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heartlikealion

daycare/preschool ques. and other ramblings

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Also, as someone who buys used things, and always has - when I was quite poor (even now, but especially then), finding something handmade in a Goodwill was just amazing.  It felt like I could have something that was made with love for someone without having to pay new handmade prices (which were waaaaay out of my budget).  So donating a handmade item that you no longer need or can't keep is really nice all the way around.

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If you had a baptismal outfit for your little one(s) did you save it? Donate it? Sometimes I wonder why we are holding onto these things. I know dh didn't want to part with some stuff. Guess he thinks it'll go to grandkids? To some degree it's easier for me to let go of stuff because I lost my home in Hurricane Katrina and although there were a couple items I was really upset about, a lot of it you're just like, "hey it's just stuff. Better someone uses it than it stays in a closet til a storm ruins it, etc." Like to this day I'm not sure if I can rewear a pair of doc martins that were immersed in icky hurricane water. My dad said they held onto them and he thinks it'd be okay but I'm like uhhh is that sanitary?? Aren't they gonna be full of mold?? (You cannot rebuy those shoes. I found them on ebay for a good price and they were cushioned and very comfy and a reddish color).

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If you had a baptismal outfit for your little one(s) did you save it? Donate it? Sometimes I wonder why we are holding onto these things. I know dh didn't want to part with some stuff. Guess he thinks it'll go to grandkids? To some degree it's easier for me to let go of stuff because I lost my home in Hurricane Katrina and although there were a couple items I was really upset about, a lot of it you're just like, "hey it's just stuff. Better someone uses it than it stays in a closet til a storm ruins it, etc." Like to this day I'm not sure if I can rewear a pair of doc martins that were immersed in icky hurricane water. My dad said they held onto them and he thinks it'd be okay but I'm like uhhh is that sanitary?? Aren't they gonna be full of mold?? (You cannot rebuy those shoes. I found them on ebay for a good price and they were cushioned and very comfy and a reddish color).

 

We have a clear plastic tote for each of our kids. In the tote are a few baby clothes that I just loved, or were homemade by relatives, their baby books, a baby blanket or stuffed animal that was their "lovey," their baptismal outfit, etc. We keep these totes on a high shelf in our bedroom closet.

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If you had a baptismal outfit for your little one(s) did you save it? Donate it? Sometimes I wonder why we are holding onto these things. I know dh didn't want to part with some stuff. Guess he thinks it'll go to grandkids? To some degree it's easier for me to let go of stuff because I lost my home in Hurricane Katrina and although there were a couple items I was really upset about, a lot of it you're just like, "hey it's just stuff. Better someone uses it than it stays in a closet til a storm ruins it, etc." Like to this day I'm not sure if I can rewear a pair of doc martins that were immersed in icky hurricane water. My dad said they held onto them and he thinks it'd be okay but I'm like uhhh is that sanitary?? Aren't they gonna be full of mold?? (You cannot rebuy those shoes. I found them on ebay for a good price and they were cushioned and very comfy and a reddish color).

I donated them. None of them were heirlooms that I've been passed on for generations or anything. Just cute outfits I bought. On Amazon I think. I decided that rather than have them sit in a closet for decades and possibly never be used again, I should donate so that someone who couldn't afford a new baptismal outfit could buy one used. I figured that was a blessing.

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This thread is making me want to declutter. We don't have a lot of clutter now, but there is always something that I could purge. Today I am going to go through our DVD drawer and get rid of old ones. I think I need a list of other areas I could declutter.

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Oh, I thought of you when listening to an interview on the Catholic Channel yesterday. They had on a guest who said that she doesn't struggle over decisions because she says, she spends time with God in prayer each day, and is trusting him to either form her heart such that she will make the right choices, or to work through her mistakes. I love that idea, that God isn't going to get derailed because you make a mistake, he can work with it. 

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Currently I have a few outfits in a bin under my bed that dh could not part with. Both kids wore the items in most cases. I don't have the baptismal outfits in there right now. Dd's is hanging up in her closet. I was just looking at it and thinking about people joining the church at the end of Lent. I know baptisms are all year long. I'm going to ask dh about them again.

 

Dd is fine with me donating the Toy Story throw. I'm currently washing the cover on the Brestfriend pillow (seen on the chair in the photo under the outdoor swing). It won't dry in time to give away today but I think I know someone that might want it. I know two moms with young babies and one expecting. I worried that the inside was stained but when I took off the slip cover I could not see signs of damage.

