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If you are a reformed messy person ...

(26 Posts)
fandemic Sat 24-Oct-20 14:35:28

... do you have any advice and/or hacks for someone who is sick of the mess at home? Honestly, I would love to have a well-ordered, tidy home to relax in but when I look around I just feel overwhelmed and have a 'where do I start?' feeling about it. I am not short of storage areas, I suppose, but I leave stuff out because I am at a loss when I think about how to categorise it, what to keep, where to put stuff.

I think one problem is that it's all so bound up with anxiety. My sister is just as messy, and often when we're at each other's houses we'll just easily go through each other's mess piles (like, the pile of receipts, letters, leaflets and stuff that accumulates on the kitchen counters) while drinking tea and tidy it up in no time and with no stress. But when it's our own stuff, it's somehow so difficult.

I would love to be one of those people who just seem to be naturally tidy and whose homes are always well ordered!

OP’s posts: |
Whenwillow Sat 24-Oct-20 14:39:13

Have a look at Flylady, or Be More With Less, or Becoming Minimalist @fandemic
I have found those and others that are similar an absolute lifesaver.
I used to be completely overwhelmed and unable to know where to start, and now my home is manageable and I really enjoy being in it.
Good luck flowers
Ps they are easily Googleable

RosieLemonade Sat 24-Oct-20 16:10:06

If it takes less that five minutes do it straight away. Make your bed as soon as you get up. Laundry straight away. I used to be so so messy. Crazy messy. But now my house is very clean and tidy and I do feel so much better for it.

burglarbettybaby Sat 24-Oct-20 16:13:00

I am terrible for losing stuff (nail scissors for example when I need one)
It worth decluttering in a big way

I've not got a label maker. Bought proper storage and cleared out as much as I can. Now I have 7 rolls of sellotape but all in the one spot.. I just bought one previously than search grin

OneRingToRuleThemAll Sat 24-Oct-20 16:13:28

Watch marie kondo or one of the de cluttering shows on Netflix then get stuck in. Most people own way too much stuff. Clear out the clutter then it'll be easy to keep the place tidy.

Conair Sat 24-Oct-20 16:16:38

I declutter on a weekly basis and it really is life changing!
I have four kids ( 2 very young) and it's the only way I can manage to keep any sort of standard at all.
House isn't perfect but it's not dirty as getting rid of stuff makes it much easier to clean.

StanfordPines Sat 24-Oct-20 16:21:00

Routine. I do certain jobs on certain days.
Although I know it’s not something everyone can do I found getting a cleaner a huge help. It forces me to tidy everything on a Thursday night because she’s coming on a Friday.

Rainbowshine Sat 24-Oct-20 16:21:43

Why not do a reciprocal arrangement with your sister if that helps? Maybe not everything but at least that surface clutter to start.

Where to store what? Near where you’d use it, so bedding in storage upstairs, as an example.

I found going around finding one type of thing around the entire house and sorting through what was worth keeping and then looking at where it should go was better. I had winter jumpers and fleeces across 3 bedrooms, piled them together and realised half of them I’d replaced as they’d worn, took old ones straight to the recycling point. Then I could see that the remainder could fit into a drawer under the bed.

It gets easier to do once you start making inroads. You have to keep at it though and discipline yourself to keep on top of it so a tidying time each day or week helps me to do that.

DinosaurOfFire Sat 24-Oct-20 16:23:33

A slob comes clean has a blog which is useful, I am not reformed but her methods and flyladys help me to keep on top of things. The main things I have taken away from them is- do something everyday, even if its a tiny amount, and see your house as a container that can only hold a certain amount of 'stuff'. And storing things where they are used, not where you think they 'should' live.

WitchesSpelleas Sat 24-Oct-20 16:24:08

I am still nowhere near as tidy as I'd like to be but I am much improved. My top tip is tidy as you go. If you use something, put it back in its place straight away afterwards. That might sound obvious, but if you were not brought up to do that, it's something you have to train yourself to do. Once you start forcing yourself to do it, it gradually becomes a good habit.

Another tip is, try to cure your 'clutter blindness'. Look round your house in an analytical way - are little piles of junk building up here and there? Have you stopped seeing them? Nip them in the bud.

Whatyoucanandcantdo Sat 24-Oct-20 16:24:55

I'm this person and don't want to be

dolphinpose Sat 24-Oct-20 16:35:55

I am.
My favourite hacks all come from Flylady.
Best one is: 5 minute room rescue. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just tidy up as much as you can. Do the big mess first: hang up coats and bags, pair shoes, toss out old newspapers and flyers, dump washing up in the dishwasher and dirty laundry in the hamper. You will be amazed how much better a room looks after just five minutes and it inspires you to do the same in another room.

Another good flylady tip is: come into a messy room with three big bags or boxes. One is for chucking, one is for giving away, one is for stuff that doesn;t belong in that room and needs putting away. Set a timer for 15 mins and just sort stuff into these three boxes. When the timer sounds, put the chuck away bag in the outside bin, the give away bag in the car boot to take to the charity shop (don't leave the bag inside your house) and then either sort the 'lives somewhere else' box or ask everyone to pick up their stuff from it and put it away.

A third Flylady tip is 27-thing-fling. Go into a room and chuck out 27 things: flyers, old letters from school that have been dealt with, crumpled kids' drawings (you're allowed to throw out the bad ones grin), anything broken you'll never get around to fixing, anything that has been hanging around 'in case' for years.Stuff you were given but hate like ugly ornaments, books you won't read, scented candles you dislike the smell of etc. Stop when you get to 27 things. If you sorted into chuck and give away, do same as before. If not, just bin them. No guilt. You can give stuff to charity when you are clutter free. For now, it's OK to chuck stuff out - good for your mental health.

