Is cleaning your home something that you thrive on or just another thing that overwhelms your day? If you’re in the latter category, follow these six tips to help take back some control.
1- One thing at a time
The bigger the task, the more insurmountable it can feel. If you’re even half as easily overwhelmed as I am then thinking about all the things that need to be cleaned and feeling like you have to get it all done at once just makes it too hard. It reaches that point that there is so much to do it’s hard to even know where to start. If you are plagued by this barrier to cleaning then stop looking at the big picture and break it down. Focus on one thing at a time and just do that.
You can create small habits that help. For example anytime you get up, get into the habit of looking for something that you can pick up and put it away.
You can also apply it to larger cleaning challenges by picking a small area and decide to just clean that spot. Once that’s done, move to the next spot. Don’t make plans beyond the spot you choose, just keep moving on to the next spot when and as you are ready to.
Give yourself easy to achieve rules that you can confidently achieve each day, whether it’s ensuring you do one load of washing, one pile of dishes, or vacuuming one room. As you build up your routines and confidence that you can get these things done, you can start to increase your load.
2- Beware of the gimmicks
Whether it’s a viral mantra, the latest gadget or the the trendiest hack, gimmicks aren’t always all they seem. Something that works really well for one person can just add to your own junk pile and make things even more overwhelming. Make sure you really understand a product, service, or personal checklist before you jump into it. There’s nothing worse than being discouraged because you feel like the promoted solution to your cleaning woes was just something else you failed in.
Life is about choices. While it can be tempting to just avoid cleaning altogether, it’s not really practical, or hygenic to do so.
Create a list of things that need to be done and put them in order of importance. Ensure you have a list of what is important on a daily basis (such as having clean dishes to eat from and clean underwear to wear) and what is important over longer periods (such as reorganising a storage closet that you’ve hidden all the textbooks that you need for next year in).
When you prioritise you give yourself the freedom to work through the less urgent tasks at a slower pace. This can help reduce the stress of feeling like everything needs to be done at once.
4- Get the right supplies
Having the wrong tools for the job not only makes the job more difficult, it can make it impossible. Having the right storage solutions is just as important as having the right cleaning products and supplies. Ensure your cleaning tools are easily accessible and you know when you need to replace them.
5- Know that it’s ok to get help
Sometimes it takes more than we can manage on our own. It’s ok to accept that. Don’t let some sense of pride that you should be able to do it all yourself, hold you back from recognising when and where you need some help. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting a hand to get back on top of things. Other times getting external help to stay on top of the regular cleaning is needed so that you can focus on your own strengths and priorities.
6- Find the Cleaning Style that works for you
There is a lot of information available to us on the internet, and lots of different options presented when you talk to professionals. Different suggestions for how to organise, how to clean, checklists to use, and a wide range of products and materials. Be a sponge and soak in the information, then squeeze it out so that you are only retaining what works for you.
It can take time to find your cleaning groove, and to get the right balance between what you can do yourself, what you get help with, and what products, tools, and storage options really work for you.
Don’t despair if the first thing you try doesn’t work out, or if you need more help than you realised. Just take the next step and try again. You will figure it out, and you’ll feel much better for it.
Now just breathe and pick one simple thing to do now. Doesn’t that feel better already?