My house is a "pit". How do you ever get everything cleaned and organized? I need a lot of help to get this done. I am putting up a modular this year and must get this all done this summer. I work full-time and have a husband who is no help at all. I cannot hire someone to do it. Thanks all.
By burkec1 from Iowa
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Quit being an enabler. If he won't do it, why do you? I went on strike a few times and held my ground. Dishes piled up, carpets needed vacuuming, laundry needed washing. I was tired of them working against me. On several occasions it took 3 days for them to realize I wasn't caving in. I went out for supper and when I returned home the house was clean, dishes done and the washing was well on it's way to being finished.
My suggestion is start in one room, make 3 piles... throw away, give away and things that go in a different room. Once you have gone through the whole room, throw the trash away, put the give away stuff in your car so you can drop it off at Salvation Army or wherever next time you go somewhere. Carry the stuff that goes in different rooms to the rooms where they are supposed to go. Now you should be able to see what you have to store in that room. Neatly put it all away, clean the room then start on the next room. If you run across an item that goes in a room that you have already cleaned, neatly put it away.
If you try to do a little in this room, a little in that room, etc. you won't be able to see any progress and could get discouraged, that is why it would be best to do it one room at a time. Good luck and I hope you can find a way to get some help with all of this.
Ok, if you're not ready to take takelbabay's advice maybe this will fit your needs.
Start with 1 room.
Have 3 bags or boxes ready.
Label them Garbage, Goodwill, and Keep.
Leave your emotions in another room so you can put SOMETHING in the garbage and goodwill boxes!
Take 2 of the filled boxes to your car or truck to be delivered the next time you leave the house.
Put everything single thing in the Keep box where it goes.
Once this is done the rest is easy. Be harsh!
Sit down with your husband and have a good talk with him. I'm guessing that clutter isn't all yours! Try and get him to help one afternoon a week for starters, between the two of you it's surprising how fast jobs can go.
For organizing the stuff you want to keep buy some of those stackable plastic storage tubs. They last forever and they're easier to move than boxes, and they keep out bugs and moisture. You can stick a label on the outside so you have a general idea of what's in them. Good luck!
I have a hard and fast rule at my house. I don't wash anything that is not in the hampers. You'd be amazed at how diligent people become when they have no clean undies. I have been known to kick dirty things under the bed rather than pick things up. Another rule of mine. I don't pick anything up off the floor that I didn't put there myself.
Great advice. I will start tonight. He works such long hours right now from 7 am- 10-12pm & is just plain pooped when he gets home. Not me, I work from 5 am -5 pm(job) & then including taking care of the kids, home, my critters. I am just so tired and overwhelmed.
You can't do it all at once, but you can do one thing at a time. Start in one room, and every day when you come home from work, concentrate on one thing in that room. I would use the method that Glenn's Mom recommends. If you haven't used anything in the last two years, you probably don't need it. Tell your husband what you are doing, and give him a choice; either he helps, or you're going to be the one who decides what is staying and what is leaving. Once you start, you will feel so good about yourself that finishing the job will be easy. Good Luck!
I know from my teenage son that a room full of stuff just absolutely overwhelms him. So when I want his room clean I know that it will take about three days. I just ask him to do one thing at a time. I give him a garbage bag and say go get all the trash, then go get clothes, etc. Finally it will be done, but if I just say clean your room, then two hours later I look in there and he is sitting there dumbfounded, lol. If you have the room for it do like they do on Clean Sweep, take everything out of the room, and I mean everything. Clean that room, easy now that nothings in it. Then make three piles, trash, give away or sale, and keep. You will be amazed at the stuff that you do not want back in your home.
I strongly recommend FlyLady.net for tips on how to maximize your cleaning and organizing in 15 minute spurts. Don't overwhelm yourself with tasks: save mopping and vacuuming for one session, and do laundry another, for example. When you work full time, big projects can feel impossible. I cannot stress how important it is that you actually get things out of your home because if there's simply not enough space for all of it, you can organize til kingdom come and STILL have a mess.
Set a timer on your oven, phone, or clock for 15 minutes, and start by picking up as much paper trash as possible. Sort what can be thrown away, and what needs to be shredded due to confidential info. Get rid of any stacks of magazines and old newspapers! Even some charities won't accept them as donations because they're not worth all that much. If you like, take a day to go through and tear out the articles you like and put them in a folder. Get a box for each room of the house, and when you find things in one room that don't belong, toss it in its appropriate box and put it up later. Hang a plastic bag on each doorknob so you have a trashcan wherever you go.
Go through clothing: separate everything that is no longer any good to wear and either cut it up for rags or trash it. Donate clothing that does not fit or is not in style. Reduce the wardrobes of your husband and yourself to the essentials. If you are a crafter, pick no more than 1-2 crafts you enjoy the most, and donate or Freecycle the rest. If you hold on to things because you want to sell them, you'll just put off getting it out of your house longer and longer.
If kitchen clutter and mess is overwhelming you, start tossing plastic containers with no lids in the recycling bin and get rid of extra empty jars, cans, etc, that we tend to hold on to -- you can bless someone else with it, or toss it in a bag for recycling. The day before trash pickup, clean out your refrigerator so that the food won't spoil in the trashcan and stink up your house. If you have a couple sets of dishes cluttering your cabinets, pick your favorite and donate the others. Buy paper plates and have simple meals like sandwiches so that you're not creating extra work after you've washed your dishes.
In the bathroom, toss empty containers of shampoo, etc, and sort through your towels. Cut the bare, stringy ones down to use as rags in your cleaning supplies or garage, and save your good ones. Wash your bathmats and shower curtains. The vinyl liner will come clean no matter how mildewed if you wash it in a load of hot water with whites (towels are great!) and bleach. You may want to save scrubbing the shower/tub for a day of its own because that kind of work is backbreaking.
I hope these tips help get you started. I agree that your husband will have to get on the bandwagon for change to take place, but try not to make it a battle or it will create additional stress on you. Best of luck!
This feeds from the one room at a time idea...and I totally agree with the 15 minute one, especially since you're working. Clear a quarter/half or a room if you can, and start stacking boxes of things you KNOW you're going to move. You can consolidate them later. For now, just remove them from day-to-day living, and throw or give away everything you can on an ongoing basis, don't save until the last minute. It's just stuff. I realized this after I spent 3 months trying to clean out a 1 bedroom apt. to move across the country. Best of luck.
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