Fighting Off Chaos

Heather says:

There are times where a home will fall apart.  It may be sickness, a family emergency, a crazy schedule at work, or occasionally it’s a season of celebration ( a wedding, graduation, birth).  Whatever the case it’s easy to fall out of healthy routines.  Like a bad houseguest chaos rarely arrives alone, it often brings a friend or two, usually anxiety and depression.

Here are a few tools to help stop the cycle before it begins.

  • Always have at least one meal that can be slapped together in less than 10 minutes.  Whether it’s a frozen entree and bagged salad or sandwiches.  Before every grocery trip ensure it exists.
  • If you have kids or pets have their needs and schedules listed in an obvious location.
  • Keep the sink half full of soapy water; soaked dishes are easier to face than those with crusted on food.
  • Do not run the washer if you know you’ll be too busy to put it in the dryer – dirty clothes are easier to fix than mildew.

Finally, if you are sick, overwhelmed, or otherwise incapable of meeting basic needs ask for help.  Chances are those who care about you will not consider it a huge burden.  Many times people want to help but either do not know you need it or don’t know what to do.

What do you do when things spiral out of control?


  1. Yvie on June 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    What do I do when things spiral out of control? I stop at my tracks and I think for like a minute.

    It wouldn’t just work if I cry hysterically or fumble. This tip helps though. Always handy when you have to prepare a 10-minute meal.

  2. Mom of three on June 15, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Just finished a week of VBS and my mother here for 9 days, so I can related.
    Let me explain. I work 9-1 each day, and keep the house clean despite three kids all school year. We follow the same schedule during VBS and things are fine. BUT mom is one of those people that does NOT clean after herself, and nothing at her house has a place, so her house is the ultimate in cluttered. She and I are exact opposites. I didn’t learn my cleaning skills from her. I do love her, but this is not one of her talents.
    And she can’t stand for me to do it either when she is here. In fact, if I load the dishwasher, or fold clothes, she complains.
    So I just decided that we would let things go this week. I’d load the dishwasher after she went to bed, and do a load of laundry, but other than that, we’d just go to VBS and cater to mom.
    Today she went home. Chaos reigns. Mom is happy. But I am so miserable.

    Tomorrow, I will start on my Monday chore list. It will take a little longer than normal, but the kids will pitch in. (It’s starting to bother them as well.) By Friday, we will be totally caught up. Each day it will get a little better.

    If mom came here to live, things would be different, but she just visits a few times a year, and I let it go when she’s here. Sometimes life demands that you take a break. New baby, sickness, visiting parent.
    Just do what you can and know it will be there when this time passes.

  3. Darla on June 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I focus on flylady’s routine for “trying” days. If nothing else I stay “even” and not behind.

  4. Meghan on June 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    I try to clean up something. I’ve found that when chaos hits, cleaning a little (picking up the floor, taking the crap off of my bed) helps alleviate the chaos, at least mentally, as things look better, so I feel better.

  5. Margo on June 13, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Great post! I’m just now raising my head out of new baby chaos – my son is approaching 2 months old.
    I have lots of family and a wonderful best friend that live near me – I call them when things are getting hairy. They either pick up the kids so I can tackle the chaos OR they simply start washing and cooking for me. I’m very blessed.

    I think the strategies you mentioned, Heather, are just right. I might add that my attitude improves a lot when I’ve actually told someone about the chaos and admitted I’m having a hard time.

  6. Patia on June 13, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I try real hard to adhere to Flylady’s advice to “shine your sink first.” Well, I don’t exactly shine my sink, but I do make sure to get the dishes done before I go to bed every night. It really does make a difference when all else is going to hell.

  7. Emily on June 13, 2008 at 11:04 am

    When things get chaotic I curl up in the fetal position, sucking my thumb under the comforter in my room.

    Then I get over it and decide which one spot will get my undivided attention. It may just be to unload the dishwasher, but at least that one thing will get done.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.