A Real Mom's Declutter/House Cleaning Challenge!!! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Organize & Declutter > A Real Mom's Declutter/House Cleaning Challenge!!!
TwinMom's Avatar TwinMom 08:45 PM 10-11-2004
I actually accomplished something yesterday! I cleaned out the front hall closet. Dh took 4 garbage bags full of stuff to Goodwill today!

Free Thinker's Avatar Free Thinker 02:23 AM 10-12-2004
WTG, TwinMom That is FANTASTIC!!!
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 12:25 AM 10-15-2004
Mamas....how are all of you doing? I have been deep cleaning my kids room and my own. Floor, walls, gutted the entire room and reorganized. I also have almost all of our laundry totally caught up including all of the baby stuff....................he's not here yet though!

Keep strong mamas. Think of personal goals as well as decluttering/household goals. I also think we should try to pop on daily to update. Not a long post just an update and chance to encourage eachother.

Dh was kind of a dink last night while I was cleaning. Saying why bother now.....you let it go this long! Normally when that happens I shut down and stop. But not last night! I thought about you guys and flylady. "I will not let him clip my wings!" I achieved more last night then I have achieved in weeks!

Hold tight mamas...................we can do it!
TwinMom's Avatar TwinMom 05:54 PM 10-16-2004
AngelBee--wow, that sounds like a LOT of work. Good for you!

I haven't done much lately at all. I did spend about 20 minutes doing some decluttering in the master bedroom today. I get so distracted, though! Does anyone else find that they tend to neglect the rest of the house while they're focusing on one area? So by the time you're finished, that one area looks wonderful but the rest of the house looks like a bomb hit it? I've got to get this under control before adding this fourth child to the mix!
Renaissancemom31's Avatar Renaissancemom31 03:59 PM 10-17-2004
When you think about it - the whole process of accumulation and "disposal" is very cyclical and can be spiritual if you embrace it as a living process. Think about it on a larger scale - a dam can only hold back water for a certain amount of time. Once it's full it has to do one of two things - break, or allow the excess to flow through. If allowed to break it destroys itself and all that surrounds it; but if it allows the excess to flow through it nurtures all that surrounds it and preserves it's own well being by reducing the stress on itself. Think about it.
I've been working on decluttering forever! I just seem to end up back in the kitchen over and over (that'w where our entry is). I've almost completely decluttered it but everytime I go out there I find a few more things.
My best friend came over this summer and helped me clean out my pantry. I donated a CARLOAD of food to the local soup kitchen (I have a REALLY big pantry and tend to OVERstock on good sales). It was so freeing to watch the stuff go and know that it was getting put to good use.
I've also done the entire masterbedroom/nursery as well. I'm trying to keep Rachel from having to deal with huge amounts of material stuff - but it's overwheming at times. She's the youngest grandchild, and we have ALOT of clothes given to us. It's a constant challenge - but there agin. Once I"ve finished the room it feels SOOO good to know that the stuff has a new home where it will be loved and used, and it frees up emotional energy.
All that being said - the livingroom is next and our oversized video collectiont ath we NEVER watch since we've pretty much abandonded the "sita round and watch TV on the weekend lifestyle that we were raised in". I've turned decluttering into a part time income by reselling on various sites, an donating alot through freecycle. My goal is to have the whole house decluttered by the time Michael comes home next Spring. This month... the livingroom. Then.... THE BOYS ROOM (the final frontier - the bastion of consumption - the black hole.......)
Free Thinker's Avatar Free Thinker 02:28 PM 10-19-2004
Well, I didn't get alot done last week, but I did:

clean the curio cabinet (major clutter spot)
vaccuum off the chair and couch
clean some of the pics
cleaned off the TV cabinet, ect. (major clutter spot)
cleaned the front door.
cleaned some of the hardwood floors

I also bought a floor lamp, and got rid of the table lamp. I put the rocking horse in the basement, and moved one chair over. It is SO much bigger in here. I used to keep another end table, and a coffee table in here, too

