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Please help me stay on track this afternoon!

(28 Posts)
Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 12:45:50

My house is a tip and I feel completely overwhelmed by it. Don't know if I'm depressed or just lazy, but I really struggle to make headway with sorting things out, despite the best of intentions - I start and then it just seems like too big a mountain to climb.

I have today off work and really want to get lots done. The mess is really getting me down and I don't want to live like this. Right now I feel positive, but I know I'll start to slide later on, so I need someone to stand over me and crack the whip.

Part of the problem is not knowing where to start, and not knowing what to do with stuff that doesn't have a home - I pick things up, move them and then shuffle the mess to another part of the house. I'm not very good at throwing stuff away. sad

I've made a list to try and break the task down into smaller jobs, and I am going to try my best. Does anyone want to join me, or at least help me to stay on track?

SouthDownsSunshine Tue 29-Mar-16 12:47:11

That's a lot to take on in a day. Break it into bits. Can you identify a few surfaces to clear and start there?

NoCapes Tue 29-Mar-16 12:47:14

I'm here! I'll keep telling you off every time you get distracted grin

What is on your list?

mogloveseggs Tue 29-Mar-16 12:52:27

I'll help you if you help me grin
Did upstairs and now have sat down with is lethal. Downstairs needs doing right through and I've got to entertain a 4 year old too. Got 3 hours till I pick dd up.
If it helps this morning I made the beds, put clothes in the wash/wardrobe, hoovered and dusted, opened the curtains (I think dd is a vampire grin), cleaned the bathroom and put a wash on. I always start upstairs and work down as I could never leave downstairs a tip as people might see it so I have to carry on.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 13:00:14

I have loads and loads of tasks on my list that I won't realistically achieve today, just stuff that needs doing. I'm sort of doing it in no particular order - just picking off whatever looks most manageable.

I think my main priorities today are to declutter various areas in my bedroom (worst room in the house as everything gets dumped here!) and a big cupboard downstairs. I have lots of sentimental items from my mum and dad's house when they moved, none of which have a proper home. I also have loads and loads of paperwork from a part-time Masters that I have been doing, which is also homeless and taking up loads of space. I need to decide what to do with that. And lots of general clutter that I don't know what to do with.

I'd also like to spend a bit of time in dd's room - she is usually very tidy but has got into a big mess recently as a result of an over-ambitious project to clear stuff out (which involved pulling everything out of drawers and cupboards to "sort". Think she has become a bit overwhelmed by it as well, and I don't want her to follow in my footsteps! She is normally brilliant at helping me with stuff, but she is out today and I'd like to surprise her when she gets back later. So I think I'll start there and see how I get on.

Thanks for the support - it will make a big difference knowing that I have to report back!

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 13:01:20

That sounds like a fair deal, mog. What are you planning to do next?

mogloveseggs Tue 29-Mar-16 13:04:39

Good luck. Remember to reward yourself with a brew and a biscuit after each task grin

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 13:05:02

OK, I'm going to set a timer to see what I can get done in dd's room in the next 30 mins, and will report back after that! smile

mogloveseggs Tue 29-Mar-16 13:05:48

Got to sweep the stairs. Blooming hoover hose doesn't work anymore so dust pan and brush it is sad

Cagliostro Tue 29-Mar-16 13:08:27

Same here! I've got new pupils coming tomorrow and the living room is, erm... not good. Despite the fact that we've been doing loads of decluttering and organising. It's such a slow task! But I'm trying to remind myself that even 5 mins at a time is progress

Voteforpedr0 Tue 29-Mar-16 13:13:25

Definitely start slowly so 2 tasks per day, always clean as you go so you never have that big clean to do. For examale dishes done straight away load in the machine when you wake, things like that. I find that when I set my self unrealistic goals they don't get done and the thought just daunts me and since I've been giving myself one task per day I just get stuck right in.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 13:40:49

Thanks all for the support. I've just spent the last half hour in dd's bedroom, and feel like I've made some progress. It's still a tip though, so I'm going to focus in here for another half hour and then move on to my room.

DD will still have to do a lot of sorting out, but at least she'll have a nice surprise when she gets back!smile

Cagliostro Tue 29-Mar-16 13:50:50

Well done BB! star

So far I've only stuck a wash on. I've got around to washing things like blankets and flags to put away though, which is progress as normally I'm so caught up with the every day clothes washing. That's made a massive difference to the house as those things were everywhere!

Not sure what to do now.

mogloveseggs Tue 29-Mar-16 13:57:05

That's great! I've done the stairs and hallway. Just the living room to do and pots to put away. There's a pile of ironing and a pile of paperwork that need sorting but it will have to wait till tomorrow as the kettle has just packed up so a trip to asda is needed.

PoohBearsHole Tue 29-Mar-16 14:05:49

Have you got any plastic boxes? You know the storage see through types?

I would put ALL things related to the Masters in that then at least if NOT sorted its all in one place, if it has a lid even better!

Then get as many hangers out of the wardrobe that don't have things on and fill them (far easier than actually trying to bloody fold stuff!)
Make sure pants, socks, tights etc all folded together to put in drawers. Then any make up/ beauty products again another plastic box.

I spend alot of time filling plastic boxes grin but it does help sometimes.

