Can you rise above your own clutter?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by tennisnut, May 14, 2008.

  1. tennisnut

    tennisnut New Member

    It has been suggested I post here. I have CFS and cannot find the frame of mind to tidy up my stuff - mostly paper and craft materials on many surfaces including the floor and my computer surface is v. bad. I sometimes make new stacks. There's something going on in my head which stops me before I start. Any help v.much appreciated. TN
  2. Kathleen12

    Kathleen12 New Member

    I saw your post on the cfs board and am glad you found your way here.

    As far as the clutter goes, I cannot be of much help as I'm also in that same boat. I think for me it's because when I'm laid up for weeks on end, the clutter keeps piling because I'm not well enough to clean. So when I AM able to clean a bit I am so overwhelmed by the amount to clean that I just lose heart for the task.

    I get a few people who say they'll come over and help, but they never do. They have an actual life and can not help at the time I'm able to do a few things.

    You did come to the right place, though, for this thread as most here are so full of creative ideas!
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    of anything w/ limited energy, brain fog and pain. Of course some of us are lucky and don't have all those symptoms all the time.

    Here's something I read, but never really tried.

    Get a bunch of boxes. Label them. David's stuff; craft projects; bathroom; kitchen; whatever.

    Tackle one room only. Put stuff in the boxes. The next day, if you are up to it, unpack one box. Of just leave the stuff in there. whatever is appropriate.

    Good luck

  4. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    This is a huge problem for many of us. It has to do with cognitive issues we have.

    We have executive functioning problems which create huge issues.

    Executive functioning includes: planning, working memory, organization. Also, the ability to initiate and stop actions, to monitor behavior and to plan future behavior when faced with something new.

    So, for me, when I'm trying to go through a "pile", every envelope is something new! AAAAAAAAAAA!

    I had an Occupational Therapist for a while to try to help me set up simple systems but it was not successful. I found it hard to fully comprehend them, even though I understood they were pretty basic, let alone maintain them. But, I would say: That's great, makes so much sense, I'll do that!

    I have boxes and bags full of old mail, etc., which I store away as well as I can. I cannot clean my kitchen or do my dishes as there are so many steps. I once spent weeks entering and leaving my kitchen without doing my dishes because I simply could not figure out why it had suddenly become impossible to even make a dent. Finally, it dawned on me that I had no sponge or scrubber and no detergent.

    Can you afford to get someone to come by on a regular basis to sort through things and prevent piles? I would if I could. If there is any way you can get anyone to help you stay on top of things, do it.

    Try not to judge yourself by your mess. There are lots of wonderful disorganized people, with this, other conditions or nothing at all wrong with them, who are kind and generous and good hearted! That's way more important.

    Peace to you,

  5. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    In terms of paperwork, I bought a file cabinet from Staples and it has been a godsent. I can now organize all my bils, insurance papers, personal stuff etc. in file folders stored in this filing cabinet. Now I don't lose anything/ It's so easy.

  6. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    A good approach is to make a de-clutter schedule and only tackle one task at a time, or one de-clutter task per day. For example, just the computer stuff one day, craft stuff another day, etc.

    When I moved from one house to another, the task of packing the house with small kids was overwhelming for me. I then decided to start packing as soon as we had a mortgage commitment and then I limited myself to four-six boxes per day. It went so much smoother once I set daily limits for myself and stuck to it. Try it--it just might work.

  7. sisland

    sisland New Member

    This is an issue for alot of us it seems!,,,,I found that a paper shredder helps out alot with the paper clutter,,,,when paying bills i run everything through there that is just going in the Garbage anyway,,,,,also have a file box for stuff i need to keep,,,,,,,

    My main clutter problem is my kitchen table!,,,,,,seems like alot of stuff ends up there that i need to put away or do something with later,,,,,magazines,,,Maps,,,,,plants,,,grocery adds,,,,etc,,,,,eventualy it gets taken care of,,but not before i've started another pile,,,,,,lolol,,,,Oh'well i guess we just have to keep on trying!,,,,Sis
  8. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I used to stage houses for realtors and went in all sorts of homes, very large professional homes, small homes, etc. There is one thing that was more common than not, nearly everyone had a ton of clutter. Very few homes were neat as a pin and the ones that were looked as if they always looked that way, as if no one lived there.

    The tidier homes the people had cleaners often. But mostly, we were amazed at the clutter people managed to live in. It is far more common than you think amongst able bodied people, so polease stop stressing yourself and do what you are able to, get help when you need it, and smell the roses whilst you kick back and have a restful cuppa!

