Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our Story

We are the parents of three kids with lots of clutter, and we've had enough. Inspired by the original Clean House series from The Style Network, we are taking back our clean house one room at a time! Like most people, we can't have a crew come in and help us finish this enormous project in a week, so we are on our own. I plan to document all of this foolishness removal in the hopes of 1)keeping us accountable and invested in this project and 2)helping others wanting to conquer this same problem without going broke in the process.

So, here's a little about us and what causes our clutter:
  • Lori - I work part-time outside the home, run a business from home, do work as a craft designer, and am a professional crafter (I sell stuff I make - well, I'm supposed to anyway).  The Husband and I share household duties depending on who is home, but I tend to get stuck with bathrooms and any kid-related laundry most of the time.   My contribution to the madness is that what happens in the craft room doesn't always stay in the craft room, and I tend to forgo things like unloading the dishwasher in favor of crafting.
  • The Husband - TH works full-time outside of the home, coaches soccer Spring & Fall, and helps out with Scouts.  He's a pretty handy guy to have around, as he has tools and knows how to use them, and he tends to get stuck with yucky stuff like replacing garbage disposals and sump pumps, and outside stuff like mowing the lawn.  (I think I need to start helping with that last item this year - time to get a little more exercise!)  His contribution to the madness is huge collections of Matchbox cars and train cars, feeding the kiddos' addictions to Lego and video games, and being less than willing to get rid of things like books.
  • Big Sister - Currently a 5th-grader with a unique but picky sense of style, a huge artistic streak, and involvement in Girl Scouts.  Currently responsible for cleaning her own room, two days a week cat duty, and other jobs as assigned - generally things like unloading dishwasher, picking up kid bathroom, cleaning up the book area, etc.  No major duties yet.  Her contribution to the madness is art supplies & finished projects, random papers left wherever they fall, and the apparent inability to ever put away a bag or box of food.  And an attitude.
  • Little Sister - Currently a 3rd-grader with a voice as big as her personality, the desire to have it ALL, and involvement in Girl Scouts.  Currently responsible for cleaning her own room, two days a week cat duty, and other duties as assigned (see above).  Her contribution to the madness is the fact that she is a clothes horse - she may change her clothes 3 or 4 times a day, and every item she takes off winds up on the floor.  Somewhere.  It is also like pulling teeth to get her to pick up in her room.
  • The Boy - Currently a first-grader with an attitude and a big mouth, a love of cooking & baking, and involvement in Tiger Scouts.  If the weather is decent he will be found outside with friends; if not, he's playing video games, building Lego creations, or helping make chocolate chip cookies.  Currently responsible for cleaning his own room (his is pretty clean most of the time), two days a week cat duty, and other duties as assigned (see above).  His contribution to the madness is the aforementioned Legos (definitely not his alone), the inability to hang up a wet towel to dry, and the inability to pick up a dirty dish or empty juice box without being told. 
While we are generally not as bad as the people you have seen on TV, I am currently unable to walk across the floor in our loft/playroom because it is wall-to-wall Legos and Little Pet Shop.  We have some big problem areas, and it's not due to lack of space - we do have 3500 sq. feet finished - it's partially due to poor design and bad organization.  Of course it's also due in some part to laziness on all of our parts; who wants to put away laundry or dishes when you could be scrapbooking?!  (Or whatever that hobby is...)  So my main goal in this big project is to make things easier to take care of by getting rid of things we don't need or use, and to better organize what we have.

I hope you'll follow along as I share my plans and actual results from this project!  Since we live in the Chicago area, a yard sale is impossible until Spring, so many projects will have to wait for that warmer weather.  But I can't wait to start sharing my plans and some before/after results.  Stick around and see what happens!


  1. Admitting there's a problem (with everyone) is the first step! Great job, Lori!!

  2. Good job on the writing, I plan to follow.

  3. Lori, I'm right there with you, and I don't have 3 kids. I do have a DH who is a pack rat and I am a compulsive craft shopper. I will be following you and trying to unload my crap as I watch you unload yours.

  4. I am right there with you too! I am a big crafter, living in my house with my son and his family for 4 right now, so need lots of help too! Looking forward to some of your ideas.