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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 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

educatingarti Mon 07-Jan-13 16:41:11

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!!

educatingarti Mon 07-Jan-13 16:42:24

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.

educatingarti Wed 30-Jan-13 15:09:26

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.

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