Muddle Mayhem

Decluttering my home – and life – one piece of junk at a time…

Completely Overwhelmed

When will I start feeling like we’re actually getting somewhere?

Some days I look around and think Not Bad… just a few more steps.

And then I start on a new area and the whole house explodes again and I feel completely overwhelmed.

After everything we sent to donations or freecycle, you’d think the clutter would feel more under control but alas, it seems to get worse with every room we attack.

I know I got a lot accomplished today… but you just can’t tell. And in order to go to bed tonight, I’ll have to clear off my bed which is a whole mountain of clutter I have to sort. *sigh* Flylady’s voice is echoing in my head to stop complaining and just do it… I have a headache, I’m tired and blah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t want to do this anymore.

I wanted my house done by Christmas. That was the goal. Christmas is less than a week away and there is no way, absolutely no chance of it. It’s devastating. I just want to cry. I suppose I have to look at all the progress and not what’s left – it’s just hard to see the progress when the mess takes over every single day.

My tadas for today…

  • Clean off the floor in my bedroom
  • Cleared the desk so hubby could move it to the basement
  • Went through a few hotspot piles in my room (I can only do so much)
  • Got rid of the boxes in my room

Is that it? Really? I worked all day for just that?

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So very productive…

and so very excited about it!!

Yesterday I posted my weekend todo list. Although I didn’t clean as much as I wanted to on the main floor, we did enough to feel accomplished.

It’s a shame that my family comes over and just sees ‘the big mess’. They don’t see progress. And I can’t blame them. When I stand in the middle of any room in this house, I myself feel overwhelmed.

When we picked up my daughter’s new bed yesterday (thank you Freecycle), the owner asked us if we wanted a widescreen rear-projector TV. LOL That’s two new tvs in two days. Ah why not…

ARGH – I said yes because I know my cousin is going to take one but I see how easy it is for me to clutter my house like this. This second TV is bigger and better than the first one so I would have said yes regardless. I have to keep track of how much YES I say compared to NOs.

Today our plan was to work on our bedroom so we can put the new TV in there but alas, we didn’t get to it. We’ve talked about it, planned it, and we know exactly how we are going to tackle this together, we just haven’t gotten to it yet! The way we are moving, I suspect it will be done in the next couple of days tho.

I also wanted to tackle the main floor which I did but not in its entirety. Here are some pictures of what we did accomplish 🙂

Before – remember this mess?

Pre-blog mayhem

mayhem part 2

I had cleared it off enough to be “presentable” while I entertained potential buyers for my shelves.

Clearing the mayhem...

As clean as it looks, it didn’t stay like this long. I didn’t take a before picture today because I had forgotten about the above pic… I did clear it off…

Today, it looks like

Carseat is going back in the car and the stairs have been cleared!

The only thing left here is to clear that shelf 🙂


Hubby helped me remove the closet doors. I honestly feel that they contributed to the mess because they were very difficult to open/close so no one wanted to use the closet. What you don’t see is the huge mess that was in there. But now we have personal baskets at the top and enough shelving for shoes. Just this space alone makes the whole house a little less overwhelming! And that is awesome! One more thing scratched off my Small Project List.

We also did another donation run. Not as big as last time but bye-bye tube TV, speakers, side table & a full box of junk.

Last but certainly not least, drum roll please…

Still has a lot on the counter that I would like to clear but it's a start!!!

Compared to

Oh My!

I remember deciding not to have our microwave on the counter so we wouldn’t lose that space… Bwouhahahahahahahaaaaa So we’re trying it. I won’t get rid of the unit until I know for sure I want to keep the microwave here.



And today…

My daughter will read this and pipe up that I cheated… the big pile of junk that was once housed on the counter is now in a box to go through. However, a lot of it went in the garbage AND my container cupboard is nicely organized again. The plan is to go through that box tomorrow while I’m watching my movie!

I’m still proud of what we did accomplish. Tomorrow is a new day!

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Are you ready?

Today is the day my sweet sister comes over to clean Bean’s room. As embarassing as it is, I welcome the help. That’s one HUGE load off my shoulders in this mayhem!

Minime has requested that I blog as we go today since we are attacking a lot rooms all at once and she wants to be able to read about our progress later.

