I never really thought of my parents as packrats. Just slobs
Maybe both I guess. Though somehow my mom managed to save pretty much nothing from my childhood. What *is* all that junk cluttering up her house then? Whatever.
I like Flylady but even if you don't, you can use some tips from her (and from the Sidetracked Home Executives she started from).
First of all, her shoe obsession
is about feeling good and ready to go. She wants people to get dressed in comfortable shoes which is why she says laced up (as opposed to 3" heels). She also wants people showered and looking good so you feel good about yourself. That's an anti-depression thing of hers. I have to admit it works for me. I had a really bad winter and days when I actually got showered and put on fresh clothing and brushed my hair (I don't wear makeup) I did feel a little better.
For the clutter. The idea is to only keep things that you use or that "make you smile". Don't keep things that you "might use someday". Don't keep things out of obligation. Just keep stuff you use or that makes you happy (ditto for others in the house of course).
Her big thing is that you can't organize clutter, you can only move it around. Get rid of it! Then things are so much easier.
For the decluttering, try to do 15 minutes a day if you can. More if you like, but tell yourself you'll just do that 15 minutes of getting rid of stuff. You make a put away, give away and throw away pile (Flylady says to use boxes) and just go to it. Set a timer and throw away garbage, give away things that don't make you smile or aren't useful, and put away things that aren't where they should be. When the timer goes off you stop. Toss the garbage in the garbage, put the give away box in your car to take to goodwill (or however you give away stuff in your area) and you put away the put away stuff. Then you're done. Unless you're up for more
For general keeping house, here's a tip from S.H.E. (Flylady might say this too, I don't know). Walk through each room of your house with a notebook and a pen. Write down what you think needs to be done to maintain each room. Like the bathroom. You'd write, clean toilet, scrub tub, scrub shower walls, pick up floor, sweep floor, mop floor, wipe down counter, etc. Now decide how often each of those need to be done. Once a day, once a week, what? Write it all down. Do that for every room. Don't count decluttering in this. This is housework. Decluttering is seperate.
Then you make a schedule. Flylady has people doing it in a notebook, mine is on computer, S.H.E. has you doing it on index cards. Just write out a list. Then, on Tuesday, you take a look and it says "Sweep bathroom floor" so you do it. Wednesday it says "scrub tub" so you do it. The point is, it's written down. You don't have to search your brain wondering what to do today, you just look and do it.
My schedule has a mini job for every day. Every day of the week I have one room or area that I do about 15 minutes of work on (or more if I'm ambitious). The house is also divided into four zones (a Flylady thing) and every week has a zone assigned to it. The zone work is more in depth cleaning and takes longer. Like the mini bathroom job might be sweeping and scrubbing the toilet but the zone job would be mopping, washing the towels and shower curtain, scrubbing the tub, etc. It's maybe an hour or two, but I have all week to do it.
Also if you don't do it, then don't freak out. Don't carry it over to the next day. Just forget it. It will come up on the schedule next week (or month or tomorrow or whatever you decided).
Oh, and a big tip, as a mom, is to get the kids involved in fun ways. Use non-toxic cleaners so they can help (I do pretty much everything with water and baking soda - sometimes I use vinegar or Dr. Bronner's).
And then there's days like today when we have a big homeschool outing and then we get home and play games with dh and I don't do any of my housework or zone work. I just did the basics which, for me, is making beds, unloading and loading the dishwasher and picking up the floors before going to bed.
Anyway, my house is still too cluttered and needs work but I'm getting there 15 minutes at a time