SUMMER HOLIDAYS HOUSE BLITZ!

(185 Posts)
fuzzpig Fri 18-Jul-14 11:04:16

Excuse me for shouting in the title grin

My house is utterly, completely hideous. As in, can't see the floor in the bedroom, no clear surfaces, can't find anything, falling over stuff hideous.

I've never been house proud but it's spiralled further and further as my mental health got worse, and then in 2011 my physical health followed sad

Apart from when I have flare ups of my condition(s) I have just about got used to keeping on top of the two biggest things, washing up and laundry. I am doing those now since DH started FT work a few months ago (he was unemployed due to being injured for a long time and is really struggling to adjust now). He does this on weekends and does the tidying up stuff but TBH it's like trying to bail out the Titanic with an egg cup. POINTLESS.

I seriously, really and truly can't handle this anymore. The mess is making me more ill and I'm totally disgusted that my DCs have to live with it. I just want to cry. Or burn it all (but then I panic at the thought of throwing stuff away).

Anyway. DCs are on summer holidays as of next Friday. I will hopefully be recovered from current virus as I REALLY need to tackle this. But I need to be careful as doing too much will make me more ill. I keep making the mistake of doing too much and then by the time I've gone to work as well, I've messed up the entire week because I've pushed my physical limit too far. I only work 12 hours but it's a very fine, precarious line.

I need some buddies for mutual support and motivation. HELP.

Ragglefrock Fri 18-Jul-14 13:09:08

Hello
I'm in a similar scenario although in ok health at the moment!
Some questions/comments:

Do you have anyone who can help you with this? Grandparents? Sister? Friend? I think that could help.

Will the children be around during the day? Are they able to help or would it be possible to sign them up to a few summer camp type activities to give you time alone?

My aim is to get the kitchen living room and bathroom as nice as possible this week. They are the areas that I spend most of my time and in the (sadly unlikely) event anyone visits then I won't have a panic!

Can you prioritise/plan realistic achievements for each day?

Ragglefrock Fri 18-Jul-14 13:11:58

I have about an hour now when my youngest is asleep. My plan is to:
Clear a small table of junk and tidy it up (table is about a3/a2 size so not huge!)
Wipe down living room windowsill
Clear toys from the floor

fuzzpig Fri 18-Jul-14 14:04:42

Hi raggle!

Nobody around to help really - Dad won't mind the odd trip to the tip/charity shop (we have no car) but that's the limit. 16yo DSD will be here a lot I expect so I could rope her in with the odd thing, I feel bad though as it's not her mess and she's already doing us a huge favour by babysitting for some of my shifts.

DCs will be around, they are 7 and nearly 5. I've looked at a few play schemes but could only really justify the cost as childcare for when I'm working. They have a free place (they get pupil premium) at one on Thursday (technically the first day of the holidays) so hopefully I'll be well enough by then to get a decent start.

Apart from that I'll be mostly doing stuff while they're at home. They're pretty self sufficient in terms of play and don't need entertaining really so I should be able to get on with it with the odd well timed DVD thrown in at fraught moments grin they do join in with tidying when asked - it's just that it doesn't happen often as I'm so crap at it all.

Planning is going to be key I agree but I have to learn from past mistakes and not expect too much of myself each day. I particularly want to make the most of the week we both have off work as DH will be around.

It's so hard to know where to start. It's just STUFF everywhere and most of it doesn't even fit into a category. Most things don't have a rightful place and never have, most cupboards are just stuffed with random shite. There's huge amounts of boxes and bags filled with goodness knows what.

I'll shut up now as I'm both embarrassing and depressing myself blush

Anyway, my priority for the next few days is catching up on laundry as it's built up again with these recent relapses. I think a sensible aim is to get it all cleaned, dried and put away <eyes up clean clothes mountain on stairs> by the time school finishes on Thursday. I can just about manage that while ill as I can do a bit at a time.

combust22 Fri 18-Jul-14 14:11:20

You could hire a skip?Get rid of the random stuff. If it's not of great sentimental value or you haven't used it in a year then it should be ditched. I am moving house in 4 weeks, and being pretty ruthless- I don't want to take a load of crap with me.

betold Fri 18-Jul-14 21:05:36

I'm trying to have just one room where junk accumulates. So anything that doesn't have a proper place but can't be throw away goes there. The idea is that this will mean the other rooms can be clutter free.

Once I've got everywhere else sorted the junk room will be tackled.

I think you should try to be realistic about what you can do and set yourself a time limit. So this week I will clean the kitchen, day 1 spend a fixed amount of time clearing out things that shouldn't live in a kitchen, day 2 throw away out of date tins, day 3 clean the fridge, day 4 the work tops, day 5 the cooker etc etc.

