So many of us messies talk about getting our homes clean “for once and for all.” We tend to put things on hold, waiting for our home to get clean permanently.
It’s not going to happen. As long as people live in the home, messes will happen. Messes even happen in the homes of cleanies… especially cleanies with children.
The goal of getting a home clean “for once and for all” is an impossible goal. We messies get frustrated and then decide we’re not going to clean at all if we can’t get it clean permanently. We put off things like getting pretty sheets for our bed and pretty towels for our bathroom because we don’t see a point… if our home won’t stay clean, we feel like we don’t deserve nice things for our home.
If you’re starting with a messy house, it is exhausting to clean the whole house and then to try to maintain it. You might be able to spend a weekend and make your house close to spotless, but it’ll take a week or two before you have the energy to clean again.
It’s emotionally healthier for us to decide to clean and maintain small areas of our house. Instead of setting an impossible goal of cleaning the whole house at once and then keeping it clean, set a goal to clean one small area and keep that area clean. Popular areas are the kitchen sink, the bathroom, and the dining room table. Choose one, and take 15 minutes to an hour to clean it. It depends on how messy the area is. If you are a Super Messie, it might take a couple of hour-long sessions to get a certain area clean. Don’t let that get you down. Keep looking out for the long term. You’re working on it… it’s okay to take a few days or even a week to get an area clean.
Once your small area is clean, add it to your daily list so you can keep it clean. Do a once-over every morning and evening to keep it clean. After you’ve successfully kept that area clean for a week or so, add another area. Keep at it until you reach a point where one more thing would be too much. It’s kind of like getting in shape. You exercise a little more each week until it gets to be too much, then you back off and maintain for a while. After a few weeks or a month, try adding a new area.
Take it slow and don’t worry about getting it clean “for once and for all.” You can do it… a little at a time.