where do i start

(104 Posts)
jesstheworstmum Mon 07-Jan-13 09:22:51

i just need to get this all out. i need to know where to start.
im a single mum and im in a mess. especially in my house
so much so that when i had to have a paramedic in my house recently they reported me to social services cos my house is a tip sad((
social services just wrote me a letter telling me to get family to help but i dont have any family local
i had a poor upbringing and i just feel like i dont know how to run a house
this morning my son was late for school cos i hadnt dried his clothes in time and i had no dishes clean etc
i know im awful
but where do i start
can anyone help ?

freakazoidroid Mon 07-Jan-13 09:25:42

I find it easier to tackle things when I write a list of what needs to be done. So maybe try that with simple things first like making sure the laundry is ok and the dishes are clean
I also think if you have a proper sort out and get rid of stuff u just don't need or use . It will make you feel better .

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 09:29:43

Today you make sure things are ready for tomorrow. Clean uniform/clothes, pots etc. always try to be one day ahead at least. Then set a timer for 15 mins and gather everything into bags/boxes from the first room you want to sort out. Have a cupola then go through them, put away/throw/washing pile. Have some lunch them clean. One room done. Tomorrow do another room.

ILoveTIFFANY Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:26

Hey, at least it was washed!! Not dry but you'd washed it... So don't beat yourself up over that one

Could you start with the dishes? Clear the sink... Then go through all that needs washing.... Dry and put away

Put another load of clothes on to wash

DizzyPurple Mon 07-Jan-13 09:44:14

Hi. Try and look around and see if there are obvious places to start. Piles of rubbish to chuck out, dirty cups etc around the house. Start a little at a time and you'll see a difference. Tidy the kitchen. I find it annoys me more than anywhere else if the kitchen is messy! And in a way it's an easier place to start as generally most things have a place to go to. You could try looking at flylady.net for some good organisational ideas. I look at it a lot just not all that good at putting it into practice! Try sorting an area for just 15 minutes (use a timer) it does make you more efficient doing it against the clock. Now i'm off to take my own advice. Good luck!

Lollybrolly Mon 07-Jan-13 09:45:03

Start by making a list of stuff that needs to be done EVERY day. Stuff like making sure the DC have clean clothes for school. washing up dirty dishes at least once every day, quick clean and wipe of sinks/bleach down the loo, whizzz the vacume around a room or 2 every day etc.

Its a good idea to check the uniform when they come home from school and if dinner is down the front you know tomorrow morning they need a clean jumper or whatever. Lay the uniform out the night before, perhaps when DC are brushing teeth for bed etc. I dont always wash a jumper if it has a splash of baked bean sauce on the front, especially if its been worn just once. I will just use a clean damp cloth and sponge off the mark - making sure I air it to the radiator to dry etc.

Then make a list of stuff that needs to be done once a week (and allocate a day for certain tasks) this maybe alternate bed linen changes - change beds once a fortnight but one week change yours and the next week the DCs - this way you wont be sunk under with loads of wet bedding to dry. Once a week the kitchen and bathroom need a thorough deep clean etc etc.

This will work well once you are back ontop of things to keep a routine but in the first instance you may need to just decide that today/tomorrow/Wednesday or whenever you will attempt to get the kitchen back to normal. You may not manage it all in one day and thats fine but make a start. Start by tackling a room at a time by going in with a rubbish bag and chucking anything that lying around that cant be kept because its rubbish, out of date, broken no longer useable etc. You will be surprised at how much this may clear. Then make a pile of stuff to cleaned/washed. A pile of stuff that lives in other places around the home. Then start on the cupboards and drawers. Just pick 1 or 2 to start with, chuck any rubbish out, wipe the cupboards clean and then decide what will love in there. Once you have nice new sparkly cupboards you have somewhere nice and clean to put the other stuff once its been washed up. DONT PANIC - if halfway through it looks worse than you started. Just set a realistic target - that by school pick up/3pm etc you want a small clean space to prepare tea and the bag of rubbish out the door. Thats fine - if you get more done on day 1 BONUS!!! If not thats fine - you have made some progress. Get up the next day and carry on. Put the radio on before you start and sing along as you go. Housewoek can be dull and boring but I find having some mucic and radio bnter going on helps spur me on.

Attempt one room at a time and dont expect change over night.

Hope this helps.

Startail Mon 07-Jan-13 09:47:50

Start with anything obviously dangerous, junk on stairs, dead food, overflowing bins.

Then think where do you dry laundry, if it's a big radiator clear the space round it.

As lovesbeing says you need to be ready for tomorrow.

So sink in a state you can wash up and a space to dry clothes (and yes that's very hard at this time of year).

Then before your DS gets home make sure you have a place for him to put his coat, bag, school shoes and uniform and make him use it.

