Cleaning & Organizing
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NEED to get organized!

I don't know why I just can't do it...I spend hours on pinterest and I see all these great ideas for how to get on a cleaning schedule, get organized and meal plan but for some reason I can't get the motivation to actually do any of it! I'm a sahm mom but when I was working I was organized to a fault...it was ridiculous how anal I was about everything. I'm just having a lot of trouble getting that way at home for some reason! I know I gave someone advice on here about going to flylady.net to get organized/get the house cleaned...I keep going back to that site but I can't seem to commit to the different tasks every day-I've been following it a little bit though-I make sure to do one load of wash a day and my kitchen sink is empty and clean every night before I go to bed-just can't get myself to do the whole program. I'm the type of person that needs structure and I think I would be so much less stressed if I could get moving ...DD is finally on somewhat of a predictible schedule so I should be able to get myself on a schedule I just don't know why I can't commit! Any advice? TIA
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Re: NEED to get organized!

  • There's got to be a reason why you have changed like this. Did you have a hard time adjusting to being a SAHM? Could you be depressed? I have ADHD and it's very difficult for me to stay organized, but I've always been like that. I am better at work, but I really hate staying at home and keeping house, so it's very hard for me to keep things up when I do stay home. My best advice is to make sure it's not something like depression or having difficulty adjusting, and to build up little by little like you are trying to do.
    image
  • It sounds like you're experiencing something with which I'm very familiar: being so overwhelmed by my high expectations and then self-criticism for not fulfilling them that I don't get very far.  It's a vicious mental and emotional cycle.

    First, acknowledge and applaud yourself for what you are accomplishing: getting laundry and dishes done each day keeps your home running, so that's a good start!

    Set small goals.  Start seemingly ridiculously small and very immediate.  For example, not, "Today I will clean the house."  Or even, "Today I will clean the hall closet."  We're talking, "This afternoon I will pull out old winter coats that we don't wear anymore while DD naps."  Long or vague to-do lists can be too overwhelming, and I bet that when you look around your house, all you see is a long to-do list.

    Break tasks into small steps.  This gives me more direction when I start to get discouraged.  So, if you need to clean that bathroom, you write down each element and check each off.  I know you've cleaned bathrooms a thousand times and know each step, but it will feel good to draw a line through "Mirror," "Sink," "Shower Door," etc. and keep you moving on to the next step.

    Stop comparing yourself to Pinterest domestic goddesses.  You've pinned those good ideas, so they're not going anywhere.  Instead of spending hours wishing your home looked like those pictures, get off the computer and determine ONE additional task you can accomplish today.  Tomorrow add another.

    You're very right that structure will help.  Now that your DD has somewhat of a schedule, you can start having more structure for yourself.  Being home all day everyday without interaction isn't good for anyone's mood.  While it might seem counter-productive, being out a bit doing enriching activities helps me be more productive at home plus bolsters my sense of self-worth.  So, maybe you join a weekly moms' group at a local church, take an interesting class through the parks & rec, or find a volunteer opportunity for one morning per week.  Doing this with a friend for accountability so you don't skip is even better.  You'll know that you have your painting class at 10am, for example, so you know you need to dice veggies for dinner before then.  Or, assign each weekday a certain room of the house or type of household activity.  On Tuesdays you always do the ironing or on Thursdays you always corral clutter on the desk.  Make a chart for yourself.

    PP may also be right about the depression.  I've struggled with this, and the type of thought cycle I suspect we share involves perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking, which can contribute to depression.  Even if you aren't dealing with anything clinical, a few sessions with a competent counselor who uses cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) could be beneficial to help you learn how to counter negative thoughts about yourself and become more effective.  I've also had a good experience with "The Feeling Good Handbook" by Robert Burns for learning or reinforcing CBT techniques, whether or not you seek professional counseling.

    Best wishes!  Please keep us updated if you try any suggestions.  You'll likely need to keep at it for awhile, and we're here to support you.  Of course, you should also share what you're doing with your DH so he can be encouraging.  Best wishes!

