn't keep up with it. I needed it for two reasons: 1) To reframe my outlook on housework and 2) To retrain myself after the chaos of adding an infant into the home. I achieved both of those rather quickly with some guidance.

One thing I do is to make use of the "tasks" in my email program. I have a Mac and I run Entourage, which is similar to Outlook. I'll see about copying and pasting my task list and come back. I like writing lists with paper and pencil, but once I write a list I never refer back to it. It seems the act of writing is enough for me, but it only works for short-term and/or just a few items.
post #15 of 38
Well, I have tried numerous ways and it looks like I cannot get the list here any other way than typing it manually. It is long! It looks a LOT more complicated than it really is in real life...

I make liberal use of the categories function and code everything:
Business
Daughter
Family
Holiday
House
Me
Mother/Daughter
Playgroup
and plenty more...those are just the ones that apply to my task list right now.

Every task I enter gets a reminder set or this simply would not work for me. I don't go looking for tasks! LOL They pop up on my screen as reminders and I click snooze or completed.

In the 'Business' category (I am using the term 'business' loosely), I have one weekly task that I call "finances/paperwork". Every Tuesday I go through our in box and handle the paperwork that has accumulated since last Tuesday and then I match financial transactions between Quicken, our financial institution (online), and our physical receipts. When the monthly statements are here, I balance accounts. I spend a maximum of one hour and prioritize the tasks. Today, it only took me 15 minutes. Other tasks in this category:
1.Run cash flow report (quarterly)
2.Update financial statement (semi-annual)
3.Taxes (prep in Feb, actual in April)
Um, yes, I have a degree in Finance and worked in the field for years!

In my 'Daughter' category, I have one task that comes up three times a year. I call it "dress up" (a game) and it is basically where she plays model and tries on every article of clothing she owns (over a few days) and we decide what gets passed along to someone else and what she needs more of, etc. It is set for the month before her birthday (so I can let family know what she needs and to allow room for new items), the week after school gets out, and in mid-November. I am currently helping her with a long-term project of collecting postcards from each state, so that comes up every other week.

My 'Family' category has the following:
1.Email family pictures and update (every 2 months; our relatives live far away and this keeps them in touch)
2.Update stats on DD (semi-annual; we weigh and measure her and I type up some details, I keep it as a 'note' in the same program)
3.Spin the mattress (monthly; includes stripping the bed COMPLETELY and washing everything and line-drying)
4.Photo project (monthly; I keep up with our digital pictures this way)
5.Replace toothbrushes (every 4 months; mine don’t always need to be tossed, but DH & DD are harder on theirs)
Any family events I want to research go here, too. When they become planned events, I move them to the calendar on a specific date.

My ‘Holiday’ category has the following:
1.Swap décor (first of the month for the holidays we have décor)
2.Put away Christmas décor (annually; we get it taken down easily, but getting it put away requires a reminder…LOL)
I have a lot of date-specific holiday prep directly in my calendar, such as planning the menus and taking the family holiday photograph, etc.

My ‘House’ category may be all you wanted:
1.Dust upstairs (every two weeks; I dust every week…this guides me on which floor)
2.Dust downstairs (every two weeks; I dust every week…this guides me on which floor)
3.Run Roomba (every Mon & Thurs; it vacuums the kitchen one day and the living room the other…I also do a small space, if needed)
4.Run Scooba (every Tues & Fri; it vacuums and mops the kitchen one day and I pick two small areas the other day…upstairs bathrooms or foyer and laundry/powder room)
5.Vacuum upstairs (every Friday; I do a quickie one week and a better job the next…well, that’s the idea, anyway…LOL...this is very new because I was forgetting to vacuum the upstairs)
6.Home Blessing Hour (every Monday; I just pick whatever needs the most love and spend an hour doing it)
7.Run vinegar through dishwasher (monthly; with a full load)
8.Wipe down ceiling fans, windowsills, and baseboards (monthly)
9.Vacuum sofas and chair (quarterly; we rarely eat outside the kitchen)
I do laundry every day and don’t need a reminder for that. Same with dishes and many other tasks. I use tasks for developing new habits and/or keeping track of the less frequent things.