My DDs are horrors for kicking off their school shoes in ridiculous places.

Even children too young to "help" can be taught not to add to the problem.

Hanging up coats, emptying lunch boxes, rinsing drinks bottles. Little things reduce the morning panic.

Starting is the hardest bit- Good luck.

MN216 Mon 07-Jan-13 09:49:30

Have Social Services offered any practical help if there is no family help available? How old are your DCs? Depending on local situation/DCs ages, you may be able to get a Homestart volunteer - their role is not to clean etc but they can help with suggesting ways of getting organised/setting a routine if that is your main need.

MN216 Mon 07-Jan-13 09:50:54

Sorry, meant to say that there is some really good practical advice above from posters and you are not the "worst mum" - you recognise there is a problem and want to address it, which is the first, and often the hardest, step.

Flisspaps Mon 07-Jan-13 09:56:24

A good place to set your lists up is the HomeRoutines app. You can set up the same basic jobs each day (wash up after breakfast, empty washing machine) and specific jobs for each day (I do a room a day) - Monday I change bedding and tidy/vacuum the bedrooms, tomorrow I'll tidy the hallway, Wednesday the bathroom and utility...

It resets your jobs each night so you have a fresh list in the morning, and it's on your phone and PC so you're not writing and losing endless lists.

There might be some good tips on these threads from last year - they've made a huge difference to me:

This and this

You'd be welcome on this thread

A lot of people on it follow routines from a website called fly lady, but each day the thread links to the appropriate bit of fly lady so you don't have to wade all through the fly lady site.

Lots of people post list of things they aim to do that day or say the things they have achieved and we encourage each other!

Hope to see you there!!

ps - you are not awful or the worst Mum ever!

If you were you wouldn't even be washing your ds's uniform or asking for help here!

Lollybrolly Wed 09-Jan-13 10:30:12

Hiya, How are you getting on?

jesstheworstmum Tue 29-Jan-13 15:12:47

hey everyone
thanks so much for all your help last time it really gave me motivation to organise a bit but i cant maintain it
im in a mess again
whats wrong with me
ive never got everything i need ready for my son for school etc and i feel so guilty

SlatternismyMiddlename Wed 30-Jan-13 12:55:48

How are you feeling today Jess? It's very easy to say but try not to feel overwhelmed. Small steps, every little thing you do counts.

Try not to look at the mess as a whole as it is too daunting, break it down in your mind into chunks, for example - empty the bin in each room. - collect cups and plates from each room and take to kitchen. - wash dishes. - put all dirty clothes in laundry basket. - put a wash on.

Hi Jess
Try not to feel overwhelmed!
What about deciding on the three most important things to do daily and for one week, just make sure you do those and don't worry about anything else. Then the next week, add in something else. I know it seems like that won't be enough, but it will slowly but surely add up. This way you have more chance of maintaining it.

Also do pop in on us on the thread I linked to previously. Just come to chat if you want. We encourage each other by saying things we have achieved and more people are really welcome!

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 30-Jan-13 16:24:14

Do you have a bunch of stuff cluttering up your home? Do you have a difficult time throwing things out?

alemci Wed 30-Jan-13 16:35:18

Hi Jess

so sorry about your situation. Agree with the above. Do the kitchen or your living room. Don't try to do everything. My house gets messy but my kitchen and front room are tidy.

Even if you don't wash the pots straight away, put some of them in to soak.

Could the kids change when they come in and then you can check uniforms. Do make the kids help you if possible (mine don't much but yours may be younger and more helpful).

Booyhoo Wed 30-Jan-13 17:55:37

jess i know how you feel. i go through highs and lows (depression) and when i'm low my housework takes a hit and i can be the one rushing round in teh morning looking for clean socks and washing a bowl and a spoon so ds can have breakfats. it is a horrible feeling isnt it?

for me i really really treasure that feeling of going to bed feeling secure that everything needed for getting out to school is ready so at least even if the house is a tip, dses wont be late.

what i try to do every evening is what i call level 1:
1) wash at least enough dishes (after dinner) to have clean ones for breakfast.
2) put 1 wash on
3) hang that wash straightaway once finished in the hotpress/airing cupboard with dehumidifier. (school items and 1 set of underwear each go nearest to the dehumidifier so will be dry in morning)
4) check dses' bags for homework folder and put in water and apple (he gets school dinners)
5) check that there are 3 coats, hats, scarves and gloves in the cupboard
6) check that tehre are 3 pairs of shoes at the bottom of teh stairs

that way at least if i get nothing else done, i know the boys will get to school fed and in clean uniforms.

