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#1 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my father in law just "surprised" us by stopping in to see the kids. The house is a disaster. Laundry pile, kids toys, books and newspapers, dog hair tumble weeds, dishes in the sink - your basic nightmare scenario.

Help me get this under control. Fly lady? I've looked at it and it seems so overwhelming. Practical advice needed.

Thanks!
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#2 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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if he's already there?! yikes . . . if he's just there for a couple hours, forget it. if he's there overnight: dishes first. then throw the laundry in the wash and call it good. if he showed up for an extended stay, then tomorrow you can scoop up all the stuff into a basket (or a couple piles), sweep/vacuum the dog hair, and put the stuff away. don't forget to finish that laundry. you have my condolences. i would die in that situation (and would be in that situation if someone showed up unexpectedly, most days).
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#3 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha, he came stayed for a few hours and then left, probably scared he might get lost in the laudry pile! I should have made it clear in my original post that I am looking for a way to never get caught like this again! I just can't seem to stay organized. Small house . . . too much stuff . . . busy and I'll admit lazy = MESS.

Thanks for your response and condolences
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#4 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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For about a year every time dh and I decided together that we would do a big housecleaning FIL would show up the day before

Like "hey, let's clean the house Saturday, it's really messy," he'd stop by Friday evening. We'd actually start greeting him at the door with "ah, we were expecting you!"
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#5 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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IMO, the Flylady system is a good way to go for avoiding things getting totally out of control. I don't follow it to the letter, but when I do the routines that she recommends, things really never get chaotic. Rather than focusing on weekly giant cleanups, the focus on doing a little bit daily and that makes all the difference. It doesn't matter what day of the week someone pops over . I've got a long way to go with the routines, but there's a big difference in my home just from doing it partly. To avoid getting overwhelmed, you can simply follow the system by reading Sink Reflections -- it's all in there without cluttering your inbox. Also, Flylady's podcast on BlogTalkRadio is really good to listen to when you're trying to change the mindsets that cause chaos in the home (getting sidetracked, being perfectionistic, etc.). I consider her an excellent life coach for those of us who struggle to "get it together".

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"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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#6 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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my brain files will change your life (or, at least, they'll give you a good idea of how to get your own files going for your specific needs ) Seriously, just break it down into daily maintenance steps and within a few weeks, your house will shine!
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#7 of 25 Old 07-30-2009, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. I signed up for Fly Lady. Those brain files are AWESOME! THANKS!!!!!!!!!

peace!
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#8 of 25 Old 07-31-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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Under flylady there is a section called crisis cleaning. It is for "emergencies".

.
Homeschooling, midwifery mom to 4 beautiful blessings(8,6,4,1)

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#9 of 25 Old 07-31-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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FlyLady's Crisis Cleaning pod cast thingy is good. It takes you through the main areas that a guest would see in one hour. She splits it up into 15 minute segments (Kitchen, Living room, Bathroom, Rest), and divides those into 3 minute segments.

She is so cute with her accent, giving lots of encouragement (she annoyed DD though ).

You can do it! I've been there, and it's such a better feeling knowing that someone can stop by and I won't be totally humiliated!
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#10 of 25 Old 08-01-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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Get rid of stuff!

It's all about how much stuff you have. At least, in my opinion it's about ninety percent about how much stuff you have, and the remaining ten percent is "noise" that can wait until you've gotten rid of stuff.

So I would focus on getting rid of stuff, and getting rid of more stuff, and then going through everything and getting rid of even more stuff. Until every shelf and drawer and cabinet and closet has some empty space. Ideally, until you have shelves and drawers and closets and cabinets that you don't even need, though I haven't come near achieving that.

There are bunches of books on getting rid of stuff, including:
Don Aslett's _Not For Packrats Only_, and several others.
Peter Walsh's _It's All Too Much_

A good source for that last ten percent is:
Julie Morgenstern's _Organizing from the Inside Out_
Marilyn Paul's _It's Hard To Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys_.

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#11 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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Good info, thanks for the brain files!


"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

RT knitting mama  to 3 (& 8 who didn't make it) wife working on 13 years to a silly man who drives me crazy.
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#12 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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Declutter, declutter, declutter...it won't get better until you get out the stuff you are not using. It will look like a tornado hit at first but once the clean up begins, it is amazing how much better things will be.

