Tips For A Clean Home When You Feel Like You Can’t Have One
I see more and more women weighed down by the thought that they can’t have a clean home. They say they want to and they work towards this goal, but yet they look around at their home and still see a never-ending mess.
I’m going to talk about the barriers that are holding you back from obtaining the clean home that you wish you had.
Then I’m going to give you tips on how to overcome those barriers and some tips for having a clean home when you feel like you can’t have one.
The Three Main Reasons You Feel Like You Can’t Clean
Barrier #1 – You Don’t Have Time
Barrier #2 – You Have Kids, A Husband, Dogs, Etc. That Make It Too Hard
Barrier #3 – You Think It Has To Be Perfect To Be Considered Clean
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Tips For Having A Clean Home When It Feels Impossible
#1 How To Have Time To Clean Your Home
I hope you aren’t here for some magic trick to having more time in your day. I also hope you are prepared for some honest truth.
Too often I see women start listing all of the things they do in their daily life, almost like it’s a competition.
They work this many hours, do this many activities, have this many kids, this many dogs, this many goats… and so on.
Listen, we are all busy. I get it. But how much of that is an excuse?
Plus, if we are going to compete over who is busier, I don’t want to compete. Glorifying your busy life is part of the problem.
Getting rid of some things, simplifying your life, knowing what your priorities are, and being intentional with your time… that is what is important and will let you take back your time.
Let’s talk about how to actually have time to clean…
Change Your Mind Set
We often get in our own heads and think that we don’t have time. We let ourselves get really negative about housework because we feel like we have so much going on and we just can’t do everything.
You’re right. You can’t do everything. So if a clean home is important to you then let go of something else and find time to clean.
Remind yourself of why you want a clean home to begin with and remind yourself often.
God gave you this home and this family to take care of, so take care of it. And do it joyfully. What if you didn’t have that home, or that family to pick up after?
It’s harsh, but if you ask yourself that question I bet you have a new found appreciation for their need for you.
Without you, the house would be a mess. That isn’t something to hold over their heads either. It hopefully reminds you that they need you, and it’s nice to be needed.
If you are still struggling with your mindset about cleaning your home try reading these 9 Reasons To Keep Your Home Clean.
Start A Routine
Start a cleaning routine that works for you and your household. Keep in mind that just because it works for me does not mean that it needs to work for you.
Load your dishwasher every night and unload it every morning. Do small loads of laundry every day instead of taking hours and hours to fold piles and piles on the weekend.
The glory of a routine is that it becomes a habit. When it’s a habit it makes it easier.
Keep the routine simple so you can keep up with housework but still have time for your family. I don’t believe in cleaning routines that have you doing chores for hours a day. That is not realistic and why so many people feel like they don’t have the time.
Cleaning routines allow you to clean for 15 minutes here and there and then get back to your family.
A routine also allows you to slip up sometimes. I do laundry every day but don’t allow myself to do it on the weekends. But if I get behind, I still have the weekend to catch up.
Or maybe I didn’t clean the bathroom on Tuesday. It’s no big deal because I just cleaned it last week and will clean it again next week.
Evaluate How You Spend Your Time
Okay, time to be completely honest with yourself… how much time are you spending on your phone or watching Netflix?
I shake my head every time I hear someone complain about how they don’t have time to keep up with life and then 5 minutes later they are saying they just binge watched Game Of Thrones and need a new show to watch.
I understand that some people are just unbelievably busy and don’t even have time to watch television. However, I know that many of us are great at wasting time.
I myself can easily use up a whole hour on social media. Do you know what I could have done to my house in an hour? My house could be looking pretty amazing after one hour of cleaning.
The cool part is. It doesn’t even take an hour to clean up.
Cleaning always takes way less time than you think it is going to. Just get up, get started, and you’re done before you know it.
Clutter is the ultimate time sucker. Clutter is what keeps you picking things up All. Day. Long.
You are constantly picking up and not actually cleaning. There is no time for cleaning because…. CLUTTER!
So declutter your house. I promise it will positively impact your life in so many ways.
I believe in this so much that I wrote an ebook book about it. Your Guide To Decluttering Your Whole House In Your Own Time. It is super helpful and walks you through the whole process. Your house will be tidy in no time.
Don’t think clutter is your problem… Here is how you can know.
Take a picture of every space in your home. Then look at the pictures. Does it look messy and cluttered in any way?
There is something about a picture of a room that always shows me it is messier than I thought it was.
Okay, let’s move on to tackling barrier #2.
#2 How To Handle Other People’s Messes
First of all, remember what I said early about them needing you. How the house wouldn’t be a warm inviting place for them to live in if it wasn’t for you taking care of it.
That alone should help you feel better about cleaning up after your kids, dogs, husbands, and whomever else you may live with.
Here are some other things you can do in addition to changing your mindset.
Own Fewer Toys
Give your kid’s toys a good declutter. There are so many reasons why you should do this.
