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Discussion Starter #1
I need so much help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: Our home is out of control IMO.<br><br>
Even though we don't really have the $ right now, I broke down and called a professional organizer. I guess they aren't taking clients or something b/c no one called me back. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">:<br><br>
I'm a perfectionist and haven't been able to keep the house organized since we had kids. We just bought a bigger house and guess what? It didn't help. I just have more room for disorganization. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
My kids have too much, way too much. I have one SIL who just feeds the problem with more and more presents. I've finally gotten through to her that this is not beneficial. But I still need to dig out. I go to the preschool at our church and see out neat and easy it is for the kids to manage and get sooooo inspired. Then I come home and I'm instantly overwhelmed. The mess, disorganization, and clutter drowns my spirit and keeps me and my children from really enjoying life. There is so much more I want to be and do for my kids, but I'm so bogged down with the chaos around here there is no time. If I get focused on keeping the kitchen clean and decluttered and maintained, the laundry falls way behind and the playroom explodes. I KNOW its possible to maintain a home, but how? How do you do it? Where do you start and how do you keep it going?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mgeis01</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7907458"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My kids have too much, way too much.</div>
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I think this is my main problem - but it is all five of us, not just the kids. There is no way to keep up when there is just too much stuff. I am in the same boat as you, but this is what seems to help me.<br><br>
**A place for everything. This is really crucial. You can't put it away if it doesn't have a home to go to!<br><br>
**Always have a garage sale or Goodwill box handy! Right outside the door to the garage is good. Put stuff in here when you don't know where it goes, and you really don't need it anyway.<br><br>
**When you clean up an area (kid's bedroom, toy/family room, game closet, whatever!), put unneeded things in the garage sale box! I just went through a cabinet where we keep games yesterday - because one was out and needed to be put away, but there wasn't room for it. I sat down and took everything out and put back in ONLY what 1)had all the parts, 2)kids actually played with, 3)I personally thought was worth the space in the house. Some absolutely fine games got put in the garage sale boxes. THAT IS OK! Someone else will enjoy them, and my house will be neater and more enjoyable for all of us!<br><br>
**Try to remember that every birthday and holiday, some new toys/clothes come into the house. Did you get rid of that much in exchange?<br><br>
**Kid art projects - take their picture holding the item, then recycle or toss it! This was hard but so freeing!!!!! We still have the photos; that is good enough. My kids save one or two very special projects; everything else has to go!<br><br>
**Have a garbage can in each room (well, ok, I admit I don't have them in the living or family rooms - but kitchen, every bathroom, every bedroom) and somewhere a shredder and recycle bins. My recycle bins are right outside the door to the garage so very handy. Shredder is under the desk, and I just drop stuff in and shred all at once every now and then. (I don't keep it plugged in because I don't want a little kid shredding things I want!)<br><br>
**This is my downfall..... kid chores! They can help! One thing I do is laundry delivery. When I fold clothes (either at the dryer or on the couch) I yell "LAUNDRY DELIVERY" when I'm done. The three kids line up and I give each of them their own clothes to take upstairs and put away. I also will holler for whites or jeans or whatever I'm washing. If each kid wants her items washed, she brings them down to me in the laundry room.<br><br>
Just some ideas. I need to follow all my own advice! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I usually either take a closet/room/large container/a cabinet or a "grouping" of items (say, clothing, toys, housewares), and work from there. If you do an area (closet,room,etc.) you do JUST THAT AREA. I don't care if you know you have 47 old pairs of socks in the hall closet - that's for another day. If you do a grouping of items, you go from room to room, and squirrel out all of that item, and ignore everything else. I don't care if you had to move 27 piles of laundry to get to all the toys; if you try to do both, you're going to end up NOT getting the toys decluttered, and the laundry's going to STILL come back around next week. Too much at once overwhelms.<br><br>
Four piles: Keep, trash, donate, decide later.<br><br>
Now, if you have no self-control, don't have a decide later. For me, it's usually something where I want to ask my husband about it, or I want to find out if a friend can use it, or if I can repair it or something like that. If everything's going to end up in that pile, don't have that pile...put it in keep, trash, or donate, and work with it later.<br><br>
Don't worry about a place for everything yet. Once you've cleaned out the area/items, this is what I do:<br><br>
1) Post on freecycle, with a specific day/time range for people to come pick stuff up. Do this quickly, because whatever doesn't get picked up....goes to goodwill/charity/etc. You'd be surprised what people will take...I've given away half-pieced puzzles (for an art project, apparently), old brown army t-shirts (rags), etc.<br><br>
2)Trash...if you absolutely can't get it to go on freecycle, can't donate it for whatever reason (and there's very little that falls in this category), trash it.<br><br>
3)Keep: Find a place for everything. A LOGICAL place, whatever that may be. As you declutter, you will find more and more places for stuff. :) If you pull a blanket out of the closet, and decide the logical place is your linen closet, or your attic, or under your bed, put it there. I can not repeat this enough: DO NOT get side-tracked into cleaning out the linen closet/attic/bed, as you will end up with an overwhelming mess and give up all hope. You are concentrating SOLELY on the stuff from the closet/bedroom/hall closet, etc.<br><br>
If you have stuff you need to repair, do it now OR put it in a pile of "needs to be sewn/glued/etc." that you will make a focus of your decluttering one day. Some people will disagree with me, and say to repair it now...but, I find I get more sidetracked that way. It *is* good to put a time limit on items, though...as in, if I haven't fixed this in six months, or three months, or by next Christmas, or whatever, it gets donated/recycled/trashed.<br><br>
I do tend to do this at certain times/events of the year. If DD has gotten new clothes, I go through the old. If my husband is away for a training weekend (military), I tend to go through some of his old military stuff (I end up with a bit in the "decide later" from this, but, oh well).<br><br>
I do tend to impose a "once I've cleaned it out, it needs to stay like that" as much as possible. We are a military family, so, it seems like I'm forever figuring out where things should go in the new place right up until we move again, so, I understand the feeling.<br><br>
The one exception I'm making right now is my baby stuff...DD is outgrowing a lot of her stuff, but I have a friend about 4.5 hours away who is expecting in Sept/Oct, so, I'm holding onto a lot of stuff I would have already donated. I'm piling it up in a specific corner of our apt (which is small, and we have no storage, so, it's got to go there until she gets down to pick it up).
 

