How to Keep Up with a Messy House

Dear Sara,

I am a stay at home Mom with two kids ages five and seven. My house is always a mess. I just can’t seem to get it organized. I try to pick things up and clean sometimes but it all seems so overwhelming that I just can’t do it. There is so much “stuff.” I don’t know what to do with it all. I want to do better. I just don’t know how.

Dear Robin,

You have already taken the first step by realizing that you have a problem. It is overwhelming to see a really big job like that and not have a clue where to start. Your kids probably don’t care right now but the way the house looks may make a difference to them when they get to be teens.

You might start by setting aside a certain amount of time each day to clean your home. At first you may need to schedule an hour or so a day and as you begin to catch up and things look better you will need less time. Start with one room, maybe your bedroom or the living room. Either put away or throw away everything that you possibly can. Next get out your cleaning supplies. Run the sweeper and dust with something that smells good so that you feel that it’s really clean. Be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished.

The next day do the same to another room. Don’t give up until things look like you want. The kids will make messes but try to involve them by helping them do things like make their beds. Sometimes getting things organized is a lot more difficult if you are depressed. If this has been a problem for you then you may want to see your M.D. to see if some medication might help. Don’t give up.