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#1 of 33 Old 03-18-2010, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Spinning off the "how does clutter build up" thread because I think this is a brilliant concept and one that was totally lacking in my home of origin and the house we currently live in (rented room in a shared house).
Things don't get 'put away' because there is nowhere to put the transient things! Then someone (not me or Dp) will come along and 'tidy everything up' by putting it all away in a big box somewhere. . . where it is inevitably hard to access. . . and then when it is used again it is left out instead of being put back in the out-of-the-way spot. Drives me crazy!

So can we discuss further?

Say, for example - rented DVDs.
We bring them into the house, and watch them on the computer which is in the bedroom.
Where do you put a space for them? In the bedroom right near the computer? or by the door where you bring them in and might dump them because of screaming toddler etc. . . ?

I really want to get my head around good solutions for this before we move into our own house (yay!) because I think there is the potential for a much simpler, happier living space.

Discuss away please. . .

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#2 of 33 Old 03-18-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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I'm currently pondering a kitchen filing system to hold papers before they eventually make their way downstairs to the filing cabinet. We're also evaluating which papers (bills, statements, warrantees, etc.) need to be kept and which can be recycled immediately after they are dealt with. Also wanting to switch to electronic bank statements, bills, etc. to reduce the paper flow-through. I figure a wall hung thing with four or five slots would do, as well as a medium sized rubbermaid bin entitled "Crap DH Thinks He Might Need One Day".

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#3 of 33 Old 03-19-2010, 03:14 AM
 
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On the DVDs: Both.

I would definitely have a drop zone and an "on the way out" zone near the front door for lots of things, including rentals. These might be two spaces, or they might be the same space.

And by the computer I'd also have a place for DVDs and CDs and software disks, that's cleared out and put away at regular intervals.

Some random rambling about our solutions and non-solutions:

- By the front door we have a "bench" - it looks like a bench, and it can be used as a bench, but functionally it's really intended as a place to put coats and sweaters and packages and purses and backpacks, and a shield for shoes that we can kick off and kick underneath. Every two or three days I fold the sweaters and put them away, hang up the coats, take most of the shoes to the bedroom, and so on, so that it's empty again.

- Also by the front door we have several built-in shelves/cubbies with specific purposes: One for keys and wallets and other pocket litter, one for cellphones and other electronic stuff (that one has an outlet so we can charge stuff there), one for incoming and outgoing mail and anything small (like outgoing video rentals) that we want to remember to take out, and one for hats and gloves and scarves and other small outerwear. And one at the very top with a single vase in it that's there to pretend that it's all decorative.

- I mentioned the long shelf of Booklike Stuff, in the other thread. It's in a fairly central location between the living room and the bedrooms.

- We have a Trash trashcan and a Recycleable trashcan in the living room. And a split can under the sink with one bucket for garbage and one for kitchen recycling.

-----

So incoming and outgoing works pretty well, except for incoming groceries.

Groceries are a mess. I never put away the groceries as soon as I get home. I dump bags on the floor and dining chairs and stuff the perishables in the fridge, and then I go away for a while. Later, I unpack the non-perishables and put them on the counter, fold the grocery bags, and go away for a while. Later the groceries on the counter start to annoy me, so I jam them into overfull cabinets, except the potato chips never fit, so they sit on the counters and annoy me.

So I need to:

- Clear out the food storage areas so that they're no more than about sixty percent full. They'd get fuller right after grocery shopping, but the idea would be for them to be cleared down to that sixy percent point at least once a month.

- Designate one cabinet shelf or pot drawer to be _empty_, so that when I don't feel like putting the groceries away properly, I can stuff them in there instead of stuffing them _everywhere_ and making orderly areas disorderly. Then I can put that stuff away in an orderly manner when I'm in the mood.

- Designate one refrigerator space, probably one of the crisper drawers, to be empty for the same reason.

-----

Speaking of the kitchen, I already try to get as close as possible to having _nothing_ on the kitchen counters. The canisters and the salt and sugar shakers, for example, are in a cabinet, not on the counter. No knife block or utensil crock or cookie jar or crockpot or salad spinner or blender - they all belong on shelves or in cabinets.

When the kitchen is tidied, the counter should have some sort of soap dispenser, one or two sponges in soap dishes, probably a current clean hand-drying towel, and... and... I think that's all.

