I know the mess is there, I don't need nagging emails added to the list. This site is a great one for helping to declutter. It not only gives ideas on how to organize, but why we keep the stuff in the first place. www.squalorsurvivors.com
Give it a try!
this time im for real. either a thing is useful and positive, or it goes out the window.
i sort out junk gradually:
first i push all paper/office-related into one corner, all texstiles/clothes another corner, hobby-related in one, etc etc.
then i sort out trash from one corner at the time. the big general throwout.
the remaning clutter i sort into subgrousp again - then sort out trash from these again.
repeat over and over and over.
when im done, all thats left is the things i have decided to keep. it has to be useful, not harmful to anyones health, positive, really worth keeping.
now that i know what things i actually have,
and a bunch of totally empty storage-space,
i use pen and paper and plan the most effective place to put each item.
voila. total renewal. no more junk! freedom.
it seems overwhelming at first, and many times i just walk around in circles and wonder where to start, how to sort, where does it all come from, why havent i understood earlier how damaging it is to my energy, etc. i put myself down, and i drag myself up. and just committ to whatever it takes, im gonna do this!
it just has to be done.
I DID get rid of two, count them TWO, car loads of junk today in a community swap. Not little compact cars but big ol' station wagon fulls . I could of done a third but we didn't have enough time. I am so glad it's gone! It barely put a dent in the clutter though. Where does it all come from??? I didn't buy most of it. 90% was kid stuff, aka toys from their grandparents :
Now I have to get the house back in order from getting all that out and start working on getting more out. There is now a huge empty space in the basement and I can't wait to change things around so we can have a music area
Viking - I used to do that sort of thing pre-husband and child, but I don't think I could pull it off now! DH would have a cow and DD would be in the middle of it all 'helping'
I was a total packrat and had boxes and boxes and boxes (and bins and bins and bins) of JUNK. One day I just started going through it a piece at a time. I got rid of a few things here and there, obvious stuff like trash and recyclables, and then I combed through my stuff again and it was easier to let go of more the second time. Then I went through it again. And again. And I have so much less stuff now, and I feel differently about it. I wish I could explain how it happened but it was literally just looking at one piece of stuff at a time.
I used to not get the dishes done for days and days sometimes. It was awful. The dishes always get me. Now, they pile up, but it's not as bad. My bigger kids help out with specific things (this has been a long process of getting them on board with helping). I have figured out which things make me the craziest and focused on that. I started verrrrrrry small. When my second child was born, I made a deal with myself that I would start a routine with ONE thing only. If I got the diapers in the wash first thing, I felt I did a good job, even if the rest of the house was piled high with crap.
Then after that started to feel like a pretty good habit, I added one more thing. Sweep the kitchen floor once a day. Because crumbs underfoot make me more nuts than anything. So for months and months, I did my best to get the diapers in the laundry and the kitchen floor swept every day. I missed days. The other housework was catch-as-catch-can and usually didn't get done. But I let myself feel good about what I could do.
After a looooooooong while I added a third thing, get the living room toys picked up and the floor vacuumed once a day. And after that the housework also snowballed and I think I do a pretty good job most of the time getting the most important stuff done.
It really, really helped me to lower my standards and minimize my priorities. When my standards were too high I felt frozen. When I lowered them to what I was capable of, I felt more positive. It's the difference between "wash and dry the laundry, fold it, and put it away" and "make sure the kids are dressed in something not too dirty." LOL. With either of those standards the basic result is the same - kids dressed in something somewhat acceptable for going out in public - but what I have to do to accomplish it is much, much different. A long time ago I stopped folding much of my laundry at all. If I thought I had to fold everything, I'd think I was a terrible housekeeper, but because I don't fold (except for DH and my clothes, and we don't have many anymore - less stuff, less work) I get the job DONE and it feels pretty good to know stuff is in drawers instead of in piles. Just an example.
Anyway, I have totally BTDT and somehow (I hardly know how) I wouldn't call myself "terrible" anymore. It took a lot of time and a lot of baby steps and being very gentle with myself and not giving up hope. I know you can do it!