once you have yourself into a routine of getting that stuff organised you can start to tackle bigger stuff that i call level 2:

ds2 goes to school for 2.5 hours each day and i use that childfree time to

1) wash breakfast dishes and wipe counters
2) put another wash in
3) hang the wash
4) quick tidy of living room (throw toys into cupboard if any are about)
5) whizz round with hoover and mop downstairs

it mightnt seem like a lot to do in 2 hours but when i get that done i feel happy and there is no pressure on me for the rest of the day.

level 3 is stuff that i dont consider necessary to do daily but it helps to tackle it bit by bit (over the week) to bring the house back to a level i am comfortable with. it's things like:

strip the beds
hoover upstairs
tidy the bedrooms
declutter any messy spots that i've been ignoring

but really i think if you are managing level 1 for the time being you are doing well so focus on that.

i really really wish you good luck. it is so hard to get back on top of things.

LovesGSD Wed 30-Jan-13 19:10:17

hiya Jess, here's what happens in my house grin washing-I have 2 washing baskets outside my DC's bedroom, one for clothes, one for towels above them I have a rota of what washes I'm doing when (mon-whites/darks, tues-towels etc) I don't have a tumble drier so each dc has their own stand in their room, that way when it's dry the clothes get folded straight in the drawers. After dinner I make sure that before everyone leaves the kitchen the dishes are done, lunches are sorted for next day etc sometimes if I'm feeling really organised I'll put out the breakfast cereal and bowls lol. Also before the DC's go to bed they take up anything which is downstairs that doesn't belong there and make sure the bags are ready for next day. One tip I got on here was while the adverts are on do something, whether it be sorting thru junk, picking up toys etc it really does make a differencesmile.

Booyhoo Fri 01-Feb-13 15:07:19

i'm bumpingg this trhead because i think there is lots of great advice here and it might be use to others in similar situations.

jess how are you getting on? dont worry if you're having days where you get nothing done, no-one is on top form every day and to expect that is to set yourself up to fail. i got downstairs all tidied and cleaned between wednesday and yesterday but nothing done today. i will hang a wash later though and for me that's enough to keep me on top of things. i feel happy aslong as downstairs is presentable.

jesstheworstmum Sat 02-Feb-13 13:16:19

youre all so lovely ! thank you for all your help ! im trying to concentrate on getting the basics done ... stuff for tomorrow and im managing some days ! i feel so much better going to bed and waking up when i do so need to try harder to do that everyday .... a friend came round yesterday evening so i had a mad couple hours and house looks a wee bit better
im going to check out that other thread cos this encouragement really helps thank sooooo much i really mean it

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 22:11:16

I didn't see you'd posted this earlier in the month, or I would have tried to help earlier, but here are a couple of links that you might find helpful. If you print them off and tick off each task while you are learning the routines, it might help.

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Morning routine

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 22:16:03

I also wanted to add that I think it's great you are asking for advice and help, and that this is bound to mean it gets sorted. It's just a question of training yourself in new habits. I am sure you can do this. smile

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 23:11:08

thanks for those lists Boff they are a great guide to keeping on top of things.

BoffinMum Sun 03-Feb-13 08:56:17


SlatternismyMiddlename Mon 04-Feb-13 19:54:07

How are things going Jess?

jesstheworstmum Sat 16-Feb-13 10:47:45

thanks guys for checking in on me y'all are so sweet

my doctor has advised i try to get more support so i wonder if anyone (even few peopl) would be willing to mentor me ??

just keep in touch.. give me advice.. kick me up the ass ?? i know its a lot to ask ?? ......

SlatternismyMiddlename Sat 16-Feb-13 13:49:39

Of course! Tell us what you need.

jesstheworstmum Sat 16-Feb-13 15:48:59

im not even sure ?! swap email or text or something ? to kick me up the butt and knock some common sense into me about running my home etc ??

SlatternismyMiddlename Sat 16-Feb-13 18:36:27

If you want a few people to help the best place is probably on here so you aren't getting cross advice/help/instructions/hand holding.

If you think it's a good idea you could post what things you need to get done and what you would like to get done for the next day (or week) and we could check in with you and see how you are getting on (poke you with a big stick).

Any other ideas?

SlatternismyMiddlename Sat 16-Feb-13 18:38:32

Can I just add - I have very low standards. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing grin

Trazzletoes Sat 16-Feb-13 18:43:54

((Jess)) housework is a bloody nightmare, isn't it?! I really feel your pain, but the fact that you are asking for help is great. It really is all about baby steps.

MissPricklePants Sat 16-Feb-13 18:49:14

<waves> I'm a single mum too and finally on top of housework. It can be done but I lack motivation (depression can be a bitch!). These are things that I do to keep on top of things
- organise my work things and dd's nursery bag/outfit and put it out the night before.
- Put dirty washing straight in the machine and when its full use a colour catcher in the wash!
- Fold dd's vests with pants and a pair of socks in the middle so she always has some clean and dry.
- Clean bathroom whilst dd is in the bath!

