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#1 of 21 Old 05-04-2006, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My house needs a complete overhaul. It's messy. First goes the mess, then I can move onto the organizing and decorating, you know, the fun and rewarding stuff. I was wondering, where did you start? How did you come to that starting place?

Namaste, Tara
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#2 of 21 Old 05-04-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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I started with one room at a time. Closets, toy bins, whatever. I picked ONE room at a time and got rid of everything I wanted to in that room then I moved onto the next one. Don't try to do everything at once or it's too overwhelming! Designate trash piles and Goodwill or resell piles and take everything from that one room there. Then start with the next room. We're looking at moving into a smaller house soon so I *HAVE* to get all this stuff out of here! HTH!

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#3 of 21 Old 05-04-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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the sink

as much as I hate flylady, I agre that if the sink is clean then life is good. you can get a drink of water or prepare lunch stress- and hassle-free.

beyond that, : to the other posters.

I happen to L _ O _ V _ E www.motivatedmoms.com because it helps you clean daily and declutter as you go along without stressing yourself out.
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#4 of 21 Old 05-04-2006, 06:35 PM
 
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Okay if I had to do it again here's my advise.
One cupboard, one closet, one corner at a time.
You try to do it all by taking it out and then it ends up looking worse.

Make lists of rules, broken, unfixable toss.
You can have 5 tshirts so you just pick the best ones.

8 might be enough
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#5 of 21 Old 05-04-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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We just made a little "plan" and did certain rooms each day. We focused all of our efforts on that one room and didn't move on until it was done. I think it's also important to start with a smaller project that you know you can complete...so that the great feeling you get when it's done will propel you onto the next room and so on. It's the same concept with paying off debt..start with the smallest and then roll that money into the next debt! But in this case, you're rolling energy into the next room!

It was also easier for me to have DH there helping me and keeping me motivated. I get sidetracked so easy ... especially when going through keepsakes (i.e. "ooooh! remember this? Look at my hair in 7th grade!"). That could tack on 12 hours if I did that with every photo! He was there to say "keep moving"..."keep sorting"..."no, you don't need to keep that". You could have a girlfriend help too if DH is unwilling.

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#6 of 21 Old 05-04-2006, 10:16 PM
 
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Someone here suggested having a maximum of a week between culling stuff for Goodwill/charity and getting it there. In your situation, I'd set aside several hours, get a bunch of paper grocery bags, choose a charity and confirm that they will accept clothes and household items, and just clear out things you don't need. Put old clothes in the bags, old kitchen stuff, books, toys... and then when you think you're done, go through each closet one more time and try to pick out two more items.

Then, quick, get it all in the car and go drop it off! That will give you a bit of space for reorganizing.

Then repeat in about a month.

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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#7 of 21 Old 05-05-2006, 10:43 AM
 
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Oh my, I'm going to be doing this right along with you. I have tons to do and have never really done a good job of organizing/cleaning up since I moved out of my parents house 3 years ago! Yikes! Except for when all our stuff was in storage, then we only had the bare minimum, THAT was easy to keep up with. But, since we don't have money to buy new when we end up needing it in the future I have to organize what we have and not get rid of it all, though that is tempting!

I like to start in the kitchen, the sink, for the same reason as listed above, you can then prep stuff and get a glass of water or fill the dog dish without it being a total pain. A clean kitchen for me also saves lots of money BUT, this time I need to not get distracted. I'll get the dishes done, misc put away, and then start detailing the coffee maker or the oven, or start making cookies, etc. Nope, that just is a time eater, I need to get to all the rooms, not get stuck in the kitchen! Focus!

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#8 of 21 Old 05-05-2006, 10:48 AM
 
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I start with the kitchen and bathroom first..they are the most important to be clean.

Throw out, or put in storage whatever you don't use.

Don't try to conquere to much at a time it's to over whelming...good luck
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#9 of 21 Old 05-05-2006, 12:24 PM
 
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I start with the room that is making me most crazy---usually my boys' room. Once in that room I start with the part that is the worst, for instance a corner that is trashed. I clean, declutter, tidy up just that corner and then I am inspired to attack the rest!!
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#10 of 21 Old 05-06-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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a) do you have big things that can turn into easy money on craigslist.org?
b) remove excess coat hangers and boxes. Donate or recycle.
c) take a 1/2 hour and get ALL recycling/trash from the house
d) where will your partner be most likely to notice, if you clean/organize?
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#11 of 21 Old 05-06-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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I always start with the area closest to the door. for me that is the laundry room as that goes directly to the garage. if that room is a mess i cant get the trash out etc... then i work my way inward... slowly cleaning and sorting, starting at the top and working my way down... again im assuming you are going to do a full house organization which can take weeks depending on what you have....

fyi with the laundry room make sure you clean the lint filter on the dryer, move the washer/dryer and clean behind it.... this is a favorite spot for those dusty bunnies lol

my ideal week would be me here alone and i can just go inch by inch and organize,toss,clean etc...

right now we are buried in DVD's why cant kids put them back in the bookshelves?
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#12 of 21 Old 05-07-2006, 09:33 AM
 
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For decluttering: I always tackle our mountain of clothes first. First I gather up all the dirty clothes because that has the immediate effect of opening visible space on the floor (a good feeling) and get them to the washer or into piles at the washer. Then I pull out several garbage bags and start weeding through closets and drawers because once I'm in a ruthless or honest about clothes, it becomes fairly easy to fill a few garbage bags (also a good feeling). From there I either quit for the day or move onto other small tasks. I try not to start any project I can't finish (but don't always suceed) because it takes me forever to come back to them. :

For cleaning: the bathroom because ours is fairly small and the sink, mirror, toilet combination doesn't take too long. I don't usually scrib the tub or floor at first, just those three things to start.

