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AIBU?

Please help, overwhelmed with mess!

57 replies

whatdodos · 06/09/2022 12:27

Can I please have any tips and tricks from anyone to help me sort my house out? I live with one toddler DC in a smallish two bed with a garage. My house isn't filthy but we have SO much stuff and I can't clean everywhere properly because I have no room to put anything anywhere. I'm feeling really overwhelmed and it's really getting me down that my house is in such a state. Every drawer and cupboard is full and I'm constantly losing stuff because of it and all the surfaces and under furniture is dusty/crowded. PLEASE HELP!!

How do I get started??? I want to cry.

For full disclosure I work full time but I'm off this week. I have 2 hours to myself this week for DC's first day of school so want to make a dent in it then. Thank you!!!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

35 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
17%
You are NOT being unreasonable
83%
whatdodos · 06/09/2022 12:29

Also I don't have a partner it's just us two, DC loves helping out so I know he'll do a little with me but dont want him stuck in all day helping me tidy x

OP posts:
nutellachurro · 06/09/2022 12:30

Marie Kondo the shit out of everything

Be ruthless

Bin or donate everything that doesn't get used much

I have regular house purges to keep on top of clutter, as we have limited storage after converting our garage into another room.

I usually pile things into keep, donate, bin and inspect (inspect I have a deeper think about before binning or donating)

Do it room by room so it's manageable

nutellachurro · 06/09/2022 12:30

I'd also not get your DC to help if they're young

Kids are the worst for being ruthless over their r things!

mamabear715 · 06/09/2022 12:32

I would just pick a corner or a drawer & make a start - something non-threatening & small! Use 3 bins or boxes, to put in keep, donate or throw away items. Don't look at the whole of the house, that's why it's overwhelming - just start small. It's amazing how quickly you can crack on! Good luck.

TimeForTeaAndG · 06/09/2022 12:33

Get a bag for rubbish, a box for sorting, and a box for donate.

Start with one drawer.

Empty it.

Put rubbish in the bag and anything to donate in the box.

Stuff to be sorted should be in the other box now. Look through it and things which actually belong in the drawer can go back in. It helps to have tubs (our desk is full of takeaway tubs) or dividers to keep things relatively sorted.

Donate box gets donated. Stuff which doesn't belong in the drawer stays in the sort box for now.

Next drawer. Then a shelf. A toy box.

Etc etc etc.

I watched The Home Edit and redid my living room.

Another helpful thing I find is if a room is untidy, get those sort and rubbish boxes and lift everything which shouldn't be there. That way you get a quickly tidied room and you have the sort box to then go through. Just actually go through it!

whatdodos · 06/09/2022 12:34

nutellachurro · 06/09/2022 12:30

Marie Kondo the shit out of everything

Be ruthless

Bin or donate everything that doesn't get used much

I have regular house purges to keep on top of clutter, as we have limited storage after converting our garage into another room.

I usually pile things into keep, donate, bin and inspect (inspect I have a deeper think about before binning or donating)

Do it room by room so it's manageable

This is my plan but I've never been very good at it I think I need/want everything! I think its my only option at this rate. I just want a calm clutter free home now little one is starting school!

OP posts:
TimeForTeaAndG · 06/09/2022 12:35

Agree with PP, don't involve small child, they love everything even if theyd forgotten about it's existence for 6 months prior!

TimeForTeaAndG · 06/09/2022 12:37

whatdodos · 06/09/2022 12:34

This is my plan but I've never been very good at it I think I need/want everything! I think its my only option at this rate. I just want a calm clutter free home now little one is starting school!

If you're unsure whether you'll use it, do you have loft or shed space? Box of maybe stuff. Date on the box and if you haven't needed it after a certain amount of time, say 3 months or whatever works for you, then it gets donated.

Put it on local FB groups, for a small amount to weed out the freebies time wasters.

TimeForTeaAndG · 06/09/2022 12:37

Sorry, I am that weirdo who gets really excited by sorting and tidying 😆

SallyWD · 06/09/2022 12:38

The only solution is to de-clutter. It's amazing how much stuff people accumulate that they don't need or use. We moved last year and our house was overflowing with stuff. I didn't want to take all this junk to the new house so I was VERY ruthless. I did it room by room, cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer. I didn't start a new area until I'd completely finished one area. You say you have 2 hours - I'm afraid it took me many weeks (months) but it was sooo worth it! It's very easy to keep the house clean and tidy when you're not drowning in stuff.

ColeensBoot · 06/09/2022 12:42

Look up the podcast A Slob comes Clean'.

