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My house is SSOOOOOOOOOOOOOO trashed. I just can't seem to get on top of it. Every surface in every room is covered in clutter. There just seems to be so much stuff that doesn't have a place - or at least not a place that's convenient to where it's usually used (i.e. I keep all my 2-yr-old's arts & crafts supplies upstairs in a chest of drawers in a spare bedroom, because there's nowhere else to put them, even though they are usually used down in the kitchen or outside). Because there's so much clutter, there's a lot of cleaning that's getting neglected, and also things are starting to get a little broken down - like table legs that need to be repaired, nicks in the walls that need a little love, paint jobs that have been not quite finished for the past year, etc. etc. etc. It's getting to the point where I don't feel happy anymore when I walk in to my house - it doesn't feel like home. My husband feels the same way, but he can't really do much about it b/c he works 80 hour weeks to keep me at home with our daughter. He's willing to do whatever I ask him to do, but he doesn't have time to help with the planning/organizing part of this, and he can't do a whole lot of day-to-day housework, although God bless him he's very willing to and does as much as he can. As for me, I'm working very part-time outside the home and working on getting administrative & writing gigs from home, so together with taking care of my dd there's not a whole lot left over for housework.<br><br>
I guess I'm just griping. I know a lot of us are in the same situation. Has anyone found a solution? Where do you begin?????
 

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Start with one small area.<br><br>
Or start with Flylady, if she is your cup of tea. Just Google her.<br><br>
There was a GREAT thread here a long while ago about this...but I have no idea how to find it. It was sooo inspiring.<br><br>
There are the challenges on here...some where you get rid of one thing a day or 2008 things in the year 2008.<br><br>
Or you could just sort through your sock drawer today.<br><br>
I am maybe half-way through my decluttering. The upstairs is now easier to clean due to having less stuff.<br><br>
The basement is still a mess.<br><br>
I've been doing this for over a year and hope to make even more progress this year.<br><br>
You CAN do it.<br><br>
Some people do it quickly. Some of us are slower.<br><br>
But it can be done.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
P.S. Find even just one thing to give away or throw away today.
 

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I would focus most strongly on getting rid of stuff, much more than organizing it. The quote is "You can't organize clutter." The more stuff you have, the more work it is to organize, and you very rapidly reach a point where it doesn't matter how hard you work - you just can't keep it straight.<br><br>
Take the linen closet - I realize you may not have a linen closet, but it's just an example. If you keep organizing the linen closet and getting it all nice and neat and folded and pretty, and then you come back three days later and it's all tumbled... there's too much stuff there and too much variety in the stuff.<br><br>
Next time, rather than organizing, go through and get rid of half the towels, and eliminate whole categories of towels (for example, we just have big towels and washcloths, and nothing in between, and we have no guest towels), get rid of those Barney sheets that the kids don't want to use but that are still perfectly good, the shampoo you didn't like but don't want to waste, the extra hot water bottle that you thought might come in handy, the beach towel that you might use when the other beach towels wear out...<br><br>
In general, get rid of everything that you're not using on a regular, daily basis, and if that leaves too much stuff, get rid of some of what's left - for example, if you usually wash ten towels once a week but the shelf is too full, get rid of half and wash five towels twice a week. If you really can't make yourself get rid of some of it even though you don't use it regularly, get it out of your prime storage spaces - stuff it in a box and make a box wall somewhere, to go through later.<br><br>
Once the extra stuff is gone, try to make that prime storage space _simple_. Going back to the linen closet example, you could have one shelf for big towels, one for washcloths, one for sheets, instead of a bunch of stacks of this and that. If somebody yanks a towel out of the big-towel shelf and some of them unfold, at least that shelf is still all just big towels, not a bunch of things that must now be re-sorted.<br><br>
Again, get rid of stuff. That's the key. If organization is really hard to keep up, there's too much stuff. You don't even have to think about organization or planning at the beginning - for a long, long time the most valuable thing to do is just "harvest" stuff that you can throw out or give away. You don't need to worry, initially, about tidying up the space it came from, just fill boxes and bags and get them out of the house.<br><br>
Crayfish
 

