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Secrets of Naturally Tidy People

(131 Posts)
Seabird Sun 07-Aug-05 20:24:26

Calling all naturally tidy people - pleease give me some tips! My house is always such a mess. It seems to me that this is inevitable with 2 under-2s, but everyone else's houses always seem to be tidy. How do they do it????

The children are at my mum's this weekend and I spent 3 hours blitzing the kitchen but I know that within minutes of their return it will be back to its usual state. My sitting room is full of piles of papers to deal with, mail order catalogues I'm intending to find time to look through etc - what does everyone else do with these? (Look at them immediately they arrive? If I tidy them into a pile I never find them again.)

The weird things is that when I worked as a lawyer my office was always immaculate! (I'm now a SAHM.)

Do I need a System??

I will be sooo grateful if anyone can help!

jane313 Sun 07-Aug-05 20:27:52

try and deal with post and catlogues straight away,don't let htem build up or its seems ovewhleming or have a place for them.

I am naturally annoying tidy and am now selling the house so have become a mad woman.

I do tend to have things in specific place (all the cars in one plastics box, sticklebricks in another etc) which helps for tidying and helps my son try and do it too.

milward Sun 07-Aug-05 20:29:40

Remember what you need from each pile of stuff before you look through it. If extra items are in there that you didn't remember bin or recycle.

Papillon Sun 07-Aug-05 20:31:54

Librans like to line things up.. like their shoes

spidermama Sun 07-Aug-05 20:36:44

I'm watching this thread like a hawk seabird. My house is always chaotic and messy. My kids can mess up much faster than I can tidy and some days I literally run around the house all day doing housework at an olympic pace.

My advice, for what it's worth and we've already established that isn't much, is this ...

1. Never stop. Keep moving all the time. You must never kid yourself that there's time to read the paper or watch telly.

2. Try to get the kids clearing up after themselves from an early age. It takes even longer in the short term, but will be worth it in the end. Bribe them, eg, 'There will be no lunch until you have taken these cups full of mud and insects back into the garden'.

3. Downsize their possessions regularly.

4. Sort out systems of storage which make it easy for you to clear up quickly.

HondaDream Sun 07-Aug-05 20:37:49

Here's a secret. Tidy people are actually jealous of messy people and their houses as they never have any time for fun as tidying always has to come first. But my house is always a mess, today we have been swimming and canoeing. I had to leave lunch dishes on table as dishwasher was on. My hall is now full of wet towels, buckets and spades and my car has a paddles and other such things in it, the canoe made it to the garage as it had to dry out. Dh in his kindness offered to cook dinner ( therefore loads more mess (think of Butterflys the comedy; table cloths on top of table cloths) whilst I showered and then proceeded to sit on my arse and have a glass of wine, kids bathed themselves and the bathroom and surounding area is wet and full of wet discarded bikinis swimmingtunks etc.
But we are happy and well fed, I will of course run around like a tomorrow and clean it. As for the pile of magazines and bills they got moved from the kitchen top to the study sofa to make way fro two cases of wine. In that respect I am like you bills need to be in piles so I can pay them.

My kids like wise are off to mums for 7 days and I have plans to blitz but I know it won't happen there are better thigns in life to do.

But try www.flylady.com it is a great site

jane313 Sun 07-Aug-05 20:38:30

I do that too. I get annoyed if someone puts the washing up sponge and liqud in each others places.

When I was teaching I got all my recepetion class as obsessive as me which was funny.

Actually having had to do it to try and sell my house I really want to be messy now. I only like to be tidy for myself not the bloomin' 26 lots of timewasters who have looked round my house

spidermama Sun 07-Aug-05 20:40:00

It sounds lovely round at yours hondadream and I think a certain level of messiness is inevitable when you're having fun, but how long before those wet towels start to smell. They'll have to be dealt with sometime. Plus, the next horrible mess is only ever minutes away.

HondaDream Sun 07-Aug-05 20:40:12

Here's a secret. Tidy people are actually jealous of messy people and their houses as they never have any time for fun as tidying always has to come first. But my house is always a mess, today we have been swimming and canoeing. I had to leave lunch dishes on table as dishwasher was on. My hall is now full of wet towels, buckets and spades and my car has a paddles and other such things in it, the canoe made it to the garage as it had to dry out. Dh in his kindness offered to cook dinner ( therefore loads more mess (think of Butterflys the comedy; table cloths on top of table cloths) whilst I showered and then proceeded to sit on my arse and have a glass of wine, kids bathed themselves and the bathroom and surounding area is wet and full of wet discarded bikinis swimmingtunks etc.
But we are happy and well fed, I will of course run around like a lunatic tomorrow and clean it. As for the pile of magazines and bills they got moved from the kitchen top to the study sofa to make way fro two cases of wine. In that respect I am like you bills need to be in piles so I can pay them.

My kids like wise are off to mums for 7 days and I have plans to blitz but I know it won't happen there are better thigns in life to do.