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Currently I have a few outfits in a bin under my bed that dh could not part with. Both kids wore the items in most cases. I don't have the baptismal outfits in there right now. Dd's is hanging up in her closet. I was just looking at it and thinking about people joining the church at the end of Lent. I know baptisms are all year long. I'm going to ask dh about them again.

 

Dd is fine with me donating the Toy Story throw. I'm currently washing the cover on the Brestfriend pillow (seen on the chair in the photo under the outdoor swing). It won't dry in time to give away today but I think I know someone that might want it. I know two moms with young babies and one expecting. I worried that the inside was stained but when I took off the slip cover I could not see signs of damage.

We came into the church last Easter. It would’ve meant the world to me if someone had offered to hand down their baptismal outfit simply because it had some heritage to it. (Someone else had worn it). We didn’t have any catholic family members or anything to be handed down. So if you want to part with them, I think donating it to a family coming into the church is a great idea. For now I’m keeping mine!

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I called the book store and the way it works is you can donate books that they move along to other places like prisons or you can get store credit if they want the book and you want to buy something from the same category. Dh said if we locate the Marie Kondo book he's going to add it to his library's collection, though. And he has room for other stuff as well so I have a couple options with books. You can also bring back books you got from their store for 50% credit.

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We came into the church last Easter. It would’ve meant the world to me if someone had offered to hand down their baptismal outfit simply because it had some heritage to it. (Someone else had worn it). We didn’t have any catholic family members or anything to be handed down. So if you want to part with them, I think donating it to a family coming into the church is a great idea. For now I’m keeping mine!

 

aw thank you for sharing your story. :)

 

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I've kept the baptismal outfits we have, along with a very small selection of other things that the kids wore.  Mostly very special items that were exceptional quality or handmade or hand-me-downs from myself or my sister, on in one case a kilt that belonged first to my uncle then all the siblings in that family, then myself and my sisters.  Sweaters my Nana made, for me originally or my elder dd.

 

I kept the baptismal outfits too - one is a special baptismal dress my MIL made that my older girls wore, and my son wore a smocked blue baby gown that a lady in my rug hooking group made.  Dd1 wore a Gap wool dress because she was much smaller - I may not keep that but it's actually quite a lovely thing in a different way.

 

But, I keep this down to one bin.

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I just counted small blankets (smaller than your average throw). Over 10 blankets. We're talking baby blankets/receiving blankets. Some are harder to get rid of because I think, "aw, so and so sewed that for us." They don't take up a huge amount of space, but it all adds up! Surely people that sew blankets or things for babies know that not everyone will hang onto it forever? (make me feel better about passing on lol)

People do know that. Also, people don't always remember everything they give away. :-)

 

Animal shelters also take old blankets.

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I finished cleaning out my pantry, cleared the counter around the microwave, cleaned off the stuff that has taken up residence on top of the microwave, and even wiped down the inside of the microwave.

 

My kitchen is looking better though I still have a long way to go.

 

I threw out a 13 gallon trash bag of stuff from the pantry.

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A pantry is a very satisfying thing to clean out, imo.  I have a lot of trouble doing it - I'm okay with getting rid of books we don't read and clothes they've outgrown, etc. but food and spices and random items I thought I would make someday but never did (hello, 4 boxes of strange herbal tea on sale) are hard for me to throw out or even give away.  Once it's gone I feel a relief, though - don't have to feel guilty about not ever getting around to making whatever fancy dish I'd planned!

 

I do much better with bags of beans and frozen vegetables.  I kid myself into thinking I'm going to do some gourmet thing but it doesn't happen.

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I tend to keep very favorite baby things for the next baby until they are worn out.  We don't have any situations where they own something as babies that they'll just wear once, though, so it does eventually get worn out completely. 

 

When I was a kid and teenager, I kept everything.  My parents had a basement and didn't mind if I just stored things in boxes.

 

I had an entire box labelled, I kid you not, "Sentimental Shoes."  Surprise of surprises, when I moved out and took my stuff with me I suddenly didn't feel a need to cart around an entire box of sentimental shoes.

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Yay for everyone making progress.

 

Thank you everyone sharing your stories.

 

Dh wants to keep the baptismal outfits and I don't even know if they would fit the average baby (our babies got baptized a few months after they were born) so I'll be sure to add those to the keep bin. I'll see what else I can get rid of, though. Today I got rid of the baby tub, but could not find one insert (which is for when you want them to sit upright). I did have the infant mesh piece at least. I got rid one of toy today but ran out of time to load the car with Goodwill stuff and they were closed by the time we finished our movie and meal, anyway. I've done something every day for the past few days, though, so it's making me feel good.