I vac up every other day downstairs, and hoover upstairs once a week. I have sorted all our clothes out and have system (tops in 1 drawer, trousers in another etc) so takes no time to put them away and don't have to think about what to wear. I have several cheap bookshelves in the house for my huge book collection and one in the living room with dvds on it and some of dd's toys in little baskets so its all kept tidy. It has taken me ages to get to this point but pm me if you want to chat, I know it can be hard. Hope you are ok.

SlatternismyMiddlename Sun 17-Feb-13 10:06:13

What is the priority today Jess?

jesstheworstmum Sun 17-Feb-13 10:23:45

i really dunno ! whole place is a ming pit
dishes i guess sad i dunno ! just wana go back to bed

CabbageLooking Sun 17-Feb-13 10:28:44

Jess just reading your thread and wanted to reassure you, you're not alone! I'm hopeless at housework and have been reading with interest for some useful routines, etc. My house is usually ok but certainly not up to in-law standards and I'd really like to get it up to scratch. It wasn't a big deal before but now I have a 7mth old I really need to get on top of things. Hope you manage to get the dishes done (on the FLY lady website she recommends starting with cleaning the sink which really does leave you feeling surprisingly satisfied!)

Anyway, best of luck. x

namchan Sun 17-Feb-13 10:32:30

Could you maybe clean the kitchen and put a wash on? If I do that first thing I find the day goes more smoothly.

SlatternismyMiddlename Sun 17-Feb-13 11:44:13

I second namchan, do the dishes immediately around the kitchen. Put a wash on, make sure school uniform is in it. Then go around house collecting random lying about clothes and put in laundry basket and whilst on your travels collect up cups and other crockery lying about, put these by the sink.

If you feel up to it do a second sink of dishes and sort out a second wash ready to go in washing machine.

jesstheworstmum Sun 17-Feb-13 11:49:57

right im going to go and do more dishes ! wish me luck ! might have to attempt to dry some of the first ones as no space ! :/

SlatternismyMiddlename Sun 17-Feb-13 12:40:01

Good luck!!!!!! Once you have the dishes done give the countertop a wipe.

If the first washing load is done, hang it up or tumble. Put a second one on.

SlatternismyMiddlename Mon 18-Feb-13 08:04:39

How are you this morning Jess? Are you on half term this week?

HotBurrito1 Mon 18-Feb-13 23:11:27

Hi Jess. I'm naturally very untidy and have learned over a long time that all of my stuff needs a home if I'm to be able to find it. These days I mostly stay on top of the mess, but when I need to do a big clean up I get inspired by the before and afters on this site

There's lots of 'good habits' tips on there too to keep on top of things in the long term.
You can do it.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Feb-13 23:36:28

hey jess!

glad you came back to this. i agree with others, keep this thread going for your support so we can all sing from the same hymnsheet WRT what you need to do.

and yes to whoever said depression is a bitch. it really does account for so much of the things wrong in my life.

good for you cracking on with teh dishes. you know you dont have to do all the dishes on one go you know? even just do 10 things and leave them to dry. i really find though that once you start it's easier to keep going.

i tackled my dcs' bedroom yesterday and i really am amazed at how much i got done in just a few hours. i've realised that things dont actually take as much time physically as you think they might. 15 minutes mightn't sound like much time to get anything done but you would really surprise your self if you did 4 15 minutes sessions a day.

keep going. i'm starting to feel so much better about things. i have managed to get all the rooms in the house apart from my bedroom cleared and cleaned. it is a really achievement fro me.

SlatternismyMiddlename Tue 19-Feb-13 10:09:38

The 15 minute thing is fantastic. I also agree about knowing how long it actually takes to do something. I consistently put off cleaning the bathroom as it is a 'big' job. I timed myself once, it takes 10 -15 mins. Why do I keep putting it off?

Jess, if this thread can show you just one thing - you are most definitley not alone. We all struggle at different times.

Hope today is a better day.

Booyhoo Tue 19-Feb-13 12:32:20

yep. bathroom is easy peasy even though it mightn't look like it when standing at the door. even if you just take a box and sweep all bottles and potions off the surfaces into it so you have clear surfaces to clean then grab a flash wipe and have a quick go over of basin, bath and toilet. my bathroom is small so i use a flash wipe to give the floor a quick go over aswell after a wee sweep with the small brush and dustpan. saves having to boil the kettle and get the mop and bucket out every time.

make jobs as simple as you can and you will find things so much easier.

