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HELP ME! I have the bedroom of a teenager...

(14 Posts)
MerlotSchmerlot Mon 25-Mar-13 19:56:23

I'm a long term lurker and occasional poster who would appreciate the wisdom of Mumsnetters to help me deal with the state of my bedroom.

Basically, it is worse than any teenage bedroom EVER.

In my defence it's got like this because of me trying to solve our problems with mess in the rest of the house.

Before we had the kids we were terrible - washing up not done till the following evening when we needed to cook, living room covered in piles of newspapers, towels and random clothes (our bathroom is downstairs). Obviously we would tidy up if we had people coming over but mostly we lived in a shit tip.

I think it got so bad because growing up my mum did everything and my dad did nothing so I never wanted to end up like them. Couldn't make DH be house proud so I disengaged from the whole thing. He would probably argue that I'm messier than him, but I would say me not wanting to be doing chores while he was chilling on the sofa was definitely a factor.

After the kids came along (now 6 and 2) we got sorted - there was no way I could live like that if I was going to be at home all day. I dabbled in flylady, decluttered and I now have vague cleaning routines which I stick to some of the time.

But the casualty has been our bedroom. Anything I don't know what to do with or don't have time to sort out ends up here. It means the rest of the house stays nice but our bedroom is grim.

There are four big boxes of random paperwork, piles of magazines, carrier bags of kids clothes and other random stuff that I need to ebay, a massive bag of packaging for posting stuff I've ebayed, more things that could probably go on freecycle, a whole chest of drawers full of random stuff we no longer use?

My desk is in here so there are random piles of work, a massive pile of clean washing and odd socks, sports kit, kids toys that need fixing or new batteries, a kitchen cabinet that needs to be built and fitted, a light fitting that we can't put up till we've painted the kitchen etc etc.


And to compound the problem, the main time I could deal with it (when my two-year-old and my mindee are both asleep) I can't because the mindee sleeps in a travel cot in my bedroom.

I'm a childminder two days per week and I run my own business three days per week, and also tend to do a few hours work at the weekend, so I don't have loads of free time, but I need to deal with this as I'm starting to feel a bit desperate about it.

Please help me!

AdoraBell Mon 25-Mar-13 20:53:05

I agree with the depressing part of it and not wanting To do the chores while DP chills.

Try starting with a list, I know it may seem futile but you could do this while mindee sleeps. Maybe sort the DC's clothes first, get ríd of things that are no good and hang up the good bits. You could bring a bag out when mindee goes for a Náp and sort in the kitchen/lounge. Aim To finish a bag before starting on something else. Importante paper work could go in ring binders, is there space in the kitchen or anywhere other than the bedroom ?

If you can spare an hour then get lot's done, if not aim for 10/15 mins and concentrate on removing anything unwanted first. Could you aford To get new bedding, or a nice throw, might make you feel moré like getting the clutter out, worked for anyway.

snowballinashoebox Mon 25-Mar-13 21:31:33

you have just described my bedroom.
I am going to tackle a bit at a time starting with all the stuff waiting to be ebayed and just tale it to the charity shop.

cleangreens Mon 25-Mar-13 21:34:17

My house! Took 3 bags to the charity shop this morning and a few things have made it on to ebay. It does feel like a mammoth task but if you start chipping away then it sort of snowballs and you want to keep on clearing (she says).

BlissfullyIgnorant Mon 25-Mar-13 21:35:46

You have a number of different options on how to approach this...
1. Start with paperwork, follow that up with other stuff for binning/donating to charity shop. eBay is great if you have the time, but it sounds like right now you don't. You could put all the eBay stuff into a few boxes and save it for another time.
2. Go room by room. The advantage is that it sounds like you're already well on the way with that. The disadvantage is that you might have things in, say, your bedroom that belong in study or dining room and you might feel like you're chasing your tail.
3. Buy a book like 'Organise Now' by Jennifer Ford Berry and follow the step by step instructions, but that takes a year as its a 52 week plan and you sound like you've had it up to the eyeballs already, but how much will another year matter if you're working through it methodically?
4. Other ways you may have already tried/heard about.

At the mo, we're trying to org ourselves to getting our house on the market and we have a folder with a to-do list for each room. This includes freshening up the decor, replacing/repairing, etc. DD is working on her room right now - she's been really brave (11yo) and has made some massive decisions on getting rid of things and deciding if they should be binned or sent to charity shop. She's done brilliantly and I've followed her lead (even when it meant getting rid of clothes that still fit, books that are still good and toys that are unused but not eBay-able like novelty key rings, soft toys, etc.) and I have worked really hard to stop myself from convincing her to keep stuff in case she needs it/regrets dumping it. Its a lesson in life, after all. DH is next and DS will follow.