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Oh yeah and threw out a bunch of junk from the car when I went to the gas station. My advice to anyone else struggling with a messy car... dump it in large trash cans when you're out and about. I drew the line at trying to cram a Little Caesar's box in there. I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with that one, either.

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Yay for everyone making progress.

 

Thank you everyone sharing your stories.

 

Dh wants to keep the baptismal outfits and I don't even know if they would fit the average baby (our babies got baptized a few months after they were born) so I'll be sure to add those to the keep bin. I'll see what else I can get rid of, though. Today I got rid of the baby tub, but could not find one insert (which is for when you want them to sit upright). I did have the infant mesh piece at least. I got rid one of toy today but ran out of time to load the car with Goodwill stuff and they were closed by the time we finished our movie and meal, anyway. I've done something every day for the past few days, though, so it's making me feel good.

Hurt at for progress!

 

I'm finding the thread motivating as well. Just mustering the mental energy to make decisions about stuff is hard sometimes.

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Here's a tip that works for me: for clothes, keep a donation bin or bag in the laundry room. As things come through the wash that are getting too small or that you just don't like much anymore, toss them in.

 

Even more important, pick a day every few weeks or so when laundry has piled up and the drawers and closets are getting empty. Go see what is still in those drawers or hanging in the closets because that is the stuff you and your family members are not choosing to wear.

 

Get rid of whatever you can of that stuff.

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Oh yeah and threw out a bunch of junk from the car when I went to the gas station. My advice to anyone else struggling with a messy car... dump it in large trash cans when you're out and about. I drew the line at trying to cram a Little Caesar's box in there. I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with that one, either.

Or even easier : take everything out of the car that doesn't belong there every single time you get home.

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Or even easier : take everything out of the car that doesn't belong there every single time you get home.

 

I'm usually carrying a toddler inside but I do try to do this. Sometimes when I go to get in the car it's full of stuff that is not mine. I don't drink coffee but find the cups in my car all the time. We have one vehicle and spend a lot of time in it. We need to all work on this. It's actually easier to me to dump it at the public can (if it's like a to-go cup) because I don't need to bag it up or get the toddler out of the car in the process. 

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I'm usually carrying a toddler inside but I do try to do this. Sometimes when I go to get in the car it's full of stuff that is not mine. I don't drink coffee but find the cups in my car all the time. We have one vehicle and spend a lot of time in it. We need to all work on this. It's actually easier to me to dump it at the public can (if it's like a to-go cup) because I don't need to bag it up or get the toddler out of the car in the process.

Then whoever is using your car who dumps coffee cups there needs to take them out. The rule needs to apply to every person. It is best to prevent a mess from being created in the first place.

Edited by regentrude
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Then whoever is using your car who dumps coffee cups there needs to take them out. The rule needs to apply to every person. It is best to prevent a mess from being created in the first place.

 

Thanks, Captain Obvious. This is the second thread of mine you have come into this week to share things that come across as judgy or rude or unhelpful. 

Edited by heartlikealion
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Then whoever is using your car who dumps coffee cups there needs to take them out. The rule needs to apply to every person. It is best to prevent a mess from being created in the first place.

Of course it is best.

 

OP does not control her spouse.

 

And truly if everyone had your level of executive function ability there would be no one with a messy house or messy car. People don't actually live that way because they like to.

 

This stuff really is way harder for some people to implement.

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Of course it is best.

 

OP does not control her spouse.

 

And truly if everyone had your level of executive function ability there would be no one with a messy house or messy car. People don't actually live that way because they like to.

 

This stuff really is way harder for some people to implement.

 

Thank you. You said this a lot nicer and eloquently than me  :o

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Thanks, Captain Obvious. This is the second thread of mine you have come into this week to share things that come across as judgy or rude or unhelpful.

I don't think regentrude intends to be judgy, she just has a tidily ordered brain that manages the logistics of her life easily.

 

And struggles to understand those who don't.

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I'm usually carrying a toddler inside but I do try to do this. Sometimes when I go to get in the car it's full of stuff that is not mine. I don't drink coffee but find the cups in my car all the time. We have one vehicle and spend a lot of time in it. We need to all work on this. It's actually easier to me to dump it at the public can (if it's like a to-go cup) because I don't need to bag it up or get the toddler out of the car in the process. 

 

I hear you.  It seems like it should be easy to clean out the car every time, but it's just not that way for everyone, myself/my family included.