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Replying to myself:<br><br>
Another comment: I realize that you can't always make your storage space simple, because you have a bunch of little oddities that you can't get rid of. For that situation, I generally have the equivalent of a "junk drawer" in the space. My goal is to make most of the space simple and with minimal variety, and the unavoidable variety of oddities is confined to an area dedicated to it.<br><br>
For example, in the pantry, we have maybe thirty staples that we use all the time and try to keep a little extra stock of - flour, sugar, tea, lemon juice, BagsOfChips, cans of soup, cans of fruit, that kind of thing. So those occupy all but one shelf of the pantry. Then the stuff that we use only occasionally but don't want to get rid of - the tandoori sauce, those weird olives for the dish we make once a month, the tea that his mother likes that never gets taken out between visits - all get stuffed in that one remaining "oddities" shelf. It doesn't matter if technically we might call the tandoori sauce a "condiment" - since _we_ use it rarely, it goes on the "oddities shelf" so it doesn't clutter up the other shelves with unnecessary complexity. The soy sauce, on the other hand, which we use regularly, goes with "condiments" in the main shelves. Regular cooking oil, main shelf. Sesame oil, oddities. And so on.<br><br>
The same for the dishes - the dinner plates, salad plates, cereal bowls, everyday glasses, etc., go on most of the dish shelves, and we minimize variety - we have exactly one kind of each, and we demand that they be stackable. (Well, we don't stack the glasses.) That leaves one shelf for the weird little dishes that we like to use sometimes but don't use every day. Again, this depends on your own habits - we put soy sauce dishes for sushi on the oddities shelf because we seldom need them. Someone else might use them every day and might have a stack of them with the everyday dishes. The goal is to make your everyday stuff easy to get and put away. When you have time for the special little luxuries, odds are you'll also have time for a little extra trouble in getting them out and putting them away.<br><br>
Crayfish
 

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Found it. It may sound harsh, but it has been written by people who have been there.<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=413878" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=413878</a>
 

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This one shows "after" pictures. Lots of inspiration!<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=762506" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=762506</a><br><br><br>
P.S. Did you do one thing? More than one thing? Just start...anything you get rid of is a good start. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
P.P.S. Some pic links are gone, but keep clicking on them. There are LOTS still working and they are great!
 

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<a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=900585" target="_blank">Here's a pretty inspiring thread</a>...<br><br>
I know it's tough - we have a pretty big problem around here too. I think we're going to "sacrifice" a bedroom to use for storage for a while, so that we get get our other rooms more minimalist. Then we'll gradually declutter in the storage room. I think it will be much more manageable to start with some clean, clear spaces -- not having clutter everywhere.<br><br>
One thing I advise is to get rid of *big* clutter first - oversized or excess furniture pieces - it totally makes a difference <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ksenia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11563752"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One thing I advise is to get rid of *big* clutter first - oversized or excess furniture pieces - it totally makes a difference <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">.</div>
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I agree. It will feel like you've gotten so much and it might be that boost that you need.<br>
When I sold my dd's bureau that we were no longer using, it cleared up a whole corner of her room. That really got me jump started. That same day I culled through her closet and pulled anything that was too small or wrong season, etc. Also pulled some toys that she never plays with. Her room looks 100x better.
 

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Crayfish has outlined a great approach. IF you can do what she has outlined you will be miles ahead in a short while.<br><br>
"Progress not perfection" always helps me keep it in perspective.<br><br>
I'd start with the kitchen.<br><br>
Can you have a friend come and help? Or can someone play with dd for a day while you do a full-on tackle?<br><br>
Next, I'd lose half the clothes. Think of packing for a trip: you'd take only things that are easy to care for, versitile (I can't spell that word!), and that make you.dd.dh look good. Keep those things handy, and store the best of what's left. Give everything else away. This will go a long way to getting laundry back under control since the most odious thing about landry is putting it away.<br><br>
Keep your chin up! You can make a huge dent with a few days of intense effort, followed by some new habits.<br><br>
HTH. Goodluck
 
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