This week my decluttering/cleaning goals are for the living room and hallway again (for some reason it takes me 2 weeks just to get a small area cleaned up )

1. Wash all windows/door
2. polish all the floors in LR and hall
3. clean all pictures/shelves (some are done already)
4. vaccuum under everything, and vents
5. finish the window over the sink (this has been on my list for about 3 weeks now )
6. Clean out hall closet (major clutter, I don't even know what all is in there!)
7. Clean leather chair

Deb, I completely know what you mean about the rest of the house getting to be a disaster when you focus on one thing. I try to do a general cleanup on MOnday and Friday (this week it's Tuesday and Friday b/c I was gone yesterday). When I say general cleanup, I mean I do a pick up, and then the floors. I need to pick up some baskets, and I am going to start putting 2 baskets (on a small table) one for DDs room, and one for the bathroom/office/my room so that I can just throw things in there, and put them away later. I do a LR cleanup 2 times a day, naptime and bedtime. My Dd helps (at 18 months) put her toys away, and books away. I am working extra hard to keep my kitchen cleaned up better all the time, but it's hard b/c my DH comes in about 5 times a day to eat, and DD munches alot, too. The snackbar is also the pile up place, where all the mail, ect. goes. Any helpful advice on that would be great! We already put some small file boxes on the cabinet to help w/ that, but it's still a mess most of the time

Welcome, Ren.mom31!!! I'd love to hear how you decide what to keep, and what to give/throw away and sell! Also, is it worth it to sell it? I think by the time I actually take pics, list my stuff, ect. it's not worth the $$ to sell it, I'd be better off taking it to the local thrift store. The consignment shops don't give hardly anything for stuff here.
KellyB's Avatar KellyB 03:41 PM 10-19-2004
I haven't done squat this week....I'm schedueling a Halloween cookout for motivation, though...lol....when I know people are coming over soon, my motivation magically returns...
Congratulations, Angelbee! You're doing great...
Don't give up, Twinmom....20 minutes is better than nothing...
Welcome, Renaissancemom...I like your philosophical view of decluttering...that's very inspirational...
Good luck, Freethinker...you sound like you're getting close to being reasonably decluttered and deep cleansed....
Free Thinker's Avatar Free Thinker 09:11 PM 10-21-2004
How's everyone doing??? Any updates?

So far I've got nothing on my list done Today I decided to clean out the cabinet in teh bathroom b/c it was just getting to be too much! I searched for an extra contact case for about 10 minutes a few nights ago. I got the medicine cabinet cleaned out, and the top 3 cabinets in the oak cabinet (the bottom 2 are for towels). I need to get more storage things at Wal-Mart, and some more of those racks, too. The one thing I didn't touch yet is the make-up section :LOL I need to go thru and pitch! I did get rid of alot of those little samples of clinique, mary kay, ect. that you get. I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, it's not eye liner or lip liner, i'ts just regular foundation, blush and lipstick Why do keep all the rest of that stuff?

Anyway, I hope to at least get something crossed off my list tomorrow. I also have to clean out the freezer b/c we are getting our new beef tomorrow or Monday I have been using up what was left for quite a while, so it's not too bad. Just hard for a PG lady to clean a deep freeze!

I picked up a decluttering book at the library, but I honestly think that posting here, and encouraging eachother is more helpful than a book. I hope that you are all finding encouragement, too! Just a few minutes a day is all it takes to make a difference!
Renaissancemom31's Avatar Renaissancemom31 08:00 PM 10-22-2004
Well - My brother and his wife came over yesterday and hoed out the boys room. Tossed a bunch of trash and generally cleared a path so I can get through to the basement.
Bathroom - still looking good - just a matter of upkeep now. Masterbedroom/nursery. - I went through my drawers and the toybox; turned the crib around a cleared underneath it. MOved Michaels summer clotes back downstairs (from when he was home back in August)
Hall Closet - didn't mention this the other day, my gerat victory for October. We don't have a junk drawer, we have a linen closet It's coming out - I hate closets) that was FULL of tools, sheets, cleaning stuff, screws, etc. I spent an entire day hoeing it out! It's so nice to open the door and not have stuff fall out on me!
Kitchen - nothing new
Livingroom - I got about a dozen listings done in the past couple of days.

