View Full Version : The Official DeCluttering Daily Thread!


LuvMyRotts
03-29-10, 11:11 AM
hi everyone...

im so sick of my house being a disaster. i make tons of lists, i buy organizing containers, search for iphone to do list apps, buy cleaning supplies, etc etc etc but nothing ever gets done.

i know that i alwasy clean better when i have someone with me, but i cant have that every day, so i think a daily encouraging thread would help us all!

we could post what we want to accomplish that day & encourage each other. we can check in periodically and post our progress and maybe even pictures too!

who is in?

huhni
03-29-10, 12:13 PM
Here! I'm in!

I know excactly what you mean.
I've been wanting to do my paperwork for-like-ever (!) but I just cannot bring myself to do it.

Maybe this thread can help us!
Good idea ;)

coinfliptourist
03-29-10, 12:34 PM
heh.

I remember staring at a pile of organizers at some big box store, with a friend, and saying .. "Maybe this is the one that will solve all my problems... " and my friend looked at me and says.. "The reason you are not organized is because you have too many organizers."

So - Eliminating flat surfaces that can accumulate things -- my big desk, my side tables and cabinets -- replaced them with smaller surfaces which feel more manageable to deal with, and I'm more likely to deal with them.

See also flylady -- its a bit wacky, but it sends you emails reminding you to "toss 27 things" or "shine your sink" -- unless email clutter is also a problem.. :-)

LuvMyRotts
03-29-10, 12:43 PM
ok.... i really want to get moving, but everything is so overwhelming.

i think im going to start small & just put on a load of laundry and do a little picking up. i will check back in later with my progress.

Krys.
03-29-10, 01:36 PM
Sounds great! I've had groups on other sites that do this sort of thing. Some days I would make a "to do" list and other days I would do a "did it" list. For some reason there are days that no matter how simple my list, I'll do everything BUT what's on it so those days I prefer the "did it" version. Here is what I've done, and what I need to do in regards to it:

I filled up the sink with way too HOT, soapy water & dishes which will need to be washed shortly (I often forget to go back and actually wash the dishes before the water gets cold). I started a misc. load of laundry (which means I grabbed the pile that was in the hall and threw it into the washer without seeing what was in it because it's less time consuming/distracting than sorting) Got out some clothes out of storage for the little one to wear which left a mess I need to clean up in another room. (=

Here's a trick that helps me sometimes when I need to clean up a room that seems OVERWHELMING. I start, with the floor... Here's how it works in the living room for example: I will pick up anything and everything that may be in the floor, no matter how much or little it may be and put it anywhere that is handy (couch, tables, chairs, etc...) then I'll vacuum. After that I work my way around the room clockwise, straightening up and putting away as I go. So I go from computer desk to recliner, end table, couch, etc.... It can be more actual work in the end but it's easier for me to stay focused on the task at hand that way because it is divided up into smaller sections and starting with a clean floor is a great motivator for me. (=

spotty
03-29-10, 05:36 PM
I used to keep a fairly decent house when I had little kids and a husband with a job. Here's what helped:

Peg Bracken (she wrote The I Hate to Housekeep Book) said: "Never let a housewifely impulse pass you by". This means if you feel like doing something, DO IT. Even if the rest of the house is in chaos and you really "should" be doing something completely different. Just do it. Life is so much better when at least some of what you do is what you actually want to. Also, when you do get serious about other chores at least that one has already been done. You are a step ahead.

Draw the curtains and take off your clothes. Put on loud music. Dirty dance while you clean up.

Decide how long a job should take then try to beat the clock.

Invite someone over. Someone you don't know well or who keeps things tidier than you do can be especially motivating.

Trade jobs with a friend. I had a friend who was fascinated by my messy drawers - lol. I was too embarrassed to let her tidy them but THAT WAS DOPEY. She, on the other hand, was no cleaner while i didn't mind it. We could easily have traded.

Plan a treat for when you are done the chore.

That's all I can think of for now.

FinallyAnswered
03-29-10, 05:41 PM
Focus.....develop tunnel vision. Don't look at the big picture, target one little corner and don't stop until you finish it. Once you complete that, select another target and fire away.

Even if that's all you get done today, you will have some measure of satisfaction and accomplishment!

Consider me part of the Anti-Clutter Brigade!!

spotty
03-29-10, 05:42 PM
Lately, though, we are retired and it seems to me that my husband ought to do more than he does. So I'm on strike.

It's quite an impasse. He says he doesn't want to. I say he's a male pig. He says he wouldn't do it if he was female, either. I hire a cleaner. He complains about the cost. And on and on.