I am currently reading "Home Comforts" to figure out what the heck you're supposed to do, & how to do it
My downfall is lack of decluttering. I've turned into my mother! : She wasn't a great housekeeper either, and I grew up in a messy home (and hated it). There are piles of "stuff" in most of our rooms. I am having trouble finding efficient ways of getting rid of stuff other than throwing them in the garbage too (which I refuse to do). Salvation Army dropoff is really far away, Freecycle is super annoying and Craigslist is a time-waster.
My kids also go berserk messing stuff up every day no matter how it starts out. :
Part of my problem is that I don't love our apartment (which we own). Dh isn't supporting me in moving ahead on minor renovations. I really think that I have to make our home more beautiful in order to take pride in caring for it to the maximum extent. That's my excuse anyway
sharing life with | 9.5 yo ds | 7 yo dd | love of my life new husband
I am a Master Purger. Seriously, I am the Queen of Decluttering.
However... I am not a cleaner.
The decluttering process began for me about 5 years ago. I am now a minimalist, and I LOVE it. We make a trip to Vinnie's to donate stuff at least once a month, sometimes once a week, so I'm good at continuous purging.
I am currently working on a new system for sewing and fly tying supplies, and DH's workbench in the basement needs to be cleaned off, but other than that, my whole house is tidy and organized... and dirty.
I do manage to stay on top of laundry. DH usually does the dishes. Because our house is- um... I dunno, emptyish? Maybe I should post pics?- it is really fast to clean it - it can be thouroughly trashed and I can scrub the whole thing, top to bottom, in couple of hours (if someone else is occupying our little peanut ). The problem is, I just don't. Everything is dusty and pet-hairy, the floors are seriously gross, the walls have handprints, the glass is grimy, and on and on.
So yeah. I'm here for support. If you can motivate me to clean, wise mamas, I will be forever greatful.
For example I have a stack of daily menus from the 1920's, from a Vermont Lodge...and they are all original--hand typed each day--and I can't toss those...I see endless possibilities for them, as well as the pile of cashmere sweaters I am felting to do ?...something with...? the 1/2 made puppets I started...but never finished...their heads everywhere.... An empty space would be very cool---but I'd need my "stuff" somewhere...stored away, or ideally in a big spacious art studio.
Honestly, not all of it. I am in the process of trying to clear out at least the stuff I don't really mind parting with. I figure if I start there, then I can go back and do more rounds after the first 'sweep' and eventually pare down enough that I am satisfied (which for me will probably be no where near minimalist ). The problem is it never makes it out of the house - it ends up piled up in the basement.
amyamanda - thank you for the encouragement! It really does help to hear that you were 'here' not that long ago and you are now 'reformed'
Please refrain from judging me. We need to remodel (no, there is not a bathroom on the main floor ), our floors still have the glue on them from where the carpet was glued down, and we have not so much lifted a paintbrush since we moved in.
My house is in very average condition in these pics, which I took today.
1. Living room. That's it- couch, recliner, and TV stand. On the floor next to the couch is the dog's toy box. And, of course, baby toys strewn about.
2. Dining room. This room is the biggest room in our house, and this is the one that I think of the most as being empty, even though it really has a ton of stuff in it. Note the smudges all over the walls from baby (and adult hands.
The big dark cabinet is, we think, the top of an antique hutch. It came with the house. When we refinish it, we are going to add feet and wheels. On top of it is DDs changing pad, baskets with her diaper stuff, and two pictures whose frames I painted, but I got paint on the glass, so I need to finish them with a Q-Tip and nail polish remover, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. The pail on the right is the diaper pail. Inside the cabinet (which is 2' deep, so it holds a ton) are about half of our books (the rest are in the bedrooms), our boardgames, and our CDs.
Here is our computer desk (which is also a huge, heavy antique so it holds a ton- family notebook, phonebook, paper, tape, scissors, stapler, pens pencils, sharpeners, etc.), the file cabinet that has the printer on it, DD's downstairs toybox, and the carved stone table (also came with the house) that holds our stereo and DD's baby monitor. To the left, draped over the stair bannister, is a bunch of clean laundry that needs to be taken upstairs and hung up.
This is the corner for DD's play table. On the top of the radiator is DH's grandpa's cigar box. It has hankies in it. (Prettier than a kleenex box, IMHO.) Next to that is our incense burner/case.