As far as how I decide what to list and what to give away... I start by looking at it and guessing how much someone would pay for it at a yard sale. If it's less than a buck and I don't have anought to make a grouping it goes to freecycle or goodwill. I also don't list anything that won't fit into a 12x12 inch box (too big = too much hassle. Been there, done that). I make fair money reselling - but it IS time consuming, especially if I have to research how/when to list an item. Right now that doesn't bother me because I have ALOT of time at night after the kids go to bed wher eI'm to tired to clean but not tired enough to go to bed, so I surf.
I primarily sell on ebay - and there are alot of nuances to it. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort. Then there are weeks like last week, and listings like the pair of crib shoes I have up this week that someone has bid over $10 for (I got them for free in one of my many boxes of stuff) Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking...
TwinMom's Avatar TwinMom 05:47 PM 10-23-2004

I just cleaned out my other hall closet, the one under the stairs. Now the only the things in it are luggage (we have quite a bit of that), Christmas tree (at 9.5 ft., it's too heavy to put into one of the attics), tv trays, card table & chairs, yoga mats, and the vacuum. I think there's room to store Alec's tricycle in there, too, which will help me in the middle of the night when I get up for a drink and trip over the thing. I am wiped out by that! Pregnancy is kicking my butt.

The grossest thing I found in there was a bag of miscellaneous disposable cups, plates, napkins, etc. Well, that part wasn't gross, but there was also a rubbermaid bowl of...something...that was completely black and brown. That bag has been in the closet for at least a year and a half. I had one of the kids take the whole thing out to the trash and just dump it in. I'm so glad the seal was working so that I didn't have to smell it! I also found 3 bags of Alec's old clothes that I thought I had passed on to my SIL for her little boy. Oops! I'm going to go through them and put them up in case I have another boy this time. I've never had hand-me-downs from my own kids before, this will be a first!

I need to tackle the laundry room but it's so daunting! I should take before and after pictures of it so you can see how much stuff is in there. We store the kids' messy type crafts in there--paints, beads, molding kits--basically, anything that needs to be done in the kitchen where it can be mopped or swept up. Plus there's the general laundry type stuff that accumulates--mismatched socks (there are about 80; I think I'm going to just throw them out), a chair (??), and miscellaneous stuff that I threw in there, thinking that I would take care of it later. We know how that goes! Luckily I have a whole wall of cabinets for storage as well as a bookshelf for crafts and an over-the-door storage for smaller items. I don't think I'll get to it today, though.

What has everyone else been doing today?
Renaissancemom31's Avatar Renaissancemom31 11:21 PM 10-23-2004
The boys room is empty!!!!

: :

It's taken ALL day but there's nothing left in their room but the bunks, the dresser, the tv (nowhere else to put it), and a couple of board games (I'd feel too guilty taking it ALL).
Their clothes are all sorted and stacked in the kitchen. TOmorrow I will go through and set out their winter wardrobe and it'll be done.

I'm sooooo excited!!!!
Free Thinker's Avatar Free Thinker 05:28 PM 10-24-2004
WOW You guys are making me feel lazy! I cleaned out the make-up in my bathroom, and that's it. Now, I did have a sick kid one Friday night, so I only got about 2 hours of sleep. I am hoping to jump back on things this week. Last week I was gone so much, I hardly had time to start any projects. I did get our beef on Friday, though! I had to clean out the deep freeze, and packed about 500lbs of meat in there! We are all set for winter, now.
SlingWearin'Mama's Avatar SlingWearin'Mama 02:25 AM 10-25-2004
Okay I'd love to join too! We are getting our house ready to sell and put on the market on Wednesday, eeks! It was a recent decision and I feel so behind and overwhelmed so maybe if I list a few things to do I will feel better and motivated to do them.

