Please help me with a situation

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DammitJanet, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok...I know what my gut instinct here is but who knows if it is accurate.

    First let me start off with saying that my house is a complete and utter pig sty. I dont know how it got into this state but it did. Well, yes I probably do know how. No one picks up after themselves. No one. Me included. Its been bad for many years. It has gotten much worse as my illnesses have progressed because I have become less and less able to dive in and clean up after everyone. Now its just way over my head. As kids have left, their rooms have become dumping grounds. Laundry backs up and never gets folded and put away. I half-way get my room clean sometimes but it is really hard on me. My bathroom is horrible. I wont even go in the other bathroom because it is Billy's. My kitchen is a mess.

    You get the picture.

    Now about 2 or 3 months ago I sat down and told the three of us who live, Tony and Billy...that something had to happen, it couldnt go on this way. I fully understand that Tony cant help out much because he works pretty much 5 days a week out of town and is only here on weekends. So the most I can ask of him is that he help out with the cooking on the weekends and that he do his own laundry and that he removes the trash can down to the dump. No problem on his part. I requested that Billy take over the complete cleaning of the kitchen and cleaning of his bathroom. I really dont care how he keeps his room, I dont have to go in there but it would be nice if it didnt stink.

    On my end I would start trying to begin in one corner of the house and start de-trashing the place. I would only be able to do a little bit at a time because my energy is really limited and I also have to take Billy to work whenever he works. I also have doctor appointments to keep. Now maybe I do do less than I am really capable of doing, I am not sure but I know that I physically hurt when I do too much. Finding that happy medium is hard.

    Problem is Billy has absolutely flat refused to keep the kitchen clean. In all this time it has only been really clean once and that was when Tony did it and announced to all that it should stay in THIS condition. It didnt. Not for one day. I have been on strike this whole time refusing to touch it. I wont wash a dish unless I really have to in order to eat off it. I rarely even eat at home anymore, choosing instead to grab fast food out or eat a sandwhich or a bowl of cereal. Maybe a hotdog I can microwave on a paper towel. So really....Im not cooking! He just refuses to clean.

    Today I have given in and I am cleaning my kitchen because I just cant stand it anymore. It smells. There are bugs. My floor hasnt been washed in I cant tell you how long. I havent seen my counter in weeks.

    Im ready to just say...fine, if you wont do the kitchen, then you have to take on cleaning the rest of the house. But I have major doubts that he will do that either. It will take him away from his beloved computer which is where he spends his time when not working. I think this is passive aggressive behavior. I dont think it is aspie behavior though maybe Im wrong. But even if it is aspie has to change. Something has to change. I cant do this anymore. It is really irritating me.

    What do I do?
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Would it be feasible for Billy to kick in for a cleaning person, say, every other week at least?

    Perhaps you could hire a local person to come in? Outside of actual cleaning companies, some people do it on the side and it can be affordable.

    Sorry, my brain is fried today - can't think of anything else.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A cleaning person is my best idea, too. Ask around, you may be surprised at how inexpensive some of them are. Stay away from the commercial services, they are pricey and honestly I don't think they do as good of a job.

    Another idea is to take ALL the dishes and utensils out of your kitchen, box them up temporarily, and go to paper plates/utensils. One less thing to worry about for the time being.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Paper and plastic, while not exactly ecologically sound, is the greatest idea to eliminate at least some of the clean-up. When I'm not feeling well, I switch to paper and plastic and no one even bats and eye.

    You do the best you can under difficult circumstances, that's all. I love the idea of finding a local person to come help pick up and throw out and clean. Once that initial job is over, from there it's just upkeep. Right now it's overwhelming, I understand. Check the local papers, or put an ad in yourself.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet all I can tell you is what works with Travis.

    I actually don't ask much from the boy. Take trash to the curb. Pick up after himself. Clean his room.

    At present Travis is working on cleaning the stye he has for a room. This is gonna take awhile. I don't mind that as long as he's working on it.

    The boy doesn't get to eat (at all) if I don't see evidence of cleaning done that day. So far it's working. If it didn't I was taking his computers away next and locking them up.

