Monday, September 17, 2007

Organizationally Challenged

That's the nice way to say I'm a slob, right?

Don't get me wrong. I love clean spaces. I love uncluttered homes. I love for my space to be light and easy on the eye, but I CAN'T SEEM TO MAKE THAT OCCUR IN MY LIFE!

Can you tell I'm frustrated?

I've been this way forever. Ask my mom. The poor woman tried to teach me better. She's the most organized woman I know. She cleaned my room so many "one last times" when I was a kid. No matter what her threats, it always fell apart. Because of this I started doing my own laundry at a fairly young age.

My office isn't usually bad. My car can be kept neat for long periods as long as no one else ever drives it, but my house? UGH!

My messiness does not tend to get in the way of my ability to do things. I can always find my keys. I know where my important papers are. Usually I can find both shoes in a pair. The clutter and the unkempt look of things stresses me out though. So you'd think I'd do something about it. But I don't. I can find a gagillion other things I'd rather do. And if I get it partially organized? It falls apart after a few days.

I know there's probably some deep-seeded "issue" I haven't dealt with that makes this so. Some of Fly Lady's thoughts hit home (yes, I even thought about trying Fly Lady but I could never get my sink clean to start). But really! It's just stuff.

I don't know what I want to hear from you dear readers. Tell me how it works for you. Tell me you suffer the same challenges. Tell me if you WERE organizationally challenged by now you're reformed. If you have recovered, I want you to pour your secrets into that comment box. PLEASE.

I'm tired. I need to sleep. See, another thing I'd rather do than organize my life.

I don't feel like I am really a grown up until I can have a house that looks put together. Hmmmm......

PS--I don't want you all getting the wrong idea. There aren't old milk cartons piled in the corners. You don't have to weave through stacks of magazines to get from one room to another, but there is a big pile of clothes in my room which has become a permanent fixture in my room around which I must decorate.

HELP!!!!!

35 Deserve Mamma's Love:

Beth said...

This is so strange. I just posted about (finally) getting a start on clearing out the garage and have received comments from people all praising the wonderful feeling that comes from clearing clutter. Something in the air these days?
I can offer you no great advice. If you followed my lead, you'd wait ten years before starting. Not good. The alternative is to move. Again, not good.

Cathy said...

I watched Clean Sweep obsessively throughout my maternity leave. Does that tell you anything?

Valerie said...

This is why I named my blog Disorderly Conduct. :)

I've been struggling with this issue for years. I actually did Flylady successfully for quite some time. But my kids were teenagers and I wasn't working full time. Once I had a job that took me out of the house 50 hours per week, it all went downhill quickly. Flylady appeals to me and yet doesn't. One thing I have a huge issue with is that she takes the attitude that if you keep working at it, eventually other family members will chip in. I have not found that to be the case at all.

So, right now, I'm just working on establishing new habits, one at a time. So far, I'm up to two. And I've been working on this for... several months.

And Cathy... on the Clean Sweep thing, I watched that show (and others like it) obsessively as well. Yesterday, I read something that with a full crew of people, they still spend anywhere from six to 18 hours on ONE room. Like most "reality" shows, they're not really real. :)

Bananas said...

Oh yeah I TOTALLY have that problem. My theory is that it's due to not being required to do enough growing up. I am in this awful quandary where I want, NEED, my environment to be clean and organized, but I don't have the wherewithall to keep it that way! I'm great at creating organizational systems, but really bad at following through on them. I just get bored! My current philosophy is that some people are neat and tidy, while others are smart and interesting. Obviously we fall into the latter category. Ha!

Mrs. Chicky said...

I have never been, nor will I ever be, organized. I checked out that Fly Lady stuff once. She told me I should keep my sink clean and I knew it was hopeless.

PunditMom said...

A D.C. area clutter support group perhaps?

Lawyer Mama said...