Oh! I lied. The mixer and the electric kettle are on the counter. That annoys me; If I can figure out a way to get them off the counter, I will. Especially the mixer, which we only use every week or two but the thing is _heavy_ to store elsewhere. (Maybe I should get rid of the stand mixer and go to a hand mixer?) Meanwhile, they're right next to each other, leaving the rest of the counter clear from front to back.

-----

Laundry and clothes are a major problem. We have very little clothes storage space, and we're having trouble fully accepting that reality. We _could_ take space away from books or other things, but We Don't Wanna. So we need to get rid of at least three-quarters of our clothes, and that's that.

------

Er. I seem to be out of rambling, so I'll stop here.

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#4 of 33 Old 03-19-2010, 04:22 AM
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well, when living in one room, vertical storage is everything. one of those over-the-door shoe holders is actually quite good. they have lots of pockets, and you can fill those pockets with whatever you need.

in my dorm room, my roommate and I used one, dividing the number of pockets evenly.

i would keep my sorted mail (i only ever had a phone bill), my keys, my hat/scarf/gloves, and whatever other small objects i picked up throughout the day, etc.

it would be a good place for the DVDs coming in and going out, and smaller library books, etc. if you are handy, you can make one yourself that has the right sized and number of pockets for you.

vertical is everything though, in a small space.

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#5 of 33 Old 03-19-2010, 04:39 AM
 
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The in/out/pending spaces are brilliant! I never really thought of it the way crayfish explained it in the other thread, but I have them. Here's a few few of ours:

~ I searched high and low for exactly the type of item I wanted by our front door. We have an EXTREMELY small front entryway and we use that door 90% of the time. I measured the space and scooted the bookcase over a smidgen in order to accommodate the best item I could find for the space. It is usually called a "pub mirror", but this specific one is much smaller than what I consider a pub mirror. It is a vertical mirror (for checking oneself before walking out the door or opening the door for guests; and it conveniently gives a good viewing angle of our living room from our upstairs hallway; and it bounces light around in the only dark area of our living room; it is good feng shui) with a shelf attached at the bottom of the mirror and three hooks underneath. All one unit, which was very important to me due to the small space and my desire to streamline. That shelf holds outgoing items, like mail and single library items and such, and a lip balm for me to use on my way out the door every afternoon. The hooks hold my keys and my purse (I like tiny purses) and other outgoing items that can hang on this type of item (not large things, like a bag of books!). We use the front door handle for large items that can hang, like a bag of library books. Those spaces are for outgoing items mostly and get taken out with us regularly.

~ In the space between our front door and the living room window is a tall bookcase. We have tried numerous things in this space and this bookcase works the best overall. The bookcase has doors on the lower half and that is where we store CDs and movies. The upper shelves are dedicated to scrapbooks and decorative items. I purposely left the bottom shelf of the open area clear for awhile in order to figure out what would happen naturally. It became, as I suspected, the drop zone for little things. I didn't like that, so I put a basket there from another area of the house. This basket is divided like something you'd see on a desk in magazines. Two small areas in front and a tall, paper-size upright section in the back. In the back section, I keep the tiny camera tripod on one side and the full-size coupons and gift certificates. In the front left section, I have the coupons, gift cards, freebies, etc organized with dividers (closed boxes didn't work for me) with a wallet insert in front of that with the library cards and YMCA membership card and other items I don't need every day and/or that more than one family member needs access to. In the front right section, I have a small handmade dish sitting in the bottom to hold small random items on one side and a pen upright in the corner (only made possible by the dish) and 1-2 Chico-style bags on top. (I clip them to my purse when headed out to shop, but don't carry them full-time any more since I am in the Compact.) This basket is mostly for random outgoing items that are really handy to not have to go searching through the house to find when one of us needs them, but they are not as "urgent" as the above spots (first bullet).

~ DH has his drop zone (LOL, never used that term before) in our bedroom. When he comes home from work, he generally heads upstairs to our bedroom to change clothes and play with our cat and drop all his pocket stuff onto the dresser. I gave him a fancy "box" to load up. It meets my visual needs and it meets his functional needs.

