Mrs. Jones' Soapbox

  • How to clean when you are feeling completely overwhelmed

    Is the house a mess, but you’re not sure where to even begin? Welcome to the crowd. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Your feelings are real and maybe even emotionally painful at times. I get it. I often look around my house, and even my life, and wonder how all the other moms keep it together. I know what it’s like to think there is way too much to do and not enough hours in the day … or enough energy! Day after day, I feel like I wake up, get the girls off to school, drink my coffee, and feel pumped to tackle my to-do list … only to find that the day flew by … and the toys, dishes, and stacks of paperwork are still staring at me at 7 p.m. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know how to clean up the mess in your house, here are some simple solutions that I believe will help — ALL of us. ;)


    1. Take care of time-sensitive issues:

    Go through your pile of mail and/or paperwork and look for bills that need to be paid and RSVP to any invitations you have received. Throw away all junk mail.

    Return library books.

    Confirm upcoming appointments. 

    Make returns/exchanges that need to be taken care of. 

    Drop off and/or pick up dry cleaning.


    2. Choose an area to clean, and start small.

    When you’re really overwhelmed by clutter, one good way to break out of the paralysis is to start small. Pick one spot in your home that’s very visible, like the kitchen counters or the coffee table … or you can even fluff the pillows on your sofa. Don’t start with closets or other places that you don’t readily see. You’ll want to be able to look around and feel like you’ve made progress no matter how small. Start there, and then move to the next room. 

    It’s easy to get sidetracked when carrying things from room to room to put them away, so I suggest starting with one area, and stick with the task until it’s done. Start a pile for items that need to be moved to another room and a pile for items that you want to permanently get rid of. Throw them in boxes or laundry baskets to carry to the next room.


    3. Make your kitchen sparkle.

    The kitchen is the heart of your home and the most popular place for everyone to congregate.

    Clear off the counters so you only have minimal items displayed.

    Clean and put away dishes.

    Wipe down counters.

    Give your appliances a quick wipe down.


    4. Knock out cleaning every bathroom all at once.

    I keep a bathroom cleaning bucket under my sink. This makes it easy to grab and move with me from one bathroom to the next. 


    5. End with floors … and then a big glass of wine.

    Sweep, vacuum, mop … then sip. You deserved it. 


    We all need to keep in mind that what someone else’s home looks like does not matter. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others, but in reality, nobody is looking at our dirty floors. Take a deep breath, put on some music, and start small. If you get sidetracked easily, 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. When the timer buzzes, you’re free to stop and move onto something else or you may find that you want to continue working on that dreaded chore until it’s done. Or maybe it won’t even take the entire 15 minutes! And remember, for some people, keeping things clean and organized seems like an easy task, but just because it’s easy for some people, doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone, or that you’re doing something wrong — you’re just doing the best that you can, and, after all, we are only human. 


    We’ve got this,

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