Sometimes you’re completely paralyzed by the mess and don’t know where to start! Trying to figure out where to start and how to clean a trashed house can be hard, but not impossible!
It can be incredibly overwhelming to clean up your house! Having small kids at home, a house can become messy in an instant, and there seems to be no end in sight.
You might find yourself waking up at night and thinking “my house is a disaster and I don’t know where to start!”, but don’t worry, you are not alone!
Many moms find themselves in the same position! However, there are ways to get your home into good shape again and prevent it from getting out of control going forward.
Here is where to start cleaning a messy house. Plus, how to get motivated when overwhelmed by mess in your home!
Cleaning A Messy House When You’re Paralyzed By The Mess
There are (unfortunately) no super-secret tips available to give you a perfectly clean house with no effort. You will have to put some work in at first and do your bit to keep the house in a relatively tidy state.
Remember, having small kids makes it impossible to have an impeccably clean house. Don’t expect your home to be magazine-ready at all times!
Give yourself some grace and patience during the process but don’t be scared to get started.
1. Get Your Supplies Together
You will need a few simple supplies to get cleaning. You should try to wear an apron if you can – it gives you some extra room to store your supplies as you go!
Pack some trash bags into the apron, and keep a box or bag close to store items that you choose to donate.
For keeping you sane, have some music playing on the speakers or through your earphones. This really does wonders to keep you motivated to clean! Even putting some light watching on the TV while you clean can help.
You could also set aside a special treat for yourself for when you are done cleaning. This could be a bar of chocolate or a little spa treatment at home!
2. Get Into The Right Frame Of Mind
Do not start cleaning if you are in a bad mood or not in the right frame of mind to do so.
You need to get into the right mood before cleaning, or you will find yourself feeling incredibly overwhelmed very quickly.
If you need some tips on how to get yourself mentally ready to start cleaning, here is what you can do:
- Take some deep breaths to calm down
- Stop feeling bad about letting the mess accumulate to what it is
- Have a clear picture in your mind of what you want your home to look like once it has been cleaned – this will keep you motivated
- Know that you can tackle the mess no matter how bad you think it might be, even if you have to divide the cleaning over a few days
3. Work On One Room At A Time
You will never be able to clean effectively if you flutter from room to room.
You need to have a clear plan in mind on how you will tackle the different rooms in your home, and then stick to this plan.
When choosing which room to start with, it might be better to start with a moderately messy room that won’t be too difficult to clean.
If you start with the messiest room, you might become overwhelmed and just give up on cleaning altogether.
Accomplishing small tasks will keep you on track. It isn’t a race, and even if you get to one room a week, you are making a difference and your goal will eventually be reached.
It might even help you to break down the rooms on paper, and have a clear plan set out. This is what you could plan for each room:
Kitchen – Wash any dirty dishes, clear the countertops of clutter, wipe the side of the fridge down, and organize any unruly cabinets or the shelf. Your pantry might also need some decluttering and reorganizing.
Living room – Clear up any trash from the floors or tabletops. Pick up any books or magazines and put them where they belong. Get the kids to take their toys back to their room and into their toy boxes.
Bedroom – Pick up any dirty clothes lying around and put them into the wash. Declutter the nightstand, dresser, or any surfaces. Make the bed and arrange the pillows nicely.
Bathroom – Empty any trash bins, use disinfectant to clean the sink, the counters, and the toilet. Place any bath toys into a basket or net. Wash any dirty towels and face cloths, and throw away empty bottles and toiletries.
Kids’ room – Place books back onto the bookshelf, pick up dirty clothes, and put them in the wash, throw away any trash, and put toys away where they belong.
Closet – Re-hang any clothes which have fallen off the hanger, straighten up and pair shoes, fold and pack away clean laundry.
These small cleaning practices can really make a huge difference in how tidy your room looks, and if done often, you will develop good habits and soon not have to even think twice about cleaning up.
4. Declutter Wherever You Can
Having clutter in your home is a sure way for it to look messy, no matter how shiny and clean your surfaces might be.
Not only will decluttering make your home look cleaner, but you will have less to clean up and pack away as well.
Getting out of the habit of constantly purchasing things you don’t need will also save you money!
Once you have done a basic clean of the house and gone through each room, you can then start to declutter.
It can be so overwhelming to think of decluttering, but you do not have to start big. You can start with decluttering one or two items at a time if you don’t feel like you could do more.
It helps to have a separate box in your home for donations. You can work through your home at your own pace and decide what you want to donate, and put it into the box. Once the box is full, you can take it to a local charity.
When decluttering, be as ruthless as possible. You might not want to throw away that mug you have had since high school, but it is actually such a freeing process, and it helps you realize you don’t actually need everything you have.
5. Don’t Push Yourself To Do It In One Day
If your house is considerably messy, you need to accept that you will not be able to clean up completely in one day. It will take time, and that is fine.
The most important step is committing to the process, and then drawing up a plan and knowing how you are going to tackle each problem.
Be realistic about your timeline as well.
Take a look at every room and try to conceptualize how long it will take to clean up each room. It could take you an entire weekend to get through the kitchen cupboards or kids’ rooms – you need to give yourself time.
Trying to accomplish everything in one day will only overwhelm you and turn you off of your task.
There is no reason to get it all done in a day! The more time you give yourself, the better you will be able to do.
Spread out achievable goals throughout the week. Say, Monday I’ll tackle the living room. Wednesday, the kids room, etc.
6. Revaluate What You Think Of As Clean
The truth, which all moms know but find it difficult to accept, is that we will never be able to achieve a perfectly clean house all the time. It seems like our kids make it their mission to make it difficult for us (haha)!
Rethink what you consider tidy. Your home will probably not look like the houses on TV or magazines do, and that’s okay.
If you are having guests over, you can do a big clean and have the picture-perfect house you want for a little bit (before the kids and guests tuck in).
I’ve made peace with the fact that my home will never look like it did when I was single and childless. But that’s okay! In fact, it’s better than okay. I am 100% satisfied with the trade-off, and I’m sure you are too 😉
7. Get The Kids Involved
You can’t do it all on your own mama! You are only one person, and the rest of the family lives in the house too!
Try to find age-appropriate ways for the kids to get involved with cleaning, with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. It is obviously easier to assign chores to older children, but you can get your toddler helping out as well.
For toddlers, they can help clean up their toys, put pillows back on their bed, and take their plates and cups to the kitchen. Keeping a house clean with toddlers isn’t impossible!
Children a little older can help with dishes, put items in the laundry, tidy up their toys, and help you pack dinner away.
Teenagers are capable of helping out more, but be careful not to overload them if they are already busy with school.
They can do simple tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry, making their own bed, and helping to cook dinner if they are free.
It also helps to get your family into a routine of doing a quick clean up each night before bed.
Whether this is washing up any dishes, or taking their belongings to their rooms, if everyone pitches in, cleaning a messy house should be a breeze for you!
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