~ DD's drop zone is generally the stairs and/or the kitchen. We generally walk to and from school. Her spot for kicking off shoes is at the bottom of the stairs (to the left, easy to walk up and down), so her backpack and jacket often end up there, too. We literally have no space for serious hooks or a bench or anything else to handle these types of objects. (The front door is too close to the wall to utilize the wall behind it.) So, we deal with it daily. We have space for these items in the "coat closet," which is located around a corner and in the living room. She passes this closet on the way to the kitchen, where we eat snack every afternoon almost immediately after arriving home. She often just brings it all with her into the kitchen -- forgetting to stop at the closet. I send her back or let her eat first and then have her take care of the items.

~ Sometimes, during cooler weather, the recliner ends up holding jackets for a few hours. Someone usually wants to sit in it in the evening, though, so it gets cleared off and they get put away then. We have warm weather more than cool weather here, so it is minor in the scheme of things.

~ The best thing I ever did was establish a "tray" in the office that holds any and all paperwork. I handle finances and paperwork once a week, so this is tended to regularly. Anytime paper comes into the house, we try to take care of it immediately, but not everything works like that. The "tray" is our spot for all papers without immediate homes. It is AWESOME! It is located on the desk where the desktop computer is and I do our finances on that computer, so it is easy. It is at the top of a wood cubby stacking file thingy (LOL). The slots hold other papers temporarily, so it all flows well. DH and DD and I all know to and regularly put all paper in the tray. I end up entering it somewhere or calling on it or whatever, then recycling it (recycle bin is under the same desk directly beneath said tray for super easy functionality) or putting it in the bottom slot for DH to file. I aim to only keep the important papers for filing (tax-related, house-related, or investment-related mostly), but I am a scrapbooker and love to keep certain info for that hobby. The other slots are dedicated to this.

That's all for now. It is really late here and I just realized that.

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

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#6 of 33 Old 03-20-2010, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL Zoebird - no, sorry, not going to HB Aotearoa because I went to the last Hui/Conference in Oct in Christchurch. Go though - the people are awesome!
You can read my 'report' on it at
http://homebirthmanawatu.wordpress.com

Great ideas - keep 'em coming!

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#7 of 33 Old 03-22-2010, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, let's talk about the bed:

we *always* have clothes on ours. You know - the clothes you take off to go to sleep but are still ok to wear again (esp if it's going to be another day at home with kids). Eventually ours fall on the floor and get actually dirty, or dp gets sick of them and washes them (waste!). I'm loathe to put them back in the cupboard as they're not *actually* clean. Throwing them on a chair looks messy. Whose got a brilliant solution?

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#8 of 33 Old 03-22-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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ok, let's talk about the bed:

we *always* have clothes on ours. You know - the clothes you take off to go to sleep but are still ok to wear again (esp if it's going to be another day at home with kids). Eventually ours fall on the floor and get actually dirty, or dp gets sick of them and washes them (waste!). I'm loathe to put them back in the cupboard as they're not *actually* clean. Throwing them on a chair looks messy. Whose got a brilliant solution?
I'd recommend one of:

(1) abandoning the "re-wear" idea and accepting the waste of rewashing in order to avoid the clutter (what I mostly do)
(2) putting up a row of hooks on the wall somewhere to hang them on (I do sometimes hang a couple of garments on two hooks that we have on the back of the bathroom door, to wear the next day)
(3) getting a separate hamper to dump the clean(ish) clothes into

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#9 of 33 Old 03-22-2010, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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1) abandoning the "re-wear" idea and accepting the waste of rewashing in order to avoid the clutter (what I mostly do)
oh - the horror - no! There are some people in this family who change multiple times a day for various reasons. It could quadruple the laundry!

I'm liking the row of hooks. Right now we have a couple on the back of the door but they get used used for towels (post-shower). I'm thinking like...a looong row of hooks could do it

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#10 of 33 Old 03-22-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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We have hooks on the bathroom door for towels, but hooks on the back of the closet door for re-wearables.

Happy wife to DH superhero.gifand mama to DS signcirc1.gif11/05 and DD energy.gif8/07.
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#11 of 33 Old 03-22-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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We have an over-the-door rack of 8 hooks on our bathroom door (4 upper and 4 lower). We have it on the outside of the door. It works better for our usage. DH has four hooks (right-side) and I have four hooks (left-side). If they are overfilled, I started wearing the same item enough times to get it to the point of needing to be washed. OR, I start tossing items into the sorter anyway. Works beautifully!