But try www.flylady.com it is a great site
Sorry for typo's ( the wine)

HondaDream Sun 07-Aug-05 20:41:27

Funnily enough I have just put them in the machine!
Just an interim period. Like I said MOnday I blitz and from then on it all goes rapidly down hill.

spidermama Sun 07-Aug-05 20:43:06

Wine. MMmmmmmmmm.

Caligula Sun 07-Aug-05 20:44:14

I am not a naturally tidy person, I am a naturally chaotic loon, but I am sick to death of feeling like tearing my hair out and wanting to scream every time I look around my home, having to search for an hour every time I want to find anything, and being permanently late for everything because I couldn't leave the house because I couldn't find the keys.

So. I have reformed. In the manner of an alcoholic, it's one day at a time and I have to keep reminding myself not to backslide, but this is how I did it:

1. Sign up to www.flylady.com. She's a crappy American woman who sends you loads of e-mails, but it works.
2. Buy a timer and use it. Set it for 30 minutes to do the kitchen, 30 minutes for the living room etc., so that the jobs don't stretch on endlessly.
3. Throw away catalogues etc. You're never going to buy anything from them, and they take up space. If you really want something from them, you will go to a shop and buy it. You do not need it shouting at you from a messy corner of your room and doing your head in.
4. Decided that everything had a place and everything had to be in its place. And try to stick to it.
5. Throw things away. If you fall over them, pick them up, put them in a bag and put the bag in the cellar/ far away corner which you don't enter often. If after a month, you haven't missed anything from the bag, throw it away.
6. Take control of the laundry. Get 2 washing baskets. Fold things up when you take them off the line and put them away/ in the ironing basket immediately.
7. Develop housework routines just as you did work routines.
8. Using the timer, integrate tidying up with children's play. When they know they have a timer to beat, and it's only 15 minutes, they really don't mind so much about tidying up, and they are motivated to do it quickly and painlessly.
That's all for now.

HondaDream Sun 07-Aug-05 20:44:30

Sorry it's all gone, only the cooking sherry left. Just waiting for DH to put last lot of kids to bed and we have a wardrobe to build ( been sitting there for two weeks).

Littlestarsweeper Sun 07-Aug-05 20:45:18

Im a naturally tidy person. It drives me crazy if i am untidy i dont know what it is but it makes me really grumpy (out of control) i suppose.
Tips. If you do nothing else do these:
Wash up and dry up, make the beds and draw the curtains. Puff up lounge sofa/chair seat cushions and place any scatter cushions in rightful place.
Invest in packet of bathroom wipes to run a wipe over bath ledges, all of sink and loo. All towels in place or outside on the line to dry.

It feels much better.

HondaDream Sun 07-Aug-05 20:47:19

Caligua I have so done that. I agree she is great and as a result I keep turning up at the recycling centre with black bags full of plastic crap. We no longer have a playroom as there are no toys to put in it. Dh now has it to play his guitars.

Seabird Sun 07-Aug-05 20:48:44

Your house sounds great hondadream! Obviously I should have done the whole house while the kids are away but I'm too hungover after going out clubbing with dh last night (priorities! )

Gillian76 Sun 07-Aug-05 20:49:33

I, too am naturaly untidy. Have decided that DD starting school in a couple of weeks will be the turning point.

I signed up with flylady ages ago but the emails really did my head in. There are so many of them! Have bought the book instead and am slowly digesting her ideas that way.

The constant mess is driving me crazy - toys especially. There are just so many bits!

Littlestarsweeper Sun 07-Aug-05 20:49:35

oh yes and food shop online

LilacLotus Sun 07-Aug-05 20:50:35

flylady.com
seriously, i turned into a, organized person with a pretty tidy and clean house! and i know where every bit of paperwork is.

Gillian76 Sun 07-Aug-05 20:50:36

How does online food shopping help?

LilacLotus Sun 07-Aug-05 20:51:14

an not a'

Littlestarsweeper Sun 07-Aug-05 20:52:59

Gillian76 buy an argos storage units on wheels with plastic boxes that sit in the unit. Name each one with the type of toys stored for instance. Puzzles, Happy train set, cars, dressing up and make sure theres one for bits and bobs (all those little bits that dont belong to anything in particular). Kids get the hang of where their stuff goes too.

Seabird Sun 07-Aug-05 20:53:34

wow I am so excited I have told dh that Mrs flylady is going to make our house permanently spick & span!

Caligula great idea about 2 laundry baskets my kitchen table is permanently covered in piles of washing.

Littlestarsweeper Sun 07-Aug-05 20:54:16

Sorry gillian76, that was finishing my previous message left in answer to the original question of tips to keep house clean.

HondaDream Sun 07-Aug-05 20:54:50

I love this thread and I actually think messiness comes with three kids and a busy hectic life, but no matter how hard I try I can never minimise my crap.
Pay bills as they come in. Yes right.
Put laundry away as soon as it is done( this is the job I hate the most as curently kids have no decent bedroom furnitur) Dh has ben working 6days aweek for last 6weeks so his day off is not to be spent putting up wardrobes. Hence we live out of laundry baskets.

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