So here goes:

  • Sister is working with Bean in her room.
  • I’m working on the hallway, my bedroom and later the main floor, and by main floor I mean the dining room and living room area
  • Hubby is gone Christmas shopping LOL and then will work on the basement. We will then be moving A LOT of furniture around… again! (for the last time hopefully)
  • and Minime is working on her room and laundry

Edited to add: Wouldn’t you know it, once I got started I got a headache and ignored it only to be faced with a migraine later. While I didn’t cross that much off my list, hubby reassures me that even though the house looks like one big pile of clutter vomit, one who lives in this house can see the progress. I wish I could see beyond the vomit really. What was once clean is cluttered again. There’s a lot of work ahead of us!

Minime’s List

  • Bin #1
  • Bin #2
  • Bin #3
  • Hallway Bin #1
  • Hallway Bin #2
  • Hallway Bin #3
  • Clear off desk
  • Make bed
  • Organize Dresser
  • Clear off top of dresser
  • Clear off and organize brown shelf
  • Laundry
  • Clear floor

My todo’s list


  • Hallway – I did once twice already but now that we’re clearing out bedrooms…
  • Vaccuum hallway
  • Clear out the laundry from our room
  • Fold Laundry
  • Put all the laundry away
  • Box #1
  • Box #2
  • Box #3
  • Laundry Basket #1
  • Laundry Basket #2
  • Laundry Basket #3
  • Laundry Basket #4
  • Clear off the floor
  • Vaccuum
  • Clear off the desk
  • Clear off the side tables
  • Get rid of the dead fish
  • Empty aquariums (3)
  • Move aquariums (fun)
  • Bring baby toys and supplies in basement
  • Bring a lot of the other furniture in basement

Main Floor

  • Bring the daycare shelves downstairs
  • Fill these shelves back up which means organization and decluttering of said items at the same time
  • Make the dining room look reasonable again
  • Go through box #1, box #2, box #3, and bag of craft supplies and deal with the big pile off stuff on the floor
  • Find a home for the old homeschooling stuff
  • Bring rocking chair to baby’s room

More progress to come

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Nov 22 – Big Project #2

Big Project #2 consisted of decluttering under the bathroom sink on the main floor. This is a task I had posted on my Small Project list but I dreaded it. Oh it’s going to take me forever and I just. don’t. want. to. do. it! PERIOD!

But last night, I went out looking for a bathroom caddy. I wanted something to store toothbrushes, paste, brushes, deoderant, etc… because they usually clutter the counters and well, there isn’t much counter space to start with so the mess looks really aweful.

Then I found:

New bathroom caddy

I wouldn’t say I got a sweet deal on it. It was a little expensive considering I bought it from a second-hand store but it was perfect for my purpose. The only trouble is, it didn’t fit on my counter! ARGH! 😦 Hence the birth of Big Project #2.

But I don’t want to clean that space yet. Cuz it looks like:

Honestly, this picture doesn’t make it justice. I mean there isn’t even enough room to store the toilet paper in this bathroom so it sits next to the toilet.

I felt extremely overwhelmed with this task but I was really excited about my new caddy so that was all the motivation I needed! I started by picking one thing at a time, the things I knew I wanted in my caddy. Eventually, it was just easier to arm-swipe everything to the floor, wipe down the shelf and place the toilet paper in the cupboard. Cool!

I then placed the caddy, another basket and the rest was extremely easy to tend to. A lot went into the garbage.

Then I boxed all the cleaning supplies to store in my linen closet.

Puppy pads we don’t use are going to a friend who is getting her new pup on the first week of December.

And all I was left with are two tiny piles – jewelry and makeup

The final results:

My new caddy!!!!

I didn’t time myself but I was done within 20 minutes tops.

Now off to Big Project #3 – another I’m dreading…

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Nov 22 – Big Project #1

Small things amuse me.

Small things like:

I went to Value Village last night looking for 3 specific items in mind. First, I wanted a jar/vase to hold our cooking utensils. This seemed cute and worthy enough for the task. $3.99

After a good wash in the dishwasher, it was ready for its new home. I took a long deep breath and opened my cooking utensil drawer.

Cooking Utensil Drawer

What a mess! I took it right out of the frame and plopped it on the counter. Easier on my back that way. I took out all of the cooking utensils I wanted to set in my new vase. There were 4 spatulas and 2 laddles so I ran to get my donations box and tossed these in (kept 1 laddle)

Which do we keep?

I took out the BBQ utensils and placed them in the drawer under the oven.