Clean downstairs bathroom
Pack up things in Ava's room
run a load of diapers
get some sleep

Finish up outside: sweeping and decorating front proch
pack up and dust family room, living room and dining room.
Get boxes ready for good will
Organize and clean kitchen

Okay let's see how that goes haha!
Free Thinker's Avatar Free Thinker 12:57 PM 10-26-2004
Welcome, Jenn

Still running behind here, but I did just sell 2 bags of 12 month clothes to a local mom here who is in need. She just came and picked them up. I used the trick kellyb suggested, and yesterday when I saw her I asked if she would like some clothes, and set up a time for her to come and get them. That way I was "forced" to go thru and get them out! I was going to give them to her, but she insisted on paying I guess that $$ will go in my new baby diaper fund Today I am going to try to do a power work day, and get lots of stuff done! On the list for today:

clean up bathroom
kitchen dishes and floor
clean out hall closet

I will start a new thread next week, for November. This is our last week of October, so get working girls!!! Let's see how much we can accomplish!
KellyB's Avatar KellyB 04:55 PM 10-27-2004
Congratulations to all of you who are getting things accomplished!
I'm suffering here...I go to bed every night thinking "Tomorrow I'll blablabla.." and just can't seem to make myself do it...
I have a million and one fairly honest excuses, but I know I'm just rationalizing to some extent, at least.
What's wrong with me????
Ugh...ok...baby steps...
Today, as God is my wittness...
I'll at least clean up the baby's room...that way I'll maybe be encouraged to put all the other toys randomly scattered here, there, and yonder in there as well...
That will be something, I guess...better than nothing...???
Renaissancemom31's Avatar Renaissancemom31 11:18 AM 10-31-2004
Here's an idea I've used a couple of times when I was just totally overwhelmed. Have a really good friend help you with a trouble spot. In my case it was the pantry and the boys room. My best friend helped me with the pantry and my brother (who knows what it's like to be a little boy with amessy room who doesn't care) did the boys room.
Another great idea is to just fill your trunk with a load of stuff and take it to the goodwill. If you haven't used it in a year or don't plan to use it in a year - get rid of it. It's brutal at first, but the more stuff you let go of the better you will feel, and the easier the process becomes for you. Soon it's effortless! We don't have much stuff, but every time I go into a room I can find at least one more thing that's just sitting around collecting dust, not bringing joy, taking up space...
I spent a month taking two carloads a week to the good will and/or consignment shop last spring. It has amazed me how much better I can asess my stuff now. Before it was overwhelming, now it's just a part of cleaning the house. I keep a box by the front door and when it's full it goes into the trunk so I can drop it off next time I'm downtown. Big items I try to freecycle before I haul them to town (most will go - i have a woman driving 45 minutes to get a plastic sweater thingy that hangs in the closet and a broken toaster oven). The other night I was in the basement and saw a few things I didn't need so I came up and emailed my freecycle group - half of them are already gone and the other half have been spoken for. If you live on a main road you can just set stuff in the front yard with a free sign on it.
LambQueen's Avatar LambQueen 11:41 PM 11-10-2004
If I just got off of MDC I think my house would be a whole lot tidier! At least today I got the vacumming done, and DD wasn't scared of the vacuum cleaner until the very end. She was really interested in the hot air blowing out of it.

Clutter is the bane of my existence! I wish we could get cleaning help, but that will just have to wait for another time.
tessamami's Avatar tessamami 02:03 AM 11-11-2004
Did I mention that I love Fly Lady? http://flylady.net

One of the things she says is: "You can't organize clutter". What does this mean? You and I have tons of things that we a) don't use b) don't need c) don't know what it is d) feel guilty about having / throwing away e) etc.

What's the solution? Simple: "27 fling boogies". That means going through the house, throwing 27 things away at a time - then repeating the 27 fling by putting 27 things to give away . . . . and then get this: getting rid of it ASAP. That's it - that's the secret . . . .and there are more. . . .but it started right there for me. . . .and if you are anything like me, you've got too much stuff too. . .leading to CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). There is a way out! http://flylady.net
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