Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Baby Steps

You all know I struggle with organization and general house cleanliness. Partly it is the chaos of having small children and partly it is my own inherent laziness.
But I have an idea.
I am going to maintain ONE problem area for ONE week (I would like to say for one month but that scares me).
You have all seen my desk and my mountain of mail & crap documented on many occasions. You may recall it more often than not looks like this:
Not anymore people. I cleaned it on Sunday night and got it to this state:
Today is Wednesday and it still looks like this:
Now here is the thing. I'm not stupid. I do get that keeping things clean and cleared off requires near constant yet minimal effort on a DAILY basis. The problem is that I am a perfectionist and for those of you who don't suffer from this debilitating disease it is in fact debilitating. It doesn't mean you are a clean organized person. It means if you can't do it perfectly than it isn't worth doing at all. It means that cleaning off the desk is meaningless if you can't also clean up this:
or this:
or this:

Because what is the point in having just ONE clean surface?!? My instinct is to wallow around in self pity and give into the tidal wave of junk mail because working so hard CONSTANTLY to only have ONE 4x2 surface to show for it seems like a waste. I know that is the perfectionism talking. I know that when you walk in my house the FIRST thing you see is my desk. I know that when I sit at my computer the clutter and chaos makes me want to go somewhere else. So this is a test. First I will tackle this one area for one week. Then I will see if I can add another sore spot to my list for next week. And then another.

63 comments:

Feener said...

why is it that i use to monthly attack my piles of crap(sans kids), and now i look at my pile of crap and have anxiety attacks and find it much easier to look away ??

P.O.M. said...

I think it's easier to be a perfectionist when one lives alone and therefore does not make messes and cleans up right away. I get major anxiety when at the boys house and it gets messy just by him being there. I can't sit or relax until mess is cleaned.

I'm better than I used to be though - wine helps.

emmyjw said...

I am a perfectionist too, and I think being married to an ADD/walking chaos man really does me in sometimes! He just piles things everywhere,I get overwhelmed and so I don't even try because...why bother if I can't ever make it ALL perfect? Hmmmthat sounds familiar...

Robin said...

Me too, me too! I get that it only takes minimal work everyday to keep it clean, but knowing it and doing it are two different things.

BTW, I have an appt to get my hair cut tomorrow. It is coming OFF. I am super excited and feel like I want to puke all at the same time.

Heather said...

Ok. What's the problem with the desk? I mean, at heart -- is it no place to put mail? What's on the desk, and what SHOULD be on the desk? Is there a way you can put up shelves/hooks/bins on the wall so that the workspace can be clear?

I'm good at getting stuff organized. Keeping it organized is another story.

Emmy, like Mrs. F, my husband is the same way. Opposites attract, ug.

Heather said...

And I think Baby Steps are the key. Evaluate what drives you the MOST crazy, and work backwards. The reason I ask about the shelving/bin thing is because you could chuck stuff into the bins, and when the bins get crazy, THEN deal with it. But this would keep your desk clean and give you a sense of control (crucial for me). Great, now I have the Janet Jackson song Control in my head.

Mrs. Furious said...

Goddamn Blogger! Is anyone having issues today?!? Driving me insane!!!



Feener,
sweet jesus I have so been there! lol... I guess I should say I am there ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

Blogger keeps fucking dropping me! This is really pissing me off!!!

I've already written and tried to post return comments.

I'm taking a short break before I break my computer!

Mrs. Furious said...

Oh of course that comment posted!

Mrs. Furious said...

P.O.M.,
"I think it's easier to be a perfectionist when one lives alone"

Yes I should say so! I didn't unroll the toilet paper and drag it all though the house myself... ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

Emmy,
"He just piles things everywhere,I get overwhelmed and so I don't even try "
EXACTLY! I have thought about just sucking it up and doing it anyway but then I know I would be so resentful that it would reach divorce level in no time!

Mrs. Furious said...

