Need advice on how to manage my chaos at home..considering a professional organizer

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

I am at my wits end and so is my husband. We have many arguments about how chaotic and non-organized our home is and how hard it is to get started. We have always struggled with organization.
I don't know what to do. I feel like I need some direction. I want an organized home that is clean and simple and is easy to keep it that way. It stresses us both so much and on top of that we have a seventeen month old son that has special needs so he takes a lot of our time. I hear that professional organizers are very expensive and we don't have a lot of money to pay for them.
At the moment I am ill and have strict doctors orders to rest. My husband has been extra grouchy because the home isn't impeccable and things are not getting done around the home that I usually get done, but lately haven't been because I am sick. I have been sick for a month and husband is frustrated because he gets stressed out and is complaining that he is tired of me being ill. (I have an enlarged spleen and glands and found out I have mono) By the way, husband has no sympathy for sick people and usually gets upset when he hears about it. His mother has been sick all of his life and he is tired of hearing about sickness. So this isn't something I can change about him.
He is upset because the unorganized home is stressful and now he is having to take care of our son in the evening. He complains about it every night. I feel like I need to nix the doctors orders and just do the things that need to be done just to keep from arguing with him. It is so exhausting to argue with him.
I don't know what to do and need some advice how to manage this situation.


Anna - posted on 04/30/2013




Well I really do think you should try to rest. Having an enlarged spleen is life threatening, not just some 'cold'. If you do too much you could die! Does he realize that? I had mono by the way and I was terribly ill for months. I lost 65 lbs and could have died, so I really really feel for you. Maybe you should have your doctor explain your illness to your husband.

Anyways, I learned how to get things done the 'tired' way. I always start with the smallest (or easiest) room in the house so I can feel accomplished. This is my bathroom but for you it may be a laundry closet or a bedroom or something. SIT down while you 'clean' whenever possible. Sit on the floor, on a chair, on a bed or on a stool. Get a trash bag and throw away an visible trash, get a basket to put things that don't belong in that room in. Gather stuff up that doesn't go in that room and just throw it in the basket to put away later. Quickly put other things in their place. And remember you don't have to deep clean the room. If it's the bathroom just quickly scrub the yuckiest places in the tub, use a paper towel and some spray cleaner to wipe the toilet down and sweep the floor if necessary. Quickly wipe down the sink and mirror, replace the hand towel, soap and toilet paper and call it a day!

Just start basic. Even if all you do that day is just one room remind yourself that if you do one room per day you'll be done in a week. And while your house may not be sparkling it will at least be manageable. I always feel better once a take out the trash, put one load of laundry in, put in the dishes and open the windows for fresh air.

Just remember not to over do it! You HAVE to rest in order to get better. Mono will go away soon, but the effects can linger for months.


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Barbara - posted on 05/07/2013




What is YOUR biggest complaint about the disorganization in your home? Don't worry about hubby for a while, just think about what YOU would like to see removed, improved or dealt with. If the mail piles up, take 15 minutes after hubby goes to work, get a grocery bag and start dumping the advertisements that come in the mail. Work slowly and calmly for just 15 minutes. Take the bag of 'junk mail' and put it in the trash. You are done for today. Tomorrow, take another pile of mail and do the same thing each day until the mail stack is gone. Then every day make sure you sort through the mail when it comes and follow the same practice. You can have a shoe box or magazine box and stick the bills to be paid in there as you sort. Without more specifics, it's hard to recommend any course of action, but this is a simple and repeatable activity that doesn't take too long, isn't tiring as you can do it on the couch or a living room chair. With a toddler in the home, things naturally get messy, but there are quick and simple ways to tame the clutter that aren't too tiring. If you have mono, be sure to follow the doctors instructions or you will prolong the recovery time.

Sandi - posted on 05/06/2013




One of my suggestions would be to try to keep things you save at a minimum (for now at least). We moved from a house to an apartment for a year, with 2 kids, and I hadn't realized how much I had collected in the house over a 10 year period. The less you have, the less you will have to clean up, pick up, move, etc. I've bought bins and folders for papers - that is my downfall. Kids don't need a lot of toys. At that age, they often like the boxes better than the toys. Get rid of the 0-12 mo. stuff. Only keep 5-10 shirts, pants, etc. Pretend you are going to a smaller place and have limited room.

And by all means, have your husband go to the doctor with you - to hear from someone other than you. Doctors are usually good at telling you what might go wrong if you don't do the treatment.

You might want to find support groups, if you don't have family that can help out (sorry to hear about his mom). Try a Mom's club - sometimes they help one another with making dinner for ill members, or they will trade watching each other's kids, or at least a playgroup. Also, see if there is a support group for the disease, or at your local hospital. Any relief is helpful, and it is just nice to have others to complain too (esp. since it sounds like your husband doesn't offer sympathy). Have one activity that you enjoy yourself, that makes you feel good (are you able to do stretching or yoga? ask your doctor or nurse line.)

Also, try to offer your husband of sympathy and support (model it for him). 'You work so hard and it is so great that you really are bonding so nicely with Son'. Your husband should also have some activity he gets to do just for himself, once or twice a week.

[deleted account]

Thank you ladies. Our biggest issue is having a designated place to put things, not really the trash thing. We clean up after eachother easily so there isn't any trash around. The home is clean, just not organized. The biggest issue is our bedroom and my son's room. I will take your advice and sit while going through things because I definitely don't feel well enough to stand for long periods of time. I am just plain exhausted and in pain from the swollen glands and spleen. I just don't want to feel overwhelmed and a little bit of organization will go a long way. Another lady told me that I should look at it like zones. I think that will help me too. Thank you for your advice. :)

Kristen - posted on 04/30/2013




After you put your son to bed, take an hour or so and do one room at a time. Tell your husband that this needs to be a joint effort and have him pitch in. Do a little at a time and you will start to see a big difference.

Also, try to put things back after you are done using them and make sure everything has a designated place. This is really simple but is a huge help at the end of the day. If you take 2 extra minutes and clean up after yourself, you won't find that you have 50 things to clean up once you put your little one down for a nap or for the evening and you can rest when he does.

I hope this helps and I hope that you get to feeling better!

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