View Full Version : Following Through With Plans

01-28-14, 04:22 PM
Okay so this is partly asking for tips on how to combat this, partly asking who can relate, partly venting, and partly an excuse to put off plans. So this is my thing. I suddenly get very motivated and feeling very productive. However, only to make PLANS of cleaning not actually cleaning, that part never comes.
So I'll be thinking about how my house is always a mess even though I'm a stay at home mom. I start shaming myself thinking "What is wrong with me? It doesn't need to be spotless but geeze I could at least spend an hour a day cleaning up the house and it at least wont be destroyed!" Then I start thinking about the clutter. The clutter in every room of the house.. the only room thats clutter free is the living room however my living room closet is off limits due to it being stacked to the ceiling with God knows what. So I decide I need to tackle this and get it more functional in here in order for me to be able to keep the house clean without feeling overwhelmed.
So I make a decluttering plan. My planning process pre-adderal always included me feeling motivated and having hope I can get it done, with adderal the motivation is much higher and I don't have hope that I can get it done I know I can. Then, I never follow through. Even on the adderall I still don't follow through.
Last week I realized, my problem is that I'm expecting too much of myself. Who could tackled four years worth of clutter in a day or two while chasing a three year old? It's unrealistic, and the plan just looks overwhelming to me and realized that's why I Don't follow through, because just looking at the plan makes me feel overwhelmed and hopeless.
After my epiphany that I need to make it more doable I sat down and I made a schedule, chucked it, remade it, chucked it, remade it over and over again. Heck my final product still isn't ready yet lol. I get super hyperfocused on these plans as well by the way. Anyway, this is what my schedule looks like. I made one for what I must do on a normal basis and one for getting rid of the clutter.
The normal basis schedule is just a one week monday-friday schedule that I planned to follow every week just as it says. I go to school three days a week, so I left the big jobs for my two days off. One day off being deep cleaning the kitchen and the other day off being deep cleaning the bathroom. I mean really, my tub and toilet and bathroom floors should be cleaned once a week and I'm ashamed to say theyre done like once a year. Okay not the toilet, the toilet is done like once a month once the bowels turning a brownish yellowish since my husband never flushes the dang thing!!
Every day is basic cleaning in my dining room and living room. Then I have a day for "deep" cleaning the living room, like moping and under furniture and such. Then I have a laundry day. My husband makes up for not flushing the toilet by doing the laundry on weekends. However he does work 60 hours a week and only has Sundays off every week so I figured I could do laundry on Wednesdays so it wont be as much for him.
Then I made a second schedule, a right here and now schedule for the clutter and such. I made the same schedule as the normal basis schedule plus incorporated in attacking a section of clutter little by little. Instead of planning on getting the piles of stuff behind my couch, under my couch and in my closet all in one day for example, I've added behind my couch to one day. Making it one small job at a time, so within a few weeks my house would be clutter free a realistic plan verses doing it in a day or two.
I even put down realistic time next to each chore for each day and added it all up. My normal basis schedule days vary from 40 minutes to 2 and a half hours per day. My school days being 40 minutes and my none school days being 2 and a half hours. I figure that's more than an reasonable amount of time to spend on cleaning, I don't work my hubby works 60 hours a week to provide for us so the least I can do is spend anywhere between 40 minutes to 2 and a half hours a day cleaning so he can have a nice house to come home to. The here and now list that includes de-cluttering jobs are about an hour on school days and 3-3 and a half hours on none school days. By the way, three and a half hours seems like a long time cleaning to me, is it just me? I mean I realize many many women spend that much time cleaning a day even more that have more responsibilities outside of the home than I do.. but I just cant imagine myself spending that long cleaning without giving up.
Anyway.. list was made a week ago and still havent gotten started. Revisited it last night and made it super organized and cool on the computer verses my scratches on paper (spent hours on that thing) Was super excited to get started today. Its now almost 3:30, hubby gets off in an hour and a half. I haven't done one thing on the list. Not one. I did however took a shower and did not throw my hair up but instead blow dried it (thinking being "ready" might make me feel more motivated) and threw dinner in the crock pot. But that's it. This is also my none school day... my big cleaning day. Plus I need to fit homework in too and I'm running out of time. Am I checking off my list realizing I'm running out of time? nope I'm rambling on here and making it extraaa long taking my sweet time letting the clock tick on. And this is with the medicine! I know I know, the medicine alone doesnt do it all. But geeze I hoped it would help more. I mean it helps me concentrate so much better in school and do much better on my studying and such, but hasn't helped with the actually making myself do that either. I also do the same planning thing for homework with the same results. As tempted as I am to explain that and waist more time I'm sure anyone thats reading this all is already getting annoyed enough with my rambling and I still have more to say about this.
I don't quite get it, I've always had all these problems but I was so much better at controlling them. Before I had my baby (yes i still call my three year old my baby, the baby even though shes not even a toddler anymore- Letting go problems lol) and started school, I was a cleaning maniac. My house was SPOTLESS. My husbands a neat freak and I was so worried about him finding out my dirty little secret of being dirty that I was obsessive about cleaning. I still had the same problems but I fought through them. Whether its my not being able to fight my true self anymore thats making it nearly impossible to fight through them anymore or if its because of the added responsibility (being a mom, being a student) I'm not sure. Possible the second because the inability to fight it started after I had it and got worse once I started school.
I was thinking if I were to just get started right away in the morning it would be best, because Id have the whole rest of the day to relax and enjoy my daughter. But it just isn't happening.
Any tips on how to push myself to stop being negative and do it? Anyone relate?
So funny, in a sad way, last night after making my new schedule I was so sure that I finally had a solution on how to get past it all and get my house together and keep it together that I had planned on making a post to share with all of you so that maybe it could help anyone that's in the situation I've been in since I've came up with a brilliant solution. I was just too tired because it was like 3 am and I had only had eight hours of sleep within the past four days. And here I am, sharing my plan like I wanted to last night. Only it's to ask for advice on how to follow it. How Ironic.

