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You look around your house and all you see is the stuff that needs to be done. Your house is like one big giant to-do list. But you still sit on your couch wishing you had the mental energy to clean it. You’ve been running around all over the place from appointment to appointment and the last thing on your mind when you finally catch a break is cleaning.
It looks like your house will take hours to clean, like all day. The thought is so overwhelming that you just sit there and do nothing. You are glued to the couch because you don’t have the mental capacity to even think about cleaning.
So, the million-dollar question is how do you get out of the funk you’re in and clean your house? How do you clean when your mind is overloaded, and you can’t add anything else to your plate?
That’s the answer we’ll work through in this post. We will walk through how to start cleaning when your house is a mess and you're overwhelmed.
Here are the tips to clean your house when you’re overwhelmed by life.
Let’s get this out of the way first. You need to give yourself grace. You’ve got a lot going on, Mama. You aren’t superwoman (even though you love for people to call you that). You CANNOT do it all. Your house doesn’t have to look like Martha Stewart and pass a white glove inspection like it did before you had children. That’s not realistic and sustainable when your life is so unpredictable.
All or nothing mentality
The next mindset that blocks you from keeping your house clean is the all or nothing mentality. You need to drop this one. It doesn’t serve you.
Here’s how the all or nothing mentality looks with housework: “My normal cleaning routine takes like 5 hours to clean. That’s not counting all the debris I have to pick up FIRST to make my house ready to clean. When you add that, we’re talking about a whole day of cleaning. I don’t have a whole day of cleaning, so I’m gonna sit here and veg out to Netflix instead. If I can’t do it all right, I just won’t do it”.
Now, this might sound irrational when you think about it like this, but when you're in the moment, it seems like it makes sense. Newsflash: When you have children running around, your house isn’t going to be clean 24/7 and that’s OKAY. You will live. Your husband will live, and your children will live.
Let's adopt a new motto for cleaning. My house just needs to be cleanish. Okay, if you've never heard the term cleanish (cause likely you haven’t), let’s remedy that. Cleanish is a clean enough home. It means your home is clean, but you can tell people live there. You might have a dish or two in the sink someone didn’t put in the dishwasher. You might have a load or 2 of clothes to be washed. Your house doesn’t look like a model home, but it’s not filthy by any means. It’s cleanish. It’s clean enough.
Cleanish drops the all or nothing mentality off at the door. All or nothing has gotten you a dirty house. Cleanish will help you get a clean home that looks like people live here.
Use the Cleaning Schedule Printable
Use the cleaning schedule printable to create your own cleaning schedule. Just do a few tasks a day and mark them off as you do them. You don’t have to clean everything in 1 day. You can space it out and clean 5-6 days a week and get everything clean within a week.
Breaking your tasks up makes them so much more manageable. You don’t have to set aside hours of your time. You just set aside 30 minutes or less a day and you’re good to go.
You can divide it out however you like. You can clean by a task like clean all the toilets and showers on the same day or you can clean by room like clean the kid's bathroom on Mondays. It's totally up to you. I have done it both ways. The cleaning schedule is available for free in our resource library. You can sign up HERE or below.
Make it easier on yourself
Make cleaning easier on yourself.
Here are some tips to help make cleaning easier on yourself:
- Schedule lighter things when you’re not going to be home as long. If you’re going to church on Wednesday nights, you might only need to schedule 15 minutes of cleaning instead of a whole bathroom.
- Leave the cleaning products in the room you’re going to use them in with the rags you're planning on using. You can use old recycled dishcloths or microfiber cloths.
- Get your husband and kids to help. Kids can do chores too. My 5-year-old daughter has started folding washcloths and dishcloths. I am teaching my children how to put the soap into the dishwasher and turn it on.
- Use cleaners that work. If a cleaner ain't working or you don't like it, throw it away and get a new one. I used to HATE cleaning the shower because of the fumes of the bathroom cleaners. I started using a cleaner that smells better and it makes cleaning the shower a whole lot more manageable.
What are your non-negotiables?
If you're in a pinch, what are your non-negotiables? What do you want to be done no matter what happens? These are your higher return items that make a bigger impact.
Here are my non-negotiables:
- Make my bed
- Take out the trash
- Make sure the dishwasher is always ready for dirty dishes. Don't leave clean dishes in the dishwasher. It always needs to be ready. This makes people more likely to load dirty dishes than if they had to unload the dishwasher first.
- Laundry at least once a week
- Get rid of paper clutter. Paper clutter makes your house look so cluttered and you don’t even need 95% of it.
You don’t have to set aside a whole weekend to declutter. You can just declutter a little at a time.
Here are some ideas to find time to declutter:
- 15 minutes a day
- Every time you go into the kitchen, declutter a drawer
- Every time you go into the bathroom, declutter one cabinet or storage box.
- Every time you go into your closet, get rid of one item of clothing you don’t like or wear.
You can find the time to declutter. You should always be focused on decluttering as you see things in your house. If you’re wiping off the table after dinner and you hate the centerpiece, don’t move it to clean around it, just GET RID OF IT. Just take it slow. As you are moving around your house and touching things, just decide quickly if you want to keep that item or not.
Cleaning doesn’t have to take up all of your time. You can find time to clean even if you’re overwhelmed. You don’t have to set aside a Saturday to clean every single week. Just use the cleaning schedule and recruit your family members to help you. It's not Mama's job to clean the whole house. Everyone helps get it dirty, so everyone helps clean it.