Flylady also has '15 minutes to company arriving' cleaning. Imagine people are turning up in 15 mins. Do your 5 minute room rescue then a quick hoover or mop of the visible parts of the floor, quick wipe of surfaces and plump up of cushions. It looks so much better in such a short time. It gives you the will to do it again.

reallifegetsintheway2 Sat 24-Oct-20 16:48:51

I've been watching The home edit on netflix - to get inspired. They are good - but a bit intense. I couldn't sustain that level of neatness.
Kind of place marking for inspiration.

joeysapple Sat 24-Oct-20 16:56:01

I changed when I read the Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. I keep on top of everything now using the Organised Mum Method.

It's really worth the effort, life is so much less stressful. I hadn't realised how much I carried the weight of being messy and not knowing how to change it.

WitchesSpelleas Sat 24-Oct-20 17:11:58


Love those tips!

I've remembered another thing that helped me - taking the time to put all my fiction books in alphabetical order (I have masses of books) and being firm about the books I was never going to read, or read again, and giving them to charity. I used to have books lying round in all sorts of places but now I'm motivated to put them back in the right place on the shelves (and it's much easier to find them).

I arranged my non-fiction books by category which was similarly beneficial.

It took about 3 solid days to do during which I was living amongst stacks of books all over the floor but was well worth it.

BadDucks Sat 24-Oct-20 17:14:36

The only reason I’m tidy now is because I got rid of 50% of everything we owned. Less stuff means less mess and when things do get untidy it’s very quick to sort out.

It’s very liberating getting rid of a load of stuff you never really needed in the first place!

messydoodah1 Sat 24-Oct-20 17:16:20

Partially reformed very messy person. I started to embrace the messiness but in an organised way so everything has a place usually in a basket or a box in a cupboard or drawer. Surfaces and floors kept clear so it’s easy to clean.
For example my daughters pjs in a drawer would be put away neatly folded and then messed up that night so I put a box one side that contains pj tops that also acts as divider, and pj bottoms on the other side of box in the drawer, not in the box so it doesn’t matter if they are messy as they are still easy to find.
All receipts in the receipts mug (a plastic mug) for a bit and then thrown away. Pens are not allowed in the receipts mug, pens go in the downstairs pens mug 😬. If going through an extra messy phase, all mess put in a blue ikea bag at night that I sort every so often. Clean clothes to be ironed kept in blue ikea bags in a cupboard, 1 for adults, 1 or 2 for children so easy to find that one t shirt 😬.3 washing baskets, 1 dark, 1 light and 1 basket for delicates/clothes that require more thought. Charity shop box (which is an old cardboard box in a cupboard where outgrown clothes etc get put in). I also find those blue ikea bags with zips handy for winter clothes. On the rare occasion I empty an ikea bag or two they can then be folded and put in the ikea bag section (where plastic bags/ reuseable bags are, mostly in a homemade plastic bag holder) Most places in my house have a name now 😁 I also do bullet journaling occasionally - the messy persons version.

MillieEpple Sat 24-Oct-20 17:16:27

My main tidying tip is if its like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle to get it all away you wont put stuff away again and when you get one thing out, loads of stuff comes out at the same time.
So you need less stuff and to arrange stuff so its easy to get in and out.

MrsGatsby99 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:28:48

Ooh, these are great tips.

This video helped me to get rid of the guilt and then buy less (I am not a minimalist though!) It is The Minimal Mom - loads of good ideas on her channel. Good luck. daffodil

burglarbettybaby Sun 25-Oct-20 14:04:21

I have had a long weekend of decluttering due to this thread. Feels great and just needs a good floor wash and will chill for the rest of the week (am on hols) and with restrictions cannot go far.

fandemic Sun 25-Oct-20 16:06:36

Thank you all, these comments are inspiring me!

I looked through fly lady's tips. I haven't quite started with that method (yet) but I ended up adopting another technique instead - any time I go into a room, I have to pick up a few things that shouldn't be there and put them away. It's such a small demand that it feels like it gets over the 'where do I start' feeling. Modest as it is, I actually feel quite empowered by it - I feel like the house is something I can get under control. It's also occurred to me that I have a number of habits that I do every day without fail and which are non-negotiable - emptying the dishwasher, changing the cat litter, brushing my teeth, etc. I don't love doing them but I just get on with them. So I'm thinking that maybe I could work in a few cleaning/tidying habits to do daily, to get things under control.

OP’s posts: |
fandemic Wed 28-Oct-20 17:28:07

Wanted to drop in for an update ... my 'every time i go into a room, put something away' strategy has evolved, so that in addition I'm getting into the habit of looking around for quick tidying jobs I can do while I'm waiting for things, like when the kettle is boiling. I'm finding that the 'baby steps' approach is really helpful because it makes it feel manageable ... before, it felt overwhelming, so I wouldn't even contemplate tiny tasks because I just didn't want to think about it at all. And more excitingly, this afternoon I cleared out a corner of my dining room that had been full of boxes and junk from when we moved in, 14 months ago! It's still early days, but it's feeling like something within my control ...

OP’s posts: |
Nefbachmorf Thu 29-Oct-20 16:35:32

fandemic, thanks for commenting on my thread.

I'll follow your progress here, what you've written definitely resonates with me.

Whenwillow Thu 29-Oct-20 16:41:30

Well done! It gets easier, I promise!

QuentinWinters Thu 29-Oct-20 16:47:21

Well done! I'm still a work in progress, just started by doing one small thing at a time religiously until it became a habit. Started by doing dishes/loading dishwasher with ALL dirty stuff every night.
Over the last couple of years I've noticed myself being much tidier. Bed gets made every day. Kitchen is clean every night including sleeping floor etc. I'm proud of myself!
Great tips on here though.

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