Yesterday, my mom came over because she had a little time to kill before going to work. There wasn’t any time to clean up because she called me as she turned onto my street. Thanks, mom. “Ah, Ivy,” she said, “Your home is a bastion of cleanliness.” We both laughed because, to be honest, my house has been quite a disaster lately. I would undoubtedly receive the Home Ec 101 Seal of Disapproval if we were handing out seals.
When my grandmother died, my uncle started giving me her stuff. I have a small garage that was nearly full of our own things. Grandma’s stuff has spilled into my living room and now in the space of less than 6 months, my house has reached full on disaster status. Let this be a lesson, the minute you let the mess creep in, the mess multiplies like Tribbles and the next thing you know, you have a messy house. The irritating part is, I already knew this, but depression over losing my grandma and the sheer amount of stuff I got went a long way to helping me ignore my own advice.
I’m telling you this not because I think it’s fun to tell y’all about my house being a disaster, but because I suspect at least some of you are in the same boat. Your house is cluttered. If it’s anything like mine, it’s fairly sanitary (pay no attention to those cat boxes behind the curtain!), but clutter has set in, it’s overwhelming, and you’re not even really sure how to get started.
Never fear! Mess and chaos spread, but so does clean. The key is to leverage the momentum. Normally, when cleaning, I like to set a timer. But with remedial cleaning, I like to do this “by the job.” For example, this morning I cleaned off the top of the kids’ toy cabinet. I had to be ruthless- did I really want to keep all 8,447 pictures my daughter had drawn? I picked my 2 favorites and hung them up.
Make a plan for your remedial cleaning. Now that the top of the kids’ toy cabinet is cleaned off, the next job is to clean the inside of it. Someone hold me, I’m scared. Make a list and enjoy crossing off each task! A sense of accomplishment helps move things along. Eventually, your house will be the “bastion of cleanliness” it once was. And so will mine.