My house is a wreck.
I am overwhelmed most of the time. Because being a mom is overwhelming.
There is barely any time to clean me, let alone my house.
When I have time to clean my house, I choose to sleep. Is it depression or exhaustion? I’m not sure. All I know is that things keep getting worse and I haven’t found a way to deal with it.
Fast forward to now…
That was me after 2 kids. I was hopeless. I was exhausted. I was overwhelmed. As is every mom at some point in their life. And if you say it’s not true, you would probably be lying.
Honestly, with my first child, things were not too bad. I could keep up with just one. It was after the second. That was when $*it hit the fan.
Piles of laundry that needed to be done littered the floor of the laundry room. Toys were strewn all around the toy room, the living room, and bedrooms.
And oh God the HANDPRINTS! I would wipe them away and they would reappear 2 seconds later as little slimy gooey fingers reached for the things they desired!
I don’t believe moms are supposed to have it all together in the beginning. As a matter of fact, it is pretty impossible unless you are supermom…which most of us are not!
But we can become supermoms! I did it. And I know you can too.
My House is A Wreck Right Now As A Matter Of Fact!
Yep. It was a mess back then, and it is periodically still a complete mess.
The holidays just ended and my kids have been home for holiday break for the last two weeks. With everyone being home (kids and husband), holiday parties to get to, cooking, shopping, and wrapping…it is just inevitable that my home is going to be messy after all of that.
My house always looks like a pigsty after my family has been home for any amount of time or whenever we have run to whatever practices, games, or concerts we need to get to for the week.
We just cannot seem to keep the house the way I want it.
It took me years to get things organized and running how I want them to. But over and over my house still becomes messy again and again.
How about you? I know you are probably in the same boat right now because you are reading this post. Which means you are looking for solutions. And I just want to reassure you, you are not alone!
Have you ever experienced something like this (cue the nightmare music as I flashback)…
The kids constantly get toys out and don’t put them away. You spend 15 minutes cleaning up one room just to turn around and find another room destroyed.
Exhausted, overwhelmed, defeated, alone, doing the same thing day in and day out.
The house is so messy now that you are literally paralyzed by the mess.
Looking around, you can’t see why any place would be good to start cleaning because you know it will just become messy again.
The kids get things out faster than you can put them away. And that is just the little ones. Even your school aged kids keep bringing home paperwork and art from school and it just keeps piling up on the counters.
The other day a giant pile of mail fell over and slid off the counter onto the floor.
You start to think… I wonder if there are late bills in that pile?
I should probably find time to go through all the mail.
You walk around the house for the millionth time, trying to find the best place to just start cleaning.
Maybe the dining room, you never use that room. But then you remember, that is why it’s become the junk pile room.
When you don’t know what to do with something, you take it in the dining room and drop it on that nice giant table.
When you started doing dropping things on the dining room table (years ago), you could still see the table and knew you would come back to putting things away eventually. Fast forward to now, with more kids, less time, and less sleep, it will probably never get done.
Now any hope of seeing the dining room table top through the mounds of clutter, piles of junk, and dust bunnies would be an absolute miracle.
So you try the office. But it is overrun with papers and old bills. Plus, because it doubles as the kids playroom, there are toys and blankets and stuffed animals littering the floor.
You think, “When is the last time you vacuumed?” Probably the last time you saw the floor.
By the time you have ventured through the entire house looking for that one good place to start cleaning the filthy mess you call your home… the one room you could actually handle on about 4 hours sleep and exhaustion… you are so overwhelmed you just decide to let it go…again. Like last time.
What’s the point of trying at this point anyway?
Re-enter the real world…
But that was real. I have been there on many occasions.
When you cannot shake the feeling that you need to clean your home but you can’t figure out where to start. The mess has snowballed into something so large it almost has a life of its own.
That is when the hopelessness kicks in. And if you were not already hopeless about mounds of dirty diapers, breastfeeding, and never sleeping again, then consider yourself lucky.
But I promise you there is hope. I found it. And you can too.
I figured out how to reclaim my home. How to make it peaceful and a place to relax and enjoy family. Isn’t that what we want our homes to be? Tranquil? Peaceful? Restful?
Don’t you want to be able to say, “My house is my sanctuary.”?
How To Clean A Cluttered House Fast
Sometimes, you just need to get it done fast. Maybe you are having people over, maybe your mother-in-law stops in from time to time and judges you and your messy house.
I remember after having my daughter (our first) when we were trying to sell our house. She was about 2 and a half.
What a nightmare! A new mom, with a toddler, trying to keep the house clean in case the realtor called!
