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Best ways to declutter and clean a whole house

(18 Posts)
BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Sun 30-Nov-14 15:27:15

So I live in a shithole. TBF its not as bad as those you see on programs about hoarding and such, but its certainly far from a showhome. Its not even tidy. There is piles of stuff everywhere.

I want it sorting. I have tried asking DH to help, but he does a bit for a couple of weeks or so then the task of clearing the house gets sidelined again. So its down to me. Also he's not really bothered about the mess as he grew up in a much messier and dirty house than me (I refuse to go upstairs at MILs as it smells so musty up there, I dont think the windows are ever open) so Im assuming that he doesn't really notice it. When he wants to he is really good at cleaning and tidying, but he's just really lazy too. Also he wants to go through all the boxes and bags to make sure, whereas Im tempted to chuck stuff out in bags without even looking as if it was something we need then surely we'd use them?

Ive tried Flylady a couple of times, but never really got anywhere. So Im wondering if maybe I should give her another go or is there a different better way? Maybe I should do a couple of flylady tricks, but not the full program. I did like the control journal aspect, but the shining the sink on a night didn't really go for very long.

There is no timescale I want the house to be nice, but obviously the sooner the better. Do I say right operation de-clutter and then to do it all as quick as possible (say 3/4/5 hours a day) or take a bit at a time (or a room at a time)

We moved in here nearly 3 years ago and I was determined to be different in this house (our last house was much much worse) and have a place for everything and everything in its place, but have yet to achieve this. When we first moved in it was just the dining room that seemed to be cluttered, but the clutter is expanding to the whole house.

I know its a cause of my bad moods and would like to do something about it. I just dont know where to start. I just want a nice clean home where I can invite people in and the DCs can have friends over.

Missqwerty Sun 30-Nov-14 16:11:03

This sounds like me a few weeks ago! What I did was declutter one area at a time. Then I could see that area with fresh eyes and figure out what storage system I needed to make it work. My bathroom for example always ended up cluttered with bottles and the sink always looked grubby. After gutting the room I bought an over door hanger with about 20 clear pockets to organise all my bottles of shampoo etc. I fold all towels on a tall metal shelving unit and on that unit I also have baskets. In one is a micro fibre cloth and every morning and night I clean my teeth last and quickly wipe the sink with it afterwards. Now my bathroom is very near, clean and organised and I no longer feel like people can think I'm a scruffy mare when they pop to toilet!

So the way forward is maybe an hour a day on top of your usual routines and once you have decluttered enough the cleaning feels easy.

I've also got into the habit of before I go upstairs I check if anything needs taking with me, same for downstairs with washing and empty cups etc. It's amazing how this one tip helps!

specialsubject Sun 30-Nov-14 16:23:52

big big big get rid of stuff. And think minimal.

for instance, in the bathroom you need out: soap at sink, soap at bath, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner in shower, toothbrushes, paste. THAT'S ALL.

ONE container of each.

set a target that a bag a day goes OUT of the door and does not return. So if your husband wants to look through them, he's got very little time.

and stop it coming in - set all paper statements to online, all letterbox clutter goes straight in the recycling, kids artwork is admired, photographed and then binned. Stuff like that. No buying of clothes, magazines, books, or anything of which you already have one.

DinoSnores Sun 30-Nov-14 16:55:21

"the shining the sink on a night didn't really go for very long."

I think this is one of the best ideas from Flylady. If you can keep one area clean (the sink or the dining table or beside the kettle), it does start spreading to other areas of the room and then the house.

A big declutter is one thing, but it won't keep the house that way, so you need to add in systems to your daily routine that keep things under control.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Sun 30-Nov-14 18:55:04

I know you're right Dino After all if I had some routine in the first place I might not be in the state I am in now. Maybe I should give Flylady another chance.

ALittleFaith Sun 30-Nov-14 19:02:16

this book is amazing! I've only been doing it a few weeks but it's great! I find I clean as I declutter (dirt hidden by mess!). I will need a proper cleaning routine when I've finished but this to get on top of your life. There's a thread here in good housekeeping too.

