[–] Empress 0 points 13 points (+13|-0) ago 

Yay! Congratulations- I'm so happy for you! You're gonna want to bookmark flylady and start following her. She's gonna tell you that the first thing to do in a disorganized home is to clean your kitchen sink.


[–] ChapterJuni [S] 0 points 9 points (+9|-0) ago 

Haha, that is perfect. My dad rebuilt this house with a lot of salvaged pieces, the sink and kitchen cabinets were part of that. He bought a dilapidated old place in the country on an acre of land for $23,400 back in 1990 or 91, you could walk in and see sky through some of the holes in the roof. He spent a couple years renovating before we moved in, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, drywall, you name it. That was 25+ years ago, the man has been dead for several of them. The place needs a lot of work. On top of everything, my mom is living in the back, which is nice, but imagine inheriting a house and have your mom demand you keep everything, its hard enough to throw anything away as it is just for the sentimental value, but she is a pack rat.


[–] HungryCrow 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

Take control of your space, I'm not suggesting you should be inconsiderate of your mother but it needs to be your home not hers.


[–] Empress 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

OMG- that's both amazing and I'd imagine somewhat overwhelming. We're gonna get you organized though! I'll be sure to make some good organizing posts this week.


[–] haveanupgoat 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago 

I agree with that kitchen sink! For me, the dishes and the laundry have to be done every day. Fold the clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer. (My husband once told me he didn't understand why I needed to fold everything, so I quit for a while. It was utter chaos. He understands now.) Also, take the garbage out! You can't fill the bin if it's already full. Keeping up on those three things makes everything else seem possible.

After that, tackle one room at a time. For me, I started with the bathrooms, and after that, I maintained them. Pretty easy; wipe up spills, keep crap off the counter, scrub the toilets whenever they need it, and the shower once every 7-10 days. Sweep/mop when needed.

The living room and kitchen are the hub of our house. If the floor's not clean in those places, it causes all kinds of problems. Keep that kitchen table free of stuff. You can't use a surface that's covered in stuff that doesn't belong there. (This seems nearly impossible at times. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into my kitchen and said, "didn't I just clean you?" and it looks like I never did. Very frustrating.)

PURGE!!! If you haven't used it in X amount of time, get rid of it. Most of the reason our houses look so messy is because we have waaaaayy too much stuff. If it's not functional and it doesn't bring you joy or happiness, get rid of it. I just went through a huge tote full of my old school stuff. I kept about 4-5 things and threw everything else out. I realized I avoided dusting because I didn't want to pick up and move all the little knick knacks, so I got rid of the ones I didn't want anymore. just because someone gives you a gift doesn't mean you are required to keep it. My MIL buys things for me to hang on the wall. I might hang them up for a little while, but then I get rid of them. I'm in the process of changing that policy. If i don't like it, it's not going up.

I have one pan and one pot that I use nearly every day. They live on my stove, that is their home. Anything extra is in the cupboards

One of the biggest things I do when I look around my house and think "my house isn't functioning like this!", is stop and say, okay, what's holding up production? what's been neglected? Most times, it's the first three things I mentioned. I can't empty out my vacuum if the garbage is full, and I can't wash the dishes in the sink/on the counter in a timely manner if they dishwasher is full. I also can't keep my bathroom clean if I don't keep up on the laundry because my washer and dryer are in there.

I've learned to delegate responsibilities, too. I have 6 kids, and I KNOW I certainly am not making those messes, so why should I have to run myself ragged trying pick them up? My kids have to empty out and load the dishwasher, every day. I refuse to listen to their complaining. If they continue to complain, privileges get taken away. I even split up the task, one kid does cups, one does silverware, one does bowls, etc.

Same with picking up the floor, one gets clothes, one gets toys, one finds any dishes that might be laying about, etc. This makes it much easier for everyone, because they are assigned a specific task, and cleaning up the overall mess doesn't seem so insurmountable. They fight over who gets to vacuum or sweep. My 5 year old likes to wash the glass in the house. I let her. It's a bit (a lot) streaky, but so what, she's 5, and she's happy to help. I tell her she's doing a great job.

I will fold clothes for everybody in the house, but the kids have to put away their own stuff, including my 2 year olds. It's easy to open a drawer for them and they can lay the pile in there.

This isn't something I changed in a day or even a month. It's taken a lot of little changes over time. I make myself tackle something, and force myself to maintain it until it's a habit/routine, then I add another thing. Somedays I'm tired of being, or at least feeling like, everybody's servant for everything in the house, and I slack off, but then I see things start to spiral out of control again, so I have to get back to work.

It's often thankless work, but there's definitely reward in seeing the betterment of your home because of the work of your hands and how it affects everybody else as well. One nice thing (among the thousands) that my husband does, is keep the kids in line about being thankful for the stuff I do for them. When they start acting like I owe them every nice thing I do, he sets them straight.


