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TOPIC: Problems with cleaning and organizing my apartment

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August 9, 2012 8:09 AM
This is so embarrassing but whatever. I'll admit it. I have a huge problem with cleaning and organizing. My parents babied me and my mother always cleaned my room when I lived back at home. My first year away at school was rough. I had to learn how to do everything that I should have learned in like middle school. However, all that I had was my tiny dorm room and it was spotless. Now that I have like ... a kitchen, living room, and laundry room, I can't seem to keep anything clean. It just feels so overwhelming.

I'll set tiny goals for myself like "clean off desk!" "do the dishes!" "pick up dog toys from floor!" and celebrate if I do any of it. Then I'll reward myself with four hours of a break and never start up again. My boyfriend is no help. He'll complain if I ask him to help me with anything, "I didn't create those dishes so why should I clean them?" "But Joshhhhhhh :("

Everything just feels so cluttered and I hate it. And I WANT it to look nice... I just... feel like there's so much to do that I don't want to do any of it. If any of you ever read Hyberbole and a Half, her blog post here describes me perfectly: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html (warning: you'll laugh the whole way through and spend about a week of your life reading every single one of posts)

Anyway, any suggestions on how to get over this? Right now I'm sitting at my desk looking a ton of stuff and telling myself I'll do it ... eventually.
August 9, 2012 8:11 AM
Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!
  5978
August 9, 2012 8:11 AM
lol - thanks for the link, I'll have to read it later!
  18976451
August 9, 2012 8:15 AM
Two words:

Cleaning Lady. smokin
August 9, 2012 8:15 AM
QUOTE:
Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!


Thanks, I'll check it out :) I'm seriously sitting here telling myself how awesome I am because I put my clothes into the laundry bin.
Edited by predent On August 9, 2012 8:16 AM
August 9, 2012 8:16 AM
I hate it too, but my housemate starts being annoying if I don't do it, haha. I saw that you can log it on MFP as exercise, maybe that helps?

I just try to put my stuff back where it belongs after I use it and I dust every two weeks, while I actually should do it every week, haha
August 9, 2012 8:17 AM
Here are some suggestions that work for me.

Get yourself a kitchen timer. This helps with spouses, too. Most people don't get the house clean because the job is overwhelming.
Ask for 15 minutes of help. Set the timer pick a room and for that 15 minutes focus on damage control. Mostly putting things away. 15 minutes of focused activity can get a lot done. And if there is two of you that is a half hour of joint effort. Do that daily and you shouldn't get huge complaints because that's not too much to ask for.

Second suggestion: Get rid of things. Do it weekly. Get rid of cloths that you don't wear. Papers, magazines, Kitchen stuff, that doesnt get used. The less you have the easier it is to clean, to move, to breath in your personal space. And look after what you have left.
  1210291
August 9, 2012 8:18 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!


Thanks, I'll check it out :) I'm seriously sitting here telling myself how awesome I am because I put my clothes into the laundry bin.


That's really what it's all about. Small success leads to big success. Fly Lady gives you a plan you can write down and implement in tiny little baby steps. Keeping a house clean is a major endeavor. Wait till you have three bedrooms and a garage and a yard! noway
  5978
August 9, 2012 8:20 AM
QUOTE:

Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!


THIS!!!!!!
August 9, 2012 8:20 AM
QUOTE:

I hate it too, but my housemate starts being annoying if I don't do it, haha. I saw that you can log it on MFP as exercise, maybe that helps?

I just try to put my stuff back where it belongs after I use it and I dust every two weeks, while I actually should do it every week, haha

Maybe. I could always throw on my HRM and see if it actually shows me moving :P

In terms of a cleaning lady, I feel like that would be a lot of money. I would feel like I'm effectively paying somebody to be my mother, haha. My boyfriend wants to move into an apartment twice this size next year, and I'm terrified that if I can't keep this 750 sqft under control, there's no way I'll be able to handle twice that... or god forbid a real house one day... or a child.
August 9, 2012 8:21 AM
QUOTE:

Two words:

Cleaning Lady. smokin

Will not help with organizing and de-cluttering.
August 9, 2012 8:23 AM
I will echo the Flylady suggestion. Good stuff. Do the babysteps, and do all of them, even if you think they're stupid. When you get through all of them, you can pick and choose what isn't working for you. Some of the things on the babysteps that I thought were dumb are the ones that I've benefited the most from.

