As God As My Witness... I will never be embarrased by my home again!!!! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 53 Old 09-06-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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I'm joining too. I'm tired of it, and have been tired of it for quite some time. (ETA: sorry for the long post, but I'm keeping it, I doubt many will read but maybe some can relate. You can tell how big this is because of how much I have to say about it).

 

I don't really know what my problem is. I think I'm actually less emotionally attached to stuff than your average American woman. So explain to me, please why we have so much? I don't get it. We also don't shop. I mean, we get food and toothpaste, but we do not buy consumer items. We don't have a DVD collection (we own about a dozen), I'm not a clothes horse (I literally do not buy myself clothes - I wear the same clothes for 15 years, I kid you not, plus my mom and MIL do buy me some too. But I'm serious, even my UNDERWEAR is at least 12 years old. I consider my socks practically new because I bought a package 8 years ago).

 

DH does have a good amount of computer clutter, but that's restricted to one room. It doesn't explain the house. I just don't know what it is. Sometimes I even ask DH, what is it? What are we looking at here? I can point to individual items (a screwdriver left on the table. A book. DD's doll.) But I can't make any pattern of it. I can't say, the problem is that we have too many ____. The screwdriver isn't trash. Nor is the book. Nor the doll. They are all things we are using. I'm very practical; there's nothing sentimental. And yet there's too much of it.

 

Toys are definitely a big part of it. Pre-DD, the house wasn't a disaster. We had clutter areas for sure but the house just didn't ever completely fall apart like it does now. And even the pre-DD clutter areas were all out of sight - the closet, the big kitchen drawer. Our house used to look spartan. (Though not nicely decorated, just spartan, empty and plain). Now I know how to paint and such, so if I could have that spartan expanse back, I could make it very nice. (Well, after saving up some money for paint and a sofa I guess).

 

Earlier this summer, we had a tornado watch and the weather looked iffy enough to head to the basement (green sky, sudden freaky gusts during a severe thunderstorm). We couldn't find DD's shoes though. Not for all the clutter - it's not THAT bad - but because DD takes off her shoes "wherever" and there is no specific home for them. I completely flipped out after that storm about how everything needs a home and we can't be hunting all over the house for stuff during an emergency. Major Wife Flippage, I tell you. We've been working at it but the pace is very slow. DH is frustrated by my pessimism - he feels like we've made a lot of progress and have been working hard. I feel like at this pace we will be working at it literally forever - because we still have to spend so much time maintaining.

 

I keep trying to understand - surely other people don't have to spend 4 flippin' hours of dedicated work every single day to keep their houses together? Am I wrong? Sure, an hour and a half sounds reasonable, if you count dishes and laundry. A little pickup, push the vacuum cleaner around (THAT is a rare event around here). Wipe off counters, swish the toilet. Sweep the kitchen. Marvelous, you're done. But for us, it's like all we can do just to not slide backwards every single day. I feel like we are in an all-out fight. If ONE DAY we relax a little, we're doomed. That can't be right!

 

If the in-laws are coming over, it's 3 days of all out warfare (with both me and DH on it full time) to get the place ok. And that's allowing for plenty of concessions - like the "office" bedroom (with all the computer junk - plus plenty of other junk, much of it mine) just gets the door closed. Closets aren't expected to be cleaned out. The ktichen cabinets and drawers are a mess. But 3 days of all out warfare to get the surfaces cleared (and, except for the office, they really are cleared) and things CLEAN. 3 days of TWO ADULTS working on it. Until I get a backache in the evening. THAT CAN'T BE RIGHT.

 

DD met a friend this spring. Her mom invited us over. Her house was utterly perfect. I could picture her running the vacuum before we came. But this was a perfection she could not have acheived just by cleaning up the night before. That happened on Mother's Day. Now it's after Labor Day and I haven't returned the invitation yet. Why? Because I can't have her over with the house looking like this. And despite all our efforts ALL SUMMER it's still not right. Explain this to me!!! PLEASE.

 

Right now I guess we're not actually losing the battle, but it's an all out effort to acheive just not losing. Maybe we're even gaining a little. Again, my DH would be frustrated by me, but really, it's not like at this rate we're going to have the whole house done by this year or anything. We've been at it all summer. Granted, it hasn't been full out war every day this summer - we've had other projects to do as well, but that's the way life is. So unless I take a leave of absence and spend a whole month at it, I just don't see how we're going to come out on top. As it is I spent my week off on this project. Yes, I'm very discouraged and I don't see the light. Maybe I am just lazy and don't realize that other people really are spending hours a day cleaning their homes, maybe I think that just happens like magic or something when it just plain is an all out effort. And I still can't tell you what STUFF we have that is causing the problem, other than the toys (which I went through this weekend, hopefully that will make a difference! But I go through them about twice a year so I know for a fact that it doesn't make magic).

