Do you ever feel like your whole life is just falling apart? You want so badly to ditch that hot mess label, but it just feels so dishonest when you look around at everything that’s out of place. Toys all over the living room, dishes piling up in the sink, no time or energy for more than the infamous mom bun, somehow there’s clutter in every corner of the house again even though you’ve decluttered the whole house 3 times this year.
This season can seem so overwhelming, especially when the days are shorter, energy is lower and you’re expecting to see every member of the family during the same week. You rush around before the big event to get the living areas up to standard and you’re too exhausted to even enjoy the holidays.
I used to get so burnt out by the time guests arrived that I would have to sneak away and leave my husband in charge of it all while I had a good cry. At some point I realized I couldn’t keep living like that. The messages to “let it be easy” to “let it go” to “protect your energy” and “above all else, guard your heart” were coming up in my life daily and I finally decided that it was time to listen.
I’ve got one very helpful shift that’s going to get you started on this path off the hot mess express – and into a fulfilling, joyful life – one where you’re in charge, not your anxiety and need to live up to unrealistic expectations: LET YOURSELF TAKE FUMBLING, IMPERFECT BABY STEPS.
I’d like to share with you my secret weapon for maintaining my sanity when it feels like everything around me – home, finances, self care, structure and schedules – has gone to chaos. That’s the secret of the RESET.
Resetting your whole home, schedule, life, is a HUGE elephant – and we’re just going to take one bite at a time. (for metaphorical purposes, this is a chocolate elephant, because I just can’t visualize eating an actual, live elephant).
A series of small, spontaneous resets is what it takes to start feeling like you’re in charge of your own life again. Today I want to talk about resetting your home and how that works for me.
I live in a 2000 sq foot – 100 year old – fixer upper. We are continuously making progress and improvements, but it can feel hard to call a room “done” when there’s still so much on our list to do. My house never feels “clean” and with 3 little boys causing all the mischief they can, it’s always going to have a “lived in” feel, the goal is to keep that line from lived-in to trash-hole from getting blurred. It’s unrealistic to believe that when this house gets out of order that I could possibly deep clean the whole thing from top to bottom in a single day, or even week.
This is where smaller resets are handy. Because I’m still living life – day to day – mothering my kids, cooking the meals, running the errands, managing 2 home businesses. I’m a busy woman and I have yet to overcome the guilt of asking someone else to clean my disaster of a house for me when it’s at its worst. So I start with small resets – which I do in 3 easy sweeps.
The 3 Sweeps of a Reset
- Take out the trash. Remove all the garbage that’s collected in every corner and surface. I can’t be the only mom who’s constantly finding string cheese wrappers behind the couch or leaving amazon boxes by the door to pile up before taking them out.
- Remove what doesn’t belong. Use a laundry basket (or one of those amazon boxes you saved for no reason) and collect all the things that don’t belong in the room. Return these things to the room they do belong in – Don’t forget to actually put them back where they belong and not just dump them in the room they belong in if you’re going to be the one to have to deal with it later. (of course if it’s your kids’ stuff get them involved and ask them to put their things in the proper place, but that’s your call).
- Clear the surfaces. Every shelf, every table, every counter, and the floor. Clear them of all non essential items or decor that you’ve chosen to display. (if you’re leaving anything on a surface, be intentional about it. A basket on the kitchen island as a catch all for all the little things your family likes to drop there is always a great idea).
By the time you’ve finished these 3 sweeps of the room, you can call it reset. It’s not a deep clean, it’s not about dusting, mopping, or anything like that. This is a reset that helps you to feel less overwhelmed by the room and it usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes per sweep.
Focus on just small steps. Reset one room – or just a section of the room – when you’ve got a minute. Don’t try to get all of it done at once and get burnt out. Don’t try to pre plan exactly what order you’ll do it in or how many days it’s going to take you to finish. Don’t get yourself overwhelmed by this.
Remember: it’s about fumbling, uncoordinated, imperfect baby steps. It’s okay to fall down, it’s okay to not do a great job all the time, you’re learning and growing and it’s a beautiful process. Friend, you’re meant to bloom, but you’ve got to put in the work before you break through the darkness and see the light. Most of our growth happens below the surface, but you will bloom when your season comes.