    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
  • image Nickie431:

    It sounds like you're experiencing something with which I'm very familiar: being so overwhelmed by my high expectations and then self-criticism for not fulfilling them that I don't get very far.  It's a vicious mental and emotional cycle.

    First, acknowledge and applaud yourself for what you are accomplishing: getting laundry and dishes done each day keeps your home running, so that's a good start!

    Set small goals.  Start seemingly ridiculously small and very immediate.  For example, not, "Today I will clean the house."  Or even, "Today I will clean the hall closet."  We're talking, "This afternoon I will pull out old winter coats that we don't wear anymore while DD naps."  Long or vague to-do lists can be too overwhelming, and I bet that when you look around your house, all you see is a long to-do list.

    Break tasks into small steps.  This gives me more direction when I start to get discouraged.  So, if you need to clean that bathroom, you write down each element and check each off.  I know you've cleaned bathrooms a thousand times and know each step, but it will feel good to draw a line through "Mirror," "Sink," "Shower Door," etc. and keep you moving on to the next step.

    Stop comparing yourself to Pinterest domestic goddesses.  You've pinned those good ideas, so they're not going anywhere.  Instead of spending hours wishing your home looked like those pictures, get off the computer and determine ONE additional task you can accomplish today.  Tomorrow add another.

    You're very right that structure will help.  Now that your DD has somewhat of a schedule, you can start having more structure for yourself.  Being home all day everyday without interaction isn't good for anyone's mood.  While it might seem counter-productive, being out a bit doing enriching activities helps me be more productive at home plus bolsters my sense of self-worth.  So, maybe you join a weekly moms' group at a local church, take an interesting class through the parks & rec, or find a volunteer opportunity for one morning per week.  Doing this with a friend for accountability so you don't skip is even better.  You'll know that you have your painting class at 10am, for example, so you know you need to dice veggies for dinner before then.  Or, assign each weekday a certain room of the house or type of household activity.  On Tuesdays you always do the ironing or on Thursdays you always corral clutter on the desk.  Make a chart for yourself.

    PP may also be right about the depression.  I've struggled with this, and the type of thought cycle I suspect we share involves perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking, which can contribute to depression.  Even if you aren't dealing with anything clinical, a few sessions with a competent counselor who uses cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) could be beneficial to help you learn how to counter negative thoughts about yourself and become more effective.  I've also had a good experience with "The Feeling Good Handbook" by Robert Burns for learning or reinforcing CBT techniques, whether or not you seek professional counseling.

    Best wishes!  Please keep us updated if you try any suggestions.  You'll likely need to keep at it for awhile, and we're here to support you.  Of course, you should also share what you're doing with your DH so he can be encouraging.  Best wishes!

    Nickie's ideas and suggestions seem to fall right in line with FlyLady.  I think you ( like me) want to see that perfect Pinterest look right away, and it's just not going to happen.  Keep at it and slowly but surely you will see a difference.  Do you get the FlyLady e-mails?  Sometimes those are what keep me going in the right directions...and although my Control Journal isn't finished it is helping me already!

  • I've never heard of FLYLady, just Googled her, and am very intrigued.  Signing up for that first e-mail now.  We'll see how this goes...  Thanks for the suggestion!
    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!" (Isaiah 43:1)
  • You bet!  Good luck...definitely follow the baby steps and if you want...PM me sometime and let me know how it's going!
  • Being a tad bit obessive myself - and not completely focused.  I too am signing up! Thanks for the suggestion.
  • What I try to do (but I'm not a SAHM) is break down the weekly tasks into daily tasks. So throughout the week I have 7 main tasks (bathrooms, vacuum upstairs, vacuum main floor, vacuum downstairs, dust, laundry, iron) so each day a week I have a task assigned. Each task is small enough that I can catch up if I miss a day. If I have more motivation one day I may do additional tasks or de-clutter. And if I miss a whole week I can easily catch up. Each task (except for laundry or ironing) generally takes less than 20 minutes, which is pretty manageable for anyone. Hope that helps!
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