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3 Basic Principles to Help You Keep Your House (and Life) Running Smoothly

Many of us are feeling overwhelmed by our houses, our schedules, and our lives. We are not living with joy; we are struggling just to get through the day, only to collapse exhausted at night, and get up the next day to start the whole horrible process again. We are living in chaos! Here are three principles to help us as we try to get organized!

  1. Keep it simple.
    Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. This applies to doing laundry, making dinner, and everything in between. If you feed your family a cheese sandwich for dinner one night, that’s fine. If you wash the jeans with the towels, that’s fine. Stop color coordinating hangers and baskets and decorating your laundry room. Which brings me to…
  2. Get rid of your perfectionism.
    You may not realize that perfectionism is a problem. If you don’t get started with something because you are overwhelmed, then perfectionism is making you procrastinate. You’re waiting until you have time to “do it right”. Stop that. Just do anything. It’s better than doing nothing. Anything worth doing is worth doing WRONG!
  3. Understand that taking care of your house is being kind to YOU.
    Making sure your house makes you feel good when you walk in the door is a way to be kind to yourself. I am not talking about things being “perfect” (There is no such thing! The only perfect houses are in magazines.) What I mean is that it is being kind to yourself to make sure your laundry is done, to cook good food that will help you be healthy, etc.  So, don’t take care of your house to be acceptable to others, or to please a parent that was never satisfied. This is YOUR house! You can do it your way! You are cleaning it and decorating it to make yourself feel at home and cared for, not so that you can post a picture on Pinterest.

If you are still too overwhelmed to start sifting through the piles of clutter, pretend you are helping a friend. When it’s not your stuff, it’s easier to deal with. Don’t focus on the whole house at once, just a small area. For example, don’t look at the whole dirty kitchen. Look at one counter, and work on that. Celebrate each small accomplishment! Make taking care of your house as pleasant as you can. Put on some music, light a candle, and think about “playing house” rather than “keeping house”. Don’t fuss at any other family member who tries to do something.

Appreciate your own efforts, and appreciate the efforts of others who don’t “do it right”! And please remember, nothing is wrong when everything is not “done at once”. It’s always in process! That’s just the way it is.