As for eBay - get GarageSale and pre-plan/photo/log everything so as soon as the free listing weekend hits you can shove it all in there at once. Do be careful with templates though - they can catch you out and list things with the wrong description. The benefit of loading all your listings at the same time is that they all end together so all the sold stuff goes to the mail and all the unsold can get dropped off at the charity shop together, if you choose not to relist.

To keep on top of the humdrum stuff print out a schedule and pin it in a prominent place; laundry on Friday, ironing on Saturday, clean bathrooms/loos on Tuesdays, other rooms on Sunday morning, etc - whatever suits your lifestyle. Plan a week's worth of meals at once and list your menu and get as much as you can delivered. That will save money AND time.

Back to the dreaded paperwork: scan everything and save it in files on your computer. Save everything in date order starting with the year, followed by month as a number and the date, eg, 2013-01-23 so everything is easy to find if you need it. Make sure you have your comp files in decent order according to what you have (maybe utility accounts, letters to school, letters from doc, etc). You could periodically go through and delete things as some stuff doesn't need to be saved for a long time, like phone bills older than 6 months or utility bills for more than 18 months (good to keep an eye on usage). Keep the most recent hard copy of utility bills in a small ring binder, replacing as the new one comes in - check out Staples for some nice Martha Stewart stuff - sometimes you might need one as a form of ID.

Just a few tips based on things I find helpful - remember its your lifestyle so things have to suit you. It may be that some of the above is useful or you might find none of it works, but it has to be worth a try? It all looks pretty labour intensive but in practice it isn't, especially when you get into the swing of things.
Good luck!

BlissfullyIgnorant Mon 25-Mar-13 21:37:02

Oh, and be realistic - is your lifestyle more important than a bunch of old mags? Is the space more valuable than the things filling it?

Tommychoochoo Mon 25-Mar-13 23:23:38

This is my bedroomgrin

I also lived in a mess before having dc. After 3ds were born we had massive declutter and daily cleaning routines and now I'm quite house proud..except my bedroom which is a dumping ground for everything that doesn't have a home. Watching this post to get ideas, thanks opsmile

PigletJohn Tue 26-Mar-13 00:03:58

I have been trying those bif plastic storage crates with lids. You start by chucking things in - stuff to read (magazines); stuff to do (bills); stuff to file; stuff that'll come in handy one day; stuff to put away.

The stuff to do, take the box away, and do it.

The stuff to read, if you don't take it out and read it, next time you look, you'll realise you can chuck it. Same with the stuff that'll come in handy.

PigletJohn Tue 26-Mar-13 00:09:45



MerlotSchmerlot Wed 27-Mar-13 14:06:58

Thanks for the replies - it's really good to hear I'm not the only one grin

For what it's worth, since I posted I've resolved that all clean clothes will go straight from the airer to the relevant drawers (except for DH's stuff, which is currently sitting in the red plastic sledge in our bedroom because he hasn't put it away).

So at least the main clothes pile hasn't got any bigger!

Blissfully, thanks for your really detailed advice.
Adorabell, I may well write a list as I'm quite good at that sort of thing.

If anyone wants to join me on my quest to have a normal bedroom, then please feel free. I was thinking of giving myself a deadline of the end of May as there's absolutely no way I can put up with it all for another year!

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 28-Mar-13 00:26:05

Merlot - in case you don't know, it's free listing weekend this weekend on ebay... so why don't you pick 1 bag of stuff and get it on this weekend?

<Motivational whoop-whoop!>

Startail Thu 28-Mar-13 00:56:18

When you've sorted yours you can come and do mine. It's a bit tidier than yours, but I've still got Christmas decoration, kids shoes that don't fit, clothes clean and dirty and half built shelves.

MinimalistMommi Thu 28-Mar-13 17:21:37

Blissfully I totally agree with you! Space is more important to me than storing stuff I do not use.

OP, I got in the same mess as you, I had a huge wardrobe of stuff I was meaning to eBay, it sa there not ebayed for three years! I eventually charity shopped it all in one go. If you don't desperately need money, I think you state of mind is more important and being able to go to bed in a clean and clear room will feel so much better, so charity shop it!

Ghostsgowoooh Thu 28-Mar-13 20:39:58

oh I'm so relieved to find other peoples bedrooms are the same as mine. Mine is the dumping ground for the whole house. If something doesnt have a home it ends up in my room and I've got piles of clothes that wont go into any of the drawers, bags of shoes and clothes waiting to go to the charity shop but as I don't have a car atm I cant get them there. I've got boxes of books under the bed, craft stuff you name it I have it.

The floor is clean and tidy but there isn't much of it! grin

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