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I need to sort my house out, properly this time- hints/tips needed!

(18 Posts)
OnTheNingNangNong Mon 06-May-13 14:59:47

I have a really lovely house, when it's clean and tidy, but I can never keep on top of it and I feel horrid when it's like this.

It's not filthy, I try to clean the bathroom 4-5times a week and the downstairs gets hoovered every day when I can but I am just drowning in the mess.

Procrastination is my worst trait and there never seems to be enough time in the day, so I'm usually catching up once the DC's are in bed, leaving me no time to relax.

What can i do with relatively little money to make my life easier to keep the house clean, tidy and comfortable. Flylady just overwhelms me and I crash and burn.

No more excuses now, I want my house back

letseatgrandma Mon 06-May-13 15:11:11

How old are the children-are they at school/nursery at all!

When you look around the house, what's the main problem? Too much clutter? Not enough storage? Holding on to sentimental stuff? Family members not tidying up after themselves?

OnTheNingNangNong Mon 06-May-13 15:16:32

I have a 6 year old (ft school) and a 15 month old, who is at home with me.

I think we have a mix of too much stuff and/sentimental possessions and not enough storage for what we do need to keep- we have few flat walls to have storage against, it's a bit higgildy piggaldy.

My eldest child will help out and sort his room so it's only dusting and floor cleaning I need to do.

Everyone else sort of expects me to sort it... Fair enough with the children really. Thank you for replying.

wendybird77 Mon 06-May-13 17:38:57

Are you planning to move to a bigger house in the nearish future? If not, you probably have too much stuff and you need to get rid / declutter. More storage is really only temporary until you fill it up. You have to break the cycle of stuff to have an 'easy to clean' house. It is as simple as having a place for everything and everything in its place - it is just tricky getting to that stage. Join us on the minimalist thread if you like (we're not really minimalists generally - just trying to get to a better place where we control the stuff, rather than the stuff controlling us). grin

lljkk Mon 06-May-13 17:57:56

Sounds like a decluttering job to me, too.

Restorer Mon 06-May-13 18:06:13

Blimey , i think my house is clean if i do the bathroom and carpets once a week. Are you being too hard on yourself?

Flylady is excellent for declutteriing. A bit cheesy, but it works! I found the book less overwhelming than the website .

The key though is to get rid of stuff rather than trying to organise it

HoneyStepMummy Mon 06-May-13 18:26:42

I don't like Flylady either. It seems really gimmicky to me. For me, being organized means finding simple, not gimmicky, ways of staying on top of things.
It sounds like your issue is more about the amount of stuff you have, not so much about not being able to keep the house clean.
I suggest that you think of this as a two-stage plan:

1) Spend 2 weeks getting the place sorted out
2) Making a plan to stay on top of things once it's sorted

When your 6 year goes to school get cracking!! Start working one room at a time. Instead of just going crazy and moving random stuff around walk through the room with a pad and pen. Break down each drawer, cabinet, etc that needs sorting. I arrange one shelf/drawer at a time. That way even if you can only sort two shelves before your baby needs attention you still have achieved something you can cross off your list.
Be ruthless! Don't hold onto junk or anything you haven't used for 12 months. If you need cheap storage you can cover a carboard box with pretty paper or fabric. A hanging shoe organizer (over the door type) can be used in almost any cupboard to store almost anythingsmile
Try to keep toys in one or two places only. We keep toys in DsS's closet and in a wicker basket in the living room. That's it. We throw out Happy Meal toys before they make it in the house. Involve your 6 year old in sorting through their toys to decide what to give to charity.
Kitchen- if you have lots of loose tupperware match all the lids and containers up. Store them with the lids on. Whatever is loose bin it! I use ziplock bags for storage, they can be used to store almost anything! I also have just two drawers for utilities. One for preparing food (spatulas, whisk etc) and one for serving food. I never let the two get mixed up.
Sticking lables on stuff helps too. Our TV remotes kept getting mixed up until I put lables on them, ie living room, bedroom etc (first world problem, I know). I also put lables inside our clothing drawers, for example DH's jeans, Honey's socks, etc. This makes putting clothes away much easier.
Do you have any space under your beds? If so, you can buy really flat plastic storage containers. This might work for storing your sentimental stuff. Can you put a shelf over a doorway? This is great for storing books and kicknacks without them getting in the way.
Here's just a few ideas but I hope they help!

alienbanana Mon 06-May-13 18:29:01

Get a skip. Nothing like having a giant skip outside your front door to motivate you into decluttering.

alienbanana Mon 06-May-13 18:31:19

And when you start sorting things out do one drawer, or one shelf, or one cupboard at a time. Small bits once a day, and little bits of the house start to look organised.

