Back to School – Organised Chaos {Mystery Case Confession}

Back to School - Organised Chaos - Mystery Case Confession

Back to School - Organised Chaos - Mystery Case Confession

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.


teen bedroom makeover | Clutter | Mystery CaseTeen bedroom makeover now featuring clutter.

Agent Mystery Case Office | Makeover

My titanic office makeover now with clutter.

Games Room Chaos | Back to School | Agent Mystery Case | Organised Chaos

 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.


Agent Mystery Case Formal LoungeCare to guess what’s ticking me off with this room?


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.



back to school organised chaos agent mystery case


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.


Agent Mystery Case | Wardrobe Choas

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.



Should it Stay or Should it go now style challenge

 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?


About Mystery Case 462 Articles
Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.


  1. My entire house is driving me balmy. Especially the living area. I just get the toys under control and they all creep back in again. Mr 5 seems to sneak his toy boxes out here regularly too!

  2. I don’t even want to talk about it. I did get to watch the last hour of the Super Bowl will cleaning the play room, so that was a plus.

  3. room for improvement here raych! you’ll be on top of it in no time at all!
    yes! … build what you want!
    organization is not my strong point! … just thinking some areas are very organized though! and I did do some cleaning foofing and ordering today!
    need to toss some clothes from walk in! I’ve taken over much of sig other’s side!;0
    naughty! lol m:)X

  4. I love the hair and makeup station idea. I actually went through this over the weekend with my office. We are in a 3 bedroom almost 100 year old home and my office also passes as the junk room. We are in the process of having a renovation approved so I can get my own office but in the meantime it was driving me insane having to work amongst the crap every day…not a great work from home environment. So I moved stuff around, threw stuff out, packed stuff away and it has been my most productive day yet. I would get rid of the shoes. Looking forward to your wardrobe post. That’s my next goal, I’m starting all over again and going for the capsule wardrobe.

    • My office also passes as the occasional meals room, and homework station. Would love to have a dedicated room to myself. Hopefully in the new house. I’ve just noticed my daughter is almost my size shoe, so will be passing the shoes down to her I think.

  5. I spent an entire day cleaning up my youngest’s room last week. I need to rest before I tackle the rest of the house!

    • I could probably spend an entire day in my eldest’s room and then need to start over the following day. I didn’t tackle nearly enough, for my liking, today but it’s a huge start. I think I may put in for home duties long service leave.

  6. The hair and make up station was genius. I too tend to get stressed when the clutter builds up, but as we are empty nesters that doesn’t happen too often. It will be interesting to watch your wardrobe challenge. You might check out Project 333 as they have loads of tips for getting wardrobes in shape. thanks for linking with Mummy Mondays # Team MM

  7. My daughter has advised me she wants her 15th birthday party at home in less than 2 weeks! With most of the girls from her year! Eeeek!!! This has sent me into a decluttering & organising frenzy!!! Not to mention food planning!

  8. My wardrobe needs a should it go definitely de clutter.
    My office / misc storage area in my agenda today AND I am way behind. Thanks for the push to get stuck into it.
    I have OCD moments obviously not often enough.

  9. Oh my goodness can you please come over to my house! I have crap everywhere and ye it also is driving me bonkers but here I am sitting on my bum reading blogs. Love the hair and make up station so brilliant for all the girls. I love moving furniture around too it gives a new lease of life to a room. Hope you can find a balance though !

  10. It’s the kitchen bench. It is always the kitchen bench. Thats where all the randoms go, from baskets of clean washing to kitchen appliances that haven’t been put away yet, to all the millions of scraps of paper that a family accumulates, to my husbands currently using most tools. It drives me crazy that I have to tidy it daily and it looks the same again tomorrow. Plus, if I take everything off, it just creates a mess elsewhere.

  11. Yes to all of the above. The best thing we did was turn the old toy room into school central. Here is where their uniforms are housed, homework is done and the laundry sorting baskets are. as for the rest of the house – it looks ok after some strressy sorting from me this week… except for the kids rooms. They just make me cry. An my wardrobe needs a major overhaul, Shoes – ummmm go sorry lol. Good luck hun. xx

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