 

Laudry- do you have a system in place? My boys know to at least separate whites and darks in the laundry room. This helps alot. I bring all laundry to the laundry room as soon as possible. Keeps the dirty piles from getting to be too big. I do 2 loads on Wednesday nights. This helps a lot. Wash, dry, iron, hang. Done!!!

 

Clean as you go. My best advice is to keep counters clear. Store what you can away. It makes for a quick clean up and a better visual space. ; )

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#13 of 25 Old 11-21-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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I agree with the decluttering, and also try 'Motivated Moms'...it has changed my life.

 

There is a thread about it HERE.


SAHM to three
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#14 of 25 Old 11-23-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayfish View Post

Get rid of stuff!

It's all about how much stuff you have. At least, in my opinion it's about ninety percent about how much stuff you have, and the remaining ten percent is "noise" that can wait until you've gotten rid of stuff.

So I would focus on getting rid of stuff, and getting rid of more stuff, and then going through everything and getting rid of even more stuff. Until every shelf and drawer and cabinet and closet has some empty space. Ideally, until you have shelves and drawers and closets and cabinets that you don't even need, though I haven't come near achieving that.

There are bunches of books on getting rid of stuff, including:
Don Aslett's _Not For Packrats Only_, and several others.
Peter Walsh's _It's All Too Much_

A good source for that last ten percent is:
Julie Morgenstern's _Organizing from the Inside Out_
Marilyn Paul's _It's Hard To Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys_.

Crayfish


 This. 

 

Really..it's the only thing that works...you must get rid of the stuff...get rid of twice as much as you thuink you need to get rid of..then get rid of of that amount again


CPST
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#15 of 25 Old 11-24-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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I started with FlyLady, then over time developed my own routines that fit my life better.  Now I have a one-page list on my fridge, with my cleaning schedule for the week.  (It's in a plastic sleeve so I can check tasks off with a dry-erase marker.)  The schedule means that all the essential tasks get done, without me having to think much about what to do next.  Also, I use the schedule to balance my workload so that some days I concentrate more on cleaning or laundry, and other days I have almost totally free for big projects or running errands.

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#16 of 25 Old 11-26-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Yeah, getting rid of stuff helps.  A lot.  I'm not messy or dirty, but I tend towards clutter.  DH is even worse, plus he has a high tolerance for general untidyness.  The man won't go out with a speck of dog hair on his shirt, but he can leave dirty dishes laying around and cabinet doors wide open shrug.gif

 

This ay sound odd, but I find it much easier to find the motivation to clean and declutter when I have people coming over.  So...  I have dinner for the in-laws or entertain at the house at least once every 2 months.  I stress out a bit leading up to it, but I really do work best under a deadline.  So I give myself one! 


Strong single mama to Ethan (9/09) and Rowyn (7/12)
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#17 of 25 Old 11-26-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post

my brain files will change your life (or, at least, they'll give you a good idea of how to get your own files going for your specific needs ) Seriously, just break it down into daily maintenance steps and within a few weeks, your house will shine!



ABSOLUTELY lovely to look at Knittin in the Shade:) I have something similar, but not as pretty.


A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#18 of 25 Old 11-27-2010, 04:26 AM
 
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Ha ha I started with FlyLady's crisis cleaning and then basically adapted it to be my normal daily cleaning routine. I don't do deep cleaning very often, and I'm fine with that. I've adopted the mantra of  "good enough," and I'm much happier than I was when I used to stress about doing it perfectly. Someone can stop in and I won't be mortified, but no one should be eating off my floors, you know?

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#19 of 25 Old 11-27-2010, 05:00 AM
 
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from the brain files, I can only access the daily chores, the day of the week focus files open on something that my computer says is empty ...

 

can someone show me ? TIA

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#20 of 25 Old 11-28-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post

my brain files will change your life (or, at least, they'll give you a good idea of how to get your own files going for your specific needs ) Seriously, just break it down into daily maintenance steps and within a few weeks, your house will shine!


These are amazing!!! I totally needed these!


wash.gifMommy to my little Nugget bouncy.gifribboncesarean.gif 

144/2014 items decluttered   2/52 projects completed

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#21 of 25 Old 12-03-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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The absolute most motivating thing that makes me clean my house is to invite someone over (my choice on when - usually Sunday so I have Saturday to clean).  Once the house gets clean, it is easier to keep clean for a while.  I agree with decluttering too - especially kids toys.