I once heard the term "discouraged perfectionist" and it fits me and my cleaning styles to a T. I don't like to do things that I can't do right or all the way, so unless I limit myself to smaller, manageable tasks then I get caught up in detail cleaning and the big picture doesn't get any better. So unless I keep myself on task then hey my grout might be clean but you won't be able to walk through the living room.
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#13 of 21 Old 05-07-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valian
I once heard the term "discouraged perfectionist" and it fits me and my cleaning styles to a T. I don't like to do things that I can't do right or all the way, so unless I limit myself to smaller, manageable tasks then I get caught up in detail cleaning and the big picture doesn't get any better. So unless I keep myself on task then hey my grout might be clean but you won't be able to walk through the living room.
I keep telling myself "if it is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." In other words, it is better to get it done poorly than not at all.

I am tackling a bedroom redecoration (that's not quite the right word because it implies that it is optional, just changing the appearance). I've managed to get the walls and ceiling washed and unmoldy. I've been taking it one small step at a time, just washing one corner, etc, for a few weeks. Next step is to patch the holes and cracks. Saturday, dh is taking ds out and I plan on painting the ceiling. This could take me all summer with 5 windows and 2 closets (which need wallpaper stripped). It's a huge room, bigger than my apartment when I lived alone.

One thing that I've been making a point of, is to not undo too much in case this project gets sidetracked by life. So I haven't taken all the window coverings down and the switchplates off because I want to be able to have the room be usable if we need it as a guestroom. I'll do those things when I'm actually ready to paint the walls. That is similar to the advice others have given about not taking on too much at once, just one cupboard, etc, so you don't end up with things being worse.

Just getting trash out, laundry processed, and dishes done makes the biggest difference. I'm always amazed at how much clutter is actually trash (recycling usually).

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#14 of 21 Old 05-07-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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FWIW, when I painted our bedroom it took one day. I did the taping and other prep work the day before and then laid out my dropcloth and had my supplies ready. The actual painting didn't take more than a couple of hours. (Longer actual time b/c I waited between coats.) Same with the kids' room.

Amazing how efficient I am when I don't have the kids to wrangle!

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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#15 of 21 Old 05-07-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope
Amazing how efficient I am when I don't have the kids to wrangle!
Makes a big difference, doesn't it ? I'm afraid if I start anything with ds in the house he will want to do it too, or simply want to thwart me.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#16 of 21 Old 05-08-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Ah, another mama married to a thwarter! Dh seems to need lots of warm-up time for any project, whereas I'm best if I start as soon as I decide to do it, because my enthusiasm will carry me most of the way through the project. If I have to dink around waiting for dh I lose interest.

He travels, so sometimes I *surprise* him by doing projects around the house while he's gone. Of course, then I have the kids to wrangle...

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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#17 of 21 Old 05-09-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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It's actually dS who is the thwarter. I'm just laughing at the idea of dh wanting to help paint and me saying "No, go away!" (which IS what I would be thinking). So, DS is the thwarter and DH is just inept. But the two can go on a nice trip together on Saturday, leaving me at home....

I do seem to have an issue with not liking to start any projects unless I'm home alone. I don't like anyone looking at what I am doing and asking questions. This is a major reason why I don't get much done. We live with my mom and I always seem to wait til she is on a trip. Probably some aspect of being a bit introverted.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#18 of 21 Old 05-09-2006, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom
It's actually dS who is the thwarter. I'm just laughing at the idea of dh wanting to help paint and me saying "No, go away!" (which IS what I would be thinking). So, DS is the thwarter and DH is just inept. But the two can go on a nice trip together on Saturday, leaving me at home.....


I WOULD be saying that to my DH! He is no longer permitted to paint anything in this house! I don't think it's really possible for someone to actually have done such a poor job, so I think he was just sloppy so that I wouldn't ask him to ever paint again.. really- it's terrible- we have wood trim at the top of the wall and he didn't even tape it or anything.. so now we have dashes of cream colored paint every few inches or so .. argh :

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#19 of 21 Old 05-11-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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In my family, when we are doing a sloppy job, we call it being professional. I wouldn't hire painters if I had the money because I know I'd do a better job and it would drive me crazy to look at the "professional" job. We had some painters do some exterior work and it is so awful, you can see how bad it is from across the street. Fortunately, the house is mostly stone so only a little bit is painted.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#20 of 21 Old 05-13-2006, 05:40 AM
 
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anywhere. I just started picking up stuff...

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#21 of 21 Old 05-14-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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I usually try to do the most overwhelming thing first, the thing that is really driving me crazy. Sometimes it is laundry, but I think I finally have that one whipped into shape. Next is my kitchen. it's too small, so everything gets crowded in there and I have to constantly re-organize it (not to mention clean the mess!).
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