My ‘Me’ category:
1.Rotate toiletries (monthly; I get bored with the same old thing, so I rotate within my own stash; I enjoy ‘shopping’ in my own cabinet; I tend to use things up now and buy far less)
2.Music project (monthly; I am working on my music list)
3.Project day (weekly; Wednesdays tend to be my most open day of the week, so I pick a project on Sunday and make sure I have the necessary items by Tuesday evening…these range widely from volunteer research to scrapbooking to home improvement projects to gardening to helping a friend and event planning and so forth)

In my ‘Mother/Daughter’ category:
1.Manicures/pedicures (every two weeks; at the very least, I trim all 40 female nails…LOL; sometimes we extend this to be more pampering and fun; massages and fun hairstyles and just general girly stuff)
2.Hair cut (quarterly; I cut DD’s hair or at least assess the situation)
Other things come up that I put in for DD’s school breaks. She's on a year-round schedule. I use tasks as a holding place for ideas without specific dates. Specific date items go on the calendar.

Lastly, I am the captain of our playgroup, so I research and plan events and type up/send out a monthly calendar for the group. I survey the group annually.

Oh, I volunteer a lot and research projects go here, too. I happen to have finished those recently.

Goodness, I hope this helps someone! LOL It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was kind of fun to see my task list in a different way.
post #16 of 38
This won't include ANY emails, but I love the book "House Works" by Cynthia Townley Ewer. She's also the editor of the OrganizedHome.com website. When there used to be forums on this website, she said she wanted to help people declutter, not sell them cheap plastic water bottles (like FlyLady is always pushing) or overwhelm them with emails.

This book is FAB! Maybe 200 pages, paperback, lots of colorful pictures, funny, too! You can get it used on Amazon for about $10, and new is just a little more.

While her website doesn't have forums anymore, there are lots and lots of great articles, plus all sorts of printable forms if you need help putting together a household notebook.

www.organizedhome.com

House Works book:
http://http://www.amazon.com/Housewo...2601230&sr=8-1

No religious overtones at all! And not overly emotional like FlyLady, either!

HTH!
post #17 of 38

sunnysandiegan- THANK YOU

sunnysandiegan- WOW your list is amazing! It makes so much sense...and I see quite a few of my problem areas (PAPER/photos/etc) on your list as well as some that I strive to be better at (family updates/general cleaning/etc).

I will really try to adopt some of these ideas and categories to help in the flow of our house!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

ETA: Just thinking on this more- did you do a paper list or something in Word to get all your ideas/chores down before adding it to your Calender program? It just seems that I need a starting point, I might just jot stuff down pen and paper and then transfer it to word and then to my calendar (overkill maybe, but I want it easy to change edit as tasks change etc) I'm planning on using Outlook for my reminders and I could sync it with my Palm (something that sense has gathered dust waiting for me to USE it again!). It would be great for me to have it when away from the house. Any tips on the best place to start or the best area to start. I have the problem where I want everything to be perfect and if its not perfect I have a hard time implementing it- its a MAJOR problem in my organizing and decluttering, ugh!
post #18 of 38
sunnysandiegan .... you are amazing!
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwendolyn's babies View Post
I have a small tip...(really small) I keep a empty box in the garage. when I find something I don't want/need I put in there. Once full I call the Vets.
I was just going to post that same tip. I also keep a large plastic bag in my bedroom for clothing donation. When I sort laundry or go through the dresser, I create a pile for donations or to keep for hand me downs.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomom View Post
sunnysandiegan- WOW your list is amazing! It makes so much sense...and I see quite a few of my problem areas (PAPER/photos/etc) on your list as well as some that I strive to be better at (family updates/general cleaning/etc).

I will really try to adopt some of these ideas and categories to help in the flow of our house!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!
You are very welcome! I am so happy it will help you!

I'll come back later to answer your ETA questions. (I am headed out the door for a couple hours.)
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