House cleaning/organizing tips/resources?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by milos_mommy, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    My family is calling it "nesting"...I'm calling it "this was supposed to be a temporary living situation and now I'm staying longer and no way in heck am I living with people's skeevy hoarder mess."

    My Mom isn't really a hoarder in like the typical sense...but she definitely has hoarder tendencies and just does not bother to throw stuff out (I'm not talking about like "garbage" food, etc...but old mail, cords to things we no longer have, the manuals to the past 9 toasters we've owned, every single birthday card ever, toys I don't even remember having but apparently have some sentimental value...)

    Over the weekend I went through most of the kitchen drawers, a secretary in our living room, a hutch in the dining room, and threw out at least 5-10 large garbage bags of mostly old papers and a plethora of other junk, as well as gathered a set of plastic drawers + another drawer full of stuff for a yard sale.

    It hasn't made a dent. Any tips for stuff like pots/pans/pantry organizing...winter coat/accessory storage/organizing...laundry room organization....ETC. Links to good sites or articles on it, pictures of your own super organized houses, and so on.
     
  2. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    OMG my dads house is the same way. My stepmom is like your mom - not really a "hoarder" per say but just... crap is always everywhere. And I am NOT the neatest person in the world but it drives me NUTS.

    We still have boxes upstairs from when we moved in. And tons of storage bins of my bro's old toys sitting in the loft upstairs, when it could be made sooo nice.

    I don't really wanna take the time to try and make it better because whenever I clean, etc, it just gets bad again the next day.

    So yeah suggestions I am looking forward to hearing. :)
     
  3. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    No suggestions, sorry. I wouldn't touch anything in my parents' house--it's theirs. It was a huge relief to have my own house that I could organize to my standards of neatness! Hopefully the stars align and you can find your own place before too long.

    Can you at least have an area that is comfortable for you? I know in my parents' home, I hated the dining room (the catch all for everything) and wouldn't step foot in any bedroom but my own because the chaos drove me insane. I had my own room though that was tidy and sparse and made me happy.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I'm not planning on moving out any time soon. There's no financial reason or any reason like that as to why I can't...I don't want to. For one, I have a seizure history, and I'm not comfortable being alone with an infant full time, and a lot of time I can't go out by myself because of medical issues. Secondly, even if my health was better, there isn't really any good reason for me to move out. I live completely rent free with people who I get along with better than I'd get along with most roommates, and I wouldn't live alone even if I could afford it, I'd rather have other people around.
     
  5. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    All I can say is good luck and work on little goals - one closet/area at a time.

    Make it quick - garbage, donate, keep and the keep must have a place to go right there and then too - no 'I'm going to keep it but have no place for it' sorta thing.

    Keep in mind you can hang on to the 'donate' and 'toss' for a few days in case you change your mind, that makes it easier to dump things out and go quickly through something.

    Also have in mind a 'reasonable' number for things - like for one person, do you really, really, really need 20 bath towels, or would 5-6 do depending on how you do things (we reuse towels a few times here, some people are grossed out by that and wash them every time). That helps with the cut. :p
     
  6. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Can't fix it. Have your area and keep it clean and be happy. You clean it and they will fill it back up. My mom is bad with clutter, Horrible. I know how it is:rolleyes: She will forever live out of boxes and save cvatalogs for years for no reason.
     
  7. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Gotta agree with Joce on this one. If it really is that kind of hoarderish "need to keep ALL THE THINGS" mentality...no matter how much you throw out, they are going to fill it up. Especially if they aren't part of the cleaning process themselves

    I suggest finding your spaces,sectioning off and cleaning within those spaces.

    That said, with a baby on the way, I would suggest a long hard talk with the family. Babies need space, kids pick things up and put it in their mouths.. Talk to them about their living habits, do a big family clean up and then work on KEEPING things clean. Focus on what you actually NEED and what all that useless stuff is really doing.

    Simple house rules. Use hooks, baskets, boxes... everything has a place. You get ONE large bin each for keepsakes/cards etc... make a schedule for cleaning and organizing.
     
  8. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Now if its moldy food in the fridge, and cat poop on the floor you have an issue. That I would get after them about. But your still likely to not get anywhere.