    My house can turn into a filthy stye in record speed, especially during school. But at least Nichole will pitch in periodically, and I can twist husband's arm occasionally to help me get it clean again. Currently it's not so bad. But then I'm just getting to spring cleaning......and that tends to make it worse before it gets better.

    To get Travis to move......I get him where it hurts the most. He gets mad and stomps around.....but grudgingly does it.

    The other day I walked in on him doing dishes. I asked him why.....he said so I'd cook a meal. :rofl:

    If Billy is living there he should help. Period.

    When my house is that bad I start in a corner of a room and work my way out. God help someone if they've messed up what I've done as I'm working.

    I'm looking forward to Nichole's move as 80 percent of the mess with move with her. :D

  6. Star*

    Star* call 911


    If I had a profession in another life I think it could have been professional organizer.

    When you are looking at a project that is as large as a whole house - you need to start with one thing.....ONE thing and limit the amt. of time you put towards it each day. You need to set a goal - and stick to it. You have appointments - fine - could you do ONE hour a day? JUST ONE - no more than one.

    Start with one of the spare bedrooms - I vote for TOTALLY taking everything out - and dumping anything that is not trash /garbage/broken into one of the other bedrooms. Take a little each day - only 1 hour.

    When the room is THOROUGHLY cleaned out - and I mean not even a wastebasket - Start with the blinds - are they in need of cleaning?
    Have billy take them down - and decide if you want to throw them away and buy new at the DOllar GEneral - OR do you want to clean them by laying them out over a piece of fence and hosing them off and scrubbing.
    Let dry - that would be day 1
    Day 2? Wash the walls - are they panelling or wallpapered? If panel? Get murphy oil soap, make a bucket of warm suds and wash 2 walls, baseboards.
    Day 3? Other 2 walls and closet.
    Day 4 - Vacuum & scrub carpets and rehang blinds.
    Day 5 - Start going through the stuff that you took out and dumped in the other room. Make piles or set up trash bags......then have a 1 hour a day sorting party.....BUT DO NOT allow temptation to let you set ONE single thing in the clean /done room. It's done - leave it like that and CLOSE the door....

    Your sorting should go like this - and you can get boxes from the dollar general too -

    Pile 1 - STuff I don't have time to go through and shred now - bills, cards, artwork from grands, mail. This is the box you'll go through at night sitting watching Jeopardy box - a little at a time - and shred or toss the rest.

    pile 2 - STuff I KNOW I can live without that I haven't touched in over a year and has a current value over $75.00. - This is the Goodwill pile.

    pile 3 - Stuff that belongs to Cory, Jamie that needs to be out of the house...(actually you could do 2 bags here and when they come give them their stuff -or call them and say I have X, X & X and you need to come get it or it's going in pile #2.

    The stuff that is left? Goes NEATLY back into the clean room. But do NOT set up the room yet - BECAUSE.......when you start room #2 - you will need a place to put the furniture until you clean the blinds and the carpet. THEN when room #2 has walls washed etc- you can take all the stuff out of room #1 - and set up room #2 - When you start room #3 - all the stuff gets storted like before - the furniture goes in room #1 - as before and then when blinds, carpet are done - stuff comes out of room #1 into room #3 - then you set up room #1 - and BY NOW - you should have
    3 clean rooms void of clutter and other kids carp -
    3 clean places to go when the rest of the house is killing you to look at it
    3 clean rooms that give you a sense of accomplishment
    3 clean rooms that BILLIE is NOT allowed into.

    I think your biggest problem isn't that you have no energy - I think it's that you are looking at the ENTIRE picture - and not a room at a time - and don't know where to start.

    Getting rid of junk and hauling it off or putting it on craigslist as an entire lot - or have a yard sale - again use craigslist to advertise.....and GIVE the stuff away - whatever you think you want for it? Mark it half of that.
    Or put it on the FREE section - and recycle it.

    Happy cleaning -
    ps - don't forget ceiling fans if you have them - dust those and clean the globes BEFORE you vacuum and do the walls.


    Then start the process all over again when room #2's junk is sorted....except with room #2 - you will have LOADS less junk and only need to
  7. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    The one thing I look forward to once I have an empty nest is having a clean house.

    husband does clean, but he's gone most of the time.

    My difficult children? Fogitaboutit!! They just don't seem to care if they live in filth. When I do get Daughter to clean her room, it's a horrible mess in less than twenty-four hours.