Break it up into manageable chunks and be really proud of what you achieve rather than down about what else needs to be done. thanks

SlatternLovesLots Fri 18-Jul-14 21:56:33

I wanted to add some moral support.

Please remember that anything is better than nothing. Don't bite off more than you can chew especially with your health.

I think that is an excellent idea to concentrate on one thing, your laundry. Once that is done pick the next category that bugs you the most - paperwork/ clearing out the food cupboard/ whatever.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 18-Jul-14 23:03:44

Can I join in OP. Might be a bit hit and miss with my posts though - no health issues just time. I have 3dcs 2 5 and 7 and they create chaos in one room while I tidy another!!
I agree to tackle one small area at a time, not even a room. I always think my house is like one of those tile puzzles where you have to move ten tiles to get the one you want in its place. It is super tidy and clean even, BUY every cupboard is rammed. I have stuff to ebay stuff for car boot stuff stuff stuff. I did consider getting my loft boarded out properly for storage but no, I am going to tackle the cause like you. This weekend I want to do my bedroom but I am only committing to two sets of drawers and two bedside drawers. That should be doable.

PeoniesforMissAnnersley Fri 18-Jul-14 23:04:26

Hey fuzzpig smile what is all the stuff e.g. that's blocking your bedroom floor etc?
I think it might help if you look at what the stuff is and try to categorize it with a view to giving it a place or chucking it out.

I am trying to do this atm, so we're in a lot of chaos as we re-organize but it's been worth it so far, there are now drawers for specific things (electrical cables, chargers, adapters for instance) and when I see one I know instantly it should go there.

Stop beating yourself up, and make sure you get time to relax over the summer as well as clearing brew

appealtakingovermylife Fri 18-Jul-14 23:28:25

Remember, 1 thing at a time!
It's very easy to become overwhelmed by housework and I'm saying that as someone who loves cleaning and am bordering ocd with my house.
I even fold my dirty washing to put in the washing basket but that's another storysmile
I remember seeing this on a plaque in a shop and it stuck in my head-"cleaning the house while kids are growing is like shovelling snow while it's still snowing"
Good lucksmile

PolkadotRosa Sat 19-Jul-14 07:07:58

Hey fuzzpig (waves)
Here for support too! You can do this. It won't be easy but will be well worth it. I agree with peonies re the importance of a place for everything. It really does make a difference and makes tidying up so much faster and, well not even like tidying as you're just putting things back, if you see what I mean.

Start having a think about what you think should live where, where it would be most useful to you and your family. Move it to the room you'd like it to be in, and put it away if you can. As you do this you'll start seeing what things go together and what you have a lot of, plus what you don't have storage for. You'll start coming across boxes and tins etc (if you're anything like me!) and thinking.. "Ooh that will do for my..." and before you know it things have a 'home' I bet it feels like you can't see the wood for the trees at the mo, but like everyone above has said bit by bit you'll get there.

My bedroom is a state too at the minute, so that's my job for today.
Why don't you start with your bedroom too? Even if you just start by getting stuff off the floor. It'll probably make you feel better too if your sleeping space is clearer. Make your bed, Grab a bin bag and stick a wash load on. I'll do the same... catch up soon!

littone Sat 19-Jul-14 07:46:14

I plan on doing the same, we need a major clear out before we can put our house up for sale. I have a 7 year old, 4 year old and 3 month old. I am planning on spending 1 hour per day as Kids should be able to play nicely for that length of time I hope! We be starting with the kitchen floor today. Have been so busy the past few weeks it has become a dumping ground. Good luck everyone. X

fuzzpig Sat 19-Jul-14 07:48:36

I bet it feels like you can't see the wood for the trees at the mo

Yep that's exactly it. The type of stuff - I don't even know. Toys, books, electrical stuff, papers, everything. It's like a huge mental block (OCD/hoarding tendencies...), this is going to be a massive wrench to sort out.

A skip is a good idea. I'll look into prices to see if it's affordable.

Moving is also an incentive for us - we are hoping to move in the next year or two and there is no way I can take all this crap with us.

You're all right, everything needs a place. This is going to be like starting from scratch - virtually nothing has a place! The only things that have a place are clothes and kitchen stuff really (and even that is all a mess apart from the DCs' clothes).

