Looking around and feeling anxious about the mess or clutter? Where to start when you are overwhelmed by the mess in your house!
It feels like an insurmountable mess but it can be easier than you think to get started tackling the mess and clutter. Use these simple steps to beat the overwhelm and the mess!
Clutter and overwhelm
The struggle between motherhood and running a household is more like a juggling act than a balancing act. So many balls in the air at once, it is easy to feel like they are all going to hit the floor at once.
It can sometimes feel so overwhelming that you aren’t even sure where to start.
A few things to remember:
-you are not ALONE. I bet you couldn’t find a single mother who hasn’t felt overwhelmed at one time or another
– If you feel like you are juggling so many things- it’s because you are! Work, kids, meals, soccer practice, self-care, fun.. it is a lot to have running through your mind at once. Many of the things that cause us stress are actually blessings but it doesn’t always feel that way. It is normal to feel overwhelmed. You are here looking for some help so you have already started to adjust your situation for the better!
-There are ways to make it easier. So let’s get started on those-
Where to start when you are overwhelmed by the mess in your house:
- Try shifting your perspective: I know this is a hard one, but try seeing trees instead of a forest. You CANNOT do everything at once. You have to do one thing (ok, maybe two 😉 ) at a time so try to see the mess as a series of small tasks instead of one insurmountable one
And remember: Thinking about cleaning is worse than actually cleaning! It is the anxiety of thinking about doing it that causes the most stress!
2. Break it down– Speaking of smaller tasks, try tackling small tasks instead of giant messes. Any mess/clutter is just a set of small tasks that look like a mountain when they are all “lumped” together in your head. Instead of thinking about “cleaning the kitchen” try to break it up into manageable pieces like “doing the dishes” or “taking out the trash” or “loading the dishwasher”. These items are small tasks you can complete in a short time instead of one overwhelming, hour-long event.
3. Pick three– Pick the three things that cause you the most stress and tackle those first! Choose just 3 things that make your blood pressure rise when you see them; maybe it’s shoes in the entryway, a pile of dishes on the counter, or a basket of laundry that has needed to be put away for too long- anything that causes you the most stress. Take care of those three things first. Once you have those completed, you will feel less stressed, feel like you accomplished something, and might even make you ready to tackle more!
Remember- Pick a task, not a project! Cleaning out the garage is a project. Doing the dishes is a task.
4. Set a time for cleaning- Set aside a certain time each day (or amount of time each day) for cleaning. Clean only during that time/time period. For example, you can set aside 7-8pm for cleaning each night. Clean as much as you need to during that time and when 8:00 hits, stop. This way, you can get things accomplished but not let cleaning monopolize your time. You could also set a timer for an hour (or any amount of time you choose) and clean until the time is up. While this may not be a long-term strategy, it can help in times when you are super busy or very overwhelmed.
And a bonus item- Have a system. Having a system in place to manage the chores/responsibilities of running a house takes the stress out of knowing “when will I get to it” and what all needs done. Here are a few things to help you:
- The Happy Mom System
- The 5 Day Declutter Jump Start!
- How to get motivated to clean: 3 easy tricks to try even if you feel overwhelmed!
- Routine Cards for kids
You can also scroll down to grab a free printable daily cleaning schedule!