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#22 of 25 Old 12-04-2010, 06:17 PM
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well, you actually answered your own question: "too much stuff."

 

first thing, take time to get rid of stuff. it feels good when you get down to the "bare essentials" of what you need.

 

For example, *all* of my clothes fit into one drawer. it helps a lot in keeping the "laundry pile" in check. my husband and I were quite the clothes horses, and i just streamlined us down into a functional wardrobe that we all love. i keep my son's wardrobe minimal too, which means that we have 1. rewearable stuff on hooks in the bedroom; 2 dirty stuff in the washer; 3. clean stuff in a drawer. thus, there is never a laundry pile, ever, in this house anymore. it goes from dryer (or clothes line) straight to the drawers. it goes from body to hook or washing machine. no piles ever! hurray!

 

We also only have enough dishes for ourselves plus one guest. it's great. super helpful. when i cook, there is so little to clean up because there is nothing to pile up. seriously. if i don't wash the dishes from lunch, there will be no dishes at dinner. it means i have to clean up right after lunch, but it's only 3 of each dish, so it takes about 15 minutes. 

 

this leaves toy mess, which is not a big deal to me. if my son is happy and playing, then so am I, and i don't think anyone really minds "toy mess." of course, if you have too many toys and not even space for them, then the toys also need to be culled, but once they are at a managable size, get a toy box baskets and have ap lace for them so that, when it is tidy time (i do tidies 2-3 times per day) you can easily toss all of the toys into this basket. 

 

this is what keeps the place tidy. granted, i may have a dish or two left undone now and again (from a snack). or, i might have toys all over the house. or, i might have some laundry that is being folded when someone knocks on the door. but it's all very little mess.

 

so, first step, go through your things. second step, have a place for everything. third step, make sure everything goes into it's rightful places at the right times. :)

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#23 of 25 Old 12-05-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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Zoebird this is my plan for when we move into our new, smaller apartment. I radically downsized when we moved. But not as radical as this! Really just ONE guest? You never want to have 2 guests? I have actually been thinking about how many guests I want to be able to accommodate.

 

As for clothes. I totally agree. BUT, we do have to account for changing seasons. And for some reason my husband thinks he needs upwards of 50 t-shirts. When we moved I got rid of, oh, 30 of them but still! There are so many and they are BIG. Of course he has barely noticed that he has less than half of what he used to have but still...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

well, you actually answered your own question: "too much stuff."

 

first thing, take time to get rid of stuff. it feels good when you get down to the "bare essentials" of what you need.

 

For example, *all* of my clothes fit into one drawer. it helps a lot in keeping the "laundry pile" in check. my husband and I were quite the clothes horses, and i just streamlined us down into a functional wardrobe that we all love. i keep my son's wardrobe minimal too, which means that we have 1. rewearable stuff on hooks in the bedroom; 2 dirty stuff in the washer; 3. clean stuff in a drawer. thus, there is never a laundry pile, ever, in this house anymore. it goes from dryer (or clothes line) straight to the drawers. it goes from body to hook or washing machine. no piles ever! hurray!

 

We also only have enough dishes for ourselves plus one guest. it's great. super helpful. when i cook, there is so little to clean up because there is nothing to pile up. seriously. if i don't wash the dishes from lunch, there will be no dishes at dinner. it means i have to clean up right after lunch, but it's only 3 of each dish, so it takes about 15 minutes.


dissertating mom to three

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#24 of 25 Old 12-06-2010, 05:58 PM
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i borrow dishes.

 

you see, when i'm having more than one guest over, i go over to my neighbors and i ask them "may i borrow a couple of dishes? we are having some guests over and don't have enough." usually, three or four neighbors will loan us two or three sets of dishes each. we wash them, and bring them back the next day, usually with some treat (left over cookies), and a little thank you note. 

 

it's actually a really cool way to live. And, you have an eclectic place settings. i invited some friends over recently, and this is how our place looked:

 

1. because i don't own a table, i stacked up 4 pallets (two side by side, then stacked two high).

 

2. i brought yoga cushions from the studio.

 

3. i got a vintage table cloth (white) and about 10 mismatched napkins (white with various detailing) at the salvation army for $2. 

 

4. i used our dishes as serving dishes, and borrowed 8 place settings from neighbors--all different, including drinking glasses and mugs as well as silverware. 

