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I am also inspired by those on this thread that say, "No thanks." I do want to improve, I just enjoy to many things that organized people don't. And the main thing my kids love is messy craft projects... and my dh and I LOVE toys! And... I grew up with an uber organized mom who had a spotless house and I hated every minute of it. No one can stand to be in her house for long. She drives you crazy, and she never enjoys anything, nor allows anyone else to.

Um... yeah! I keep reading these and thinking, "But... but they have older kids who do chores!" (Please, if anyone knows another family who had 4 kids within a roughly 3-year span and keeps things sane, let me know.)
:iagree:
I don't want an excuse, though. I want my house clean, and I'll just have to find a way to do it. I make my bed every day, and I didn't used to do that. I keep toys in an off-limits room, and the kids have to put some away to pick out new ones. Things do get better, little by little. Next maybe I'll work on doing dishes every night, no matter how I feel. I think I'd feel more like getting out of bed earlier!

Thanks for the inspiration!

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I grew up with an uber organized mom who had a spotless house and I hated every minute of it. No one can stand to be in her house for long. She drives you crazy, and she never enjoys anything, nor allows anyone else to.

 

I have a family member who is like this, too. :) But my own mom was the opposite - not unhygienic, just didn't require us to be tidy or structured. It was fun to be with her, but my lack of training in organization held me back from things I wanted to do. I'm convinced there is a middle ground - a way to enjoy time together without unpleasant nagging, plus have a reasonably clean, organized house. Thank goodness, I've seen that it works in other families - they seem to laugh together and even make daily cleaning fun!

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Something that helped when Little Librarian and her cousin were much younger (3 or 4) was having a dedicated play space where their toys were. Toys didn't belong in the bedroom, livingroom, kitchen, ect. They belonged in the playroom and if they left the playroom then I put them away for awhile. This really helped because it was easy to keep the rest of the house tidy and then focus on the playroom after they went to bed. I wasn't a total ogre about it but making that a constant house rule helped a lot.

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I have a friend who's mother kept an extremely clean and tidy home, but she said her mom didn't have friends or really do much. My friend says the most interesting people she knows are the ones whose houses are not perfect. I must be one of the more interesting people!

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My one contribution to this topic will be:

 

https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t

 

This is the site the credit bureaus run for opting out of credit card offers. It's real and it works, and it cuts down a major stream of junk mail.

 

We still occasionally (very rarely) get credit card offers through existing associations (Southwest Airlines, banks we have accounts at), but I try to attack those as well.

 

We also keep a paper recycling bin under the mailbox outside, and all the junk goes straight there and never comes into the house. Yes, it's unsightly, but I'll be darned if it doesn't work. :)

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Um... yeah! I keep reading these and thinking, "But... but they have older kids who do chores!" (Please, if anyone knows another family who had 4 kids within a roughly 3-year span and keeps things sane, let me know.)

 

I don't want an excuse, though. I want my house clean, and I'll just have to find a way to do it. I make my bed every day, and I didn't used to do that. I keep toys in an off-limits room, and the kids have to put some away to pick out new ones. Things do get better, little by little. Next maybe I'll work on doing dishes every night, no matter how I feel. I think I'd feel more like getting out of bed earlier!

 

My MIL had 4 boys in 4 1/2 years. She kept a very tidy house, but she didn't homeschool and entire rooms were off limits. Also, that was back when kids were kicked out of the house if it was daylight. I don't think toys ever left the bedrooms. DH has never pressed for me to recreate that much order. He's just happy if things look nice and he can find his stuff. He's also hesitant to complain for fear of being forced to participate in upkeep. He pretty much does just enough to keep from getting yelled at.

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What an inspiring thread. I have a small house and my kids sure have lots of toys.:blushing: Most days, it looks like ToysRUs has exploded into our living room (and hall... and the bathroom....)

 

And I actually am a pretty ruthless purger. We go through things weekly and donate or throw out things we don't use/are broken/multiples of/etc.

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Um... yeah! I keep reading these and thinking, "But... but they have older kids who do chores!" (Please, if anyone knows another family who had 4 kids within a roughly 3-year span and keeps things sane, let me know.)

