I'm a slob and need help :(

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Pisces_Fish, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jan 10, 2010

    Ok, here's an admission that hurts to make and is pretty embarrassing, but it's true. I am a slob. I have been my whole life. I'm just naturally a disorganized, sloppy person and I want to CHANGE! My house is rarely clean and my classroom is disorganized. I'm tired of living this way. It's a huge source of stress and shame.

    I got a crazy idea the other day....what about hypnotherapy? I'm so serious! :lol: People go for smoking cessation and weight loss, why not disorganization? :) Thoughts?
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    You CAN change, but it won't be easy. I commend you for making the decision to make yourself and your living environment better!!!! People here tease me a little bit because I'm sooooo weird about the cleanliness of my house. My dirty secret is that I wasn't always like that. Neither were either of my adult sisters. I think the reason I went from one extreme to the other was dealing with my grandmother's house. She was a hoarder, and it was the most disgusting thing ever. We cleaned it just a few years after Hurricane Andrew and you would have never guessed that it hadn't been long since the house was brand new. I was in my early 20's, and it was an epiphany for me. If I kept going the way I was, I would end up like that. I HAD to do something.

    Here's what I did, and what might help you.

    Gather your friends. Make a cleaning date. Scour your house from top to bottom. Purchase whatever you need to make your house and your things organized and functional. Get rid of anything that's just clutter. As you go through things, honestly assess whether you really need it. Some things will have sentimental value, others will be functional, but I'll bet there's a lot of stuff that you're just keeping around "just because". Get rid of that stuff. Once you get things clean and organized, set yourself a daily, weekly and schedule. Daily schedule items should be things like dishes, clear clutter, and other small things. Weekly things should be the bigger tasks, broken up throughout the week. This way, you're not stuck thinking you need to scrub the bathroom and the kitchen and vaccuum the floors all at once. You can scatter those chores throughout the week. Monthy things are things like cleaning ceiling fans and a/c registers. Be a real witch with yourself. No matter how tired you are, if it's Tuesday night, it's time to clean the toilet (or whatever you have scheduled for that night). NO EXCUSES.

    This will be really hard at first. You'll want to skip the daily chore "just once", but that just once can easily turn into all week, then you have a mess again. As time goes on, it will just be second nature to you, but it does take time to create the habit.

    For your work environment, do something similar. Get it clean, and don't let yourself put ANYTHING down somplace where it doesn't belong. You will probably feel like you aren't getting other things done as fast as you'd like (since you're taking that extra minute to file things or put them away), but the payoff will be worth it in the end.

    Hypnotherapy might help, but traditional counseling might help even more. At the very least, make an appointement with a traditional counselor and see what he/she thinks.
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jan 10, 2010

    Here's my problem...I hear about the "everything has a place, and everything in its place" but I don't know HOW to make places for things! This is where I struggle!
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I don't know anything about hypnotherapy, but what do you have to lose, right? My husband is the one who cleans a lot, and I do more like straightening up/laundry (speaking of...). The BIG tackle is getting things initially oranized. Do you know anyone who can help you? You should probably pay them. Maybe ask someone who you know who is oranized. Then, once things are cleaned/organized, it will be easier to maintain. Having said that, you will have ot make it a commitment to maintain everyday, which might be a little challenging in the beginning since you say you have been like this all your life. Don't let things pile up. Have a place for everything and keep it their. If you dedicate a few minutes everyday to making sure things go back in their place, you will be saving yourself a lot of time.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Ok, have a place where you keep your office supplies at home. I have an office room, so it's pretty easy. I have a specific place where the paper and pencils go, etc. For shoes, I have a shoe "bucket". So, if someone takes off their shoes, they need to go to the bucket right away. IN other words, don't put somethin on the counter and leave it there (unless it truly belongs there). Things pile up way too fast. The reason why you don't know how to make places for things right now is probably because everything is so cluttered and unoranized that maybe you don't have places for things. Declutter first. Put like things together and keep it there. In your classroom, your kids should be helping you with this.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    My dad's girlfriend recently recommended hypnotherapy for my blood pressure. She (a counselor and registered to do so after many internships) uses it with her cancer patients. Apparently, it can really work, and I'm going to ask my doctor about it when I go see her next, to see if she can recommend someone licensed to do it. Every little bit helps!
     