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#12 of 33 Old 03-22-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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We have a small foyer area in our rented duplex and we share it with our neighbors so the only things we leave out there are muddy boots. Just inside the door is a coat closet and I shoved a plastic 3drawer dresser thing for shoes and mittens and hats and such. My purse hangs on a nail, coats get hung on hangers and each kid has a drawer for hats and mittens and shoes(the 2 year old shares with me!). Keys hang on a little hook right next to the door. Mail is filed in small basket in the kitchen, not ideal but you get used to it and it's routine now. We have a two floor house so I put a small basket on the stairs for things needing to go up instead of having them just sit on the stairs in piles anyway. There are two diaper pails, one up and one down stairs.(gotta find a better place since the baby potty trained but we are using the wipes for hands and faces and noses now). The laundry hamper is upstairs so if you have dirty clothing downstairs, unfortunately it just gets chucked into the basement down the stairs. The basement is my secret shame of unorganized chaotic mess. I hope one day my ex will move his crap out and I can actually use both halves of it and organize it better but this is it for now. The kitchen has a recycling bucket and a trash can so there is nothing left on the counters when it shouldn't be. Rented dvd's or the case for what you are watching plus the remotes all live in a basket on the tv. When we have library books or dvd's they hang in a cloth bag iinside the coat closet next to the door so that they are ready to grab when you grab your coat and purse to walk out the door.

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#13 of 33 Old 03-23-2010, 06:29 AM
 
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I belong here ... I need to read and re-read all posts ....

I already have designated "drop off "points for various items throughout the house ...

... but I never seem to "budget some time later on" for sorting out stuff
SO I often end up with big messy half hidden piles of stuff through which I frantically search for the one item I need "quick" before heading out (... going out so as to ignore/get away from the sorting out & putting away task ?)

anybody would has info/suggestions about tasks avoidance ? ... maybe I'm lazy (I hope not, I can be "not lazy" for other activities so I hope it's not a general trait ..) ... I tend to think that I have emotional hangups about some of the tasks that overwhelm me ... I feel so stuck at times, it upsets me and reduces greatly my quality of life ...

hope to learn more with more posts coming in on this thread .....
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#14 of 33 Old 03-23-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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we each have a little basket in which to put clothes we rewear and the basket either belongs on a shelf in the bathtub room, or overnight they sit near the bed or whereever we expect to get dressed in the morning (so at night I set mine on my computer chair, because I get up first and change quietly in the living room). Before bed I add whatever is missing for the next day to the basket so I don't have to disturb the sleepers by hunting through my drawers for a clean shirt or whatever.

rented dvds go into one a narrow box that fits on a shelf by the computer, dds library books stay in the library book bag on a hook on the end of her bookshelf.
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#15 of 33 Old 03-23-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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... but I never seem to "budget some time later on" for sorting out stuff
SO I often end up with big messy half hidden piles of stuff through which I frantically search for the one item I need "quick" before heading out (... going out so as to ignore/get away from the sorting out & putting away task ?)

anybody would has info/suggestions about tasks avoidance ? ... maybe I'm lazy (I hope not, I can be "not lazy" for other activities so I hope it's not a general trait ..) ... I tend to think that I have emotional hangups about some of the tasks that overwhelm me ... I feel so stuck at times, it upsets me and reduces greatly my quality of life ...
Some thoughts:

First theory: Could part of it be that putting stuff away is unpleasant? For example, a closet that's thirty percent empty and has sturdy matching hangers in good condition is reasonably pleasant to use; a closet that's jammed full and has a tangle of bent dry cleaner hangers isn't. Maybe more space (from getting rid of more stuff) or better infrastructure in your storage areas would work better.

Second theory: Could perfectionism be attacking? For example, do you pause to consider whether that pink sweater should go with Pink or Sweaters or Long Sleeved Garments, and does that decision stress you out, so that you'd rather put it back in the heap than risk doing it "wrong"?

Third theory: Could it be that your house is organized the way that you think it "should" be instead of how you really like it? For example, I used the closet-and-hangers example, but maybe you hate hangers? If you hate hangers, maybe it would help to have some shelves fitted into a closet so that you can fold and stack garments instead of hanging them.