These reasons include; you will have less to pick up, they don’t play with half of them anyways, fewer toys will actually mean more independent play.
Don’t believe me? Read this article by Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist.
If you need more help decluttering your kid’s toys read my article How To Organize Your Kid’s Toys and Keep Them Cleaned Up.
Teach Your Kids To Clean
At a young age, kids can be included in chores. However, you can’t just expect them to know how to do it if you haven’t shown them how.
Whenever you are doing chores, get them involved.
Start out by letting them wipe away the dusting spray or put away spoons in the dishwasher.
Have them clean up their room each night before bed. When they are very young you can do it with them. Showing them where things go and that it can be fun to clean up with mommy.
Play some fun music and make light of it. If they are still very little and aren’t wanting to do it just stay relaxed, keep it upbeat, and one day they will want to join in on the fun.
Give Yourself A Break
Many, many, times, I have found myself cleaning the bathroom only to find my daughter has taken all of her clothes of our her dresser. (*facepalm*)
These situations can and will happen. I use to get frustrated with this. What was the point of cleaning up if others were just going to make more messes?!
Then I changed my mindset.
There is very little I can do about toddler messes and dog messes. This should not keep me from doing things such as cleaning the bathroom.
Actually, my toddler is now with me in the bathroom while I clean it. I give her a wet wipe and she wipes down her little toilet and the outside of the bathtub. She really enjoys doing this.
Just remember that accidents happen and feeling frustrated about having to pick up our daily life is going to lead you nowhere but down a road that makes you feel even more frustrated.
When a mess is made, have the person who made it help you pick it up. This will teach them to clean up after themselves.
Except for dogs… they can’t clean up after themselves… and sometimes husbands.
To help with the dogs read Tips For Keeping Your Home Clean When You Have Dogs.
For help with your husband read Tips For…. no I’m just kidding! There is no such article. (haha!) BUT I have some advice, you can take it or leave it.
What to do when you feel like you are always picking up your husband’s mess…
Just pick it up. Don’t let him get away with being a slob, but don’t make it a big deal.
I remind myself that I was designed to be his “help meet.” I am to be his helper and help him with things that are not his strengths. It makes me happy to get to be his helper. If your husband’s strength is not being tidy that is fine, help him out.
Tidy up his things with no complaints and I think you will find that he does pick things up more than you think.
Plus, think about how much he is helping you. You may need to help him by cleaning up his messes but he is also doing things for you. He takes care of you, he helps provide for the family, he fills in where you are lacking.
Also, once you start your cleaning routine he will notice and may start chipping in. My husband knows I load the dishwasher every night and when he sees I’ve been busy, need to get some blog work done, or am just completely worn out, he will do this for me without me even asking.
I find that when I wait around hoping he will pick up the mess I just continue to see if and start to get frustrated. When I just pick up the mess, it’s gone and I’m not longer fixating on it.
And lastly… have you even asked? Maybe if you just ask nicely for him to help you with something, he would be happy to help.
#3 Be Okay With Less Than Perfect
Real talk… your house will never be perfectly clean and that is OK.
This doesn’t mean you should drop everything and stop cleaning. It means you should still clean your home to the best of your ability while letting go of the idea that people out there have perfectly clean homes.
When we get down about our homes it tends to be when we start thinking that someone else has it all together and that her home is cleaner than ours.
Stop doing that. Just stop.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Your life and her life are not the same life. She does things differently than you, her priorities might be slightly different than yours.
So focus on your own house and make it the best that you can with the time and resources that you have.
Also, when was the last time you saw her house? When she knew that you were coming over and she had time to clean up? Or maybe it was in the background of a recent social media post… please remember what you see on social media is not real life.
Don’t be guilty of the flip side of the story either. We think we have so much more going on than she does. She has way more time to be cleaning her house and so it’s okay for mine to be a mess.
Again, you don’t know everything going on her life. So stop watching her and finding excuses for yourself.
You are not perfect. I’m sure you can admit that you make mistakes daily.
This applies to your house as well. There will be some days when you really just cannot keep up with it all.
On those days you let it go and just get back at it the next day.
Don’t get so down by a few days of the mess that you let it keep piling up on yourself. This eventually leads to it becoming so overwhelming that you don’t know what to do about anymore.
BUT do understand that a house can and will be messy sometimes, in fact, often. Just make sure you have those systems and routines in place that make it simple for you to get cleaned up and get back on track.
I hope this motivates to take care of your home and that you found something helpful here. Come by any time. 🙂
New More Help?
If you feel like you need more help, don’t worry, I have a lot more resources to help you out.
First of all, I was serious when I said Decluttering was key to having more time to clean.
You can also get my Ebook Simplify Your Life With A Cleaning Routine for free.
Make sure you go back and read of all the links that were through this post, they will lead you to other helpful articles. Plus, here are some additional items to read: