Depressed over messy, cluttered, ugly house!! Help? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 267 Old 05-20-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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Em T- I have to thank the US Postal Service rate hike for giving me the brilliant idea. I was planning to sell the items on ebay. I was reading on disboards (a board about disney vacation planning) and how people raise money for their disney trips. There was a thread on how everyone was bailing from ebay because the new postal rates were doubling shipping costs. They were all going to craigslist because it was free. I went to check out craigslist, found the barter section, put 2 and two together and the rest is history
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#182 of 267 Old 05-21-2007, 04:22 AM
 
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Bestbirths, I just wanted to say good for you! CL is awesome, the barter section can especially be useful. Some cities have Yahoo Groups for bartering as well. Also, check out Services at CL - some people post their services there and offer to barter them.
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#183 of 267 Old 05-21-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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Bestbirths, I will have to check the thread. I have ignored it because I just can't do ebay but perhaps it will give me other inspiration. Thanks!

For all of you struggling with messy, cluttered homes. You can do it! Find whatever motivates you and do it! The kids have really started coming around and they are really learning to put their own things away and to put things where they belong because they too aren't overwhelmed as much anymore! Yeah!
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#184 of 267 Old 05-21-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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I sell mostly books on ebay & the prices have increased about .50 for an average sized book. What really took a hit was international sales. Since there is no more option for surface rate the alternatives are air or global priority which can be pricey.

Remember, there are still flat rate boxes which go by however much you can stuff in them, not weight, so those are good for clothes, linens & things like that.

Here is another trick I learned online that is specific but very clever: when you notice your underwear is on its last legs, buy new & set the old aside. Next time you travel take it alone & toss it at the end of each day, coming home with a lighter suitcase & less laundry to do.

Have found more stuff to add to the new but unused toiletries bag & have a taker & backup for the purse/backpack to be picked up by noon today.
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#185 of 267 Old 05-22-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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EM t What a great idea for the underwear- we're going to our MIL's soon, and I don't have any underwear on its last leg right now, plus I think my MIL would start why all this underwear was in her trash!: But, for future travels, I will definitely use this idea.

With the resurrection of this thread, I've become inspired to restart FlyLadies. Last time I skipped the baby steps, didn't get what the emails were about, etc, and quit. This time I'll start from the beginning and follow her directions to the tee (except the bleach in the sink--maybe lemon juice and baking soda??? Not sure). I have nothing to lose. Our house is a disaster area, and I'm tired of shoveling crap (not literally, you know) and never get anywhere. Instead of cleaning more, I'm going to try to clean and declutter SMARTER, and do the things I've been wanting and needing to do-like play with my son more, do yoga on a regular basis, and work on my songs. There-I have motivation. I don't do these things on a regular basis (well, I do play with my son, just not as much as I would like), because I feel guilty for not keeping the house up, but then I'm so overwhelmed that I end up doing nothing. Today- I'm a FLYBABY, and I intend to keep going.
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#186 of 267 Old 05-22-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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What are your favorite sayings and ideas that really help you keep a simple- declutered house?
I have a sign on my fridge (it was part of a flyer from Half Price Books) that says "It's Good to Let Go". Every time I walk through the kitchen, I see it, and it reminds me to let go of what I don't need or love.

I went through tonight and read the whole thread. I had been slacking lately and it was just the motivation I needed to get back at it.

Oddly enough, I just found out last night that my house is 500 sq. ft. smaller than I originally thought. Makes me want to clear out MORE!!
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#187 of 267 Old 05-23-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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Soladeo, good for you. I started yesterday with a plan to do modified deep cleaning in one room Tuesday-Friday. So far I've done the foyer & living room. Tomorrow will do the kitchen & the day after the back porch & bathroom. Then am hoping dh will help with the bedroom or this one, which has tv, computers, his clothes, a lot of books, etc.

Things that help me are making some kind of list,seeing it on paper helps motivate me. This sounds dumb but I've just started wearing a bib apron. It's very annoying to have to stop mid-day & change shirts before running errands because I got a spot of crud right on the front of my clothes. Breaking up long tasks to get a drink, check e-mail or go outside briefly every hour-90 minutes or so. Doing whatever dinner prep is possible in the morning before I start to run out of steam.

Good luck!
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#188 of 267 Old 05-23-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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In Peter Walsh's book "It's All Too Much", he writes, "The space you have is the space you have." This was a wake-up call for me as I was trying to make my space fit my stuff when I should have been making my stuff fit my space.
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#189 of 267 Old 05-23-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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I've been collecting tips on this thread and I've been trying to formulate a plan of attack for my house, but I can't get past what to do with the boys while I clean/declutter. I can sometimes get my four year old on board and he'll help out for a little while before he gets tired of it and starts asking me to play hide and seek. My 21 month old is just a tornado tearing the house apart faster than I can pick things up. When I get started at night after they go to bed, I can get a certain amount done. I also like "me" (reading and/or computer) time after they go to bed and can usually only shower after they go to bed. My 21 month old wakes up many times a night to nurse and I really shouldn't stay up too late after he goes to bed, as I'm exhausted already. I may have mentioned all of this before, and if so forgive me. But how do people find time to get anything done? I guess I should mention that my dh is a chef and works pretty much all the time. So, I'm basically on my own with the boys.

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#190 of 267 Old 05-23-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Can you contain the 21 month old at least for short periods to give you some time? Like in a high chair with little cars or crayons & paper? That way he wouldn't be Destructosaurus while you made strides in another room. Or trade off having a friend watch them for a couple of hours & you do the same for her sometime?
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#191 of 267 Old 05-24-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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I finally organized my ds' (2 1/2 years) playroom! It was a DISASTER. In fact, before I got started, ds said, "This is a mess, let's clean up." Oh wow. I used containers and shelves I already had, and organized it by centers, which is what preschools, daycares (I think) and kindergartens do. He has an art center, car and trains center, blocks center, etc. The things that make the most "mess" or that he likes leaving up (racetrack, little people) are in the corners. I also created a "tent/car/cave" with blankets, chairs, and our ironing board (what else do I use it for ) During parts of the day, if we have been playing down there, we take time to pick up, except of course, that stuff which is a continuing play experience-like a town he's set up.
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#192 of 267 Old 05-25-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Sounds like everybody is making headway, too! Yay!

My friend came yesterdaya and we put in 11 HOURS!!!! Dad's stocktrailer is sitting in the yard and we'll fill that baby up! My friend helped move the stuff I can't and painted the bathroom. I'm just so happy that I started!
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#193 of 267 Old 05-25-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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I've been lurking here for weeks trying to read all these posts and I"m finally to the end. It's helped so much. I put a list up of all the things that need to be done in each room and just do one per day. How nice to not be burdened w hours in each room! thanks to all of you.
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#194 of 267 Old 05-27-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Okay, it took three days, but I finally finished this thread. Whew! I'm glad it was resurrected! I've found that now that I am mostly decluttered, I'll lay in bed and think of something that I no longer use that I should declutter. It really, really bugs me until I take it to Goodwill!
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#195 of 267 Old 05-28-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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We are cleaning out the garage today and boy do we have a ton of garbage to throw out. I also have a little pile going to the garage sale on the 7th. Yeah! Dh is at half price books selling some books right now "taking a break". It feels so good to get rid of things!
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#196 of 267 Old 05-28-2007, 05:13 PM
 
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Subbing, because I need this thread!

Calicokatt, your first post is amazing and has given me lots to think about. Thank you for your words.

I'm a SAHM of 3 kids: 7, 4, and 2. Plus 2 indoor dogs and 2 indoor cats, birds and fish. Our home is 2700+ sf, and we have too much stuff and I realize that I'm lazy about housekeeping, thanks to Calicokatt. I've been working hard to declutter and keep things picked up, but it's so easy to get overwhelmed, LAZY, and blame the kids. I haven't read the whole thread yet, but am anxious to see what you ladies have to share.

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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#197 of 267 Old 05-30-2007, 12:42 PM
 
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KayleeZoo, try setting your timer for 15 minutes & working as hard as you can at picking up/decluttering. When you see how much can be accomplished in even a small amount of time when you're focused it can be inspiring. Also, with kids the ages of yours, use the carrot: "We can go to the park when the kitchen is clean/living room picked up/bathroom tidied/whatever." Then they have an incentive to help or at least stay out of your way till a particular job is done.
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#198 of 267 Old 05-30-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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Em T, the timer is a great idea- I was doing Flylady for awhile, and was using my timer; it really helps with that overwhelmed feeling. My girls (the 7 and 4 yo) are good about leaving me alone when I need to clean, etc. but my 2yo DS is very high needs, in every sense of the phrase. The child is into everything, and very destructive, impossible to re-direct, etc. Naptime is only 1.5hrs and he gets up at 5:30 every morning : so the real challenge comes when I'm trying to get stuff cleaned/decluttered and he's awake, because he makes it just impossible. My mom watches them for me pretty regularly when I have appointments, etc. but she won't watch them when I have housework, etc (she only had 1 child and thinks that I've made my own bed by having 3 very close together and now I need to pay the consequences, if you kwim ) But I'm working doggedly on getting it done.

If I wouldn't let things get out of hand, it wouldn't be so hard to get stuff back into shape with DS around. I need to get my act together!!

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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#199 of 267 Old 05-31-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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KayleeZoo, can you schedule a couple of hours on a weekend & get their dad to corral the little wild man while you make some serious inroads? That might help a lot, then see what you can do to make it harder for him to mess up indoors: spend as much time as you can playing outside, let him stand on a chair at the sink "washing" pots & lids while you're doing other things in the kitchen, clean the bathroom while he's bathing, etc.
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#200 of 267 Old 05-31-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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I just re-read this thread for inspiration.

My goal was to find the beautiful table that I found at antique store and use it more. I am almost done. I am working on creating a place for everything, so it is taking me just a little longer than I planned.

Next is the desk and art area.

It sure feels good to find a home for things

Dhjammin.gif, Me knit.gif, DD 10 REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, DD 7 cat.gif, DD 4 joy.gif

We reading.gif, homeschool.gif, cold.gif, eat.gif, sleepytime.gif not in that order

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#201 of 267 Old 06-01-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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Update on the progress:

The supplies have arrived for the craigslist floorman to finish the hardwood floor in the master in exchange for a projector screen we didn't need. I would have only gotten $50 for the screen on ebay and would have been a pain to ship. The speakers I am trading him I already put on ebay and they didn't sell for the price they were worth because at the time they were two sophisticated for the ebay market. So I am trading in essence the full retail value of the speakers and the projector screen, both I recieved in exchange for selling BIL's electronics for him on ebay. I am getting professionally installed real white oak hardwood flooring in my bedroom and the guy's day job is at one of the most respected hardwood flooring companies in the area. It's going to be amazing.

I bought the oak hardwood flooring with enough baseboard trim to trim our entire house at the auction for $200. So...this is a sweet deal!!

I ordered the stain and poly from the green building supply company online. It has the lowest VOC's and I ordered the flushmount vent covers off of ebay and saved 50% off of special ordering locally.

Another craigslist guy contacted me who owns his own remodeling company. He is trading $2,250 in labor fixing up my house (getting on the roof and replacing exaust vents and fixing the guttering, fixing dryer vent, stretching used carpet, laying tile, fixing the fence, improving the grade around the house, building in custom closets for more storage, fixing incidental broken things here and there). Dh is going to intstall a home theater for him and we are trading him a dvd player, cat 5E wire, and speaker wire that also is sitting around here that would have been a pain to sell on ebay (big scratch on the front of the dvd player making for an ugly ebay pic).

I am purging the downstairs and have gotten five huge garbage bags full of clothes for our garage sale. More to come. I am meeting dd's wish volenteer coordinator at the mall instead of having them come over to see the house a remodeling wreck. So I can have no stress about our state of upheaval (everything out of rooms waiting for carpets to be laid).

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#202 of 267 Old 06-01-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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Thank you for posting this-Its nice to know someone is in the same boat as me!

I have also been in the excuse making stage-one of my biggest is that my dh doesnt help me at all-with anything. (Except the cat box cause I am pregnant and he takes the trash out.) No matter what I saay, beg, bitch, cry--he still doesnt get the picture that I cannot do this all myself.

We have a 4 yr old and a 17m old who just wreck the house all the time.

I have been wondering if its my depression that is partly (not all) to blame. I havent gotten any help (which I am in the process of doing) for it and I tend to not be able to get up off the couch alot. (Also due to morningn sickness and 1st tri tiredness)

I have this huge plan to do a big sweep of my house and declutter it, but I dont really know where to start. I guess step one is to go dumpster diving for boxes, and buy some box tape.

We are really in need of money but a garage sale seems too overwhelming to handle myself. I guess I will have charity come pick stuff up.

Didnt mean to hijack your thread but I am right there with u girl! I dont know what to do either!!!!

Jenny:
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#203 of 267 Old 06-01-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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I have this huge plan to do a big sweep of my house and declutter it, but I dont really know where to start. I guess step one is to go dumpster diving for boxes, and buy some box tape.
Sounds like another way to put it all off!!

Do you have any plastic shopping bags?
We have one in each room where I'm trying to sort things out to give away.
When they get full, a box always seems to appear to take all of the stuff.

As for where to start, what space do you use the most that feels the most cramped?
What area, when it looks nice, feeds your soul just looking at it?
Is there a path in the house that you walk constantly where you're stepping over/around something?

Pick one very specific, small area, and the boost you get from that will get the ball rolling for other areas.

Good luck!
Now, to spring into action and take my own advice... :

DIYer mama to DD 11/00 and DS 6/05- both intact, naturally!
...missing Mothering Magazine...
 
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#204 of 267 Old 06-01-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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I have also been in the excuse making stage-one of my biggest is that my dh doesnt help me at all-with anything. (Except the cat box cause I am pregnant and he takes the trash out.) No matter what I saay, beg, bitch, cry--he still doesnt get the picture that I cannot do this all myself.

We have a 4 yr old and a 17m old who just wreck the house all the time.


Jenny:
Any thoughts on how to cope with this? I can't seem to keep up with 3 other very dedicated mess-makers...and I swear sometimes the 38 year old is the worst!

And I will say, I am NOT lazy. I have a long list o' chores I do daily, as well as continually try to declutter. But it ain't workin' :
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#205 of 267 Old 06-01-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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Okay, here's what I used to do with several small children when I was at home. We had a schedule, not written down but we woke around the same time, had breakfast, & so forth. Did that, showered, dressed children. They'd play with toys while I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. Then as the morning progressed I'd do some chores, moving them along in front of me. Dusting, sweeping or vacuuming depending on what kind of floors we had. Mid to late morning we would go out. Either on foot with the stroller or wagon, or in the car. We'd take a walk, run errands, go to the library or visit with friends. Home noonish. They get fed, & put to bed. I'd have 2 hours or so to clean or read or whatever I felt like doing, usually would do some early dinner prep. When they got up they'd get snacks & mostly I'd sit outside & watch them play till the ex came home. He'd play with them while I fixed dinner. They'd play a little afterwards, watch some tv, get a book read to them, baths & beds. I just sort of herded them ahead of me, like a sheep dog. They would play & get out toys but usually not an overwhelming mess unless there were extra kids visiting. Does that make sense? Also when the weather was decent I fed them outdoors a lot which cuts out crumbs & spills indoors that need to be cleaned up.

I'm sure people now don't use playpens but we used to have one. It was really great for when an older child wanted to play with something that a little one could mess up or would be dangerous. They'd sit inside it with their teeny Barbie shoes or legos & could play without a baby destroyer wrecking everything.
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#206 of 267 Old 06-01-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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Thank you for posting this-Its nice to know someone is in the same boat as me!

I have also been in the excuse making stage-one of my biggest is that my dh doesnt help me at all-with anything. (Except the cat box cause I am pregnant and he takes the trash out.) No matter what I saay, beg, bitch, cry--he still doesnt get the picture that I cannot do this all myself.

We have a 4 yr old and a 17m old who just wreck the house all the time.

I have been wondering if its my depression that is partly (not all) to blame. I havent gotten any help (which I am in the process of doing) for it and I tend to not be able to get up off the couch alot. (Also due to morningn sickness and 1st tri tiredness)

I have this huge plan to do a big sweep of my house and declutter it, but I dont really know where to start. I guess step one is to go dumpster diving for boxes, and buy some box tape.

We are really in need of money but a garage sale seems too overwhelming to handle myself. I guess I will have charity come pick stuff up.

Didnt mean to hijack your thread but I am right there with u girl! I dont know what to do either!!!!

Jenny:
You're depressed, pregnant, have two small children and your husband won't take on more housework to make your life easier?

Would you like me to call him? : I'd be happy to explain to him why this is such a bad choice.

Seriously, this is why God made marriage counseling. So a paid professional can (metaphorically!) smack him upside the head.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#207 of 267 Old 06-02-2007, 02:55 AM
 
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I have this huge plan to do a big sweep of my house and declutter it, but I dont really know where to start.
Quote:
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Sounds like another way to put it all off!!

Do you have any plastic shopping bags?
.....snip....
Pick one very specific, small area, and the boost you get from that will get the ball rolling for other areas.
Jennifer, I agree completely with ramlita. I have done this before and it works so well. I started with ONE drawer. Not even the whole desk. I put anything I didn't want to keep into a plastic bag, anything that was garbage right into a bathroom garbage can I brought along beside me, and then put away any items that belonged in other places. If I picked up scissors, and said to myself "these belong in the small kitchen drawer" I would go right to the small kitchen drawer and drop them in no matter what else was in the small kitchen drawer.

Don't get distracted from your main goal- clean out and organize ONE drawer/shelf etc. I assign a job for each drawer/basket/shelf etc. It holds a certain item or type of items. For example, if it does not classify as an office supply, it does not belong in my top desk drawer.

Hope that helps.
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#208 of 267 Old 06-02-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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Update on the progress:

The supplies have arrived for the craigslist floorman to finish the hardwood floor in the master in exchange for a projector screen we didn't need. I would have only gotten $50 for the screen on ebay and would have been a pain to ship. The speakers I am trading him I already put on ebay and they didn't sell for the price they were worth because at the time they were two sophisticated for the ebay market. So I am trading in essence the full retail value of the speakers and the projector screen, both I recieved in exchange for selling BIL's electronics for him on ebay. I am getting professionally installed real white oak hardwood flooring in my bedroom and the guy's day job is at one of the most respected hardwood flooring companies in the area. It's going to be amazing.

I bought the oak hardwood flooring with enough baseboard trim to trim our entire house at the auction for $200. So...this is a sweet deal!!

I ordered the stain and poly from the green building supply company online. It has the lowest VOC's and I ordered the flushmount vent covers off of ebay and saved 50% off of special ordering locally.

Another craigslist guy contacted me who owns his own remodeling company. He is trading $2,250 in labor fixing up my house (getting on the roof and replacing exaust vents and fixing the guttering, fixing dryer vent, stretching used carpet, laying tile, fixing the fence, improving the grade around the house, building in custom closets for more storage, fixing incidental broken things here and there). Dh is going to intstall a home theater for him and we are trading him a dvd player, cat 5E wire, and speaker wire that also is sitting around here that would have been a pain to sell on ebay (big scratch on the front of the dvd player making for an ugly ebay pic).

I am purging the downstairs and have gotten five huge garbage bags full of clothes for our garage sale. More to come. I am meeting dd's wish volenteer coordinator at the mall instead of having them come over to see the house a remodeling wreck. So I can have no stress about our state of upheaval (everything out of rooms waiting for carpets to be laid).




WOW!
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#209 of 267 Old 06-02-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ramlita View Post
Sounds like another way to put it all off!!

Do you have any plastic shopping bags?

Funny-I thought about the plastic shopping bag thing and thats one of the things I need to get out of my house! They are EVERYWHERE! (I cant bring myself to throw plastic away most of the time and I dont remember to take them to the recycling thing)

Great idea! I am starting today!

Oh, in response to what another person said about dh-I think it royally sucks too, but even though he wont admit it, I think he might be having problems with depression also. (I dont know how to talkhim into getting help) we are getting ready to go to marriage counseling which I am excited aabout and so is he. He had adhd as a kid and he doesnt medicate or really do anything about it-he clearly still has it. I should join a support group. LOL I still yell at him way more than I should. : He is makin me crazy. I am probably makin him crazy too.

;-)

Jenny
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#210 of 267 Old 07-17-2007, 12:30 PM
 
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Thank you for the inspiration. I totally agree with what you are saying but it is hard to follow up on what I'm thinking... Still no excuses allowed...
For me, I put off things to do because I'm looking for the "perfect" solution which doesn't happen often. Also I can't figure out where to assign its own place for an item, so it goes on a table unassigned waiting for my action and I never get around to do it.





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Originally Posted by calicokatt View Post
Firstly, you will never get your house clean and in order until you are ready to live that way. It doesn't sound like you are, because you are still making excuses. There is no excuse for living in a disaster, I know this, because I lived in one for 10 years. You couldn't see the floor, or the counters, or even the beds. My heart would race and I would have to fight back vomiting whenever someone would knock on the door, so scared was I that someone would see how we lived.
I came to the realization that we couldn't live this way anymore after I stayed out of the country for a month and a half. I walked in the door after a 24 hour flight with two small children, jet lagged, tired, and suffering from a serious head cold, to my disasterous house. I spent all day cleaning it, and tried to figure out how I could have let this continue for so long. (I was seriously angry that day, and I got angrier with every passing minute)
I have 4 children and a very hairy dog, so we're talking some serious mess. I came to some conclusions that day. I discovered that I AM a lazy person, much as I resented my husband repeatedly telling me so. I also realized that it doesn't matter what size the house is, I've lived in 500 sq feet and 2000 sq feet, and the mess is just bigger when the house is bigger. It doesn't matter how many kids you have, the house was just as messy with one as it was with four. I also realized that it was terribly unfair of me to expect my children to live like this.
My house is clean now. I sweep the wood and tile and vacuum the carpets every day, and vacuum & mop the wood and tile once a week. Every two hours or so I walk through the house and put away everything thats on the floor, and make sure that nothing's out of place. Every evening I do the sweeping/vacuuming, and clean the kitchen. My evening routine takes about an hour. I change sheets once a week, on all four beds, and do laundry most days, but never on the weekend. I spend a total of maybe 2 hours a day on house work, but I always used to think that I would spend all day cleaning if I wanted to live in a clean house. Just another excuse.
I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to get up in the morning to a clean house, and make coffee and sit down at the computer with NO GUILT!! I used to always feel guilty because I wasn't cleaning. Not anymore. I have MORE time to spend with the kids, because I"m not wallowing in guilt and depression. When someone knocks on the door, I open it wide and invite them in, I actually enjoy my life now. It's the greatest gift I've ever received, and I had to give it to myself. I am free to enjoy my children, to play, to walk, to do WHATEVER I WANT TO DO! All because I am no longer shackled to the house by guilt.
Please do not think that I am judging you in anyway, because I am not. I cannot imagine a worse mess than the one I forced my family to live in for 10 years. It took a seriously life-changing experience for me to reach these conclusions, and now, I don't know how we could have lived like that for a day, much less 10 years.

Kathy

 ~ Have a Blessed Day!
DS 6/2002, DD 5/2006, DS Feb 2009
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