How To Tackle a Messy House
WRITTEN BY LILIANA DUQUE, HOUSEKEEPING DIRECTOR.
If you are like most, cleaning up your house when it is messy is the last thing you feel like doing. It must be done though especially if you are going to have guests over. First you need to gain momentum by eliminating the decision-making that slows us down and gets us off-track. In other words, less THINKING, more DOING! What I do that is most successful to me is break the process into stages. Having a method gives me a sense of accomplishment and helps keep me stay on track, even with frequent detours. Here are some tips on how to tackle a messy house.
Tackling the Mess
- Get Yourself Together- You’re useless to the world in pajamas. Grab some basic hygiene, your supplements and some coffee. Trust me. It works better this way. You are now ready to face anything! You will need two laundry baskets and a plastic bag.
- The Super Fast Sort- When your house is in utter disarray, the worst thing you can do is start obsessing about the details. You need instant, visual gratification so you can gain momentum. After years of studious analysis, I have concluded that all messy houses are made up of three things:
- Dirty Laundry
- Stuff that Does Not Belong (either needs to be donated or put away). We address these first because it will make your house feel insta-clean.
Grab a couple of laundry baskets and a plastic bag. One of the laundry baskets is for dirty laundry. The second basket is for stray items that do not belong. The plastic bag is for trash. Without much thought, fly through each room of the house gathering dirty laundry, trash, and all stray items. DO NOT THINK. JUST DO! Your basket should be a fairly random pile of foolishness. Receipts mixed in with a pile of headbands and play cookies will make your OCD start to twitch, but just ignore it. My “stray items” baskets looks like this:
When I’m finished gathering, I put my laundry, trash and stray items in one spot where I can deal with them later. For me, that spot is the kitchen table. I then move on to the next step, basic tidying. That includes tasks like making beds, picking up toys, and doing the dishes.
- The Basic Tidy Up- When this step is done you’ll start to feel like life is worth living again!
- Trash & Laundry- Take the trash out and start a load of laundry. Instant gratification! Two big things are instantly cleared from your pile. Plus, the washer is going, which makes everything feel better anyways. Your final step is to put away the foolishness in the baskets.
- Put Away Stray Items- I save this for the end because it requires the most thought. I complete the last step by sorting my baskets into piles according to where they belong. Like this:
Then I deliver each pile to its home. I have to credit my mom with being the queen of the oh-so-tedious “sort and deliver.” She taught me her ways and now here you are, you have just tackled a messy house and showed it who is boss! For more at home tips and tricks be sure to visit our living blog!