Generally speaking, our house is relatively clean and somewhat tidy.
As a parent of
tiny but destructive tornadoes young kids this is about all I can hope for, while still maintaining my:
B) sense of humour
To manage this state of mostly-clean-most-of-the-time, I have spent months paring back our belongings, I clean up big messes as I go and tidy up before or just after the kids go to bed at night. I do a little bit of cleaning most days and will put at least one load of washing on almost every morning.
Boring, yes. But it also stops our house from resembling a turn of the century opium den. And not one of the “nice” ones.
That is, until we have a weekend like the one just gone.
A trip away, Sparky’s birthday, a stream of visitors and no housework at all. It was two blissful days and nights of good food, wonderful company and happy kids.
Ideally, I would have done the cleaning before we left. Ideally, I would have tidied up so we weren’t faced with the mess upon our return on Sunday afternoon. Ideally, I would not have left a load of wet towels in the washing machine.
But sometimes, life isn’t ideal. Sometimes you’ve gotta go with the flow.
And sometimes you’re faced with a house that resembles a turn of the century opium den come Monday morning.
It’s Too Much.
You may feel overwhelmed at the enormity of the mess. You may decide that drinking coffee and browsing Pinterest is a much better use of your time. You may procrastinate upon your procrastination.
But in the end, you will still need to get it sorted. Why not do it now, and do it fast?
What To Do?
Why, you Clutter Bust, of course! All you need is a little time, some energy and an empty laundry basket.
Grab your basket and choose a room. Any room will do.
1. Out loud, start counting slowly from 30 down to 0.
(Yes, you will feel like a dork. But there’s nothing like an old-fashioned countdown to get you moving.) And in that time, pick up anything that does not belong in that room. Put it in the basket and keep moving. Speed is the name of the game here.
2. Continue room to room.
Give yourself 30 seconds in each space to grab anything that does not belong. 60 seconds if the room is really heavy on the mess.
3. For maximum impact, target flat surfaces like:
- coffee tables
- dressing tables
- dining table
You may be surprised by how quickly the basket fills.
4. Once you are finished and have a nice sweat up (ha!) it’s time to sort.
Take the basket to your now clear dining table. Sort each item into piles, with one pile per room, a pile for the bin and a pile for things that simply do not have a home.
5. Once you have worked through the basket, it’s time to put everything back in its place.
If you have kids or a partner, enlist their help at this point. As each pile is returned to its room, take the extra minute to put things back in their correct place. Your newly tidied home will thank you for it!
This simple clutter bust is a very superficial fix.
It won’t answer the questions of why you have the clutter or disorganisation in the first place.
But it will help you wrangle back control of your home, before things get worse. And, if our home is anything to go by, even worse than opium den is… well, it’s pretty damn bad.
A quick fix like this is rarely the long-term solution, but for those days when it’s all too much, the Clutter Bust is a super helpful way to get your relatively clean, somewhat tidy house back in action.
What’s your favourite speedy housework tip? One that saves your bacon five minutes before guests arrive?