where is the slattern thread?

(103 Posts)
twonker Fri 10-Aug-12 22:14:56

calling any fellow slatterns, please point me in the direction of your thread! i am looking for the company of those who really struggle with procrastination, and a blindness towards mess and junk.... please help me open my eyes!!!

Twonker Mon 12-Nov-12 19:29:51

I am not managing to be a good housekeeper. At all.

Twonker Mon 12-Nov-12 19:28:11

Hi everyone!

How are you going slattern?

How was the move comrade?

Slatternismymiddlename Tue 25-Sep-12 10:57:51

Twonker - your post made me laugh, my DH used to 'joke' that when the house was really bad we should invite visitors around as that was the only think that made us tidy up.

Like Comrade said above, I really like the house tidy, it is a joy. It is just a shame I can't keep up the general maintenace required to keep it that way. As I said beofre I need to get out of the cycle of blitz cleaning and keep things on a more even keel.

Hope things are going well for all.

Twonker Sun 23-Sep-12 23:19:26

Hope you all had a good weekend. I invited a few of my dd's friends round for her birthday tea, and she also invited a few friends over, so got cleaning mode on full blast this weekend.

Now I'm sitting down at last and I can't help feeling there must be at least another 50 things to do before I go to bed!

I guess in need to have friends over more often, as it has had a great effect on the. Overall appearance of the house and my dd absolutely loved it!

Slatternismymiddlename Fri 21-Sep-12 11:50:47

Hi all. I'm definitely a bit better organised this week. Family room is in good nick, the bedrooms are passable and the toilets have been cleaned. However don't even think of looking at the kitchen, dining room or study.

Comrade - my dcs are 5 and 2. The 5 yr old is getting slightly better at picking up after himself but only because I am on at him constantly. The 2 yr old is another matter, a wrecking machine.
I also understand your point about your childhood and the effect it has now. Whilst I didn't have a cleaner or nanny my mother was a SAHM. I left for school in morning and everything was as it should be by the time I got home. It's only as an adult that I can appreciate how much she did.
Hope the move is going well.

Twonker - if my visitors judge me by the state of my house, it's to late now to worry about it! The damage is done. When I started to try to change at end of July one friend said 'what has happened to the slattern we know and love'. My friends are so used to it even if I was to miraculously change the image of me is so set in stone I don't think they would notice.

I must try and shift some stuff this weekend.

Twonker Wed 19-Sep-12 11:27:29

Hi to both!

Yes, I think declutter ing is the fly lady habit most difficult to establish for me. I do th bed, the sink, the shoes, And a load a day.

I am worried about how attached my kids are to their junk as well. It is almost impossible to get rid of any of their things with their permission. ATM I am just getting rid, and then when they ask just saying on, it's in the attic!

Letting go of stuff is so hard, especially clothes that were an investment, but no longer fit, for example.

Well yesterday I took a good look at the living room after work, which I had been ignoring, and put a few things away. It looks a lot better. But then I was late getting the dinner ready, late putting the kids to bed, late eating, late washing up, and late going to bed!
I think having a strict limit on up til what time you can do an activity is crucial for time management, and I'm not strict about anything really!

Comrade, my childhood was very happy, but not the best for installing discipline either. Many of my family members are untidy. I guess I don't have the problem of feeling untidy in comparison to my friends, however I also don't have any examples of tidiness around, to show me how it even looks!

I had a chat with my dc the other day about how I am trying hard to keep tidy, and how much I need them to respect my efforts, and do their little jobs too. I think this has helped.

Slattern, I work part time too. I have recently stopped doing extra agency work, so I have 2 days off in the week. This is an enormous relief. Most of my friends work, so I can't meet up with them during the day, so these days are supposed to be for running the house!

Do you feel that visitors judge you for the state of your house?

ComradeJing Wed 19-Sep-12 09:26:43

YY Slattern, my RL friends are the same. The only vaguely cluttered friend I have is of the cute, cottage, cluttered type where everything still looks tidy and neat and without an item out of line. <sigh>

re DC it's one of the reasons I'm glad we're leaving. I grew up (overseas) with nannys and cleaners and cooks and never learnt how to look after myself. In the mornings I riffled through my wardrobes, dumped what I didn't want on the floor and when I came home from school it was to a magically spotless bedroom again. So for me, yes, the fairies really did do it. blush

Slattern I think that flylady (yawn) is good with getting kids involved. How old are yours?

Totally agree about amount of stuff and general tidiness. It is SO much easier to keep a small space with little in it neat and tidy. Watching the packers put everything into boxes has absolutely hit home for me how much crap that we have and how much more needs to be dejunked. I thought I had done a lot too. No, no I really hadn't even touched the surface.

Only 2 to 3 hours left for the packers to do. They'll finish tomorrow morning, the agent comes to do check out procedure and then we're out of here!

