Upstairs, Downstairs...ugh!

roseytheriveterJuly 2, 2006

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum, and very interested in all that I can learn from you master organizers! My problem is this: I used to live in a one level home, and never had as much clutter problem as I do now.

My husband, God bless him, is a pack rat. He also is messy, but not dirty. He is distracted easily from tasks, so I need to remind him a few times sometimes (Adult ADD). We live in a 2 story home, all the bedrooms and one bathroom with a linen closet are upstairs, and kitchen, living room, den, bathroom, linen closet, utility room, and dining room are downstairs. My battle is simple; I have bad knees and try to limit going up & down stairs all day long, but it seems I do it anyhow. Does anyone have any good ideas about how to get a little better organized so I am not harassing him to take stuff up or down, and make my life a little easier? I also wondered if anyone has seen those baskets that fit on the stair that you can load up during the day and are able to take up after full. (By the way, this is a very old house, 40 plus years, with narrow stairs.)

Thanks for any help!

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Welcome Rosey. What needs to go up or down except laundry? Bring a load down when you come down in the morning and take it up dried and folded when you head to bed. Otherwise, can you give us a hint of the type of items floating?

I had those stair baskets for several years. My youngest son thought it was a great place to dump all of his crud so I got rid of it. I see that Lillian Vernon still has them, although I bought mine at a local store.


Here is a link that might be useful: stair basket

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 12:55AM
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Picking up clutter? There's no way to keep up unless you follow the Touch it once rule. While the toys or shoes or whatever are still in someone's hand, they need to put it in its proper home.

My other tip that has worked for me in my tri-level split home, is I keep two of things one on each floor.

Vinegar for cleaning, one upstairs, one downstairs. Same for tape, and scissors.

They have a proper home on each floor. That has really helped me feel a whole lot more organized for very little investment.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 3:46PM
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I love the touch-it once rule...if only I could catch the culprits! However, there is only myself, hubby and daughter living here. So, you'd think with only 3 people, we'd be a little better organized. I have a problem, that many ladies share; I am the only one it seems that cares if our house looks like a hell hole! Ok, I am going to take the advice of the lady with the tri-level home, by purchasing a simple caddy to keep scissors, tape, and pens & paper in, in our bedroom. And cleaning supplies, in a bucket, in the 2nd bedroom. I guess my answer the ? about what kind of things float; it is the stuff that gets left here & there, that daughter & hubby think can be left out for when they next need it (daughter keeps most of her junk in her room, but shoes are supposed to go upstairs and those are all over!) The other thing is my husband is a mechanic, was a bachelor for a very long time, and if anyone here is married to someone who is adult ADHD and a pack-rat on top of that, maybe you get the gist of my frustration. Ok, one thing I am trying to do is get him to see a dr about any meds that may help his attention span, but in the mean time, thank you all for the help.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:13PM
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rosey, maybe our private space/public space rules would help your household. No one is allowed to use the public spaces for their own storage.

Here's a quote from Sandra Felton which applies to many of us. "Your house is your larger self. The house is not just bricks and mortar, furniture and personal items. Your psyche, as a woman, is intrinsically connected to the condition of the house. The problem is that a messy house does not properly reflect our better qualities. Instead it reflects our fears, bad habits, and misplaced ideas."

It's only a reflection on us when the house is looking bad. My DH works out of our house. When he invites a client in and the floors need sweeping and the dishes are in the sink, no one it thinking, "That Mike is sure a lousy housekeeper." I'm not even around, yet it's a reflection on me.

As you are tying to get the other family members not to clutter in the public spaces (living room, kitchen, dining room, etc.) be sure you give them a piling place that is easy to reach. I'm a big fan of laundry baskets. Have one for each of them in the living room and just pitch their stuff in there. Pretty soon they will be pitching it in their themselves and you can ask them to take the basket and put items away.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:49PM
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I have a three-level split level. I am constantly running upand down stairs, I consider it my exercise! But I'm also over 50 and have a touch of arthritis in both knees. One thing that really helps is to put hand rails next to the stairs. They help me get up and down without pain, and also provide stability when I'm carrying something (like a load of laundry upstairs to fold and put away) or if I'm not paying full attention,like when I get up at night to feed the cat. It's all a matter of making your house user-friendly for YOU!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:44PM
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