 

I don't want an excuse, though. I want my house clean, and I'll just have to find a way to do it. I make my bed every day, and I didn't used to do that. I keep toys in an off-limits room, and the kids have to put some away to pick out new ones. Things do get better, little by little. Next maybe I'll work on doing dishes every night, no matter how I feel. I think I'd feel more like getting out of bed earlier!

 

It is a lot harder when they are ALL young, to be sure. When my three oldest were under 4 I significantly limited the toys. That was the only thing that helped. I had three big Rubbermaids full of toys and rotated through them. Every 2 weeks they got a box full of toys that they hadn't seen in a while. Those young years are the time to train them to make beds (to the best of their ability), wipe down sinks/counters with a wet, soapy cloth, and put away the silverware when the dishwasher is done, etc. They can't do everything, and YOU can certainly do everything better than they can, but it is the right time to train them :001_smile:

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Um... yeah! I keep reading these and thinking, "But... but they have older kids who do chores!" (Please, if anyone knows another family who had 4 kids within a roughly 3-year span and keeps things sane, let me know.)

 

I don't want an excuse, though. I want my house clean, and I'll just have to find a way to do it. I make my bed every day, and I didn't used to do that. I keep toys in an off-limits room, and the kids have to put some away to pick out new ones. Things do get better, little by little. Next maybe I'll work on doing dishes every night, no matter how I feel. I think I'd feel more like getting out of bed earlier!

 

It is a lot harder when they are ALL young, to be sure. When my three oldest were under 4 I significantly limited the toys. That was the only thing that helped. I had three big Rubbermaids full of toys and rotated through them. Every 2 weeks they got a box full of toys that they hadn't seen in a while. Those young years are the time to train them to make beds (to the best of their ability), wipe down sinks/counters with a wet, soapy cloth, and put away the silverware when the dishwasher is done, etc. They can't do everything, and YOU can certainly do everything better than they can, but it is the right time to train them :001_smile:

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Ah, great, thank you!!!

 

Laundry Detergent

 

1 bar soap, grated (I've used Fels Naptha, Dial, and castille bar soap with good results)

1 cup washing soda

1 cup borax

1/4 cup baking soda

 

Mix it up and use 2 Tbsp per load of laundry. You can run it through the food processor if you want the texture to be uniform, but it's not necessary.

 

Dishwasher Detergent

 

Equal parts salt, washing soda, and borax. Mix well. I use 2 Tbsp per load and vinegar as a rinse agent.

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Organization is a tool to make the rest of my life run better. Too much organization, and my life is stiffled. Too little organization, and my life is hectic and chaotic.

 

Organization seems to be developing little habits. For instance, I store my plastic type contains in one shelf with lids on. I never spend time matching lids to bottoms. I usually run the dishwasher after each meal so we have clean dishes for the next meal and so I put the next meal's dishes in it. I rarely have a pile of dirty dishes waiting to be processed.

 

I don't plan meals well, so I do usually have stress at the end of day trying to throw something together. Not so good.

 

I let my kids play with whatever toys they want whenever they want. They create a lot of mess, but they also come up really fun, creative ideas. Enforcing the one toy out at a time rule would be too stifling for my family. However, enforcing daily toy pick-up is not too stifling for us.

 

Little habits make a world of difference.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ay, I have been so busy in my house since I got back from GA 11 days ago. I got home just before midnight to a huge mess that my dh had left in the house while I was gone. I had read this thread while I was up in GA and was so inspired by Pretty in Pink's home that I was determined to tackle mine when I got back. The mess dh had made (in every single room in the house! :eek:) made it just that much more urgent. I haven't even started back to school yet since we got home. Since I've arrived I haven't stopped cleaning, de-cluttering, donating and throwing things away and trying to get my home under control. My back is KILLING me and I'm still not even done with the downstairs yet!! I am feeling like this is never going to end. I keep telling myself each day, (oh tomorrow I'll probably finally finish the downstairs) and then the next day I spend the whole day working, cleaning, scrubbing, etc. I really want to get this done this week. I thought for sure I'd be done with the kitchen today, but I'm not. :( I'm taking a break now since we just had dinner and I'm going to hit it again when I get off here, but man! I could use some words of encouragement or some more pictures if you all feel so inclined to help me get motivated. Pretty in Pink's pics are great and inspire me to keep on keeping on, but I am so ready to be done now.