  8. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    Jan 10, 2010

    I struggle with this too, Pisces. My entire life has been wait and clean up when company's coming over, kinda thing, which I'm sure you know means staying up ALL freakin' night before people are coming over. Check out www.flylady.net Her website really helped me when I started trying to fix the cluttered mess and now my house, while it's not perfect, it's usually no more than 15 minutes away from company ready, which means it's not a major mess, just a few things out that need to be put away :lol: Good luck!
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 10, 2010

    That's where you need your friends. There's a reason why the first thing I said is "gather your friends". They will be able to help you get things put in places that will be functional. The problem when you're living in the situation, is that it gets overwhelming to you. You look around and go "OMG, where do I even start!" It gets to the point where you just don't start because you cant see the end. If you don't have friends that can help, take one room at a time. Start small if you're doing it by yourself. Begin with the bathroom or the linen closet. Take everything out, get rid of anything you don't need or is broken or out of date, and then put everything back. It doesn't have to be perfect. Put things where you think you might it might work. If it doesn't work, you can change it later. Once you get one room done, move to another room. If the stuff starts piling up in rooms you're not working on, don't worry about it too much. Things almost always get worse before they get better when you embark on a project like this.

    You can do this, I promise. Take it slow and don't expect perfection the first time around. You can always change the organization if something doesn't work for you.

    One last thing. We always tell our students that it's okay to mess up the first few times they try something, that its important to try it and and try it again until they get it right. Why wouldn't you give yourself the same leeway?
     
  10. sumnerfan

    sumnerfan Comrade

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    Jan 10, 2010

    Try flylady. She will tell you what to do to get your life (home and office too) in ship shape. She doesn't recommend you do it all at once but gives you daily challenges that you carry out in 15 minute increments. This helps you build the habits you need to have a clean environment for good.

    Opps, I guess I should have continued reading before I posted:blush:.
     
  11. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jan 10, 2010

    Lists are essential for getting started on your routine and its not a bad idea to reward yourself for a job well done. For every week that you ACTUALLY do everything on your list, get yourself a little prize (new top, a Starbucks treat, margarita, whatever). Its a little motivation that sometimes we need.

    To tame your clutter/mess from the get go, start putting everything in its place. If you don''t know where its place is, put it in a large bin or laundry basket. When you have everything away or in limbo, then you can begin looking at the items with no home and start to make categories (bills, work stuff, etc). Then you might need to invest in storage types of things to keep you organized. They don't have to be expensive either.

    Hypnosis is worth a try too, it can give you the push you need to really get into it.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jan 10, 2010

    LOL yeah, I do that too. I have been trying to stay on top of things so now if company is coming I really only have to tidy up and I can go to bed at a decent hour. I was just thinking about all the cleaning I have to do today and I decided to make a list. For some reason if it's written down I have a better idea of what I have to do rather than going from room to room aimlessly fixing up or cleaning one thing at a time. If I do that then rooms only get partially clean. The first thing on my list is laundry so I better get to it!!!
     
  13. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Its the first thing on my list too!!! I guess if you already started yours, I should get going on mine too.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 10, 2010

    mm has a great point about your friends.

    My husband has a wonderful knack for looking at a group of objects and knowing exactly what we need for storing them. He'll go to Home Depot or Target and come home with a storage container or a book case that will condense a pile of stuff into a neatly organized system. Once a summer he goes through the basement, and it looks totally new when he's done.
     
  15. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    :agreed: Anyone who you know is quite organized would be really helpful. My BFF came in when I switched classrooms (with far less storage space) and helped me get everything just right.
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 10, 2010

    If all else fails, call Clean Sweep (the show) and offer your home for an episode.

    Do what they do. Be ruthless. Things are not people. People are important, stuff isn't. Remember, there is no known human need for silk flowers or candles.

    Go through every room in the house (you may want a separate day for the kitchen) and:

    1. Identify what you don't need. Make three piles: stay, go, unsure. You do not need duplicates of almost anything. Box up the 'go' pile. Needy people will benefit if you donate the whole box.