 

I know people who won't allow any food or drink in their car, ever, because they don't want spills or trash.  I can respect that and I admire their pristine vehicles. But I can't live like that.  It just doesn't work for my family.  Sometimes despite our best efforts things get left behind, and busyness prevents doing a good cleanout as often as we would like.  It is not a sign of a  moral failure.

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I’ve been following this thread and cheering you on Heartlikealion!! It’s not easy to change our habits, but once you start giving stuff away and getting rid of things, it gets much easier!!

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I'm usually carrying a toddler inside but I do try to do this. Sometimes when I go to get in the car it's full of stuff that is not mine. I don't drink coffee but find the cups in my car all the time. We have one vehicle and spend a lot of time in it. We need to all work on this. It's actually easier to me to dump it at the public can (if it's like a to-go cup) because I don't need to bag it up or get the toddler out of the car in the process. 

 

 I do the same thing! Everythime I get gas I clean it out, for the same reason. Too hard to carry it in when I have a baby in my arms. 

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It is best to prevent a mess from being created in the first place.

 

Pretty sure we all know that. 

 

And when my husband suggested a similar thing I barely spoke to him for 24 hours I was so angry. 

 

We all have things we are bad at. Picking up as we go is something I am bad at. Being empathetic is something others are bad at. 

 

We all have weaknesses. 

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I don't even have toddlers/babies and my car can get pretty cluttered.  It's not even necessarily trash.

 

I might go to the store and end up buying more than I'd anticipated.  There may be too many parcels to carry in at once, so some have to stay behind. I prioritize cold foods (usually I do have it together enough to mostly have the cold foods bagged together and in the summer I try to bring a cooler in the car) so those go in first. If there's no one home to help me, I might just leave the nonperishables/household items in the car while I put other stuff away.  Then, it might be time to get dinner going... then maybe make a phone call (or answer one)... and maybe I have to rush out somewhere that night and end up with more stuff to carry in... and before I know it, I'm driving around with a bottle of vinegar, a tote bag of library books, and a pack of kleenex in the car for a week. 

 

And if I stopped for a coffee on the way home... yeah, that cup might not get taken out immediately.  

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Lol I know what you guys mean. This week I accidentally left two cans of spaghetti Os in the car. My toddler kept asking for them the next day and Daddy was out of town with the car. Oops.

 

Ok so today I gave my friend her baby gift and offered her my pumping bra and bibs. She wanted them. Yay. I then stopped by the church where Spanish Mass was letting out. I spoke to the Hispanic ministry person and then saw a mom with a tot headed to her car. I offered her the 3t stuff and a baby blanket I had. My friend declined the bigger stuff saying she had no room. It all worked out. I had 2 pairs of adult shoes (mine) and left one in parish hall and dropped other in bin near Walmart. I opened door and clothes were resting on door from being overfilled so I won't rely on that bin lol They said I can bring the pack n play to the church so I will soon but going out of town this week. Will deal with later during office hours or after Spanish Mass in near future.

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I have not read the replies so I apologize if this has been said.  You need to just get rid of it all and not try to find a way to make money back or get it to someone special.  You need to simply make a list and donate to goodwill.  The tax deduction that you can get if you itemize with it's deductible software is worth it.  Just let it go.  Start boxing and bagging and load it up and take it to goodwill.  It doesn't really matter if someone else could use it.  It doesn't matter if it is worth some money.  It is hindering your life in a big way and taking the loss is cheaper than tuition at school ;)  You've got this. Hire a mom's helper (teens are usually affordable) to watch your kids while you declutter and go through section at a time.  Box, bag, and don't pull anything back out to second guess.  

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I have not read the replies so I apologize if this has been said. You need to just get rid of it all and not try to find a way to make money back or get it to someone special. You need to simply make a list and donate to goodwill. The tax deduction that you can get if you itemize with it's deductible software is worth it. Just let it go. Start boxing and bagging and load it up and take it to goodwill. It doesn't really matter if someone else could use it. It doesn't matter if it is worth some money. It is hindering your life in a big way and taking the loss is cheaper than tuition at school ;) You've got this. Hire a mom's helper (teens are usually affordable) to watch your kids while you declutter and go through section at a time. Box, bag, and don't pull anything back out to second guess.

With the new standard deduction being $24,000 not many people will be able to deduct goodwill donations.

 

But I agree that donating is the way to go!

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Oh yeah and threw out a bunch of junk from the car when I went to the gas station. My advice to anyone else struggling with a messy car... dump it in large trash cans when you're out and about. I drew the line at trying to cram a Little Caesar's box in there. I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with that one, either.