 

Any nice tidy room pics or words of encouragement would be GREATLY appreciated. :) Thanks. :)

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DSC_0045%2B%25284%2529.JPG

 

Actually, that photo is about a year old, but I can assure that the room is just as tidy right this second. You see, Mr. M-mv and I were up until 3 a.m. culling, dusting, sorting, and -- GULP! -- "releasing" thirteen boxes of beloved friends... I mean, books. Since we were already up waaaay past our bedroom, we then tackled the weekly chores.

 

The place looks buttoned up and beautiful.

 

ETA that my back, feet, legs were aching by midnight. It was worth it, though. It was time to part with some of the collection: It was cresting 10,000. Again.

Edited by Mental multivitamin
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DSC_0045%2B%25284%2529.JPG

 

Actually, that photo is about a year old, but I can assure that the room is just as tidy right this second. You see, Mr. M-mv and I were up until 3 a.m. culling, dusting, sorting, and -- GULP! -- "releasing" thirteen boxes of beloved friends... I mean, books. Since we were already up waaaay past our bedroom, we then tackled the weekly chores.

 

The place looks buttoned up and beautiful.

 

Oh nice!! :) Books are my weakness too! Dh and I both have tons of books. I've given so many away to the library and still have 4 book cases full downstairs! The upstairs has even more, but I'm not even going to think about the upstairs until my downstairs is done! lol Actually, the upstairs isn't too bad, because I go through my kids' room often and get rid of toys/clothes etc and my room too isn't too bad because we recently put in new floors and I got rid of TONS of books and stuff then, but the downstairs hadn't been touched in a looooooong time and it was super cluttered. My kitchen was a disaster area and it's coming a long now, but man my poor back! lol

Edited by Ibbygirl
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Organization is a tool to make the rest of my life run better. Too much organization, and my life is stiffled. Too little organization, and my life is hectic and chaotic.

 

 

:iagree: It seems many of things other organized people don't do, are things I enjoy. I *do* crochet, knit, sew, scrapbook (though not recently), bake, and garden. I even like to watch tv and surf the internet. I enjoy doing these things. To me, the point of being organized is to have time to do the things that make you happy.

 

What I don't do:

 

I rarely watch tv during the day.

I don't put things in a "for now" location.

I don't let dishes pile up.

I don't save junk mail, magazines, etc. to read later. Later never comes.

I don't keep things we don't need or like.

I don't keep things "in case I need them someday".

I don't make multiple trips to the store.

 

A big one: I don't expect perfection. Not from myself or my family. Clean and tidy is acceptable. Spotless and pristine is unnecessary.

 

And this might be flame-worthy here, but I don't keep a lot of books. :eek: I LOVE books, but I firmly believe they are meant to be read. I'd much rather donate a book to my library than let it sit on my shelf in case someone wants to read it/read it again someday. I'd much rather they be in the hands of someone who will read them now.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm fairly organized person, although not as much as some but more so than many.

 

I'm a ruthless decluterrer and simplifier. (apparently neither of those are actual words, hmm )

 

I move very quickly and efficiently (well most of the time- currently I'm a bit slower being pregnant)

 

I try to just keep things I love around.

 

I have a tendency to make things a bit too sterile so I try to find things of beauty as well, although it is eclectic around here due to my tastes and budget. I think it can be simple and be "homey" as well.

 

I do talk on the phone. I love talking on the phone but I clean while talking. It works very well for me though. I cannot sit still and talk at the same time it drives me bonkers. I do mundane tasks, picking up things, dishes etc.

 

Like others I keep cleaning basic I use basic homemade laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. We all use the same soap and shampoo(those are the only bath products). I use reusable everything except TP (cannot convince dh of that one :)). Beauty products are very minimal. I use breastpads and coconut oil to clean my face and nothing else. Most other cleaning is vinegar, or baking soda and sometimes Dr. Bronners for mopping.

