Raise your hand if you’ve felt personally victimized by your untidy home. I am one of the most untidy people I know. Even my husband gets mad at me for not putting things where they go, and I feel like that’s saying something. With everything we busy mamas have to do, sometimes the screwdrivers end up in the silverware drawer during a quick pick-up, or sometimes a quick pick-up is not in the cards for today.
Those days happen and we cannot get down on ourselves for them. We’ve got to cut ourselves some slack and let it be. At the same time though, I know I struggle focusing on tasks or even sleeping when I know my house is a disaster. When I let messes, laundry, or organization tasks linger, my stress builds. In the long run staying up on little things would be the kinder thing to do for myself. Here are a few tips to not overwhelm you, but to help you stay a little more on top of things and feel a little less stressed about it.
No Wasted Trips
I learned this one from my aunt. She had five little kids and a husband away in the military so she has a lot of mom tricks up her sleeves. If you are leaving one room to go into another, take quick look around--is there anything here that needs to go into the other room? Or somewhere along the way? If there is, take it along with you, that way you don’t need to make another trip later. Some people even suggest having a designated basket to make these sort of trips.
I feel like almost everyone has those moments where they are in cleaning mode-- those fleeting moments are when my baseboards and blinds get months of dust wiped off of them. On days that I feel like doing everything but clean, I watch YouTube cleaning videos for some motivation. It may sound silly, but misery enjoys company. It’s like cleaning with a friend. Another great way to gain motivation is to have homework, a project, or any sort of deadline you're looking to avoid by doing something else. I don’t know about you guys, but my biggest procrastination tool is cleaning. What do you always find yourself doing when you are procrastinating?
“The Fly Lady” Method
Sometimes a big pile of clothing to fold or a house to vacuum seems daunting, not necessarily because of the task but because of how much time it will take us. “The Fly Lady” Method is all about cleaning in short intervals (there is a lot more to it too, but this is the basic premise). Try setting a timer before you do a task or clean a particular room, and when that timer goes off you have to stop. It’s nice knowing you aren’t going to clean your whole day away, and it’s super motivating to see how much you can actually get done in only fifteen minutes.
One reason to clean our home is to keep our home a happy and healthy place to be, but another one is to take care of our home and our belongings. I remember when I was little and my room or playroom would be a mess my mom would say, "You’re showing me you don’t care about your toys." When we care for our clothes, we are showing gratitude for the clothes we have. When we vacuum, scrub, wipe, wash, dry, dust, and put away, we are showing gratitude for our wonderful home we live in and the items we are lucky enough to have. Take notice and note of all that you are grateful for in your home and maybe taking care of those things will feel a little less hard. One of the first things that Marie Kondo does when working with a family is to sit down with them and thank their home for all that it has helped the family with. May seem a little mystical, but a little thankfulness goes a long way.