 

What worked for me if I wasnt' stopping for fuel was to task the older kid if he was along..he could dump cooled coffee on the lawn, then bag the trash and put it in our trash can.  If he wasn't available, I would do that first, then unload toddler to safe spot before unloading perishables. Its quick if you have your trashcan by the driveway.  If raining or I didn't have time, the tidy up job waited for evening and was done before unloading remaning nonperishables by person not taking child care responsiblity at that time. 

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Thanks, Captain Obvious. This is the second thread of mine you have come into this week to share things that come across as judgy or rude or unhelpful.

My apologies. I didn't mean to offend. I wanted to express that the best solution to clutter problems is for the family to come up with ways all can prevent clutter formation. All need to be on board. This is how the people I know who have tidy homes and cars do it, not by heroic declutter actions. Apparently I expressed myself poorly. I am sorry about that and will leave this thread. But I honestly believe this is a discussion both spouses need to have, and even though somebody said that one doesn't control one's spouse, spouses can discuss and choose to do certain things that increase their quality of life. Best wishes.

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Thank you. I have discussed it with him before. Just like I have asked him to mount a tv for 2 years or burn a Christmas tree that has some remains in the yard. Not from this Christmas. Yes people should ideally be able to work as a team or follow through with things (myself included) but reality is that sometimes it doesn't happen. You slowly go insane lol

 

I'll keep plugging along. I'll remind dh about the coffee. I just try to keep realistic expectations.

 

Welp I was ready to toss that extra litter box but now I need it. Child care arrangements for the kids fell through this week so I can't tutor and dh has a conference but it's too late to put in a work vehicle request. So, given that we have one fully functioning car, we are all traveling with dh and leaving the cat here. Hoarders don't really like asking pet sitters over and last time I had the mudroom in great shape and left paper towels, gloves, bags etc in there in case the cat had an accident. The person checking on the cat didn't want to use the small bags and walked through our home to find the kitchen trash bags. When I found out I was mortified. So no pet sitter right now and kitty gets 2 boxes and her food/water dispensers.

 

(Pet sitter is the wrong word I guess. It was a neighbor checking in)

 

On the upside we will get to see family and my kids will meet one of my aunts they have never met.

Edited by heartlikealion
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When are you planning to rehome the cat?

 

I'm headed off to clean under my sink; hoping to get the kitchen clean out project finished this week :)

Edited by maize
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We don't itemize. I never bother with slips for donations.

 

When are you planning to rehome the cat?

I'm headed off to clean under my sink; hoping to get the kitchen clean out project finished this week :)

 

I don't know. I called about the spaying the other day. They said I had two choices. Pay one price at the place over an hour away (where you drop off before 8am). Or get a voucher for a discount at a place in my own county so I don't have to drive as far. The only connection that place has to other vets is that the vets accept vouchers. She said they didn't know anything about the clinics. So, when I said oh great, I've had a bad experience with a nearby vet she said well you can make the drive to us if you prefer. There's only one vet in my county in the voucher program (limited vets here at all). I looked up the place in my county and it definitely looks like the one I went to and walked right out after a couple of minutes. Place seemed unkempt and sketchy. Yelp someone gave a terrible review about the dr (I didn't even meet him). The far away place does pick up that evening around 5-5:30. That's a mess. I asked dh if he could do the drive one way to help me out and he said no. Maybe because he'd have to leave work early, but basically for all practical purposes she's my cat at this point. I can't do the spay next week because we'll be out of town. Maybe the next week, but that'll be a huge pain. One person on FB told me they had a bad experience, but some others said good things about the place.

 

My former boss said she might take the cat, but that's still not a sure deal. And she has a dog. So I don't know. Also, I think it'd be in the cat's best interest to remain an indoor cat. That's hard to come by around here. So I really have no idea when she'll be rehomed.

 

Good luck with your cleaning!

Edited by heartlikealion
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My car gets cluttered too, and I clean it out when I stop for gas.  On rare occasion I'll send the older kids outside to clean out the car if it's been too long and it's bothering me.  If your oldest is 9 he's probably old enough to clean out a car.  A 6 year old with decent work ethic and executive function can do it (my DS9 could not have done it at 6 but he is capable at 9).

 

I agree that implementing solutions to building up clutter and mess is as important as decluttering and cleaning, Regentrude is right there.  It's just that for her, the solution is obviously to clean and declutter as you go along.  This is how DH works too - he has tons of executive function, he's not lazy in the least, he sees mess in a way that I sometimes don't even see it, and he just cleans up after himself.  If he makes a cup of tea, there is no universe in which he is going to leave the tea bag wrapper on the counter; if he makes a peanut butter sandwich he will wash the peanut butter off of the knife. Every time.  If he runs out of toilet paper, he goes and gets more and puts it in the bathroom right then.  He never forgets.