Robin,
please post a current picture BEFORE you cut your hair! Are you chopping it off... like as in short?

Mrs. Furious said...

Heather,
"I'm good at getting stuff organized. Keeping it organized is another story. "

word.


as for the desk it isn't a very functional desk and the decor kind of dictates no hanging basket/cubby items... and I do have some under the desk but Baby is getting into them. When my pictures EVER post you'll see. Mostly I just don't usually sort the mail and pile it for mythical later and that pile attracts all manner of bizarre misplaced items.

Robin said...

Ok, I posted befores. I am cutting it shorter than shoulder length, but not sure how short.

moley said...

Mrs F, I'm so there with you. Well done on your baby steps! You can do it.

As we work from home we have a whole office full of crap and more paperwork than we know what to do with. I still haven't done any work this year since I can't currently face going in there, despite some projects being overdue and the fact that our accounts need to be submitted by the end of Jan otherwise it's a 1,000 pound fine (~2,000 dollars).

We did start to have a tidy today, but I just don't know where to start. Mr Mole did throw out a whole crate full of old catalogues, phone books etc. which has cleared some shelf space to get some of the crap off the floor. We are going to tackle it further tomorrow, but Mr Mole is such a hoarder it's really difficult. And I don't want to even think about the kids' squirrel/magpie habits!

On the positive side, we bought two new sofas and a rug for the living room just before Christmas and now the Christmas tree has gone I have been tidying it each evening, including plumping the cushions (although as the newness wears off the sofas I suspect that will go out of the window) and removing all of the kiddy crap, even if that just involves chucking it into the dining/playroom and shutting the door, after the kids go to bed. It is actually really nice to sit down in a nice clean, tidy adult room for an hour or so before bed. Have also been making a bit of an effort with our bedroom, which is usually a bomb site.

Robin said...

BTW, I had to try twice with one picture, but other than that I didn't have any trouble downloading them.

Heather said...

Try uploading on Firefox. I have the same problem sometimes...

moley said...

I also meant to ask if you have anything like our mail preference service (see here: http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/) , which is where you register to stop junk mail. It's cut our junk mail down to practically nil.

We also have a phone preference service as well although that doesn't seem to work quite as well.

MommyTime said...

Hey--You're going back to FlyLady without calling it that! But working FlyLady by any other name does smell as sweet... or some other more witty metaphor I can't come up with right now. I hope this works for you. Keep us posted!

MommyTime said...

Moley,
Your comments continue to inspire me to do more at home! Why is it that bedrooms are always such "bomb sites"? Our is horrible , as bad or worse than the toys that litter the family room. It's like the laundry monster simply cannot be tamed. It's all clean, and yet I cannot somehow manage to get it put away. I also think the mess breeds mess (sort of like wire hangers in a closet), so that if already looks untidy noone (read: Husband) thinks nothing of tossing things on the floor instead of hanging up. I have no idea how to solve this without feeling like I'm always picking up after him. Ideas?

Kid Art said...

Mrs F said: "It means if you can't do it perfectly than it isn't worth doing at all."

That's it! It has been driving me crazy for nearly 7 years that I can't clean the entire house in one morning once a week like I/we used to do before we had kids. And struggling with the feeling that if one can't do the entire thing at once it's not worth doing at all. Sabotage by perfectionism!

We do a pretty good job of keeping certain areas - like the kitchen - clean on an ongoing basis but the rest of it tends to go downhill fast...

The desk is a big sore spot. And now that I have drawers to put things in there are piles squirreled away that weigh on my mind. Also a cabinet stuffed with crap that used to be on my desk. And my closet is utterly terrifying.

Our bedroom is pretty bad too - Moley you have inspired me to tackle it this weekend!

Mrs. Furious said...

Robin,
Okay I'm going to go look.





Heather,
that was with foxfire & safari I tried both. It was an issue with blogger.

Mrs. Furious said...

