WHAT do you do with your messy "horizontal spaces to throw crap?!" - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-14-2010, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am seriously at my wit's end. I am actually happy DH wants to do away with the TV in the livingroom...a tiny bit because of the family time it will give us, BUT ALSO I am hoping he has NO PLANS for the entertainment center it is in so I can GET RID OF IT.

I have tried and tried and tried and TRIED to keep this thing from accumulating crap.

I put a pretty little fake flower thing. It gets shoved over to make room for crap.

I set a very small paper shredder up there so that junk mail could be immediately shredded. I am the only one who does it.

I bought a small basket to keep up there and have it look pretty while containing my 'quick grab' stuff for DS2 diaper change, a nail clipper so I can get nails while letting them watch a show, stuff like that.

And the worst thing about it for me is it is 99.9% NOT MY CRAP that is up there. It's MY MOM who lives with us. She will stick trash up there instead of throwing it--like a napkin, anything the kids hand her....whatever. Both her and DH leave junk mail. Library books.

I clean and clean and clean the stupid thing and 24 hours or less later it looks like I have not touched it!

The same for the top of the freezer. Though that is also mainly due to the kids' art supplies i keep there for easy-grab access. I need something besides these stackable baskets that just arent' working anymore.
And we have minimal cabinet space really....it looked better before we moved in to be honest than it actually is. That's how stuff like a box of ramen, a big bag of rice, etc. end up there. DH also puts his newspapers and crap there.

I HATE horizontal spaces to throw crap!

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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I've seen some cute kids kitchens made from entertainment centers but if that is not something you would do or would even want, then I would get rid of it too

I hear you on the horizontal surfaces!
I am trying to eliminate them wherever possible, it's a losing battle for me

For your chest freezer...could you possibly put the stacking baskets into a large decorative wicker basket?
I am thinking that being able to move them all at once, when you need the freezer, and then the top looking less cluttered in the interim

Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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Baskets, cute containers, etc. Then at least it is out of sight.

I try to take stuff upstairs with me every trip - we have a table like that and every time I go upstairs I try to grab stuff off of it and put it away. It is a CONSTANT battle.

Our current horizontal clutter surface is the desk space in our kitchen. And I have two baskets there already. I think I need a third.

We also got rid of our entertainment center and turned it into a toy shelf for DS. Now DS tends to throw all kinds of crap on it but at least it is back in the corner.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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LOL you sound like me. I LOVE clean surfaces. Anything that is flat inevitably ends up with stuff on it. Every day I face the challenge of finding homes for all the stuff that has gathered since the last time I did it.

We have a canoe shelf in the living room by the front door that if I find any of DH's stuff like wallet, keys etc they get put there. I think what has help me the most is that everything in our house has a home, a place to be. In bins or baskets, on a shelf or in a drawer or closet. When I see things they are easy to put away.

I am constantly telling my DS(5) that toys are easier to tidy up right away when you are done instead of waiting all day until it looks like a toy bomb went off! I am pretty lucky in that my DH and DD both like to keep things clean and tidy too.

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Old 08-16-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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Well, a few times I gathered up the mail/newspapers/random papers that weren't mine and just dumped them in DH's lap when he was sitting on the couch and told him to go through it and throw it away...I even provided a trash bag. I did it without being rude about it; just very matter of fact. After that I just started tossing things (especially his weekly paper he gets) after a week of it sitting there. Turns out he never missed it.

With the trash and whatnot I would talk to your mom about it. Honestly, just tell her that it bothers you and you want to figure out a solution that works for both of you. Maybe it's a small basket with a bag in it (grocery bags work well) that she can drop trash in and empty once a week or something. Junk mail can go right in there as well.

The bar in my apt is this space. We come home and set whatever is in our hands there "to deal with later." I just have to go through regularly and deal with it.

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:50 PM
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my husband loves to dump things onto horizontal surfaces too. we have a number of them right now: the top of the clothing rack where we hang coats/shoes/bags in the entry; the two mantles in the house; the cubbies/shelves, and the top of the fridge.

today is our day to declutter these spaces and i am *begging* him not to let them get to this point again. he has a hard time managing papers that we need to keep, but that he doesn't want to organize/file. then, he has to dig around for them when we need them (ie, to pay a bill, or to give everything over to the accountant).

the main thing is to put it in the rhythm. i'm trying to get DH to USE the rhythm, rather than "do what he wants" which is kind of what he normally does. so, i'm working on it. LOL
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Two things. One: have a place to put the clutter -- bills have a folder/basket, etc., purse/backpack/wallet has a drawer/hook/basket, etc.