Fourth theory: Could it be that you're rebelling against someone who used to tell you how you "should" keep house? Maybe you could rebel against them in a more functional way. For example, if someone ordered you to fold your clean towels in precise knife-edge thirds, maybe you could buy some nice-looking big baskets and just toss the clean towels in there, unfolded. You'd simultaneously get the benefit of an organized place where the towels belong, and the joy of knowing that your storage method would make them crazy. If the towels _and_ the nice-looking baskets are in a color that that person hates, all the better.

Fifth theory: Could it be that you feel that there's something wrong with housekeeping and organization? It happens - often. Maybe you feel that it would drain away your creativity. Maybe you had a relative who had contempt for housekeeping. Maybe you feel that it's traditional women's work and don't want to do traditional women's work. Maybe you fear that if that relative with a contempt for housekeeping comes by, they'll think less of you.

Sixth theory: Are other members of the household refusing to do their part of the work, so you resent doing more than your share? You could try focusing on the parts that you care about, and debate whether to reduce your workload they, for example, can do their own laundry or do without. Or if budgets allow you could just hire someone to do their share.

Some book suggestions:

For resolving the feeling that creative, intelligent valuable people don't bother with housekeeping and organization: _It's Hard To Make A Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys_.

For revamping your house and housekeeping systems to fit your preferences and personality: _Organizing From The Inside Out_.

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#16 of 33 Old 03-23-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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THANK YOU for very helpful suggestions

I got the book you mention last & liked it a lot. Must try to get hold of the other book you mention !

I LOVE your list of theories, it really does help to try to see things "differently" (which can only be better than the "being stuck" point I've been at LOL ....)

+ it reminded me that when growing up I had a room to myself and am told that it was hard to push open the door/walk in without stumbling on someting since there was so much stuff on the floor & and stuffed in the cupboard -in a derogartory tone- on the other hand, family members still marvel now - 40 years later- at the fact that it looked very messy BUT i could always find very quickly anything they would ask me to find

so I suppose I never learned when young, was never taught & didn' t find the need to learn somehow ....

first theory => definitely a challenge, we moved 18 months ago from double the space we have now and am still with boxes of stuff that I cannot find space for nor be happy to part with .... well, i do donate stuff or get rid of broken useless items but as such a slow rate (it works best when I can donate to someone who I know will have a use for the item & maybe it's also due to some war-time-like-let's-not-throw-anything mentality being passed down .... although I was born years later than the end of the war ....)

second theory => plays a part for sure (which looks surprising when you see the actualy state of some hot spots I walk past everyday .... without attacking the problem) , I have a definite preference for stacking dishes etc on the drying board to the point that I'm rather uncomfortable when DH does washing up since I find it harder to retrieve anything without stuff falling out ....at least I don't go to the extreme of matching the colors of cloth pegs when getting a load of wash to line dry .... my sister sent me a joke about it, I think she meant it for me .... I don't think I'm up to that point yet .... maybe she sees more in me that I'm aware of ????

third theory => don't think so

fourth theory => love your rationale in that ! it's such a funny way to envisage the problem ... I don't think I was taught ANYTHING in fact, so I don't really think I am rebelling .... maybe am just ignorant, lacking in common sense at times and having difficulties learning that type of life skills ?
that reminds me that I want to look into this also in relation to "what am I wanting to teach my kids as life skills? & how can I teach skills I clearly have difficulties with LOL & how to still teach stuff when DH doesn't model behavior too & isn't supportive or maybe also sort of sabotages at times whilst prentending not to notice ....."

fifty theory => yes someting of that nature, somehow = was freaked out 20+ years ago when visiting a relative with an immaculate flat, after being seated and served a drink, after a little while, I bent to search for something in my handbag, which I had put, I thaught, neatly and properly, by the side of the armchair ... it had vanished !!! LOL ... had been put away already in a closet with the family coats etc ....
maybe I somehow feel I can never be "as good" as that ... for quite a while I thaught that this was a "normal" way of operating .... only years later when I mentionned that incident to my sister she made me realise that they could possibly be a little OCD in fact ...

sixth theory=> definitely something in there of that nature at play ....

