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#61 of 75 Old 03-28-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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The clean and tidy house, while nice, is not the be all and end all of life.
Do what you can when you can. Enjoy your kids. Decluttering will be much easier when they are all a little older.

And I want to : to the person (Incamama?) who pointed out how temperament of the children plays a big role in what is feasible. My not so little one still doesn't like to be in a room alone. He never slept as a baby/toddler/preschooler except in arms. There was no child free time during naps or in the evening. There is no child free time while he is in school since we homeschool. Just doing laundry is a PIA because ds must follow me all around asking me if I'm done yet. You'd think having only one child would make things easier (it does in some ways, less laundry) but it means he is always interacting with ME and needing MY company and help. I can't even put on a video and have that keep his attention. He just doesn't get absorbed that way.

Not only that, but not all mamas are created equally. Some need more sleep than others. I'm not going to compromise my health by shortchanging myself on sleep. And I'm not going to stay home and do chores when the weather is nice and we could be going on a walk or a bike ride. Doing dishes isn't more important than taking ds to a park or a museum. They'll be there when we get back. Of course, I'll be too tired to do them at that point. So I will go to sleep.

Yes, my Christmas tree is still up.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#62 of 75 Old 03-28-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Also, when reading the responses, keep in mind that different people have different thresholds for clutter. Some of the posters in this forum are minimalist, and others actually prefer things a bit more "lived in". So, when you read the comments, consider that maybe your ideal is different from theirs. One person's cluttered is another person's cozy; one person's tidy is another person's sterile :.
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#63 of 75 Old 03-28-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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One person's cluttered is another person's cozy; one person's tidy is another person's sterile :.
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#64 of 75 Old 03-28-2009, 04:15 PM
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To those who liked my previous post, :. But it's all true. The kids are old enough that I've discussed what I remember vs. what they remember. Whe I mentioned toys strewn everywhere, they said, no way! Clutter? Unpainted walls, unfinished floors? Really? I had to tell them that MY room, where I still sleep and where thye slept for years, had never been painted. THey just thought the primer white was the color I chose. (their rooms have a loft, neat built-in bunks, cubbies and shelving, etc, not to mention the cool paint jobs. Mine? Nothin'.)

They talk all the time about how they'd know the bills were behind (that ringing phone, the hushed conversations with bill collectors) and then I'd load them in the car and off we'd go, out to dinner. HTe oldest one has just figured out the 'out-to-dinner' trick. I's tell them it was a special night, (usually we had a drs appt, or something far from home, but they don'[t remember that either.) and they could have ICE CREAM for dinner. They'd each get a small sundae, a buck back then, and water. I'd have tea. $5, and tehy got 'dinner' out. Snack that night would be something healthy.

If you read back, there were a couple of posts that would have hurt my feelings. Esp if I'd put my home out there, looking not too spiffy. (I'm assuming, I missed the pics) One I think was accidental, worded a little too harshly, but I doubt it was intentional, questioning her parenting method. Another post, from a relative newbie, was harsher, saying we should stop telling her home wasn't that bad, because it was.

I think the OP might have wanted ideas on organization, support, and a bit of love. Not to be told she owns too much stuff. I own too much stuff, but it's MINE. I want it all.

I hope the OP is off playing with the kids. My mohter used to tell me that the day would come I'd miss hte box forts. She was right. I do.


Whe the house did get too messy, I used to clean a small table off, pollish it up, put a pretty glass bowl on it, and focus on it, instead of the clutter. 20 minutes a day, attacking any cluttered spot, will get it clean in a few days. A few weeks and things look pretty good.

Oh, and I used to yell that we all had to clean for 5 minutes, as fast as we could, before we did something fun, like a movie. HTe kids did a LOT in 5 quick minutes.

So, kick the junk to the side, make a cup of tea, clear off a spot on the couch and relax. Read a book to the kid. Do a puzzle. Do the dishes for 5 minutes before you get dinner. (use paper for a day. just don't tell anyone!) THIS is our life! It's getting used up on CLEANING! I refuse to spend MY life cleaning MY home to someone else's standards.



My Christmas tree was reall, so it's down.




(Can we burn our bras here too? I hate bras! Is that another thread?)
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#65 of 75 Old 03-28-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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THIS is our life! It's getting used up on CLEANING! I refuse to spend MY life cleaning MY home to someone else's standards.
AMEN!


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My Christmas tree was real, so it's down.
This is the first year we've used an artificial (borrowed it because ds is sad about trees dying). We usually get the real trees down but still have ornaments out for ages. I had great plans for decorating the tree only with biodegradable things that could go out with the tree...

But a happy child was worth having my plans foiled.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#66 of 75 Old 03-29-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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AllisonK- s It can be hard putting yourself out there, especially on the internet. I hope that you are able to move past some of the posts on this thread. I truly believe a clean house does not make a good parent, and vice versa. I hope you read some of the past few posts, esp. Reds. I think she has the advice you were hoping to find when you first posted the thread. Good luck.

