If your house is a mess and you don’t know where to start, take a deep breath. Help is here. Try one of these five proven house cleaning tips that for tackling clutter and chores when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Sometimes, I can get so overwhelmed by chores and housework and my to-do list. No one told me it was neverending!!! Right!!?
Have you ever been at place where you had so much to do that it became crippling?
Have you ever been at that point where a sort of paralysis sets in? When there’s so much to do that it’s hard to even get started?
I’m sure you’ve heard the motivational phrase, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
But one bite at a time — or all at once — eating an elephant is still a big, overwhelming job. How do you take that first bite when the elephant is sitting on your chest, squashing all the air and willpower out of you?
I am no expert at housekeeping or time management or productivity. But I have tried out a lot of the gurus’ methods and I’ve discovered what works for me when a household chore becomes an elephant and I need to kickstart myself into gear.
These are my five favorite house cleaning tips for when you’re overwhelmed. These are surefire methods for breaking the paralysis, ending procrastination and yes, finally, eating that elephant.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Overwhelmed with chores & don’t know where to start. These tips will help! #housekeeping #cleaning” quote=”Overwhelmed with chores & don’t know where to start. These tips will help! “]
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The Snowball Method
If you’re familiar with Dave Ramsey’s debt-free strategies, then you’ve heard of the snowball method of paying off your debts smallest to largest.
That may seem counter intuitive. Why not tackle your biggest bills first? Or the credit card with the highest interest rate?
But whether you’re paying off credit card bills or cleaning up your house, there’s a real psychological benefit to starting small and seeing quick results.
[clickToTweet tweet=”How the ‘snowball method’ can help you tackle household chores. #daveramsey #chores #cleaningtips” quote=”How the ‘snowball’ method can help you tackle household chores.”]
Apply the snowball method to cleaning and start with a smell mess.
Tackle your junk drawer. Clear off the coffee table and fluff the pillows on your sofa.
One job done, now move onto the next one. Or take a moment to revel in your success.
The other day, after we got back from vacation, I was staring at an overwhelming list of household chores and organizing projects.
So, I decided to clean out my purse.
It certainly wasn’t the most pressing task or the biggest mess I needed to handle. But as I filed away old receipts and trashed crumpled tissues, I felt a sense of accomplishment.
And I could see my life getting less messy.
That purse purge helped me check other things off my to do list. I found receipts for items I needed to return to the store, bagged those items up, hauled them to the car and made the returns the next day as I was out running errands.
The Kitchen Sink Method
Years ago, I signed up for a daily cleaning email task list through the FlyLady. While I didn’t find her method manageable or doable for me over the long term, I still use one of her house cleaning tips when I’m feeling overwhelmed by chores.
I scour my kitchen sink until it’s so shiny it sparkles.
A clean sink is like a clean slate. Even if every other space in the house is cluttered or dirty, at least the sink gleams. You’ll have one place of calm to escape the chaos and the anxiety that clutter can provoke.
Cleaning your sink is a relatively quick chore, so it provides you with a sense of accomplishment and also the motivation to move onto other chores.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If your house is a mess & you’re overwhelmed, start w/ the sink. More great #cleaningtips here: ” quote=”If your house is a mess & you’re overwhelmed, start w/ the sink. More great cleaning tips here.”]
Well, that wasn’t so hard. What can I tackle next?
I usually take the FlyLady’s advice one step further and give all my kitchen surfaces a deep clean.
Our kitchen is at the center of our home. I’m in it all the time, preparing meals, and we can also see it from our favorite family hangout and TV watching spot. So, when it’s messy or cluttered, I have a hard time relaxing. And it’s hard to make or serve dinner if the kitchen isn’t neat.
It’s amazing how the simple act of washing any dirty dishes, wiping down the cabinets and sweeping the floors can improve my mood and motivate me to tackle other chores I’ve been avoiding.
The You Can Do Anything for 15 Minutes Method
We all have those household chores we avoid because we hate them.
Ironing. Taxes. Laundry.
But sometimes, you just need to suck it up and do it.
Pick the chore you’re procrastinating about the most and set a timer for 15 minutes.
Do that job, and nothing else, for 15 minutes — with no distractions.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Got chores but don’t know how to start? Set a timer for 15 minutes & focus on 1 task. #cleaningtips” quote=”Got chores, but don’t know how to start? Set a timer for 15 minutes & focus on one task.”]
When the timer buzzes, you’re free to stop and move onto something else. Or relax.
You may find that you want to continue working on that godawful chore until you finish it. Or maybe it won’t even take the entire 15 minutes.
The Quick Sweep Method
A few years ago, I bought some cheap dishpans from the dollar store. They have become an invaluable cleaning and organizing tool.
When stuff that doesn’t belong threatens to take over a space, I take a time out and grab one of the empty dishpans and make a quick sweep of the room, tossing in everything that doesn’t belong.
I’ve found it’s best to empty the dish pan as soon as you fill it, putting stuff away where it belongs immediately, instead of letting it become a catchall.
Often, I will set a timer and give each person in the family an empty basket or dishpan.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Why a simple plastic dishpan may be the best cleaning tool you ever buy #housekeeping #cleaningtips” quote=”Why a simple plastic dishpan may be the best cleaning tool you ever buy. “]
(Sometimes, the messes are so big, we have to use laundry baskets. Just keeping it real.)
We have 10 minutes to gather up our errant stuff and put it away.
It’s a race agains the clock to see how much we can do in that short period of time — and to see who accomplishes the most.
The Purge Method
I am never more motivated to get rid of stuff than when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the state of my house.
If you’ve ever held on to a possession because of sentiment or stuffed a too-tight pair of jeans into your closet for “someday,” then you know getting rid of stuff can be an emotional exercise.
But it’s also incredibly freeing to get rid of things that don’t fit — literally and figuratively — with how you want to live your life.
I find that I am less emotionally attached to my stuff when I am feeling overwhelmed by it. I just want to be rid of the burden of it. I don’t want to dust around it any more or pick it up one more time or launder it ever again.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Ready, set, purge! Pick a space in your house and spend 15 minutes getting rid of stuff. #organize” quote=”Ready, set, purge. Pick a space in your house and spend 15 minutes getting rid of stuff. “]
So, I follow the advice of professional organizers, pull out a trashbag and start making piles — keep, donate, trash and (sometimes) sell.
For me, at least, I find that purging is best done quickly. Don’t let the piles hang around too long. They’ll just add to the clutter you’re trying to clear away. If you don’t get rid of your purge piles quickly, you may find yourself reclaiming those items you’ve already released.
Just let it go. You’re unlikely to miss those things when your space is clean and calm and restful.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by chores, give one (or all) of these proven methods and house cleaning tips a try.
[clickToTweet tweet=”5 proven tips for tackling chores & clutter when you’re overwhelmed. #cleaning #organizing #chores” quote=”5 proven tips for tackling chores & clutter when you’re overwhelmed.”]
I guarantee your house will be cleaner afterwards and you will breathe easier. You will be less overwhelmed and more motivated to do what needs to be done.
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