 

This is not the way my brain works.  I forget things, I don't pay attention to the little details, and I'm not cleanliness-motivated in the same way (you could say that I am lazy about keeping things clean, and I think that would also be a fair way to say it).  

 

BUT I still realize that my life is easier if I prevent mess and clutter to the extent possible, instead of constantly being in a state of cleaning and decluttering and mess and unhappiness about it (both for me and DH, who didn't cause it in the first place).  So I don't clean up after myself all day like DH or like Regentrude, but I do get rid of things that make messes, to the extent possible.  I keep the extra toilet paper next to the bathroom or in the bathroom so I have less time to forget between the bathroom and the replacement.  I don't own extra spices or playdough or markers; I've trained the kids to make periodic sweeps of the kitchen (it takes less than 1 minute but is effective at preventing buildup of does-not-go-there stuff); I own one shampoo and one conditioner and keep them waaaaay up; I don't buy things we don't need (to the extent I can keep myself from doing so) and I absolutely clean out/discard gifts right after they are given if they are excessive (or insist that something else is discarded so that the gift can take its place).

 

I don't know what specific things would work for other people - depends on your living situation, your kids, your own proclivities, etc.  But I think forming a plan to deal with it at the start makes sense.

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I don't know how to say this but ds struggles with so many basic things, no, I don't feel confident in assigning him chores like cleaning out a car. He was instructed to help dh with the yard. His job was to do one thing (like take a bucket and put pinecones in it or pick up sticks) but he wandered around the yard clueless and thought he was supposed to do something else or did it in a very inefficient way despite having done it before (like not carrying the bucket with him). Dh was quite irritated.

 

If you tell ds to put his cereal bowl in the sink, sometimes he will literally just lay it in the sink with milk in it. Like dude, pour the milk down the drain. It's this type of thing all the time. He needs so much scaffolding that I don't have the patience. I don't want to micromanage a task I could do way faster. I know as a parent you shouldn't say stuff like that. You should be patient and model and repeat. You should draw a diagram or whatever.

 

Dh once paid a college student to clean out our car. They wandered off from the car, left the doors open. I never found dd's other shoe again. To this day I don't know if it was her fault or something else happened. I said no more of that. I'll do it myself.

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Wow, I would be cleaning out my car myself after that too!

 

DD6 does do things very inefficiently sometimes, and takes instruction literally.  I have to tell her things like: go downstairs and pick up all the CLOTHES and put them in THIS BASKET.  Just the CLOTHES.  And then she'll bring up one thing at a time so it takes forever.

 

But after she does the same task maybe 20 times, she gets the hang of doing it more efficiently (which I suggest to her in calm moments).

 

 

Most recently she's been hired as the laundry-putter-away.  At first I thought she could just take the clothes out of the dryer and put them in the owners' rooms.  No.  Way too overwhelming and she'd get distracted in the laundry room and etc.  So first, I would set up my work area in the laundry room for a bit and hand her piles of maybe 3-4 things at a time where she was standing outside the laundry room.  Often she would not know who something belonged to, and I told her it was perfectly acceptable and good to say, "Mom, I don't know whose shirt this is." And then I'd tell her whose it was.

 

After maybe a week of this I started working up to larger and larger piles.  Eventually I could dump the whole dryer load in the hallway and she could more or less deal with it.  I did not make (and do not make) a big deal about putting things in the right places, but she's getting some of the hang of it with practice.  After that, she moved into being able to first, take everything out of the dryer and put it on the floor in the laundry room.  Then, put things away.  So now, after maybe 2 months of this job, she can do it more or less competently on her own - maybe 80% of clothes end up where they belong, which is good enough for me.  That's 80% of the work I don't have to do.  Now, she's 6, and DS9 would not have been able to do it at 6, even after 2 months of practice.  But she couldn't do it at first either.

 

We have too many kids (and I run a small business from home) for me to do all the cleaning.  Our kids have to be taught to clean.  There's just no other way, other than paying someone else to clean up after us (which would be silly as we have the time to do it ourselves).  It takes an investment of time at the beginning and the younger or more distractable ones can't just do random jobs, they have to do the same job all the time for a long time before it becomes automatic - but it works out after a while.  It helps that I am not particular.  We don't fold clothes and I store the youngest three boys' things all together.  I don't mind if DS9 takes an hour and a half to do the dishes and uses a bit too much soap and makes a bit of a water mess and "forgets" to wash the hardest pan - he cleans the water mess with a towel afterward and his time is his to use as he sees fit.  Over the course of 6 months of doing the exact same thing (the dishes, every day) - so about 150-200 times - he's gotten much faster and uses somewhat less soap.

