Need help getting my house back...... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-17-2006, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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into a livable state.

I let my depression take over my life, before I realized it was time to get back on my medicine. I've been back on my medicine for a month and I feel 90% better, but my house is still a mess and I'm behind in laundry and dishes. I just don't know where to start, I'm overwhelmed. : And my husband is no help to me at all, I don't have any brothers or sisters to help me, and my mom is busy helping my dad as am I. (My family has been a John Deere dealer for 58 years and John Deere is closing us down. So I've been helping my dad Monday thur Friday and I am tired when I get home.) As for my in-laws, I don't really get along with them except one SIL. And I only have one girlfriend and she has two part time jobs and kids. Part of me wants to ask for help, and part of me thinks its stupid to ask for help because I have no kids I should be able to do this all by myself. Plus on top of this, I'm diabetic and I don't have the energy that I use to. I seem to get wore out real quick.

How can I get my house (life) back? I just don't know where to start. Do I swallow my pride and ask for help, I only really have two people that I could ask for help. And if I do, where do we start. I can't handle my house like this much longer.

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#2 of 5 Old 01-17-2006, 01:58 PM
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The best way, I have found, to reduce stress in my home and make it managable it to get rid of the things that are not necessary. By no means am I a crazed minimalist, just a wife, mother and woman who used to feel overwhelmed whenever I thought about what I had waiting around for me to do at home.

To some this may seem like an unncessary step in getting your shit together, but I think it may be the most important one. The fewer 'things' you have the less time it will take for you to wash, dust, pick up off the floor, put away, launder, sort through, try to choose between, ect... The less time you have to spnd with you things the more time you will have to spend with yourself and your family doing what you want to and need to.

It can seem overwhelming and is not something that should be tackled all at once. Start small, with one corner of the house. Once the first room is finished you will see how much of a difference it makes in how you feel and how you feel about your home. Don't just stash the stuff in another room or try to save it for a garage sale - just get rid of it - trift store or trash, whatever is necessary.

don't really love it
don't use it
is broken
don't need it
have more than one (or one set)!!!
(even if it was a gift - it's ok)
***these guidelines can be applied to every room-from the kitchen to the closets- even the basement and garage***

Simplifying the stuff you have to manage in your home is a huge step toward lowering you stress level. It worked for me and hope that you will try it, to whatever level you feel comfortable with. I set a goal of getting rid of 50% of our household things and (over the course of about 6 months) did it. I don't miss a single thing that I got rid of because I realized that I never really needed it. Now most days I even have time to cook real meals and get a moment to do something I want.

This is something that is best done on your own. I say this because there is noone there to second guess your decition to get rid of an item. If noone else saw you get rid of it - the chances are they will never know. Also it can create extra stress when you are relying on other people, I work best on my own time table and terms.

The purging process takes time. be patient. One of the best things that I did was scale down the number of dishes, silverware, glasses and pans in the kitchen. By only having one set of each, there is ALWAYS a limit on the amount of dirty dishes that can pile up and there may be a lot of dishes but never the overwhelming mound that I used to let grow with 3 sets of everything. This way the amount of time needed to wash dishes also gets a maximum limit put on it. This will transform it's self all through your house. It sounds too good to be true but it's not. It 's not the end of housework just a way to put a limit on it.

Anyway I will shut up now so you can get started.

Good Luck!!!
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#3 of 5 Old 01-17-2006, 02:35 PM
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Just to make yourself not feel so overwhelmed, I'd suggest taking ONE room, and totally doing it top to bottom! I'd start in the LR. IF it doesn't belong in there, take it to the room it doesn't belong in. Put it away if it has a place, and if it doesn't, put it into a pile in the room you think it should go in. Don't spend forever putting the things away or making places for them all, just focus on the ONE room. When everything is out of there that doesnt' belong, go thru and decide if you want everything left in the room (see PPs ideas about loving it, needing it, ect.). Next, vaccuum, dust, and then sit back in your nice LR, and enjoy the rest of the evening. I'd guess this would only take a couple of hours. Don't get into alot of detail on the cleaning (like dusting *everything* cleaning pictures frames, ect. Just get the basics, andm ake the room look nice). The next night, when you come home, put the things you bring into the house away, and choose another room. My second one would be the kitchen. Since my LR was cleaned, I'd start w/ the dishes next. (Don't cook supper this night, order in for less mess). Get a big trash sack and trash all of the boxes, mail, ect. that seem to find their way into your eating area. Do the same thing w/ items that don't belong in there. If it goes into the LR, make sure it is put away, but if it goes into another room, you can either put it away quick, or make a pile It might take 2 nights to get the kitchen cleaned, depending on how bad it is (mine gets bad QUICK!). Just get all of the dishes done, and put away, all cabinets cleared off, and the floor done. Make sure that everything in there is something that you want or love. Sit back and relax!

The following rooms I"d do the same way! One at a time. When your house is back in livable condition, continue going thru the rooms, and gradually weed out things that you no longer deem necessary. A nick-nack is nice, but you have to find a place to put it, dust it, dust the shelf it is on, ect. REalize that this is a time investment, and make sure that it is worth it. You can always pack up keepsakes in boxes for sentimental reasons if you don't have a good place for them.

I'd also suggest getting fresh flowers for either the LR or kichen (or bedroom if that is one of the first things you do).

I'd spend an entire Saturday doing nothing but laundry! I do this often. I wash all of our bedding, then DH's clothes, kid's stuff, ect. It makes me pause and I can purge whateve clothing is looking worn, or that I"m just tired of seeing (like the stained Tees of my 2 year old). Make sure there is enough room in your drawers for ALL of you clothes. If there isn't, then get rid of more. I used to always be so far behind on laundry, but I got rid of anything I didn't wear often (read that at practically anything that needed ironed), that didn't look good on me, or that didn't fit right. I kept some stuff only b/c I did need some clothes before I could go shopping again. It really felt good, and I never have problems opening my drawers or finding anything, even if ALL of the clothes are washed dried and put away (I try to do this at least once a week!)

Good Luck!
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#4 of 5 Old 01-17-2006, 04:25 PM
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And I'd like to add: Don't think it has to be done all at once. Just do one thing at a time. And for a coupld days, until you have some control in the kitchen: order in, and use paper plates and cups and plastic utensils. You will end up frazzled and crash and burn and throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just take it in 15, 20, 30 minute or even hour chunks and TAKE BREAKS (just don't get involved in a time-sink hobby), or what ever you can handle.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-17-2006, 06:28 PM
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PPs have great advice. If you can't face doing a whole room, you can start even smaller- one table top, counter area, drawer, or whatever. Baby steps will get you where you are trying to go!
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