[–] ChapterJuni [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Thanks a lot. Part of the problem now is that I do all of this for 20 kids at my daycare and I'm just so tired when I get home. I usually clean a bathroom twice a day, dishes, sweeping, mopping, on top of keeping the kids busy. I'm so excited to do it for my own family and home! There is so much to declutter, shelves that haven't been touched since daddy's time and boxes from when we moved here. We both want a nice house to entertain in too.


[–] sumguy 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Congrats, both on the change in lifestyle (stay at home, means you're doing Something right) and the potential future offspring.

So, I'm a guy... we're just different and my advice may not resonate, or may sound weird. Hopefully you can take something away though (I've been a stay-at-home for 12 of the past 14 years).

The first part is strictly mental. Break your troubles down into bite sized pieces. If you look at the whole, you will almost certainly feel overwhelmed, but if you just look at the individual items (like doing the dishes), they suddenly become very accessible and reasonable, even Easy. Others have said start with a room, I say that if starting with a room feels overwhelming, start with one task within that room (ie starting with the kitchen, and doing the dishes).

The Most important thing to remember is that your house/home did NOT become what it is today, overnight. It took time to get that way and a good rule of thumb is that it'll take that much time to undo the negative change (this may be more true with body/weight/health than a home).

For me, to get things into manageable pieces, I like to write everything down on a list where I get to cross things off. For me, the physical act of scratching a line through words that represent a task that's overwhelming/distasteful is cathartic. Sometimes it even boosts my morale enough that I do one more item that I didn't plan to take care of. This process has helped me when I was so overwhelmed that I was beginning to have panic issues, and I did have constant nightmares... maybe it'll help you. If nothing else, maybe it'll help you think about how you best approach large projects to get them done.

As for schedule;

Daily, I get up, see my wife off to work, walk the dog, then have tea/breakfast and do some stuff online for about an hour. Then I brush teeth, make the bed, clean the dishes/kitchen, water plants as needed and move on to whatever my project is for that day (this all by 9am). About 4pm I start looking at making dinner, take the dog for her evening walk, take a shower and finish dinner by 6pm when my wife gets in from work. The evenings are simply spending time with my wife.

Weekly tends to come down to 3 repeating tasks (groceries, cleaning and yard). I typically clean on Fridays as my wife likes a clean house and I want her to finish her work week by coming home to a clean house that needs nothing. That's dusting, cleaning floors, vacuuming, changing sheets, doing laundry, etc... we tackle the big projects together (waxing floors 2x year, cleaning all the windows inside and out 2x year, etc...)

I do my grocery shopping on Thursday, after the sales fliers have come out (Wed) ~ this is an all-day thing as I'm driving 40 miles each way to the store. To make the most of it, I have a list where the meal plan drives what's purchased. I base the meal plan off the sales (meat and veggies, I either already buy the rest because they are staples like milk and eggs, or Never buy because it's some brand name boxed dinner junk), then buy whatever I need that I don't have on hand to finish the meal out. My list also contains a Walmart section for paper products, which is about all I buy there, a Home Depot list for building projects, sometimes other stores. The main take-away should be the list, the meal plan and sticking to Just the items needed for those ~ it's how I keep us both on a healthy diet and not binging on crap food. If you don't buy it or have it in the house, you don't eat it.

And the last item is yard maintenance, mowing mostly. This always changes based on the weather and how shaggy things look.

I have other "fun" things for me right now, like I'm sewing my wife a dress (lol, yeah... imagine a 6'4", 225lb guy with a full beard hunched over a sewing machine :D ). Some not-so-fun things like needing to rebuild the door jamb and replace the door to the crawl space, and I really need to get on with re-glazing the windows on my ~90 year old home. For you, this stuff ought to be a mixture of things that help you unwind/be happy and getting your home in order. All work and no play makes for bad moods and you really do not want to welcome your husband home from a long day at work while in a bad mood.

For me, thanks to my wife, the first thing I'd do in your situation is clean and declutter. If you haven't used something in over a year, put it in a trash/donation pile. Every last item in your home must have a place that's dedicated to it, and you should try your best to put those things in their place when you're done with them (or see they are not being used after someone else). If you buy something New, make so there's a place for it first or know what you will be getting rid of so it'll fit. Err.. that's actually probably advice for on down the road a bit...

Then clean. Kitchen first because you should be doing food prep in there and Yuck at the idea of making food in a dirty kitchen. Nevermind that it's simply easier in a de-cluttered kitchen. Then probably the bedroom and bathrooms, living room, and the rest. Don't worry too much about Mom and her space unless she's sabotaging you (Lord know my mother used to, her way was the only way and I didn't agree...), then you have to do one of the most difficult things ever and stand up to her and make it known that the roles are revered and this is now your house and your rules. The Niblings (yup, real word :) ) should confine their disaster to their rooms as best as possible. This is simply getting after them to clean up their stuff in the rest of the house as soon as they're done playing/using it.... they will grumble a lot at the beginning, but will also learn about being clean/well kept and that you don't get after them if it remains in their bedroom. Not to say that shouldn't be cleaned too, but WAY more lax rules there.

