That was almost 10 years ago, and I still think my house is a monster. Most of the time, my house suffers from the problem of clutter and the aftermath of my daughter's love for playing. The mess is usually manageable, but last winter things got out of control because my father had a major heart attack and I spent more time at his bedside at the hospital than I did at my house. My husband was left to manage things and while he certainly tried his best to keep things in order - like many husbands, he doesn't do it my way.
Several months went by, my dad recovered, but man was the house a mess. It was overwhelming because there was so much to do. I decided this was a task that would take some time and I needed a plan of action, so I set off to work. A small stack of paper, a pencil, and tape in hand I went room-by-room creating a list of everything I could see that needed to be done and taped it to the door of that room. There in plan sight was my list, glaring at me, telling me what I needed to do. I set off to work, tackling one task at a time until everything on each list was done. This didn't happen overnight, in a day, or even a week. It took me several weeks, but it did happen and I felt accomplished when it was done.
What you need to tame the "Monster House"
- A realistic goal (be sure to include a deadline)
- Tape (optional, but it helps to have that list staring at you as motivation)
- A plan
- Any necessary cleaning supplies
- Go room-to-room and outline what needs done (i.e. remove clutter, dust, vacuum, walls washed/scuff marks removed)
- Once you have your plan, examine it to see what needs to be done
- Start with the smallest tasks first, they will go quickly and you will feel like you're doing making progress
- Mark off items on your list as you complete them. As silly as it seems, marked off items can feel rewarding and give us a sense of accomplishment.
- Don't try to do everything in one day - it won't happen and will only leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
- Take breaks - yes, everyone needs to take a break. Taming the house monster is a daunting task.
- Don't lose sight of your goals. Although taking breaks is good, you don't want to completely abandon ship; otherwise, the monster will rear it's ugly head at you and it's not a pretty sight.
- Reward yourself! Even if nobody in your house notices all your hard work, you know what you've done. Give yourself a pat on the back for a good job done!