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#32 of 53 Old 09-06-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Thanks, your thread inspired me (lets hope the inspiration stays!)

 

I told DH we need to have a "throw as much stuff as possible away day." A big issue of ours is that we have so much "useful stuff." That altoids tin is great for holding pins/needles. That full jar of vaseline hasn't even been touched. That half-full jar of vaseline is, well, half full! and that tiny jar of vaseline is only about an eighth full, but it would come in handy if I find we need to carry some with us. Thing is, we don't even use vaseline! The vaseline that we have hasn't been used in 2 years, and we will probably never use it, since we prefer to use more natural oils. We have a similar issue with printers. We have 3 printers I think. A bunch of ink(none of the ink works for any of our printers, it was from my DH's boss, not sure why he brought it home) We don't need 2 of the printers, but I wanted to keep them until I could manage to print off a bunch of coloring pages for DS. I just never get to it(mostly because there is so much junk everywhere.)

 


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#33 of 53 Old 09-06-2011, 11:25 PM
 
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> But I'm serious,

> even my UNDERWEAR is at least 12 years old. I consider my socks
> practically new because I bought a package 8 years ago).
 
My first thought, just as an example, is: How much underwear do you have? If you keep it all for fifteen years, then even if you rarely buy any, it can pile up. Does it all live in a single drawer, and does that drawer have plenty of room for it? Or do you have extras that live in other places, or is the underwear drawer full even when there's a bunch of underwear in the laundry waiting to be washed? And the same for your socks, and the same for your T-shirts, and so on.
 
One way to control volume is to declare that the storage space for something determines how much of that something you're allowed to have. If, say, you have thirty pairs of underpants, but the drawer only has room for twelve, then I'd say that you get rid of eighteen - even if those eighteen are perfectly good, and even if you're going to have to go buy new ones in a couple of years because you got rid of those eighteen. They should leave the house anyway.
 
And if there's a reason why you feel that you need more than twelve - maybe you wear _those_ when you jog, and _those_ at work, and pack _those_ when you travel - then maybe the solution is to get rid of all thirty and buy new underwear that is more flexible and can be used for all purposes. 
 
Similar for other clothes - if you have the blue skirt and the green skirt and the dark yellow skirt that all go with very different shirts, maybe you get rid of all three and buy a black skirt that goes with all the shirts. Or you get rid of the skirts and the shirts and buy a much smaller number of items that all go together. 
 
I think that sometimes being frugal and not buying stuff can lead to storing _more_ stuff, because things lose aspects of use as they age - oh, _those_ worn-out towels are for cleaning the floor and the nice ones are for the kitchen counters, and _that_ blouse can only be worn with a sweater because it has a tiny chocolate stain in front, and _those_ socks can't be worn for jogging because they've lost most of their loft but they're OK for gardening, and so on. If you get rid of the flattened out socks and use the fresh springy ones for both the jogging and the gardening, then you need less sock storage. If you use the "good" towels for both the clean and the dirty jobs, then you need less towel shortage. And so on.
 
> Sometimes I even ask DH, what is it? What
> are we looking at here? I can point to individual items (a
> screwdriver left on the table. 
 
Similarly, how many screwdrivers do you have? Even if you use them all, do you _need_ them all, or could you, say, get rid of six of different sizes and just keep the tiniest one for little screws and the medium-sized one for everything else? Do you have three or four sizes of wrenches? Do you need that many? Do you need any? How often do you use a wrench? If you remember using one in 2008 and that was the last time, maybe you should give all your wrenches away and wait to see if you need one again.
 
> A book. 
Books are a great example of declaring that you can have as many as you have storage for. It's never possible to feel that you have enough books, but I have a specific shelf for - for example - my gardening books, and when it's full, I can't have another one until I get rid of one.
 
It's not just whether you use something, but how often, and whether you could get rid of three of something and replace it with one that's more flexible.
 
> DD's doll.) 
 
Have you tried boxing up some of the kids' toys so that they simply can't access them, even if you don't give them all away? Maybe that could give you a better idea of whether they could be happy with drastically fewer, without having to commit to getting rid of them. They'll still occupy space, but if they're not allowed to get them out, they're objects that you're not tidying regularly.
 
> I feel like at
> this pace we will be working at it literally forever - because we
> still have to spend so much time maintaining.
 
If you're still spending a lot of time maintaining, then, yes, there's still too much stuff.
 
Can you describe some of the stuff? Maybe if you could tell us exactly what's on a particular shelf or drawer or stacked in the corner, we could find patterns that you can't see because you're too close to the situation.
 
