Muddle Mayhem

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

I need help!

My house is a disaster! It’s worse than that! It’s almost not liveable in here!

How do I let it get this way and how do these people who live with me put up with it? They are absolutely no help and TOTALLY OK with the mayhem.


I just came downstairs to blog on the computer but first I had to move dishes, a lamp and alarm clock. Why is a lamp and alarm clock sitting in from of the keyboard??? I’ll never know! But I do know that it caused me to tear up. I’m sick of this mess! I want out of this mess.

I look room to room and see clutter. Stuff we shouldn’t own yet here it is. And why? Didn’t I declutter this place to an outstanding beautiful home not that long ago? I really don’t get it and I need help. I need a lot of help but don’t know where to turn.

This blog is suppose to be about the positive changes in my routines and cleaning habits. Right now, there is nothing positive to report. And I had dedicated this day to clean but I have NO IDEA where to start. How did I start last time?

Back in May, I got a new job as a nanny. This requires me to care for children AND maintain a household. Guess what? I have no trouble with either task.

So why is it so hard for me with my own house?

Clutter – It is such a huge mess that I have no desire/motivation to tackle it when I get home from work.

So here’s the plan

Step 1.

Reread blog to freshen my memory on how all this got started.

As I’m reading my past post, I can hear the frustration in my words. There was A LOT of work to be done. The bright side is, even though I still have a lot of decluttering and cleaning, I don’t have any furniture to move and everything has a home somewhere since we assigned and organized it all last winter.

Out of 74 posts, here’s what stands out the most:

  • I started with the kitchen because it is the most important room in the house
  • I discovered I didn’t have to be a nagging monster if I simply provided the home everyone deserved
  • I know that my family is not going to cooperate with my motivation and so I have to find a way to be patient, tight-lipped and just go through the motions of keeing this place clean on my own
  • The sad truth about clutter
  • Never wait for the last minute to deal with a mess
  • 52 small project list is an awesome idea but until I regain some control here, I’m putting this on the back burner
  • Menu plans are a must
  • I really enjoyed doing (and rereading) the picture analysis & productive list posts

One last thing, I complained A LOT of headaches in my posts… but I’m happy to announce that my doctor started me on blood pressure medication in January and I haven’t had a headache since!!!

Step 2.

Create a list of goals

  • Designate an area in the house for items we want to get rid of
  • Unescapable daily chores: Dishes, Laundry, Cooking, Keeping floors cleared, Dining room table, Bathrooms
  • As I’m waiting for dinner to cook at work, I walk room to room and clear any messes that might have accumulated throughout the day. I have to bring this habit home!
  • Make a list of rooms in order of clutterness (best to worse)
  • Continue with to-do lists however stop waiting for scheduled times to clean
  • Have ONE go-through box at a time
  • Instead of a Maintenance day, I shall have a maintenance hour
  • I cannot overwhelm myself with challenges
  • Declutter, donate and revisit these sections daily

Step 3.

Implement new habits.

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I did it! I really did it!

I haven’t posted in a few days because honestly, it’s been way too overwhelming. But I will tell you this:


It looks great, it feels incredible and the best news of all…

Our house was approved yesterday to go forth with our foster care application.

Needless to say that paperwork was filled out within minutes and I’ll be on my way to deliver them this morning.


Now that the house is looking so wonderful, it’s time to maintain it. I need a plan!

I still have loads of work to do: Basement, Garage and Bean’s bedroom. And with the calendar year should come a new 52 small project list. These are all things I’ll be working on in the next few days.

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Decluttering Calendar

Beth over at My Simpler Life releases a great Decluttering Calendar every year. And every year, I print it out and put on the fridge… never to look at it again. The idea is great. The intentions are really there but I simply haven’t had the right brain environment to go through with the plan!

This year is a little different. For one, I have a blog I love to chat on and show my progress. And two, I’ve been on this mission for the past two months. This is exactly what I’m doing. So why not give this list another try. Except this time, I’m NOT going to print it out. Oh no no no no no… that’s just more clutter. I’ll just link it up here to visit every day. I like that idea much much better! 😉

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I have to take a moment to bring something to my own attention.

It’s 2012 – It’s not just another day… it’s a new year. And in every other aspect in my life, it doesn’t make a difference.

But I have to force myself to make one.

I’ve spent the last two months decluttering this home little by little. My main floor looks amaaaaazing! And although I’m not one to make any resolutions just because we’ve hung a new calendar on the wall, I want to ensure that I’m going to upkeep the hard work I’ve put forth.

I don’t want to be among the people that make grand plans just to fail them 3 weeks later.

  • I’m not going to promise to lose 50 lbs (although that would be awesome!) however I do want to make an effort in meal planning which leads to healthier eating.
  • I’m not going to promise to exercise every day however I do want to make use of the new Kinect games we got for Christmas and since our living room is decluttered now, we actually have the room to just plop and play! I do also have a YMCA membership that I don’t take advantage of so maybe I can work on dragging my butt over since I love their spinning classes! Something I’d like to eventually incorporate in my busy schedule.
  • I’m not going to promise to keep my house clean at all times however I am going to maintain what I’ve accomplished and I will tackle the rest in small weekly projects.

I have sooo much to look forward to in the next few months. No need to distract myself with planning and failing resolutions 🙂

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Progress…. Ahhhh!

I walked through the main floor for something while hubby and Bean were in the livingroom. The lights are all on and my first reaction is:

OH NO Turn the lights off, our neighboors can see inside…..

Oh wait a minute, the house is clean LET THEM LOOK!!!


I love this new feeling!

