Our BIG Mess

and our quest to get rid of it

HOME | Living Room | Kitchen | Dining Room | Family Room | Downstairs Bathroom | Hallway | Master Bedroom | Main Bathroom | Kids' Room

I started this website in early 2006, when my house had become such a disaster area that it was affecting my well-being. I've always disliked it when things got too messy, but somehow over time everything became messy. In the past, I could find at least one clean room to retreat to when I needed an escape from clutter, but there hadn't been a refuge like that in a long time. I thought perhaps putting the mess out there for the world to see would encourage me to do something about it. And it did. I was on a roll for several months, decluttering everything in sight and maintaining a simple routine to keep everything neat. It was a pleasure living here during that time. During the Summer, we made a mess in the living room (it was supposed to be temporary), we went on vacation, I got out of the groove of my routine, things went downhill, and I was never able to salvage them. Now Neil and I are starting to take care of some weekend projects that are a big step towards restoring our house to its former glory. Once again I feel the need for this space, documenting our progress. I hope there is much progress to document!

I've changed the layout for the main pages, and I'll change the photo layout for any rooms where I take new pictures. If you see anything here you'd like to chat about, I can be reached at The Polka Dot Cottage message board. The Cottage's Laundry Room is the best place for discussions about this.



04/28/07: Back in cleanup mode. I spent three hours today sorting through the piles of mail and assorted papers that had been accumulating in the kitchen. When I was done, the room looked so nice, I had to take pictures ;-) See them in the updated Kitchen area.

03/24/06: Some progress in the Bedroom...

03/22/06: It's been a while since I updated! The house stayed really nice after Aidan's party, thankfully! With the exception of the Dining Room, which has become a place where Neil unloads new book shipments, and where I am stacking things I plan to donate to charity when I get a chance. Until I get rid of more clutter, we just don't have a place to do these things and we have to sacrifice a room to it. I say, better the Dining Room than the Living Room at least! On a positive note, I've gone a step further in the Hallway cleanup, which was actually a side-effect of working on my home office (aka a corner of the Family Room). And, I recorded another video tour, in case anyone is enjoying those. Oh, and last but not least, I have a new online forum, which is a reincarnation of my old dialup Bulletin Board System, The Polka Dot Cottage. Drop by and have a chat!

02/25/06: Aidan's birthday party is today and we've been cleaning up the living spaces. I hurried up and took pictures, just in case something happens and things get trashed. Let's hope that's not the case! Anyway, check out the Living Room, Dining Room, and Family Room!

02/19/06: Tomorrow it will be one month since I took the original mess pictures. I spent the week after that dealing with the Flu, but for all of the days since then I've been spending at least 30 minutes a day decluttering. I thought I'd post some Work-In-Progress pictures for all of the rooms that I have yet to finish. You can use the links above, or click on the pictures below to see.

02/13/06: It's been 3 weeks since I took the initial pictures, and I have a new video tour for anyone interested in my progress. I also have finished the Upstairs Bathroom, which was a long time coming!

02/06/06: Some friends suggested I look into FLYlady. I had tried that about 5 years ago, but not for very long. I guess I just hadn't been desperate enough to stick with it. My mess 5 years ago was nothing like my mess now. Now I am motivated. So, I've re-joined the FLYlady mailing list, and have explored her website, and for the past 1.5 weeks I've been "FLYing:" establishing morning and evening routines designed to eliminate the clutter in manageable 15-minute chunks. I am so pleased with the results already! I'm really working on improving the whole house at once, but there are a few rooms that I have finished so far - the Kitchen and the Downstairs Bathroom. Stay tuned for a work-in-progress video tour...

Done here? Drop by The Polka Dot Cottage for some friendly banter about all things "homey" and creative!

All photos and text copyright 2006, 2007 by Lisa R. Clarke