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#34 of 53 Old 09-06-2011, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

Thanks, your thread inspired me (lets hope the inspiration stays!)

 

I told DH we need to have a "throw as much stuff as possible away day." A big issue of ours is that we have so much "useful stuff." That altoids tin is great for holding pins/needles. That full jar of vaseline hasn't even been touched. That half-full jar of vaseline is, well, half full! and that tiny jar of vaseline is only about an eighth full, but it would come in handy if I find we need to carry some with us. Thing is, we don't even use vaseline! The vaseline that we have hasn't been used in 2 years, and we will probably never use it, since we prefer to use more natural oils. We have a similar issue with printers. We have 3 printers I think. A bunch of ink(none of the ink works for any of our printers, it was from my DH's boss, not sure why he brought it home) We don't need 2 of the printers, but I wanted to keep them until I could manage to print off a bunch of coloring pages for DS. I just never get to it(mostly because there is so much junk everywhere.)

 

 

I think you just have to be ruthless. And, yes, wasteful. If you don't waste some stuff, you'll keep on wasting time and house space and happiness. So waste the stuff, accept the past mistakes and try not to commit them again in the future.

 

You don't use vaseline? Toss it. All of it, the partial jar, the full jar, all of it. You haven't used the printers? Toss them or give them away. If you keep objects, like the printers, for the someday day that you'll have time to use them, then you'll never have time to use them because your time is being sucked away, vampire-like, by trying to housekeep around the stuff that's waiting for you to have time. It's round and round and round; if you try to keep the stuff for every future opportunity, you'll never use those opportunities because the stuff will take them away. Are you going to use all those pins and needles, _soon_? In your crowded house? Before you get rid of stuff? I'd bet not. Get rid of not only the Altoids tin, but the pins and needles you were going to put in it. Is it going to be impossible to find an Altoids tin in the future, when you're ready for it?

 

Let the lost opportunities go. Throw a funeral for them in your mind and let them go. When you're done and you look around and find that you have spare time and room, then that's plenty of time to pick them up again. Splurge on some computer and printer time at the copy store to print those coloring sheets, or swap favors with a friend who has a printer. Buy enough pins and needles for _one_ craft project. Even if you don't expect to have the income in the future, I'll bet that Freecycle will be offering the things that you need, when the time comes that you're ready to use them.
 

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#35 of 53 Old 09-07-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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My first thought, just as an example, is: How much underwear do you have? If you keep it all for fifteen years, then even if you rarely buy any, it can pile up. Does it all live in a single drawer, and does that drawer have plenty of room for it? Or do you have extras that live in other places, or is the underwear drawer full even when there's a bunch of underwear in the laundry waiting to be washed? And the same for your socks, and the same for your T-shirts, and so on. 


 Breaking up quotes in the new system is a pain. Anyway, yeah, I didn't make that clear. I have 6 pair of underwear. 10 pair of socks. 2 bras. Clothes are not the problem. I just meant that I am so much not a clotheshorse that my collection of clothes doesn't grow and I don't have to wrestle with it.
 

Similarly, how many screwdrivers do you have? Even if you use them all, do you _need_ them all, or could you, say, get rid of six of different sizes and just keep the tiniest one for little screws and the medium-sized one for everything else? Do you have three or four sizes of wrenches? Do you need that many? Do you need any? How often do you use a wrench? If you remember using one in 2008 and that was the last time, maybe you should give all your wrenches away and wait to see if you need one again.

 

I don't think we have too many screwdrivers (we do have a few, but DH does use them). That's the thing, I don't think there's any item we have too many of. I think they are just not being put away when they are done with.

 

Can you describe some of the stuff? Maybe if you could tell us exactly what's on a particular shelf or drawer or stacked in the corner, we could find patterns that you can't see because you're too close to the situation.

 

That's an interesting idea. Maybe a photograph, even.

 

But that makes me realize something else. Some of this may be a perception issue. I get anxiety sometimes and I can get hung up on things. So here I'm thinking, "I'll go take a picture and post it" and I realize that except for one room (the notorious office) I guess I don't have any clutter to show you. Humph.

 

Right now the kitchen is good except for the cabinets. But everything is in the cabinets. I just have to make time to straighten up the cabinets because most of them are really messy. Not overstuffed, just messy. The counters are clear of everything except a dehydrator, a toaster, and a hot water maker. The pantry is cleaned up. The kitchen closet (it's an under-the-stairs closet) got totally done earlier this summer, and while it does have a lot of stuff in it, it all has a place and it's been maintained in its present state succsesfully since June. We used to never use it except ocassionally to shove something in it, but now it's an active storage space that we use every day, since board games are in there, some pantry items (potatoes, onions - because it's cool in there), one shelf has our small video collection, etc. Further back are bins with our Christmas stuff (not much - the Christmas bin actually has our TREE in it, plus the few ornaments and lights we have).

