Are you caught dead center in the stormy waters of change? Are you trying to get back into the non-summer swing of things or riding some other bigger-then-you, life transition? If a friend happened to stop by your home right now, would they read the writing on the walls when they see your space in utter mayhem with mountain range looking stacks of unsorted mail, abandoned baskets of laundry yet to be folded, dust bunnies galore or encrusted food on the dirty dishes in the sink?
School Transition, Work Transition and Accident Recovery All in One Go
Change is bumpy period, and when we’re trying to find our bearings in the midst of major shifts, the daily details of running a home can feel like the least of our worries. I’m in the midst of a get back to school, back to work transition, this on the heels of helping my husband recover from a car accident. This happened over 2 weeks ago and he luckily survived with just a few broken boneso. Our car was totaled but by a miracle, he was not.
Grit Building Life Experience
We’re car shopping, insurance policy navigating and have relied heavily on amazing friends and neighbors for carpooling to run errands. I’ve had my share this past year of kahuna wave sized transitions with the deaths of loved ones in my inner circle being among them (I’ve shared about here and here ).
Sanity Saving Lifestyle Along with the Gift of Friends
My morning power routines have been, hands down, my source of solace, reserves of strength and anchor to the focus on the good in my life. This along with having a full volunteer life and the luck of having great social support, all has worked wonders in keeping me out of my head and in the moment.
Where Does Navigating Big Transition Leave The Home?
While I feel relatively all here, considering, my home has definitely taken a beating. It’s waxed and waned between order and utter pandemonium as I swing between completely losing sight of it, to immersing myself knee deep in de-cluttering, washing and detailing. Last week I could feel the chaos unraveling once again as the messiness in my house increased along with my sons tantrums when it came to following the new school schedule.
Igniting Our Homes’ Hearth
Before things spiraled further, I returned for the millionth time to what I know brings be back to the center of my home, food. There are certain basics that make my home flow with the feeling of being comfy, pleasant and efficient and aside from our family dynamics, it begins with food. I’ll explain this in a second, but first let me digress to how I didn’t always understand what returning to center meant in the context of keeping a home.
Self Care Habits Doesn’t Translate to Home Keeping Habits
Up until my pregnancy, I had worked towards having my self care habits down pat, but I was completely lost in the area of habits of care for my home. I had habits that pulled me mentally and emotionally back to center when high stress kicked in, but I needed habits to do the same for my home when the tyranny of sneaky clutter threatened to take it over. Parallel to what I learned in my self care journey, I wanted the activities involved in cooking and keeping my home tidy and spacious to be as automatic as brushing my teeth.
It All Starts With Your Sink
I learned an abundance on this topic from a woman named Marla Cilley, a.k.a The Flylady, over 8 years ago. She wrote a book on the power of clearing home chaos by first starting with your kitchen sink. She now has a very big following and rightly so, she conveys her very practical and doable advice with humor that makes home keeping, fun. You can find her information-packed website on this and more here.
Start Small And Work Up From There
Since putting Marla’s advice to practice, I’ve increasingly valued over the years the power in mentally framing the starting point of taming my home chaos, by first beginning at the kitchen sink, literally. No matter how overwhelmed I am with the load of housework ahead of me, it begins to clear as I narrow my focus on the one well washed fork, then plate, then cup etc.
One Small Success Leads To Others
Once the sink is cleared, the satisfaction of progress made gives me the energy and clarity to begin the next essential leg claiming the serenity of my home… preparing food. Once the kitchen is in order and a meal is made, then sorting the mail, cleaning the floors, scrubbing the bathroom etc is much easier.
Your Home Is Your Launch Pad Into The World
In returning to this repeatedly throughout the years in the midst of overwhelming housework, I began to conceptually understand the home as a launchpad for how we go out into the world. When it’s comfy, tidy and serves all our needs for refueling, then as we step out of our homes to take on the day, we’re launched into the world all the stronger.
When our home drains us with mounting, unprocessed clutter, has us on nutritionally thin ice with instant, boxed and pre-made frozen meals and deep sleep is an anomaly as a result of all this, we are doing ourselves a great disservice.
Our Little Corner Of The World To Manage
The maximum launch into our day isn’t what it could be and that’s on us. Life with all its unknowns, is challenging enough without our own self sabotage in neglecting our home habits. How we keep our home is the one area, largely under our control, unlike the rest of life. Of course knowledge is everything and before having this way of framing how to inhabit my home to make it work for me, using my home to launch me into my day was not even on my radar.
Having Good Food Is Where It Starts
So coming back to food, nourishing foods that I’ve done the back end work, to be easily available throughout the week, is a big part of my homes’ baseline for sanity. In the same way I have absolute, must do TLC morning habits for myself, I have in the recent years woven into my weekly habits, the equivalent for my home.
Home TLC Day
My major must do’s for the care of my home starts on Sundays. I set the tone for the week by tending to it in advance by taking action on, what I like to call, my three pillars of order, they are: 1. whole food meals, 2. clean clothes and 3. clean floors. When I, at minimum, get to those 3 areas every Sunday, the whole month has as an acutely lighter and more focused vibe. These pillars cover for me, the basics of a functioning home, so when I’m stifled in deciding where to start in making a dent in the disorder, even just taking action in one of those areas, positively ripple effects into the week.
Start Small, Start Anywhere
Are there areas of your home that could use a little more TLC? If you are living in a havoc reigning home due to the chaos of going through a major transition, you might want to try focusing on making a habit of one activity within the three areas I mentioned.
Some examples would be, committing to:
- Dedicating one day of the week to completely finish one load of laundry per week meaning, that load is washed, dried, folded and put away
- Having an empty sink before you go to sleep
- Having a swiffer mop day where all corners of your homes’ floors are wiped down
To prepare for the week:
- Preparing a huge salad to pull from when hungry or to take for lunch
- Preparing a big pot of a meal base like rice, quinoa or root vegetables that can be used as an addition to a soup, saute, burrito or the like.
- Buying and washing a stash of fruit to have ready to take on the go
Any one of these will positively domino effect into your daily rhythm for the better. What one home care habit could you commit to for the next 3 weeks?
Do you have any must-do’s for taking back the reins of order in your home? What do they look like?
Share in the comment box below and if you found this post useful, take a sec to like or share. As always thank you for making me a part of your day