While I'm still ill I'm going to get planning. Maybe write a list of all the types of things that need storing and a list/map of all the storage spaces? I'll post it when I'm done.

fuzzpig Sat 19-Jul-14 07:49:17

Forgot to say thanks for all replies! thanks

IamMummyhearmeROAR Sat 19-Jul-14 09:15:29

I'm joining!! I have 12 child free days starting Monday and I am planning to gut the place. My dds rooms are the biggest problems- the clothes are out of hand as are the stuffed toys. I need to paint the downstairs loo too. Looking forward to getting started!

Try your local council for a skip, we hired one from ours for less than £90.

PolkadotRosa Sat 19-Jul-14 09:39:41

Great idea fuzz it might help to think in terms of keeping all items the same in one place eg all books to live on bookshelves in lounge only, shoes stored together by front door (out of season/occasion shoes stored in wardrobes) all towels and bedding in one place, you get the idea!

Think where you tend to use stuff the most eg I tend to brush my DD's hair in the lounge before school, so I keep her brush, hair accessories and clips in a little make up bag in the lamp table drawer. Things like that.
Do you have an airing cupboard, under stair cubby hole and where do the children have most of their toys/tend to play with them?

Whilst your not well at the minute, maybe you could get all your papers/letters together and sit down with your shredder/rubbish bag to get rid of any paperwork rubbish.

Preciousbane Sat 19-Jul-14 09:39:46

If you don't have enough stuff for a skip, see if any local firms offer the giant bags that are sort of half the size of skips to fill and take away.

We have decided to sort out all the stuff in our conservatory. Almost all of it is in cupboards so doesn't look too bad but its stuff we don't need.

I think when you start to think about the house as a whole and what needs doing it becomes so mentally exhausting it gets left. Just try and concentrate on a part of a room at a time. Last week I went through all DS clothes, four carrier bags to the charity shop ensued due to rapid growth. It's not much but its done.

I have health problems, I used to have a home that was pretty much show home standard, those standards have slipped and I have more time that I have ever had in my entire adult life before!

I'm in smile
Definitely agree with those who say to tackle it in very small chunks, a table here, a shelf there. Also, in the words of flylady, it didn't get messy in a day, it won't get sorted in a day either thanks
My house is okish on first glance, but cupboards are rammed, things are shoved under sofas/beds, nothing is organised, argh! Have two DC under 5 and a very disorganised DH, which doesn't help. Planning to get some sorting done this holiday, DH is taking the DC camping for 4 days in August, so planning to get quite a bit done then at least during my breaks from watching DVDs and eating chocolate

redcaryellowcar Sat 19-Jul-14 09:45:58

I agree little mini projects are the way forward, you might find sorting drawers/ cupboards a good place to start, if you can get to them? As then you'll have somewhere to put stuff once sorted.
I also have boxes or bags which are labelled for rubbish, recycling, charity shop, and 'to sell' so anything you aren't keeping can get out of the pile. I often have a small bag for shredding (old bank statements, receipts etc) and another box for paperwork, bills bank statements etc which once filled i later sort out.
Must add my house is far from immaculate and stuff does just pile up, i think slow and steady is the way forward.

Mumof3xox Sat 19-Jul-14 09:46:19

Can I join?

3 dc under 7
Too many toys
Clutter clutter clutter

Inspire me please!

KiaOraOAotearoa Sat 19-Jul-14 10:11:17

10-15 min chuncks is the answer. Put a timer on and see what you can tidy away in 15 min. Then take a break. A bit later on another 10 or 15 min.

Never ever empty a whole cupboard. Ever!!! If you must, do one shelf at a time.

Tackling the clothes: you obviously have too many! Take 3 bags: one for the wash, one for the charity and one fir the bin.

Kids can join in the fun too. Ask them to put 10 items away before the timer rings/song finishes etc. Set them a challenge: find 15 things that belong to the kitchen and take them to the kitchen. Find 20 books and put them by the book case. Whoever finishes first gets to choose the next challenge.

Preciousbane Sat 19-Jul-14 10:15:09

I love the idea of a timer and am using that when I can be bothered to get out of bed!

Mumof3xox Sat 19-Jul-14 10:18:19

Right dd asleep so going to do 15 mins upstairs! Wish me luck!

harrietspy Sat 19-Jul-14 10:54:12

Hello Fuzzpig. I was wondering how you were getting on. Be kind to yourself. So hard to get through this when you're not well. thanks

I think letting go of stuff might be a good place to start. You can't find a place for something if there's no space to put it away... I've got rid of maybe at least half of our stuff and it makes it so much easier to keep things tidy. I've either freecycled or charity shopped it. You say your dad might do a charity shop run, so could you start with the aim of filling one bin bag with one category of thing, eg clothes?

The unfuck your habitat app/site is a useful resource for people who's energy fluctuates.

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