 

Dining room is fine except I have to organize our buffet, which is almost empty - I plan to use it for homeschooling materials. It's new furniture so I just need to figure out how I will organize it and place the things into it from elswhere in the house. There's a bookshelf in there but it's not overstuffed. Everything fits. The table itself is clear enough - it has 2 candles, a book I'm reading, and DH's Kindle, and that's it.

 

Living room is fine. It's not a typical living room - we have no furniture there. We have exercise equipment. Also DD was playing with some blocks and had a castle set up on the trampoline. I'm fine with that. It's not a mess, it's a nice construction that we'll put back away in the box for blocks in a few days I'm sure.

 

Bedroom 1 is fine except the closet. I have to go through the closet, and that one is a big job (DH said he would help me). The drawers are fine. The surfaces are all clear. There's nothing under the bed except one box that has DD's artwork. I go through it occasionally but it's only about 1/3 full right now.

 

Bedroom 2 is mostly fine, except the closet is a smell mess. Probably only 1/2 hour will fix it. It's not the clothes but just that DD likes to take some of her toys in there and play in there, so she has some stuffed animals plus some dress up clothes piled in there, plus she went through my milk crate that has winter hats and mittens and dumped that on the floor, sigh. The clothes themselves are fine, only half of the closet rod is full and that has both my clothes and DD's too. Also the bookshelf in there is not overstuffed but DH has just shoved a lot of books horizontally on there so it looks messy. I just have to put them back in their right places. Under the bed has some wayward things, no doubt - a sock here, a shoe there, a book here, some lost toys. Not a disaster but it needs addressing every 6 months it seems.

 

The bathroom is great, actually - we just finished a low budget remodel (paint and new hardware) and it's lovely.

 

There's nothing in the attic - we don't use it at all, for anything. I don't know about the basement, I literally never go in it. I know there's a few things but I don't care about it. It's not a disaster in there, just a few random things probably. It's really dirty down there though (the house is over 100 years old and the basement is not at all finished - it's one of those cobwebby basements). Maybe I'd like to clean it someday but it's not affecting my life at all.

 

It's just the office - the room I'm sitting in right now - that is an utter disaster. While we don't have a major paper problem like some people do, I do have some papers that I don't have a system for. I have a filing cabinet and it's nice and neat but utterly outdated. I have credit card statements from 1994 in there. I don't know what to do with them. So I don't have a current filing system because my nice and neat system is filled up and outdated. I don't really know what I want to keep, either. Let's see... I have a broken telephone. Trash, clearly. I don't know why it wasn't thrown out when we replaced it. Maybe because it's just one more piece of clutter among a lot, so I didn't bother. A book of CDs we had in the car that I brought in, but I don't know where to put. (You know, one of those wallets that keeps 12 CDs or whatever). A book from the libary - I do have a place for that, a specific library shelf. It just didn't get properly put away. A box of note cards, I don't know where to put them. I do write notes from time to time and have one I need to write, but I don't know where to put it AWAY. A new container of insect repellent - I opened it from the mail here at the desk, and just stuck it there. Should go in the bathroom I guess. This desk is just the catchall for a lot of stuff, when I'm cleaning up and am not sure what to do with an item, I stick it on my desk (if it's mine) or DH's desk (his). The reason I do that is because the whole room has never really been organized, so rather than cluttering up the rest of the house, I just add to the clutter in here.

 

Maybe I feel really cluttered not because the house is cluttered, but just this room/ I spend a lot of time in here - I work full time from this room. I don't want to point fingers or anything, but I think my clutter would be more marginal except DH has a ton of computer crap for his business so this room was doomed from the beginning. Oh, we have shelves, we have boxes, we have labels. But even when it's all organized, the visual effect is still a lot of clutter. This room also has DH's closet and up until last weekend it was a mess, but we cleaned it out and it's nice now. I've got a table next to me with a bunch of junk related to DH's business. I don't know what half of it is, even. Soldering iron. A roll of tape. Some AC adaptors. A hard drive. A bunch of little drawers full of littls screws and such - those are organized but somehow add visually to the cluttered feel of the room.

 

Maybe I need to hide the organizational items too, for my aesthetics. Like put a curtain over the shelves so I'm not seeing 1000 boxes of items on there (which are, again, decently organized but just visually overwhelming and not homey and wonderful). I mean, we're talking plastic shelving and plastic boxes. They are not gorgeous. A wood shelf with wicker baskets would obviously be lovely but not practical. But maybe that's why I'm always frustrated? Even if there IS organization? Because it's just ugly?