Thank you for helping me think about all that, I need a little time to process all that info and start taking appropriate decisions and then implement them !!! (+ why am I so slow ???? is it genetic of something ?)
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#17 of 33 Old 03-24-2010, 04:19 AM
 
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Thank you for helping me think about all that, I need a little time to process all that info and start taking appropriate decisions and then implement them !!! (+ why am I so slow ???? is it genetic of something ?)
A really quick post - I'm leaning toward perfectionism being a substantial issue here. Perfectionism can make you move slowly, make you question and re-question every decision, make you hesitate to do anything at all for fear that you'll do it wrong.

For example, perfectionism sounds like a likely cause for the concern that you ensure that you donate your stuff to someone who will use it, and a likely cause for walking past those piles, and a likely cause for progressing so slowly.

Perfection is very, very often the cause for an out of control cluttered house, however illogical that may seem.

Which makes me add another book: _Too Perfect_, by Mallinger and Dewyze.

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#18 of 33 Old 03-25-2010, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Firstly - Crayfish, you are awesome! I love the way you approach this stuff - thoughtful & realistic


Quote:
the concern that you ensure that you donate your stuff to someone who will use it
oh dear. This is totally my problem. I feel the need to find the 'exact perfect home' - especially for clothes. I think this problem is exacerbated by the fact that somethings do have better homes than others - ie I want to give all my beautiful merino wool baby clothes to someone who will *wash them properly*. I admit I have experienced regret giving a lot of baby clothes to someone and then later hearing that they had 5x the amount of the clothes they needed (they didn't tell me this at the time). So maybe I should get over this. Hmmm

The other thing you mentioned that resonated with me was about not folding laundry. I need to NOT fold laundry - especially kids clothes/around the house clothes/kitchen towels etc. It takes sooo much time and energy and often the clothes are folded but then not put away so that they sit around in lovely folded piles and eventually get trampled on, and *gasp* occasionally even need re-washing (and definitely re-sorting). I acknowledge this is ridiculous, but the problem is - I LOVE folding clothes (I know, I know) and I love seeing perfectly organized shelves of folded items. Meanwhile 50 other things are in crazy dysfunctional disarray. Maybe I need to just content myself with folding my work clothes and the diapers (they're flats so it makes sense to pre-fold them before use) and throw other things into drawers/baskets/shelves as is. If we only have minimal clothes, shoving them all away won't be too messy/horrible - will it?

Wow. This thread is like therapy.

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#19 of 33 Old 03-25-2010, 04:26 AM
 
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Not to dismiss anything anyone else has said (lots of good info here!), but I gotta say the best thing I ever did regarding laundry is to reframe my thinking two-fold (pun intended ).

1) Laundry is a 5-step process and I only start that process when I know I can complete all five steps (sort - we sort as it comes off our bodies, wash, dry, fold, and put away). I literally do only one load per day (sometimes none), but I do it completely. (Yes, owning a reasonable amount of clothes is key, as well.) It is far less overwhelming to do all five steps when it is ONE load.

2) I used to hate laundry and put it off and put it off, then had a mountain of it to do. Blah. What wicked rollercoaster THAT was! Doing laundry blesses my family and me. Figuring out the laundry bliss (#1) and changing my attitude made all the difference! I *love* to do laundry now and only get behind when I am ill, which is happening less and less frequently now since I am applying the gratefulness attitude to just about everything in life these days.

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

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#20 of 33 Old 03-25-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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I have come up with very good solutions for temporary storage.

~I have a habit of piling papers/books/magazines on the kitchen counter. I almost went out and bought a basket to put the piles in, then I realized I have a small drawer nearby that is paper-sized. So all the magazines/permission slips/interesting brochures/coupons/sale flyers I want to look at later are hidden. When I can't close the drawer anymore, I go through and recycle it.

~We have a business and my office is in the basement. The office is where all checkbooks get balanced, bills get paid, paychecks get written, etc. I don't work in the office every day. So I have a basket at the top of the stairs, each day when the mail comes in, I drop all the junk into the recycle bin right away, then all the bills and other important papers get dropped right in the basket (I throw out the envelopes first) When I'm ready to spend a few hours in the office, I grab the basket and bring it downstairs, spread out all the papers, file the ones that need filing, and then turn my attention to whatever else needs doing. This is working excellent for me. I do have to be careful, though, that bank statements or other really personal stuff isn't on top so people visiting won't see it.

~As far as dvd's, whether from the library or netflix, they come in the house, sit next to the tv. When they've been watched, they go to the entryway where they sit on the table there to remind me to get them out of the house.

