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#1 of 15 Old 05-10-2010, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I witnessed something important the other day. It's why I have so much trouble keeping house and staying organized.
My mother came over to sit with my children and I had just gotten them dressed in the family room. Their pj's were on the floor and my mother swooped down to pick them up, walked about 10 of the 20 steps to their rooms and then just stopped and chucked the pj's in the corner saying she'd get to them later. AUGH!!!
It's no wonder I have to discipline myself to follow through entirely when tidying!!!

Anyone else have a legacy to share? One that they don't want to pass along to their children?

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#2 of 15 Old 05-10-2010, 01:54 PM
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My mom stacks. Papers. Cups. Books. Crap. Clothes to be put away. Whatever. Her mental categories are so narrow that she can easily end up with 50 different stacks from one box of stuff. Learning to instead group like things together (i.e. all books go on the shelf vs stacks of new books, stacks of borrowed books, stacks of previously read-but-want-to-read-again books, etc) has been a huge lesson as an adult. Less stuff. Fewer mental categories.

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#3 of 15 Old 05-10-2010, 02:15 PM
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My sister and I were just talking about this. We are both total slobs but we remember growing up in a tidy house. We attribute it to the fact that our mother would nag us to pick up but then end up doing it herself. She also never took the time to show us how to do anything. (Don't get me wrong tho she was a great mom may she rest in peace) I also realize that up until recently I have been doing much of the same with my kids (except my house is way messier)...but have been working on changing this.

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#4 of 15 Old 05-10-2010, 07:00 PM
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For me, cleaning was associated with angry parents and punishment, lots of yelling, and spending all day from wakeup till bedtime trying to meet an impossible standard. I've learned to do the tasks involved, but it can be hard to find the motivation because it is easier to not begin than to start and have to stop before I'm done or working hard, burning out, and when it is messy again an hour later after the kids are up/home/etc, feeling like I've worked for nothing and giving up. I'm working on that.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-10-2010, 07:38 PM
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our house was often described by friends as "the museum." it was very clean and tidy at all times, and for us, even a little mess would have some kind of negative feedback. we could play in our rooms and outside, but always had to tidy up.

after getting out of the house, we were messy. add to this that my family's love language is objects, and you end up with a lot of stuff. my mom is very organzied with her stuff, but has a lot of it.

my sister still hasn't turned the cleanliness/tidy corner. i did about two years ago. i just can't stand the mess, and minimalism helps me too (i prefer living minimally). so, once i got rid of a lot of stuff, and now only buy things as i need them, i have much less stuff, much less mess, and it's easier to keep clean and tidy.
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#6 of 15 Old 05-10-2010, 07:55 PM
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My mother was a packrat. She kept a very clean house but she cleaned EVERY SINGLE DAY. She also got VERY upset when anything was out of place. We could play with something but it had to be cleaned up immediately after we were done. It was stressful. I am still a clean freak but a messy home, to an extent, doesn't bother me.
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#7 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 12:53 AM
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My Mom is a packrat and a non-cleaner. I remember being about 13 and thinking the bathroom was so disgusting, I would clean it with out being asked. She didn't have anything organized and although I have always enjoyed a clean well organized home it has taken me years on my own to figure out HOW to do it and what it actually takes to keep it organized and cleaned. I have several neighbors who keep a tidy and clean house and it took seeing what they did to realize that it takes constant vigilance

My grandparents were very clean and organized and I remember my grandfather saying to us, 'why don't you just put something back in its place when you are done with it?' Such a simple idea.

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#8 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 09:35 AM
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Emotion! My mom clings to stuff with sobbing, wracking, crazy emotional behavior. Eee gads! The drama in her house is out of control. She has piles of crap, it is tossed in cardboard boxes, stuffed in cabinets, overflowing from everything because she continues to grapple with difficult feelings/abusive childhood memories. Looking around her house is like peeking into a very private corner of her mind.

Her legacy has helped me develop an attitude opposite hers. While she screamed and hollered about the house, I tend to be very lax. While she clung to every piece of junk, I tend to get rid of too much. While she went through binges of clean/messy, I tend to be constantly in the middle...my house is never clean, but never completely out of control. After growing up with cycles of manic cleanliness and overwhelming filth, I strive to be the happy middle place. At least, that's my goal.

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#9 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 11:09 AM
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I had my own room as a kid. My dad never made me clean it becuase he said that when it got bad enough to annoy me then I'd clean it up. He'd just shut the door.

I still have a hard time fighting that impulse these days. I don't want things to get that far, but the procrastinator in me says, "Meh, when it gets on your nerves then you'll clean it up."