(Right now, my dad is building DD playstands, so once we have those I want to flip the spots of the play area and the computer desk. But we have to get an electrician in to put an outlet on that wall, and figure out a place in the living room to put the stone table. Hmm...)
Okay, final dining room shot of our non-antique table, covered with diapers that need to be put away.
3. This is our kitchen. And here it is from another angle. Note the filthy floors. DD also likes to get "toys" out of the recycling, so that accounts for some (only some ) of the trash. Here is a shot of part of the pantry.
4. Back porch. This is pretty standard. The tubs are the recycling, and that wall is covered with hooks for coats and bags.
5. Front porch. This actually looks worse than it is, because the pile in the corner is the sewing/fishing stuff I've been reorganizing, and the desk on the left is outta here! Vinnie's is picking it up tomorrow.
It has been 13+yrs now and I still cannot clean well at all. I swear by the fact that some are just born with the cleaning gene, like my mom, but me I just cant do it. I get frustrated and overwhelmed. Nothing stays were it is put. There are constant spills and messes some I see and clean up right away and some I dont see for a bit and then it is a major hassle to get it up. Especially off the carpet.
My carpet is ruined I think daily about yanking it out and just walking on the base florring but I dont have the guts to do it. Tehre are actually spots that you stick to when you walk I scrub but it dosnt come up. Plus the hard as rock spots.
I so wish it came naturally to me but it dosnt. I only clean when I get the urge and that dosnt happen very often. RIght now my poor kitchen floor need moped in the worst way but I had a ear thing going on and moving around to much makes me sick. At least this week I have a good excuse
I have tried making lists workes for a few days. I have tried doing the 15min thing. That does get things clean but then they are right back messed up and I cant stand to do it again. I have the kids pick up the toys and stuff when they mess but it is like pulling teeth and they are still small and need help. I feel like I am in a hole and dont know how to get out.
All along the walls there is somenting not a single empty spot anywere. I dont have a ton of stuff it just seems to all end up on the floor around the walls : My dh is zero help to me. Since he has the outside job he feels that the house is totally up to me. He spills and dosnt wipe up. He leaves shoes, clothes etc in the middle of the floor. If I dont pick them up they stay there he just dosnt care. Yet he is upset because we cant have company because the house is a mess all the time.
I am not willing to spend every waking momement picking up and straightening like my mom does. she is always moving, wiping, cleaning something. I just cant do that life is to short to spend it doing something I hate. I cry about the state of the house. When the rare someone comes over I get so upset because of how things look but does anyone come over right after I have a cleaning frenzy?? NO of course not. They have to come when it looks like the house was hit by a tornado.
I am going to give a description of what I see right now just sitting her. so you can get a idea what I am going through.
To my left is the coffee table it currently has dd's nebulizer sitting on it, the telephone, the call id thing that lets me get calls while online, 3 glasses (1 I am currently using and 2 that dh has left sitting) 2 pop cans (dh's), salt shaker (dh's) nasal spray (dh's) 2 bottles of fingernail polish, 3 granola bar wrapers, lid off a 2 litter pop & a metal ruler.
To my right is part of my sectional couch on it is some papers of dd's a few articles of clothing, half a brownie, remotes, telephone plate with barretto on it (dh's) some cross stitch supplies & a book. This does not include the floor between the couch and recliner afraid to look down there
I could go on and on but I will leave it at that. Half of my depression issues are directly linked to the state my house stays in.
SAHMlovin' fan to DD 10/00 & DS 10/04 If your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumCirc, a personal choice, Your sons11/986/99anti-tobaccoThyroid cancer survivor. With & & (Boxer) wishing 4 &
MCat.... I hear you really I both dread people coming over but also feel isolated...so go figure! But I know that my house is *much* messier than my relatives and friends that I have visited recently
As for other people's houses, I have found, with a few exceptions, that some people's houses I visit are as clean as they are as they are expecting company. People would never guess I have as great a problem as I do as I always make sure if I know someone is coming to have a clean place. However it's the unexpected drop ins that get me. I think most people have learned to call first :
I had a lot to to yesterday but I wasn't feeling well; tired and dizzy all day. I did get three loads of laundry done and have at least that much today. I got our beroom floor mostly cleaned so we could move our beds over since we're going to start needing to turn the heat on soon. We also changed the bedding, whcich I'm washing today. Today I need to tackle the books in there. I also managed to go to bed with a clean sink and the dishes done, third night in a row (I had a couple of days I was too tired). I want to get the place looking great when MIL comes as she's one of the ones who always sees how messy it is and I am tired of worrying about the mess when she comes.