01-28-14, 04:29 PM
1. ADHD? Medication?

2. flylady dot net has real tips for cleaning, on how to get it done effectively, tips that many people say actually help. I wouldn't know because I've been ignoring my cleaning, but smart people with ADHD have liked it and said it worked for them.

01-28-14, 04:48 PM
Yes i have ADD and I am on medicine for it. Ive been on adderall between a month or two.. Im horrid with time lines. It doesnt seem to help with this specific problem though. It doesnt help me take the initiative. However when I do take the inititive I clean for much longer than I would without it but still, house is a mess! And i cant seem to get it in order. The kitchens pretty much the only room i clean and half ***** at that. I only clean it when I HAVE to like no dishes no free surfsces. Then i clean it for about 20 minutes unless ive taken my medicine then its closer to an hour but still stops at the kitchen. I just vacuumed my carpeted dinning room for the first time since thanksgiving. Seriously this disgusts me! Thats DISGUSTING! I know it is and I hate it yet I still do it!

01-28-14, 04:49 PM
And ill probably love reading that. I love love love reading about cool things to get organized and clean and such... Just not doing it rofl

01-28-14, 04:51 PM
No medication ever helps with initiative - that part is up to you. What it does for you is that after you take the initiative, you will be able to follow through in ways that you couldn't do before.

01-28-14, 05:00 PM
I figured that... But i thought itd help a little with it at least. I dont know, maybe itll just take time and once i really get it through my head that Im capable of it itll help me take the initiative. A big reason I dont do it I because I feel like its pointless. That Ill just do it for a few minutes and it wont even make a difference. On top of the ugh i dont feel like it, i hate cleaning... Be the earlier is the biggest and worst part to get through. I need to just set my mind. Tell myself I CAN do it, Ive kept up on it before without help from medication so I can definitely do it now with help from medication. And even if I dont spend as much time on it as Id like to be able to or if I dont get as much done as I originally wanted done its not pointless itll still look better than before and itll be easier for me to get done whatever i didnt get to the next day. I just HAVE to make myself first thing after my morning cigarette just get cleaning even if its just a few minutes in each room.

01-28-14, 05:08 PM
I believe that this feeling of pointlessness is something we've learned from our own histories. My feeling of "cleaning is pointless, it never works for me" is unfortunately stronger than yours, and it shows in my habits and in my house.

01-28-14, 05:44 PM
I'm following through becoming actor and living in either Hollywood or London

01-28-14, 06:17 PM
Back then when, when I was a young mom too I had this same dilemma. House was always a wreck, I was always embarrassed for my inlaws to see it. And people "shouldn't" live like that. Pffftt.

Well, unless there are bugs crawling around maybe it's all ok right? Have you talked to your husband to tell him your secret of shame? I'd totally say look babe, I love you and all but it probably ain't gonna happen. Like maybe it would help to take the pressure off. I've been through about a million cleaning plans and have never had one stick. It's ok. It's who I am.

So here's what helped me... I used to pile stuff up on my coffee table. I don't know what my deal was but I could not keep it uncluttered if my life depended on it. So I got rid of it. Now I have a bookshelf where random crap can go and if you put a curtain on it nobody can see the mess.

Dishes... I discovered that I'm more likely to do them if I have fancy dishwashing soap (that's what I call it in my head... you know like smells really good or whatever) and fancy handwashing soap (Bath&Body Works) at the sink. It just makes me feel good to use that good smelling stuff and I find myself actually at the sink doing dishes more. It helps to have a good dishwasher too. My husband got a used one that has the disposal in it so now I don't have to rinse as much before loading.

