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Messy House? How To Get It Clean and Keep It That Way

A lot of people that I know live in a messy house.

They usually have some excuse for why their house is in the state that it is.

“I don’t have time!” , “I have kids!”, or “I like it this way!” are all common statements.

But I’m guessing that you’re reading this post because you’re sick of living like a slob. You’re ready to make a change.

And I’m so glad you’re here, because having a clean home is totally possible, no matter how messy your house is right now!

a messy house

Messes Are Normal

No one has a perfect house all of the time. Messes are part of life! A little clutter here and there or a messy kitchen after dinner is normal.

But if your messy house has become a health hazard and keeps you or your family from functioning well in your home, then your level of mess is outside the range of normal.

But that’s okay! We can work towards getting your messy house in shape.

Why Having a Messy House is a Bad Thing

A messy house is a bad thing for lots of reasons. Even if we think it doesn’t bother us, a messy house makes our lives feel chaotic and out of control. Like we can’t keep up.

There’s a reason that public spaces are kept tidy. Would you enjoy walking around at Target if they kept their products strewn all over the floor? If the clothes were mixed up in a pile with the cookies and cleaning products?

I think not.

If you visited often enough, you could probably figure out where things were and be able to find what you needed. But it wouldn’t be pleasant.

We crave clean spaces, and feel more calm and relaxed when things are in order.

Your home is no exception.

A few other benefits of having a clean home:

  • You’ll be able to have guest over without having to clean for hours
  • You might be healthier
  • You’ll be less stressed
  • You will love being at home

Why Your House Is a Mess

Messes happen in every home. Even the tidiest people will have a few messes to deal with throughout the day.

The difference is that people with messy houses will make a mess and then walk away without a clear plan for when or how that mess will get cleaned up.

A day in the life of a person with a messy house

Meet Tina. Tina has an unbelievably messy house. And her day goes something like this:

…she stumbles out of bed in the morning and hops into the shower without giving her unmade bed a second thought.

…she grabs a bowl of cereal for breakfast and then immediately goes about her day, leaving the cereal box and her dirty bowl at the table.

…when she gets home from work or an outing, she tosses her keys and coat on the counter and kicks her shoes off by the door.

…she brings the mail in to see if there’s anything interesting, but doesn’t want to deal with the bills and ads, so she leaves them in a pile on the counter.

…after dinner, everyone in her family retires to the living room, leaving their dirty plate on the table

…she finally decides to head to bed, leaving her dirty clothes in a pile next to her bed.

Do you see how the mess grows and grows throughout out the day, without Tina even realizing it? The mess increases exponentially when there are a husband and kids involved.

If you want a clean, organized home, you need a plan.

Kristy has a plan to keep the mess in check

Now let’s meet Kristy. She has a tidy home. She goes about her day a little differently:

…she makes the bed after she gets out of the shower.

…she unloads the dishwasher before breakfast and then loads it immediately after breakfast with dirty dishes.

…when she gets home, she hangs her coat and keys on the hooks she has near the door and puts her shoes away in the cabinet.

…she checks the the mail and immediately throws away anything that isn’t relevant, and puts items that need her attention into a folder to go through it on Friday morning (when she always does home administrative tasks).

…she gets her family involved in folding and putting away the clothes so that it gets done quickly and without distraction.

…she does a 10 minute tidy each night before she goes to bed to keep the mess at bay.

Kristy creates the exact same messes that Tina does throughout the day, but she’s got plans and routines in place to take care of those messes within a short period of time after they’re made.

The Fastest Way To Clean A Messy House

The fastest way to get your messy and disorganized house clean is to hire a professional organizer and house cleaner to come take care of it for you.

But that won’t solve your problems.

If you hire help to get your house in order without a plan in place to keep it that way, it’ll be a disaster again within a few days.

And that’s definitely not what we want!

How to Clean an Overwhelmingly Messy House

When I tell my 3 year old to clean up her blocks, she looks at the dozens of pieces scattered all over the room and is totally overwhelmed. The mess is too big, she thinks it will take too long, and instead throws herself on the floor and screams that she can’t do it.

I don’t blame her! It is kind of a big mess.

Lucky for her, I know the key to overcome the overwhelm. When she comes whining to me that she can’t possibly clean those blocks up all by herself, I tell her one thing:

“Just pick up the yellow blocks.”

Suddenly, she stops crying and her eyes brighten. She looks at the mess and notices that there aren’t really that many yellow blocks. It seems manageable.

She toddles off to get it done, and then comes back to me. I tell her to pick up the blue ones now. Repeat, repeat, repeat with all the colors.

Within 5 minutes, she has the entire mess cleaned up, and she did it by herself.

Nothing about the mess changed, but we broke it down and made the mess a little smaller in her mind.

That’s what we’re going to do with your messy house.

A disastrously mess house is totally overwhelming. You probably don’t know where to start. So we need to think smaller!

Your messy house isn’t going to be taken care of in 5 minutes like my daughter’s blocks. But we can break down the mess and make it seem possible to overcome it.

This process is a commitment. It’s going to take slow, consistent work to get the results that you want.

But if you’re sick of living in a home that’s always messy, you are capable of changing your situation.

Conquer a Messy House with Small Habits

The key is not to focus on the chaos of the entire house. We’re going to pick one mess that gets made every day, and make a plan to clean it up every day too.

Think back to Tina’s day. She made a lot of messes every day without even realizing it. Do you see any similarities between her day and yours? What messes do you make that you could easily take care of in 5 minutes or less?

Could you…

  • Make your bed?
  • Clean up your breakfast mess right away?
  • Put away your things as soon as you get home?
  • Properly deal with the mail every day?
  • Ask everyone to work together to clean up after dinner?
  • Pick up your dirty clothes at night?

Be sure to only pick one! If you do more than that, you’ll get overwhelmed and wind up not doing anything at all.

Once you’ve chosen your task, decide when you’ll do it each day. You want to make getting this task done part of your routine, so that you do it without even thinking about it. Like brushing your teeth!

For example: I always make my bed before I get dressed every day. I do a 10 minute tidy as soon as the kids are in bed for the night. I start a load of laundry every morning and fold it every afternoon.

Do this task every day for a month. If you’re able to be consistent with it for that long, then it’s safe to add a new task to your routine.

If you follow this process and add in a new habit every so often, you’ll eventually start to notice the mess in your home shrinking. You might even look up one day and realize that your house is clean!

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