    I remember being so mad at my mom when I was little. I think this is why I am so assertive and have control issues now. I would just throw everything in bags and put it in her room and house was clean. But then it would be a mess and then her room was already full. :eek:


    I watch hoarders now and think how lucky I am when I called my mom a hoarder because she really is just a pack rat. I could live with her again.
     
  9. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I think you guys are missing the point of this thread :p I'm really not looking for advice on handling my family dynamics or where I should be living.

    Example: Right now my george foreman grill and some other appliances are stored on my dining room table. I would LIKE to put them in a cabinet or pantry, but those are filled with things like cake pans and pitchers, serving trays, and so on. It's all stuff we use on a regular basis, so getting rid of some of it isn't very practical. We have a hanging rack for pots and pans, but it doesn't seem to do much.

    Also, where do people keep stuff like their paper towels, things they buy in bulk, etc. My kitchen floor has stuff along the lines of paper cups, a big box of plasticware, jugs of juice, just kind of stacked up or sitting on the floor. Our kitchen isn't that small, either...it seems like we should have a lot more storage space then we actually do.

    Like Fran, your tips on everything having a bin or hook is helpful...but where the heck do I put the bins? And we have very little wall space (lots of half walls and huge windows) so it's hard to find a place for hooks, too.

    And the laundry room is a mess. Partially because it doubles as storage, and we keep extra blankets and stuff down there...but IDK. Like when we have baskets of laundry, we went up just haphazardly stacking the baskets. We have a clothesline, too, which is completely impractical because it runs over our front loading washer/dryer, and there's no room to hang anything longer than a short tank top or underwear. So stuff like how you organize your laundry room, store out-of-season clothing, etc.

    I need links to really useful good housekeeping articles.
     
  10. GipsyQueen

    GipsyQueen Active Member

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    Our kitchen is pretty small - but we have a pantry where I store things like paper towels, napkins ect. as well as bulk foods, apples, potatoes, onions ect. (theres a small window, it's pretty cold in there).
    We went through our kitchen not to long ago and got rid of ALOT of things too. We had way too little storage space and way too many things in our cabinets. So we went through things and got rid of stuff we hadn't used for a while (and never will use).
    Also organizing your kitchen space is worth so so so much. If you put a little dynamic into your cabinets, you'll have way more storage space :)

    Edit:
    I was just asked how many ears a dog has. Apparently two is not the correct answer. :eek:
     
  11. PlottMom

    PlottMom The Littlest Hound

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    We keep the bulk juice/canned veggies & such in the pantry... I stack up our extra paper towels & toilet paper against a wall in the garage to keep it out of the way. Our laundry room has white wire racks above the washer/dryer for blankets, laundry baskets, etc.
     
  12. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Do you really use serving trays, cake pans, and pitchers that often? We use ours maybe once a month. Hence, they are all stored on shelves in the basement. The only things in the kitchen are tableware (plates/silverware/glasses) and pots/pans/cookie sheets, because we use those daily or at least weekly.

    Again, in the basement. We have a freestanding pantry I found on craigslist for $50 that stores all the bulk food purchases. It holds extra boxes of cereal, soda when it's dirt cheap, jugs of juice, etc. Paper towels and toilet paper are stored in the linen closet upstairs. Before we had a basement it was all stored on shelving in the garage.

    NOTHING stays in the laundry room. We have a tiny clothesline (it's actually a wooden pole that we can hang hangers on) that runs parallel to the wall for things that can't be dried. Otherwise, as soon as a load of laundry buzzes, it's immediately brought upstairs to be folded. Laundry soap/dryer sheets are set on top of the machines.

    We really don't have a big house, but we don't have a lot of stuff either. If it's something I will only use once every 2-3 years (like a warming tray), I will borrow it from someone or buy one/immediately sell it on craigslist the next day to avoid it taking up space in my house. I HATE clutter. The only stuff we keep are things that we use at least every couple months.

    These things are super helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Rack-GRZ6-3618-5BIMP-72-Inch-Shelving/dp/B000WEMI7M

    If you have a laundry room/garage/storage room/basement, line the walls with those and rubbermaid totes or baskets. Anything that isn't used on a weekly basement goes on the shelves, organized by purpose/use (i.e. one shelf for kitchen utensils, one for food, one for spare sheets, etc.
     