Set the timer. 15 minutes to clean the desk, then 15 for a break. Then set it again for your next cleaning round.
August 9, 2012 8:25 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!


Thanks, I'll check it out :) I'm seriously sitting here telling myself how awesome I am because I put my clothes into the laundry bin.


Hey, you gotta start small . . . make the putting clothes in the laundry bin a habit and then move on to the next task to keep things clean and organized. Good luck!
  4724609
August 9, 2012 8:26 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Two words:

Cleaning Lady. smokin

Will not help with organizing and de-cluttering.


mine does. I love her.
  11657894
August 9, 2012 8:26 AM
Once you get behind on cleaning, it can become overwhelming. When I was in my early 20s, I didn't keep a very tidy house at all. Finally I got on top of it and realized that if I just cleaned whatever it was (wash up my dishes, fold the laundry, whatever) right away, it only took 2-3 minutes out of my life and things didn't pile up.

Now I live very clutter free in a clean house, even with three dogs and 4 cats.
August 9, 2012 8:27 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Two words:

Cleaning Lady. smokin

Will not help with organizing and de-cluttering.


mine does. I love her.

You have a good one then! But to teach someone how to organize their stuff and keep it that way, you would generally need a professional organizer.
August 9, 2012 8:28 AM
You will feel better and get some movement in ....get up and just do it. I don't want to clean and cook and do laundry but no one else is going to do it. Guess what that is me! I love taking care of my house and having a nice clean place. The sense of I did it keeps me going. I get up every morning walk 3 mile at 6:15 am , come home shower, eat breakfast and run through and pick up get a load of laundry started and I'm done by 9am. That gives me the rest of the day for what I want to do. The key is get off your butt and just do it. Sorry but that is the fact . Have a great day. YOU can do it and feel good about it. What do you want a dirty place or a clean place if bf don't want to help kick his butt out....it's a two way street. Think about what do you want.....clean vs. dirty. Choice is yours.
Edited by RVfrog On August 9, 2012 8:29 AM
  9399375
August 9, 2012 8:29 AM
QUOTE:

Once you get behind on cleaning, it can become overwhelming. When I was in my early 20s, I didn't keep a very tidy house at all. Finally I got on top of it and realized that if I just cleaned whatever it was (wash up my dishes, fold the laundry, whatever) right away, it only took 2-3 minutes out of my life and things didn't pile up.

Now I live very clutter free in a clean house, even with three dogs and 4 cats.

I started off with good intentions. I moved into this apartment in March and coming out of college living, I didn't have any furniture. Everything just sat in boxes until we could slowly by furniture. Probably took me like three months just to get rid of the boxes. Since living here, I haven't once felt like it's truly clean.
August 9, 2012 8:30 AM
QUOTE:

Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!



^^^ this...

totally saved my life and we no longer have cps involved due to the HORRID conditions I allowed myself to live in...

also got rid of the (ex)husband who did nothing but contribute to the clutter
  6036825
August 9, 2012 8:35 AM
I have the same issues, and technically I am a real grown-up with a 4-BR house, yard, and children. Not everyone is wired that way. I did learn how to clean, and my mom made us do lots of chores, but when I had my own place I did not run it the same way. I like it when the house is clean, but I have very little motivation to get and keep it that way. I am trying to make myself pick up as I go, but my natural inclination is to leave the lid off the peanut butter with the peanutbuttery knife balanced precariously over the jar and toast crumbs on the counter. (BTW, I love that hyperbole and a half. My favorite line/concept is that some days my biggest accomplishment is just beating my heart like a ** champion.) I am in school and super busy, so my current cycle is devolve awhile then clean thoroughly out of panic (houseguests) or disgust. I have several friends who promise me you can train yourself to not live like a wild animal, and I very much hope it is true. Looking forward to more tips from the successful.
  1064797
August 9, 2012 8:36 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Check out http://flylady.net/. She has the best easy, start-where-you-are organizing site ever!



