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AIBU?

To ask you all how the hell I can sort my house out?

58 replies

Ostryga · 01/10/2022 00:04

I’m going to start this off with saying I have diagnosed adhd and I’m currently unmedicated.

I am the queen of never, ever asking for help and pretending everything is fine and never telling anyone what is going on. I still can’t tell people close to me what the problems are but I’m starting somewhere.

I’m embarrassed and really ashamed. Im so disorganised and untidy and whilst DD’s bedroom is lovely my room and the rest of the house is just clutter and crap everywhere.

I feel sick to my stomach posting this but I have got to do something and maybe even the viper nest telling me I’m awful will be the kick up the bum. Im just so stuck with where to start and it’s immediately overwhelming I don’t know what to do anymore.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

73 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
5%
You are NOT being unreasonable
95%
Geewhizzr · 01/10/2022 00:21

Am on way to bed bit didnt want ro reas n run . I have adhd too and i understand . Xx all will be well. I use 5 mins v the clock on phone to.stitmulte dopemine .. to do bursts of jobs. Try it !? X

Geewhizzr · 01/10/2022 00:22

Aa a start i mean.

BetsyFredandJolly · 01/10/2022 00:22

You start at the beginning. You have ADHD and you need to accept that you aren't able to live successfully in certain environments (I have the same problem).

Practically there are several ways to approach this. I wrote a list of everything I needed to keep and cherry picked the best stuff to keep... so 3 pairs of jeans, two hairbrushes etc.... I aimed for every space to be no more than 70% full (So I had space for purchases). This meant drawers, cupboards, shelves. And I was ruthless. I said goodbye to a lot of items. Then it's routine. A washing on first thing in the morning, dinner dishes done straight after dinner. It's boring but it's necessary.

Also maybe buying too much is a problem? That needs to be considered. For me it is a one in and one out policy. I set these little rules that are personal for me, because I don't know what is good for me so I have to consider things and be quite boundaried with it!

Emotionally there may be things to consider as well, you sound a bit overwhelmed at the minute and I think our surroundings can reflect how we are doing in ourselves. I think you need to stop judging yourself so harshly. You are doing the best you can and you have created a nice space for your daughter. You just need to work through the rest and you will get there.

Don't be embarrassed so many people are in the same position!

HerRoyalNotness · 01/10/2022 00:25

Is it too much stuff or just nowhere to put it?

if the latter I use bookshelves with baskets. Put like with like and label basket so you know where it goes and where to find it again. I’m a very visual person so I have everything else out otherwise i forget we have it, so much clutter.

if clutter I’ve seen the trick where you get three boxes, sort into keep, sell, donate.

cadentiasidera · 01/10/2022 00:26

Hugs, you are definitely not awful and you're not alone. The state of my house gets me down and I just don't know where to start. Like you my daughter's room is lovely but everywhere else is just full of stuff, and also not very clean as it's hard to clean with all the stuff. Unlike you I don't have ADHD, although I have been reading about it lately and lots of stuff really resonates with me, but your ADHD must make it a million times harder to tackle this. I occasionally have a spurt of energy and do a thing and it is great, but then the energy goes and stuff builds up again, and often things are worse cos I run out of energy in the middle of a project.... does that happen to you? Not sure I have much helpful advice... but lots of sympathy! I keep telling myself I'm going to start with one corner of one room, break things down into little tasks.... I'm sure this is the way to do things, but getting started is very hard! 💐

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 01/10/2022 00:26

Pick one thing.

Either one room, one task, one drawer, one object. And you target yourself to get that thing right every day.

It could be your bed. Keep it simple. Every day, get up and immediately make your bed. Really nicely, sheets pulled taught, pillows plumped, duvet folded just right and smoothed down. Commit to that one thing, every single day. Forever.

It will become a habit. And eventually, you'll naturally start to pick up items around the bed as their mess is making your hard work look bad. Or you'll crack a window open so the bed freshens. And so it continues.

Then pick something in another room. The post. It's a fucking pain. Commit to the regime of opening the post at the recycling box. That way all the envelopes and junk can be dropped straight in. Anything To Do - put it in a set place.

ReeseWitherfork · 01/10/2022 00:39

Husband has ADHD and I can only imagine what his house would look like without a me. So you’ll get nothing from sympathy from me, really tricky for you. He’s great at tidying tbf, it just that tidying involves chucking things in boxes with no rhyme or reason, generally stuff never to be found again. I’ve really gone a bit OTT trying by to combat it, he has labelled boxes for all the stuff he tries to find regularly and everything else can be “miscellaneous”. And everything else in our entire house is labelled. Kitchen cupboards with what belongs in them, clothes drawers too, shelves all have labels on them, all the boxes in the loft…

So my suggestion would be to go and buy a lot of storage boxes (size dependent on where you can store them) and a label maker. And then every time you feel frustrated, spend two minutes tidying something by chucking stuff into a labelled storage box.