I'll still swing past and say hi to you both. smile

Slatternismymiddlename Tue 18-Sep-12 11:06:40

Hello! Thank you for your posts, I feel better knowing that I'm not alone. All, and I mean all, my RL friends are minimalist neat freaks.

Part of the problem for me is that I work part time and on those days nothing gets done, so everything rolls over to the end of the week. On the days Im off I'm usually so relieved to be out of the daily grind that I relax too much or go off to meet other mums. Next thing I know it is the weekend and all the housework needs done. I have lost count of the times I have said that I want Sundays to be a family day (i'm not particularly religious but just think it would be nice to spend one day in the week as a family). But envitably I spend the entire day panick cleaning/getting ready to go back to work.

I would love to find a happy medium.

In relation to the family my dcs are disaster areas, but I blame myself for that by setting them a bad example. I'm working on them being more responsible for their things. DH is an excellent blitz cleaner but rubbish at general maintenance. He would be quite happy to let place fall down round him and at the eleventh hour do a mass tidy up, repeat the cycle. It is this cycle I'm fed up with.

I have always worn a watch. The reason for my lateness is nothing to do with not being aware of the time but faffing around doing unnecessary things upstairs, then come downsatirs to discover that I have forgotten to put the kids shoes on and I can't find their coats. (yes I am very aware that my priorities are wrong!).

Comrade - please let us know how the big move goes.

Twonker - there seems to be a definite correlation between the amount of stuff you own (in my case alot) and general tidyness. I must declutter!

ComradeJing Tue 18-Sep-12 06:01:40

Slattern, I think Moans are welcome! grin It's all shit we're going through even if it's different shit we have to deal with.

Twonker DD is 20 months and DS is due November 17th. Yes, moving countries is a rubbish idea when you're this pregnant! No schools for them yet thank goodness although I've heard the waiting list in Sydney for pre schools is horribly long so I may sign her up for them at some point.

I'm taking way too much stuff - I know I'll have to have a massive dejunk once we're in Sydney but I'll deal with that when I have to.

I wear a watch and it makes a huge difference to punctuality. I'm the same as you, Twonker, if I don't wear one. Suddenly it's 7:30 and we still haven't started DDs wind down time.

I have also found it really helpful to have an approximate schedule for the day... getting up at 7, breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 12, DDs nap after lunch, start dinner at 5, eat at 6:30 (no it doesn't take me an hour to cook dinner but what with heating the horrible oven and doing general prep first I find if I don't start at 5 then we eat later and later), DD's bath at 7 and into bed by 7:30. Sounds horrible and regimented but it made a massive difference tbh.

Twonker Mon 17-Sep-12 22:25:03

Also slattern, if you have routines in place, do the rest of your family? Or are they undoing your progress?

Twonker Mon 17-Sep-12 22:23:00

Hi slattern and comrade.

Slattern, I really sympathise. I have been trying to get my act together for about 5 years, and I am still not a reformed slattern. My inability to organise causes a lot of tensions between me and my partner too. Also we live in a really small house so there isn't space for a room of horror.

The best time tidy-house wise in my life was when we lived abroad temporarily in an even smaller flat, but with hardly any stuff. I was on maternity leave at the time, and so was not working, was not involved in any save our school campaigns or volunteering. I was not doing any part time courses, and did not have any demands from extended family.

It was get up, have breakfast, go shopping, play in the park, go home, make a big lunch, go back to the park, play all afternoon, eat leftovers, and clean the flat once the kids were in bed. Sooooooo simple.

I think it is so hard to establish a routine when you are already juggling so many different timetables and unexpected demands. And keeping on top of things does require a routine as well as the individual habits.

Comrade, wow, your lifestyle is going to change a lot!
How old are your kids? Will you need to find new schools for them yet or are they still wee?

I really hope the next few days go well for you, and that you find your new, smaller house with less stuff, easier to manage. A new start can be really helpful,in setting up routines etc.

By the way. Do either of you wear a watch? I am comsidering waering one, as i think that it might help me with time management. I have a few clocks in the house, but they are all slightly different, and I recently looked at the computer screen to check the time when I started to do my dd's hair, and saw it was 5pm, great I've loads of time. Once I was nearly done (she has a zillion plaits ATM) I popped upstairs and saw it was 6.50! omg! Nearly bedtime already!

I am determined to be on time since September. We had a terrible punctuality record at school last year. (not helped by the fact that our school was closed down, and their new school is much further away).

P.s. comrade, I hope you are getting some sleep! Safe journey. When do you arrive?

Slatternismymiddlename Mon 17-Sep-12 20:37:36

Thanks Comrade. My mini moan is nothing compared to what you are currently undergoing. Stacks of luck for the big move.

ComradeJing Mon 17-Sep-12 14:38:39

Oh Slattern sad sorry to hear that.