  13. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Thanks everyone! Putting a rack on top of the front loading washer/dryer is a good idea...I'm just not sure how I could secure it so it doesn't fall? Maybe hooks in the ceiling?

    More than once a month, for sure...but I'm thinking I could do sort of a seasonal rotation? Like I don't use a pitcher much in the winter, but use it frequently in summer, and the opposite is true of things like a dutch over or cheesecake pan. We don't have a lot of room in our basement - it's finished, and one room is an office, one room is a media room, and then we have our laundry room and an area for the rabbit and chinchilla set up. We do have a big closet, though, mostly with holiday decorations, I could probably fit some extra kitchen stuff in there.

    Right now our laundry room "shelf space" is a card table. Not remotely practical.

    I can't fit the paper towels, juices, etc. in the pantry, BUT maybe if I shove some extra baking dishes and stuff only used on occasion downstairs, I could make room.
     
  14. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    There is a flipping amazing website/house organization/self care system called "Fly Lady". I don't know if you've ever heard of it before, but her system is amazing because it sets very attainable goals designed to change organizational habits, while also setting aside time for things like self care. Stuff like making sure you drink enough water daily, which would be really great for you anyway since you're expecting.

    Honestly it changed my life. I got really into it several months before Sam was born and was able to get the house really awesome and keep it that way not only before he was born, but afterward too.

    http://www.flylady.net/

    She breaks it down into a lot of decluttering games and things. It works really well for my kids too. We don't really have less stuff than before, it's just way better organized now.

    ETA: Her methods work really well in housing situations like yours. My kids and I live with my parents too. They never really joined in, but definitely noticed and appreciated it, and made more of an effort on their parts. I notice a lot of her testimonials have wives mentioning how they started and eventually their messy kids and spouses started copying them which is kind of awesome.
     
  15. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    1. File cabinet(s)

    If your parents don't want to part with things like old birthday cards, product manuals, receipts, random other flat things, put them in their own files. This way, they'll all be in one place and not scattered everywhere taking up space. A small file cabinet or box can easily fit in a closet, laundry room, pantry, etc.

    2. Keep "like" things together in the pantry

    Most cans can stack on top of each other. Boxes and bags of pasta and rice can be pushed together in rows. Get a shallow box to put things like spices and seasonings into, so they won't topple over and make a mess. Organizing your dry goods takes up less space and allows you to more easily inventory what you need to buy at the grocery store.

    3. Get the "overflow" products out of the way.

    We keep any "extras" on the top metal shelf of one of our pantries. If toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc. are buy one get one free, we only keep out what we'll use at one time. The rest are stored where we can still see them to know they're there, but they're not in the way.

    4. Keep unused appliances stored out of sight.

    We use our blender on a less than once a week basis, so it's stored under our island in our kitchen. Same with the crock pot, can opener, dicer, juicer, etc.

    5. Yard sale, Ebay, Craigslist, donate, or give away things that aren't used on a monthly or yearly basis.

    We do a charity yard sale once a year for an organization we're involved in. Not only are you getting rid of clutter and junk, you're also making money from it (or donating it, which is tax deductible).

    6. Put away things right after you use them. Make sure everything actually does have it's own place, so things are easily found when they're being pulled out and later put back away. Example: our measuring cups, can openers, bottle openers, etc, are kept in a "kitchen utensil" drawer. Easy to find, and then easy to put away.

    7. Rubbermaid Totes. These guys:

    [​IMG]

    They're stackable, and can hold a ton of items. We use them to store seasonal items (Christmas, Halloween decorations), items from childhood, or anything else that we don't want to part with. We keep ours in a spare room, but you can also store them in a garage, attic, or closet.

    Also, don't forget about the space under your bed! You can get large, clear rubbermaid totes to store things like shoes and coats that are only used seasonally :)

    This is all I can think of for now :)
     
  16. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Romy, you are an angel. That site looks awesome!

    Jessie....the thing is, my parents don't remotely care what happens to stuff like old cards or manuals...they just haven't bothered to throw any of them out for TWENTY years. And they're the kind of people that like to buy useless junk, (TiVo, Blu Ray, TV in every room, as soon as it comes out). We haven't had tivo in 10 years, but we sure have 4 lbs of paperwork for it sitting in the junk drawer. And then they wonder why we have no room for the boxes of photographs on our dining room table and why our blender has to sit on the floor.