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#36 of 53 Old 09-07-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

Thanks, your thread inspired me (lets hope the inspiration stays!)

 

I told DH we need to have a "throw as much stuff as possible away day." A big issue of ours is that we have so much "useful stuff." That altoids tin is great for holding pins/needles. That full jar of vaseline hasn't even been touched. That half-full jar of vaseline is, well, half full! and that tiny jar of vaseline is only about an eighth full, but it would come in handy if I find we need to carry some with us. Thing is, we don't even use vaseline! The vaseline that we have hasn't been used in 2 years, and we will probably never use it, since we prefer to use more natural oils. We have a similar issue with printers. We have 3 printers I think. A bunch of ink(none of the ink works for any of our printers, it was from my DH's boss, not sure why he brought it home) We don't need 2 of the printers, but I wanted to keep them until I could manage to print off a bunch of coloring pages for DS. I just never get to it(mostly because there is so much junk everywhere.)

 


I get you and I would be tempted to make some use of the Vaseline instead of tossing it. Bike chains? Sticky drawer? Hairball control for the cats? But if the house is a mess, its better to let loose of some of these possibilities for a clean, happier space.
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#37 of 53 Old 09-09-2011, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a *huge* issue for me. Especially if you are into crafts; every peice of trim, ribbon, shiny paper that comes into your home has 'potential'. I could sit here and parrot all the advice on how the stuff is replaceable but the peace of mind is not but; to be honest; the only thing that made it click for me was watching that 'hoarders' tv show; and looking at my aunt's example. I feel terrible saying that; but watching their thought process; and watching what others thought of them really made it click for me.

 

I love my aunt to peices; but she will keep and spend money on totally worthless items; while you can tell she's feeling more out of control. I'm terrified that I will become like her (in more ways than just the clutter). I feel so horrible saying it; but it's true.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

Thanks, your thread inspired me (lets hope the inspiration stays!)

 

I told DH we need to have a "throw as much stuff as possible away day." A big issue of ours is that we have so much "useful stuff." That altoids tin is great for holding pins/needles. That full jar of vaseline hasn't even been touched. That half-full jar of vaseline is, well, half full! and that tiny jar of vaseline is only about an eighth full, but it would come in handy if I find we need to carry some with us. Thing is, we don't even use vaseline! The vaseline that we have hasn't been used in 2 years, and we will probably never use it, since we prefer to use more natural oils. We have a similar issue with printers. We have 3 printers I think. A bunch of ink(none of the ink works for any of our printers, it was from my DH's boss, not sure why he brought it home) We don't need 2 of the printers, but I wanted to keep them until I could manage to print off a bunch of coloring pages for DS. I just never get to it(mostly because there is so much junk everywhere.)

 



 


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#38 of 53 Old 09-16-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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Texmati, this is a great thread.  Don't feel bad about realizing you don't want to follow someone's bad example, even if that someone is a beloved aunt.  In her right mind she doesn't want you to do that either.

 

About FlyLady, did she really mean you shouldn't clean a room until you've decluttered?  I remember reading that and wondering if I misunderstood.  Because frankly I will never get around to cleaning if I wait until it's decluttered. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post

Quote:

 

I so hear you on this.  An example from this afternoon:  the battery in my upstairs smoke alarm has been "cheeping" forever.  I keep meaning to change it, but you know how that goes.  Today, my neighbor brought over his ladder AND a new battery and offered to change it for me.  I wouldn't let him because I was so embarrassed for him to see the inside of my house.  That's just nuts.  I've gotta get on top of this!


This is how I react every time we have a repair guy come over. Cable guy, heating and air guy, plumber. Oh, the humiliation, when we upgraded our air conditioner, one of the installation guys had to access our attic crawl space, which is only accessible through ds's closet, which meant he had to enter ds's room.  The very worst though, was when he had to install all new ceiling vents. Every. Single. Room in the house.

 

 

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Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post

 she says that's it's essential to LOVE every item that's in your home--have it really resonate with who you are and who you'd like to be.  If you've got things in your home that make you feel badly, get rid of that negative-energy baggage!  ASAP!


I've heard this before, will have to remind myself next time I'm decluttering.  

 

And shouldn't the word 'decluttering' already be in the operating system's dictionary?   It's a word used countless times daily all through out the net.