The worst is that he is a hoarder (comes from a long line) but seems to expect me to keep his junk tidy w/o actually moving anything. Or getting someone to build a shelf. Or EVER throwing anything out.

Lucky for him he has many fine qualities and since we've been married nearly 50 years there's no point in starting over with some other old fart.

Plus he's still cute.

FinallyAnswered
03-29-10, 05:48 PM
Spotty, if that's your only complaint after 50 years of marriage, then I say "congratulations" and perhaps you need to write a book on how to have a successful marriage! :)

LuvMyRotts
03-29-10, 06:30 PM
Well I managed to do the very basics today. As usual.

I REALLY want to tackle my piles and boxes and the filth beneath them. I just can't seem to force myself today. Maybe I will wake up with a better attitude tomorrow?

I might even try not turning on the computer. It's not like I can't get online though because I can use my iPhone, but at least I wouldn't waste even more time with the time sucking facebook games.

Suz57
03-29-10, 06:40 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have tried Flylady and my mailbox filled up with all of the things I was supposed to be doing (but didn't). So- how does this work? Do I just keep checking this thread, posting my "goals" and checking on others and their progress?

My dining room is filled with Christmas decorations and I guess it might be a good idea to put them away before Easter...

LovMyRotts- congrats on doing the basics. That's no small feat. I have used a kitchen timer at times. It actually works pretty well because you set it for 15 minutes and focus on one task for that time. When it rings, set it again and work on something else.

demfabbones
03-29-10, 06:44 PM
Can I just say I love this thread already! I so need this!

Usually for me the worst things are laundry and dishes. I try on a million outfits per morning and throw the clothes all over my room. I hate doing laundry and put it off until I can't any more. I forget to take clothes out of the washer and they stink. I forget to take clothes out of the drier and they wrinkle. If I won the lottery, laundry service is the first thing I would buy.

I don't have a dishwasher so the dishes pile up quickly and get gross which makes me want to wash them even less!

Overall clutter is also a huge problem. It's hard to put things away when the closets and drawers are also messed up.

One thing that helps me is taking a "before" picture so I can see the progress I'm making; otherwise it's hard to tell. Laundry on a sunny day isn't so bad because I can go outside and hang up a line.

Here is a picture I took after cleaning out my car. I filled bags and bags of just STUFF. I also filled up this big laundry tub and look what book was floating near the top (a book that, by the way, I accidentally stole from a library by never returning it.) I just had to take a picture. IRONY:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4022/4474836276_8351a0eb88.jpg

Suz57
03-29-10, 07:09 PM
So- in the five minutes since I read this thread- I put in a load of laundry, started a load of dishes, fed the dogs and saw my son off. It's a miracle! It works.:)

vssjayden
03-29-10, 08:24 PM
For me, Organizing was the only thing that kept me occupied but when it got overwhelming I gave up I have 2 storage units to be organized that I really can careless about it at this point. My home I try my hardest to keep it clean but I work so sometimes it can get out of control. But I have issues with cleaning and working at the same time. The 2 for me causes a sense of overwhelming.

Krys.
03-29-10, 08:31 PM
Yep I think this will be a fantastic thread to have. It's nice to be accountable to others who understand how hard of a time you are really having. So do we want to start a new thread each day or just keep adding to this one?

I don't have a dishwasher so the dishes pile up quickly and get gross which makes me want to wash them even less! Same here! No dishwasher, no room for one either. If I stay on top of them and wash as I get them dirty I do good. Inevitably though, I have a moment where I think "it's just a couple of cups, I'll wait until I have a few more things" and we all know what happens next.

LuvMyRotts
03-29-10, 08:51 PM
I think if we just post a few goals, check in with progress and encourage each other we should be able to get a few things done!

I'm so tired of being overwhelmed. I'm tired of feeling like Im the only one in the world like this too! We need each other!

LOVE The picture you posted, bones! Lololol!

LuvMyRotts
03-29-10, 08:59 PM
I would like to start a new thread each morning!

I typically get up at 6:30am cst so I can start one if there isn't one already up.

I'm REALLY gonna try to get something done tomorrow!

BrandNewDay
03-29-10, 09:08 PM
heh.

I remember staring at a pile of organizers at some big box store, with a friend, and saying .. "Maybe this is the one that will solve all my problems... " and my friend looked at me and says.. "The reason you are not organized is because you have too many organizers."

So - Eliminating flat surfaces that can accumulate things -- my big desk, my side tables and cabinets -- replaced them with smaller surfaces which feel more manageable to deal with, and I'm more likely to deal with them.