also, tackle one type of 'thing' at a time. for example if the living room is chaos you will be over whelmed at the idea of 'cleaning the whole living room' but if you decided that all you wanted to achieve for now was to lift all dirty dishes out of the living room and bring them to the kitchen then that is far easier to get started and as i said earlier, it's easier to keep going onto something else once you are already on your feet and doing it. it's getting onto your feet is the hardest bit so start with an easy job that wont make you just want to stay sitting.

i also get the dcs involved. so i will say ok ds1 you grab any washing you can see, ds2 you get a plastic bag and put any rubbish into it and i'll clear the dishes. within literally 5 minutes of us all doing that the living room looks completely different. (yes we are that messy! blush)

jesstheworstmum Sun 24-Feb-13 21:35:41

hey everyone
iwent awayto my moms this week for half term
myhouse is a shit tip sad

FaceCake Sun 24-Feb-13 22:03:14

Jess you could be me! I stayed away for half term, came home today to realise I've lost my handle on things and need a kick up the backside. There is something heart breaking about walking in to a messy room. Tomorrow morning I plan on attacking my living room as its covered in piles of clean washing and toys.

What are you going to start with?

jesstheworstmum Mon 25-Feb-13 06:49:58

back to work to day so dunno when will sort the mess! gotta try and start after work i guess !

jesstheworstmum Wed 27-Feb-13 13:37:42

well things go from bad to effing worse
child protection worker came round yday
someones done an anonymous call about the state of my house endangering my son
god knows
what do i do
gotta tidy i guess
aparently my clutter means im an awful mum

jesstheworstmum Sat 09-Mar-13 12:33:03

ss are closing the case as ive made a start on the mess and my boy is happy and healthy

LemonBreeland Mon 11-Mar-13 14:57:15

Just come across your thread Jess. I'm shocked that ss have offered so little help. An acquaintance of mine had a shocking house and ss helped clean and tidy and even got a skip for them.

I'm glad things are going better for you and that ss are leaving you and your son alone.

Do you need any more help in keeping going?

jesstheworstmum Mon 11-Mar-13 18:16:28

I would love any support help or kicks up the butts anyone can give smile the social worker told me they used to have a Christian group that helped and would come in and blitz the place for you but they no longer do and I asked about financial help to get a skip too but they didn't think that would be possible sad( useless
Seems like they just wanna come and point out the problems not help with solutions !

BiBiBroccoli Mon 11-Mar-13 18:25:08

Whereabouts do you live Jess? If you told us the general area maybe there is a local mumsnetter who might be able to come and give you a hand?

SlatternismyMiddlename Mon 11-Mar-13 19:42:39

Glad things are looking better for you Jess. If you keep coming back here you will get support and butt kicking

jesstheworstmum Mon 11-Mar-13 21:21:20

Thanks guys I live in Berkshire

LemonBreeland Tue 12-Mar-13 20:26:17

jess have you tried writing lists of things to do each day and cross them off as they get done. It doesn't have to be big things, or even many things.

I write lists like below

wash dishes
put washing on
tumble drying
vaccuum living room
sweep kitchen floor

These are typical examples for me of everyday things that need doing and it helps me keep on top of things.

jesstheworstmum Thu 14-Mar-13 13:47:29

I sometimes try to write lists but I often abandon them halfway thru or forget to look at them !!

cakesaregood Thu 14-Mar-13 14:01:52

Hi Jess,

You're making a good start by asking for help.

Mumsnet has changed my housekeeping by miles. Little and often, and something is better than nothing...

Lol at lists. I always lose them, or am scared that someone will laugh at them. Actually I've started writing lists for the dcs, they love ticking things off. Also they know how much mummy is trying to do while they are whinging at me.

Keep going...

Hi Jess.
I've been reading your posts and you're doing so well to stick with it. keep up the good work. You are obviously a good mum because you want the best for your son. It can be so hard to get started. I've found working around a room clockwise is really helpful. Why don't you let us know what you've got done today. if you list it, it might make you feel better?

cakesaregood Thu 14-Mar-13 14:03:25

And a skip is way too scary... Just pick three things and put them straight in the bin.

(If three is too much, just go for one item.)

jesstheworstmum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:07:40

That three items is a good idea and thanks to everyone for being so kind
Back from work early today and have washed up and put a wash in smile

Well done!

Anything else on the agenda?

jesstheworstmum Thu 14-Mar-13 14:19:29

Just got the one wash out and hung it and put a new one in smile
I'm also really shit at general organising remembering to take stuff with me places give my son stuf for school an remember to do stuff like petrol for the car etc sad

racingheart Thu 14-Mar-13 14:28:50

Hi Jess,

I have a morning routine, an after school one and a bedtime one that helps get the day run smoothly.

Get up and dressed at 7am.
Put a wash load on straightaway. This is a wash load of clothes needed for the next day, not the same day.
Feed any animals and make a cup of tea or coffee for yourself.
Get breakfast and packed lunches ready. Put away all food you use as soon as you have finished with it.
Then get DC up. Get them dressed and feed them.
Get school bags ready and get food out of freezer for dinner that night.