Follow her method - chuck out obvious rubbish, put stuff back in its place (,if I has one. If it doesn't then where would you look for it? Put it there)
Then do the dishes every day. Every single day. It has a positive knock on effect to the rest of the house.

Then you will be able to declutter. It is a process, an ongoing process.

inappropriateraspberry · 06/09/2022 12:44

Start small. Work through one table, corner etc and then focus on just keeping that clear for a few days before doing another area. And get the stuff out of your house asap! Don't leave bags or boxes of rubbish/charity stuff in the house as you'll end up picking things out again.

Ihatethenewlook · 06/09/2022 12:45

I pretty much guarantee you don’t need half the stuff you’ve got stashed in places, even if you think you do. One person and a child do not need so much stuff it’s filling an entire 2 bed house and garage. You need to pick somewhere to start, and like pp said, be ruthless. Once you’ve started you won’t believe how quick you can get areas cleared, the thinking about it is always worse than just doing it. I did my linen closet the other day, it had been getting me down for months but when I started it took me just under 25 minutes to get it sorted. It was rammed with stuff that I thought was all important enough to keep, but ended up finding and donating 3 pairs of curtains, 2 plug in radiators, 2 childrens trunkies, a bag of old clothes plus 3 sets of bedding. The cupboards huge and almost bare now. It works better for me to do one room at a time because I find I need to pick a room as a dumping ground for stuff that needs to get relocated. When I’ve cleared all the rooms I do the dumping room last and put away all the random stuff that I found in places that it shouldn’t be

nutellachurro · 06/09/2022 12:47

@whatdodos

This is a likely privileged view to hold, but my opinion when de cluttering is, unless it's sentimental or one of a kind, if you're not sure that you need it, get rid

You can always get another if 6-10 months down the line you need that cable etc.

Prescriptioncost · 06/09/2022 12:47

Is your garage clear ? If so get storage boxes loads and loads. Put everything in them and put in the garage.

i guarantee you won’t need or want many things from the boxes and after 6 m you can donate or tip them it’s what we did. You get the instant calmness of a decluttered house and then there is some security if your things aren’t gone yet but you gradually realise it wasn’t needed

inappropriateraspberry · 06/09/2022 12:47

Also, you can't be over sentimental with stuff! You don't need all the baby clothes, old toys etc. Maybe keep 1 or 2 things, but the memories will always be in your heart and these days, we take enough photos we don't need all the stuff as well.

Prescriptioncost · 06/09/2022 12:47

I allowed myself one small box for sentimental items photos etc and one baby outfit from each dc

XjustagirlX · 06/09/2022 12:57

Start with the bathroom.

it’s one of the easiest rooms to Declutter because it generally only holds bathroom stuff like toiletries. Also people aren’t sentimental about toiletries.

get all of your toiletries out on the floor.
throw away stuff you will never use or is out of date
you will realise you have 5 bottles of shampoo. same with other products.
put the one with the least amount in your shower to use.
put the rest in a use up box
as you finish a product throw it away and get something out of the use up box.
this use up box will go down and will save you from buying more stuff

next do your clothes

Put away all clothes into wardrobe or drawers
do your washing
quickly go through your clothes and put in a charity bag any clothes you don’t like or fit into.
make sure your clothes all fit into your wardrobe or drawers

Tiredmamaaa · 06/09/2022 12:58

I love a clutter free home but you have to be ruthless. If you go in to this with the mindset of needing or wanting everything, it’s not going to be productive or end well.

Have massive bin bags reading to take to the dump and if you haven’t used it, looked at it or needed it for at least 3/6 months, bin it! You will thank yourself for it in the end!

whatdodos · 06/09/2022 13:00

Oh wow thank you so much everyone for all the replies I wasn't really expecting any and expecting more judgey comments! My garage isn't clear as it was the first one I did a few weeks ago so I've still got stuff there waiting to go to charity/mums attic (mine isn't boarded up so worried it would damage the roof). I'm unfortunately very sentimental I think its because I know I can't have more children but you are right I need to get over this. Right I'm going to start the living room tonight (it's actually the least cluttered as I wanted to have one nice room for visitors to look at 😂. Another reason I'm starting now is because I've just gotten driving again so it's easier now for me to take things to charity or the tip. NO EXCUSES.