2bazookas · 01/10/2022 00:44

You have started. One room is lovely.
Get another one looking good. I recommend a bathroom because it's small and easy.

DoodlePug · 01/10/2022 00:47

Check out "a slob comes clean", she's practical rather than perfect and her method means it never gets worse before it gets better (most methods make you pull everything out then the baby cries and it never gets put away again!)

Put simply
Throw away trash
Pick an item and think do I really need this and want to keep it?
If no, out it goes
If yes ask yourself where you'd look for it first and take it there.
Repeat.

She has a very short video about containers which is obvious but brilliant. Helpful in making you realise you can only have so much stuff!

Sillysosij · 01/10/2022 00:50

Me too. My house is a tip and I don’t know where to begin. It got really bad during a period of mental illness, now it feels incredibly overwhelming.

crosshatching · 01/10/2022 00:53

OP have a look at the Housekeeping board you'll find various threads of people trying to get on top of their homes through different methods. No judgement!

I use the Tody app to load up the jobs I need to do and tick them off.

There'll be a method that works for you, start small, sort one shelf etc. Nothing needs to be perfect, just good enough to work for you. My house is never perfect (although my Mum's coming over this weekend, so I'll try a bit harder!), but with a regular little and often I'm not morto if someone suddenly calls round. It's really ok once you get started and find a rhythm.

ADHD people sometimes struggle with perfectionism don't they? Beware of putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.

GreenGreenArse · 01/10/2022 01:05

I think sometimes you need to see a space to help you clear up and put away your things.
My tip (adapted from Flylady) that can help in the kitchen is trying to keep either the sink tidy and clear or the draining rack clear. If both are full it’s much harder.
And you have a great bedroom so it’s about inspiring yourself to want to tidy and also having enough physical space to tidy up as pp said without everything getting worse before it gets better.
I try to adjust my mindset to that we deserve a nice space to live in and it’s never a waste or time or should never be the lowest priority to create or maintain that.

blondieminx · 01/10/2022 01:05

Lots of ND people find the cleanalong podcasts on Rock The Housework on insta / patreon (£3.60 a month) help keep them on track. Try the the organised mum method app too (one off £5, worth that for organised Christmas alone.)

you deserve a nice space. Too much clutter would be overwhelming for anyone. If you like audiobooks try Decluttering at the speed of life - aim for “Less… and better!”

RevivingSeaBreeze · 01/10/2022 01:29

"I feel sick to my stomach posting this but I have got to do something and maybe even the viper nest telling me I’m awful will be the kick up the bum".

Oh, OP, please don't feel embarrassed or alone in this: I can totally relate to much of what you and others describe (for me, it's not ADHD but bipolar lows and chronic pain the complicating factor = my flat getting totally out of hand at times).

There are many, many of us.

Ignore anyone criticising, or regarding it as simply laziness/lack of effort/low standards. They are clearly fortunate enough to have far better executive function than some of us!

For anyone struggling, these forums may be of inspiration and help:

helpforhoarders.co.uk/forum/
takeonestepatatime.proboards.com/

Best of luck. Remember that this doesn't define you. Your DD will see you modelling that reaching out to others when overwhelmed is a positive, healthy course of action. Vital life lesson at any age.

FlowerArranger · 01/10/2022 02:19

This lady has a lot of useful advice on how to simplify your life and get rid of 'stuff' that doesn't add value to your life:

Chloefairydust · 01/10/2022 02:28

Pick one space/ room and focus on that one space until it’s decluttered. Look at ways of organising spaces, like clever forms of storage. Cupboard/ draw organisers etc... There’s lots of YouTube vids you can watch for inspiration.

And be completely ruthless, if it’s not something you actually use or can find a tidy place for it then throw it away or donate or sell on eBay.

Good luck OP! 🙂

stayathomegardener · 01/10/2022 02:33

Following. ADHD chaos here too.

Adhdsucks · 01/10/2022 02:41

Hi OP. I just wanted to post to say I am you - unmedicated ADHD, house is a fucking shithole and I hate it.

I don’t know what the answer is. Keeping a house clean and tidy is just never ending and for people with ADHD it’s too boring, it’s too long, it’s too samey. People talk about decluttering which of course does help lots but if you’re the type of ADHDer who never puts anything away then you really need to have ZERO stuff to have a tidy house and that’s not realistic. It doesn’t even occur to me to put something away when I’m finished with it, I just put it down.

Maybe this is a pessimistic way of looking at it but maybe part of it is accepting who you are, you’re never going to have that showhome house. By all means do as much as you possibly can but accept that just because you cleaned the kitchen once doesn’t mean you’ll do it every day forever. You can still be so pleased with yourself for doing it that one time and enjoy the cleanliness for now.