BBQ Utensils

This is what was left over:

A lot of Junk!!!

Meat thermomethers – well we don’t need 4 especially since one is still in the original package from when I bought it 3 years ago so I tossed two in the donations box. (Coincidentally, that same year, we got the other two as Christmas presents so there was never a need to open the one I bought. I should have returned it but when you live in chaos, that’s just not an option. Bye bye $12.99 meat thermometer)

Four, that's 4, meat thermometers!!

Tossed out all the garbage I could find.

That's it??

I was left with baking utensils. So why not attack that drawer too…

Baking Utensil drawer

After rearranging it all to perfection – or my perfection – I was left with cheese graters, icing tips, cookie cutters, a broken handle, a small pot, our electric knife manual and a few other little things.


I knew I wanted some of them to go in our silverwear drawer… guess I might as well conquer that one too huh?

Forced to tackle this one as well

Now tell me why? Why do I keep two unmatched attachments that don’t even fit in my mixer?? This reminds me that I have a big mixer under the sink that I never use. Maybe these belonged to it at one point… Off to the donation box it ALL goes! Even if I did get a splendid $5 bargain on it!

Why oh why?

Wow! Take a look at this organization!!!
I’m super impressed. Go me!

Tada - silverwear drawer

Tada - Baking utensil drawer. That

Since I now have an empty 3rd drawer, I placed my baggies and wraps here which empties the bottom drawer. I can now store towels and dishcloths IN MY KITCHEN! Wow – who knew!!!

3rd drawer

And my task is finally done. It took an hour, but it was well worth it!

And my beautiful project is complete

Off to Big Project #2 for the day

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Impromptu Sunday cleanup – Part 2

A rude awakening this morning forced me to deal with some chaos on the main floor but I really wanted to tackle the office today. And I should really learn to take before pictures. Alas, this time, I didn’t.

First I took EVERYTHING out of the closet, sorted the toys and organized everything all very neatly back into the closet. By doing so, I can see that I’m going to run into some storage problems come next summer!

Then hubby and I stood there and stared at the room not knowing where in the world we were going to start. So many things in this room needs to go to other rooms according to our floor plan but there is no room for them yet! I have no idea how we’re going to deal with this one yet.

Once we both determined that we were lost, I suggested we work ourselves out of the room. Now this is where the before picture would have come in handy.

You see, when I sold our cubby on Friday, the buyer had originally told me she was taking both. The other cubby, the one not shown in the image, was upstairs in the hallway. This cubby had been sitting there, blocking half of the bathroom doorway for the past *ahem* 8 months. For the past 8 months, it has collected all sorts of junk. I was home alone Friday evening so all that junk went to the floor and I carried that sucker down the stair all by myself *Gold Star* – but they didn’t buy it.

All of that junk on the floor just happened to be right in front of the office door. We literally had to step over and on all that junk.

So working ourselves OUT of the room seemed reasonable. I mean my hallway looks awesome – not perfect yet – but awesome! And I filled a box for donation! Double Awesome!

The trouble is I still felt unproductive because the room looks the same. The closet’s done, the entrance is done, the room – unchanged! 😦

So here’s a list of the things that need to leave this room and where they belong:

  1. Hubby’s desk – this will be the last thing to move, probably after Christmas, and I’m ok with that. We are setting up a new office in the basement
  2. Filing Cabinet – same deal
  3. Printer shelf – Sooner rather than later into the basement
  4. 2 Dressers – I have to decide which I am going to keep (probably the grey one) The other one can be listed on Kijiji or Freecycle
  5. Vaccuum – I need a home for this thing. Maybe my bedroom closet… I have no idea
  6. Computer parts – How many components does one household need, I don’t know but some has got to go. Until he decides, in the basement they go
  7. Bookshelf – Ah – this one is going in my laundry room for foster baby supplies. All of the books on it are going to Minime’s bedroom.
  8. Diningroom chairs – why are they in here?
  9. Table – this table was built by my paternal grandfather. Nobody wants this table yet I’m not allowed to get rid of it. And I’m suppose to take good care of it too. Hubby and I have discussed this table. It might go in the new office if there is a need for it. If not, in the garage it will go. Sorry.
  10. And a crap load of mayhem on every flat surface that I’ll have to purge and find homes for.

Breaking it down like this makes it seem easier to deal with. I’ll be working on this list throughout the week.

