My three girls headed back to school this week. I don’t know about you, but for me, the school holidays flew by far too quickly. I’ve rather enjoyed the lazy days and lack of routine.
What I’m not enjoying is the state of the house and the amount of clutter we seem to have accumulated in such a short amount of time. I’m close to calling a war on clutter and arming myself with a blower vac or worse.
I must confess, I’m fairly obsessive when it comes to housework and the state of the house. I like things to be organised and in their place but over the years I’ve come to realise my standards and tendencies in this regard often put unnecessary stress on myself not to mention my little family.
Having lived with my mother and OCD former step father for a short period of time, many years ago now, where it was very much like walking on egg shells trying to accommodate all the day-to-day rules and regulations has me mindful. I’m also determined to lower my standards and expectations, so as not to create a similar stressful environment for our girls.
My OCD tendencies aren’t as fine tuned as my former step father and I do believe living with him, albeit briefly, sent mine into complete overdrive. These days, I tend to keep mine on a tight and workable lease but they do tend to spin out of control when I’m particularly stressed.
At best, you could call it an unhealthy coping mechanism. At worst, I’ve been known to place my cleaning products in alphabetical order.
The state of my house at the moment, which is probably not bad by normal standards, especially considering we have three teens who have been home on holidays since Christmas, could indicate that I’m making real progress.
My titanic office makeover now with clutter.
Girls games room and study now featuring clutter overload.
The truth is, the state of house, particularly the amount of clutter in almost every room, is driving me around the bend and with the girls back at school this week, I’m struggling not to order a rubbish skip and turn the entire house upside down.
Moving often helps. It’s the perfect way to disguise my turning the house upside approach to decluttering and keeping things organised. The move to Perth, five years ago now, was my 22nd. I’ve become a bit of a moving house expert over the years and the amount of notice I’m given for each move impacts heavily on just how much I’m able to declutter each time.
Keeping things super organised, so we are able to move at short notice means I’ve been able to have the house packed and ready to go within 4 days. It’s not a great way to live, especially when you have children but something we’ve needed to do with Mr C’s contract work.
Now that Mr C’s job is finally permanent and we no longer need to constantly relocate, I tend to move furniture or revamp a room every few months. I believe even this is starting to wear thin with my family and there are only so many times you can rearrange a room.
I’ve taken a step back when it comes to the girls and their rooms and tend to focus my OCD energy on our formal lounge and dining room. Although even this room isn’t immune to the clutter factor during school holidays.
Being an organised neat freak does have its merits, especially when it comes to getting five people out the door on time each morning. Since relaxing my approach to the girls and their rooms, I’ve noticed we’ve wasted a fair amount of time, searching for misplaced clothing, shoes and even the odd mobile phone. It drives me bonkers.
This year, our three girls are now all in high school. We’ve gone from three different schools to two, with our youngest in year 8 and eldest commencing year 11.
It means we have five people getting ready to leave at the same time each morning. Having 1 1/2 bathrooms between five certainly makes things interesting. Especially given we have only the one morning person and most like to leave getting ready to the very last-minute.
The 1/2 bathroom is nothing more than a toilet which doesn’t exactly help but it does adjoin our over sized laundry which gave me an idea for a mini project.
Following a trip to Ikea over the weekend, where I sourced mirrors for the wall and a few storage containers, I’ve now set up a hair and makeup station. Using an existing cabinet as a bench top, with a drawer for each of the females in the house, I’m hoping this should help get us out the door on time each morning.
No before photo because this was just an empty space that was used to store our clothes airer. It’s only day one and first day nerves are probably at play here, but we managed to be ready almost 30 minutes ahead of schedule. I’m calling that a WIN.
Next on my long to do list for getting the house back in order, is my back to being chaotic wardrobe. It’s another area that really needs to be turned completely upside down. It’s also one of the very few areas that I have trouble decluttering. I seem to want to hold on to the most ridiculous things.
Even my wardrobe is looking less than ideal and rather chaotic.
In an effort to get my wardrobe sorted once and for all, so my mornings are even more organised and I’m no longer filled with that I have nothing to wear dread when staring at a full to overflowing wardrobe, I’m resuming my ‘should it stay or should it go now‘ challenge. Starting with these converse shoes which I’m not convinced are my style.
Do tell… Should they stay or should they go now?!
More on my wardrobe makeover coming to the blog soon. Right now though, I need to go order that rubbish skip and roll my OCD sleeves up. I’m also finally getting around to listing our NSW property for sale, so we can hopefully build over here, which will give me a blank canvas to distract me with hopefully the kitchen and walk in wardrobe of my dreams.
Do you have an area in your house that is driving you mad?
Do you have a system or organised area that helps you with back to school and getting the family out the door in the morning?
What’s the bathroom to people ratio in your house?