@TimeForTeaAndG I love your excitement it's motivating! My mum has offered to help but I know she's really busy and we will end up arguing about why I have so much stuff/where things go. She loves a good sort out too but I know she secretly stores all her stuff in her attic rather than getting rid 😂

OP posts:
TimeForTeaAndG · 06/09/2022 13:04

whatdodos · 06/09/2022 13:00

Oh wow thank you so much everyone for all the replies I wasn't really expecting any and expecting more judgey comments! My garage isn't clear as it was the first one I did a few weeks ago so I've still got stuff there waiting to go to charity/mums attic (mine isn't boarded up so worried it would damage the roof). I'm unfortunately very sentimental I think its because I know I can't have more children but you are right I need to get over this. Right I'm going to start the living room tonight (it's actually the least cluttered as I wanted to have one nice room for visitors to look at 😂. Another reason I'm starting now is because I've just gotten driving again so it's easier now for me to take things to charity or the tip. NO EXCUSES.

@TimeForTeaAndG I love your excitement it's motivating! My mum has offered to help but I know she's really busy and we will end up arguing about why I have so much stuff/where things go. She loves a good sort out too but I know she secretly stores all her stuff in her attic rather than getting rid 😂

Yay! Hope it goes well.

Oh, also do a before and after pic. I find them motivating when you can see just how much of a difference has happened.

whatdodos · 06/09/2022 13:11

@TimeForTeaAndG thank you, that's a great idea! I know it will take a while but I just want it all sorted before Christmas because I know Joe fast time seems to go x

OP posts:
mamabear715 · 06/09/2022 14:18

@TimeForTeaAndG
I love it too!
Those programmes on TV where families can't move in their house for stuff.. I think, lemeeatit!! ;-)

mathanxiety · 06/09/2022 15:55

Start by sitting down quietly with no distractions at all.
Set your phone aside.

Close your eyes and visualise the sort of peacefulness you want to achieve.

Then picture yourself walking through each room. You are happy to see there is a place for everything, windows are open, a breeze blows through, and you know that all is airy and fresh.

Hold onto all of that.

Start with your kitchen.
Take every single thing out of your cupboards and pantry and throw out everything that is out of date, chipped, cracked, wonky, broken, plastic storage without lids. Do the same with drawers and under the sink. Hoover drawers and cupboards and wipe down with white vinegar and a microfiber cloth. Put back what you're keeping. Take the junk out to the bin immediately.

Move on to the fridge and freezer and throw out everything out of date, anything whiffy, anything you can't immediately identify from the freezer. Wipe down the interior and put back what you're keeping. Throw away the rest immediately.

Make a list of items you need to replace- food, plastic storage, etc.

You'll feel organized and on top of things when your kitchen is done.

Move on to the bathroom. Get rid of toiletries you bought more than a year ago, any old, ratty towels, ends of soap, old toothbrushes, bottles of this and that with less than an inch of contents in them, and old medicines you have sitting there. Clean your hairbrushes. Clean and mop bathroom surfaces. If you have room for a candle, put one in there.

Do you have an airing cupboard?
Go through the contents. Keep two sets of sheets for each bed.

Do your bedroom.
Take every drawer out one by one and go through the contents. If you find clothes you haven't worn in the past year, get rid. You can throw out or donate. Do the same for wardrobes. Your goal should be to get rid of two thirds of what you currently have. Pull everything out from under your bed. Make decisions. Get rid of all but two sets of sheets and pillowslips, one on your bed, one spare.

Shoes with holes, scratched or down at heel boots, smelly trainers, heels that give you blisters - make decisions. Keep only what makes you feel comfortable.

Immediately after you've made your decisions, the discards have to leave the house. Then hoover and polish, turn your mattress, put your sheets in the washing machine.

Then on to sitting room and dining room. You probably know what needs to be done there, followed by immediate removal and a deep clean.

If your child will be in school all day there will be a good few toys that won't be played with much. I would invest in a big box (or even a big cardboard box) and put all sorts of small toys you consider junk into it (happy meal toys, souvenirs, stuff DC doesn't play with much) If those toys don't get asked for or looked for or taken out for two months I would quietly throw them out. Mark a date in your calendar.

I would keep half a dozen favourite stuffed animals out and put the rest in another box. Keep toys that facilitate writing, coloring, painting, building, creativity. Keep books, even baby board books. Children often cut their reading teeth on familiar books.

Do you need all the coats, jackets, gloves, hats, scarves, and mittens you may have? See what winter brings and discard in the spring.

Clothes your child has grown out of and summer clothes that won't be worn again - discard/donate. Footwear - same.

If you find yourself dithering and indecisive and losing your motivation, go back to your mental picture of the breeze blowing through a room you are happy in.

mathanxiety · 06/09/2022 16:06

YYY to before and after photos. You'll feel great when you compare.

Allow yourself to keep baby things if they mean a lot to you. You can always take photos of things you want to get rid of too.

Another way to motivate is to watch cleaning videos on YouTube. Check out AuriKateriina for a positive approach.

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