Moley,
"Mr Mole is such a hoarder it's really difficult"
LOL... yes we all are!

"It is actually really nice to sit down in a nice clean, tidy adult room for an hour or so before bed."
Yes. We also try every night to get everything picked up... our house is small and I HATE waking up to yesterday's tornado of toy debris!

and you can stop junk mail for a fee. We have called to stop all catalogs but they still send them.. although drastically reduced we used to get 10-15 a day!

Mrs. Furious said...

MommyTime,
" It's like the laundry monster simply cannot be tamed. It's all clean, and yet I cannot somehow manage to get it put away"
Yes!!! Our laundry often doesn't even make it out of the basement. I unload it and it sits in a mountain of clean clothes and I go and get ours out of the pile until it is time to start over. I finally cleaned my room last weekend and put all the piles of out of season clothes and other failed attempts at actually putting the clothes away in the drawers that were all over the floor. I love waking up to a perfectly clean room! I'd almost rather leave the clothes in the basement if it prevents the bedroom mess!

Mrs. Furious said...

Emily,
I think I was telling you last week that I have a cubby of shame that houses all the stuff I sweep off my desk when I need to clean it fast. Maybe I'll do that next week. It is piled top to bottom and you can't even open the door without facing an avalanche. The problem is that it is things I'd like to save but don't know where to store them... and junk receipts that I am compelled to hold onto "just in case".
Okay week 1: keep desk clean.
week 2: keep desk clean & empty cubby.

Torey said...

Good for you Mrs. F!!

I live with the messiest person in the history of the world!!! Something that I've found that motivates me to keep at least the main areas clean is to invite people over frequently!!!

Missed you at class tonight!! We got there as Mr. F was getting baby out of the car, and I said to my husband (really loudly) "THAT'S MR. F!!!!!!" then I felt really cool!

Good luck with your cleaning. I'm trying to do the same sort of thing. . .

Mrs. Furious said...

Torey,

oh yes company helps. It is always amazing to me how quickly I can clean the house when I know someone is coming over!

It is killing me that I missed class!! Mr F is a good reporter/gossiper so I think I have the 411.
Kid asked for me to take her on her date and how could I refuse? I rarely spend any time with just her anymore... and I really miss it (she is so much nicer that way!).
So "C" was as crazy as ever I hear ;)

Amy said...

I agree with Mommytime. I do Flylady and am pleased with the results. Like you, I'm a perfectionist and Flylady lets that side of me be a little appeased. it's like my tolerance for clutter has decreased so I clean it up quicker before it piles into chaos I can't control. Sounds like you've had a round with Flylady too. Good luck!

Mrs. Furious said...

Amy,
Yeah I tried Flylady a little while back. I couldn't do her routines or really get into the whole "shine your sink" thing... but I did find it motivating and I did get the psychology behind it. After awhile I got really sick of all the emails and I quit.
I suppose you could say clearing off my desk is the "sink" replacement. Time will tell....

Kiki said...

Mrs F, I am so glad that you said what you said about perfectionism, my husband doesn't understand what holds me back from cleaning up and its because I want to do it perfectly. I don't want to just pick up the living room, I want to dust, vacuum and Febreze it. If I can't then what's the point, because I'll just have to redo the whole thing!

Love the video post, thinking of trying that myself, we'll see.

Mrs. Furious said...

Kiki,
you should have your husband look at the crazy Flylady website... they do a really good job of explaining the whole perfectionism issue. (must look past incredibly cheesy graphics and content)

Oh once you start with the videos you can't stop! I'd post a video post every day but I fear that would get old pretty quickly!

Vanessa said...

Sounds reasonable, perhaps the other household members can help? Or perhaps that's like my household, meaning there is no hope whatsoever of that happening. Either way, good luck with the week.

moley said...

Well I'm glad I'm inspiring some of you, but I don't feel very inspirational! Sorry I missed all your comments last night as I took Mrs F's advise and went to bed at midnight. The time difference is a pain!

