You’ve spent the whole day at work, or you’ve been home taking care of the kids, or you’ve managed to squeeze out some time for yourself after taking care of everyone else. Now, exhausted, you sink into a chair after a good day’s work and look around.
Tell the truth. How bad is it? Do you have piles of unfolded laundry flowing onto the floor? How’s the trash situation? Is every flat surface you have in your house fully covered? How long has it been since the dishes have been done? Let’s not even talk about the bathroom.
Don’t despair. First, it’s important to recognize that our culture gives us mixed signals about housework. On the one hand, we feel guilty about a dirty house while on the other, housework belongs to a category of work which is beneath us – unless we’re paid to do it. We have a distorted view of physical work in this country and I for one, am tired of being pushed around about it. I want some level of cleanliness in my home.
So, the second thing to do is to decide what level of cleanliness you can realistically do. You need to consider your work hours, your commitments to family and friends, your health, and your budget.
If you are working full time or you have a chronic health condition, you might consider someone coming in once a week or longer to get to the things you cannot get to. If neither of these are possible because of your budget, you can still manage to keep some order by attending to a limited number of tasks each day.
And to help you get started, I highly recommend the following book:
How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
(Please note that I get a commission if you use that link)
I really liked this book because it was close to my own approach to housework: I hate everything about it, but I also like the results of a tidy home. Also, I learned something new that helped me with some tasks that I was still struggling with and how to fix what I was doing wrong.