That probably really doesn’t help but I know I am sick of pretending that with the right method, podcast, routine, storage boxes, notepad I’ll become a new person. It’s not going to happen.

mathanxiety · 01/10/2022 04:43

You'll feel more on top of things if you sort out your kitchen first, followed by the bathroom and then the hall, followed by the sitting room.

For the kitchen, sort through all your cupboards and pantry. Take everything out. Throw out everything past its expiry date. Do the same for your fridge and freezer. Wipe down all cupboards and clean the fridge and freezer. Put back what you're keeping. Look at your drawers - again, take out everything and throw out what you ne er hse, anything broken, rusty, any duplicates of utensils. Clean drawers using microfibre cloth, replace items you're keeping. Go through your plastic storage and throw out anything that doesnt have a lid amd lids with no containers. Look at your cleaning products. Throw out stuff you rarely use. Go through plates, cups, mugs, bowls. Get rid of all chipped, cracked, barely used items.The kitchen could take a few days.

Put stuff that doesn't belong in the kitchen. Into a basket or box. Find where it goes and put it there.

Try to make a habit of leaving your kitchen sink clear and sparkling every night.

Bathroom- similar cull. Throw out shampoo, etc that has less than an inch in the bottle. Get rid of old toothbrushes and toothpaste. Throw out or bring back to the pharmacy any old , out of date medicine.

Go through the hall with the same approach - a box for stuff that doesn't belong, get rid of superfluous items.

Same goes for sitting room.

Do your own bedroom last.

mathanxiety · 01/10/2022 04:47

When you've done a thorough cull and clean, take photos of each room.

Spend an hour every day making your house match those photos.

Pick up stuff you've set down. Throw out any rubbish. Recycle whatever gets recycled. Put things back where they should go. Put plates, cups, etc. in the dishwasher.

Do your hour at the same time every day.

Rainbowqueeen · 01/10/2022 05:06

Work out where your local charity shop is. Work out how you can get stuff there. I aim for one shopping bagful of stuff a week and deliver it while running errands on my half day off. I collect stuff for it during the week, just by being conscious of it and doing a couple of minutes a day looking through a particular room to find stuff I don’t use to get rid of.

Start with your bathroom. Get rid of out of date stuff in the bin. Pack up stuff you will never use to donate. Think about how many towels etc you really need.

Join the “getting rid of one item a day” threads on here for support.

Really think before you buy stuff. Do you really need it? Do you have somewhere to store it?
And don’t feel embarrassed. Virtually everyone finds this stuff hard and it’s easy to let it get away from you

Lackofenergy · 01/10/2022 05:33

You can do this. Imagine it being like an onion. Your home has many layers and it will take a few " goes" for it to be decluttered.
You can approach it in different ways.
Start with a bag for rubbish and a bag for donations( put it on your car to take it straight to a charity shop). Get a timer and start. You'd be surprised what a difference this makes.
Other technique is to work on "zones ". One day you work on clothes and have a massive clear out, another day you work in your bathroom and get rid of all the I need stuff , another day work on the food cupboard and so on. To avoid overwhelming, your " zones" could have "subzones" , so instead doing all the clothes on one day, you do your daughters clothes one day, your own another day and so on.
Everyday routine, wash dishes, put a load in washing machine/fold it away and put your bins out. You can build your own housekeeping routine from there. Make it really simple so you stick to it. Consistency is the key.
Can you get a friend to come and help proccess start ? I'd love to help if you live close by also, there is a FB group called " Clear the clutter and breathe" lots of encouragement there, worth a peek.

sandgrown · 01/10/2022 05:40

I am you . If someone is coming I find the motivation to tidy up ( I do hide stuff in cupboards) but I can’t keep it up . I envy my friends who make it look effortless to keep their homes clean and tidy . I have CHAOS syndrome? and only invite close family and friends I really trust to my home even though I am very sociable .

Turquoisa80 · 01/10/2022 05:41

Group items together, kitchen things only in the kitchen, clothes in wardrobes or drawers(In my house we all have an underwear drawer.. Tops drawer and bottams drawer.. Nothing deviates),two towels each and same with bedding(one in use and one spare) medicines in a box in the kitchen, only have enough pots, plates and cutlery that you use in easy reach and put the rest on higher shelves, paperwork and documents in folders then gradually look at what you have and reduce. Donate clothes that don't fit, throwaway out of date tins, medicines and products. Having a dresser or sideboard is so useful though to put things way into, the old style ones from charity shops are so beautiful. Also don't buy stuff if you don't need to.

pompomsontheceiling · 01/10/2022 06:05

There's threads on here for decluttering one thing a day and that will help as a start. Everyone can do one thing.

Also there are Flylady threads and that's a whole system where you don't have to think and just do the small tasks they say each day and overtime things become manageable

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