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  #1  
Old 10-28-04, 05:38 PM
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Red face Woman with ADD / ADHD housekeeping emergency!

I may not have totally lost my mind, but I'm well on the way! We are trying to refinance our house, which will require an appraiser to do a walkthrough and reappraise the place. It's important that she gives us a "good" appraisal, since that will enable us to save a considerable amount of money over the next few years.

The problem ... the house is one big pile of clutter. The kids and I have been getting sick repeatedly for weeks, life has been hectic, and things have been sliding down the slippery slope of chaos for a long time now. Now I have a very few days to make the house "perfect" (in DH's words). No pressure there! I've gotten so tense over this that it's actually hampering my efforts to get the job done. The kids seem to have picked up on my mood, and have become very moody and hard to deal with themselves. I'm about ready to tear my hair out!

DH is, of course, working long hours this week. Hiring a housekeeper for a day might help, but most of what needs to be done is decluttering. I've been looking for someone to babysit the kids for a few hours so I can work without interruptions. So far, there have been no takers. SO, I just popped in to vent a little. Anyone have any words of wisdom for me?
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Old 10-28-04, 06:22 PM
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That's a good idea, get a baby sitter, rent a dumpster, if you haven't used in the last 2 years, toss it. If you haven't worn it in the last year, toss it. (if you are a hoarder this may be impossible with out valium and assistance of someone yelling at you "you don't need that! Throw it out!!!!") What doesn't go in the dumpster, what you don't need but is good and can be used make a pile for the Salvation Army or other similar organization in your area.

Buy some big plastic bins for the stuff that you must keep and store so that you can stack them and put them away somewhere. After you de-clutter, hire a maid service to douche the place.

Also, make sure you reward yourself after it's done with some you time! Be a night out with the girls, or an empty (clean!) house and a hot bath and good book!

Take care and I hope everything turns out well. Try not to stress!

I have a storage room that I've been meaning to de-clutter and organize for months now. It drives me crazy, but it's low on the list of priorites and I haven't gotten to it yet but it hangs over me like a cloud!
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Old 10-28-04, 06:36 PM
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Since it is soooo easy for us to get distracted and off path, cleaning up clutter can be especially difficult - you go to put something in another place and end up organizing there, then get distracted by something else......Does that sound familiar at all?
When asked this question at a seminar my ADD Dr suggested starting in one corner, and working your way outwards - create one uncluttered corner and then work on expanding it until it encompasses your house! As the local king of unfinished projects, this suggestion made sense to me so I remembered it - just in case I ever have to clean my house one day ;-)
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Old 10-28-04, 06:54 PM
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Sounds like me.... I've been jumping from one project to another, never quite finishing any one thing. So I've been working, but that might not be apparent to a casual observer. Probably the best thing for me now is to move away from the computer and keep plugging away....
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Old 10-29-04, 01:27 AM
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music.MUSIC.
make a list of everything that will be required to make your house LOOK better.
if it isn't honest to god organization who cares.
you're looking for a temporary fast way to get this done.
take each room individually.
do sections at a time.
like first floor: kitchen. then dining room. then living room.
brainstorm about maximum efficiency.
what would make it look less cluttered the best?
if you have some personal storage off site you could put a bunch of unnecessary stuff you don't use on a regular basis and is just sitting in your house devaluing your refinance..
put in a plastic storage box..haul it off for a week. and then deal with it slowly when this ordeal is all over.

this, as you'll see, is just a complex version of shoving everything in the closet.

good luck on your mission!
may the force be with you...
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  #6  
Old 10-29-04, 04:12 AM
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Lightbulb Getting your big job done...

1. Prioritise, what must they ABSOLUTLY not see, or what will make the biggest impact visually? Start there and then ask yourself again when it is done. Otherwise you will be running around at random not putting much of a dent in any one place and wasting your precious time and energy.

2. Get a "body double", what this means in ADHD terms is another person to keep you on task. It can be someone that actually helps you, or just visits with you while you dig in. Preferably someone understanding of your challenges, that wont give you "toxic help". If you are to ashamed for friends/family to see your mess, another option would be to have a cord less phone with a headset and call a long winded friend and let them know you are digging in to a chore that you don't like and need the company. (It goes so much faster this way.)

3. Another tip is to set a timer for maybe 10 minutes (or however much you can take) and de-clutter as much as you can until the timer rings. (You can even make a game out of it.) When the timer rings set it for 5 minutes or so and take a brake, drink some water, look a magazine, do jumping jacks... When it rings get back at it for another fast chunk. I'm always amazed at how much I can get done this way.