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#10 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 11:43 AM
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I don't have any excuses in legacy. My mom was pretty clean. She didn't make it into torture either, our house was clean though not a museum. We could live in it. She did teach me to clean up after myself, she didn't wait on me either.

It's my husband! He's a slob in many ways, and basically I decided I'd rather not expend any effort he does not. For example, I was raised to always rinse out my dishes and the sink. Let's say I had a bowl of cereal, I didn't have to wash it myself (my dad usually took on dish duty) but I needed to dump any excess and rinse it out and put it in the dishpan and rinse the sink so it wouldn't crust up. That all makes perfect sense. My DH, however, does not (for the record, he took on dish duty himself). He'll just dump a plate or bowl or cup in the sink without doing a darn thing. We have a white sink and it is soooo stained from tea bags and coffee just poured out but not rinsed away and so on. Asking my DH to change his ways does not go over well, so I had a choice - constantly be on his case and destroy the marriage, stew in silence and let him be a slob while I resented my extra effort, or just let it go and not do anything more than him. Of course I could be a much better person than I am, and do my part without expecting him to do his. Maybe I'll get there. For now, I have chosen to match his slobbery and it works pretty well for me in terms of not straining the marriage or making me resentful

I just realized, I wasn't clear about something. My DH does clean. Like I said, he does the dishes and he also sweeps and mops and so on. He's not "lazy." It's more that he doesn't do the little things throughout the day that would make the house so much more presentable all the time with minimal effort. Instead, we act like slobs and then spend a lot of concentrated effort trying to keep up with it, and it always gets away from us.

I do worry about the legacy that will pass to DD. So this is a good thread for me to think about. Maybe it's time for me to grow up and start doing my part without expecting DH to do the same. Maybe DH might actually start doing it, especially if I didn't expect him to. Maybe I can teach DD the best way to not be overwhelmed even if her father doesn't do the same things. Maybe it will actually even teach her better - she can see the two ways for herself.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#11 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 05:19 PM
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i have beenthinking about this A LOT lately. i grew up in a very cluttered home. we didn't clean. we shoveled out the night before the cleaning lady came. my mom is a packrat...maybe even a hoarder. i see how my tendencies are to be a "messie" not a "cleanie" i just dont' see mess and pick up as i go. i want somethign different for mykids. so i am working VERY hard to both (1) keep our clutter down and our possessions limited - we get rid of stuff!! and (2) teach them to clean and pick up every day. even very young children can learn this. especially when it is modeled to them.

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#12 of 15 Old 05-12-2010, 11:20 AM
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This is a really enlightening thread. Both of my parents are big, big consumers. They live to buy. So they have a lot of things, but they keep them nice and neat. Their home is beautiful.

BUT they constantly pass things down to me and I end up with a bunch of stuff that I don't have room for. Extra towls, extra rugs, extra this, extra that. So I end up with a lot of stuff that I need to weed through and give away or take to Goodwill. So my closets are overstuffed and my storage is overflowing. And I need to toss a lot of stuff.

But my home is pretty clutter free and clean. We have a weekly cleaning lady.

You know what? I just realized I need to start chucking some stuff without feeling guilty about it. My parents didn't have an attachment to it, so I certainly should not.

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#13 of 15 Old 05-12-2010, 02:34 PM
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My mother is a packrat. Her house is clean but full of STUFF. I have a hard time throwing things out for this very reason. Having clean and clear space is weird for me.

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#14 of 15 Old 05-15-2010, 01:33 AM
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My mom always kept a clean house. She wasn't super strict about it - the house looked lived in, just nice and clean and organized. My dad is a minimalist and helps keep things pretty clean. I'm not as good as my parents. I suck at organizing stuff. I have the same issue that I hear in so many of those hoarder shows - if I can't do it perfectly then I'd rather no do it at all. Still, I manage pretty well. Dh on the other hand...

Dh was raised by a packrat mother and a packrat grandmother. Their houses were disgusting. Clutter everywhere, appliances falling apart, rotting food, feces from goodness knows what. DH never grew up anywhere clean. He tries his best around our apartment, but he is also my biggest challenge. I really have to stay on top of him or things get out of control. He has 0 organizational ability and will just stuff things into bags and then stuff those bags into closets.

We're working on it.

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#15 of 15 Old 05-15-2010, 07:46 AM
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My mother and grandmother were very clean and organized but not to the point of being neatfreaks. (I was definitely "allowed" to have friends over.) My dad has the tendency of stacking and keeping, going with the attitude that picking and cleaning up is more "girls' work" - he grew up with a mother and 2 sisters.
So, basically my mother cleaned up after my father.
In our family, I often seem to be following this pattern but I definitely have my own sore spots. Still, my sink is clean and the wet towels on the bathroom floor are never mine...

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