    I used to have someone clean a few years ago every two weeks. I wish I could afford it now. I am a clutterer. Really bad clutterer.

    So, I really think that if you can swing it (and Billy should pay HALF) have someone come in and clean the kitchen and baths once or twice a week. Hire someone private and I think the $$ will be worth the stress relief.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Star....can you come help me? Really.

    I have a four bedroom house with an office off the master bedroom.

    Im trying to figure out how to do what you are saying.

    Lets call my bedrooms Master, room A, Room B, Room C and Office. We live in Master and Room A. Room B has junk-old projects, clothing, some trash, broken stuff in it. Room C used to be Billys room and is ankle to knee deep in trash and boxes and old books. Office has an old computer and computer desk and some trash and boxes on the floor from christmas and cleaning my room.

    There is also Kitchen, combo Living room/ Dining room (that is L shaped), Family room and two bathrooms and a laundry room.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I understand how stressful it is to have everything messed up and I totally agree with the suggestions others have given.


    I imagine there are a few other factors, however, that may make it difficult to hire help or do it "the right way" that will take a long time and perhaps be discouraging. is my suggestion. I think you should save up the money to get a temporary storage unit. Then get temporary help for lifting and loading (in fact your husband and son might be willing to give you a day). Put yourself in a big comfortable chair and point at things and say "take that" "take that". If you end up with a house that has beds, dressers, computers, tvs and basic furniture will be able to see the walls and floors and windows etc. ;) Do use disposables in the kitchen. THEN you can hire someone to come in and clean and you won't be embarrassed or worried about what they might find. (Yes, Billy should kick in $'s.)

    Slowly you will realize that you really need or miss or want certain things from the warehouse and you can get them. I'm betting that 95% of the stuff you won't miss a whit. That's my 2 cents, lol. DDD
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh DDD...what a good idea!
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    husband's mother is a certifiable hoarder, in the literal sense of the word, so I know how bad it can get. She has been removed from her home and institutionalized on more than one occasion, but only because it's not safe for the animals she hoards. People can live in whatever manner they choose, so long as it isn't a health hazard that escapes the property lines. (No rats, cockroach infestations, etc.)

    The last time this happened, she had called the police about a trivial matter (long story), then regretted it and told them they couldn't come in and she wouldn't go out. Um... the police don't leave just because you tell them "never mind". husband's brother worked as a nuisance building inspector for the city at that time, so they gave him the courtesy of not arresting her for animal cruelty if she would stablize in an institution and clean out the house.

    A dumpster was hired and time was taken off work and the house was ruthlessly emptied. I admire what Star is saying, but if your house is full of useless broken junk, you need to be ruthless and throw it out. If you haven't used it for a year, and you wouldn't buy it today, throw it out. You could be the supervisor, and Billy could be the crew. Give everyone a "If it's not gone by..." date, then get the dumpster and throw it all away. You're not using it and you won't miss it. What you do miss is your house and being able to use it.

    As for Billy, I know he has his problems, but if he can't or won't contribute to the house, he should be given an eviction notice. And it should be substantially more than doing the kitchen.

    Remember what Ann Landers used to say. "No one can take advantage of you without your permission."
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Get grocery bags and colored markers. Let's say, for the sake of argument, get two grocery bags per each person that lives in your home. Assign a color marker for each person...this is for quick identification. Let's say you are orange, your husband is dark blue, one son is red and another is purple. Put their names on each bag. You'll get two bags marked with your name in orange "JANET," and everyone else would get the same...with their own name in their own color. Go through the house and place things that are in the wrong rooms belonging to the appropriate person and place in the appropriate bag. Then hand the bag to the person and ask them to put the items in the right places (or throw them out) by a certain day and time. For example, if your son has a piece of clothing in the living room, it would go in his bag. Then, he would be responsible for hanging it up in his room. If others don't put things in the bag themselves (they don't want to play), you put the stuff in the bags for them. For example, just put the filled bag in his least it (shirt, junk, etc.) wont be in the living room any longer and will be closer to where it needs to be.

    Then, tackle one room per day...hopefully with a partner. So, let's just say that you want to clean your bedroom. Ask your husband if he will do this with you.