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But I can understand doing the work yourself if you have the time, for sure.  I remember MIL once making a big fuss about getting my then 2 year old to clean up a water spill at Thanksgiving, instead of doing it myself.  She was quite insistent that he could do it (of course he could) and should do it (why? I asked).  Something about learning to not spill things if he had to clean them up, or whatever.

 

Look, he was 2!  I don't mind cleaning up after a 2 year old.  I don't want him to worry about cleaning up his own water spills at 2, I want him to sit in his chair and eat his green beans.  He's going to turn out to be a responsible citizen anyway, I promise.

 

So I guess I'm saying that if I were competent to keep the house clean on my own, and I had the time, I would demand a lot less of the kids, for sure.

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I don't know how to say this but ds struggles with so many basic things, no, I don't feel confident in assigning him chores like cleaning out a car. He was instructed to help dh with the yard. His job was to do one thing (like take a bucket and put pinecones in it or pick up sticks) but he wandered around the yard clueless and thought he was supposed to do something else or did it in a very inefficient way despite having done it before (like not carrying the bucket with him). Dh was quite irritated.

 

If you tell ds to put his cereal bowl in the sink, sometimes he will literally just lay it in the sink with milk in it. Like dude, pour the milk down the drain. It's this type of thing all the time. He needs so much scaffolding that I don't have the patience. I don't want to micromanage a task I could do way faster. I know as a parent you shouldn't say stuff like that. You should be patient and model and repeat. You should draw a diagram or whatever.

 

Dh once paid a college student to clean out our car. They wandered off from the car, left the doors open. I never found dd's other shoe again. To this day I don't know if it was her fault or something else happened. I said no more of that. I'll do it myself.

 

I have some kids like this.

 

The scaffolding required for them to accomplish a task is SO MUCH and they need it every time for years and years and years...

 

I don't have the time and energy to invest, there are too many other things that need my time. I'm hoping things start clicking as these particular kids get older.

 

Now, I was this kind of kid and in spite of still struggling with executive function as an adult I'm generally a responsible and capable human being so I have hope that they will be OK.

 

But yeah, I'm gonna keep doing stuff myself rather than assign the kids most of the time because I can't afford the amount of time that supervising the kids takes.\

 

Fortunately not all of my children are this way.

Edited by maize
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes I do believe repetition helps and I do intend to have him help in ways and build up. Folding clothes is hard for him and even dh folds them funny (imo lol) so I fold and make stacks. Sometimes I have ds put away dd's stuff. She has 3 drawers on her dresser. If something is in the wrong place it's not hard to find.

 

My biggest obstacle has always been papers. What to keep, what to toss, and where to put the keep items. I get stressed out about mail. Dh said I left a piece of mail in the car or somewhere and it was a letter of recommendation for him. Well I had no idea one was coming our way and what it would look like. I don't open the mail addressed to him usually but if I do it's because I know it's mine or a bill. I know it sounds silly but mail gives me anxiety (not the fun kind of mail). I felt sooo bad about the mail but also wish he'd told me to keep an eye out.

 

Today I threw away a bunch from the car... expired coupons, old receipts, fast food trash. When I was single I had a messy car at times but it was seldom food related. I didn't eat in my car that much or I brought it inside right away. But where we live we are out hours easily and everyone gets hungry. I have found banana peels and I'm like really? You could at least make sure it gets into a bag. I do ask ds to carry items into the house with me. If it's too hard he helps by holding the door or keeping an eye on dd inside if I must make another trip.

 

I've always been a slob but I could devote time to cleaning if I wanted. Now it's harder so I agree it needs to be manageable and keept up. I'm trying to get to the manageable stage. I did but paper bowls and dh might shame me but ohh well.

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Thanks for the feedback. Yes I do believe repetition helps and I do intend to have him help in ways and build up. Folding clothes is hard for him and even dh folds them funny (imo lol) so I fold and make stacks. Sometimes I have ds put away dd's stuff. She has 3 drawers on her dresser. If something is in the wrong place it's not hard to find.

