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I just can't stay on top of things

(11 Posts)
NickNacks Sat 02-Jul-16 21:09:00

Ignoring the fact that I'm ill this week so have done bugger all, my house is just overwhelming me right now.

None of us are naturally tidy but I do like it to be tidy, I feel more organised, calmer and happier.

We have a cleaner each week so the basics are always done. We have a run around the night before she comes but it's never a deep down tidy, very much just a surface tidy.

I used to frequent the the flylady threads and they were great for building routines and I decluttered really well at the time but that has all crept back now.

Main problems are:

1) I'm a childminder so downstairs is fine Monday - Friday but upstairs is horrific. The weekends I'm sick of looking at baby stuff (our youngest is 6) and our dining hall next to the front door is where I work from and use as a playroom- it's also the room that visitors can see straight in to even if the don't come in. It's ugly. I'd love to have regular frown up furniture hiding the toys instead of bright plastic stuff but wonder if this would put potential parents off.

2) although our house isn't open plan, all the rooms run off each other meaning every room downstairs has to be tidy to have guests round, no option of closing the kitchen door on last night's dishes or wet washing on the airer!

3) DH is a shift worker so it's very hard to get into a routine. We split it when he's home but half the time I have to do it all myself and I'm knackered or run out of time.

The kids are bery helpful and pitch in far more than their peers but as I say, none of us are naturally tidy and we have a lot of stuff (necessary stuff!) in a small house.

Can anyone help me get on top of this all and have a wonderful serene home that everyone else seems to have? 😊

wobblywonderwoman Sat 02-Jul-16 21:16:39

That's hard op. It wouldn't put me off to see grown up furniture at all and less toys out.

What about stuvva from IKEA (white type of cupboards) that would look tidy but child-like. I have lots of pretty baskets to store blocks and keep my trainsets in a wicker basket. Chest of drawers for jigsaws etc.

I would try decluttering again. I bet a lot of it isnt played with

wobblywonderwoman Sat 02-Jul-16 21:25:53

This type of thing

NickNacks Sat 02-Jul-16 21:31:57

I do like IKEA, we currently have trofast which makes everything 'on display'. We have a new IKEA opening closer to us soon so perhaps I need to go along and have a proper clear out and re-sort of the room with better, nicer looking furniture. The Stuvva is nice, I'd need to see inside it to see whether it would work for minding. I like the Kallax range too.

NickNacks Sun 03-Jul-16 10:36:54

Does anyone else have any tips please?

Trickymoments Sun 03-Jul-16 20:22:46

No tips I'm afraid as I feel exactly the same. I decided to start
decluttering this morning with understairs cupboard. Everything I found that I thought I can sell or dump dd decided she really loved and wanted to keep. She spread it all out across the living room & then after about ten minutes wandered off to go in the garden leaving even more mess for me to clear up.
Then she wanted to do painting/glueing whilst i was mid declutter, such great timing!
I managed to bin a couple of small items only for her to find them in the bin bag later - she was not happyy with me, if looks could kill😁!

DS is 8 and only interested in electronic devices & football. He has a bedroom full of 'stuff' never plays with any of it. For some reason I can't bring myself to get rid of it. It's like it signifies he's growing up and I don't want that to happen too quickly. From what I remember I was still playing with dolls and other toys when I was 12 and probably older!
I used to play on my own too alot whereas my two don't seem to be able to. DD has some lovely toys but will only play with them if I play with her!

Sorry for the ramble just wanted you to know you're not alone and I'd love to hear any tips too.

NickNacks Sun 03-Jul-16 21:31:59

Thank you! It's good to know I'm not alone at least.

I know the answer is to get rid of things because if I don't want to have to look at it, then that's the only solution. On the other hand I know this will be difficult because I will be getting rid of things we use/ might need in the future. I guess it's what is the lesser if the two evils but I also don't know how to chose what resources to get rid of? Those in the worst condition? The least played with? The ones I like the least? The cheapest? Keep wooden over plastic? It's so hard!!

Brightredpencil Mon 04-Jul-16 11:40:47

How about getting some attractive furniture that doubles as toy storage? I have two beautiful huge wicker hampers with kids and toys stay in those. They're great as coffee tables and I love the natural look.
If I were a childminder I would limit the plastic stuff and go down the Steiner type route of playthings. My children had smallish bamboo tray/box things with a variety of treasure box items (a loofah, wooden shapes, a rustly offcut of material etc) and they enjoyed looking at that. Have to say that I would be impressed with a childminder who offered this kind of play opportunity rather than a great big flashing light plastic mess !!
How about getting to of anything that is even remotely broken/damaged/bits missing/faded etc.
Arent there childminder toy libraries? You could always borrow from there anyway?
Good luck OP - I probably need to follow my own advice too!!

NickNacks Mon 04-Jul-16 18:39:07

I'm so happy to her you say that! I would love to have a more Steiner approach. I don't think I could go the whole hog but definitely tone it all down a lot. I just didn't want to make it look like children weren't welcome here if I tried to get rid of the overtly kiddie furniture.

Obeliskherder Wed 06-Jul-16 17:26:41

I think Kallax or the stuva are good compromises style-wise. Trofast shallow trays are totally fab for smallish toys though - stuff does tend to got lost at the bottom of the much bigger kallax boxes. We had a combo of kallax and trofast for a few years. Pick a limited palette if you go for the kallax - boxes all one colour with labels, for example, to reduce the visual "busy-ness". Children soon learn which box contains what, especially if you add a little symbol to each. It doesn't have to describe everything inside, just jog memory. I work on the basis that one box per toy type is enough. So if you have more dolls, or dressing up clothes, or cars than can fit in a kallax box, chuck out the excess until they fit in easily enough for a child to tidy away. Keep the best bits. I've done this with train track too, getting rid of the rubbish bits like trees. When we were v limited on toy storage I was strict on play value - I chose toys that I felt earned their space and were actually used. If you have 2 big toys that do similar things, keep the smaller or better one, but not both. Have 2 or 3 Happyland buildings so characters can visit each other, but you don't need 10. Kallax cheap Drona boxes are nearly double the volume of a medium trofast but their external dimensions are very similar.

Another, cheaper, option might be to swap trofast boxes from lots of bright plastic ones to all white or something.

I think you're right to consider whether looking "too grown up" would put off potential parents. Love the whole natural toys thing (and with those things, baskets on Billy bookcases can work, but you do have to really limit it as the things are even more out on display than in trofast, and you need a cupboard for extra storage if you're planning to rotate.) However they will want to see the space is welcoming for the child. It doesn't have to mean bright plastic, but it does mean access to toys and some evidence of them. Google montessori home ed and bedrooms for ideas of child friendly but not depressingly plastic rooms, which you might find easier to live with.

Is there anything you can do to create a child free space? Eg clear toys out of main tv area ruthlessly every bedtime. I love books but our bookshelves are busy and messy. Doors on those (ikea billy) could help there.

Declutteering upstairs might mean you can at least reclaim dead space for airers etc to keep them out of main living areas, but I never seem to have time for that either. Everything that needs dealing with ends up in our bedroom for ME to deal with. Drives me demented. Our bedrooms are too messy to ask the cleaners to do even!

ginorwine Sat 09-Jul-16 09:16:35

I was a childminder and I found rotating toys meant less clutter and the toys felt ' new ' again when brought out .
Wd that help ?
Depends on storage tho !
Also I had more what I would call pleasing toys on display and others in baskets , storage etc - so the bright stuff was hidden and the stuff like wooden train set , knitted dolls , play food was visible .
It really helped my sanity and to end my working day in my mind .

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