    Love Annie
  9. pumpkinpatch

    pumpkinpatch New Member

    I love the look of rooms when they are staged. I like my home looking very sparse. For example we were building an entertainment room in the basement and for one year all the furniture, TV etc. was stuffed into my little living room. It was total clutter and I could barely walk around everything. It looked so messy. Now that everything is downstairs I love it. The livingroom is now a great uncluttered room for sitting quiet and entertaining. It even looks bigger.
  10. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Hi Tennisnut -

    Well, I havae clutter in some of my drawers , esp in the kitchenaas well as my desk wihich seems to always have something on there. If I clean it up there i is more on it the nedt day. DH is more of a neat freak than I and I do try and do things a little bit at a time but someimtes it gets sopo bad I havae to at least try and tackle it.

    Yes, a little bit at a time is the best way if it is really bad but we just can do what we are able to do. When it is finished you feel really good about it. Nothing , for me is ever completley done. If one task is finished there is always another.

    So, as Annie said try not to stress the small stuff but do a little at a time is a good way. Also, another thing is IF you can , as you are handling a piece of mail or whatever, put it right where it belongs, like the trash, or cuby hole on your desk or whereever you keep your bills, etc.. Otherwise the pile gets highter and higher. BTW, I also have a pile of many catalogs that people send me seems to never go down until I end up throwing them all out. Theya are now on a neat pile on the floor till I decide to throw them all away.

    Why to people who sell things through the catalogs send you one almost every week if you order something??. If you don't order something sometimes they still keep sending them. Then the catalogs just keep on piling up !!!

    Good luck my dear !! We are all in this with you.



  11. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    ...can you come here and train my husband how to do that? He saves every scrap of paper I swear!!! I say, "Put it in the bin!" LOL

    I loved doing the house staging, but we moved and I do not know the realtors here and besides which it would not go in today's market.

    Did you know you can get a certificate in being a Stager from some group that set themselves up as watchdog for about $120! Then you get letters to put after your name. What a riot! I never bothered.

  12. greygodess

    greygodess New Member

    Garage sale! My daughter in law is having one and I am getting rid of some stuff. In our house no flat surface goes uncluttered. I never used to be this way but i can't seem to be as organized as I once was.It has been really bad the last couple of years. I don't even clean as much as I used to. Hopefully it will balance out some day. Godbless
  13. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Yeah, a garage sale sounds great too to get rid of alot of stuff. However, for me that is to much work and pricing etc. Also, our subdiviosion doesn't allow it but that is a good way to get rid of stuff and get some money too.

    I had a few of them in the old neighborhood and got some good deals too (- !!

    Annie, I do not know if my DH culd train yours but he could try (-: !! Don't ask me although I really do TRY and be neat. However, it doesn't always work, if you know what I mean.


    [This Message was Edited on 05/16/2008]
  14. MST13

    MST13 New Member

    ... and I don't have CFS. I felt empathy for you when you said piles of papers on many surfaces (and some on floor).
    My problem is two-fold: papers and clothing. Plus I love cardboard boxes for mailing gifts to grandchildren and for organizing, which I don't usually do. So I have quite a few of those in closets and elswhere.

    Looking up my problem on the internet, I found disposophobia -fear of disposing of belongings. On NPR radio I heard about people like me having a problem located in a small section of the brain. It looks different than other peoples' brains.

    It's not hopeless. I get very efficient when company is coming to sleep over. Best solution was once when my daughter came and helped, really helped. Then I messed it up soon after. Ouch.
  15. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I'm definitely a member of a clutter-bug household. A couple of things that have helped:

    From the library, I can check out audiobooks. When I clean, I put on an audiotape or CD to listen to. So I've coupled my chores with a reward. It keeps my mind off the boredom of merely cleaning up, and I can tell myself that I only have to do this until the CD (or chapter) ends. And I get to catch up on books at the same time!

    I have a laptop -- so I make the most of it. I take it to where I'm working (even if it's on the floor at my desk, trying to go through old files and papers. I put in a CD to listen to, or a DVD of an old movie (one I know, so I don't have to watch a lot, just listen). Another tack is to go to YouTube -- there are shows from the British series "How Clean Is Your House" that are good company when I'm dealing with my own mess.

    And just remember that you didn't get into this situation all in one day, so don't expect yourself to fix it in just a day, either. Slow and steady wins!
  16. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I remembering reading somewhere comparing clutter to eating an elelphant.

    If you were asked to eat an elephant you'd think that's impossible, but if you had one bite everyday, the elephant would be eventually gone.

    So now whenever I have an overwhelming amount of mess, paperwork, clutter, etc., I just say to myself "I'm eating my elephant" and it puts it in perspective so that I can get with it and not be overwhelmed.