I've tackled the bedroom in 2 ways, but don't get me wrong, it's not perfect it's just better than it was!. One: I've made a rule that there are no kids' toys in there, and Hetty is very good with rules (she's just turned 7) and she reminds Bumble so that seems to be working. In fact she often reminds me of rules that I've made and then forgotten. She doesn't think there is a rule about keeping her bedroom tidy, mind you!!! They are obeying the no food or drink on the new sofas rule though - for now anyway! Just need the damn dog to stay off there now.

The other thing is laundry, which tends to end up in our room. I should firstly say that Mr Mole is very good around the house, although he is probable also the worst offender for mess and clutter, but he does do quite a lot of housework. Anyway a few months ago I was being driven insane by his laundry antics. Over the 17 years we have shared a residence, I have lost count of the number of clothes I've had ruined due to him managing to leave a stray black sock in a whites wash for example; or a bright red one. Plus he never stain treats, so quite a few of the kids' t-shirts etc have got cooked in stains that will not now come off, and the worst thing is where he puts a load of washing in the machine and then forgets about it, so I find it hours later when it's all creased. If there's one thing I hate more than washing it's ironing.

Although we have a dryer, it is incredibly noisy and expensive to run so I only use it in an emergency, plus it ruins the pictures on the kids t-shirts. Or even worse he would put another load in when the radiators were already full, so there was nowhere to hang it.

I suppose I should explain about our house. We don't have a basement, the washer and dryer are in the kitchen and in the winter, the clothes are hung on the radiators and the stair banister to dry. If it is taken out of the machine at the end of the cycle, shaken out and hung straight up then the vast majority doesn't need ironing.

Sorry to waffle on, anyway the point of all that is that one day I yet again found wet washing in the machine and just lost the plot - he was lucky he wasn't in at the time or he might not have survived. By the time he came home I had calmed down but had also come to a realisation, and that is that I have had to ban him from doing the washing. He didn't take me seriously at first but when I said I was so stressed about it that I was close to leaving him - he stopped going near the machine.

Before, when we both, in theory, did the washing, in reality often neither of us did it so it would pile up horribly, but now that I've taken it over, I suppose I feel that I have to do it, so now I wash one load most days, so that it all fits nicely on the radiators and just seems easier to manage. As we had a massive blitz before Christmas and put all the piles away, I just have to now put one load out and then put the last one away. It's so less stressful and seems to be working well, but it has only been a few months.

The comments about visitors is so true I think that is why bedrooms are a nightmare, cos we know no one else will see them. I must admit I was completely embarrassed a few months ago when the kids had friends round. I'd told them beforehand not to go into our bedroom and I'd shut the door. Anyway they were all playing in hetty's room and I heard her say: 'we can't go in mummy and daddy's room because it's SO messy!'. They were only 5 and 6 so they didn't really care but it gave me a bit of a wake up call.

Oh my life what a long post! hopefully you are all still sleeping peacefully (it's 9.30am here and Mr Mole has just dropped the kids off at school) and no doubt I shall speak (type) to you all later). Sorry about lapsing into British towards the end there - washing is laundry, and I hope everyone understands what radiators are? Do you all have underfloor heating?

Oh, and I'm just off to put some washing in the machine :-) Then I suppose I need to go and tackle the office - arghh! I might take some before shots.

One last thing. About your empty photo frames Mrs F. Have you thought about allowing kid to select the pictures, so that a) the decision is out of your hands and b) it's something nice you could do together? My 2 will spend hours looking through iphoto at photos of themselves and listening to my stories about the pictures.

moley said...

Mrs F,
I've just mistakenly been to amazon.com instead of amazon.co.uk and noticed that they do groceries. They've only got non-perishables but they do have a 'natural and organic' section so it might be worth having a look. Obviously I have no idea whether the prices are reasonable or not but if they are it might help cut down the time you need to spend in-store.

michelline said...