Two, go through the "clutter keepers" once a week (or once a day, if needed).

Or, for your DH and Mom, have a basket to dump all of their stuff daily. GL!

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:12 AM
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i think we're going to put declutter papers into our daily, evening 'tidy away' routine.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I honestly think that it is that I'm thoroughly sick of cleaning up the adults' crap and that NOBODY ELSE cleans this crap but me. (except DH did clean off the top of the center this weekend when I mentioned I wanted to get rid of it because all it does is accumulate crap.)

Stuff *does* have a home. When I clean it off, I dump anything that's my mom's in her room--she can deal with it from there, I don't have to see it. Obvious trash in the trash. Shred the junk mail. The kids' books that always seem to end up anywhere BUT are *supposed* to live in the cabinets on the bottom. There's just no end to the crap that ends up there.

The freezer is an upright, not a chest....so worse for the accumulating because you don't have to move anything to open it!

I need better-looking or just plain better alternatives to the junky looking baskets the kids' art stuff currently lives in. Waiting on cash.

Dh is the worst about papers, there is a box in my closet of crap taht needs shredding....but HE has to do it because he doesn't know *for sure* he doesn't need it...but he never wants to actually *do* it...a few months ago he took care of about half of it. It *was* 2 boxes.

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Old 08-18-2010, 03:06 AM
 
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I want to start off by saying that I love your generous use of the word crap.

It's craptastic.

I'm thinking you could use some decorative boxes to store the misc. crap that gathers. They must have lids though so you don't have to see the crap. And perhaps you need a policy that if the crap doesn't make it to the crap receptacle, it gets tossed in a bag with other crap and hidden somewhere for a specified amount of time. If that plan causes mutiny, at least it's easy to shovel the crap into a box. Just cup the crap into the crap box, like when you spill sugar onto the counter.

Now that I think about it, I need some crap receptacles of my own. We're going to put our house on the market, so I'll need a handy place to stash the crap when people come see the house!

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Old 08-18-2010, 04:45 AM
 
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I want to start off by saying that I love your generous use of the word crap.

It's craptastic.

I'm thinking you could use some decorative boxes to store the misc. crap that gathers. They must have lids though so you don't have to see the crap. And perhaps you need a policy that if the crap doesn't make it to the crap receptacle, it gets tossed in a bag with other crap and hidden somewhere for a specified amount of time. If that plan causes mutiny, at least it's easy to shovel the crap into a box. Just cup the crap into the crap box, like when you spill sugar onto the counter.

Now that I think about it, I need some crap receptacles of my own. We're going to put our house on the market, so I'll need a handy place to stash the crap when people come see the house!

SAHM to three
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Most of our horizontal surface everyday clutter is stuff that does have a home, but upstairs. I can't be running up and down the stairs all day, so I'm thinking of getting a small basket with a handle to keep at the bottom of the stairs, toss everything in there, then when I have a chance to go up I can carry it all at once, and still hold the baby too. However, I've seen someone with one of these baskets, and it's like a mutating disease.. the crap spreads onto the stairs and is always there..

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Old 08-18-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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I lived in a house where this was the biggest battle growing up, and it used to be much the same in my house until a few years ago. Finally it dawned on me, don't put it on there to begin with!

Mail gets sorted when I get it at the post office, and filed when I bring it in, nothing goes on tables that isn't supposed to, etc and so on. Now it seems strange to me to think of stuff piling up on those surfaces, because I never let it get started.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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As far as trash, it sounds like you need to put a trash can right up next to every horizontal surface in your house.

We're going to get a new TV sometime soon-ish, and I'm thinking we'll wall-mount it for this exact reason.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:18 AM
 
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hmm, throw crap on it?

I still have trouble with this. I think the items that are issues are items that don't have a home. Yes sometimes mail piles up but I just sort through it and it gets filed or recycled. Toys get put away, books get put away but the stuff that is left is still there. I do make a point to clear off the kitchen counters, island counter top, coffee table and dining room table at least once a day. So that leaves one shelf in the living room and a side table that collect the worst of the stuff. Having the clutter condensed makes me feel better but I still need to address the remaining problem areas.

As far as cleaning up after other people, especially other adults, I get really annoyed about that. I don't mind doing the household chores like laundry, dusting, vacuuming, dishes but I get really annoyed with things like dirty socks on the floor, drink glasses scattered throughout the house and the table not cleared after a meal. I don't mind cleaning but I hate picking up.