Also all non necessary junk mail that hangs around recycle. Do this also with all % vouchers through the post. Unless you've already used them they are a) likely to be out of date, b) you will never use them anyway c) can be found on the internet!

And clean the sink in the kitchen. You can only really do this after doing the washing up so it does make you feel better smile

SouthDownsSunshine Tue 29-Mar-16 14:20:59

Well done on the progress smile

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 14:22:17

Thanks all, and well done to everyone so far - sounds like progress has been made!

I've finished in dd's room now - it looks vaguely respectable, at least, and will hopefully give her a bit of a head start for sorting out her stuff tomorrow while I'm at work.

Going to have a break and some (late!) lunch now, and then crack on with my room. Might need some help later, as this is where I've really procrastinated to date.

Plastic storage boxes for the Masters stuff would be good - I don't have any at present, though, so I might have to improvise. At the moment, it is in piles all around the house, so any solution would be better than none!

I did clean my sink yesterday, but might give it another wipe after lunch! smile

mogloveseggs Tue 29-Mar-16 14:26:49

Have you got a b and m or home bargains near? Their boxes are really cheap and quite sturdy I've got some that I keep christmas Decs in. I know it's a faff going out to get some but it might be worth it?

Cagliostro Tue 29-Mar-16 15:04:44

I have an addiction to Really Useful Boxes! I have loads in various sizes blush

You do have to be careful with buying storage - only buy what you definitely need, and what will have a definite content (Masters stuff being an excellent example) rather than just buying lots of storage, as you will undoubtedly just fill it with more stuff. Not that I'm speaking from repeated bitter experience or anything. Oh no, not at all. Ahem.

Anyway, I meant to say that I totally sympathise with the not knowing where to start, it's so overwhelming isn't it? I feel paralysed by it sometimes. And a big fat YES to the 'all the stuff that doesn't have a home' problem - that is my major downfall, and we seem to have heaps of that kind of stuff! But can I bear to just chuck a Bag of Random Crap (or as I now refer to them, since I have had so many, a BRC) away without looking through it to check every little thing? Of course not.

One thing that has helped me in the past is to 'sweep'. Like you, I find that if I focus on one area, all I'm really doing is moving the mess somewhere else. So instead I just go throughout the whole house looking for particular 'categories' of objects - crucially they need to be something that already has a definite home. My house was so messy that I'd have to start with actual rubbish, but after that it'd be all wooden blocks or story books, or all DVDs, or whatever really. While you're finding them, ignore everything else. Sometimes I look out for 2 or 3 categories at a time to make it quicker. Then put those in the right place before choosing another category. It doesn't make an obvious difference so quickly, but I do find that it makes a more permanent difference IYSWIM?

I'm very very slow today though. I have health problems and just can't get the energy (I'm not blaming my house on that BTW, it was like this before I got ill! blush) or the motivation. I'm just trying to remember that even one tiny little thing tidied away or thrown out IS making a difference. It's hard not to get disheartened when it's so slow but we will get there in the end!

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 15:14:00

Sorry to hear that you're struggling Cag. It's so hard, isn't it!

I'm in my room now. Going to try working down my list first, but might well try the "sweep" technique - I'm sure I could find some stuff to take out to the trash at least! And as you say, every little bit will make a difference. Going to set myself a timer again, as that does seem to help me stay focused for a while.

Think I might also have a "Find a home later" box so that I don't just move things around.

Going to put a load of washing on before I start, though. Staying on top of the laundry feels like such a challenge sometimes!

Cagliostro Tue 29-Mar-16 15:22:30

Agreed! I can get away with one day without doing any laundry sometimes, but 2 or more days in a row is just not good. It builds up so fast.

A find a home later box sounds good. That's the kind of thing I have done - after doing some sweeps I end up with stuff I still don't know what to do with. So it's kind of like I'm just gradually reducing the amount of mess. We've worked really hard on our bedroom over the last couple of weeks and we've reduced the huge amount of BRCs to just two (admittedly quite big) boxes.

mogloveseggs Tue 29-Mar-16 15:57:03

Find a home box sounds like a plan!
I have to say if my bedroom is a mess (which it often is blush) it really gets me down and I don't sleep well. I've blitzed it today but still need to sort out the cupboard/wardrobe which is stuffed full of allsorts of God knows what. Tomorrow's mission me thinks.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 16:02:13

I'm back at work tomorrow, so need to blitz as much as I can today. Feeling good so far - I've put away some clothes, cleared the junk that has been sitting on the windowsill for over a year blush and cleaned the windows. The room looks a bit brighter now, at least!

I'm pleased that there some visible results from my efforts, even if I have still got a long way to go!

Cagliostro Tue 29-Mar-16 16:31:51

Only a year BB? That's pretty good by comparison blush
I've managed a couple more very brief stints - wool wash is on, other load is hung out. I've gathered a bag of things that we need to return to adult DSS and to my mum so those will go soon. DVDs all put away (we have those book things rather than keeping them in their boxes as we have a vast collection).

Brokenbiscuit Tue 29-Mar-16 16:43:01

To tell the truth, I have no idea how long the stuff had been there - too long, that's for sure. Still making headway, feeling good!

Well done Cag for doing the laundry and packing away your DVDs!

On to the next task!

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