I don't have everything figured out, but these things are really working for me.
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#21 of 33 Old 04-04-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Crayfish thank you for your posts, I just received the last book you mention and started reading it ... it's not so hard for me to read your analysis as it would be if my sister would tell me the same thing .....
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#22 of 33 Old 04-04-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Crayfish I love your towel theory!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crayfish View Post

For example, perfectionism sounds like a likely cause for the concern that you ensure that you donate your stuff to someone who will use it, and a likely cause for walking past those piles, and a likely cause for progressing so slowly.



Crayfish
Very true...I have read elsewhere about 'amnesty' for those who have a severe cluttering or hoarding problem...instead of being paralysed by fear of wanting to donate or recycle each item in the correct way, give yourself amnesty to throw it all away. There is no point trying to save the world when you are drowning in clutter in your own home.

SAHM to three
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#23 of 33 Old 04-04-2010, 11:33 PM
 
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I totally have that perfectionism when it comes to home decorating. (Not cleaning so much, that's just ineptness!) I love the idea of having a home that actually looks put-together and themed and House and Garden-y, but every time I see a gorgeous design spread I dismiss it with "Well, I dunno if that's really me".

Seriously, every time I want to do something as simple as sew a cushion, I get crippled by these thoughts. Is it MEEEE? Does it express the tiniest, subtlest, most intricate quirks of my personality? What if I get sick of it in five years? What if I learn to sew better by then, so this looks shoddy? What if I ruin good fabric? What if I use this fabric I picked up at the thrift store, but later we can afford really good fabric and this looks cheap? What if I wait and save up to buy fancy 100% linen from the craft store? Are the colours too trendy? If I use neutrals, does that make me a boring person at whom designers would scoff? Didn't I vow when I got married to have different cushions, quilts etc in the living room for every season? What if my designs are too girly for DH? What if I go off steampunk? What if my version of steampunk is too generic and not one-of-a-kind enough? Why won't DH hurry up and design the typgraphical frieze I want for the living room, which should take him a mere 1,400 man-hours to complete? Do I only like this because everybody on Craftster's doing it,?

And so on and on, until I'm convinced that the world as we know it will explode in a flaming ball of fire (or ice, if them's your leanings) if I do not spend six years acquiring the knowledge and skills of a professional decorator online before I dare to TOUCH my (rented!) living room. So nothing ever gets decorated. Plus, I'm slowly developing scruples that further hinder my progress - I like to buy things second-hand, avoid MIC, avoid teak, ethics, frugality, blah blah blah - all good things, but it doesn't exactly help. Sometimes I really wish I had the gumption just to go out and buy a duvet, some pillows and a lampshade. Whether they were "me" or not, they'd make the bedroom look a whole lot better than it currently does.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#24 of 33 Old 04-05-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
And so on and on, until I'm convinced that the world as we know it will explode in a flaming ball of fire (or ice, if them's your leanings) if I do not spend six years acquiring the knowledge and skills of a professional decorator online before I dare to TOUCH my (rented!) living room. So nothing ever gets decorated.


Thanks for the laugh...I really did laugh out loud reading this!

I so see myself in what you wrote must admit...and I know the reality is not that amusing, as nothing ever gets done does it....

I say buy the duvet!

SAHM to three
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#25 of 33 Old 04-07-2010, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh Smokering, LOL.. .but there is a lot of truth to what you wrote in my own life.
Sometimes I have success bidding on TradeMe bc the'decision' is semi-out-of-my-hand (ie whether I win or not!).

And sometimes I just remind myself to "be gently with yourself!!". . . . because it's all part of the process, I'm allowed to make mistakes, things are allowed to change, objects are allowed to come and go and be moved on to the next person/stage/use.

It's a good mantra. . . . when I remember to breathe and repeat it

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#26 of 33 Old 04-08-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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Quote:
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On the DVDs: Both.

I would definitely have a drop zone and an "on the way out" zone near the front door for lots of things, including rentals. These might be two spaces, or they might be the same space.


The space near the computer should be designed specifically for DVDs, the space near the door should be more of a catch-all where you dump things and then when you go to play one of the DVDs, you grab all of them and move them to the computer space.

