There is something unsettling about the close of a long weekend or vacation when you come to the realization that 1. You are exhausted and 2. Housework waits for no one.
Then follows the dreaded feeling of where to start with the mess.
There have been many times that I allowed the never-ending laundry and housework to pile up, then felt so overwhelmed I didn’t even know where to start.
Two things I have found to be true during my short years of motherhood are when it come to house works are….
1. Creating and sticking to a house cleaning routine is a game changer
2. Staying on top of the mess to keep it at bay (even during busy weekends) will save you time and frustration
But if you are like me in my early days of motherhood and find yourself terribly behind on housework, keep reading…..
These are a few tips that I use any time I find myself surrounded by unending piles of laundry sipping cold coffee and not knowing where to start.
These are my best House Cleaning Tips For When You Feel Overwhelmed.
The longer you wait, the bigger the pile will get, the more you won’t want to get started.
Trust me, waiting until Tuesday is the worst decision ever. Get started TODAY by just cleaning one thing.
Find Something That Motivates You
When you take the time to identify what motivates you, it allows you to actually enjoy the work.
I love listening to music, audiobook or a podcast. I start one before I even begin cleaning and it takes my mind of the “work”.
Start With Tasks That Take The Most Amount Of Time
The first thing I ALWAYS do when tackling a daunting house cleaning project is starting the dishwasher and throw in a load of laundry.
Waiting to do this is a HUGE mistake. There have been times that I just dive in and start cleaning and then end up having to wait for the wash to finish.
It’s so frustrating especially when you have multiple loads to do.
Get the items that take a little while going right away so they’ll be waiting for you.
Strategize A Plan Of Attack
Do not just randomly start cleaning. That is the first step to getting overwhelmed.
Take a quick moment to strategize a plan of action.
Mine typically looks something like this…
1. Start Laundry and Dishes
2. Work at larger projects like toys on the floor
3. Quick bathroom run through
5. Main living area
6. Bedrooms (If you have time)
By doing this, I am ready to move from task to task and not take time trying to figure out what to do next.
Or worse, get distracted by a text or social media and end up sitting on my phone for 10 minutes.
Attack The Most Obvious Mess First
After I start the wash, I’ll walk into our main living room and identify the most obvious mess.
It’s typically something like blocks laying in the middle of the floor or a mountain of laundry that needs to be folded.
I like to do the heavy lifting at the beginning of the cleaning process when I have the most amount of energy.
Stay On Task
This is a MUST for mamas with little kids and can be SO hard.
Once you start a task like folding laundry, commit to it until the job is completely finished.
If you only take one thing away from this post, make it this!!
Most of the time it’s really not about not having time, it’s about poorly managing time.
Make a habit of staying on task until it’s finished. Don’t take a phone call, don’t send a text message, don’t sit down to pay that bill you forgot about.
If something comes to mind while working on a task (as they always do) simply add it to your checklist and continue with the project at hand.
If you do not stay on task you will get many distractions and a task the should have taken thirty minutes will end up taking ALL DAY LONG. And it is terribly frustrating.
“Either you run the day or the day runs you”
Make a commitment to staying on task and getting the job done so you can thoroughly enjoy resting when it’s finished.
Ditch Or Include The Kids
If you are able to drop the kids for a bit, do it. You can get SO much done if you have an hour or two to yourself.
If you don’t have that option like many of us, include them! I know it is SO tempting to just put on a show for them and I’m totally guilty of doing that.
Think about how much they will be able to learn if you let them tag along. Yes, it is frustrating, yes it will try your patience, and yes, it will take much much longer.
But I have found when I include them, they learn a lot, I learn a lot, and we end up having quality bonding time throughout the process. That’s a double mom win.
Most kids are eager and willing to help. I truly believe if we will lovingly include them now, they will be much more likely to want to help us as teenagers.
Be Realistic About How Much You Can Get Done
We are a family of five. The dishes and laundry are insane if I fall behind.
So when things get out of control, I set realistic expectations.
It’s ok if you don’t get every single load of laundry done. I typically will not do more than two loads of laundry in a day. I’d rather space it out over the week then spend an entire day folding laundry and not being able to catch up on everything else that needs to be done.
Besides who wants to spend an entire day of their life folding laundry??NOT ME.
Especially if your kids are tagging along. There is only so much you can get done in a day and it’s ok if it takes you all week to get on top of things.
I use to refuse to go to bed with a messy house. I would stay up late cleaning all while feeling like a victim ad harboring resentment. Gone are those days.
My body needs rest to be able to keep up with the demands of motherhood and at the end of the day, I really don’t care If I’m remembered for having a perfectly kept house.
Yes. I do believe it’s important and my family is always happier when things are running smoothly.
But in my experience, it has never paid off trying to kill myself to conquer a massively messy house in one day.
May your coffee be stronger than your toddler <3