    2. Tackle the stay pile in each room.
    a. Put all the papers in a box to deal with later.
    b. Put dirty clothes in hampers - or garbage bags for now.
    c. Strip beds and put sheets in washer.
    d. Gather dirty towels and place near washer for next load.
    e. Put all cosmetics and personal care items in bathroom.
    f. Put all incomplete projects (crafts, repairs) in a box.
    g. Put all dishes in the sink in hot sudsy water.
    h. Wipe down sliding glass doors, mirrors, picture frames, door handles and fingerprints.
    i. Re-assess whatever else is lying around to see if you really want to keep.

    2. Start cleaning.
    a. Dust, then vacuum the floor (or mop), in each room. As you dust each item, ask yourself if you want to keep it.
    b. Wipe down all surfaces in bathroom. Brush out toilet. Install the deodorizer/cleanser called 2000 Flushes in the tank.
    c. Spritz clorox/water solution on any mold and let sit.
    d. Put out clean towels.
    e. Refill soap dispensers.

    3. Face the paperwork.
    a. Sort into 3 piles: current bills, filing, trash.
    b. Get rid of the trash.
    c. If you don't have a filing system, get a file box and start one.
    Handwrite general category titles on file folders. Keep a separate file for tax information, one for receipts, one for medical, one for car insurance, any other insurance policies, banking info, one for major household repairs, one for furniture and appliances.
    d. Choose a date for filing and do it monthly in the future.
    e. Keep a file folder with current bills to be paid where you can see it frequently. Check every weekend to remain current.
    f. When you collect your mail each day, immediately shred or tear the junk mail and place it in recyclable bin or garbage.

    And we haven't even started in on the kitchen yet. Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it.

    The key is to stay current and not let the stuff overwhelm you.
     
  17. amochoa

    amochoa Rookie

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    This is truly a great website. I've been "flying" for about two months. It's amazing. Give it a try.

    ---------------------------
    “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jan 10, 2010

    You have been given some great advise. I know most of us have friends who are great at organizing, etc. I bet you have ones too who would be dying to help or hire a professional organizer to get you started. The best thing I ever did for my house was spend a spring break "clean sweeping" - it makes it so much easier to keep up on a daily basis and I do a room or two again every year to maintain. Now if only my husbad would do the garage....lol!

    In terms of my classroom, I am trying to improve my piling tendencies. No more piling on the counters!!!! I set up a good system but allowed myself 1 tub for when things are crazy and 1 only - when it is full I have to file. I switched to binders, don't save as much and would like to go digital with a lot but I'm not there yet.

    Don't be overwhelmed - choose one task/room at a time. Flylady does have wonderful tips I know a lot of people use but don't expect perfections from yourself - just improvement. Maybe make a list of what is bothering you the most and start there.

    You can do it!
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 10, 2010

    That's great that you want to mk a change! I'm an overall neat & organized person (& even more at school than at home). Hypnotherapy could work, although I have no experience w/ that topic.

    Here's another suggestion. Why don't you tear out a picture or 2 in a magazine of how you'd like every room of your house & work area at school to look & replicate it. Even keep the picture hung up so you can see it regularly to remind yourself that you want to keep it looking that neat.

    It's true! When you live & work in neatness & organization, you feel much better internally! :)

    Here's an example of a link on the Target website of storage & organizational items you may want to buy:

    http://www.target.com/Storage-Organ...7_14/189-5115163-3654262?ie=UTF8&node=3665671

     
  20. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jan 10, 2010

    One thing that's helped me is having a cleaning lady. She comes on Tuesdays, so I know I have to have things picked up and put away for her. It was hard in the beginning - we started during the summer, so I was home cleaning alongside her - but now I know that every Tuesday I come home to a nice, clean house. I still have a tendency to leave papers and stuff on the coffee table, which she stacks into nice, neat piles.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    You can always hire a professional organizer to come in and get things organized the first time. That will make it easier for you to put things where they go.

    I love to organize! I would seriously love to be a professional organizer.

    I rarely lose things because they are always where they are supposed to be. (I'm still wondering about the car keys in the fridge here awhile back, though. I'll blame that on stress!) It doesn't take an extra effort to put something in the right place the first time, and cleaning never really takes all that long because nothing gets really, really dirty.
     