 


 

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Originally Posted by seashells View Post

It's just the office - the room I'm sitting in right now - that is an utter disaster. While we don't have a major paper problem like some people do, I do have some papers that I don't have a system for. I have a filing cabinet and it's nice and neat but utterly outdated. I have credit card statements from 1994 in there. I don't know what to do with them. So I don't have a current filing system because my nice and neat system is filled up and outdated. I don't really know what I want to keep, either. Let's see... I have a broken telephone. Trash, clearly. I don't know why it wasn't thrown out when we replaced it. Maybe because it's just one more piece of clutter among a lot, so I didn't bother. A book of CDs we had in the car that I brought in, but I don't know where to put. (You know, one of those wallets that keeps 12 CDs or whatever). A book from the libary - I do have a place for that, a specific library shelf. It just didn't get properly put away. A box of note cards, I don't know where to put them. I do write notes from time to time and have one I need to write, but I don't know where to put it AWAY. A new container of insect repellent - I opened it from the mail here at the desk, and just stuck it there. Should go in the bathroom I guess. This desk is just the catchall for a lot of stuff, when I'm cleaning up and am not sure what to do with an item, I stick it on my desk (if it's mine) or DH's desk (his). The reason I do that is because the whole room has never really been organized, so rather than cluttering up the rest of the house, I just add to the clutter in here.

 

Maybe I feel really cluttered not because the house is cluttered, but just this room/ I spend a lot of time in here - I work full time from this room. I don't want to point fingers or anything, but I think my clutter would be more marginal except DH has a ton of computer crap for his business so this room was doomed from the beginning. Oh, we have shelves, we have boxes, we have labels. But even when it's all organized, the visual effect is still a lot of clutter. This room also has DH's closet and up until last weekend it was a mess, but we cleaned it out and it's nice now. I've got a table next to me with a bunch of junk related to DH's business. I don't know what half of it is, even. Soldering iron. A roll of tape. Some AC adaptors. A hard drive. A bunch of little drawers full of littls screws and such - those are organized but somehow add visually to the cluttered feel of the room.

 

Maybe I need to hide the organizational items too, for my aesthetics. Like put a curtain over the shelves so I'm not seeing 1000 boxes of items on there (which are, again, decently organized but just visually overwhelming and not homey and wonderful). I mean, we're talking plastic shelving and plastic boxes. They are not gorgeous. A wood shelf with wicker baskets would obviously be lovely but not practical. But maybe that's why I'm always frustrated? Even if there IS organization? Because it's just ugly?


A resounding YES.  That's totally it.  Seriously, this is the kind of stuff that prior to the computer age would have been confined to the work bench in the garage or the shed out back or something.  It would not be in the house in a bedroom/office.  I completely sympathize because my dear, dear husband has taken over 'the office' with his computer stuff.  And it IS hoarder-level of mess, because he doesn't throw things away.  There are trails through the room and we can't reach the back corner. 

 

By the way, I identify with your 'massive' wardrobe.  I recently got rid of a bunch of clothes that I realized I had not worn in more than two years.  I have two pairs of jeans and two capris and one pair of shorts and two pair of sweat pants. That's it.

 


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#39 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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A big issue of ours is that we have so much "useful stuff."...That full jar of vaseline hasn't even been touched. That half-full jar of vaseline is, well, half full! and that tiny jar of vaseline is only about an eighth full, but it would come in handy if I find we need to carry some with us. Thing is, we don't even use vaseline! The vaseline that we have hasn't been used in 2 years, and we will probably never use it, since we prefer to use more natural oils.

 



I can so identify with this!  I just realized that I've been carrying around a zipper bag of tampons for the last three years.  I haven't had a period in over three years, and probably won't have one for another two years.  And even when I do finally have one again, I have a brand new Diva Cup sitting here to try.  We've moved three times since the last time I used a tampon, and instead of throwing them away, I actually packed them up and brought them with me every time!  Can you believe that?  Because that's like $7 worth of perfectly good tampons!  redface.gif lol.gif  DD likes to take them out every once in a while and throw them all over the bedroom.  And every time she did that, I crawled around picking up 100 tampons from behind bookshelves and under the bed.   I've spent hours on those damn things.  Finally I said enough's enough and threw them away last week.  Now if only I could extend that thought process to all the other junk we've been carting around "just in case."

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#40 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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About FlyLady, did she really mean you shouldn't clean a room until you've decluttered?  I remember reading that and wondering if I misunderstood.  Because frankly I will never get around to cleaning if I wait until it's decluttered. 


 


No, flylady divides cleaning and decluttering into two separate activities, but encourages working on both.

 

Her cleaning method is the Weekly Home Blessing Hour.  You divide your cleaning job into 6 tasks, such as dusting, emptying trash cans, windexing, vacuuming, etc. Then you spend 10 minutes of each one. You don't have to get one job completely done, you just work really hard on it for 10 minutes, and then go to the next job.