 

I don't watch tv either, unless in the evening for family movie night or such or educational show sometimes after lunch.

 

I also go to bed at a reasonable time so I can get up early. I hate starting the day behind I need my time before the kids get up for sanity. I have to have sleep or I don't have energy to get done what is needed and there is no show to watch worth feeling like crap all day.

 

I am not perfect or close to it, we have lazy days sometimes and we will just veg and just keep up on the basics.

 

I generally sweep daily and mop weekly. I clean the bathroom usually whenever I am in there as it takes less than 5 min, generally tidies are every day. Toilet and mirrors a few times a week and bathtub I try to keep wiped out while showering very quickly and deep cleaned when I think of it(wiping it out weekly or so keeps major grime away even if it isn't sparkly). Laundry is done when it is needed, usually a load every few days(I have a large capacity washer and I don't let them wear it a little bit and change). We hang and fold clothes together in the evening. Usually I have a kitchen clean up in the am while b-fast making and in the evening while cleaning and while taking care of putting away supper.

 

I've currently stopped meal planning extensively. It wasn't worth the time put into it BUT I have a basic plan and stocked pantry so this works for us; Sunday- Chicken, Monday- Ground Meat, Tuesday- Leftover Chicken Soup/Casserole, Wednesday- Bean, Thursday- Roast, Friday- Veg/Fun Meals (Tacos/Pizza), Saturday- Leftovers. Veggies /fruit are whats on sale.

 

 

I think it is a false dichotomy to say you cannot be organized and have a life. You have to find a way to make it work for you though. A place to put your supplies. Being honest about what is used and what isn't. Having a place to keep mess even if it is just a tote or basket if you cannot put things entirely up between tasks.

 

I have a social life as well, as I said I talk on the phone but work as I do so. I answer email but try to do so in the am before everyone is up. I visit now and again. I don't like running around all the time though. I don't think the chaos is worth it and try to slowly integrate different things. Last fall we ended up adding a ton of things at once and I had to pull way back because we got way off kilter. I try to keep in mind our highest family priorities and stay focused on which things bring us toward those goals.

 

No areas of my house are off-limits. I do expect the kids to be generally respectful of our things and my time and everyone is to pitch in, you have to start training early. Even small kids(2-3-4) can often do more than is thought, although flexibility, consistency and training are key. The more you have and the smaller they are the more simplified things have to be.

Edited by soror
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I'm organized by necessity. It had to be done, and given that I certainly earned the Messy Bess title as a child it wasn't easy.

But here is what I don't do now that I did before:

1)I don't wait to fold laundry. (Right now it comes out, it gets folded and put away right away.)

2)I don't try to do the whole house at once. (I have a set two hours a day for my cleaning and I have certain areas that get done on those days.)

3) I don't debulk. (This was a big thing for me. I am ruthless about clutter, but in fits and starts. So I opted to quit trying to debulk the tumor and instead opted for pruning. A little pruning gets the thing cut back in managable sections.)

4) I don't try to multitask. (Let's face it, it's really hard to clean and cook at the same time.Tuesday is kitchen/dining room day. It's also baked potato day. Almost zero prep time on those, and cleanup is skins to the compost pile.)

5) I don't go play on the computer. (It's just plain too easy to let the steamer run out while I'm trying to catch up on the forum. I went internet free for Lent, and that really convinced me to watch computer time.)

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  • 4 weeks later...
Thank you for the tips. Please keep them coming. I am trying so hard to get organized and declutter this house. We are drowning in junk.

 

:iagree: AND we want to move in the next year. The thought of packing up all this carp just makes me shudder.

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  • 1 month later...

I love the simplicity in these photos.

 

Me too. They are so inspirational. I'm so glad she's so willing to share them with us. I saw them when I first read this thread while I was up in Georgia visiting my mother. When I got back home I went on the warpath and purged so much stuff. I'm still not even done yet, but my home looks so much better already. It's getting there. Like you I just have too much stuff. :)

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If you don't mind profanity, this website changed my life. I am so much more organized and clean and relaxed than I used to be, and it's been doubly wonderful for coping with the mental blocks that keep me from doing what needs to be done.

 

I can not get the link to work. Could be me though.

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