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AIBU?

To ask how I can get organised?? Feeling overwhelmed

7 replies

TheCatsPyjamas1 · 04/10/2022 17:23

I really aim to be organised and on the ball, but recently, I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed.

In theory, I don’t have a huge amount to be stressed about - don’t have any kids atm so just need to look after myself, but I’m finding it quite stressful to keep my house tidy and to feel like I’m on top of everything.

The things I’m struggling with are all probably quite minor, but I feel like they’ve built up over time, so it feels a bit too much atm:

  1. I’m a lodger in a house share, and recently have been finding it harder to keep my space tidy. For example, I find it hard to keep my kitchen space tidy; I just have the one cupboard shelf and fridge shelf. And in my bathroom space - have lots of products in my bit of the bathroom, and it’s getting untidier by the day. I also find it hard to organise my clothes in my bedroom. I think part of this is because I’ve lived in my current house share for a few years now, and have accumulated quite a bit of stuff, but need to keep it to my room or the kitchen
  2. To-do lists: I quite enjoy making to-do lists (I think it’s enjoying that feeling of productiveness that comes with it - yes, I’m sad!!) But I can never decide where to make my list: e.g. do I write a paper one or one on an app? I don’t think I’ve quite nailed one system I can stick to.
  3. Diary: I keep a paper diary, for non-work stuff, and also write reminders to myself on my work calendar on Outlook. This works, but I feel like I could simplify it, and just have the one diary! Any suggestions welcome! How do you organise your personal life and work life?
  4. General reminders: where can I keep a list of these? E.g. working out my budget each month, meal planner etc. I have a note of both of these on One Note, but just find updating it a real faff. It doesn’t take very long at all, but I think it’s more because it becomes one more thing to check and update.


I would really appreciate some tips on how I can keep myself calm and sane, and how I can keep my life in order and my house tidy! I know it might sound silly, but I think the thing about having a tidy house, and one space for to-do lists, really has an impact on your mood and your mindset.

I feel like I’ve been really trying to improve on all the above, but at the moment, it feels like any changes I’ve made are just adding to the mental load. Does anyone relate? Can anyone offer any tips please? I’m fairly sure I don’t have ADHD or anything - I think it’s just life admin creeping up on me and me getting a bit overwhelmed with it all!!

Thanks in advance for tips 😊
OP posts:
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TheCatterall · 04/10/2022 17:53

oh we are so similar - minus being a lodger. I unfortunately have a 3 bed semi detached house that I’ve been in for over 20 years. So. Much. Clutter.

im just about to go on a web call but will return with lots of advice, suggestions and questions!

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PriOn1 · 04/10/2022 17:53

Might you be depressed, OP? I find that when I am feeling unhappy, it’s much more of an effort to keep things tidy, and then the untidiness makes me unhappy too, so it’s a kind of downwards spiral.

I find your questions bit hard to answer. Perhaps someone a bit more tech savvy will tell you better, but I’m fairly sure you can link your online calendars in such a way that you can see personal and work information in different colours on the same calendar.

Vis-a-vis lists, I always write them on paper. I find having that paper starting at me makes it hard to ignore, and also I can physically tick off the things when I do them, which definitely feels like progress.

With regard to having too much stuff, is it time to try to make a move to somewhere you would have a bit more space? Alternatively is it possible to go through your things and see whether there are some you could give away, sell or throw away? Whenever I move house, I always end up throwing loads of stuff out, so that means I could have decluttered before, had I taken the time to do it.

Hope you find something that works for you. Mine was buying a robot vacuum cleaner, so I have to keep the floor clear now, but that doesn’t sound like a solution that would help you.

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TheCatsPyjamas1 · 05/10/2022 08:55

Thanks all for your tips and thoughts so far, it’s been very helpful! @PriOn1 it’s interesting you suggest that, because I don’t feel like I’m depressed, but maybe I could be on a low level, and I also feel a bit unfulfilled, which might link to that. I’ve actually just finished some counselling, which was very helpful, but maybe I still feel a bit sort of emotionally vulnerable and depressed. Please do let me know if you have any more tips/guidance!

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PeekabooAtTheZoo · 05/10/2022 09:15

I've been thinking on this recently and I don't know if you do this but when I get deliveries/go to the shops I often leave stuff in its original packaging instead of putting it away immediately.
I've noticed it's a symptom of what I do elsewhere in the house. For example I put cosmetics down in the bathroom when I use them then I walk off and forget. Of course when I come back they look like bathroom things that should be in a bathroom, so there they stay for weeks until I realise they're not part of the background in the bathroom but they live somewhere else!
It all seems to come from not being mindful enough of finishing a task by putting things away.
At one point I had tidying up time scheduled into my daily routine but I struggle to make routines stick, so I'm afraid that's not something I can help with but tidying up, I find dealing with each thing until it's put away works better for me, along with everything having a place.
I don't like to do lists these days as I used to have ones that just sat on the whiteboard for weeks/months and never getting any of the things done while my day-to-day stuff wasn't getting room on the whiteboard.
My next plan is to write out a new routine in Apple Notes that I can save on icloud and see on all my devices.
IDK if any of this is helpful.

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WhiskerPatrol · 05/10/2022 09:27

My one tip would be to have less stuff! Be ruthless.

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Sago1 · 05/10/2022 09:40

Start in the bedroom as this is your personal space.
First declutter, even if it’s a drawer or cupboard a day make a start.
Now make a list of what you need e.g coat hangers boxes, vacuum bags etc.
Then start sorting what you have, make sure all clothing is clean, folded, hung.
I use you tube videos to learn how to fold and store, it’s wonderful to see all your tops neatly filed in a drawer rather than piled on top of each other,you will wear more of your wardrobe this way.
You will feel as though you’re back in control quickly, the rest will follow.

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FranklySonImTheGaffer · 05/10/2022 09:54

The admin system that works for me is a bit of a faff. I use my online calendar via outlook for anything work related.
I mostly WFH and next to my desk I have a physical calendar that I use for appointments, plans, holidays, anything I need to do or remember that isn't work related.
I have a notebook that I use kind of like a bullet journal - it has to do lists, meal plans, lists of gift ideas for people, anything I don't want to forget.
Once the to-do list is a few days old, I put a huge cross through it and write an updated one. This helps keep me on track.

This works for me because I can adapt it to whatever I need at the time.
I used to have all appointments on my work calendar but found that stressful as it clouded my brain while I was working (and I missed things when I was on annual leave).

I agree about decluttering as much as you can even though I'm rubbish at it. But also, as you've noted, this sort of overwhelmed feeling can be connected to anxiety and depression and it's just as important to show yourself some care and not push to hard to make it 'perfect.'

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