    Congrats on the paper clean up!!

    Sue in Ontario

    BILLCAMO New Member

    I'm a pack rat and a clutter problem child !

    Before I became ill , the clutter wasn't so bad and I could remember where 99% of my stuff was. But my memory has become so short that I forgot I had one. And I don't have the energy or concentration to organize much. :>(

    Maybe I should pack my rat and clutter off to Buffalo ? ;>) LOL

    Blessings ,

  18. Toga

    Toga Member

    I used to be so neat and clean it was disgusting. Now I'm pretty much a mess. (Don't get me wrong, I'm clean but if I didn't have a cleaning lady every two weeks, things would be a mess here.)

    I even have my own Sewing Room/Office and she just does the floor in here. I have a great big house with all kinds of storage and its all full including the kitchen counter.

    Newspapers, Mail, etc. etc. etc. It doesn't help that my husband is kind of a slob. You should see our garage.

    I think its a lack of energy. I only have so much and I save it for what I think is important like laundry, email, and this board.

    We all need to forgive ourselves and do a little at a time like others have suggested. It'll never get done because the mailman and the paper lady come every day.

  19. lilaclover30

    lilaclover30 New Member

    I get our mail at the post office and it has a bigggg waste paper can. I stand at the counter above it and sort and toss. I only take home necessary mail. if it is a bill.\, I take it to hubby;s desk, catalogues, io save to look through in the evening and then I toss them. One thing taken care of!!!!!!!!!!

    As someone said, Kitchen table ends up with a lot of stuff. ry to clean it off before wee eat.

    The worse spot in the house is around my chair!!!!! I have a basket for reading material (I am way behibd), a table for phone, calendar and stuff! Hubby has his side and it looks good.

    I try to straighten out drawers, then in the morning when I go to get something out to wear, ii hunt and make a mess!

    I have an old home with lots of antiques and I do try to jkeep it picked up. I have a cleaning lady once in a while and I pick up before she comes.

    But after i am in such hideous pain with my tailbone, I can hardly make the bed, etc. we go to town for "coffee}", then get the mail, then I have my only spurt of energy and do things.

    I tried cooking anhd about collapsesd in pain. Washed dishes by hand instead of dishwasher and that was a bigt mistake.

    Hey, I got off the subject....lsorry.

    I don't reccycle (too heavy to take to bins) and toss into a bag in an enormous crock by back door. Also remember that Goodwill might like your old clothes, etc. I keep a big plastic bag in pantry for that kind of stuff.

    I have rattled on too much.

    Gentle Hugs,
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    That people with our illnesses, and the accompanying cognitive challenges, function so much better if we are almost anal about being organized. Problem is how to get there when clutter is all around. What has worked well for me is to start in one small, manageable area and then go on to another. The trick is not to reclutter where it has been cleaned and organized. If we try to take on too much, we become overwhelmed. I know I can manage one drawer or one shelf, or whatever. It may not be much but if I can do one little thing every day, it really starts to pay off. Usually, getting started is the biggest hurdle. If I say I can clean out one drawer, once I get started, I usually clean a lot more.

    I hung two cute metal and wood hooks, shaped like little pigs, by my front door. Every time I come home, I hang my keys on the top pig. I use the green, reusable shopping bags and when I empty them, I hang them on the bottom pig to go back out to my car. Any mail I have to send sits on the shelf next to the pigs. There is a post office next to where I work. I try to do as much as I can while expending the least amount of energy. Being organized and planning helps me to do this. When I get home, my purse goes in the same place every time.

    I keep a daytimer and write everything down, including my work schedule, birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, etc. I bought one of those beautiful spiral notebooks with a pocket for each month of the year to hold cards. There is space to write in important dates to remember for sending the cards. I try to buy them two or three at a time, especially if there is a sale. Hallmark has free cards all the time if you buy a few. Prioritizing is very important too. On my to-do list, I notate the most important items.

    I have bought those big plastic tubs to store things in. I will dump a pile of clutter into one until I can get around to going through it. At least that way, the clutter is contained and not strung out all over. If I absolutely cannot go through my mail, I will pull out the junk mail and put it into a pile to recycle later. I black out my name and address so that identity thieves cannot use it.

    My systems aren't perfect and I do have clutter at times but it's not out of control. Hope some of this is helpful.

    Almost forgot to mention using those little pill boxes with sections for each day of the week. Sure beats having all those pill bottles sitting around. I fill it once a week while watching TV.

    Love, Mikie
    [This Message was Edited on 06/04/2008]