So a little over a week a ago. I told you in <PART ONE> that I planned to make some big changes in my life. I wanted to update you as to what I have been doing to start creating the positive changes I want in my life.
It’s been about both the big and small changes. Firstly I got the husband involved, so he and his credit card took a trip to IKEA. We had to be sensible so only bought the things we really needed. Which when visiting IKEA is a hard task, hence why he went alone, armed with a list.
Below is the layout of our living room, before the trip to IKEA.
As you can see we had 2 settees and A LOT of toys. We only have the one room down stairs, so we were using the sofa to partition off the front section, which had more storage and a desk. Our main purchase from IKEA were two POÄNG chairs.
We decided to go for the black/brown frame with the Finnsta Grey covers. We are trying to give the room some kind of identity and have decided on Black/White/Grey which we feel works well with having children. The Black and Grey cover a multitude of sins and the white makes the room feel fresher and more spacious.
Below is a picture of the new layout. As you can see there are a few other changes we have made too. We wall mounted our PC, which meant we could get rid of the computer desk and we moved the Mac over to the Television unit to create a media centre. This has resulted in us feeling less segregated as a family even if we are doing different things in the same room. We also purchased a rug, a mid sized and a smaller coffee table. All of these provide multiple uses. They can be pulled out when needed or tucked away when not in use.
The children’s toys are stored in small plastic boxes and sorted into categories such as
> Building blocks
We moved the yellow storage unit upstairs into the boys room, the small table (which has a chair and turns into a highchair) to the other end of the room. The Melissa and Doug play kitchen has also been kept down stairs but has a new home at the other end of the living room.
*** WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF CLUTTER, UNTIDINESS AND CHAOS ***
I realise that the above photos lead you into a false sense of security thinking my house is actually quite tidy… Now let’s see the real before photos. The photos that show why I felt this was too much and I couldn’t cope any more. The reason I felt totally and utterly overwhelmed. Please don’t judge, I am doing my best to change this.
These pictures disgust me and it is my house, so God forbid how it makes you feel. I will say this was a particularly bad day, but I am not making excuses. There are a few reasons our house has got into such a state.
> Too much stuff
> Feeling overwhelmed
> No order, structure or routine
It has to, had to stop! As you can imagine this was affecting my whole family. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Telling myself I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t deserve a family. I couldn’t understand why everyone else could have nice tidy homes and ours looked like a pile of poop. I have now realised that it was a combination of things which all impacted on each other.
I was lazy, that’s a hard thing to admit. In my head I would battle that statement (as would many people I know). I would tell myself I have three children, 1 who has autism spectrum disorder, I walk 20 miles a week doing the school run, I am breastfeeding and was co sleeping. I was exhausted all the time also because I suffer with my iron levels and am almost always anaemic. I would tell myself I am constantly cleaning and tidying. However I constantly felt overwhelmed. I had no idea where to start and often felt as if I was firefighting and never managed to actually put the fire out so we could start a fresh. The feeling of being overwhelmed would consume me and often I would find any excuse to avoid actually tidying, cleaning, sorting or decluttering. Often leaving the house for the whole day. For some reason I get an image of an Ostrich in my head when I think of this.
When I did tidy I never had any clue where to start and often did it all wrong, I also have this uncanny ability to make things 100 times worse before they get better. It drives my hubby insane. There were also a lot of half started jobs, which were left half way through creating more mess and chaos. This combined with the fact that I never delegated any jobs to anyone else in the house meant I had got myself to a point where I couldn’t do this any more. They say you have to hit rock bottom to start rising again and I had hit it hard.
Changes are being made now. Simple changes, but they are having a profound affect on our home, our family and myself. The changes I am going to talk about are things that normal people do instinctively, but remember I have spent the past 10 years feeling overwhelmed and being lazy.
I have decluttered (although I still need to do more, especially the black unit). I got rid of 4, yes FOUR bin bags of stuff. *shocked face* and I don’t miss any of it. I have been tidying the toys up every evening (when you don’t get downstairs till 10pm some nights, tidying toys is the last thing you want to do!) which means I don’t come down to a mess every morning (although the kids create a new mess within 0.6 seconds of being downstairs). I have been cleaning up all messes created by food instantly. I have my antibacterial spray and a specific cloth at the ready. I clean the main surfaces a few times a day. I sweep and vacuum everyday and mop every other day. I have also made a cleaning schedule which is in my HOUSEHOLD file which I will talk about in a separate post.
It may not appear that I have done that much and the things I have started to do daily (and that’s the key) are just common sense. I feel like a veil has been lifted and I am feeling much more positive and I know that with the right changes I can do this. One of the biggest differences I have noticed is in my boys. They are playing more and are asking to do things, Zachary has found a real love for drawing which is lovely. Now we have a dinner table he loves to sit there and get his pens and pencils out and draw and our youngest Darwin is also starting to show an interest too.
If you have made it this far. Well done!
Thanks for reading