    Know what was in my living room end table drawer?
    VHS sticker labels. For recording things on a VHS tape. (There were also DISGUSTING sexual innuendo-y Valentine's day cards from my biological parents to one another, so my eyes have officially burned out of my skull :eek:).

    Our pantry and stuff IS organized...but the more I think about it the more I realize our house is just ridiculous. We have lots of space on top of the cabinets. What is up there, you ask? Fake plants. Pretty fake plants that we use as decor and rotate seasonally as our centerpieces? NO. Disgusting 90s fake plants covered in dust and cobwebs that no one has touched in 10 years. Guess what's roughly fake-plant size? Our blender. Our George Foreman. Our 6 gallons of juice.

    Yesterday I conquered the tupperware cabinet. There were probably close to 50 pieces that were missing a lid/missing a bottom. We had a plastic mixing bowl with a freakin' hole in the bottom of it. When I asked "why do we have this?" my mom said "your brother accidentally put it on the hot stove and melted it." I didn't mean "why does it have a hole?" I meant "Why the heck do we have this 100% useless chunk of plastic in our cabinet?".

    So yeah, this thread is helping :D keep 'em coming!
     
  17. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Update:

    Cleaning the bathroom closet.

    I have five hair dryers.

    There is also a disposable baking dish in my bathroom closet.

    And denture cleaner.
    My grandmother moved out 4 years ago.
    She hasn't been back because she's unable to travel.
    We do not need denture cleaner.
     
  18. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Do you live around an ikea by any chance?

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE trofast toy storage! lol I bought a set that I use for clothes but they are so handy. The buckets are interchangeable/have different sizes and colors!

    I have mine set up similarly to this.

    [​IMG]

    You can use dry-erase to write on the bucket what's inside! super super easy!! and so much less hassle to set up than drawers.

    You can set up the wooden frames 10000 ways and buckets even more.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    These are also a lifesaver. My apartment is tiny so I have one these behind basically every door! No storage space un-used! LOl
    [​IMG]

    As for where to stick hooks.. oh god, where DON'T i stick them? Lol there are great white plastic no-wall-damage ones I buy (they stick to the wall via super strong sticky tape) and I put them EVERYWHERE
    I hang coats, leashes, collars, lint rollers..everything on a hook!

    This. Buy 10 of them. Buy 15 of them. Every closet should have 48 of these IMO!!
    http://www.amazon.com/Hanger-Cascader-Wonder-Platinum-Edition-/dp/B001ANXRJM/ref=lp_2423187011_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1359686550&sr=1-4
    [​IMG]

    I don't very often endorse "as seen on tv" products. But this one is a winner. My closet is 1000% better because of them. So much space and everything is visible!
    PS: Also great for hanging scarves, dog leashes, etc...

    Storage cubes.
    Broken down, they fit anywhere/go away. And can be built into ANYTHING!
    http://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-6071-1723-Storage-Cubes-White/dp/B000LRGV3W/ref=sr_1_38?s=storageorganization&ie=UTF8&qid=1359686697&sr=1-38

    Easiest way to "create" shelves IMO
    [​IMG]
     
  20. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Fran....those are all great, but except for the closet thing (which I definitely will be buying) I don't have room for any of it :p

    When I say I have no place to hang hooks...I mean I have no place to hang hooks. For example: My bedroom is L shaped, and has 6 walls.

    Wall 1 - it's slanted. I have maybe 4 feet of straight wall, and then it slants to a cathedral ceiling.
    Wall 2 - Is entirely built in dressers, built in shelves, and a large window. The bit of space that is available has a bookshelf and night table against it.
    Wall 3 - It's where my bed is, over top of the bed is a large window.
    Wall 4 - is sliding mirrored closet doors. The 5 feet that isn't consumed by this has another built in shelf set, and a built in storage chest.
    Wall 5 - deep, built in shelves. Next to it is the door.
    Wall 6 - the only available wall space, about 5 ft, but I have a large coat rack type thing against it.

    My whole house is kind of like this. Large bay windows, half-walls, open staircases. We have hooks on the backs of any doors that we can still open if the hooks are used. Most of our doors seem to be in corners, so that's difficult. The only available wall space is in narrow hallways, so hanging anything that protrudes (including hooks) isn't very practical.
     

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