  22. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Jan 10, 2010

    I could have written what Ima wrote. I am very organized and I don't leave my house unless things are in place, beds made, dishes washed. It is the same in my classroom. First and foremost the students know that when it is clean-up time they had better clean up. An organized classroom is a well run one. I feel great when I walk in my room in the morning knowing everything is ready to go. I would recommend finding someone to come in and organize your house. My sister has a company that does this. (I would recommend her but she lives in Lancaster, PA) She and her partner spend up to a week (several hours each day) at a person's house and when they are done the owner is in awe. (One time they had to order a dumpster) I would strongly discourage having friends or relatives help. You need someone who is not attached to anything you own.
     
  23. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I disagree. Not everybody is blessed enough to be able to afford a professional. People who are good at organizing tend to be less emotionally attatched to stuff, either their own or other people's. Friends can also soften the blow when it comes to getting rid of stuff. Now, if the problem goes beyond disorganized, and into the realms of hoarding, then yes, professionals should be called in. Before that; however, friends can do a remarkably good job.

    Of course, all of this is colored by my own experiences. I'm the friend that gets called for major clean up projects. I can get suprisingly mean when it comes to dumping stuff. When it comes to my own stuff, I cull things out regularly (as can be attested to by the pile of stuff currently sitting on my curb).
     
  24. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    mmswm - The reason I felt that friends and relatives would not be good is because of items they may have given or in some cases lent the person and they haven't gotten them back. I think the disorganized person feels bad enough for "their major clutter" but would feel even worse if people found their gifts or personal items thrown in piles.
     
  25. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I didn't read the other posts so I don't know what they said. But I have spent most of my life being a slob. Do you know what fixed it?

    I started having weekly parties at my place. At the time I would get my friends together and host an America's Next Top Model party. We all would drink wine, eat, watch the show and just have fun. Of course, that got tiring pretty soon (I think we did it for 3 or 4 seasons.) It MADE me clean my house (at least the visible parts) every week. It was a great motivator for me but that hasn't happened for a couple years.

    Now I usually clean my house weekly because my SO comes over. I invite friends over for dinner quite a lot. (I did today. In fact, one couple canceled on me because their baby is sick, so I invited another couple over. I knew if I didn't my place would be a disaster, as I hadn't cleaned it in a week and it would probably be another week until someone came over again!) It keeps me accountable. Everyone things I am very neat! I also always offer my place for whenever people need a gathering place. My writer's group meets here every two weeks, on weekends if friends want to go out, I always suggest we meet at my place, etc.

    As for my classroom, the kids do most of the cleaning and it's quite organized. My desk turns into a PIT and I posted a big note above my desk that says "CLEAN WEEKLY" the kids will notice it and remind me. I have started a classroom cleaning time every couple of weeks. The kids clean their cubbies (we don't have desks) and I clean my desk off. My neat, tidy, brown nosy type students (I mean that in an endearing way) LOVE to help me clean my desk.

    I am not internally motivated to clean, so I do it for external reasons. It works and I am a much neater, cleaner person because of it.
     
  26. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 11, 2010

    Something that helps me are the clear plastic shoeboxes. EVERYTHING has a box. My closets are basically just labeled shoeboxes. When I find something laying around, I know exactly which box it should go back into. When I move, all I have to do is put the shoeboxes in large moving boxes and then take them back out again. I was amazed at how fast it was to pack last time...

    Aside from that, moving to a slightly larger place has done wonders for us. I know that's not always possible, but even our current place isn't huge-1k square feet? But there is room for everything, or we got rid of it. I'm hoping to take some pictures of our new place this week after I paint the bedrooms, so I'll post pictures of our organization here when I do.
     
  27. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Jan 11, 2010

    I got a Roomba for my birthday this year (google it). It has really motivated me to stay clean because in order for it to work, I have to keep my floors clear of clutter. Since my floors look so great all the time now, it makes me want to eliminate clutter off my counters/coffee table/desk and keep everything dusted.

    However, my closet is overflowing and I really need to do something about it soon. I don't know why, because I just donated half of my clothes to Goodwill in September.

    I do need to figure out some kind of filing system for bills and other important papers.

    My bathroom and kitchen are always clean because its just gross to let those area be dirty, I think. :p
     
  28. teachingart

    teachingart Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2010

    I think what may help you achieve this goal is taking "baby steps". Start with your classroom. Get it organized and work in jeeping it this way for a whole semester. After some time, returning to the disorganization of your home will really begin to bother you. Then organize your home next. and try to keep it this way. I know it will be tiring at first, but this will soon go away, and you will create new "clean" habits. Good luck!
     

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