I got a Keurig for Christmas and and I find myself cleaning around it (don't want my pretty new toy getting messy) and I end up wiping down all the counters.

I do not buy or use anything that can't be put in the dishwasher. If it's handwash only, it will sit, dirty, on the counter by the sink until we move. Period. It just ain't gonna happen.

Hopefully you like your washer and dryer. If you don't and you can afford it, get a set you like. When ours finally died my husband got the front loading. I actually hate the way they twist up the clothes but they're kind of fun to use. We've had them for years and I'm still better about keeping up with laundry than I ever was before. And make sure you really like whatever detergent you're using. I use those Downy Unstopables (when I can afford them) bc I'm more likely to wash all our bedding when I'm looking forward to how it makes the house smell. Actually, since those Down Unstopable things came out, for the first time in my life I keep bedding clean.

Toilets... the only thing that's even remotely worked for me is getting those Lysol wipe things. Actually I buy the generic but you know, the ones that come in a container like baby wipes. My toilets still have to get pretty disgusting before I'll actually do anything but it makes it easier to at least keep the one downstairs (for guests) clean. And I keep a container in each bathroom. Each bathroom has everything it needs... greatly increases the likelihood that I'll actually use them.

Stick vac... holy freakin cow I don't know how I ever lived without one. We picked one up at Best Buy for about $35 and it was the best investment ever. I don't have to sweep my kitchen floor anymore AND it's fun to use. I hate having to empty the canister BUT at least I'm already in motion getting the cleaning done so the chances of following thru with emptying it and putting it up and all are greater.

I actually hadn't realized some of these little things that help until reading your post. I'm glad you brought it up :) I just know that I spent years being embarrassed and always having clutter and having it really get to me bc I was so embarrassed by it all. But I've also realized that when I go to someone's house and it's messy, it just feels lived in. And honestly some of my friends are so neat that it feels ocd. I don't ever judge anyone either way. Everyone's different and it is THEIR house :)

As for your husband, I finally figured out the three most important things for mine... enough clean clothes that he has something to wear the next day, sexy new underwear for me and dinner. As long as he has clean clothes, a sexy wife to come home to and something for his belly... he's good to go :) *clothing and food optional ;)*

01-28-14, 06:20 PM
FroGpants: yes. Not everyone will use your exact things, but everyone can use your main point - forget "should", just find out what really works, and do that.

01-31-14, 10:12 PM
Great points, thanks much! I'm honestly too ashamed to even tell him I'm ashamed as silly as that sounds. I have been however trying to sneak into conversation how my mind works when it comes to cleaning so he can understand more.
By the way, i also order over 200 dollars in stuff off of the walmart website to organize the house with. Theyre actually good purchases, my favorite being a pantry for my tiny kitchen. However as soon as a bunch of boxes of stuff to be put together and filled started showing up on my porch i regreted the purchases immediately!!
A little off topic, but do either of you take adderall? Im on the XR and it takes hours and hours to kick In and after a couple hours of it being effective the effects wear off and i get very tired and nauseous. Any experience with this or advice on how to reducr these side affects? Drinking water and eating.

02-11-14, 02:58 AM
Make sure you aren't taking the Adderall with anything acidic because that will delay it kicking in.

On topic, the biggest surprise for me after starting meds was that I still had a lot of work to do in terms of learning how to think and work like people without ADHD. Things like study habits, even cleaning my house...I was never able to form a process for doing these things because I could never keep my attention on the task long enough to implement it.

It probably took a couple years to #1 get my dose high enough that I was able to form new habits of mind and #2 to get used to new ways of doing things.

02-12-14, 12:57 PM
I could have written your post word for word. That's me exactly. I have two kid and they're older but they are so messy, and their mess on top of's pretty much an episode of Hoarders minus the bugs. I try to get them to help out but I'm not consistent and neither are they.

The only thing that works for me is to try to make everything a routine or habit, so it's like muscle memory. I automatically clean up the kitchen and do dishes immediately after a meal. I'm working on adding cleaning the dining room table, and under it, to that. I've been trying to add one thing at a time to the list of "automatic" jobs so I don't feel overwhelmed. That being said, my house is still a cluttered dusty mess most of the time. I always have a pile of clothes covering my dresser and piles of paper on my kitchen island. I've tried various systems but I can't stick with anything. Then every once in awhile I have an anxiety attack over how messy and cluttered the house is and I spend a couple hours cleaning and decluttering, vowing to not let it get out of hand the next time bc I love how it is when clean, and literally the next day every horizontal surface is covered again. I don't even know how it happens. So basically, I feel your pain and have nothing to offer but the knowledge that you're not alone in the fight! Does that help?? :)