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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you get started when everything is a big mess? I just finished school and have left housework and bill paying alone for almost 2 months. Needless to say everything is in disaray.

Everytime I even think of starting, I give up
To clear off my kitchen table, I need a place to put the stuff but in order to do that I would have to clean various other rooms first. So I start off thinking I will just work on the kitchen but then try and put something in my office/storage bedroom but can't bc that room is a mess too and I start trying to clean up a bit there only to find I really need to get things moved around in another spot.

Any advice for how to just get started and not get so overwhelmed that you just want to give up?
thanks.
 

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There are a few ways to go about it. One method would be to take care of the trash first, meaning everything that can be tossed without thinking. THe other way would be to do it area by area. If you have things that need to go in other rooms, put them in a dedicated laundry basket and do not take them into the room until you are working on that room. For instance, if you find things in the kitchen that belong in the office, put them in the office basket, if you do the living room next and have more stuff that goes into the office, bring the same half-filled basket into the living room and put the office stuff in it. When you get to the office, you may find things that belong in your clear spaces like the kitchen and living room, just put those items into a basket and put them away after you finish that room. The main idea is to not run from room to room all day, but to concentrate on areas while making progress. My preferred method is starting with the toys. I go through the house and collect all the toys that need to be put away into a basket and then put them all in the toy room. While I am in the toy room, I put all the things that do not belong there into the same basket and redistribute it through out the house where it belongs. FOr some reason this seems to care of about 95% of the mess.
 

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When I've gotten to this point (and I'm just working my way back out after dd's birth) I've found it's really helpful to use a modified Flylady 15 minute rule. I just start with my most important space (the kitchen for me) and work 15 minutes, do something else 15 minutes, work 15 minutes, etc. I usually give myself a 2-hour block of time and one room to start with then set the timer. I have never actually needed the full block of time and often am able to keep working after the first timer has gone off. But I need to know it will end if it's just too much. I can then work around the house this way. This is also how I scrub the house if it's gotten completely out of control. hth!
 

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I like to work in the smallest room in the house and make it completely perfect. It dosen't take long because it's small, then I am both in the mood to keep going and motivated by success. Put on some rockin' music. Dance and scrub. Everytime you move from one room to another, take something with you that doesn't belong and put it where it does.
 

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It's *such* a common place to be, you are NOT alone! I've been there! The whole FlyLady and Sidetracked Home Executives programs were designed by and for people who started out totally overwhelmed by the prospect of getting tidy and organized.

I've found some resources recently that are really targeted at those who are right in your position. One is the book It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh. It helps you lay out a plan for decluttering and talks a lot about how to decide what to keep and where in your house it should go. The other is the FlyLady podcasts -- I was listening to the December 4 episode yesterday and they had a few discussions of starting from scratch in an overwhelmingly cluttered house. They also mentioned a Crisis Cleaning podcast, which is supposed to be like Marla the Flylady sitting on your shoulder helping you get through 45 minutes or so of progress on the situation. I can't find it online, but I'll keep looking. EDIT: Here! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/station...risis-Cleaning

Good luck! You can do it!
 

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One day, recently, I woke up and found myself in a house completely filled with things that I didn't know what to do with anymore.
It was all my stuff, but as a family we had decided to get rid of all but the necessities that would fill the tiny space of a caravan (RV) or a 400 sq ft. cabin.

Oh, man! Where to begin? Suddenly nothing was mine, but I had to put my hands on every single thing, from the sofa to the toilet paper and weigh it's intrinsic value to my life. Oy!

I began with the trash and I stuck to one room as long as I possibly could. I stopped whenever I was overwhelmed and I did not pick up a new task until I took a break filled with something to *repair* the way in which I was feeling.
Sometimes I had to give up on a room for awhile... especially when it came to the "junk drawers" and the closets, but oh man... what a relief when I finally started to stack up the trash bags.

The thing that I found was this: when I finally sat down in a heap and cried over the whole mess I was able to just accept that it was merely work... and as long as I kept at it, it would be done... no need and no worth in my resistance to the task. It just was and I wanted it to be done.
Relief. I began to look at it as if *none of it was mine, but any of it could be if I wanted it... then you sort of get that cleaning someone else's house effect which is SO much easier to work with.

Best of luck to you! You can do it!


xo
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much! Its nice to know that I am not the only one who has faced this. I have so many friends and their houses are always neat and tidy. I rarely have any over bc I am so embarresed


Too be honest, I think I am going to try each techique listed - one each day - and see which one I can stick with it. One thing I did in the past that I *thought* worked was throwing everything in boxes with lids and then saying I would sort them later but eventually I would dig through the box to find something and then they just ended up stacked in various rooms. So I thought wrong and the method just made more of a mess.

alison_in_oh - thanks for the podcast link! I am going to listen to it for inspiration!.
 

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:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alison_in_oh View Post
It's *such* a common place to be, you are NOT alone! I've been there! The whole FlyLady and Sidetracked Home Executives programs were designed by and for people who started out totally overwhelmed by the prospect of getting tidy and organized.

I've found some resources recently that are really targeted at those who are right in your position. One is the book It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh. It helps you lay out a plan for decluttering and talks a lot about how to decide what to keep and where in your house it should go. The other is the FlyLady podcasts -- I was listening to the December 4 episode yesterday and they had a few discussions of starting from scratch in an overwhelmingly cluttered house. They also mentioned a Crisis Cleaning podcast, which is supposed to be like Marla the Flylady sitting on your shoulder helping you get through 45 minutes or so of progress on the situation. I can't find it online, but I'll keep looking. EDIT: Here! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/station...risis-Cleaning
:

Here's how to start with Flylady. I really believe that folks with "can't have anyone over syndrome" who have an open mind can get something from Flylady's system that helps them.

Flylady always says: "you can't organize clutter", so starting to declutter for 15 minutes a day would be a high priority for you.

Flylady's podcasts really are helpful in addressing the underlying issues that contribute to our homes getting chaotic.
 

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Just listened to the crisis clean and did a version of it


Going to put on my ipod (if I can figure out how to do that!
)
 
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