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Help me sort out my house please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(15 Posts)
busymum1 Mon 22-Aug-11 22:18:46

Ok have tried fly lady threads and they just not working for me. How do I declutter a house. I have a house with no storage. No Loft No cellar no cupboard other than the 5 in my kitchen so what the hell do I do with stuff and when you have so much stuff needs sorting where the hell do you start. Not one room is tidy anymore. We seem to be over run with clothes, toys and paperwork. I know I have to be ruthless but my dd has severe anxiety about me even throwing away a piece of paper yet trashes any room/garden she goes in! Thanks for any advice.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 22-Aug-11 22:29:33

I would recommend a step at a time approach.

Is there a time when your dd is not in the house but you are? Can you get someone to take her for a few hours here and there?

Then take one room or one dresser or one cupboard at a time. Arm yourself with lots of boxes or black bags and work your way through. Make a keeping pile, a bin pile, a recycling pile and a charity shop pile etc. Factor in enough time to take each black bag to the appropriate venue immediately (especially before dd sees them). Don't pick up anything and put it down again without deciding a pile for it.

Keep doing this every time you get time without dd in the house. Once you get started it is quite therapeutic.

Even once you have done every room, keep doing it as often as you can and the clutter won't build up again.

If you can, invest in some plastic drawer storage units or similar, depending on your budget and assign a specific drawer for each thing you intend to keep. You may find yourself decluttering again at this stage.

If you don't like flylady you are still very welcome to join our thread. We do a bit of a mix of flylady, lists and general motivation and support. Everyone is doing it their own way really but we keep each other going. It is here

Good luck!

busymum1 Mon 22-Aug-11 22:58:01

Hi Carrotsandcelery thanks for your reply.

It is hard to get time away from dd as she is hard work when out and I child mind full time (70 hour week). Funnily enough I have those plastic drawers for toys but the toys seem to be multiplying whilst I am asleep. My dd's room is worst in house as she just pulls everything out of drawers, cupboards, bookcases etc I tried taking all toys etc out of her room but somehow even if I spend four hours slaving away within ten minutes of her returning it looks like a poltergeist has been in there. This has knock on effect as whilst I am trying to redo her room she is destroying another room.

I know this probably sounds like an excuse but I am at my wits end!!!

I will keep an eye on your thread. Thanks

LesbianMummy1 Tue 23-Aug-11 07:23:18

bumping for morning crowd

homeaway Tue 23-Aug-11 09:34:01

Having had three kids who never wanted to throw anything out( including bits of paper) I developed a strategy. I bought some of those plastic storage boxes with lids on and went throught their toys with them and put all the things that I knew that they did not play with / want anymore and then put them out of sight. When they were not around I gave the toys that they had not missed away to a good cause. I have boxes and boxes of art work up in my loft that we did not get rid of . My plan is to get my friend to take some photos of the really good bits and make a collage of them. I did make some collages of the big bits but I have nowhere to hang them now. The kids are all older teenagers now and they are getting better at realising that they cannot keep everything but now i have piles of school work that has to be kept "just in case" smile. I have created a small memory box for all of them with special things in .
In your case I would start by reducing the number of toys you have that the kids dont use. I would start in one room and work your way around. It helps if you decide that everything has a "home" so things like paperwork live in a lided box file and only live there and not on the kitchen side (in my dreams). If you are really lacking storage then you can use the underbed space as you can buy storage boxes that fit under there. My dd stored her excess books there. I hope this helps.

busymum1 Tue 23-Aug-11 09:45:30

Thanks homeaway unfortunately toys are down to a minimum already the only under bed storage space we have is under ds's bed which is where we keep our Christmas decorations. DD has a mid sleeper but unfortunately the drawers we bought with it just do not fit properly so is probably half of the problem. We tried putting plastic drawers under there with pens paper etc in but true to form all drawers were empty within an hour so that did not work sad I think the biggest issue is finding a home for things as we just don't have space to even put storage. Am going to try and tackle at least one room tonight and see if I can get one up to scratch hopefully once I get into the swing of things it will be easier.

Carrotsandcelery Tue 23-Aug-11 11:25:04

Morning busy - how old is dd? Is she old enough to begin teaching her to tidy up and to get her involved in the declutter?

You could make the pile game I suggested earlier into a game - you pick up the item and discuss it, she puts it in the correct pile. I know it would take way longer but at least she wouldn't be wrecking another room while you were busy. You could still remove the bags of stuff afterwards when she was asleep or something.

Maybe if she had put the effort into tidying she would be less keen to wreck it again <hopeful> If she has to tidy the mess she makes she might reduce the mess after a while.