Our house would get so messy. Partly because I couldn’t find the motivation to clean because our daughter had started waking up at night again. Plus at that age, they are mobile and into everything! I was exhausted and overwhelmed.
But the real estate agent would call and we would have to leave the house so people could walk through it.
So how did I keep the house clean?
I wiped everything down every single day during that time period. (Remember, I only had 1 child at this point, so this was doable)
And where there was clutter from toys, I made sure to have a big plastic bin in those areas so I could throw everything in and stick the bin in the closet or the corner of the room before a walk-thru.
That was one way I have cleaned my house fast in the past. Here are some other ways:
- Get a trash bag and start trashing everything that you don’t need
- Elicit Helpers from friends and family
- Hire a company like 1800GotJunk
- Push everything under the bed 😉
- Stay clutter free (here are some tips)
- Go minimalist
- Get Organized
- Start a Daily Routine that includes daily cleaning
How to Clean a Really Messy Room
That same daughter who was present when I was keeping the house clean for the real estate walk-thrus must not have been paying attention when she was little, because she definitely does not keep up with her room now as a teenager.
Every time I enter her room she has the drawers of her dresser open (like all of her drawers), so many clothes on the floor that you can’t see the floor, and the worst part of it all…when I tell her to clean, she throws everything in the laundry hamper (whether it is dirty or not!) Talk about a pissed off mom…that is NOT the way to clean a really messy room.
To truly clean a messy room, the best thing to do is to start with just one small section. Maybe a section that doesn’t have quite as much “mess” covering the floor or furniture. A small section that you can clear in about 15-20 minutes or less.
Gather up some trash bags and label them…trash, donate, move, keep.
Then start sorting. (here is a more elaborate post on the steps of decluttering)
When you are finished with the first section of the room, you take out the trash, take the donate bag to the donation center, move any items that don’t belong to where they do belong, and put away your keep items in a nice neat way.
The secret is to just get started. Just start with one thing at a time. Micro Goals. Small doses each day will get you where you want to go.
And when you see what you have accomplished, it will help you find the motivation to keep going.
How do I motivate myself to clean?
I talked about one way to get motivated above (by accomplishing micro goals). But how do you start cleaning when you are overwhelmed?
When you are overwhelmed by cleaning, you just need to start anywhere that there is a little less cluttered. And work through it in small doses.
When you see a little progress, it will motivate you to keep going.
Here are some other ideas to get you motivated to get started on that one small spot or maybe even create a routine to start cleaning everyday.
- Watch the KonMari series on Netflix
- Read about cleaning and organizing
- Read inspirational quotes that motivate you to take action
- Look at pictures of clean, organized spaces you love
- Cut or tear out pics of spaces you love
- Create a vision board
- Create micro goals for each day of the week
Where do I start cleaning my house?
I absolutely hate when I walk into other peoples homes, and no matter how many times I have been there, their house looks perfect. They never ever seem to have a mess ANYWHERE!
And I want that. It motivates me. So when I start looking for a place to start cleaning, I like to start where I will see the most benefit and get the most motivation to continue.
My biggest pet peeve is being slowed down or being late to appointments because I am trying to find things like gloves, shoes, or coats for my kids. So that is where I get rid of clutter first. In high traffic, highly used areas of my home.
When I remove the clutter from the most used places in the house and create a system that works, I get motivated to clean other parts of my house and make them more efficient as well.
How long should it take to clean a house?
How long it takes to clean a house will depend largely on how messy it is to begin with. If your house is completely trashed from top to bottom, it could take days or even weeks to clean the entire house and get it the way you want it.
On the other hand, if you already have a system in place where clutter is picked up regularly, there is nothing sitting on your counter tops, and you are organized, cleaning an entire house could take as little as 2-4 hours.
Can a messy house cause anxiety?
Messes anywhere can cause anxiety, but especially messes in your home. You want your home to be a sanctuary, a place that is peaceful and calm.
That is a hard feeling to accomplish when you walk in and cannot find a place to set down your things. Or when you are leaving and cannot find what you need without digging through mounds of crap that has accumulated everywhere.
If you feel like you are constantly fighting the mess in your home, then yes, your messy house is causing you anxiety for sure.
How do I stop being so messy and lazy?
You can stop being so messy and lazy by finding the energy to clean your messy house. Because that is the biggest problem moms have…finding the energy to do the things that need to get done.
When you are a mom of any kind… first time, stay at home, or working…finding the energy to clean is hard.
What I have learned about finding energy, is that it is not going to come naturally for a while after having your babies. Especially when you are sleep deprived and running on empty.
Finding the energy to clean a messy home will come as you begin to sleep better, start to get more exercise and get back to doing the things that you like doing instead of just doing what the kids need you to do. Variety is the spice of life.