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T-5 days…

But since today is almost over and and I don’t really want to count Monday, there are 4 full days left, or 5 more sleeps til I call the society for our first official house visit to be approved to go ahead with the application process.

With Christmas behind us and one more holiday to survive through, I can really feel the pressure! My house is still in chaos but getting more and more organized every day. This morning, I worked on the dining room. I still need to buy floating shelves for my cookbooks and find a better place for my aquariums and that room is complete!!! Since we are having our annual New Year’s Eve party on Saturday, I would also like the guess room complete ‘just in case’. (Although it can still be slept in right now, there’s a lot of clutter at the entrance waiting to go downstairs)

So the goal this week is to:

  • finish the main floor completely
  • have both bathrooms done
  • the stairs/hallway
  • and guest room.

My kids have been doing fabulous jobs on their bedrooms as well mainly because for Christmas they received all new bedding and bedroom accessories to make organizing a little easier. Their bedrooms will finally become the sanctuary I’ve always envisioned.

Next week, first thing’s first is our bedroom and a massive wash from ceiling to baseboards. I’ve already called upon my friends for volunteers. That should be fun! Once the main and top floor are done, hubby and I will spend every waking minute in the basement to sort a lot more junk that has been neglected throughout this process. We’ve decided that the garage will be a spring weekend project!

There is a light at the end of this tunnel. The amount of decluttering has been insane! Who knew we actually had that much junk!

At a glance…


  • Completely finish the kitchen
  • Top of fridge/freezer
  • Take the Christmas tree down and put away
  • Linen Closet
  • Microwave stand
  • Move the shelf into our room
  • Bring the couch up


  • Arrange the living room
  • Arrange the office and start setting up the computers
  • Our bedroom
  • Clear Stairs and hallway then Vaccuum
  • Fix the beds/mattresses


  • Finish our room
  • Move the aquariums ???
  • Move the TV
  • Hallway white shelf
  • Clean both bathrooms
  • Sweep and wash floors

Guest room

  • Bring the furniture and boxes down
  • Set the bed in the right place
  • Place Cubby and the rest of the furniture where it belongs
  • Vaccuum
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No more Stash & Dash plz!

Here we are, Christmas eve. I have a huge ham in the oven and it’s smelling wonderful. The children are wrapping up last minute gifts and my thoughts wonder over to my mother who called me on Monday. Since I was otherwise occupied, I told her I’d call her back but I haven’t been able to reach her. So I reach over for the phone again and try the Knights of Columbus, a place she likes to hang out at.

Guess what; she’s there.

“Hi, can I speak to my mom please?” I feel like such an idiot but that’s a whole other story not appropriate for this blog.

I decide to invite her over for dinner. Since hubby is working til 7, the ham would be ready for around that time so she has plenty of time to prepare.

She declines.

So I invite her for Christmas breakfast.

Brilliant!!!! I absolutely love the idea and so does she! She wants me to invite my sister. Awesome!

And then it hit me…

My house is no where NEAR ready for company like that! My sister, OK! My cousin or dad, fine! They know all about the process of decluttering I’m going through but not my mother and definitely not her clean freak hubby. (I swear my mother doesn’t lift a finger except for laundry! Niiiiice)

CLEAN UP TIME! and fast!!!

Note to self: Don’t EVER do this to yourself again.

Although I truly did enjoy the time I shared with my mom, which is in fact very rare. (not enjoying her company but actually having her over) I also didn’t stress about the mess on Christmas morning. But I sure did a whole lot of stressing with some stash and dash the night before. Not a good thing!

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Message sent to my Hubby just 5 minutes ago…

Earlier today he told me a receipt he needed was throughout the pile we put on the microwave… these are important Christmas receipts I want to keep on hand.

I walked in the kitchen a few minutes ago and then sent my hubby the following message:

That couldn’t have been you who made such a mess on top of the microwave because you would know how devastated and upset I would be to see that… so I can only assume that some leprekaun or maybe elves came rading through the papers there… Right?
They say it takes a willing person 21 days to change a habit. If someone were to tell me it takes an unwilling family member 78 days to accept the new habits and start changing, then I think I would have more patience through this transition. I could just start my countdown and stay tight-lipped til then. But I simply don’t see any improvement from anyone and it’s so very devastating.
I simply don’t know what to do to convince these people to make an effort.
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Lightbulb Moment

There is something seriously wrong with my brain…

Every time I go to the gym, I wish I had headphones with me. A few months ago… many many months ago, I bought myself a really good set. I was very proud of this purchase. When I got home, I put them on the counter so I wouldn’t lose them.

This counter:

Can you spot the headphones? Neither can I!

I’ll tell you where they were found last night tho. UNDER it all, way in the back. Good safe place for them! Looking on the bright side, the kids have been unable to steal them from me!

When I threw most of this junk in my Go-Through box, I tossed the headphones in too, stressing over the fact that I am going to have a good safe home for them in order to be able to use them when I go to the gym again. But where oh where can that be?

And you know, that is the big question in this house. Where can I house this?? or that?? If it doesn’t have a home, then it can’t stay in this house.

What I find disturbing is that it didn’t dawn on me until a few minutes ago that those headphones DO HAVE A HOME. They sure do! They should be IN THE GYM bag. You know, with the rest of my gym stuff. So when I do go to the gym, they are right there with me and I don’t have to go hunting for them.

What a concept!

Why didn’t I think of that last night?

Or better yet, when I first bought them?


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This morning, when the boys arrived, they removed their jackets and….



I didn’t ask them to, I didn’t even hint. I thought for sure they would just place them on the hooks I have available but nope. In the closet.

I was impressed.

So this just goes to show that I don’t have to be a nagging monster, I just have to provide the right environment. It’s up to me!

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