After cleaning and decluttering, then address the rest... keeping a house clean and decluttered is nearly effortless when compared to making it that way in the first place. For instance, it would take me maybe 2~3 minutes to take my house from as it sits this instant to being ready to show it to a potential buyer if we were selling. It'd be less than the best with a weeks worth of dust on everything, but it'd also be cleaner and more presentable than most homes I walked through when shopping/buying (or when I look through them online).

Good luck with the transition and getting things sorted. Just remember, it took awhile for the house to get into its current state and it'll take awhile to get it back to clean and decluttered. Small steps will get you there, but you must take them consistently.


[–] Voopin__Voopin 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

i havent even read your post yet, but holy shit. I can tell you put a lot of thought/effort into it.

Thank you.

(but yeah, we're all assholes on voat, right Google? /v/fuckgoogle )


[–] sumguy 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Yeah, sorry about the wall of text.. heh, kinda got away from me there. :D Happens when I'm somewhat passionate about something, and oddly I'm passionate about keeping a home and doing everything I can to please my spouse.


[–] ChapterJuni [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I love lists too. I like to add in my own relaxation or stress relieving activities to my normal chore lists; practicing my flute, writing letters, or taking a bath are at the time, I'd also like to dust off my aunts spinning wheel, I haven't used it in years but sitting there with the wool is one of the most relaxing things I know.


[–] Nadeshda 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

This is great advice, very much along the lines, I would suggest. Make time for exercise too is the only extra thing I would add. A healthy homekeeper is capable of a lot more productivity and consistency.


[–] Le_Squish 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

  • Just work one room at a time. I second starting with the kitchen. Give yourself a few weeks for each room to avoid frustration and burnout.

  • Don't go to gung-ho with scheduling in the beginning. You have to ease everyone into a routine. They will resist. Just be patient. Start with like a breakfast routine where you get everyone fed and ready to start the day by a certain time.

  • Don't forget to let yourself be helped. Teach others the best way to help you. You might now be the household manager but keeping things running smoothly is a team effort.

Good luck!


[–] ChapterJuni [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

My four year old nephew likes to dust and 'broom' the floor. He feeds the chickens too. My seven year old niece is only here on weekends and I struggle to connect with her. I'm more strict than her other adult figures, cook only 'gross' food, and expect her to act, look, and dress nice. It has just been an uphill battle dealing with a shorter time frame and being exhausted from the work week.


[–] Le_Squish 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Just make sure you reward her and always roll your high expectations into a compliment; "I want you to learn x because I know how smart you are and I think you can do it".

Explain why you are strict and what you expect. Kids aren't dumb. They'll let you know if they find you unreasonable and why. The lessons will stick after awhile.

Crafts is a great way to bond with little girls. Ask her how how many friends she has and make some bracelets, etc. This also gives you an opportunity to pick her brain and get details about her home life the parents will never admit to. Then you can make a proper road map for getting her on track.


[–] Voopin__Voopin 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I'm gonna need some pictures of these chickens.

/v/backyardchickens or maybe /v/homesteading or something. Please ping me when you post them.

Also I'm jelly. My wife just decided she wants to be a SAHM but we aren't financially ready.


[–] Funkypurplekitty 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I have not mastered being s good housekeeper yet although I have improved a lit since getting married so thanks for this question, lots of great advice.

My one trick that helps me keep things not cluttered is to have a clutter basket. Mine is in the kitchen, I put mail and other odds and ends in there so they don't end up all over the table. I've been putting coupons in there but need to fins another place for them. It looks much neater if contained in a basket. Then you just go through it once a week or once a month depending on how full it is.


[–] facevalue 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Is the house legally/officially yours on paper, or does it technically belong to your mother?


[–] ChapterJuni [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

It is mom's. We haven't decided if we'll stay here forever or look for something close by. We love the area, we're about ten miles out of town, we have an acre here but would love more land. If my brother stays clean and sober we'll have to buy him out, which we could do if we wanted to. Either way, we have a savings for a down payment and no debt so a lot of doors are open.


[–] Kadynce 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

If you seriously want to clean up the house, get this book or audiobook. It changed my life! It's called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I tried to link to amazon but voat hates it


[–] Torkimadi 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

My house was pretty trashed and neglected, it's mine and my brothers with a whole lot of pets. Then my husband moved in when we got married, then we had the baby just over a year later. We have one bedroom for us and the baby, but we also get the main living space. I 100% understand where you are coming from.

Yes start in the kitchen, you gotta make food and the hearth is the heart.

Then I'd say figure out where you would have the baby and let the baby play. Our living space is the couch, the floor covered in those foam puzzle mats, a bench to put bigger items in and for more sitting space, a laundry standing bag for toys, and an old microwave stand missing its top used to store baby stuff and blankets (for the floor).

Just look at what you need right away with a baby. I'd say kitchen and baby area sorted out first is best because then you can start branching out from there. To save space and clutter, babies don't need containers. Rockers, bouncers, flashing noisy toys; these inhibit natural movement, play for the child instead of enticing to play, and take up waaaaay too much space.

If you can round up a bunch of junk and get it to the dump, even better.

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