I almost skipped today’s Messy House Tour post. To be perfectly honest, I feel like we are still playing catch up from the One Room Challenge master bedroom reveal. Of all the posts to cut this week, it seemed like this one would be the easiest one to cut. But then my mom sent me the quote of the day by Paulo Coelho that read…”One day or day one. You decide,” and it kinda rocked my world.
So here I am with a message of encouragement and a messy house tour because I’ve realized over the past six weeks just how easy it is to become overwhelmed by the mess…
Over and over again, some of the biggest questions and comments from readers consists of a combination of these phrases…“Is your house really that clean?” or they’ll say, “I could never live like that, my house is always going to be a mess. I have kids,” or “I bet your house wouldn’t look like that if you had kids,” or “I wish I lived like that.”
There’s something about the emphasis people place on the word “that” that makes the tiny little hairs on the back of my neck stick up just a little bit. The truth of the matter is “living like that” is a choice.
You either choose to take pride in your home and clean up the messy places or you don’t – plain and simple.
I never really understood the impact of messy spaces until we started the master bedroom makeover. For the most part, our home is kept tidy for the simple reason we work at it every single day. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but we aren’t scrambling around embarrassed if the alarm guys shows up for an appointment we’ve forgotten about either.
The thing is, as the days rolled into weeks during the makeover, we noticed stuff was really starting to pile up around the house not just the spaces we had designated for project overflow. At the time, it seemed so much easier to let things go and add to the pile than to take the time to put it all away.
This was all but a foreign concept to us because this house is usually a “clean as you go” and a “everything in its place” kind of home and yet…we found ourselves totally off the rails for six weeks.
I couldn’t figure out why at first but finally I narrowed it down to two very important things and I’m wondering if you can relate: 1.) I told myself I was too tired to even be bothered and 2). I didn’t make it a priority.
Last weekend, we took a few days off to rest…and it was SO hard. You know why? because all I kept thinking was, “I should be cleaning” and “how did we let this go for so long” and finally, “what the what, CoCo, get it together!” Do you guys ever do that? You know you need to rest – you’re supposed to rest – and yet, your mind gets filled with unnecessary clutter.
I finally realized all the negative talk was not making the house any cleaner and I made a conscious effort to stop the loop. Thankfully, I got a plan together that helped us get back on track. I thought I would share a few tips if you currently find yourself procrastinating or overwhelmed by a messy house situation too…
*Stop asking why or making excuses for the messes. Give yourself grace and get a plan together.
*Pick up and take out the trash. This could be anything from the pizza boxes left on the kitchen counter after last night’s dinner to the box from the allergy medicine you opened but didn’t throw away.
*Load the dishwasher or sink. I know it sounds simple but you’d be surprised at the number of random coffee mugs or water glasses you may find on the nightstand or coffee table.
*Gather, sort and start a load of laundry. It’s just like loading the dishwasher – multitask cleaning jobs when and where you can.
*Make your bed. It’s a great motivator to pick up the rest of the messes around the room.
*Ask your family to pitch in and put away their items that contributed to the mess.
*Tackle the room that is the least messy FIRST. Then, move onto the second least messy room, the third least messy and so on…that way you’re building up a “cleaning snowball effect” around the house.
I know someone is going to read this post and think, “Of course, your house was messy, you had a major project going on,” and I’ll give you that for the bedroom and the breakfast nook – we did have a major project going on. But should the rest of the house have been a messy because these two area were – no.
I also know some of these tips sound almost too easy for those rooms or spaces in our homes that make us feel overwhelmed. You may be thinking, “What the catch, CoCo?” I assure you there is no catch however, consistency will be key. You may have a lot of work ahead of you so keep this in mind…
Your progress doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be persistent.