Dear Messy Housekeeper,
I know what your house looks like right now. Yesterday’s dishes aren’t rinsed, there are crumbs and toys on the living room floor, and laundry is everywhere except the drawers.
Scrubbing the slightly slimy bathtub isn’t even on your radar because first you’d have to toss the mostly empty shampoo bottles and moldy rubber duckies.
No, I’m not spying on you. I just know your type because I am your type. In fact, if there was a contest for being the worst housekeeper ever, I just might win the prize.
But you know what? Not being a naturally good housekeeper doesn’t mean we can’t learn. Sure, it takes time. And it’s tough. We have to dig deep, in both our homes and in our hearts, to sift through the grime and clean things out.
We have to be willing to change habits, admit our faults, and give up a little bit of R&R so we can get our homes in order (but who can really feel restful or relaxed in a mess anyways?).
This spring, let’s give ourselves the gift of hope and the gift of a clean house. Here are five things we can do to get started:
1) Just Do Something
When we look at a room and see a giant mess, we feel overwhelmed and just want to walk away. But if the kitchen is a disaster, we can start by unloading and reloading the dishwasher. Even if we don’t have time or are too overwhelmed to clean the entire kitchen, we’re still making progress.
This principle works for the entire house, as well as life in general. Just do something.
2) Throw Things Out
It’s hard to organize clutter, so toss, toss, toss. There’s no good reason to hold onto things that are dragging us down, not to mention that living in a mess is draining and exhausting. Let’s feel our energy recharge as we release stuff we no longer need!
3) Set Limits
Our kids don’t need to eat anywhere but the kitchen table. They also don’t need to drag out every single toy while they’re playing. And if they want to make a fort, they can have just as much fun with two blankets as they’d have with ten.
So do your entire family a favor and set gentle limits that will make clean-up easier for everyone.
4) Enlist Help
If we’re not making the messes by ourselves, then we shouldn’t be cleaning alone, either.
Maybe you often feel taken for granted as you repeatedly clean up after your family members. If so, then definitely take a minute to read how to handle the heart issues at chore time as well as this article that has 6 practical tips for teaching kids to willingly help clean.
Maybe your kids aren’t the main culprit, but your spouse is. If that’s the case, then check out this post about what to do when you’re married to a packrat or this one about when you can’t stop fighting about the messy house.
5) Offer Grace
Forming good habits takes time. Offer grace to yourself, your spouse, and your children as you work together to maintain a clean and organized home. A good attitude can go a long way, so don’t wait until your house is perfect before you strive to create an environment of peace and gentleness.
Messy Hopeful Housekeeper, you’re not lazy.
You are not a failure. And you’re not incompetent. You just need a little encouragement. Let me help you.
Read my Top 10 Housekeeping Tips or treat yourself to a copy of my eBook, Chaos to Clutter-Free. It’s an easy read filled with inspiring quotes, embarrassing housekeeping confessions, and practical tips that will teach you how to transform your home, room by room, into a relaxing haven. No more shushing the kids and hiding from view when the doorbell rings!
Plus, members of the free Tidy Up Club on Facebook are currently going through this book as we declutter our own homes together, and this week we’re focusing on kids’ stuff – clothes, toys, school papers, and mementos will all be clean and organized by the end of the week.
While the book offers additional tips that we don’t have space for on the Facebook page, you do not need the book to participate in the challenge, so jump right in even without owning a copy. We’d love to have you there!
Learning to become clutter-free is about more than getting rid of stuff. It’s about creating room for life to happen, for memories to be made, and for loved ones to gather.
Hopeful Housekeeper, we can do this!
The Tidy (and Sometimes Very Un-Tidy) Mom,