Hi, newbie to this forum

smom40October 3, 2005

Just wanted to say hello! :)

I'm looking for this board for inspiration. I live with a husband and two children, all of whom are messy.

I ebb and flow with this. Some days I'm great at it, and other days I just take off my glasses. LOL

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Welcome smom40! I ebb and flow too, so you're in good company! You'll find a lot of inspiring ideas and stories of this forum. Do you know anything about Flylady? Flylady is one efficacious tool I've used to help me get my act together. Here's a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flylady

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 11:18AM
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Yes, thank you. I started a few years ago with flylady and then quit.

As a person in my own right, I'm pretty good at this. But when dealing with a husband and small children who are at cross purposes, it can be daunting.

However, I'm determined not to let the clutter win!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 12:53PM
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Welcome, smom40! I'm also a newbie to this forum (though I'm a regular at Reader's Paradise, the book forum affiliated with GardenWeb). It's a creative and organized bunch here, and I've already gotten a lot of good ideas.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 2:04PM
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I started out on the cleaning forum about six years ago. I left for a long time, and I now spend the bulk of my time on the Gardenweb.

I always have something new to learn about organization, but dealing with inspiration and feeling overwhelmed because my family is working at cross purposes is where I find myself quitting.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 2:12PM
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Smom40, Welcome! Great group here who supply a lot of support. I know what you mean about cross purposes, I love to organize but I feel like I am going up stream with DH's habits. I don't know what I would do if I still had children at home like most of this groups does. I don't know who they do it, but then again, when I had children at home, they were my top priority, organization was secondary.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 4:24PM
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dealing with inspiration and feeling overwhelmed because my family is working at cross purposes is where I find myself quitting.

Hey, are you me? No, wait--Runninginplace is me.

Though I can be bad enough on my own.

I've been feeling grumpy lately bcs I truly have decluttered most of MY stuff, and quite a bit of the household stuff.

Now it's DH's books & records, and the kids' toys -- OH MY GOD THE TOYS!!!!! -- that make our house look awful.

Though I try to remind myself about that "log in your own eye/speck in your brother's" thing. I think that's so true about decluttering, especially. It's very easy to see all the stuff OTHER people should get rid of.

When I told my DH I wanted him to get rid of some stuff, he went immediately to my section of the bookshelf to pick up the little artist's cutting mat. "We can get rid of this." I yelled at him--in the first place, it isn't his. And in the second place, I use it about 6 times a year. He may never see it, but I do.

I try to remind myself not to do that to him. But it's about time, bcs I'm running out of stuff to toss.

We're glad to have you here, and are looking forward to all sorts of problems of yours to solve, to the opportunity to cheer you on, to the advice you can give us.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 4:59PM
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"feeling overwhelmed because my family is working at cross purposes"

Welcome, smom40! We have the SAME FAMILY!!!!

I think that's why I like FlyLady so much--kind of makes a game of picking up after slobby people.

September was going to be my clear-all, clean-all month, but it's run into October now. Where did all the junk come from??? I'm in BIG TIME de-clutter mode. LOL


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 6:12PM
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Glad to have you, smom40! I think my DH does this to me, too.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 8:11PM
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Ah, the dreaded family trap. I have to say I follow Flylady's program and my kids and DH are definately on the program as well. It took almost a year of consistent effort and follow through on MY part, but it was well worth the effort.

One thing that has really helped us is clearly defining the publics spaces in the house. For us, those are the kitchen, dining area, living room, hallways and stairs and the main bathroom. NO ONE may leave their crud in these areas. All the kids have their own rooms and the DH and I each have a home office, so there is no reason for our own crud not to land in those spaces.

The kids and I do a "room zoom" most evenings. Set that timer and we put stuff away as quick as we can. If I skip this for more than a day or two, the piles grow really fast.

If it turns out that I am picking up after other people, I give them 24 hour notice and then I put the stuff in a bag and it goes in the garage. I'll leave it there for one week and it goes in the trash. It took the DH missing paying a couple of bills on time, but he finally got the message. He was the worst offender in the house (besides ME of course.)

smom40, I have just found you have to stick with whatever program you use. It won't happen quickly, but if you remain consistent, it will happen. It's just that most of our families know we don't stick with something so they tune us out.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 8:42PM
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I'm especially motivated. My house is in CHAOS and my inlaws are coming in t-minus 12 days...In law cleaning is taking this to a much higher level for me right now.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 9:47PM
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Welcome Smom40!

I get frustrated, too, but then think back to 4 or 5 or so years ago when I started trying to declutter this place. It is SO much better than that now! In a few years we will finally be moving out of this house, and I want to really have our stuff down to what we want & need and be able to take care of all that and have a more peaceful home!

One of the things I really have to remind myself is from Flylady - that _I_ deserve to live in a well kept house, even if my DH & kids don't help. It really does make a huge difference. Instead of stewing over someone left something for me to look at all day, if I clean it up or whatever, I am not angry about it all day, and I am actually calmer because the house looks picked up. This is HUGE for me. I won't say the family follows suit, or that our house is beautiful, but I am happier and can help them clean up better at other times when they are around.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 10:56PM
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Ah yes, those darn other folks cluttering up the house...!