I'm a clutter bug. I'm actually pretty good about keeping it up for awhile, but then I'll hit a stressful patch at work and it all goes to hell. Now, I just try to keep the clutter contained to two areas of the house: my dining room table and the office. Well, hell, my room is a pit too. So THREE areas!
The worst for me is when people come over. But then I can just move the crap off the dining room table & it's not so overwhelming.

dawn224 said...

I did okay with Flylady, but I used the bathroom instead of the kitchen. Now, clearly this is before kid, but I would get up, get ready, swipe the bathroom with a Clorox wipe and off I went.

I was already using my timer anyway, and I found I could get a lot of stuff done in 5 minutes. Well, more than if I just sat and ate bonbons for that same five minutes.

Basically, it just boils down to I have too much stuff and I need to get rid of it. I'm hoping Freecycle will help with that.

canape said...

If your home was cluttered and disorganized, then I live in a landfill.

That is all.

Dorky Dad said...

OK, so you say things without thinking AND you're unorganized? Are you sure we're not related? Do you know who both your parents are? Come to think of it, my dad did get around ...

I obviously think you need no help whatsoever.

Jen M. said...

I'm not always on top of things - but when I am (house/car/closets clean) my life feels like it just runs so much smoother. Unfortunately, I have to stay up into the wee hours of the night to get all that done. I feel your pain.

Whit said...

My house is an endless mess. I clean one and the next one has already started.

Sometimes I bury my head and let it slide, but then they merge together.

Blog Antagonist said...

Okay, this is going to sound really stupid and cliche, but my motto is "a place for everything, and everything in it's place."

That way, when you have to clean up, you don't have to spend all kinds of time finding or making a place to put a thing. You don't get frustrated and overwhelmed and give up.

I have bins, containers, bowls, baskets...whatEVER...for absolutely everything in my house.

Course, that doesn't help my boys much. I once had both their rooms organized to the hilt. And still they manage to create chaos out of order. Drives. Me. Insane.

truly said...

Given the fact that you live with four men, your place is immaculate. Seriously.

Gunfighter said...

What can I tell you ML? It is a rather common thing among very busy people. I would do some cleaning this afternoon, but I have to sew some patches on soccergirls Brownie uniform this afternoon... make her dinner, take her to the meeting... yadda yadda yadda.

SAHMmy Says said...

My mom was (is) hyperorganized as well. She taught us how to do it all, but when I went out on my own (escaped) I rebelled. After a few years of pigginess, I found the phone under a pizza box and called Mom for advice on how to find my cleaning mojo. Her answer: "If you don't pick it up, no one else is going to do it for you." That's it, but it was seriously lifechanging. Good luck!

Paige Jennifer said...

Once a week I clean up 40% of the shit cluttering my entryway. It makes enough of a dent to make me feel better but doesn't take up the entire day.

Oh how I miss the days when just shoving everything under the bed fixed everything (sigh).

Nancy said...

UGH, at times I wish I could just let thing "go" ... I am the opposite, I can't go to bed until everything is in order ... I was like this even when my kids were small.

Sad thing, my daughter moved out a month ago and I go over there and clean/organize "one last time" ... but I think she knows I'll be back.

QT said...

I SO hear you! My issue is piles and piles of mags and other reading material. And dog hair - GROSS!

I did Fly Lady VERY successfully for awhile, but my BF really helped out. Then, things exploded and we have never gone back.

Once key thing for me was, as Blog Antagonist said, just have many, many bins, baskets, etc around. Every time I go to Target, I pick up a few. It just makes it easier when you are cleaning up to say - oh, this stray CD can go in this box with other CDs, the mail goes here, etc.

As far as clothes, I have the same problem. I would always take off some clothing and it wasn't dirty, but I thought folding it and putting it away was dumb. So I got a coat rack - the kind that just stands on its own - and that is where the "worn once, but not yet dirty" clothing goes.

Melina said...

Sorry I can't help you, I'm not someone that is organized at home either. I try to keep the common areas neat so not to be mortified if someone stops by, but when you live with a mother that is a complete and utter slob you can only pick up after someone else for so long.

