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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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BECCALICIOUS! Offline
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How do I convince my parents... - March 26th 2009, 10:55 PM

... that we are in desperate need of a professional organizer?

Admittedly, I am probably the most organized person in the house. The clothes in my closet are hung according to color; CDs are catalogued in alphabetical order; books organized by series; in short, everything has its own place. I AM human - I do have my days where papers and miscellaneous items are strewn all over my desk and piles of clothing cover my floor, but I try to keep organized and neat as much as I possibly can.

However, my parents (namely my mother) are the total opposite. Now, don't get me wrong... it's okay to be a little disorganized. I have my own little spots where I let clutter rule - namely my bedroom desk and the miniscule floor space at the bottom of my closet.

Clutter, trash, and unorganization basically rule the entire house.

Various surface areas are deemed "collection spots", such as the woodbox in the entryway, the kitchen table, the kitchen counters, the dryer in the bathroom, and a small table in the living room. The majority of our drawers and cabinets are disorganized and cluttered. Things are often lost - namely pens, keys, and remote controllers. I walk into a living room and I usually see a newspaper and several magazines strewn everywhere.

It's not only cluttered and unorganized - sometimes it's even unhygenic. I often find toothpicks, dental floss, and used tissues lying EVERYWHERE around the house - bathrooms, living rooms, kitchen. The trash cans in the bathrooms and kitchen are often overflowing before someone decides to take them out. It's not that nobody knows how to clean - it's just that no one ever does.

Now, I personally would say my mother is the main perpertrator of cleanliness and disorganization. SHE is the one who messes up the upstairs bathroom with used tissues, floss, and leaving random jewelry and such laying about. Half the stuff lying around the house - Womans' Day magazines, tissues, jewelry, clothes, laundry, shoes - it's HERS. The house is only clean on days she vacuumns or dusts, and even then it doesn't solve the problem of organization.

Today I spent a half an hour cleaning, disinfecting, and organizing the upstairs bathroom. I hated every second of it - not because I hate cleaning, but because I had to pick up after my own mother: various trash, bottles, jewelry, makeup, etc. The bathroom looks clean and organized now, but it's only a matter of time before my mother messes it up again.

I'm considering seriously talking to my dad about hiring a professional organizer. He's also fed up with my mother's disorganization as well. However, there are several reasons why I'm hesitant about doing this.

1. My father. He obviously wants the house to be clean and does, in fact, take care of his own messes and such - for the most part. However, he has a business to run and he wants to relax when he gets home. I can't blame him. It shouldn't be up to him to take care of the entire house if he's working from 9-5, five days a week.

2. My mother. My mom is a stay-at-home mom. She has PLENTY of time to take care of the house. Yet she doesn't. She actually spends MOST of her time lying down on the couch. I am aware that she has emotional disorders and that can affect it, but it's putting negative effects on the rest of us as well. She knows how to clean things, because she DOES clean when she has family friends over. She just doesn't clean too often.

I'm also worried that if my dad DID agree to the idea of a professional organizer, my mom wouldn't keep up with implemented systems. Right now, the bathroom is neat and organized thanks to the purging I was able to do. As a test, I put my bathroom belongings in a plastic container on a shelf. I plan on keeping all my belongings in that plastic container for the rest of the week. I'm not going to touch any other mess that enters the bathroom. I'll bet anything the bathroom will be a mess by the end of the week... and stuff will be moved from my box as well.

Not only may she not keep up with the implemented systems, but she might not even listen to the idea of her being unorganized altogether. A huge discussion ensued at dinner about my mom's home care habits... she thinks the house looks fine as it is. She spent half of dinner deflecting questions and changing the topic. It was incredibly frustrating.

I'm really at a loss of what to do here. I can't stand the way the house looks, and I sometimes feel embarrassed to have FAMILY come into the house... nevermind friends. Despite my mother's possible hostility to the idea, I feel as though a professional organizer is the only option we have. Does anyone have any advice, or even good alternatives to this?


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Re: How do I convince my parents... - March 27th 2009, 11:03 PM

Hi Becca,

I think it does sounds like your house needs a little sorting out. That must be really frustrating to live in that mess all the time.

First you should probably talk to both of your parents to see what they think about the organizer idea. You could do this separately, or while they are both around. Let them know how frustrated you are with the mess and say that something needs to be done about it. Maybe suggest some ideas that your mom could try in the daytime.

Another idea would be to put up signs around the house at busy locations, such as the kitchen or bathroom. I know at my old house we had a sign on the back door that asked 'IS THE ALARM ON???' because when we let out the cat in the morning the house alarm was always on. It was on a bright sheet of paper in big letters. You could try something like that, maybe by putting a sign near the bathroom mirror that says 'Did you put *this* away???'. Have your parents agree to at least trying it.

Overall, there's not a whole lot you can do about the mess other than help to clean it, suggesting other family members to, or hiring an organizer. Just remember that it is still your parents' house and you can't exactly tell them how it needs to look.

Nat.


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Re: How do I convince my parents... - March 29th 2009, 04:49 PM

I tried talking calmly to my dad. He was absolutely against the idea of the professional organizer.

This frustrates me even MORE. I cleaned up half the house today and already my mom's messing it up again. Lunch was annoying because she couldn't find what she was looking for and she didn't bother to get napkins out. When she cleared off the table, she threw the newspaper in the usual corner that I had JUST cleaned out.

Then my plan was to take a shower right after lunch. I went upstairs to find no towels in the bathroom. When I went downstairs and asked her, I found that the towels were in the washing machine but she didn't bother to take them out and dry them yet. I probably won't see them in the bathroom until Tuesday morning. Not to mention that I haven't showered in, what, three days? I've only been able to wash my hair. I FEEL DISGUSTING.

Oh yeah, and my mom lost her inhalor, so she took mine. Now I don't have an inhalor for when I go out.

I am absolutely SICK of this! I have absolutely NO way of fixing it, either! I'm honestly crying right now because I can't STAND living in this house in the condition it is when NO ONE does ANYTHING about it! Honestly... what should I do?


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Re: How do I convince my parents... - March 29th 2009, 05:28 PM

Becca,

Since this is a problem that is affecting your whole family, and many members are frustrated by it, perhaps a family meeting could take place?

Everyone would be able to get their opinion on the matter at hand, and everyone could pitch in to make the goal of having a clean house. Though it does sounds like your mom is the main cause of the uncleanliness, I think that a meeting may be able to figure out a deeper reasoning beyond why she isn't fond of cleaning. Perhaps a meeting could could also motivate her to do cleaning.
   
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Re: How do I convince my parents... - April 5th 2009, 08:57 PM

i think you should sit them both down and just talk out all the things that you said on here cuz i think your house deff needs some organization and you can help to get it that way
   
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