I was born a slob. This was something that I was totally ok with. Until I had kids. My kids took my standard-issue messy house, turned it upside-down and shook. By the time I realized how bad it was, I was so completely overwhelmed that I was in tears nearly every other day. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want that for your kids. I don’t want for anyone ever again.
I needed a system, I needed routine, and I needed help. I first learned about the Flylady system of cleaning from my mother, an avid consumer of cleaning vlogs and all things organization. After devouring hours of youtube cleaning videos I figured I had nothing to lose and went for it.
The first thing I did, was what I usually do: go all in, attempt to implement an entire system in one day, get totally frazzled and quit. I would then let everything go, the house would get completely trashed and I would vow to start again on Monday. This went on for a few months, until I eventually read the life changing book ‘Better than Before’ by Gretchen Rubin. From this book I finally gained the invaluable life lesson that new, good habits cannot be established overnight, and definitely not en masse. Like any muscle, habits need to be exercised regularly, and work best when they are added into our lives gradually.
So I chose one habit. Just one. The one that I thought I could stick with and also that would make the biggest difference for the amount of effort required – making my bed every morning.
I made my bed every single day, and from that day forward, it is the one habit that has stuck the strongest, through pregnancy, illness and crazy rushed days. Once I felt like that habit was happening automatically, I added another – loading and starting the dishwasher at night and unloading it in the morning. After that one took hold, I added another, until I was taking care of my house without thinking about it.
Without a doubt, I still have days when nothing happens the home takes a major backslide, but, being able to know exactly what to do each day without much of a thought, makes it a million times easier to take back control and whip my home into shape.
So if this is you, and you are reading this with a pile of laundry beside you, a sea of dishes in the sink and a bed that looks more like a bird’s nest than an adult human’s sleeping surface – I have been there. I have been there and therefore I know you don’t have to be. Start small, pick one habit that will make a difference for you today, and flex that muscle until it sticks.
Start small, start today, keep going. You got this.