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AIBU to ask how you keep on top of things without them getting on top of you?

(29 Posts)
domesticgodawfulmess1 Sat 29-Aug-15 18:17:29

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DawnOfTheDoggers Sat 29-Aug-15 18:23:25

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DawnOfTheDoggers Sat 29-Aug-15 18:25:16

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Kampeki Sat 29-Aug-15 18:25:18

I think dawn is right about the stuff. Our house is full of junk and I find it so overwhelming, I don't even know where to start. sad

987flowers Sat 29-Aug-15 18:26:20

I've made a decision that I'm going to tackle one bit a week. Our house doesn't look too bad but things are hidden. So once children back at school on my day off I'll try and do one extra bit (e.g clean out a draw, try and sell a few bits on Facebook etc) on top of normal housework.

Whether this will work (and I know it will be slow progress) or not time will tell but I'm hoping it will make things a bit better over time.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 29-Aug-15 18:44:19

I have given myself a year to get it sorted...(cleared up enough to start on the diy decorating) 8 months in and you would not know.

the more stuff you have the harder it is to work around. I am trying to get rid of stuff. I can see the difference, but no-one else would know if they walked straight in.

when you have sorted an area... keep it tidy. make sure you do not neglect it or else you will be back to where you started.

DawnOfTheDoggers Sat 29-Aug-15 18:59:31

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APlaceOnTheCouch Sat 29-Aug-15 19:09:06

I found Marie Kondo helped. Flylady didn't work for me it just made me sad every time I caught sight of my sink. With Kondo, I got rid of lots of stuff and learnt the joy of folding (seriously therapeutic).

Also if the DCs are old enough then get them involved in the tidying. It's almost like you're spending time with them; teaching them life skills and getting the house a bit tidier: win/win.

Disclaimer: I am not on top of everything but the parts that I Kondoed about 8 months ago are still Kondoed. And if DH hadn't had an accident and we hadn't set up a new business then I might have been on top of everything.

SurlyCue Sat 29-Aug-15 19:13:29

Well firstly you recognise that this stuff isnt your responsibility alone. There are two adult who chose to have your home and children. Is your husband taking care of his responsibilities in the house?

Secondly, you do little and often and as soon as they need done.

What are the things you are struggling with?

Do you both work FT or what is your general routine?

PennyPants Sat 29-Aug-15 19:18:56

What Dawn said re the clutter. And don't make the mistake of buying extra storage because eventually you will have to sort that out too.
Arrange to something with your Dh and DC everyday or once a week or whatever suits you all, as they are the most important thing and what really matters.

Handsoffmysweets Sat 29-Aug-15 19:22:11

Could you have a few days off work OP to really blitz the whole house? I understand what others are saying with doing a bit at a time, but IMO you don't really get far with that as it will just build in other areas. If you could take some time out without the distraction of DC you might find you can have a really good clear out. You must be ruthless though OP. Black bags at the ready to bin/charity shop anything you don't need or use. Granted I don't work but I run a busy household of DH, DC and a menagerie of pets so I know where you're coming from. For me, it starts with the house. Having a tidy uncluttered space to relax seems to be the backbone for everything else if that makes any sense. Organised home, organised mind and all that. Good luck with your mission OP!

Howaboutthisone Sat 29-Aug-15 19:22:23

Would you mind telling us more about Kondo? OP- I'm in exactly the same situation as you. It's soul destroying at times.

Solo Sat 29-Aug-15 19:22:54

You are not alone OP. I have everything but the man on top of me...

One day it will be done; I just don't know when.

Handsoffmysweets Sat 29-Aug-15 19:31:40

Oh and on the healthy marriage front, a little weekend away every now and then without the DC works wonders. I'll put my fire retardant suit on for this but contrary to popular belief, DHs need a bit of attention sometimes aswell and getting away from the usual household distractions seems to sort that out. If money's tight, a night in a travel lodge would do the same thing I'm sure. Just being together on your own and being reminded why you got together in the first place keeps things fresh (I'm getting a bit Denise Robertson now aren't I).

SurlyCue Sat 29-Aug-15 19:36:24

DHs need a bit of attention sometimes aswell

Everyone does. Its not a DH thing. Time away would be attention for them both from each other.

But can i please shout INVOLVE YOUR DH IN THE SORTING OF ALL THESE ISSUES. They arent your responsibilty alone to sort, he is just as capable of organising a night away as you are.