Yes!!! Our laundry often doesn't even make it out of the basement. I unload it and it sits in a mountain of clean clothes and I go and get ours out of the pile until it is time to start over

We used to be the same way. Really. But we've managed to overcome this. Every night when we get home, we put in 1 load of laundry. We transfer it to the dryer. Then in the morning, we remove the load and (AFTER MAKING THE BED!!!) dump the clean load on the bed to be put up. Since it's only 1 load and it's in a place I HAVE to clear anyway (if I want to sleep), then it gets put up. Really, we used to dread laundry and now we don't. It's very simple.

The only extra work we do on laundry (besides pre-treating if necessary) is to take most of my clothes after they're done in the washer and hang them on hangers in the bedroom (from the armoire! LOL) to dry. Then we hang them up in the closet when we put up the rest of the clothes the following night.

Try it...

Also - stop stressing so much about ironing. If you need something ironed, do it when you need it. Or just toss it in the dryer for a few minutes. This won't work for all things, but it does the trick for most.

Laura said...

I so feel your pain on trying to keep it all together. rrrrrr
If everyone in my house would tend to their own crap -oh what a happy day that would be!

Julie said...

I am just so happy to hear that everyone has the struggle with the house messes like me. It seems that whenever I am at other people's houses, everything seems so tidy. I guess that would be because they cleaned up before I came! And quite a few of my friends have HUGE houses so there are lots of places to spread out or put away the mess.

Gigs said...

Mrs F said: "It means if you can't do it perfectly than it isn't worth doing at all."

Exactly! I feel your pain on that one. And the laundry thing seems to just be a universal truth. Piles of clean laundry in my living room function as the dressers we all should be using! The item I sadly related to most in your photos was the table with not only the tissue box, but random tissues on it as well. WHY does that happen? Every once in a while we have the family talk where I say I can't do this whole clean house thing on my own - everyone must pitch in - but that usually only lasts about two minutes. Our counter of shame is in our kitchen where if I looked right now I would find mail, papers from school, camera, kid artwork, batteries, assorted screws, super glue, receipts and a myriad of other random items. Ugh.

I have been overwhelmed recently by the news that one of our very well love cats has lymphoma, with a prognosis of a few months of life left. We worked up to the news gently with my boys, but if anyone has any advice on dealing with kids and pet death (or any sort of death - my family has not been through that yet) I would really love to hear it. My youngest son is so sad, and that has been the most heart-breaking thing for me...

Torey said...

Oh! It's so nice to see that everyone else hates laundry as much I do!! I would happily hand wash all the dishes in our house if someone else would do my laundry. Actually, I'll happily gather, wash and dry all the clothes. Then someone just needs to come and fold and put it all away for me.

A huge part of the problem here is that we have two dogs who shed like none other. There is dog hair on every surface. So laundry comes out clean, gets put in a laundry basket and within SECONDS is covered in dog hair again. UGH!! So I feel like I'm constantly washing the same things over and over. And there is no good surface on which to FOLD clothes because they all have dog hair on them.

We also have such limited closet and dresser space that I'm not even sure there is room for all our clothes to be clean AND put away all at once. I don't think I could find a place for everything. We don't have a basement or an attic. So rather than actually doing the laundry and dealing with this problem when it arises, I just avoid the whole thing.

I feel as though a giant weight were lifted. Thanks for letting me get that out there!!

Mrs. Furious said...

Vanessa,
Hi! Thanks for commenting :)

"Or perhaps that's like my household, meaning there is no hope whatsoever of that happening. "
BINGO
no actually everyone does try it is just an uphill battle against genetic predisposition.

Mrs. Furious said...

moley,
". By the time he came home I had calmed down but had also come to a realisation, and that is that I have had to ban him from doing the washing."
Mr F is banned from doing my laundry or the kids for this very reason. He does his own laundry and does linens when he feels like it. I do our laundry as I am obsessed with stain treating and drying on LOW only.

