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If your home was perfectly clean, how long would it take for it to become dirty to the point of overwhelm?
Homemaking can often be like working on a balance board, when you are strong and feeling refreshed, you can balance well. But when you start to tire, you can easily begin to slip without noticing; and then next thing you know you’ve lost your balance and fallen off.
When I had my first adoption home study last year, I spent almost 24 straight hours cleaning my small, 700 sq ft home before my social worker came. Everything was squeaky clean.
But after she left, I went back to two full-time jobs, and things began to slip. Dishes started to pile up in the sink, laundry in the bathroom and trash in the bin. And then one day I came home from work and the house was a disaster.
I felt overwhelmed, ashamed and embarrassed. How could I, a blogger who primarily talks about homemaking, let her house get this bad? Yes, I worked a lot, but I lived alone and wasn’t home often enough to make this much of a mess…was I?
It wasn’t as if I had trashed my house and not cared for it, but without realization it became a disaster, seemingly overnight.
And while I cleaned the mess, this seemed to become a pattern with my work schedule. Have a clean home, a few weeks later, have a disaster. Clean and repeat.
I was in a rut. And it seemed like something I couldn’t get out of. So what could I do?
If you are in a rut like I was, here are some tips that helped me get out of my rut, and back into feeling calm, collected, and in control.
1 | Identify Hot Spots & Declutter
I realized that I had a lot of my mess was useless clutter. One of the worst spaces was the kitchen table. It was directly in front of the door when I came in and held everything that was in my arms each day. From mail, backpacks, and everything in between it was constantly covered in stuff.
When I realized what a problem this was, I made sure to take the extra few minutes to bring things to their rightful homes and not just drop them on the table.
Identify the places in your homes that attract unnecessary clutter and take a few extra minutes to declutter them (and keep it that way) each day.
Make sure everything has a home, and if it doesn’t it needs to find one, replace something, or be tossed. Don’t let clutter fill up your home when you don’t need it in the first place.
2 | Make cleaning easier for yourself
One of the ways I made keeping the hot spots easier to clean was by adding garbage cans and laundry baskets more abundantly throughout the home.
I know some will say that this adds more clutter, and for you it may, but for me it did not. I was able to toss dirty laundry in the laundry baskets in the main room, and junk mail in the recycling by the door. When it was time to collect the garbage or do laundry, I did have to pick up more baskets but they were smaller than regular baskets, and easy to collect.
Try and find small ways to make cleaning easier on yourself. Unfortunately, cleaning is not a one-stop-shop for all. I wish I could say everything I do will work for you too, but that is not the case. It can be hard to find what will work best for you; but with patience, trial and error, you can find your rhythm too.
3 | Identify your stressors
If you are stressed due to life events, then take time to identify those and analyze how they are affecting your life. Some may be obvious, such as money issues, or life events. While others may be smaller that you need to think through first; such as environmental issues that you may have become blind to.
This could be anything from money issues, health problems, problems at work, issues between your family, or having a hard time living in clutter or in a dangerous living space.
If you have the ability to identify any of these stressors, I would do so immediately. If not, see if it’s possible to ask for help, take time to care for yourself, or ask God for help. Eliminating these from your life can avoid crises and can bring your energy up to speed.
If these are not being addressed, you will eventually lead yourself to a crisis and in my opinion, a crisis is a place where you know you need change, but you don’t know how to change it. Try and head these off before they can come to fruition, and always seek help as needed. There is no shame in that.
4 | Give yourself grace
I know I say this in many of my posts, but I really mean it. It is so important to remember to give yourself grace in hard times. We are only human, and even Jesus, the Son of God, needed rest.
If you are able, in these hard times and ruts that you may get in, make sure to take a break, pamper yourself a little, and bask in the Word of God.
How do you cope with life and being a homemaker, when you’re in a rut? Leave a comment below to encourage each other!