LobsterQuadrille Sat 29-Aug-15 19:47:31

I keep on top of things with lists. I sometimes get up in the middle of the night to write lists (not very often; I am not that neurotic). Once my outstanding items are set down in writing and numbered, they miraculously lose some of their power. Nothing has actually changed, but my perspective has. I will often then rank them in terms of "as soon as possible", "within a week" and "longer term". Having said that, my situation sounds less complex than many people's as I only have full-time work, house and one 17 year old. There has never been a DH (or at least not since DD was born) so I don't have to factor in someone else. DD does half the housework and all the ironing - I strongly recommend sharing out tasks to all members of the household. She will happily accept a task during every day of the holidays and is more thorough than I am.

It is also very satisfying ticking off boxes.

I also have a weekly/monthly cashflow set up on a spreadsheet with a budgeted savings target against the actual balance. If there is a decent excess we use some of it for a treat. I can't recall if you asked about money or not, but it's been a worry to me in the past (as the only breadwinner) and again, having it in front of me and a monthly budget for bills etc, makes it all seem easier to deal with.

Handsoffmysweets Sat 29-Aug-15 19:57:57

Some great ideas from Lobster re lists OP. There is huge satisfaction in crossing out jobs once you've done them. You'll have it all sorted in no time!

DawnOfTheDoggers Sat 29-Aug-15 19:58:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

APlaceOnTheCouch Sat 29-Aug-15 20:41:43

Would you mind telling us more about Kondo?
Basically rather than working by room, you sort by category as items get scattered across rooms so you're never entirely sure what you have and how many of each item you have unless you bring them all together in the one place.

So you gather together all your clothes (for example) and then ok this may sound mad but actually it does work you lift each item and decide whether it brings you joy. If not then it goes in the pile to give away. Keep only items that bring you joy. Then fold them (Marie Kondo has special folding techniques but there are also videos on youtube) and pack them in a place that makes it easy to put them away.

There are a list of categories to work through and you can also break them down into subsets so eg clothes might be broken down into tops; trousers, etc.

There's a Kondoing thread on here somewhere which is good for pointers and tips. Posters share lovely photos of their tidy cupboards and drawers grin and some before shots of how messy they were before they started!

Handsoffmysweets Sat 29-Aug-15 20:57:45

I found putting the wet towels that they left on the carpets in their beds soon sorted that bit of laziness Dawn! We are not slaves and sometimes these kids don't know they're born!

LeftMyRidingCropInTheMortuary Sat 29-Aug-15 21:17:04

Don't do it one drawer at a time. You'll get nowhere.
Take a week off work and do it all.
Hire a van to take the shit to the tip.
Don't look back.
Put some nice fresh flowers out and open all the windows.
Then keep it that way.

Personally, I take a week to do a big spring clean once a year. It's great fun!

domesticgodawfulmess1 Sat 29-Aug-15 22:46:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MyHusbandIsBatman Sun 30-Aug-15 00:18:11

My lovely DGrandma always told me "don't put things down, put things away". It is a simple tip but has helped me when I remember

LeftMyRidingCropInTheMortuary Sun 30-Aug-15 10:13:42

That's a great quote, Batman!

fedupbutfine Sun 30-Aug-15 11:03:03

Another good tip is don't make piles of stuff to eBay later or give to charity later. It won't happen

I second this. Last summer I cleared out what I considered to be a lot of stuff and I was religious about going through it and deciding what to do with it - in the end, the summer passed me by (I am a teacher so tend to say 'I'll do that in the summer!') and the house was still full. I did get rid of a few things but no where near what I needed to get rid of.

This summer I have been ruthless (and the house still seems full!). I live quite close to the council recycling centre so I guess that makes it easier but I have literally thrown out 20-odd bin bags full of...crap, plus done additional bags for textile recycling and bigger items (old printers, that kind of thing). Most of it has come out of cupboards so the next job is to put the stuff left into the now empty cupboards and hey presto, we might be tidy!

I am untidy by nature and accept that I will never live in a show home but the mess had got me down and I was struggling to work around it. I do think you have to decide you're going to change - I am sat in my living room now looking at the duster left by the TV - it was several days ago that I dusted so I should really have put it away. For me, it's this 'I'll do it later' attitude that causes me problems! Just need to get on top of it!

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