Yes I do know what radiators are. It depends on the age of your house some older homes still have them and our apartments in NYC did.

Amazon... I can't get enough of what I eat to not still go shopping.. and the excess oil/gas needed to ship them to me I can't justify with still going to the store anyway. And the prices are not as cheap as I can get anyway.

Chris Howard said...

Hmmm perfectionism sounds like a pain in the ass. Clutter and messiness bothers me, and I can't relax properly if there's stuff to be cleaned up. But I don't have to do it all at once. I can deal with having a messy room if I have a plan to deal with it.

Mrs. Furious said...

Michelline,

Oh I don't iron. My issue is that with the kids at the ages they are I have to stain treat everything and that is what takes time. I could throw a load in no big deal but I don't have the time to stain treat everyday.
And since I wear the same things again and again I don't have enough of my laundry to do a load a day.

moley said...

Mrs F,
Mr F is banned from doing my laundry or the kids for this very reason. He does his own laundry

I still do his as well but I hate having to turn everything back the right way. Why he and the kids can't take their clothes off without getting them inside out is a complete mystery to me. I might have to put my foot down with him and tell him that if they go in the basket inside out they will stay inside out. Oh who am trying to kid? - I should say go on the floor inside out.

This one load a day thing does seem to be working out for me though. It just seems so much less stressful than letting it all pile up.

No, when I had a good look at amazon, they didn't seem cheap.

Mrs. Furious said...

Laura,
"If everyone in my house would tend to their own crap -oh what a happy day that would be!"
I dream of that day... maybe when they are both in college and Mr F and I just have to deal with ourselves.

Gigs said...

Moley, lol. I actually have told my husband that what I find inside out stays inside out. This goes mostly for socks and t-shirts. I fold them as I find them. He has to turn them to wear them. It's a little thing we agreed on to preserve our marital bliss!

Mrs. Furious said...

Julie,
"It seems that whenever I am at other people's houses, everything seems so tidy."
Other than for Angie who can bop over so I can't really clean up that fast... that is exactly what I do. You would never know or suspect that on a daily basis my house is a wreck.

Mrs. Furious said...

Gigs,

I'm sorry to hear about your cat. Yes I do have some ideas. Things are a bit crazy right now so I'll put it up a little later under the new Baby post since it isn't so busy over there. I think we must have your email... I'll email you later if I can't get it up here before you go home from work.

batteries... lol... I cannot tell you how many have found a permanent home on our counter!

Mrs. Furious said...

Torey,
"We also have such limited closet and dresser space that I'm not even sure there is room for all our clothes to be clean AND put away all at once."
this is part of our problem. We definitely don't have enough room to store the kids clothes. I barely have any so mine is not so much of an issue!
But stress not it appears we are all having laundry issues ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

Moley & Gigs,
lol... definitely leave them inside out.. your husbands are lucky you are doing it for them!

Mrs. Furious said...

Chris,
you are definitely not a Furious then!

michelline said...

I have been overwhelmed recently by the news that one of our very well love cats has lymphoma, with a prognosis of a few months of life left. We worked up to the news gently with my boys, but if anyone has any advice on dealing with kids and pet death (or any sort of death - my family has not been through that yet) I would really love to hear it. My youngest son is so sad, and that has been the most heart-breaking thing for me...

I'm sorry to hear about your cat. It's always so sad when we and our kids have to deal with loss. Our only experience with a pet death came on October 24, 2002 (my older daughter's 7th birthday!) when a dog attacked our cat and mutilated her to the point where my husband and I had to make the choice to put her to sleep. Not a nice birthday for Tori.