 

5. i used amber colored bottles -- left over from cod liver oil and rinsed out with labels removed -- and put flowers (summer here) in each of them. I was able to get the first blooming pohutukawa ("nz christmas tree") blooms in. 

 

6. i used empty mustard jars (low, nice shape, clear glass) cleaned and labels removed with beeswax tea lights inside.

 

Everyone had a seat, my white dishes and white table cloth and napkins and black cushions made a simple back drop, you couldn't see the pallets (but people thought that was cool), and each person had a different place setting. we served wild pork roast with a honey-mustard glaze, mashed herbed turnips, asparagus, and green salad. for dessert, some local ice cream and home made cookies.

 

washed the dishes and wrapped up left over cookies (for guests to take and also to take to neighbors). bound each setting with twine and the little packet of cookies and set it aside. put table cloth and napkins into wash and then put them away into storage once done (in the kitchen. i actually use these very frequently now.). recycled the wax for the candles (put those in a jar to melt-down later), cleaned the jars (i do use them for many purposes, or they could just go to recycling if i have too many).

 

next day, took the dishes back to my neighbors, took the pallets to the workshop where i do some modest building, and took the cushions back to the yoga studio. 

 

there weren't any left overs. it was another no-waste meal. :D (btw, i use recycled brown bags and paper to wrap my cookies. usually, DH buys bulk dry goods in them, so i put those in clean jars for easy storage, and then reuse the bags, tied up with twine. 

 

so, there you go. usually, though, we only ever have one guest. it's strange, but true.

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#25 of 25 Old 12-06-2010, 06:14 PM
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also, while the seasons are not so severe here, we do have the same issue. we used to live in philadelphia, where we needed more cold-weather gear, but even that i was able to streamline down.

 

here is what i have for cold weather wear:

 

1. coat is an "outer shell" that doubles as a 'wind breaker/rain coat' if you don't have the under layers for fall/spring;

2. fleece layer, which simply doubles as a fall/spring jacket when it is not raining;

3. sweater layer (we use thin merino here, so it looks nice and not bulky; we each own one);

4. shirt layer (can be dress, t that is short or long sleeved);

5. under layer (silks).

 

now, in full on winter, such as our firebird festival, we would definitely be wearing these layers. in fact, all of those layers--and hats, scarves, gloves, thick socks, and our keen train shoes. 

 

right now, because we are in summer, i have packed away the outer shells, the fleeces, the merino sweaters, and the under layers. the shirts we can--and do--wear all year round. we also wear jeans all year round, so i don't have to worry about that.

 

Basically, in addition to the above, here is what i own:

 

1. 3 dresses

2. 3 skirts

3. 7 undershirts (tanks)

4. 7 t-shirts (long or 3/4 sleeve)

5. 3 jeans

6. underwear and mamma cloth

7. pjs

8. 3 yoga pants

9. bathing suit

10. denim jacket

11. 2 dress jacket (look good with jeans)

12. less than 5 pairs of shoes (here, i do have some in storage in the US)

 

my DH has

 

1. 3 jeans

2. 3 shorts (one is a bathing suit)

3. 7 t-shirts

4. 2 dress shirts

5. one suit

6. two pair of dressier pants (one ripped earlier this week, so we'll make those into shorts and replace them)

7. 2 polo-style shirts

8. undergarments

9. one work out gear (shorts, t-shirt)

10. various socks

11. two jackets (one fall/winter, one dressy to wear with jeans/etc)

12. 6 pairs of shoes

13. PJs

 

my son has

 

1. 4 pairs of overalls

2. 4 pairs of pants

3. 4 sweaters

4. 10 shirts

5. 2 PJs

6. 12 trainers (we did EC, so it cuts down on how many diapers you have to wash by a lot; we are just about to move him to underwear)

7. socks

8. 1 pair of shoes and one pair of rainboots

9. rain gear (pants and jacket)

 

we simplified down to things that can mix-and-match, things that are hardy and can be washed frequenly, and things that can be worn in a variety of occasions. i so feel like my son has too much clothing (my mother and MIL send it, usually doubling what i ask for), so a lot of it doesn't get worn all that often. 

 

so, we literally have a load of wash every day or every-other day, and that goes straight back into the drawers.

 

i store out-of-season clothing in those "space bags"--cleaned, folded, put in--and then inside our suitcases which are stored in our closet. right now, two suitcases have clothes stored, because winter clothes take up much more space. 

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