School run. Don't hang around and gossip - you lose momentum. You can do that when things are in better order.

Come home and turn the radio on or put your favourite music on. Sort breakfast dishes straightaway - wash dishes and put away, wipe kitchen surfaces. (If you work, then do this before you leave the house. Keep breakfast really simple: one bowl of cereal and juice each or toast and milk each, so there's not lots to prepare.)

The laundry wash should be ready by now, so hang it up to dry. If your radiators are already covered in clothes, then sweep them all up in wash basket or pile them on the sofa, hang up the wet stuff and then straightaway fold the dry stuff, sorting it as you fold it, into piles of what belongs to who.
By then it's about 10 am.

Have a break now and do what you like until after school.

Have another routine set up when they get back from school.
Empty school bags and clean out packed lunch boxes. Give DC a snack at table, not on the way home. This is a sneaky way to get them to sit down and remember stuff they need to tell you, so you avoid them saying, 'Oh it's assembly today and I need to be a dinosaur - are you coming?' as you walk out the door in the morning. grin

Get DC to hang up their coats, put shoes away and give them that pile of laundry you sorted this morning, so they start to take responsibility for putting their own clean stuff away. Tell them to put it in their room.
Most DC want some screen time or time out to play with friends straight after school. I use that time to cook tea.

While it's cooking have a 5 minute tidy of all main surfaces and a 5-10 minute hoover.

Keep tea simple so there aren't lots of pans, and clear it up straight away afterwards.

Then final routine is bedtime. Get DC in bath and clean bathroom while they're in there. Wipe surfaces, polish mirror and taps, chuck out old shampoo bottles etc, quick scrub of loo (flylady tip - much nicer to clean loo for 10 seconds every day than to have to really clean it after weeks of neglect!)

After bath, get them to tidy rooms for 5 mins, no more. Just ask them to do one job for now. E.g. please put all your clothes in the wash basket or all your toys in the toy basket - that way they know what to do, and when 5 mins is up, praise the effort and leave it there. 5 mins a day will get it sorted in the end.

Once they are in bed, stick another wash on, then watch tv or have a bath while its on. Hang it up to dry before bed. When TV is on, jump up every time the ads come on and tidy up until they end. It's only a couple of minutes at a time, but if you just tidy one surface or clear up one set of things, it's like magic.

If you do this every day, your house will be straight in no time and you still have the day to your self to do other stuff.

racing, that sounds like a great strategy you've got there! I like the snack at table idea to get info!

Jess, have you got enough storage solutions? like a flexitub for DSs toys? its amazing the difference it has made to my living room, being able to chuck DDs crap toys in a big bucket in the corner!

racingheart Thu 14-Mar-13 15:56:50

Thanks goodjam. I am born disorganised, and like the OP come from a home that was very untidy, so I didn't learn organisation from my mum. Everything I know is picked up from or adapted from Flylady. I like her because she understands disorganised people. We need different strategies from the ones that domestic goddesses use. If I don't do exactly the same thing each day i'll forget and not do it at all.
OP, it's understandable that you are desperate for help, but get started. You'll feel; fantastic if you do it all yourself.
Fill a bag of rubbish a day and just put it outside. Or fill a bag with old stuff and take it to a charity shop near work. One a day if you can. You'll soon see the difference.

I agree, a good declutter does wonders for making you feel better. the best tip I can give you is BE RUTHLESS! Was it fly lady that says 3 bags:1 for keeping, 1 for chucking and 1 for charity?

jesstheworstmum Thu 14-Mar-13 19:01:33

I have one small wheelie bin for two weeks landfill so it really hampers my decluttering !!

Do you drive? is there a tip near you?
or can you ring the council and see if they'll do a collection?
or ask your neighbours if they have room in their bins for some of your stuff?

jesstheworstmum Thu 14-Mar-13 19:53:32

Yeah I need to stop being lazy and going to the tip sad

Not lazy sweetie, just overwhelmed. It's understandable. You don't need to perform miracles.
Why not make it your goal to fill at least 3 bags for the dump by next week. When you have a chance next week, take them to the dump. They normally have clothes and shoes banks there so that saves you a trip to the charity shop!
What do you think is the worst room in your house? The one that you feel needs the most work, the one that frustrates you because it doesn't seem possible.
and which is the best, that needs the least work?

cakesaregood Thu 14-Mar-13 21:37:01

Clothes banks are excellent - they recycle rags as well as 'good stuff' and there's noone there to judge your waste!