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Impromptu Sunday cleanup

Nothing beats a surprise ‘Ding-Dong, I’m here to clean your chimney’, to get me moving on cleaning the living room. I told him to give me 10 minutes and I pushed everything into the dining room. I should have taken pictures… but here’s what it looked like a few weeks ago (still looked very similar with the exception that the couch had already been moved to the right place):

Once the guy left, I couldn’t just shove everything back – that makes no sense at all! So I picked one thing up at a time and found a home for it. I even started a donation box!!!! Now this space looks like:

Impressive – I know!

You can actually see the floor and the chimney!!!

And the kids now have a safe place to play again!

It didn’t even take an hour to do and that includes sorting all the toys, folding the laundry, sort the books, wipe the furniture down and put everything away. Go me! And thanks hubby for your help xo

Now my dining room looks like:

It isn’t pretty but I’m ok with that right now. One step at a time. Right now, I’m motivated to get that office/baby room cleared out! But first, I was going to put the dishwasher away and noticed the floor. Nasty!

So I cleared that out too. Wow! Productive Sunday!!!! It also inspired me to find a solution for these bags who are currently stashed into the bigger bag. A quick and easy project I can knit while watching a movie with hubby (because I surely don’t have enough knitting projects on the go with Christmas right around the corner lol) or – I haven’t decided yet!

(And please no nasty email that I shouldn’t run the dishwasher during the day. I know. I mostly run it in the middle of the night but since I forgot last night, I did it today anyway)

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Another large piece is GONE! That is sooo very exciting!

Bye bye kiddie-cubby-that-seems-to-collect-every-single-piece-of-junk-that-comes-through-the-front-door. Hello $30!!

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Ten Things I Can Do Today to Feel Productive

Monday, Monday… boy how I hate Mondays.

Over at A Slob Comes Clean. she wrote a post entitled “Ten Things I Can Do Today So I’ll Feel Like Less of a Slob Tomorrow“. As I began to read I thought: “Oh great! I picked an idol who still doesn’t have it all together after two years of blogging and really making an effort. Is there any hope for me?”

And then I was strucked with a duh moment. She’s making an effort. She has been making strides of efforts. People like her and I will always struggle with our home because it’s not something that comes naturally. It comes with discipline. And motivation. And a lot of butt kicking!

Since I have such a hard time being productive on Mondays, I figured that I can dedicate my Mondays to 10 Things I can do to feel Productive. Why not! Butt kicking at it’s finest right? It won’t have a fancy ring to it or anything but it will be my way to look at a list of 10 items I accomplished on a Monday.

Today, I got the family involved in a 15 minute decluttering session. Yeah, they hate me but check this out! Here’s my before picture. This is the shelving unit in the office closet. Filled with paper clutter – which I thought all belonged to Minime. I was wrong.

Minime and I went throught the piles and boxes while Hubby and Bean went through the room chucking out garbage. Together, we filled a large bag! Yuck!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a before picture of the room but here’s the after picture of the closet shelf:

And yes everything is put away and not just piled somewhere else! Now I have some room to store items for foster babies!

Go us! One little step at a time!

Ten Things I Can Do Today to Feel Productive list

  1. I got rid of a large area rug that I love. Correction: I love the idea of having an area rug. I bought this one at a garage sale and it doesn’t fit in my house – anywhere – it’s too large so it was sitting in the garage. An area rug doesn’t look all that pretty rolled up in the garage. So I answered an ad on Freecycle and it’s gone!
  2. Came to the realization that trying to sell everything is too much work and takes too much time. Freecycle is a great outlet but so is dropping things off at Value Village or Salvation Army. Hubby and I have discussed about renting a U-Haul and just fill it up! Sounds so much more ‘releasing’! I’ll keep you posted if we follow through.
  3. Brought home some good boxes from the grocery store! Let’s fill ’em with bye-bye-clutter and then drop it off!
  4. Emptied all the jars from my spice rack and put them in the dishwasher since I have a university student picking it up tomorrow.
  5. Filled the dishwasher.
  6. Decluttered my corner unit since someone else is picking that up tomorrow.
  7. Did some research and started working on my dad’s newsletter.
  8. 15-minute decluttering session.
  9. Filled a large garbage bag.
  10. Emptied all the garbage pails in the house (garbage day tomorrow)


Bye bye awkward corner-cabinet-that-nothing-fits-in-and-only-collects-more-junk-and-clutter. Hello $50!!

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