 

My biggest obstacle has always been papers. What to keep, what to toss, and where to put the keep items. I get stressed out about mail. Dh said I left a piece of mail in the car or somewhere and it was a letter of recommendation for him. Well I had no idea one was coming our way and what it would look like. I don't open the mail addressed to him usually but if I do it's because I know it's mine or a bill. I know it sounds silly but mail gives me anxiety (not the fun kind of mail). I felt sooo bad about the mail but also wish he'd told me to keep an eye out.

 

Today I threw away a bunch from the car... expired coupons, old receipts, fast food trash. When I was single I had a messy car at times but it was seldom food related. I didn't eat in my car that much or I brought it inside right away. But where we live we are out hours easily and everyone gets hungry. I have found banana peels and I'm like really? You could at least make sure it gets into a bag. I do ask ds to carry items into the house with me. If it's too hard he helps by holding the door or keeping an eye on dd inside if I must make another trip.

 

I've always been a slob but I could devote time to cleaning if I wanted. Now it's harder so I agree it needs to be manageable and keept up. I'm trying to get to the manageable stage. I did but paper bowls and dh might shame me but ohh well.

 

If Dh wants to shame you HE can take charge of all the dishes.

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There are times in my life where I have gone to paper bowls and plates for a few weeks while things are in flux.

 

One of my secrets is that we don't fold clothes.  None of mine are any good at it and I realized I didn't care, so we just don't.  I do fold DH's clothes, but he doesn't go through as many as we do (because he doesn't wipe his mouth with his shirt after he eats peanut butter, for instance.)

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Thanks for the feedback. Yes I do believe repetition helps and I do intend to have him help in ways and build up. Folding clothes is hard for him and even dh folds them funny (imo lol) so I fold and make stacks. Sometimes I have ds put away dd's stuff. She has 3 drawers on her dresser. If something is in the wrong place it's not hard to find.

 

My biggest obstacle has always been papers. What to keep, what to toss, and where to put the keep items. I get stressed out about mail. Dh said I left a piece of mail in the car or somewhere and it was a letter of recommendation for him. Well I had no idea one was coming our way and what it would look like. I don't open the mail addressed to him usually but if I do it's because I know it's mine or a bill. I know it sounds silly but mail gives me anxiety (not the fun kind of mail). I felt sooo bad about the mail but also wish he'd told me to keep an eye out.

 

Today I threw away a bunch from the car... expired coupons, old receipts, fast food trash. When I was single I had a messy car at times but it was seldom food related. I didn't eat in my car that much or I brought it inside right away. But where we live we are out hours easily and everyone gets hungry. I have found banana peels and I'm like really? You could at least make sure it gets into a bag. I do ask ds to carry items into the house with me. If it's too hard he helps by holding the door or keeping an eye on dd inside if I must make another trip.

 

I've always been a slob but I could devote time to cleaning if I wanted. Now it's harder so I agree it needs to be manageable and keept up. I'm trying to get to the manageable stage. I did but paper bowls and dh might shame me but ohh well.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Paper is a huge bane of my existence.  I am forever searching for something I put in the wrong place.  I've started a note in my google keep app titled "where things are" because I don't have just one good place to store files.  Also I scan important papers so I also have an electronic copy.  

 

My husband and I struggled with mail.  He doesn't tend to open or look at mail and there was a time a while back when we would fight because he'd have stacks of junk mail - like, old harbor freight ads with long-expired coupons - and I'd get sick of the stacks and recycle it. But then he'd be mad because he might have wanted to look at it. He did see the ridiculousness of it after we talked about it.  We also once lost some important tax-related correspondence. Finally he agreed that I should handle the mail.  So I open pretty much everything except stuff from his employer, and either recycle it, deal with it (if I can) or put it on the keyboard of his desktop.  In case anyone's wondering, I am happy with this arrangement because I can quickly determine what goes in the recycle bin, so it frees us both up for more important things and keeps the paper clutter down. 

 

And I agree with Maize - if your husband gets mad about using paper plates for a time, then he should do the dishes.  My husband insists on using a particular pan for cooking our Sunday morning bacon - it's a very heavy cast-iron, enameled nonstick skillet.  I hate that pan.  It is so heavy and awkward for me to clean.  So, he cleans it when he wants to use it.  Works for us.

Edited by marbel
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Heartlikealion, I think you're doing great!

 

I read a book recently that you might like. It is called The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starks Clark. I liked it because the author is a naturally messy person who eventually figured out a method to keep her house clean. It had a very different, forgiving tone than the typical advice written by naturally tidy people. I checked out a digital copy from my library, so nothing to lose!

 

Keep up the good work!

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