See also flylady -- its a bit wacky, but it sends you emails reminding you to "toss 27 things" or "shine your sink" -- unless email clutter is also a problem.. :-)

There is an option to get just one Flylady email a day. I started the daily email about 2 months ago. The days I followed the emails tasks, it made a big difference. It is AMAZING what you can get done when you set a timer for 15 mintues. Truly amazing...I was able to get through a big pile of junk mail in 15 minutes that had been sitting around forever. Highly recommend the once-a-day flylady emails.

BrandNewDay
03-29-10, 09:18 PM
Well I managed to do the very basics today. As usual.

I REALLY want to tackle my piles and boxes and the filth beneath them. I just can't seem to force myself today. Maybe I will wake up with a better attitude tomorrow?

I might even try not turning on the computer. It's not like I can't get online though because I can use my iPhone, but at least I wouldn't waste even more time with the time sucking facebook games.

I get soooo much more done if I don't turn on my laptop in the morning. Wake up, set your mind on a pile or a corner or a room and get something done before you start the rest of your day. This has worked wonders for me.

As somebody mentioned, set a small, achievable goal and move. I have not de-cluttered my office in 4 years (really) and I started taking a pile off the floor or desk each day and working in 15 minute increments (thanks Flylady). I should have four years of office clutter either filed or thrown out by the end of this week.

Clutter and piles just kill my sense of well-being. I am Christian, so I am targeting Easter Sunday as a new beginning - figuratively and literally. I want to de-clutter as much as possible during Holy Week. I am thinking of my activities this week in a sense of cleansing and renewal for my spirit.

BrandNewDay
03-29-10, 09:25 PM
I would like to start a new thread each morning!

I typically get up at 6:30am cst so I can start one if there isn't one already up.

I'm REALLY gonna try to get something done tomorrow!

Great idea on the daily thread. It will be a wonderful motivation for me and YES, we do need each other.

My goal for today was to clean out my daughter's dresser with her and put everything that doesn't fit her in a bag for Goodwill to pick up. She can barely put her laundry away because her drawers are over-stuffed with things that don't fit. We have avoided this forever.

It is 9:25 and I haven't done a thing. I am going upstairs now and working for 35 minutes until she goes to bed. I bet I can get a full dresser done in this time. I'll let you know how I make out.

Thanks for the motivation!!

Krys.
03-29-10, 10:07 PM
I would like to start a new thread each morning!

I typically get up at 6:30am cst so I can start one if there isn't one already up.

I'm REALLY gonna try to get something done tomorrow!

Sounds great!

Suz57
03-30-10, 09:15 AM
Krys- You tech-savvy people should decide what's the best way to handle how to set this up (I just learned what thread means). Since it was Rotts" idea, (hope it's OK to shorten names) maybe she should decide what we should do.

For now- how about if we post our goal(s) for the day, and we can either check in throughout the day or at night?

Believe it or not- one goal today is to mail my 2008 (nope, not a typo) taxes and at least start putting away the Christmas decorations. And you thought you had it bad...:)

LuvMyRotts
03-30-10, 09:20 AM
i started a new thread for the day!

Suz57
03-30-10, 09:33 AM
And off we go! I'll be cheering for all of you today...

Sit-n-Spin
03-30-10, 09:57 AM
I'd like to get in on this in a few weeks.

coinfliptourist
03-30-10, 08:41 PM
personal tips that have worked well for me:

if you haven't looked at it in a year : toss it.

if you can move things around in a house switch bedrooms and put a bag in the hall... anything that doesn't have a home in the new room --- do not let it cross the threshold.

If you can't say "This is something that If I were to leave the country, this is something I would pay money to store", it is considered expendable... the first time it gets in your way, toss it.

Limit the available dishes to One plate, bowl/cup per person. Your sink will never be too full, and you'll do dishes if you don't have any. (use paper/plastic for guests)

carefully consider purchases. For every one thing coming in, two things must leave. Focus on purchases that deal in experiences, consumables (good food, good soap, good travel (don't buy the farm on vacation!)... will this be Fun? will this benefit my family/friends? Will this be used, and will it be time well spend when it is used?

Put things where you will find them, not where you *think* they should go, :-)


Good luck! (I still struggle with these all the time but I'm making progress!!)

demfabbones
03-30-10, 09:44 PM
I think if we just post a few goals, check in with progress and encourage each other we should be able to get a few things done!

I'm so tired of being overwhelmed. I'm tired of feeling like Im the only one in the world like this too! We need each other!

LOVE The picture you posted, bones! Lololol!