 

(I could never get it down to an hour. It takes me about an hour to do all my floors, so I do a two hour weekly cleaning loosely based on her principles).

 

While you are cleaning, don't get sidetracked by the clutter. Just clean. Part of her point is that it really don't take very long to wipe down all the mirrors in your house, etc.

 

Decluttering is different, and, back when I was doing Flylady, consisted of 27 fling boogies, which happened 3 days a week. You went through your house and just grabbed 27 things that were really trash or could be donated, and Zone Cleaning. Each week, a different section or room was "the zone" and you worked for 15 minutes a day on that room. You were to declutter the room before you started deep cleaning it, which is where I think the confusion is coming from. This is really just the idea that if the room is full of clutter, start with that rather than washing the drapes. However, one of the "rules" of zone cleaning is that the weekly home blessing hour must be done first -- your weekly vacuuming MUST be done befors working in your zone.

 

______________

 

On the Vaseline issue, one of the things that I got from watching Hoarders is that the people really couldn't tell trash from non-trash. I became much more ruthless about how I define trash after watching that show. A guy was facing jail time (his clutter had spilled all over his yard) and still couldn't throw things away because he could see how they could still be useful.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#41 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Linda, thanks for that explanation.  That's a better overview of her system than I've ever read. I go to her web site and get overwhelmed.

 

Dh and I both joke that Ma Ingalls would find some way to use dryer lint.


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#42 of 53 Old 09-17-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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 I go to her web site and get overwhelmed.

 

 


I think her web site is cluttered. winky.gif

 

I did flylady years ago -- may be about a decade ago -- and it totally changed my life. It helped my marriage. She taught me how to clean house and let go of things I was done with! 

 

BUT, when I look at her site now, I can really see how she is naturally a disorganized person who has troubling letting go of things. There's a lot more on there now than there was back when I was learning the system.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#43 of 53 Old 09-20-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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I need to do the same thing I need to get rid of a lot of stuff I also loved to hoard stuff and I really do need to get out of that habit.


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#44 of 53 Old 10-04-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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I hear you all so much!  We moved into our current house while I was very pregnant and we have NEVER recovered from it (in terms of organization, etc.).  Of course -- I always hold onto too much stuff and leave things around.  What's strange is that I grew up in a very neat house, but I never seemed to be able to learn the organization and cleaning skills that my parents have mastered.

 

However, I did have a breakthrough just last week on this.  My dad was helping us with some yardwork, and after we were done, he got out the hose and washed down all the tools and then put them away.  And I realized that both my husband and I have been thinking of the "job" -- whether its doing the laundry, yard work, repairing things, etc. as just the job -- while the "job" really is both the job and the putting things away afterwards. 

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#45 of 53 Old 10-04-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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the "job" really is both the job and the putting things away afterwards.

 

That's huge!  thumb.gif

 

Laundry doesn't just stop at 'laundering' the clothes, there's the folding and putting away (yuck, detestable).

 

When you mow the lawn you need to sweep the walkway afterwards. And putting the tools away, too.

 

My kids are learning that 'do the dinner dishes' doesn't just mean load the plates and forks into the dishwasher. It also means put the left-overs away, wash the pots and pans, rinse the sink so it isn't layered with food scraps, and for the love of God, wipe down the counters.

 

I'm thinking this is slightly different from what you described, but it's related.


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#46 of 53 Old 10-04-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I hear you all so much!  We moved into our current house while I was very pregnant and we have NEVER recovered from it (in terms of organization, etc.).  Of course -- I always hold onto too much stuff and leave things around.  What's strange is that I grew up in a very neat house, but I never seemed to be able to learn the organization and cleaning skills that my parents have mastered.

 

However, I did have a breakthrough just last week on this.  My dad was helping us with some yardwork, and after we were done, he got out the hose and washed down all the tools and then put them away.  And I realized that both my husband and I have been thinking of the "job" -- whether its doing the laundry, yard work, repairing things, etc. as just the job -- while the "job" really is both the job and the putting things away afterwards. 



 



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Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

 

 

That's huge!  thumb.gif

 

Laundry doesn't just stop at 'laundering' the clothes, there's the folding and putting away (yuck, detestable).

 

When you mow the lawn you need to sweep the walkway afterwards. And putting the tools away, too.

 

My kids are learning that 'do the dinner dishes' doesn't just mean load the plates and forks into the dishwasher. It also means put the left-overs away, wash the pots and pans, rinse the sink so it isn't layered with food scraps, and for the love of God, wipe down the counters.

 

I'm thinking this is slightly different from what you described, but it's related.