    Put on rock and roll music. Have plenty of CD's available. Put the timer on. Do it in 45 minute increments. See how much work you can get done in 45 minutes. Then take a break for 15 minutes. Have a cup of coffee. Then do it again. could do one hour in the morning and one hour after lunch and one hour again from 4-5. Make a GAME out of it! Divide the room in half. Have your husband in charge of one half and you in charge of another. Perhaps agree to work on a few things together. Chances are you can get each room done if you work together in 2-3 hours.

    In a day or two, tackle another room with your supplies, music, timer and partner.

    If you take it in increments...put on music...use the timer..make a game out of it...the time goes by quickly. It's even BETTER if you have a partner...but not totally necessary. Wishing you well. You can do this...and you will feel soooo much better.
    Lasted edited by : Jun 19, 2009
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Janet, looking at your home as a whole would be way too much so the only way to do this, as others have also suggested, is to break it down into manageable pieces.

    I don't use the timer but Nomad described pretty much how I do spring/fall cleaning every year.

    I take one room per day. I have large black lawn bags available. I'm too lazy to have garage sales so I have one for trash, one for donation.

    I TURN UP MY FAVORITE MUSIC VERY LOUD (that's critical for motivating me)... :D

    ...and I hunker down and do it.

    If one room per day is too much, then give yourself 3 days per room.

    I think expecting others to help you at this point is (unfortunately) wishful thinking. Once done, I think expecting Billy to keep his own space and those he shares clean is completely reasonable. I guess I'm with Witz in that if he won't do the minimum of what you expect/need then it's time to offer him the opportunity to live elsewhere....kind of a "scared straight" approach.

  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Suz, I do the music bit too. Without it I can't get moving. :D

    husband is a packrat. Travis is a packrat. Nichole is a packrat.

    You get the idea. If I have to pick up something too many gets tossed out in the trash. I don't care what it is. Nichole is spending a fortune on makeup cuz Mom keeps throwing it away when I clean. LOL Travis has the same issue with backpacks. With husband it's his darn hats. ugh

    Like I said. I start in a corner armed with music and a yard bag (yes I do that too lol) and work my way out. I haven't started spring cleaning the kitchen yet. I anticipate it's at least a 3 day job. My kitchen is enormous.....and a cluttered disaster area.

    Oh, and brooms come in handy when bending and stooping break your back. :) I rake everything over to me with a broom, sweep it up with the dustpan, sort and toss. LOL

  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...I bought paper plates and plastic ware. I forgot trash bags so I have to get them in the morning. I think I am going to go with the boxing up the real plates and silverware for the time being. Still have to use pots and pans occasionally.

    Then I will work on one of the empty or rather unused bedrooms so I can fix it up as Keyana's room. That way I can get all her toys put away out of the living areas of the house...that will get rid some of the mess and clutter.

    This is not going to be at all easy because I have to do it alone. Tony is out of town all week and getting Billy to help is like pulling teeth.
  16. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Work in 15 minute increments. Then go and rest. Take your time. It took a long time to get that way. I too am a tosser---not as good as I used to be. My husband is also a packrat---he saves empty boxes!!!! I am trying to fix up Tripp's old room for my new "child" and well, what is cluttering the room---empty boxes!!! Shoe boxes----at least 20 of them. I worked all this week and then dealt with the death of a friend today---so next week---I'm getting in there and clearing out. I've already talked to a guy about replacing the door and patching the holes. Then I've got some painting to do. In the fall I'm clearing out the shed----I think I will post on freecycle and say come and get it.
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    music does help and i like star's breakdown!! good luck with the cleaning!!!!

    Star, can I print that up?? LOL.......

    it'll come together, it just takes time. yet once you do it you will probably like the new found organization of it and putting your things where you want them sorta stuff :)
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I am gonna divide the rooms up into 15 to 20 minute segments. I am gonna go make a calendar and email it to myself for each
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I do it in types of mess. Paper. Then cloth. Then food. Then surfaces. Then floors. Whatever works for you. But like everyone, the stereo is blasting. Rolling Stones works particularly well.
  20. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Yep, nothing like mopping floors to "I can't get no satisfaction....though I try, and I try, and I try, I can't get no.....satisfaction"