I don't have any tips I'm afraid but I think that it's performing a new habit every day for 21 days that makes the habit stick over anything else.

What about a daily diary that you write before bed and check again in the morning? No more than 6 tasks to tick off. Maybe 3 daily tasks (washing up done, load of washing in, clean surfaces in the kitchen) and 1 uncluttering task (do the draw in the bedside table) and 1 task that revolves each day of the week (Monday ironing, Tuesday clean kitchen, etc).

God I've no idea. Sorry. I'm going to be running my own home for the first time EVER in one week. shock No ayi, no cleaner, no driver, no ironing lady... I'm not quite sure how I'll manage.

Everything isn't perfect or finished here. I still have to write the insurance list, divide what goes to Sydney and what goes to WA, write some emails, finish packing our luggage and finish sorting paperwork in the study. The packers come in 12 hours. <jibbers>

And yep... I'm mucking about on MN instead of doing. hmm

Slatternismymiddlename Mon 17-Sep-12 11:05:06

Help needed to motivate.

It was mid July that I finally decided to change my ways and I really did try from mid July to mid August. Things started to go down hill at end of August and now half way through September I feel like I am back to square one.

This weekend was awful, the house was a tip. I had convinced myself that if I put routines in place that it would get gradually easier, but it hasn't.

I read on here somewhere that it takes a month for a habit to become a habit but clearly not enough to break my habits of the last 20 years. sad

Does anyone have any 'reformed slattern' stories to give me hope? smile

Slatternismymiddlename Fri 14-Sep-12 11:26:08

Woo hoo comrade! Good going. Could you pass a little bit of your motivation this way please?

This morning I have tidied the family room and it looks pretty good but the rest of the house is its usual style. I'm picking the kids up soon so not much else will get done in respect of the cleaning. (however much more will be done in relation to sweet eating, colouring, fighting with sibling, moaning about dinner etc).

ComradeJing Thu 13-Sep-12 10:45:57

Lots of progress today grin

Box room one is SORTED. I'm going to see if I can get box room 2 done before bed.

Then tomorrow all I'll have to do is the pit of doom study and segregate the stuff that is going to Sydney/our shed in Western Aus. Then over the weekend I'll just need to pack my baggage and I'll be FINISHED! YAY!!

ComradeJing Thu 13-Sep-12 02:52:19

Absolutely motivation/laziness for me. I just cba though I really, really like having a nice and clean house.

Weirdly though, we had two weeks in a caravan this summer and I kept it mostly spotless - apart from the floor which was always covered in sand. Dishes were always washed, surfaces were clean and tidy, things were put away. No idea what the difference was - smaller space meaning I couldn't feel overwhelmed?

Had a hugely teary, upset and wobbly day yesterday. SO much to do before Monday.

Twonker Wed 12-Sep-12 21:11:39

Hi everyone

The tomato timer is a bitter disappointment. It dings in a very insignificant way 3 minutes before it gets to zero and stops ticking.

I definitely think I need to have some master lists, I am just downloading an organized mom app, so I will see what it has got. I quite fancy having nice laminated ones that I tick off with a dry wipe pen and reuse! Daft really, thinking a laminated list will be any better than the back of the envelope list!

I met a friend for coffee the other day, thinking she might be able to give me some pointers on organising my house. She is always really well dressed and comes across well organized. Anyway, we discussed our kids for a bit, and then I told her how much trouble I was having organising myself and the house, and she said "me too! " you won't believe the state of my house! I was so surprised! She needs help just as much as I do, it turns out. Hey ho.

Slattern, I also think it is a combination of the 2, I wonder if anyone else can think of a 3rd deficiency to add to the list? Or is it just those 2 main issues?

Slatternismymiddlename Wed 12-Sep-12 10:54:57

Hi Twonker, Comrade and Elfycat.

I am fed up putting stuff in my phone because I never look at it apart from sending random texts.

I am hesitant to say what works for me as I only started using it at the end of July. It's too early to say if the habit is set, but here goes......

I read a variety of different tips/hints/plans/organising type stuff on internet. I wrote down in a book the bits that I liked the sound of. From that I created 2 lists - 1. a month list and 2. a week list. My principle is having a list of jobs to do in a particular week (or month) but it doesn't matter when in the week (or month) I do it. I found that both DH and I reacted against daily lists as we didn't get the thing done and felt like a failure on the first day. This other way I can say to DH 'would you vacuum the inside of the sofa, I don't care when you do it, but could you do it sometime in the next 7 days (or month)'. DH doesn't take to lists well but finds this approach less annoying. As long as the job gets done sometime during the week (or month) I don't really care which day it is.

This approach also allows you to have days off. Last week I was off work and had the weekly list pretty much done by Thursday so I had a much freer weekend.