I have had these "inspections" done at my house before and what you have to keep telling yourself is that they are not there to see how clean your bathroom is, they are there to take measurements and see the condition your home is in. (Stains on the carpet, holes in the sheet rock, broken windows etc.) Putting it in prospective like that always calms me down.

Let us know how it goes!!

Ginger : )

PS: They wont look under your bed! ; )
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Old 10-29-04, 07:22 AM
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not a good situation

Krisp, this is a ghastly situation and you have my empathy !

I must admit, I would try and get the kids out of the house [even if you have to pay for them to be cared for].

Put on some loud upbeat music
Get a pile of HUGE rubbish bags, and place all the clutter in those bags.

After the clutter is all cleared, clean the house, and even get one day's paid help if you can afford it.

What they don't see won't hurt your appraisal.

Before the appraiser comes, put on some soothing music; fresh coffee...and have bread baking if you can. These are psychological tricks for getting better prices They work, even on appraisers.

Please keep us informed as to how you go!
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Old 10-29-04, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for all the great tips! I'm hoping that using the basement as a "catch-all" won't hurt the appraisal too much. (It's partially finished, with lots of rooms, most of which are full of stacked storage bins at the moment.) I may use the "body-double-on-the-phone" idea, too. I have a long-winded out-of-state friend that I've been meaning to call .....

It's truly amazing to me, BTW, how fast the kids can undo a good room-straightening. As soon as one of their beds turns into a spaceship, and their rooms turn into alien planets, things can go downhill very fast. If only those powers could be harnessed for good instead of evil!
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Old 10-29-04, 03:35 PM
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Smile Wired things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisp
It's truly amazing to me, BTW, how fast the kids can undo a good room-straightening. As soon as one of their beds turns into a spaceship, and their rooms turn into alien planets, things can go downhill very fast.
(I have AD/HD bad) I have a 5 year old boy (I don't know yet if he has AD/HD) and we (I'm very suspicious that my husband has it also) were having a hard time getting him to straighten up his room.

About 2 weeks ago I attended an AD/HD seminar, and one of the main speakers was Edward Hallowell, M.D. (author of "Driven to Distraction") he talked allot about families with ADD-AD/HD. He gave some great suggestions for kids rooms, so the next day I made a trip to Ikea. I didn't have enough money to do everything that I wanted, but the few things that I brought home made a huge improvement. (His room is STILL clean!!)

Hallowell suggested buckets/bins for clothes, it is out of the ordinary, but so are we...

I got some stackable recycling bins, then I took 3x5 index cards and drew an outline of what was in each one. (T-shirt, jeans, etc.) Then my little boy colored them with crayons, (he loved it) I let him help tap them to the lids. I even let him decide what order to stack them. He then helped me put his clothes in.

Hallowell also pointed out that small children's play clothes don't necessarily need to be folded, well I jumped on that one! (I hate to fold, and I'm always behind.) I told him that he could fold them if he wants to. (He is a little OCD so I think this is good "therapy" for him.)

I also picked up these wired things that hang on the wall and we used those for unders and socks.

His toys are sorted in bins.

He has his very own "launching pad" by his door, hooks for coats, hats, backpack and plastic baskets for shoes.

I included some photos so you can get an idea what I'm talking about.

Ginger : )
Attached Images
File Type: jpg B'sroom001.JPG (20.4 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg B'sroom3001.JPG (17.2 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg B'sroom3002.JPG (20.4 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg B'sroom5001.JPG (11.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg B'sroom5003.JPG (14.1 KB, 23 views)
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"I'll be all over that... As soon as I finish other things."
"What other things?"
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Last edited by Ginger404; 10-29-04 at 03:37 PM.. Reason: spelling...
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Old 10-29-04, 04:48 PM
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ginger :
you are a very coool mama.
i love your gusto.
i'm sure your boy was as happy as he could be!
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Old 10-30-04, 02:37 AM
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Thanks for the compliment.
Ginger : )
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"I'll be all over that... As soon as I finish other things."
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"Well, for example, miscellaneous."
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Old 11-03-04, 11:17 AM
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Thumbs up

I love those open bins. They're very similar to the ones I put in the kids' toyroom. I'm still trying to convince the 4-y.o. not to dump out the toys and play with the bins, though! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

And we heard back from the appraiser. The house appraised for $38K more than we paid for it two years ago!
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Old 11-03-04, 11:18 AM
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RIGHT ON krisp...
thats excellent. i'm sure you're relieved now..congrats.
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Old 11-03-04, 07:47 PM
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Wow!
It sounds like you really "cleaned up"!!
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Old 11-05-04, 07:54 PM
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I was more than appalled when our house was appraised and the guy looked in my closets, where I had shoved everything. Things were falling down at his feet. They should warn you about that!!!
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