Unfortunately my room is never organized and right now it is so bad I'm disgusted, but damn I'm tired i work two jobs and try to find time to have a life the last thing i want to do is clean on my days off.

Sorry, but I feel ya. Can you afford to have someone come and do the big stuff once a week or every other week? I had someone in FL she was great! It helped me to keep the kitchen, bathroom, living room clean. Good LUCK!

Marie Green said...

I think it's bloggy-contagious. I've been posting about this as well.

OH! OR it could be that we are ALL blogging and NOT cleaning. =)

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I was once the epitome of an organizational guru.

Now I have kids, blog too much, and sleep too little. Organize, schmorganize. Who needs it?!?

Tilly said...

Seriously, check out this website, you'll never feel disorganised again.


http://www.squalorsurvivors.com/

Particulalry check the personal histories.

Kelly said...

I'm organizationally challenged AND I can't ever find my keys. Join the club!

Peg said...

You know, Mamma, I come from a long line of women who are crappy housekeepers. I, too, am a crappy housekeeper, but I have been slowly turning it around...

Too much to post as a comment here, but tell you what, I'll post on my blog sometime this week. 'Cuz when I tell you I hadn't vacuumed in my bedroom for a year because there was crap all over the place, I'm not exaggerating--I'm actually underestimating.

Maureen said...

I'm actually the opposite, but no less stressed. I have OCD to the point that the magazines all have to be piled square... my office at work is the same; I am obsessive about organizing. It drives the rest of my family crazy and they call me "Monica"..... so extremes on each end of the scale aren't good either.

BethGo said...

Me too! Me too!

Come over to my house and we can be messy together.

#2 said...

I couldn't find my shoes this morning. My husband put them away in the closet, and I didn't think to look there.

You're so not alone. I wan't to be organized and neat and tidy so badly.

Mert said...

I came here through many, many links! ;) I can totally relate. My house is clean in general... except for the piles of miscellaneous stuff here and there, and the baskets of laundry yet to be folded, the dishes in the sink... You get the picture.

Anonymous said...

Let's just say I have broken my toes more than once tripping over the things on my floor.

korie

Aeptah said...

Sounds like my childhood... Although my mother *never* cleaned my room. And I didn't want her to either! She'd just bag it all up and toss it. I started being in charge of my own laundry at 10yo. My house now is somewhat like my childhood bedroom. No actual trash laying around, just my piles of papers, the magazines I AM going to read, the papers I need to file, and of course the pictures that I am going to put into albums...one day. Funny, too, my sister just today told me about FlyLady. Thought I'd check her out.

Glennia said...

I'm right there with you, sister. I actually used to be pretty organized, but my husband is not. At some point, I decided a happy marriage was more important than a clean house, and I just gave up. Now the house is filled with as much of my crap as his. Oy.

nell said...

I have the same problem, but all I seem to be able to do in order to cope is to actively not try to fix it. This is because if I had to have it clean, I'd do nothing but cleaning all day long.

Peg said...

Better Late than Never!

I put up a post, finally, about how I did it, Mamma...see it here

You can do it!

SC said...

Dear Mamma,
I am new to blogs and this is my first time writing to someone's blog. I am pretty dysfunctional when it comes to organizing/housekeeping/decorating. Typically I am ashamed about this, but your blog lifts my spirits.

My mother suffered from this, too and I know she was hard on herself. But she was raising 5 kids, and we all turned out to be fairly decent human beings.

Give yourself lots of credit for being a good mom. Their childhood will go by so fast, and you will look back later and be glad that you spent more time raising them and loving them. When they've moved out, you can make the home of your dreams (or at least you have a fighting chance at that point.)

I started a blog today to help myself be motivated about making my home the organized and inviting place I would like it to be. But it is going to be the world's most boring blog - thoughts about organization, possibly lists of things actually accomplished, odes to post-it notes, etc.

Mostly it helps me procrastinate!
SC