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The others gave you a lot of good advice. For me, the main thing is to start small. Pick a closet or a couple cabinets and once I get through that, I usually have momentum built up and I'm excited to keep going.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lightheart</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7908898"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">look in front of you and to each side, pick up something in each direction and get rid of it, now you have started!</div>
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that's how I did it! plus I have places that BREED clutter and I just grabbed a box and the garbage can and just started tossing stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas! I'll be pouring over these tonight after I get the kids to bed.<br><br>
Our neighborhood is having a garage sale time in a couple of weeks, so I'm going to be gathering stuff for that right away. I usually avoid sales and just take stuff to good will, but it might be easier on the kids if they get a few coins in their pockets this time. Plus I have some big items in mind and this way I won't have to load them up and then wait in line for an hour at the good will drive through.
 

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I've been to the same house for a garage sale probably half a dozen times since I had Holden looking for baby and tot clothes. I asked her one day how she has so many and she said she has a sale as she declutters. With three kids, she always has something they've outgrown or toys they no longer have any interest in. She said it's a lot easier having a bunch of small ones throughout the year instead of one giant sale. Maybe that's something you could try. I always feel like I don't have enough stuff to make a sale worth my time, but I'm also thinking of trying it. I usually get fed up waiting since I don't really have a lot of room to let things pile up.
 

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I usually start by just focussing on picking up garbage. Then I move on to stuff I can quickly see that I don't want or need any more. If I have trouble deciding, I leave it until later. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well - I guess I made a good re-start tonight. I collected 3 rubbermaid tubs worth of stuff and added it to the garage sale pile that is growing in the garage.<br>
While the kids were in the bath, I stormed through my walk-in closet and collected one tub full. Then grabbed another from the play room while daddy was reading stories. Then grabbed the third from the storage area real quick. The last was already packed from the last time I re=started the declutter process. I just didn't have the heart to actually get rid of it. Not its in the garage ready to be marked for super cheap sale.<br><br>
Thanks for the support. I imagine I'm going to need a lot in the next few months. My goal is to get this house organized by the end of summer - before the baby comes and before we start homeschooling.
 

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Oh I so know where you are coming from <b>mgeis01</b>!<br><br>
I am in the process of trying to figure out how to declutter and get rid of alot in this house! We are moving in less than 3 months, and I want a really large chunk GONE!!<br><br>
We have DH, myself, and 5 kids to sort out. Makes me wonder how on earth we end up like this!! LOL<br><br>
Good Luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Sounds like you are off to a great start!!
 
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