A "errands" bag is a good idea. Anything that needs to go into the car with you can go into it, and then your catch-all area for dumping things when dealing with a screaming toddler can just be a place to set the bag.
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#27 of 33 Old 04-08-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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Some thoughts:
....
seventh theory: you're a visual person and putting things away makes you feel like they've vanished. Out of sight/out of mind. That can be helped by open storage and really clear labels. If you have to have an opaque container for something, stick a picture on the outside.

In addition to the books Crayfish recommended, I really like The Organizing Sourcebook for working with organizing systems.
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#28 of 33 Old 04-08-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I totally have that perfectionism when it comes to home decorating. (Not cleaning so much, that's just ineptness!) I love the idea of having a home that actually looks put-together and themed and House and Garden-y, but every time I see a gorgeous design spread I dismiss it with "Well, I dunno if that's really me".

Seriously, every time I want to do something as simple as sew a cushion, I get crippled by these thoughts. Is it MEEEE? Does it express the tiniest, subtlest, most intricate quirks of my personality? What if I get sick of it in five years? What if I learn to sew better by then, so this looks shoddy? What if I ruin good fabric? What if I use this fabric I picked up at the thrift store, but later we can afford really good fabric and this looks cheap? What if I wait and save up to buy fancy 100% linen from the craft store? Are the colours too trendy? If I use neutrals, does that make me a boring person at whom designers would scoff? Didn't I vow when I got married to have different cushions, quilts etc in the living room for every season? What if my designs are too girly for DH? What if I go off steampunk? What if my version of steampunk is too generic and not one-of-a-kind enough? Why won't DH hurry up and design the typgraphical frieze I want for the living room, which should take him a mere 1,400 man-hours to complete? Do I only like this because everybody on Craftster's doing it,?

And so on and on, until I'm convinced that the world as we know it will explode in a flaming ball of fire (or ice, if them's your leanings) if I do not spend six years acquiring the knowledge and skills of a professional decorator online before I dare to TOUCH my (rented!) living room. So nothing ever gets decorated. Plus, I'm slowly developing scruples that further hinder my progress - I like to buy things second-hand, avoid MIC, avoid teak, ethics, frugality, blah blah blah - all good things, but it doesn't exactly help. Sometimes I really wish I had the gumption just to go out and buy a duvet, some pillows and a lampshade. Whether they were "me" or not, they'd make the bedroom look a whole lot better than it currently does.
yep, this is me, in a nutshell. we've been in our new house for 6 months, and our walls and windows are still as bare as they were the day we moved in!

christina

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#29 of 33 Old 04-10-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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ok, let's talk about the bed:

we *always* have clothes on ours. You know - the clothes you take off to go to sleep but are still ok to wear again (esp if it's going to be another day at home with kids). Eventually ours fall on the floor and get actually dirty, or dp gets sick of them and washes them (waste!). I'm loathe to put them back in the cupboard as they're not *actually* clean. Throwing them on a chair looks messy. Whose got a brilliant solution?
Well honestly if they're not clean enough to put back in the drawer (we do this frequently ourselves) then they should go in the laundry... I don't think there's any "in between" with that -- either they are still clean or they are dirty, smelly, etc. But if you really don't want to mix the clothes, could you empty out a dresser drawer to be used only for these clothes?

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#30 of 33 Old 04-11-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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Well honestly if they're not clean enough to put back in the drawer (we do this frequently ourselves) then they should go in the laundry... I don't think there's any "in between" with that -- either they are still clean or they are dirty, smelly, etc. But if you really don't want to mix the clothes, could you empty out a dresser drawer to be used only for these clothes?
I must admit I think differently about this...I do think there is most definitely an in between. Throwing things in the wash too readily contributes to a huge waste of water and energy.

Coming from a country where water is a precious resource, we encourage the children to wear their clothes as much as possible before putting them in the wash...not if they smell or have food dropped down them of course.

Another way to freshen clothes without using water and thereby also using more energy to run a machine and pumping detergent into the environment, is to just air your clothes outside by hanging on the line...the sun and air is wonderful for freshening clothes.

Apart from airing, in Australia we already use clotheslines mostly to dry our clothes...tumble dryers are frowned on by many except for rainy days or drying towels, as they waste energy and arguably may contribute to global warming.

I do think your idea of a separate drawer for these clothes is a neat idea!

SAHM to three
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