Thanks! And ditto on what you said. :)

Is anybody else really emotionally attached to their stuff?? Like not just stuff that should actually have meaning but stupid random things too? I have a really hard time throwing away anything from my childhood. If they ever make a museum of me, they will have plenty of exhibits ;)

Suz57
03-30-10, 10:21 PM
Thanks! And ditto on what you said. :)

Is anybody else really emotionally attached to their stuff?? Like not just stuff that should actually have meaning but stupid random things too? I have a really hard time throwing away anything from my childhood. If they ever make a museum of me, they will have plenty of exhibits ;)

I still have papers I wrote in Jr. High. Watch "Hoarders" on TV some time. Whenever I want to be motivated to clean, I watch episodes I've taped. Occasionally it provides some insight into why we keep stuff from our childhoods, mementos, etc. I think once we figure out why the childhood stuff has meaning for us, what it represents, it's easier to throw it out.

demfabbones
03-30-10, 11:11 PM
I still have papers I wrote in Jr. High. Watch "Hoarders" on TV some time. Whenever I want to be motivated to clean, I watch episodes I've taped. Occasionally it provides some insight into why we keep stuff from our childhoods, mementos, etc. I think once we figure out why the childhood stuff has meaning for us, what it represents, it's easier to throw it out.

Oooh, I know, I LOVE that show! It's a really good one for me to watch. I love that and Intervention.

coinfliptourist
03-31-10, 01:17 AM
"Is anybody else really emotionally attached to their stuff??"


Oh yeah. I've been in my apt 10 years, and I have 100s of postcards from all my travels, I just found about 1000 pamphlets from every art exhibit that ever showed anywhere, ticket stubs, chibbies of paper, all of which seemed *really* important.

And lets not even get started on the art supplies and collage materials, and the sewing projects and ... and... and.


But I have been able to hyperfocus when I get in the mood )or have a friend to keep me honest- wine makes a fine bribe!), and really apply some of the rules from my post a few back...Tho the biggest trick is not to make excuses for keeping stuff... "That you'll use it some day" is no longer good enough. For all else, I try to find good homes (that seems to alleviate a lot of the anxiety over giving things away. (mail art sites -like nervousness.org are helpful since they are always looking for collage materials -- and freecycle.org and craigslist-free means I can put a pile of stuff on my porch and when I come home after work, its all gone. :-)

Things that you can look at and have a really strong memory that invokes a story worth telling, or an heirloom photo of someone you love... Then it goes into a box! Everything else.. mediocre memories, the 8000 pics of that party ( or in my case the 4 rolls of film I took while flying over the mohave desert form the airplane... I tossed all but one. (because its a good story-- write it on the back if you think you'd forget)

Anyway, I'm totally "on a mission" and feeling successful - so I can't do anything creative because the meds totally kills my desire to make things... so I'll take my strengths where I can get them, and toss things.

ginniebean
03-31-10, 01:26 AM
I'm in, I am the recipient of my moms clutter, much of which I have to pack out and take to the car day after tomorrow to give away :)

yay less clutter.

I made a deal with myself that while I'm cooking, I'm also cleaning the kitchen. I do dishes, I clean the floor, even if it's coffee. Things burn or go cold if I leave the kitchen.


As for laundry, I wash everything on cold. I have two piles, whites and colours. That's it. In the whites I do put the paler colours tho. When you use cold you don't really have to do all that sorting.

The vacuum is my cryptonite tho.

Today I took out several large items of no use to the garbage.

Sit-n-Spin
03-31-10, 10:54 AM
I like the suggestion to put all your clothes backwards on the hangers (meaning you hang from the back of the rod not the front), and then when you wear something you can hang it from the front like you would normally do. After a period of time (e.g. season, year) you get rid of anything you have not worn. I suppose you could do it with shoes and even clothes in drawer, too.

SB_UK
03-31-10, 02:34 PM
hi everyone...

im so sick of my house being a disaster. i make tons of lists, i buy organizing containers, search for iphone to do list apps, buy cleaning supplies, etc etc etc but nothing ever gets done.

i know that i alwasy clean better when i have someone with me, but i cant have that every day, so i think a daily encouraging thread would help us all!

we could post what we want to accomplish that day & encourage each other. we can check in periodically and post our progress and maybe even pictures too!

who is in?

:-)

Life's better without clutter.

Box, photograph and stack the boxes some place away from sight.

Hoping for a world with only wood (floor,blinds) punctuated by only the computer screen soon -

- the projected screen or holographic display 'd be just so lovely -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOSx7v87JCA

a life free from anything 'real'.