View Full Version : Disorganized and Discouraged


DogMom85
11-06-14, 03:03 PM
I was diagnosed with ADD (no hyperactivity whatsoever) over a decade ago. I am medicated and monitored - can't complain about that part at all really as I have rather awesome health care providers. Not long ago (three years or so) I used to be able to keep house in a manner that even Martha Stewart would've envied. I've since totally lost control.

I've had two major knee surgeries in the last three years. The first surgery was botched and then I had to have another surgeon attempt to clean up the mess the first surgeon made. The knee issue isn't entirely resolved. Some aspects are much better while others are worse or issues have developed (such as nerve damage). During the time I was awaiting surgery, both times, I had rather strict orders as to what I could to physically. My physicians made it very clear it was imperative that I avoid tendon rupture and just try to be extra careful until each surgery. The burden of cleaning was placed upon my husband - we're both in our twenties and he was in school during all of this. He didn't have the time or energy to invest like I once did.

Everything piled up. I feel like my home looks like Hiroshima. I'm so disgusted with the mess and chaos. I'm embarrassed and totally avoid having company. I fight feelings of depression that start to creep in sometimes when the mess is really getting to me. I have no idea what to do. I've read every resource I can about getting organized (no problem focusing on the research), but when it comes to forcing myself to pick one tiny task I never follow through.

I feel like I'm one box away from an episode of Hoarders. I know one of the problems here is that I have almost no storage. I can never seem to figure out where to start and if I do pick something to start with I get discouraged and stop or get distracted and stop.

Has anyone found a way to conquer such a thing?

Unmanagable
11-06-14, 05:00 PM
I used to be very picky about having everything in its place, no dishes in the sink, beds made, etc., etc. Especially right after I became a stepmom. My mom used to be like a drill sergeant when it came to housework, so I guess it was the residual effects.

I even wrote up a detailed manual on how to clean each room. (yikes!) It created an incredible amount of stress for me, to the point of feeling physically ill whenever I'd enter most of the spaces and see that my version of clean would NEVER be met by others. I needed to redefine it for myself, and after having drill sergeant mom's influence, it was really tough.

I gradually learned to accept the mess, and luckily the hubster doesn't mind dishes and laundry. Those are the two areas I absolutely loathe. I focus on my pile management at least once a week, or whenever the urge strikes. Most of what I accomplish is sporadic. He's the more structured one that helps me recognize and stay in my groove.

My most recent, and ongoing, pursuit of freeing up even more space and energy is to get rid of s***. Especially the sentimental stuff I've been trotting around for years. The energy it takes to find space for it, work around it, clean it, and mentally plan for all that stuff could be so much better used nurturing mySELF instead. Stuff has much less value in my life now.

Clearing the clutter, for me, has looked like this (thanks to a kitchen clutter class I attended in our local community):

Pick ONE drawer, cabinet, box, corner, table top, counter, etc.

Grab a box to put items in to donate to someone in the community who could make use of it, or if you have friends or family who are struggling and you know they could use something, share with them.

Some peeps like to do yard sales, but the thought of trying to organize that chaos has kept me from attempting one. But people love to go yard sale hunting, and if you price stuff well so it moves quickly, you could make some extra pocket change. Take whatever doesn't sell directly to a donation point and do not take it back into the house.

Take 20 minutes (setting a timer to stay on task)

Clear out the space and keep only what you actually use.

Be much more mindful of functional vs. foofy when deciding what to keep.

Once the timer goes off, I take the box of stuff to donate directly to the car and put it on the front passenger seat to be delivered ASAP vs. sticking it somewhere to take later, and eventually dealing with the same stuff all over again.

Some days I get spunky and work on a few areas, but always limit it to 20 min. at a time, or it becomes overwhelming before you realize it.

If you're having a hard time with the sentimental stuff, take pictures of the items and create a photo album for the coffee table. A sentimental journey of loved things shared by loved ones. Then you can actually look at them and appreciate them whenever you want without having to deal with the actual item.

It feels soooooooooo good to have much less stuff. Wishing you luck in finding what frees up your energy.

DogMom85
11-06-14, 05:29 PM
I know how you feel for sure! I have tried the timer thing. I tried a routine of setting the timer for 15 minutes and spending that time tidying (let's say clearing clutter off a counter or the coffee table). I still struggled. I was impressed with what I could do in such a short time frame but barely anything got thrown out. The next day it'd all be back out all over the place.

I had trouble throwing things out for two main reasons. The first being fearing I would need it and the second being our local garbage collection laws. We have to put everything in clear bags or blue bags if recyclable and they're strict. They'll tag your garbage if they see one tiny thing not in the right bag and leave it to be sorted again - that in itself was very stressful for me. We also have a max number of bags we can put out which further limits me if I do get on a roll of being productive.