And they're open 24/7. No early closing etc etc

jesstheworstmum Fri 15-Mar-13 17:10:30

Y'all are just so kind smile

I think you might want to change your username. You're not the worst mum. Maybe just a bit lost at the moment, but it's not impossible to get sorted.
How have you been?

jesstheworstmum Sat 16-Mar-13 17:40:08

I'm doing ok
Took the kid and his friend for a trip out today so have loads to do tomorrow
Seems like I make a step forward but it slips back to a mess so easily why ?????

because you need to keep on top of it. Its harder for you at the moment but when you're sorted it'll be much easier. Just think of it now that you're putting in a bit extra each day. so if you can do 45 mins a day that will be less when you're sorted. x

Coconutty Sat 16-Mar-13 18:22:40

Ooh I wish I lived nearby, I'd be round there with my rubber gloves and a massive bin liner.

You do need to keep on top of it - messy is okay, dirty is not.

Are you American by the way? Being untidy doesnt make you a bad mum,

apatchylass Sat 16-Mar-13 18:59:56

jess, it slips back partly because of your attitude to it (I know this because I had to change my attitude before it got easier.) I used to think 'Oh, here we go again, what's the point, it all gets so messy again all the time.' But now I think 'it'll only take 5 mins to clear the table and lay it for dinner, or to tidy the stuff cluttering the hall. If everything you do is in 2-5 minute chunks, you start to feel fine about doing it. If you know that in 5 mins, your house will look miles better, you feel great. It starts to be a positive thing not a slog.

You can turn it into a game - stick on the kettle and see how much difference you can make to the look of a room before it boils (stick a wash load on, hang up coats and tidy shoes etc.)

And you took your DC out today - that's really important. If you were following flylady, she says Saturday is a day for fun with the family so think of yourself as on schedule!

jesstheworstmum Sun 17-Mar-13 03:29:23

Thanks everyone
I've got a horrible
Cold but I have to really make myself get up in a few hours and sort this place out. Sunday is really
My only
Day to do stuff so i need to get some shit done !

Hi Jess, sorry you're feeling poorly. I hope you feel better soon.
Why don't you give yourself a bit if a break today and instead of going at it all guns blazing, do your daily important jobs, like the washing up, bleaching the loo and making sure DSs uniform is ready for the morning and whatever else he needs for school this week.
Then give yourself 15 minutes in either the worst or best room. Whether that's going round it with a black sack and binning loads or having a general pick up and put away session. At least you'll have done something. If its the worst room, you'll have made a dent, if its the least messy room it'll look loads better after 15 minutes. And try the working round the room clockwise thing, I find it really works for me.

Good luck!

FreakoidOrganisoid Sun 17-Mar-13 10:32:22

Jess I have a horrible cold today too and am having to lie down in between bursts of energy.

I need to
Put wash on
Wash up from breakfast
Help dd with craft project for school tomorrow
Listen to ds read
Dry load of washing
Put another load on
Dry second load
Put both loads away
Cook dinner
Wash up and tidy round before bed.

What do you need to do?

FreakoidOrganisoid Sun 17-Mar-13 10:37:34

(Ive just had a shower and am lying down again a bit dizzy so actually need to start by putting some clothes on.)

jesstheworstmum Sun 17-Mar-13 12:25:19

I need to get a couple if loads of washing done minimum
Do the mountain of dishes
Tidy around
And I guess I could get away with just that :/

FreakoidOrganisoid Sun 17-Mar-13 13:23:52

How are you getting on?
1st load is drying
2nd load washing
School work is done
We've had lunch and I have tidied after
I have hoovered downstairs
Kids are tidying their room

Its lovely and sunny here today so feel guilty for using the dryer instead of hanging it out but I need it done with zero effort today

jesstheworstmum Sun 17-Mar-13 13:26:00

Well done you freakoid smile good job!
I've washed some of the dishes lol and started to hang the first wash ! Laaaaaaaame !

FreakoidOrganisoid Sun 17-Mar-13 13:28:19

It's a start. That's the main thing. Once you cross something off it motivates you to get the next thing done smile

SlatternismyMiddlename Mon 18-Mar-13 09:11:10

Good morning Jess, hope you are feeling good today.

I have posted my list on the spring thread which has continued on from the Autumn slattern thread. I hope to do some damage to the mess today. My DC's are at school and child care so I am on my own.

I intend to embrace the 15 minute blitz then take a break approach.

Hi Jess, how are you today? x

jesstheworstmum Tue 19-Mar-13 12:54:33

Thanks so much for checking in with me guys
Wasn't home much yesterday so didn't get much done but just got home put a load of washing on and put most the dry dishes awaysmile
Will attack something else after my dairy lea on toast smile

SlatternismyMiddlename Tue 19-Mar-13 19:34:37

Mmmmmmm, dairylea on toast, that plus pickled onion monster munch got me through my finals.