Welcome, and as many have said, you are surely not alone. I don't really know if this is true for single folks or couples, but family life just engenders STUFF. I think of it as an imbalance in the ebb and flow system; too much coming in, not enough going out. And it's such a constant thing. I'll dig in and get rid of stuff and presto, more arrives.

A few weeks ago I cleared out a bunch of magazines and newspaper sections that had been piling up. Not a big task but, hey yippee something was accomplished. I felt good. For about one hour until my neighbor down the street knocked on the door. Her husband owns the local indie bookstore and she had been cleaning out HER house and...guess what, I suddenly had a whole bag of teen lit books sitting in the foyer! Ya can't win (and as to why I accepted--they were books my own 14 YO omniverous reader daughter has been thoroughly enjoying).

Anyway I'm rambling but welcome to the group and to the clutter stage of the life event; we're all in it to win it so sit down and enjoy the company :).


    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 8:45AM
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an imbalance in the ebb and flow system; too much coming in, not enough going out. And it's such a constant thing. I'll dig in and get rid of stuff and presto, more arrives.

definitely! And the end of school or end of summer camp is the worst! And Sunday School!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 9:40AM
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Yes Talley, stuff seems to ebb in tsunamis and flow out in a trickle. I dread birthdays and holidays. Last Easter, I was so happy that we were traveling. I didn't give Easter baskets. And although my children whined about candy deprivation, it wasn't a big deal. It saddened me that such an incredible religious holiday has been trivialized by marshmallow bunnies and jelly beans. I still haven't determined a solution yet... I'm thinking about Christmas with the backdrop that my children didn't want most of their stuff when we discussed a hypothetical evacuation (remember that Katrina thread). I'm thinking that they need to give away half of their stuff to get their Christmas presents. I've realized that PART of the reason my children leave things on the floor is because their dressers, closets, and other storage containers are stuffed to the brim. I deplore giving ultimatums about gift-giving, but we really don't have room for anything else!

In any case, my apologies to the OP for hijacking her thread.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 10:19AM
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Don't worry, it's just describing in more detail what the problem can look like!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 6:16PM
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Talley Sue, you brought back memories....

There were several years when the Sunday School papers stacked up in the car, in desk drawers, on kitchen countere, etc. I had a real hard time throwing out those Bible stories that came home week after week after week. Took forever for me to decide it was OK to put them in the recycling bin!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 5:38AM
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I have started asking my children's teachers for persmission to toss the children's daily class and homework (all graded, tests over, etc). Of course, they grant it readily, but I still can't throw it away! I think that deep down, I want to build a shrine for each of my children that I can visit daily once they're grown up and gone.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:19AM
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cupofkindness, I know the feeling! I finally put two boxes (one for each kid) with lids under my desk, and all incoming school papers that I don't feel comfortable tossing immediately and/or the kids want to keep, go there. When the boxes are full, I go through them.

I find that it's much easier to toss stuff later when I'm not so attached to it and the kids have forgotten about it. I do keep just a few representative items from each grade (these go into a plastic box in my closet -- a mini-shrine, LOL). I just did my son's Kindergarten box last week, and filled an entire trash bag -- and yes, I'm slow, he's a month into first grade already!

What really kills me are the enormous school projects that have nowhere to live when they come home, yet the kids don't want to part with them. My DD made a large covered wagon for a Laura Ingalls Wilder project last year, complete with dolls and equipment, and it spent six months sitting on my dining room table before I was able to shoehorn it into her closet. She still won't part with it, but at least I don't have to set the table around it anymore *g*.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 8:40AM
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Oh, please don't save the kids papers. My mom did that and what in the heck am I suppose to do with years and years of school stuff? By that time I didn't even want to deal with it, so most of it went in the trash.

Take pictures of the kids with their big projects and ditch the actual thing after a bit.

I keep an under the bed plastic tote and the kids can put their papers there for the school year. One year only. At the end of the year we go through them and pick out a couple of examples of how they may have improved, etc and we pack that away. Everyone has a bankers box in the storage room for their "treasures."

When I moved to Alaska, I couldn't afford to move much, so I created what I called a "deathbed box." Sounds terrible, but it is stuff that I want to look at when I'm on my deathbed, but I don't want it cluttering up my life. Just where else can you put your graduation from kindergarten certificate when you are almost 50?


    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 1:22PM
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Funny, but true:

I swear when my boys got to junior high, ALL papers stopped coming home. NOTHING after 6th grade! Where did they go? LOL Good thing progress notes and report cards were mailed!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 8:58PM
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bwhahahahaha... I dumped out TONS of stuff ( toys/junk) that had somehow made it into the house over the past few months. We have an area under the stairs for my kids toy's, just the right size for 6 plastic bins. The rule has always been that 6 bins ( plastic 1.5 x 2 feet) is our limit but we had totally gotten out of hand. So while the kids were napping I did a number on it.. it was great.. and two more bags made their way out of the house and straight into the trash. Kids have not noticed anything missing.. so much so int fact that I am thinking about talking to them about what they really play with.. I can't beleive that I think we are finally going to be a house without a Brio railroad.. that seems very odd after 16 years!