The vet's office made a plaster of Emily's paw print and we wrapped her in a blanket and carried her home in a nice box. At home, the kids wanted to say goodbye to her,so I unwrapped the blanket (she just looked like she was sleeping) and let them pet her and kiss her goodbye. Then we let them pick a place in the back yard to bury Emily. The next weekend, we took them to a flea market to pick out a "memorial" statue to put on the grave site. That really helped my daughters.

There will be many, many tears. Esp. at night time when the distractions of day aren't available. We talked about the fun times we had with Emily. We looked at many, many pictures. Both of my daughters have written stories about Emily and her life and those seemed to help.

Young kids can make up songs about their departed pet and tell stories. Even years later, her death still comes up in a sad way at times.

michelline said...

that is exactly what I do. You would never know or suspect that on a daily basis my house is a wreck.

Aha! You've discovered the Howard secret... Entertain frequently. It keeps the house neater. (or at least the parts the guests can see) ;-)

moley said...

Gigs, I have just told him he'll have to turn his own stuff round from now on, so we'll see how that goes. I need to try and train the kids too!

So sorry about your cat. It is so hard to lose a pet. We lost our beloved dog when the kids were 2 and 4. We had to have her put to sleep the day before her 10th birthday. Bumble was quite young and he didn't really bother that much about it although he had a bit of a cry. Hetty was much more upset and even now still cries occasionally.

It won't help you and your husband but the kids sorrow was eased by another dog. Not that they thought she was a replica, but it helps to still have a warm, furry, excitable creature to play with and cuddle. Mr Mole insisted on getting another dog 3 months after Jess died which I told him was too soon, but you know men - they never listen.

As it was quite sudden, one thing I realised after Jess had gone was that we had very few pictures of her and the kids together. Plenty of them and plenty of her but just not together, so you might want to address that, if that's the same for you.

We scattered her ashes on her favourite lake, but we decided not to take the kids as Hetty was too upset. They got over it much sooner than us though. Two and a half years later and I'm still welling up. I think you'll be amazed at how resilient they are.

Gigs said...

moley & michelline, oh, now I'm welling up myself. Your stories are very helpful, though heart-breaking. Pictures of Abby with the boys is a great idea and I will make sure to do that. My youngest has already asked me to make a poster-sized picture of her for his wall. And you're right about the night being the worst. We cry for hours. We do have another cat already, but she is not nearly as affectionate as our ill one. This just seems to add to the injustice in my boys' minds. I also like the "memorial" idea. I know they will want to do something special for her. Thanks so much for the support!

MommyTime said...

In theory I love the load-a-day for laundry, but in practice everything would be a horrible shade of dirty pink, since Son insists on as much of his clothing being red as possible (he's wear red pants if I'd let him). This is, I'm sure, simply what it means to be nearly-four, but it also means that I do a whole load of reds/browns each week and couldn't really throw those in with my nice ivory work shirt doing a daily load. So, I wash twice a week. I put away the kids' clothes promptly, since Husband is constitutionally incapable of finding anything suitable to wear in a hamper full of clean folded laundry, so the 5 minutes of put-away saves me lots of time in the mornings when he dresses the kids. As for my clothes -sigh- they lounge around in baskets while my empty drawers cry out to be filled. My bedroom looks like Moley's used to, I bet. While this depresses me, I just don't have the energy to fight it AND the demons of piled-up stuff in the kitchen, so I pick the latter.

Ok, I'm blathering while I eat lunch. But it does feel nice to be part of a little community of perfectly normal people who yet cannot manage to control something supposedly simple like mess. And this is why I love blogs.

moley said...

Mrs F.
maybe when they are both in college and Mr F and I just have to deal with ourselves

Not us I have to hold my hand up and say that we were just as messy before the kids, although there was obviously less mess overall. In fact I guess the kids learnt their messiness from us, and that's partly why I don't feel I can nag them too much. Although I do draw the line at empty packets left on the floor - I don't do that!