You are sounding more positive Jess. Every bit, no matter how small, helps.

RaspberryRuffle Tue 19-Mar-13 23:34:06

Jess, good luck and keep it up. I decided to tackle my house this week, I took so much out to clear it looked like a hurricane had hit! But I will get there and so will you!

Well done Raspberry! it always looks awful when you first start, doesn't it! but so much better when its done.
Well done Jess for getting stuck in when you got home. Are you any closer to doing a tip run?

jesstheworstmum Wed 20-Mar-13 13:58:04

No progress on the tip run in all honesty
Of cold and sinusitis this week so just trying to keep up with rubbish dishes and washing really

Fair enough Jess, at least you're doing something! Hope you feel better soon. thanks

jesstheworstmum Wed 20-Mar-13 20:55:29

Thanks so much good jam smile)

cakesaregood Fri 22-Mar-13 14:59:42

How are things, Jess? Are you feeling any better?

First day of the hols here. Uniforms washed, just need to dry them...

jesstheworstmum Sat 23-Mar-13 14:23:37

Just have a few days when I try an try then it all gets bad again sad I don't know if its cos I've got too much stuff or what but its just too damn hard to keep on top of

Hi Jess.

Don't lose heart, you'll get there. Are there any of DSs toys he doesn't play with anymore? maybe you can go through them when he's at school or in bed so you can throw or charity shop them. Same goes for his clothes (and yours!)

What room would you most like to get sorted?

cakesaregood Sat 23-Mar-13 20:44:13

Agree with good jam, not that I would know how...

I was always told I was untidy, guess what I became! No one ever thought to tell me how to be tidy. MN has really filled that gap!

Hi guys, you can just call me Jam if it's easier. grin

I just wanted to say that I am by no means a naturally tidy person. Our house gets messy and I have to work to keep it tidy. It is not a show home by any stretch of the imagination. but it is clean and homely and that's how I like it.

My philosophy is that it's OK if a few toys are on the floor as long as the floor has been hoovered (which I do once a week)

I used to live in a flat and i only did the washing up when i needed to and i used to hoard all sorts of crap. One day I'd just had enough. I started slowly. Doing the washing up and cleaning the kitchen every day made a huge difference. it made me want to get the other rooms looking as nice. So i got a bin bag for rubbish and a box for the charity shop and i cleared out the spare room. it probably took a couple of weeks because there were days i would look at it and my heart would sink with the amount i had to do. But it got done, sometimes just in 5 minute bursts, sometimes in 30 minutes. But i ended up with an empty spare room which i then painted with some cheap magnolia paint to brighten it up. It made a difference to my thinking, just doing that one small room. So it can be done.

Jess, that's why I've asked you which room you want to do the most. We might be able to help you and even doing one room, or half a room, or a quarter of a room, could give you the motivation to carry on when you see the difference you could make. Failing that, I might have to drive to you with my Black Bin Bag of Doom! wink

Chin up Jess, you can do it. X

jesstheworstmum Sun 24-Mar-13 09:42:05

Thanks jam ;) I guess the lounge
The lounge is better since the social services debacle but there's a corner of doom !
One of my bedrooms I don't even go in its just black bags of crap etc as well

twinklesparkles Sun 24-Mar-13 13:18:33

Hey jess smile how's it going? Hope you don't mind me joining on your thread

Well done on ss, you clearly aren't a bad mum if they are saying your son is fine smile shows you are a good mum

I hate the spare rooms full of junk, I used to have 2 ... I think I just filled them with crap over the years and never emptied them or even went in them until the day I moved out

One of my secrets for urgent declutterings or tidying is the song technique smile the song technique is awesome, this is what you do .. Get yourself a black bag and choose a song, put the song on and for the duration of the song go MENTAL!! Just run around the room grabbing every bit of rubbish or random junk you can find, at the end of the song, go make a cuppa tea and then chuck the bag out smile

Noticed you said you have only 1 wheely bin to last a fortnight, do you have a place outside you can keep the rubbish until the rubbish men show up? This used to be my biggest problem too. Had nowhere to put the rubbish and I didn't drive or have any family/friends that could take me to the rubbish tip. Can you arrange one day where you could load everything up into your car go to the dump and then maybe go for lunch after? Or for a day out? Thatll give you something to look forward to and a way to get rid of rubbish also.

Another thing could be 30 a day challenge, basically same as the song challenge. Just pick up 30 bits of rubbish everyday and chuck out. Even if its just tiny pieces of paper. Every bit counts, so its easy and quick to get to 30 things smile

Hope you are doing ok today, chin up smile smile smile


SlatternismyMiddlename Sun 24-Mar-13 23:01:46

Good luck this week Jess. I think everyone goes through fits and starts of being more organised -I know I certainly do.

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