E Veg*n Mom to ds 6 : dd 3
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#67 of 75 Old 03-29-2009, 02:23 AM
 
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Who is saying it is "not that bad"? Seriously, I would not allow anyone into my home looking like that
I would not allow anyone into my home looking like that either (because people are too eager to judge), BUT it is "not that bad" in the sense that it can be cleaned completely in 2-3 hours. I saw her pics, and I could get that living room cleaned in 15 minutes, easily. Her house does not look like they are living in "squalor" or even unsafe.

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#68 of 75 Old 03-29-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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I hope the OP is off playing with the kids.
Me too.

If I'm not mistaken, you have 5 kids, one of whom is just newly 1? I would not judge you one bit for not having a perfect home. I have only 3 and I've been getting better about the house only because of a few things:


- my children growing up a bit and needing me less, and being able to help out more

- getting real with myself for the things we've outgrown and giving them away and if I hadn't used something in a year, it really is okay to let it go.

- getting more than adequate storage systems for the things I wanted to keep.

- having patience and realize its a process, not an end result, because even when things are organized I still like changing things up.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#69 of 75 Old 03-29-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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Red, I just have to say I : your posts! I'm printing those out. I've been getting way too caught up in trying to keep the house clean. Thanks for reminding me of my priorities!:

to AllisonK. A few posts were harsher than they needed to be. I saw your photos before they were deleted, and yes, your house is messy. But your kids look so happy! And "messy" is all it is. It doesn't look dirty or unsafe, and I bet if you got a day without the kids you'd be able to get things looking tidy again. And I agree with the pps who recommended more closed storage. The wire storage racks are kind of harsh on the eyes, too. Kudos to you for being brave enough to put yourself out there like that!

A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 jumpers.gif

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#70 of 75 Old 03-30-2009, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been meaning to post back here but have been busy. First thank you to the mamas who PM'd me I will message back when I get a chance. I just wanted to say that I did not expect everyone to say "oh your house is fine." If I thought it was fine I would not have posted in the first place. I wanted suggestions on where to start. It was so overwhelming to me that I was not wanting to start anywhere. I got a lot of great responses (thank you!) and some that I did think were out of line and uncalled for. I will not be posting photo updates as I felt vulnerable enough the first time and I will not be doing it again. But my kitchen is done, dining room done, living room done, sewing table moved and reorganized, playroom done, bathrooms were pretty much done but are redone anyway, and all I have left are two closets and laundry which will never go away with 4 kids.

Allison wife and mom to four. 

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#71 of 75 Old 03-30-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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Good for you!

If it makes you feel any better, I am a decluttering nut and clean freak who let her kids bedrooms just get away. I had a difficult pregnancy and let it go and then with a newborn I couldn't get in there. I just got in there yesterday. It took me all day to do two rooms but now we can finally have people over again to play (I was so embarrassed by how I let their room get so messy, we weren't having playdates )
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#72 of 75 Old 03-30-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
I've been meaning to post back here but have been busy. First thank you to the mamas who PM'd me I will message back when I get a chance. I just wanted to say that I did not expect everyone to say "oh your house is fine." If I thought it was fine I would not have posted in the first place. I wanted suggestions on where to start. It was so overwhelming to me that I was not wanting to start anywhere. I got a lot of great responses (thank you!) and some that I did think were out of line and uncalled for. I will not be posting photo updates as I felt vulnerable enough the first time and I will not be doing it again. But my kitchen is done, dining room done, living room done, sewing table moved and reorganized, playroom done, bathrooms were pretty much done but are redone anyway, and all I have left are two closets and laundry which will never go away with 4 kids.
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#73 of 75 Old 03-30-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AllisonK View Post
I've been meaning to post back here but have been busy. First thank you to the mamas who PM'd me I will message back when I get a chance. I just wanted to say that I did not expect everyone to say "oh your house is fine." If I thought it was fine I would not have posted in the first place. I wanted suggestions on where to start. It was so overwhelming to me that I was not wanting to start anywhere. I got a lot of great responses (thank you!) and some that I did think were out of line and uncalled for. I will not be posting photo updates as I felt vulnerable enough the first time and I will not be doing it again. But my kitchen is done, dining room done, living room done, sewing table moved and reorganized, playroom done, bathrooms were pretty much done but are redone anyway, and all I have left are two closets and laundry which will never go away with 4 kids.
Congratulations!!! Doesn't it feel great?

A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 jumpers.gif

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#74 of 75 Old 03-30-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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If it makes you feel better, you are inspiring me to clean up my clutter! And I know it took a lot of courage to put your pics up..and they really were not that bad..just a bit cluttered. And I will tell you that post 19 is what did it for me...it was very judgmental and also post 40 questioning your parenting methods. Look, I struggle with a messy house too and I know it's messy so I don't need people telling me that...I need suggestions and encouragement like you wanted. Making a person feel bad about their house when they are already embarassed about posting pictures is not helpful. This is why people who have homes that are cluttered feel like just giving up because it is sooo overwhelming and we don't need people saying how we shouldn't believe it that it's not bad, it is sooo bad.
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#75 of 75 Old 03-30-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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I am coming to this thread late, so I missed the pictures and first page of information from the OP. From what I have read, and for all you have accomplished!!!! You are a brave woman and a creative mom!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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