 

It is huge. And in my house I have to also remember and remind DH that dinner cleanup also encompasses wiping the stove top and, wiping down the booster seat or high chair and sweeping the kitchen floor (which usually has food on it by the end of dinner). It's a little more than just washing the dishes, but it's what keeps our kitchen maintained and ready for the next meal.

 

Now I have to train myself that getting out of bed means also making the bed. That's a big one for me.
 

 

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#47 of 53 Old 10-07-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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So proud of you!!!  Go momma!!!  You're inspiring to me. 

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#48 of 53 Old 10-09-2011, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been a while since I've been able to update this thread, but I have thought about it often, in the past few weeks. Specifially:

 

1. my mil visit went much better than expected (this is HUGE!!!!) The kitchen was decluttered and rearranged, and I moved a bunch of MIL's stuff out. It was wonderful that she had to ask me where things were AND I knew where they were instead of the other way around. She is one of those 'organized hoarders' and it was so infuriating to have to ask here where x y and z was stashed.

 

2. My son fell down and skinned his knee while we were walking with our neighbor. I was able to invite her in. The place was a mess from breakfast, and toys all over; but I still felt comfortable sayinh--hry  this is how we live


Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#49 of 53 Old 10-09-2011, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sorry, I had a baby crying! I just wanted to quickly comment on something posted above. I really do think that people who keep their homes clean, clean/tidy quite a bit more than they realize. Yes they might only do a big clean once a week (or day, with kids) but I've been suprised at how much energy it takes to keep up the house. I've also watched other poeple who do seem more on top of things, and they put quite a bit of effort, it just seems to come more naturally to them. i'm hoping to pass on those habits to my kids.


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#50 of 53 Old 10-09-2011, 09:07 PM
 
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I agree! I was cooking dinner today... marathon cooking enough for the week b/c my dd's has a crazy after-school schedule these days, and I was thinking this is a lot of work, but it doesn't feel like work. I kind of have it in my head, "Of course I am making dinner. That's what needs to be done." However, not all people do that. So why can I have that attitude about cooking and not cleaning? Cleaning as I go is not a given for me like it is for others. We have to have systems in place to compensate for the fact that I will take ____ dangerous object from my little on and put it up high in some random spot. You just never know where you'll find my scissors, my favorite pen, etc.. Trash is in a cabinet, which is sometimes locked, so I have to have a few set times to throw out the trash which I have set on the counter because i didn't want to take the time to unlock the cabinet. Other people would wash dishes while they cook, not wait until the next morning when they will hopefully have energy.

The times when I have been 100% on top of things were when I was nesting at the end of my pregnancies, and I cleaned ALL DAY even when I had things organized. It's tough to be a grown-up sometimes! :P

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#51 of 53 Old 10-09-2011, 11:15 PM
 
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 I really do think that people who keep their homes clean, clean/tidy quite a bit more than they realize. Yes they might only do a big clean once a week (or day, with kids) but I've been suprised at how much energy it takes to keep up the house. I've also watched other poeple who do seem more on top of things, and they put quite a bit of effort, it just seems to come more naturally to them. i'm hoping to pass on those habits to my kids.


Yes that is true.... my cleaning habits have changed dramatically since I started doing 'motivated moms' chore lists. And by doing that, it has made me realise it's a constant ongoing process. Now I am basically cleaning every day, but as long as I keep going with doing a bit at a time, it never feels overwhelming.

 

Yes cleaning dishes as you go when cooking certainly makes it easier!

 


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#52 of 53 Old 10-10-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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Ooh, dishes are a success story here. I'm really proud of what I've done. Though honestly it took years!

 

I cook all dinners. And I was doing most of the dinner dishes, dh did it sometimes.  And because I'd be wiped out after dinner I usually left the dishes till the next day. I was getting pretty resentful and tired of how chaotic the kitchen felt.  A couple years ago I started having the kids empty the dishwasher.  Boy do they keep track whose turn it is. smile.gif  It's certainly easier to do dishes when the dishwasher is empty, but still, it was either dh or me doing any dish-washing. Gradually I started having the kids take turns loading the dishwasher after dinner. I let them leave the big pots and pans for me or dh.

 

Now we have a schedule on the fridge and the kids take turns doing all the dinner dishes.  It's fantastic. broc1.gif Dh and I take turns supervising. Last step, they need to not complain when I insist they do dishes immediately after dinner, not hours later when we're all tired and need to go to bed.  And wipe down the counters without being reminded.

 

There are busy nights when we get off track and the dishes don't get done.  But for the most part I come out in the morning to a clear kitchen. It is sooo much less stressful. 

 

 


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#53 of 53 Old 10-10-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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The rest of the home might be chaotic but at least we've got a shared dish-washing routine in place.


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