In the meantime, you can try the following:
- Find others to help you clean ( family and friends)
- Hire a service
- Drink large amounts of caffeine (within a safe limit of course!)
- Trade child care services so you have the time to clean
- Start teaching your kids early that they need to help out around the house (chore list)
- Just sit back and accept the fact that cleaning your house may not happen right now
How do you keep your house clean all the time?
This is only my opinion (and I am sure I will get some comments on this post because of it), but I feel like it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep your house clean all the time when you have kids unless you are never ever home.
Or you are a Nazi mom who never lets her kids have any fun. Or possibly if you have a service come to your house on a daily basis.
I don’t know, maybe you are rich enough to have an all the time maid in your home. But not me. I am a stay at home mom living on one income and living full time in our home. My kids don’t go to daycare and I don’t work out of the house, so we are here ALL the time!
I have neither the energy to stay on top of my kids or the money to hire someone, so I do the best I can to keep the clutter at a minimum. Here are some tips I use:
- Get rid of stuff you don’t need and your kids are not playing with anymore
- Adopt the one in one out rule
- Start using the flat surface rule
- Clean up every night
- Have the kids help out (chores!)
- Address the Clutter and Disorganization in your home
Sometimes, just cleaning up isn’t enough. You have to Address The Clutter and Disorganization in your home in order to truly see a difference.
What does clean up after yourself mean?
Cleaning up after yourself means that whatever you get out, you put away and whatever mess you make you wipe up.
I have a really hard time with this. I know exactly what it means, but sometimes I just get moving so fast that I leave things out. I am trying to get 3 people in the car now instead of just myself and also remember their stuff plus mine. My mind is usually all over the place and I am running a million miles a minute. So I excuse myself in many cases when I don’t pick up after myself.
But make sure to note, that I eventually come back and clean my mess up when things have calmed down.
My husband however, is really good at it. But guess what, It drives me crazy because he is so SLOW to get anywhere!
This may be hard to hear, but this is called adulting. It sucks! I know. I wish my mom would still follow me around picking up my messes as I made them.
But the fact is, that once you become the mom, you are the one picking up messes (unless you have trained your kids better than me!).
So make sure you have a system in place. When you get something out, put it away when you are finished using it. And teach your kids to do it too!
Is a messy room a sign of mental illness?
I don’t believe a messy room is a sign of mental illness considering just about every teenager across America is stepping over mounds of clothing in their bedrooms at this very moment.
But as a mother, I can tell you that a messy home may drive me to a mental illness!
I get so incredibly tired of cleaning just to come home 2 hours later and find that the house has been trashed again. Things on the countertops I just cleaned, blankets on the floors that I just folded!
So rest assured mommas! That mess in your home does not mean you are CRAZY! But it will most definitely DRIVE you crazy!
Can a messy house affect your mood?
I don’t know about you, but a messy house definitely affects my mood. When I come home after a stressful day and see a mess, it just sets me off.
If I am trying to get out the door and cannot find what I need, so I am late, I get really upset.
I find myself cleaning whenever I get really angry, and when things are clean I feel lighter somehow.
Does a clean house reduce stress?
There have been studies done proving that a clean house does reduce stress.
So if you take nothing else from this post, know that a clean house really helps to reduce stress.
And don’t we all want to reduce stress in our lives?
If you just need help dealing with the clutter in your house, then you can consult a local organization professional in your area. They will help you go through your clutter and set up systems to keep the clutter at bay. Look one up at findmyorganizer.com.
When I want people to help me clean my house, I normally ask my kids and husband. But if you are looking for help outside of family and friends, then a maid service for cleaning is always a good idea. They will clean your house as many times a month as you can afford them to.
There are also services such as 1800GotJunk.com that will literally come into your home and take things away that you don’t want anymore. This is a great idea for big items such as unwanted furniture and unwanted gym equipment.
STEPS TO STOP CLUTTER IN ITS TRACKS:
I mentioned above that there are some incredibly useful steps for tackling your cluttered house. But this is already a long post, so I linked to that post here.
In the meantime, all I am trying to tell you is that you are not alone.
I have been where you are and I promise there is a way out. And there are loads of other moms out there who have messy homes and have learned to deal with them.
The best thing to do is just start trying to make an effort. Even if it is just 15 minutes a day.
You can click here for help creating a better daily routine.
Choose a spot in the house that you know the kids will not trash when you are finished…like your bathroom vanity. Cleaning that one spot will hopefully help you find the motivation to clean another spot like that, then another and another.
I challenge you this year to take back control of your life!
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