OnTheNingNangNong Mon 06-May-13 21:49:23

Thank you for the helpful posts, I feel more motivated to make a start.

I'm not planning on moving until I've paid offtthe mortgage- in 25 years and we have a big enough house so we probably do have more tat than I think. I will avoid more storage like the plague!

I love the two step plan, sounds nice and simple, I'll have to make a mental note of it to remind me what I'm doing.

Restorer Our house gets filthy really easily and the carpets show up every bit of crud that falls onto it. I'm quite harsh with myself, but I really hate having dirt about especially as DS2 is at the age where he's on the floor all the time.

I will take small steps to sort it out, sorry for the lengthy post and thank you all again!

I do find it difficult to get rid of toys from my eldest, as my youngest is coming to the age where he could start using it, so our attic room has quite a few toys, as well as his outgrown clothes.

We have a divan bed, but we can only use two drawers as the others are blocked by the bedside tables and it would involve pulling the bed out, so I'm hoping to not store too much in there.

I have a huge bookcase in the playroom, which is mostly filled with DH's books, but he won't get rid of any, in case he wants to read them in future- I think I'll gradually take some away, so hopefully he won't notice!

BackforGood Mon 06-May-13 22:05:25

I'd say - focus at first on areas that you have to walk past / through every day. On Friday I spent about 15mins clearing a spot on our landing which has become a bit of a dumping ground. Everytime I've walked past it this weekend, I've caught myself smiling, and "noticing" how nice and tidy it looks. OTOH, I've spent about 6hrs tidying the study over the last 2 days, and it still doesn't look much neater (lots of paperwork sorting, and I know I've done a lot as I've got bags of shredding and paper recycling) but it's just kind of depressed me that it doesn't really look any different, so all seems a wasted effort IYSWIM.

Startail Mon 06-May-13 22:15:22

blocked divan draws are the perfect place for out grown toys and clothes waiting for DS2 to grew into them. I store long term stuff in DD2s and bedding in the ones I can get to. Our divan has small draws which you can use.

Hover and clean less and de clutter more. No idea when DH last hovered and the world hasn't ended.

BoffinMum Wed 08-May-13 00:33:36

There are cleaning schedules in my eBook if that helps. It's called Austerity Housekeeping and it's free on Amazon for 48 hours from tomorrow lunchtime.

educatingarti Wed 08-May-13 14:47:31

I'd second joining us on the minimalist thread - it really helps you know how to organise stuff and what to get rid of without pressure!

OnTheNingNangNong Thu 09-May-13 15:12:26

Thank you for all the advice!

In the past few days I've started decluttering, I've sorted the huge pile or receipts and paperwork that was in the kitchen, sorted through all my cookery books and freed up a whole base unit. blush

My wedding bits are together in a lovely box. I'm going to store my wedding dress in one of the divan drawers as husband doesn't want me to sell it (I would prefer the money!).

I'll download the Austerity housekeeping book and look at the minimalist thread. smile

BoffinMum Thu 09-May-13 15:31:52

There's more on the Austerity Housekeeping blog as well, most of the basics are in the earlier posts.

Austerity Housekeeping

OnTheNingNangNong Thu 09-May-13 16:13:21

Thanks BoffinMum I'll check it out

HoneyStepMummy Thu 09-May-13 19:15:22

Really glad it's coming along NingNang! Thanks for the update. You are absolutely right in holding onto DS's old boys for the baby. Did you get some acid free tissue paper to store your wedding dress in?
I'm going to have to check out the Austerity blog too- thanks for sharing!

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