BeCool Mon 01-Dec-14 10:28:37

Having a whole house issue can feel really overwhelming and draining. Lots of people are in this situation. It seems to be the natural result of our desire to spend and shop and consume. It can be attacked and changed and many people are doing this.

Come and join us on the Marie Kondo thread - lots of us are turning our houses around using this method (ALittleFaith linked to the book).

here is a link to thread three, but it might be worth reading from the beginning of thread one if you CBA:

BeCool Mon 01-Dec-14 10:31:49

Whist I think routine is useful in part, fact remains that cleaning and tidying and arranging clutter and too much crap is a never ending difficult task.

You probably need to throw out half the stuff in your home. When all your items have a proper place to live and be returned to then cleaning becomes much much easier, and returning your home to a place of calm is a breeze. Any items that doesn't have a proper place to live happily needs to go.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Mon 01-Dec-14 10:47:29

I'm terrified my new house is going to end up with piles of stuff everywhere. In my head it's so much more space so it shouldn't get cluttered with crap, but I fear it's just more space to hoard stuff.

ALittleFaith Mon 01-Dec-14 10:47:30

BeCool is right. I used to spend ages trying to tidy clutter and very little time cleaning. This method will teach you how to declutter for good. I've not long started but already the areas where I started are staying tidy and much easier to clean!

BeCool Mon 01-Dec-14 11:08:21

I'm a 'naturally' messy person. But now, even if I let the flat get into a right messy state it doesn't take long to sort it out. Because every 'untidy' item has a home to return to - and when the items are returned to their home, the place is tidy. And then it is really easy to clean.

BiscuitsAreMyDownfall Mon 01-Dec-14 11:21:42

Thanks for the tips. I will have a look at that book and thread then.

antimatter Mon 01-Dec-14 11:31:15

Hat helped me was that I found someone (she does my cleaning now ) who as I was tidying was cleaning that room as well.

You need to have lots of black bags and boxes so as much stuff as possible go out of the house straight away . Therefore allow time for a visit to charity shop and recycling place.

Be ruthless!!!!!

Eastwickwitch Mon 01-Dec-14 17:42:32

Please just do it. We're moving house very soon and sorting out the stuff has taken 3 days. 90% of it is clutter that we should've thrown out years ago, I really wish we'd be so ruthless over the past few years.

One tip that someone gave me; if you have something of sentimental value that you don't really like or need cushions that my godmother made me just take a photo then chuck them.

WomanScorned Mon 01-Dec-14 17:54:45

Do you have a friend who likes organising?
That's all it took for me to get started. One day, she just said 'let's do this' and we got stuck in to the dining room/table.
Being able to sit and eat together for the first time in months felt great. That was about 4 weeks ago, and It's still tidy, plus I've since done the living room, including finally putting up curtains!
She says she enjoyed doing it, and I believe her, as I enjoy blitzing my Bf's place every now and then, but just get overwhelmed by my own :/

BeCool Mon 01-Dec-14 23:00:53

My transformation, at least the action part if it, was also instigated by a dynamic slightly ocd friend.

Noellefielding Mon 01-Dec-14 23:10:10

Yes the Marie book! It's fabulous, and more doable than any other system.
Shine your sink suits my sister but not me at all.
Marie has sorted people out for years, she knows how most of us work we can trust her!

IsItTeaYoureLookingFor Tue 02-Dec-14 00:36:23

Without sounding weird, If I lived near you I would so love to help you declutter and organise.

Its taken me a good few months to become clutter free. I started in September. I stopped and started a few times because it can get a bit overwhelming and you are forever finding new things to find a place for or you'll need to buy a storage thingy or adaot stuff.

It does take time but dont give up. I would suggest starting on an ' easy' room first to help you stay motivated.

Keep a pen and pad with you because you might find you need to ' action' some things or buy something.

Also bin bin bin everything you don't need,want or have never used in the last year- even if it is in perfect condition. Give away to charity or friends.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you're getting on.

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