You could also do some sort of reward chart for her every time she tidies up or allows you to recycle something. I know sticker charts are done a lot but it might motivate her to clear the decks a bit. Make sure the final reward is a trip out rather than something new that will come into the house.

You could also get really ruthless about what you let in the house, at least until you have created some order and figured out some sort of storage system.

Would shelves work? If it was high up maybe she couldn't get at things without you asking her to get something down. That way you could teach her to put away before she gets something else out.

Praise, praise, praise any effort she makes to tidy, get rid of etc. It won't happen overnight but it will eventually.

Keep posting and we can keep trying to motivate and offer suggestions.

homeaway Tue 23-Aug-11 14:03:42

I dont want to sound harsh but it sounds to me that you are going to have to invent a new game for your kids called the tidy up game. To motivate other than sticker charts etc you could just say things like " i bet i can put more toys in the box than you can" . If they are doing puzzles and then want something else, they have to help you tidy up before the next game comes out. They can do this at any age. If you are sure that they are down to bare minimum of toys then you just have to make sure that it becomes a rule that all the toys go to bed in their toy boxes before the kids go to bed. You just have to allow more time in your routine. Be realistic about your targets as when kids are small it is not easy to have a tidy house . For the rest of the house decide on the area that annoys you the most and tackle that . Dont forget you can use the top of cupboards as well. If you really have too much stuff then you could consider renting some storage space to ease the situation. Before you buy anything new think about whether you really need it and where it will go. Some people have a moto that when something new comes in something old goes out.

busymum1 Tue 23-Aug-11 14:05:44

Hi Carrotsandcelery dd is 9 but has sn. She does not respond well to reward charts but loves list making. Sometimes I can get her to help if she has a list e.g. books away then pens then paper etc which is great but other days she is just not prepared to help. Our house has plasterboard walls so can't attach things as they just do not stay have bought a very high book case and the top three shelves look lovely I have made some progress lately as her board games are now on a set of shelves so she knows they must be away. Fingers crossed we have succeeded with that for last six weeks. Just need to find ways to store rest of stuff in her room. If I can win that battle I can win anything. hmm

busymum1 Tue 23-Aug-11 14:09:23

homeaway I have not bought her anything new for well over a year as so fed up of it. Her birthday is by xmas so that is nightmare time and have stopped people buying her lot's of little presents and asked instead for things like money for her bank account or books as we have a little space on bookcases. Ds's room is lovely as he understands tidy up before you get something else out so takes maximum of ten minutes to make that look great.

Carrotsandcelery Tue 23-Aug-11 18:46:00

busymum I am sorry, I didn't realise. That does change things a bit. My ds has mental health problems so I fully appreciate that things which seem simple to some are a lot more difficult when you have to factor in less obvious needs.

I think your first job, for the moment, might be to set yourself achievable goals. Few of us have an immaculate house when we have young children in them. Given your additional challenges and the nature of your house, this becomes a little trickier still. So be realistic about what you can achieve and maintain.

Then just set yourself one job at a time and work away until it is done. You don't have to do it all in one go but just focus on it and basic mainainance housework everywhere else.

Try to get dd on board with a list each time and at least sometimes she will be engaged in what you are doing and not making more work for you elsewhere.

Keep telling us what you have managed to get done and we can try to keep you going. Good luck smile

busymum1 Tue 23-Aug-11 19:00:21

Carrotsandcelery no need to apologise! Have decided today I am going to buy DD a new bed which will be a high sleeper then ds can have the mid sleeper which will create more space as he will keep the underneath tidy. I am hoping that in dd's room I can then move furniture around making more space available for her.

I have also spoken to council today who say if I can get some medical documents together they will consider moving us. Technically they share a room at moment as we have just put a stud wall up. Hopefully we will get a proper three bed that way.

homeaway Wed 24-Aug-11 09:08:23

Sorry busbymum that does make things a lot more difficult for you . You have already done a lot in trying to contain the mess by limiting the toys . Dont be too hard on yourself. Can you close off access to the rooms that you dont want your dd in when you are not there to supervise ? The bed plan sounds like a good one and even better if you can move. In the meantime keep posting . Take care.

Carrotsandcelery Wed 24-Aug-11 13:06:34

How are you getting on today busy?

busymum1 Wed 24-Aug-11 14:18:03

Not going to do any today as hoping to spend fair amount of time at weekend sorting things even if I only achieve one room. Still trying to find a highsleeper suitable as don't want to spend stupid money and only want the frame can't seem to find any quite big enough to go above wardrobe dd has but will keep looking

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