That time when my house was a complete disaster

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.


13 thoughts on “That time when my house was a complete disaster”

  1. Iโ€™m so excited to see that you have a blog! Iโ€™ve been watching you on YouTube; I found you last year when doing a search for the Fly lady and I loved your 5-minute cleaning video. I rediscovered you a few weeks ago and your content and personality are fantastic! I canโ€™t believe I enjoy watching cleaning videos! ๐Ÿ˜‚ You make them fun!
    My house looks way worse than your โ€œbeforeโ€ video. It has gotten out of hand and the piles of paperwork is driving me crazy. I will look into the Facebook group because I think I need some accountability! (I have been trying to plug away at my hot spot for 2 min a day since watching one of your videos recently! ๐Ÿ™‚) Thanks again for such great and inspiring videos!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So great to read about your first steps. What I never really understood about the thing with the 31 baby steps and the routines that need 21 or 28 days to settle: What shall I do first? The 31 baby steps? And afterwards working each month on a new routine/habit? Or both in common? It always seemed to me that the baby steps included everything I should “learn” every month during one year (shine your sink, swish&swipe, get dressed, moving, etc.). So I always got a bit confused and never really knew where to start…..
    So now I hope, it will be easier to follow with your new blog and fb.
    Thanks for being with us and sharing.


  3. In 2013 I went into a very deep depression and combined with several physical limitations, my house has become not just messy, but embarrassing. For so long my motivation was so very low, that it was all I could do to just take care of my children and husband by cooking dinner. Beyond that, I gave up. Now that I am emotionally in a better place, the physical demands of getting my house back to a home has seemed impossible. Until now! I have always started a project and then bite off more than I can finish. Then I end up with not only an unfinished task, but a larger mess than I started with. I look forward to setting not just small, but micro goals that will get me to my goal. A sanctuary for my family. All of our emotional well being depends on it. Thank you for inspiring me and giving me the tools in a way that clicks for me!!


  4. I love your new site! I’ve been watching your videos for a while now and they are wonderful. I really like the lists that you have shared in the resources section on your site. I have a Zone question for you. This week will be Zone 4 – Bedrooms. Honestly, I will be primarily decluttering every day. My bedroom is where I shove everything. I noticed that next week is Zone 5. How do you complete Z5 tasks when there aren’t always five weeks in the month? Or do you cut Z5 and Z1 in half when the month changes?

    Thanks again for the resources and for keeping it real!


  5. Hi Steph, Can you tell me what program you use to create your printables, like your weekly cleaning schedule? I would love to modify it to suit me. I love the information and how you have it set up with circles, etc but want to make it more personal and don’t know how to keep those things.
    thank you in advance,


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