We do have a decent amount of baskets around for mail, magazines, remotes, movies, toys etc.

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Old 08-19-2010, 05:50 AM
 
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Same here...I hate picking up after lazy teenagers...well one in particular actually.

SAHM to three
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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hmm, throw crap on it?

I still have trouble with this. I think the items that are issues are items that don't have a home. Yes sometimes mail piles up but I just sort through it and it gets filed or recycled. Toys get put away, books get put away but the stuff that is left is still there. I do make a point to clear off the kitchen counters, island counter top, coffee table and dining room table at least once a day. So that leaves one shelf in the living room and a side table that collect the worst of the stuff. Having the clutter condensed makes me feel better but I still need to address the remaining problem areas.

As far as cleaning up after other people, especially other adults, I get really annoyed about that. I don't mind doing the household chores like laundry, dusting, vacuuming, dishes but I get really annoyed with things like dirty socks on the floor, drink glasses scattered throughout the house and the table not cleared after a meal. I don't mind cleaning but I hate picking up.

We do have a decent amount of baskets around for mail, magazines, remotes, movies, toys etc.
Did I write this post? I had to look to make sure. This is me exactly, and my dh is just as bad as my 6yo, if not worse. I hate it, so I put it off, and crap piles up.

Mom to: Honey (6/04) and Bunny (9/09)
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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I don't have advice for you because that's definitely a -huh- challenge around here, too. In some places in our house it helps to keep them "decorated" but you've tried that. So, just feeling with you...

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Old 09-01-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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ugh, I so feel you on this. My dp can literally cover any available surface in minutes-we are actually in the process of getting rid of our entertainment center too because it just collects piles of his things. The worst part is that he runs his own business, so I can't just toss any of it because he might need it. I have tried baskets, they just end up overflowing. I have tried dumping it into a box for him to deal with, he just ends up with stacks of boxes by his desk (which is also covered in stuff and unusable). We are hoping to convert one bedroom back into an office so at least the mess will be out of sight, unless he miracuolously reforms once we have a clean slate (haha). I am getting much better about this, but at least if I leave my stuff out *I* am the one that deals with it, whereas dp leaves stuff out and I still have to deal with it!

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Old 09-02-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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I love making record bowls. I have several in the house. I use them to catch keys, change, pens/pencils/markers, etc.


For mail, we just use a really nice, big, black wicker basket.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:12 AM
 
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I love making record bowls. I have several in the house. I use them to catch keys, change, pens/pencils/markers, etc.
Just wondering what a "record bowl" is?

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:26 AM
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:14 AM
 
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Thanks! How cute is that little girl in the video.

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Old 09-04-2010, 05:55 AM
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she rocks my world. i love learning skills from children, because it encourages me that, in fact, i can do it. afterall, i'm 34. the difference is in the mind.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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We just have a hard and fast rule that horizontal surfaces are not allowed to collect crap. Every night DH and I clear off the dining table, the kitchen island, and the desk. So there might be a few things on one or all of those surfaces, but since they get picked up nightly it's never an overwhelming amount.

Like right now there's a toy jaguar, the remote control, and a tissue on the desk; my phone, some superglue, a ball cap, and two goody bags from a birthday party on the island; and some play food on the table, but it's not overwhelming and it'll all be put away sometime tonight.

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Old 09-22-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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Ugh, our's is the small sofa near the entry way. It is the dumping ground for diaper bags, toys, mail, uneaten lunches, etc. etc.

I clear it off and then one person arrives home and the thing is covered again.

What do you do with the stuff you have to put down when you enter the house?

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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Ugh, our's is the small sofa near the entry way. It is the dumping ground for diaper bags, toys, mail, uneaten lunches, etc. etc.

I clear it off and then one person arrives home and the thing is covered again.

What do you do with the stuff you have to put down when you enter the house?
Maybe the answer is to get rid of the sofa? We used to have a big chair near the entry way and it always attracted stuff, and stuff sitting on a chair/sofa always looks messy. I moved the chair under the house, then later on we put it out near the road and someone took it away. (Hopefully it isn't causing a clutter problem for them!)

We have two entry points to the house, one from the front door if we have walked home, the other from the garage downstairs if we drove. If we come in the front door, sometimes small things or mail are put on the cabinet or low table that are near the door, but every week I clean that area and get rid of stray things. Mainly my daughters take their things (schoolbag, shopping bags,etc) straight to their room.

If we come up from the garage we take handbags to our bedrooms and shopping bags to the kitchen.

What sort of stuff generally finds its way onto your sofa?

SAHM to three
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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