I use the monthly list for bigger jobs that need done less often. My house splits in to 12 areas so I nominated each area to be deep cleaned in a certain month, therefore (in theory) each area will be deep cleaned once a year. (in August it was the dining room and I still don't have it all finished blush). In September it is the conservatory.

Twonker makes an interesting point - what causes the slatternly tendancies -bad time management or lack of motivation??? I think I am a combination of both (but trying to reform)!

Twonker Tue 11-Sep-12 20:36:01

Elfy cat, you are most welcome!

I think I am going to go for the timer business. They are selling cute tomato shaped timers in Aldi, and I think I could do with a nice friendly one.

I have got lots of reminders on my phone, comrade, but I ignore them horribly. Is that what home routines is like?. . They always go off when I'm busy, and then I forget about them. I ignore my phone at the best of times anyway!

Are you currently in china, comrade? If so I am not surprised you are stocking up on lovely things before you go. I love going to our local Chinese supermarket and getting whacky ingredients and beautiful teapots etc. I really lament the passing of Neal street east, the east Asian superstore that used to be in covent garden, and was full of gorgeous things.

Who thinks their main problem with messiness is time management? And who votes for motivation?

elfycat Tue 11-Sep-12 15:39:29

This may be my spiritual home (on Mumsnet). Please may I stay?

My homes have always been messy, sometimes beyond messy into dreadful. When I lived on my own I was happy to have 'stepping stones' of clear space in the bedroom to get to the bed.

When I met DH I spent a 7 hour day sorting out my house and he still thought 'OMG look at all this mess'. Bless him though, as he built me a ton of shelves for my huge book/video collection and we started our life-long love of finding older furniture in need of love; I was a bit short on storage space. Of course all I did was get more stuff and more.

I had to do something when I had my DDs (22mnths and 3.5 years now) or we'd have had no room to fit them in to the house. I have been dipping in and out of 'Flylady'(google it if you like) for about 3 years. It seems a fairly good system for housework/decluttering but I just can't do the whole thing but I've adapted her ideas to make it work for me. If you sign up to the website you'll get almost spammed by emails, but every few days I delete all of them.

The main things that work for me are:

1) Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and only do that time. 'You can do anything for 15 minutes' is one of her things - It gets me up and started.

2) When I need to tidy the house for guests do 10 mins per room and move onto the next. Rather than slog at one room and get it OK and then go into another room to have start again, you tidy the whole house in layers. If you run out of time at least all of the spaces are improved. So kitchen 10 mins, living room 10 mins, dining room 10 mins, kitchen 10 mins, bathroom 10 mins, sit down with tea 10 mins. The last bit is the most important one. Repeat for as many hours as you have.

At least I can see my floors now, well except for the main bedroom.

ComradeJing Tue 11-Sep-12 10:51:01

Hi Twonker and Slattern.

Twonker, I've used home routines for iphone. It's very good but I'm a visual person in that I need to see a reminder in front of me so I usually forgot to check it.

Slattern I'm also the messiest out of my friends and have the most crap. I do think it's easier to be neat with less things but it just shows me how much rubbish I have that I don't need!

Things aren't going so well here although I have done a lot of last minute shopping blush Today I need to finish the spare bedroom which means going through Dh's suits and binning the old ones and then moving things into their right place. Not too much really but lots of running up and down stairs!

Twonker Tue 11-Sep-12 00:49:48

Comrade: good luck with getting ready. I hope it will be exciting for you to have a new start.

Slattern: I need a strong motivation to make a change. It sounds like you are quite focussed on your Xmas aim, and have got some positive influences around you.

I am thinking about getting the organised mom workbook to help me focus on stuff like bills and budgets as well as sorting the house and clearing the attic.

Anyone else tried any organising apps or tools?

I do get fly lady emails which have helped a bit, but there are a number of the habits which I have barriers to!

Hope everyone else is doing well......

Slatternismymiddlename Mon 10-Sep-12 18:15:19

Comrade - your life sounds so much more exotic when you can mention Beijing and Aus in the same post! Hope the sorting is going well, just think of the new start you can have in year new place.

Twonker - I can honestly say that out of my social group I am undoubtedly the messiest. This is a reputation that I am now fed up of having. I have a long way to go!

Traditionally I have always been too tired to get any housework done on a work night, which is in one of the reasons everything builds up, so my new resolution is to do something/anything every night (bar Friday and Saturday obviously wine).

ComradeJing Sun 09-Sep-12 07:03:04

How is everyone going? Our packers are coming in ONE WEEK shock confused

I've had the removal companies come through the house which was good because they've told me what we can't take to Aus (fake DVDs blush, any meds including OTC, any alcohol, food) and given the ayi me extra, unplanned jobs like all shoes have to be clean and mud free.

So today I've GOT to get through the two storage rooms downstairs. All of it came from Beijing 6 months ago and hasn't been touched since. I know that LOTS of it will go into an immediate "bin" pile.

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