I have hoarding tendencies and my house used to be a nightmare... ESP with a hoarding husband!!! I had to become master organizer so I now have a very neat home and everything has its place. I help other people with nightmare houses get their homes under control. I start with the main rooms... Usually living room and then kitchen. Start with garbage and collect all all obvious garbage. Get bins and designate a bin for clothes, one for knick knacks, one for stuff that belongs in other rooms.... Get lots of bins and find themes. Practically empty the room except for furniture. Do a deep clean (vacuum, mop, etc) and then slowly bring things back only if there is an obvious home though (eg, all DVDs go in a certain drawer or shelf, all video equipment goes in the same spot, etc. ) often buying baskets or more shelving is needed!!! The stuff that you have left is in the nightmare bins to deal with and perhaps gets purged or belongs in a different room (which needs a specific home when u get to those rooms). When you are finished one room you will feel so good, then you can tackle another room eventually. You can also take stock of what you have this way and stop buying duplicates. The key is that everything has to have a very specific home... Even thumbtacks!!! With each item think to yourself , "if I were to look for this item, where would I logically look for it?". So, thumbtacks would be found in a home office area... Voila!!!
So, the homes I have done are TOTAL hoarder places.... I'm talking one time I had to shovel the contents from under her couch cushions it was that bad.... Toilet and tub were black with mould. Was brutal....but gratifying.... And I didn't get paid!!!!!! Haha!!!
Hopefully that helps!!!!
Between lupus, homeschooling and a 5 year old daughter, my house is a constant battlefield of clutter. Best way I've found to keep neat is to get rid of stuff we don't need. Like Steve said, if you haven't used it in X amount of time, you probably don't need it. I'm a geek and I love to collect stuff. I've prioritized certain things over others and try not to bring new stuff in. (SO hard for a geek who loves everything!)
I also try to stay very on top of things -- put a shirt that can be used again immediately back on a hanger, PJs to be reused in a designated spot, etc. I also lowered my standards and set priorities. My friends that come over to the house know that I'm sick and that we homeschool so they're generally forgiving of clutter. I prefer less clutter but so long as the kitchen is clean (my #1 priority), I try not to worry too much.
It helps reading all the posts. My biggest problem isn't what to do with it, but having any energy to do it.
Oh!!!!!!! Ha!!!!!!! ....I soooooo hear ya!!!!!
I wait till I finally feel like it as I'm sure you do too! Can be scary the amount of time that goes by for that to happen though!!! I am so thankful for my mom who periodically comes and cleans like a banshee and then I do small things in between rests because I feel so guilty that she's working so hard!!!
I work best under stress, I can clean like a mad woman when I know somebody is coming over. My husband helps, actually he does alot and I had to learn to overlook the round corners, the not so shiny looking microwave door ( he wipes it down, but doesn"t polish so it leaves streaks). I do appreciate his help but had to lower my standarts a little. But you know what it is clean and we don't live in filth, that is important. It took me a while to see that, but I am greatful to have a hubby that not only pitches in but does most of the cleaning. God, I LOVE HIM.
I was glad to go back over this thread, and read it again. I keep trying to work on this. Haven't made a lot of progress yet, but I won't ever give up.
I find that I have to get rid of the clutter first before I can tackle the housework. I give nonclothes items to thrift stores, neighbors, friends, etc. As far as clothes are concerned, I get store credit from a consignment shop. If I unload clothes I don't wear, don't like, or don't fit anymore, I might, in exchange, pick out 2 or 3 things, I can use for the 10 or 15 clothing items I get credit for. I clean my floors with a Wet Swifter. It seems to work pretty well on my floors, and saves me time and energy. Like others I do a little at a time. Take frequent breaks. Run errands, outside of the home, then return and try to finish what is left to do in the cleaning department. Prioritizing is very important. I too, can't do it all. My boyfriend is no help as he is busy working full time and going to school at night. I am retired.
I have a friend who has a great way of tidying up.
She has a basket (square laundry basket type) for each room. When she goes to clean she grabs the baskets and sets them in the first room. Anything she finds for another room she tosses in the basket for that room. (I think this could be done easier with one of those rolling stand of baskets you can get at any discount store). She then puts the baskets in each other and moves to the next room doing the same thing. Anything she found from the first room that goes in the 2nd she puts away. She moves through her whole house this way. If she gets to a point she can't do more then she places the baskets in the room they belong in so she can put those things away after resting.
It works well for her