To top it all off, I opened my own home-based pet grooming salon and I work very long hours. My husband also has quite the long working hours and by the time we're both home and able to do anything we just don't have it in us and really need that little bit of time to unwind.

Because of the crazy long hours we both just put things down wherever and before we know it the coffee table top is no longer visible. We never got around to making homes for things, so it just never gets fixed.

I've been taking baby steps to create more storage space like building a new closet. That new closet was started last fall and we just put the doors on it two nights ago. The inside is less than 20% finished. It just feels like nothing will ever get done.

It doesn't help that my hubby was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago - that explains a lot really. It's a tangled web for sure.

For example, I would much rather sit here and respond to replies and I do enjoy it. I would rather research the crap out of how to defeat this issue, but when it comes to actually practicing what I preach it's a whole different story. *sigh*

This evening I'm going to psych myself up to do one thing. Sometimes that gets the ball rolling. Hahaha wish me luck!

Maurice
11-06-14, 05:43 PM
I was diagnosed with ADD (no hyperactivity whatsoever) over a decade ago. I am medicated and monitored - can't complain about that part at all really as I have rather awesome health care providers. Not long ago (three years or so) I used to be able to keep house in a manner that even Martha Stewart would've envied. I've since totally lost control.

I've had two major knee surgeries in the last three years. The first surgery was botched and then I had to have another surgeon attempt to clean up the mess the first surgeon made. The knee issue isn't entirely resolved. Some aspects are much better while others are worse or issues have developed (such as nerve damage). During the time I was awaiting surgery, both times, I had rather strict orders as to what I could to physically. My physicians made it very clear it was imperative that I avoid tendon rupture and just try to be extra careful until each surgery. The burden of cleaning was placed upon my husband - we're both in our twenties and he was in school during all of this. He didn't have the time or energy to invest like I once did.

Everything piled up. I feel like my home looks like Hiroshima. I'm so disgusted with the mess and chaos. I'm embarrassed and totally avoid having company. I fight feelings of depression that start to creep in sometimes when the mess is really getting to me. I have no idea what to do. I've read every resource I can about getting organized (no problem focusing on the research), but when it comes to forcing myself to pick one tiny task I never follow through.

I feel like I'm one box away from an episode of Hoarders. I know one of the problems here is that I have almost no storage. I can never seem to figure out where to start and if I do pick something to start with I get discouraged and stop or get distracted and stop.

Has anyone found a way to conquer such a thing?

First off welcome to the forums DogMom, you have come to the right place. I can't give any better advice than Unmanageable just did.

I was just going to ad that I understand your frustration. I went from 3-bedroom house to an efficiency apartment. There's just me and my cat Sparky, so in the house I slept in the living room, [just a lot easier for me], and used the bedrooms to store my stuff. I had already gave away and thrown away everything I could get rid of. Then when I moved to this efficiency apartment I was flipping out. You mentioned no room for storage?

There's barely room for all my belongings. My living room is also my bedroom, and also my kitchen and dining room. It is an obstacle course in here trust me. I have to step over my bed to get to the fridge in the "kitchen" lol. I just plan on buying a bunch of storage containers and taking my time and storing as much as I can. I tripped over a box two weekends ago and cracked a couple of ribs, scraped up my elbow, scraped up a knee and got a nice cut on my @ss. lol.

The best advice I can give is dont be so hard on yourself, it's really not that big of a deal. Seriously. I have always lived in a very neat an organized home and now I don't.

Life is just too short, to worry about this. Just do what you can when you can.

FlightyBird83
11-10-14, 01:07 PM
I'm in a similar situation. I used to try so hard and now everything is a mess and I'm overwhelmed. It becomes paralyzing. I have two kids also and I can't get caught up to even think of getting ahead. Have you ever wandered if maybe the anesthesia has more of an effect on an ADD/ADHD brain? I had my wisdom teeth removed and my gallbladder removed about 4 years ago and I wonder if there is a connection.

kimmyh51
01-02-15, 10:28 AM
I usually find when i am trying to find something and cant, that i also when i get angry enough at the mess and junk, to actually be able get rid of it. Of course then i am o angry i just want to throw EVERYTHING out the door, incl stuff I actually need to keep.

However you could try bagging up all the crap thats in the way everywhere when that mood hits you (if it does like it can me) and putting it somewhere out of your home but not chucking. If a few months later you havent touched the bag, chuck it, give it away or sell it on ebay or similar
Use your frustration to your advantage to get rid of your junk