3 Simple Housekeeping Tips to Inspire Busy Parents

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After I unburied myself from my messes, I promised that I’d help others dig out from under their clutter, too. But sometimes that’s hard. Because clutter isn’t always just about a messy room.

Clutter is often a symptom of something much deeper. Childhood loss, financial strain, deeply-ingrained habits, depression, chronic illness, and marital stress are all circumstances that lead to clutter.

So a few months ago, I turned away. I stopped digging into the difficult topics because they hurt. My heart ached for the women who cried out to me in letters, asking for help. I gave quick, peppy answers and ignored the deeper cries because that was easier.

I’m sorry. And no more.

I may not have the perfect answers, but I’m going to do my best to help, to encourage, and to inspire. We tend to hold on to things while trying to fill holes deep within our hearts. But no heart is too wounded to be encouraged, no home is too far gone to make progress, and no success is too small to celebrate.

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Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble.” Romans 12:15-116 (NKJV)

Sometimes, life is hard. Change hurts. But after the hard, after the hurt, is something beautiful. And I’m ready to be right here, talking about the hard stuff and cheering you on.

Today’s hard question is from Danielle.

   “I’ve led such an unorganized life that I have no idea where to start. I tend to bounce from room to room because I get overwhelmed! I’m almost at the point of a panic attack! I suffer from depression which hasn’t helped, but I want to overcome it. I don’t want something to take such control of my life that I’m consumed by self loathing and sadness.” – Danielle

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Danielle, I am so sorry that you suffer from anxiety and depression.

When depression becomes deep, just getting out of bed in the morning is a huge ordeal and housekeeping can feel nearly impossible.

I recommend reading Conquering Depression: A 30-Day Plan to Finding Happiness by Mark A. Sutton and Bruce Hennigan. This book goes through a month-long study on depression, with tips and strategies to conquering the depression. {The Kindle version is on sale for $0.99 right now!}

 

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Conquering Depression covers topics such as things you can do to relieve depression on your own, when to find outside help, and what to do when there is a chemical imbalance. Each chapter is short and to the point, so the book only takes a few minutes to get through each day, and offers hope from day one.

When you start feeling depressed, talk to your spouse or a friend, or seek help from a counselor in addition to reading through a helpful book.

simplehousekeepingtips

To help you receive encouragement when you’re feeling overwhelmed, I invited you to join the secret Facebook group.

Plus, here are a few quick tips about handling overwhelmed feelings:

1) Only focus on one room.

You may choose the room that bothers you the most, the room that’s the easiest to clean, the area company first sees when they arrive, or any other room you’d like. The room itself doesn’t matter nearly as much as just starting somewhere and giving yourself a success!

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2) Just do something.

You may not have time to clean your entire kitchen, but you could unload and reload the dishwasher. If you can’t organize your entire dresser, you can declutter one drawer. It doesn’t seem like much, but all of these little minutes help add up to make a huge impact!

3) Give yourself grace.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when we’re not making progress as quickly as we’d like. But we can give in to those discouraged, paralyzing feelings or we can push through and refuse to give up!

I hope this helps you, Danielle! You also asked some great questions about who should be doing the housework. I talked about that a little bit here and I plan to address your specific questions in my next article.

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What tips or encouragement would you like to share with Danielle for when she’s feeling overwhelmed or anxious?

{To submit your own questions, go here.}

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Comments

  1. I definitely have a looooooong way to go, but sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a room, it helps to take a small “project” out and move it to another room or area to focus on that project alone until it’s done. We just had our first child and unfortunately, we didn’t keep up with our mail as it came in each day. It just piled up the last month or so of my pregnancy and the two months since then. It was one of the “non-essentials” that I just didn’t have the time or energy to deal with right then. Yesterday during my lunch hour, I pulled out a small basket and filled it with mail to sort through. I moved it to the kitchen table and my husband and I spent 10 minutes sorting it into a shred basket, a trash basket, and a keep basket. Once we finished, we threw away the trash pile and refilled the “to sort” basket for today’s lunch hour. After today and one more day, it should be completely sorted and I’ll then file the “keep” papers the next day. (The baskets stack pretty well and can be moved off the table for meals.)

    Had I not moved the sorting process to the dining room table, I would’ve been thinking about the floor that needs to be mopped, the rugs that need to be vacuumed and/or washed, the cabinet doors that need to be dusted, the re-arranging of cabinets I need to do so I have a place for bottles to be stored, the laundry room that needs to be painted so I can put up a wall-mounted drying rack and I can take down the big one in the middle of the kitchen, the fact that I need to run vinegar through our coffee pot to clean it since it’s been awhile, etc. But, I moved it away and we were able to focus on that one task and it made a huge dent in that mail pile! Now, we just need to keep the mail from piling up again!

  2. Danielle says:

    Hi Davonne,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to address my issue! I know it’s an issue for many! Being a SAHM is difficult work in itself, but to suffer from depression an anxiety on top…well makes the work a million times harder! We recently found out some unfortunate news regarding my husband’s grandfather which one again puts my house on the back burner it seems. His family is extremely close and I understand the need and want to constantly be there. It just seems I’m always running…in between my children’s school (volunteering), helping his family, my kids sports, at the end of the day not only am I emotionally but also physically exhausted.
    On a positive note, I have made a dent in my clutter I have a back room that we are using as a pantry until we turn it into a full bath… ANYWAYS I threw away 4 garbage bags and have tons to take to The Salvation Army. Still working on organizing but I’m close to finished! As for today I’m beyond exhausted! GOD BLESS!

    • You are so welcome Danielle. I’m just sorry that it took so long to answer your questions and I’m sorry you’ve had difficult news about your husband’s grandfather. You’re making amazing progress though! I’m so excited for you that you’re almost done organizing and decluttering!

    • Congratulations on the dent, 4 bags plus things to donate is fantastic! I go through fits and starts with “getting organized” but two things that have helped me is to 1) choose a SINGLE habit to focus on (putting shoes away, or keeping table clear, or making bed), and 2) follow the advice of Nony from aslobcomesclean.com to put each item away immediately. Not create new piles while I sort. Just pick up an item and take it to it’s home (or trash). It takes longer, but I don’t leave a bigger mess.
      Thanks for this post, Davonne! I’m looking forward to reading more of your inspiration!

  3. I relate a lot to Danielle. It seems contradictory to a lot of people, but I tend to let my living spaces get out of control because it bothers me so much to have clutter that I can’t touch it without having a panic attack. I can’t remember where I heard it, but this advice helped me a lot: We tend to think that when we can’t get organized, it’s because we’re stupid or incompetent. It’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with you; you just haven’t gotten into the practice of organization yet! You CAN do it! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the awesome tips! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – the door opens tonight @ midnight EST! We hope to see you then. 🙂

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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