    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 9:29PM
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I don't know if I would *want* to be a house without a Brio railroad.

My 7-year-old is about to outgrow it; I think I'm going to get him a battery-powered engine to try to revive it for a little while.

Then, i'm gonna stash it for the grandkids. I have a personal stake in this thing, somehow (and way too many pieces, btw--though we always seem to be one short piece of track short of a really great layout)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 12:01PM
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None of my kids have been interested in these railroads. Of course, they weren't around when my youngest was small, but I had a set for him which was similar and was mine and my brother's.

I haven't been able to give these up either. I just keep moving them around. Sigh. I know I won't be keeping them for grandkids.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 12:52PM
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My DS doesn't play with his Brio trains anymore, either (he's 6), but I'm keeping them for the grandkids! They're such a high-quality, imaginative toy that I have no qualms about storing them for decades if necessary, lol. Besides, we have really little cousins (babies, at the moment) and it will be nice to have age-appropriate things for them to play with when they visit. My big kids will probably enjoy the toys again, then, too.

I've saved only the Fisher-Price doll house, the Fisher-Price farm and the Brio trains. Limiting the saved "little kid" toys to three items is actually quite a feat of self-control for me, as I tend to be sentimental about kid stuff.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 2:58PM
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I sent the Fisher-Price farm on; my great nephew loves it, apparently. I *want* to send the doll house on; but that's DD's, and she won't ditch ANYTHING.

i keep wondering what I did to make her so insecure that she *cries* when we decide it's time to get rid of the rollaway bed, bcs she hasn't slept on it in 4 years.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 4:03PM
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Oh, the farm. I have two of these. One with the pressboard bottom and one with the plastic. I have the silo, too. I don't kid myself anymore. The 5 year old rarely plays with it, so it looks like I'm going to have to find space in "my" area. Guess that means I'm going to have to give up some of these quilts.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 6:58PM
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Talley Sue, my dd gets emotional, too. She used to keep EVERYTHING. Then she cleaned out her room in 6th grade, and now keeps very little. But she still gets attached to STUFF. Once on a trip our car broke down in another state. We left it at a gas station, rented a car to get home, and let the guy who towed the car away keep it for parts. We knew we would not see that car again, and DD was very emotional. She had to take a piece of the car with her. Yikes. Thankfully, she's not quite so bad anymore :) But it is a good memory.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 8:01PM
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My daughter was two when my sister killed my Subaru (ugh) and the day it was being towed, my daughter realized that it was going for good and she started sobbing and wouldn't stop. She kept saying "my car, my car".

I was blown away, she had never reacted like that over anything. Took forever to calm her down.

Now at eight, she wouldn't cry, but she has asked that we never get rid of the van that we replaced it with "until I'm out of high school".

She's very sentimental.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 10:29PM
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we were in a car accident when DD was 2, and when she saw the damage to the car (she'd been asleep in her car seat at time of imapct) she kept crying, "somebody broke it! somebody broke it!"

Then, when they started to tow the car away, she went ballistic. It took about a half hour to get her calm again. She calmed down eventually, but started crying again when grandpa came to pick us up--she didn't want to get in HIS car; she wanted OUR car.

I only got her calm by explaining that the car folks had taken the car to his mommy (I tried the prosaic "taking it to the shop to fix it"--didn't work) so she could take care of him.

We never did get it back, it turned out--that was sort of hard to explain.

Then, about 3 weeks later, we were watching Lois & Clark, and some renegade Kryptonians threw a car in the air and it came back down and smashed; she started crying hysterically.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 9:30AM
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I am reading this and just thinking, 'that's me!' - meaning, I'm the sentimental DD. Yikes. I still have trouble, but I'll tell you what: when we moved into our new house (which we designed and built and finished), and there was not enough *room* for everything? Well, it was a lot easier to part with stuff!

I also made a pact with myself, which I admittedly have not yet been able to fulfill, but it will be this fall... I have a good sized trunk from when I was at summer camp (it was my dad's, before me). I have vowed that I will keep as mementos *only* what will fit in the trunk. And that means over the course of my whole life.

So I have crates and boxes and bags of stuff to go through finally in my parents' attic, and toss anything that won't fit in the trunk. Hopefully I will be able to leave some space for any new stuff. So anything that does not have a present practical or aesthetic use needs to go or fit in the trunk. Wish me luck! But it really helps that I decided this myself. I feel hopeful about being able to accomplish it.

Why am I a pack-rat/slob, though? It seems to come naturally. I'm sure it is partly from my personality, but I think there was also some experience as a very small child - we moved when I was one and a half, and as much as that was traumatic, we didn't go straight to our destination but travelled for a couple of months. I had a tough time, and I subsequently was extremely attached to ideas of "home" (although I had no trouble with sleep-aways), and was always into making little 'nests' for myself. Maybe I keep/scatter my stuff around as evidence that I live here? I wish I could get over it a bit.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 9:48AM
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