My house is out of control! It’s cluttered! It’s dirty! And it’s driving me nuts.
I’m pretty good about staying on top of household chores, but once in a while, despite my best efforts, I lose the battle.
December was one of those times. Between the holidays, extra time with the little kids (grandkids), sickness (mine) and a major remodeling project, I lost control of the house. Thinking about getting back on track can be overwhelming but I’ve done this enough times over the years that I have a pretty good system for straightening out the mess. Here’s my routine:
- Have reasonable expectations. Chances are I will NOT be able to whip the house back into shape in one cleaning session or even one day – maybe not even one week. It took time to get it this way and it will take time to put it back. I will pace myself and not be in a hurry.
- Tidy the house, room by room. Before I can clean, I have to put everything back where it goes. And once everything is back where it goes, the house will automatically look cleaner so I won’t feel as much urgency to clean every nook and cranny in one cleaning session. That allows me to pace myself.
- Start cleaning, one room at a time. Because I haven’t cleaned for a while, I’ll do more than my normal weekly cleaning tasks but I won’t deep clean – I’ll do something in between. For example, in the living room I usually vacuum the tops of the furniture, dust, clean the windows and spot mop the floor. But in this session I’ll vacuum the tops of the furniture AND under the cushions. I’ll mop the entire floor. I’ll wipe down the furniture instead of just dusting. I know there are toys under the couch so I’ll clean under the furniture, too. I might even wipe up the woodwork with my Webster. Then I’ll repeat the process for each room.
All the cleaning will probably take a week or so. I could do it faster but I have other things I need to do and I’m trying to pace myself.
- Get back on track with routine cleaning. It’s a lot easier to clean a house that isn’t bad than one that’s been let go. So I’ll get back to my regular cleaning schedule and hope the next cleaning marathon isn’t needed for a long time!
Does your house ever get out of control? What do you do to get it back in shape?