Some seasons in life are worse than others. Life just turns to chaos and you feel like have lost control. You just do what do to make it through another day. There have been times in our lives over the last few years that life has just been rough.
Sickness, extended family troubles, job changes, sickness, the unexpected passing of my father, storm damage to our home and unexpected remodeling have kept us in a whirlwind lately. Sometimes the house gets out of hand and things lose their “home” in your home.
Now a new year is here, It is time to get everything back in order. We have so much to accomplish as moms. Keeping our home is calling and a privilege. I am thankful that I have a home to live in and loved ones to care for. After living in disorganization, I am ready to reorganize, clear the clutter, and restore the peace that comes from a well-ordered home.
So, where to start?
Set goals — When facing any significant task, it is essential to establish achievable goals. Try not to impose too lofty a goal of “deep clean the entire house” in one week unless you are super mom. That is overwhelming. Set a goal of “clean the laundry room this week” or “clean out the coat closet by Wednesday”. Make a few goals starting with the main living areas of your home. When you finish working through your home, start setting goals for the areas of your home that are not as obvious, like closets and drawers. Write down on the calendar what you plan to do and by what dates.
Divide the house into zones –It is easier to clean a house divided into smaller chunks, rather than looking at everything you have to do. Flylady offers a free online guide for cleaning your home by zones. Each month, you will clean your entire home by spending a week in each section. You can sign up to receive email reminders about which zone your are in that week and even reminders about mundane things like starting a load of laundry.
Set the timer — It helps you to accomplish more, when you start the timer for 10 or 15 minutes — work as hard as you can in one area. I am famous for picking up things that belong in another room, get distracted by a mess there, find something there that goes somewhere else, and so on. I end up doing a little here and there and not accomplishing one thing. Setting the timer and knowing I have a set amount of time helps keep me focused. It is encouraging to see one task finished when the timer goes off. To help the timer cleaning go faster, have baskets throughout the house. Start placing items in the basket, which do not belong in that room. Then carry the basket and put the items where they belong.
Set up 3 bags or totes where you are working – Label them Keep, Trash, and Donate. You may want to add another one for storage of clothes that are being stored for a younger child or to rotate toys out. This will reduce the handling of the items by putting them where they belong when you pick them up as you are cleaning and decluttering.
Get your kids involved — My kids are great helpers, especially when it is their idea. I have always included them in cleaning since they were little. When they were little, they made cleaning carts in which to keep all their supplies on and feel like “professional cleaning men”. Every time we go to the store they want to add something to it. Really? Cleaning supplies over a toy? I wish I had always used a healthier cleaner instead of the toxic chemicals. Thankful we now use a cleaner that I don’t have to worry about.
Use little sayings to indicate a time to clean up. Flylady suggests Room Rescue, where everyone puts as many things away in one area as fast as you can for just a few minutes or until the room is clean. Every so often during the day, I will say “Room Rescue” and we get to work. Another one is 21 Room Pickup ~ everyone grabs 21 things to throw away, put away or donate.
Get some help – Do you have a friend, who is great at organizing? Why not ask them to help you go through a room as you clean your house? It is easier for some people to declutter, while others need a little encouragement and support in going through it all and getting a nudge to get rid of things.
If you would rather not expose your mess, there are resources to help you: 31 Days to a Clean House:Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is an excellent guide to helping you get your house back in order, while helping you examine your heart.
Celebrate! When you have accomplished your goals, celebrate! Go out to your favorite restaurant, movie or a weekend trip away as a family. Use that time to reflect on all you have accomplished and plans to keep your house in order.
After you have tackled the massive task of doing a deep cleaning, begin to establish a daily and weekly routine. This will help you keep your house from getting in such a situation again. Consistency is essential in this area.
Have you ever faced a rough time that resulted in your house being a gigantic mess? What strategies did you use?