I should multi quote when i have time.
I am in the same boat with hating the condition of my house and that being very unmotivating to clean. I have wood floors that were badly installed, so there are big cracks between the wood tiles that scum accumulates in. It needs to be refinished, so if something spills on the floor, it will soak in within a couple minutes. It's practically raw wood. Mopping it doesn't make it look any better. I want to do something about it, but DH seems to not give a rip. Most of the corners aren't done well with the floors, so dust bunnies, cheerios, whatever, gather up in them and won't come out without serious work. The trim in the bathroom needs to be painted so it constantly looks dirty. But we also need to do things like upgrade wiring, move the dishwasher, fix the rotting porch and get storm windows, so how do we prioritize?
I grew up in a messy cluttered house. I have been doing very well with decluttering, but it's a slow process for me.
I have horrible habits that are hard to break. I don't put things back, I don't stick to a schedule. I tried flylady, I tried motivated moms.
My DH works a lot and helps hardly at all. It is nice that he doesn't expect me to keep it spotless, but I feel like I should be able to and I want to keep a nice home so he can relax here after a hard day.
I also sew and knit and DH has too many computers. We have a room for that stuff but we need a better way to organize it.
now I have to go to the dentist. what fun!
I have not mopped the kitchen since my grandma visited.
My DH really helps quite a bit. He does yard work and gardening, helps me with Vinnie's runs, does about 80% of the cooking, and usually does the dishes once a day. But he does not clean at all. He never wipes anything, or sweeps, or any actual CLEANING. He's just like me. We are tidy but dirty.
How do I make myself clean more? Like I said, I'm good on decluttering and organizing- I actually think that's fun, and I have a pocketful of strategies. If I had any close friends up here, I'd offer to cook, babysit kids, help with someone else's decluttering or painting or whatever if someone would just come in twice a week and do my floors, dusting, bathroom, and clean the toys. Even then, I'd still have to clean out the fridge, scour the sink, groom the pets, clip everyone's nails, change the litter box, and take out the trash-- all stuff that I struggle to do! *Sigh*
Actually what I hate about renting is I can't rip out this grungy rug that won't come clean. It always feels damp due to the weather and everything sticks to it (at least in winter the dry heat dries it out a bit). It's the only one in the house but I hate it so much. I makes everything look a lot worse than it is.
I am slowly getting my kitchen in order on the outside but I have a lot to do on the inside of the drawers and cupboards. I am mainly working on our bedroom right now as that's FlyLady's zone of the week. It helps so much our clothes are not in the room but they are in DS's, which takes up a lot of room. Hey, until he's ready to sleep in his room, we'll keep our clothes in there . The two beds together in our room take up almost all the room and the books take up the rest, lol!
Have you tried picking up some 'nice' cleaning supplies (Mrs. Meyer's or similar)? Sometimes, for me, just having something a little bit nicer or more interesting to work with (interesting like hydrogen peroxide in the kitchen for example -- love to see what foams and what doesn't (:nerd)) can make a difference. I'd much rather mop with a nice bucket of Mrs. Meyer's stuff than a bucket of plain-old-suds. And the fact that having the Mrs. Meyer's in the house makes me more likely to clean offsets the cost differential.
It's kind of sad, I guess, but it works for me.
I won't be posting pictures anytime soon.
My house is so messy I can't clean it.
(Meaning once I get everything picked up, I am spent...and nothing ever gets scrubbed. Its really gross)
I threatened my dh that we HAD to get it cleaned up today so I could hire someone to "clean"
He just informed me he is taking ds to Carmax instead.:
Truthfully, He probably forgot I even told him that we were working today....and basically I have to remind him to do stuff every 5 minutes till he does it. (Which is so not fair to me.) But since I am a total slob too, I'll forgive him. :