^^^ this...

totally saved my life and we no longer have cps involved due to the HORRID conditions I allowed myself to live in...

also got rid of the (ex)husband who did nothing but contribute to the clutter

Image not displayed

This is effectively what everything looks like. It's not dirty, it just has random stuff on it that I guess I'm too lazy to deal with. In that photo, my desk has a charger, a water bottle that has been sitting there for like a week, a plate from yesterday, a glass from yesterday, books that I haven't touched in days, some medications, a calculator, an empty can of soda, some graph paper, earrings, chips, and a water gun. My coffee table has a water gun, sunglasses, coins on it. The counter to my bar has another water gun, some dishes, my boyfriends clothes, a few dog toys on it. My bathroom sink has a billion bobby pins, hair ties, combs, etc.

Never realized just how many water guns I have until I typed that...
Also just realized how OCD I am about my workout schedule. Yes, that whole calender on my wall is for my workouts. Maybe I should start putting cleaning stuff on there too...

Guess I just need to get off of my butt and just do it.
Edited by predent On August 9, 2012 8:41 AM
August 9, 2012 8:37 AM
I second the Flylady suggestion. I'm a complete neatfreak so this has never been an issue for me but I know many people who have followed that system with great success.

I need everything to be clean or I can't focus or sleep. I make a checklist every day of things that need to be done. Today's says "Laundry, Mop kitchen floor, Grocery shopping, Dishes, Make the bed" (dishes and make the bed go on there every day). I accomplish one thing every couple of hours. I set an alarm on my phone before I go on the computer so I don't forget that the laundry needs to be switched or something like that. Every day before I clean my makeup off and go to bed I do the night's dishes. By making it part of my routine, it gets done.

Side note: We go to the same school. Go Bulls!
August 9, 2012 8:40 AM
QUOTE:

I second the Flylady suggestion. I'm a complete neatfreak so this has never been an issue for me but I know many people who have followed that system with great success.

I need everything to be clean or I can't focus or sleep. I make a checklist every day of things that need to be done. Today's says "Laundry, Mop kitchen floor, Grocery shopping, Dishes, Make the bed" (dishes and make the bed go on there every day). I accomplish one thing every couple of hours. I set an alarm on my phone before I go on the computer so I don't forget that the laundry needs to be switched or something like that. Every day before I clean my makeup off and go to bed I do the night's dishes. By making it part of my routine, it gets done.

Side note: We go to the same school. Go Bulls!

Yay USF! :D Same year too. You would think my crazy, OCD study habits would have rubbed off onto my cleaning. I can spend 8 hours studying biochemistry, but I can't spend fifteen minutes packing away laundry.
August 9, 2012 8:42 AM
In my 20's and still a slob. I admit...I let things pile up still, and sometimes I dont clean up after myself right away. Oh...and my boyfriend is a slob who has never lived alone and having 2 people to clean up after is rough. One thing I've learned...having a place for everything helps. For example...something as simple as having a hamper or "dirty" laundry basket. Having a bookshelf. You can buy plastic bins that hold hanging files at Walmart for $20-25....this will give you a place for your paperwork. Invest in a label maker..... It sounds very OCD, but while I was living alone I found that I never really put anything away because I knew where I put it last. I eventually labeled every shelf in my house to that everything had a "place" and I couldn't use not having a place for it as an excuse. I set aside whole cleaning days where I turn on the tunes, turn off the computer/tv/cell phone and just clean....zero interruptions, or distractions.
August 9, 2012 8:47 AM
I am terrible too, my boyfriend and I are basically clutter slobs.

So coming from someone who understands, I suggest the following....

-in closets, get little Rubbermaid totes and have one for different items (medical, boyfriend's stuff, my stuff, hair products, candles and smell good items, etc), that way everything has a place!
-try to clean up coffee tables and kitchen tables every day
-try to run dishwasher every day (if you have enough dishes, we do ours about every other day)
-take time every sunday to tidy up (we pick sundays at least)
-get the boyfriend to vacuum (at least that's what I do lol)
-once to twice a month, do a huge sweat dripping clean, dust, scrub, etc

Now laundry, I cannot help you with, because we are TERRIBLE at it and my mom still does some of it even though I don't live at home embarassed
  16208323

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