I could throw a load in no big deal but I don't have the time to stain treat everyday.
And since I wear the same things again and again I don't have enough of my laundry to do a load a day


Oh Mrs F, you've got it bad! I gave up on my perfectionism with stains long ago, especially as we all have sensitive skin so I only use non-biological washing powder. I just spray the worst, especially Hetty's white school shirts. Fortunately they can wear white or green so we persuaded Bumble that green polo shirts looked so much nicer. He fell for it and they stay much cleaner!

When the kids were baby's age all of their clothes had stains. I'd rather they had stained clothes than eczema

I'm with you on the lack of clothes. I often wonder why none of the clothes I launder ever seem to be mine :-)

Our clothes just about fit in the drawers but Mr Mole loves buying t-shirts (sigh!) so we now have a one in, one out rule, which he hates but it stops his drawer overflowing. Not that he wears most of them!

Kid Art said...

Moley... I am amazed that you rarely use your dryer. I shudder to think of managing without one. Hanging all the clothes up to dry would be the last straw for me!

Mrs F - not sure what you have available for kids clothes storage, or what their closet space is like, but we struggled with the same thing. You have Ikea, right? Neither kid has space for a chest of drawers in their room, and the closets are small as well. What I ended up doing is buying 2 sets each of the Antonius wire storage drawers (they have freestanding frames), which just fit in both closets - right up to the clothing rod, and leave a bit of space on the side for hanging clothes. Most of their clothes I don't bother to hang, so with 8 drawers each that's worked out to be plenty of room for little kids' clothes (one drawer for long pants, one for shorts, one for LS shirts/sweaters, etc.).

I'm so happy with this solution because there's no clutter in the rooms themselves, you can see what is in the drawers without opening them so the kids remember where things go, and they can easily access all their clothes.

Maybe it would work for you! I can try to post up some photos on Flickr if you want to see.

So if you're doing the cubby of shame, I will do the terrifying cabinet of desk crap. You're right, the problem is the things that you want to save but no place to put them. Sigh. This house feels like a jigsaw puzzle.

Mrs. Furious said...

MommyTime,
I too do a separate load of reds/dark pink every time! But I often only do the laundry every two weeks since the kids have SO many clothes.


Moley,
No uniforms for Kid so lots of clothes and boy does she somehow manage to smudge chocolate all over everything (actually she is getting better) but with 2 girls I am trying pretty hard to be able to pass down as much stuff as I can.


Gigs,
I'm glad Moley and Michelline got back to you. I will still try and email you later (may be tomorrow).


Emily,
Oh Kid's room is CRAZY (it used to be a kitchen when our house was a duplex at one point) so lots of cabinets but no real way to organize the clothes... I'll post pics next week!
And Baby has no room so she just has a dresser shoved in the guest room.
What I need is for my MIL to stop sending us clothes... seriously it is out of control!

Mrs. Furious said...

Hey Guys
I think I got back to everyone but there are so many comments it is hard for me to tell.

Deb said...

I think it's really mean of you to post pictures of my house all over the internet like that.

I was diagnosed as "mildly obsessive-compulsive" after Kiddo was born. OCD is utterly PARALYZING for the very reason you mentioned. My problem (besides the OCD thing, of course) is that if I start cleaning, I cannot stop. I sense I am about to go on a big organizational binge, which is usually precipitated by a lot of stress -- organizing is how I manage anxiety. Maybe I should take your lead and post photos.

The very mention of FlyLady makes me sweat. The emails overwhelmed me and nearly hospitalized me with panic. My husband calls her "She Who Shall Not Be Named".

Amy said...

yes, the emails are TOTALLY insane. i opted out. i don't need reminders. the piles are reminder enough, aren't they?

don't reply - i know you're too busy. have a good day!

Mrs. Furious said...

Deb,
"he emails overwhelmed me and nearly hospitalized me with panic"
lol... YES



Amy,
for some bizarre psychic reason I started getting them again today (SERIOUSLY) I cancelled them 6 months ago and haven't had one until today. WEIRD.

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