Trust me, we have all been there – you look around your house one day and realize that every single corner is dirty and full of clutter and you now feel overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of you. There are jackets, bags, shoes, mud and a few sets of keys laying by the front door. The kitchen counters are covered with crumbs and jam while the sink is full of 3 days worth of dishes. The laundry has piled up, the bathroom needs cleaning, and you can no longer see the coffee table. Where do you even begin?
This does happen to me from time to time, but most of the time I can avoid it by doing small tasks each and every day. I know some people prefer letting everything go until they have to spend a whole day putting it all back together, but not me – it requires too much time and effort to clean it all up then! So what I do is set aside a little time to do certain things. On the day that I vacuum the house, for example, I probably would not be found doing laundry. When it’s time to clean up my home office, I seriously doubt you would find me also going in to clean up the bathroom too. By doing these things as I come across them, and not trying to fit everything into a single day, it allows me time to breathe and not worry so much about all of it at once.
Dishes are the one thing I try my best to stay on top of every day, only because I don’t like to look at the dirty dishes piled up. Because my house has an open floor plan, you can see the kitchen sink from the living room, dining room, and the front door – not a pretty site to have to look at all the time. But as for everything else, well, I try to spread out all my “tasks” throughout the week to both pace myself and to not overwhelm myself with having too much to do. Because I work from home and make my own hours, I am in charge of “keeping house”, and completing tasks as I see them helps them get done much more than if I left them all until I couldn’t take the guilt anymore of ignoring them. So if you have trouble keeping up with what needs to be done around your house, you might be letting things pile up so it feels overwhelming. Try doing 1 or 2 things you know needs to be done every day and see if it helps to take off the pressure!
This post is timely for me. Things have been busy lately and I’m feeling completely overwhelmed by the build-up of clutter in my house. After reading this post, I’ve decided on two things I’m going to clean up when I get home today, but I’m going to stop there. I’ll come up with another couple of things to do tomorrow and keep at it until it’s done. Good suggestions. I’m feeling better already. Thanks.
I’m reading The Tipping Point this week, and I came across a line that essentially said it’s easier to feel calm and relaxed when you live in a clean home.
Everyone knows this already, but the book has examples of how this idea was used in cities where they cut down on crime by cleaning up grafitti and that sort of thing. Fascinating! I’m so glad you brought it up.
I agree! That consciousness that has you sticking to those tasks on a day to day basis gives you the reward of an orderly home almost all the time. It seems to me that the chaos returns when I’m not mindful of those “few things every day”. Awesome post!
Thanks Erin, and yes – the choas returns if I don’t watch my daily to-do list!