How to Start or Re-Start a Cleaning Routine When You are Overwhelmed

It happens to everyone – you start a new cleaning routine and you’re doing great.  You’re motivated and energized, following along perfectly and making so much progress.  Checking off all the boxes and crossing everything off your list.  Maybe you’re going along great for a couple weeks or even longer when hypothetical ‘disaster’ strikes.  Someone gets sick, you get busy, or you just don’t feel like cleaning anymore.

Then one day you look around and realize you just can’t stand it anymore.  How did this happen? Where do you start? What do you tackle first?  The piles are too much and you feel paralyzed in your overwhelm.

Have you ever felt like this?  Like you didn’t know where to start? What should you do in this situation?  Is there hope?  Can you get back to where you were or are you just destined to be someone that can’t keep a clean house?

I’m here to tell you that YES there is hope, you CAN keep a clean house, and it’s SIMPLER than you think!  I’ve been there, fought through it, and I’ve had thousands of readers and followers that have experienced it too!  Here’s what you can do (let’s focus on that, not what you can’t do).

Here’s what you need to do:

SOMETHING.  Just do one thing.  And then do something else. And a little more.  Put a couple wins together and you’re on your way to success.  The main thing that you need to focus on is that a perfectly clean house is not what you’re after.  In fact, it’s not really attainable and sustainable.  Remember that people live here, you share life together, and you make and clean up messes together.  Embrace the mess, live life, and have a system in place to keep it clean most of the time.

Here’s what I want you to know (this is straight from my book Simply Clean):

Where to Start, Plus How to Avoid “Overwhelm”

It’s important to just start somewhere. Starting the process and doing something, anything, is more helpful than doing everything. Doing everything merely leads to burnout and cleaning fatigue. Think of it like deciding to eliminate coffee from your diet in one fell swoop: The first day you do it, you endure the headache and wake up the second day ready to continue this new habit. You almost make it all the way through day two, until the splitting headache wins and you give in to the caffeine and the coffee drive-thru lures you in and you decide that you’re just going to keep drinking coffee and forget about curbing your caffeine addiction. In retrospect, quitting coffee might have been easier if you broke down the process into more manageable steps. Instead of quitting cold turkey, going from two cups a day down to one cup a day may have been an easier transition. Starting a new cleaning routine is very similar: you start strong but get busy, someone gets sick, or you just plain don’t feel like folding another load of laundry and that one tiny load piles up to a mountain of four. Let’s keep this easy, seamless, and doable—a cleaning routine that runs itself with just a couple steps every day. And the best part? If you miss a day or a task, you can make it up or not—it’s up to you.

The most effective part of the Simply Clean method is that you will not feel overwhelmed by the routine. You’ll feel like it’s helping you get your home to a manageable place where just about any real-life circumstance can be thrown at you and you can still get the bathrooms clean. Every day of the week has a task, and if you don’t get to that task, guess what? You SKIP it and move on to the next day. No guilt, no making it up, just move on. How can you just move on without cleaning the bathrooms or dusting or vacuuming? Because every single Friday is a day to catch up on any uncompleted tasks. If you don’t get to the task on Friday because the week was crazy or Friday you were working out of town or something else came up, you table the task until its day appears on the calendar the following week.

For a perfectionist, this is a really difficult concept to embrace.  Most weeks I don’t get to everything on my list.  This can feel defeating unless you have a plan and expect that not everything will get done.  Accept it, set goals, and don’t worry about the completion of that list.  Simply do your best and do what you can – it’s that easy.  How can you just move on without cleaning or dusting or vacuuming?  Because every single Friday is a day to catch up on any uncompleted tasks.  If you don’t get to the task on Friday because the week was crazy or Friday you were working out of town or something else came up, you table the task until its day appears on the calendar the following week. This is the magic of the Simply Clean method and why I believe it really works for so many households with different schedules and circumstances.

 

If this resonates with you, I hope you’ll follow along – I’d love to have you find the balance between a clean home in minutes a day AND enjoying life to its fullest!

If you’re new here and stumbled upon this post via social media, welcome!  Get ready to change the course of your cleaning forever.  If you’ve been here for a while and haven’t jumped on board with my Cleaning Routine, I’m here to direct you to a couple places to start.  If you’re already doing the cleaning routine, feel free to share in the comments how it works for you and your household and what gets you through that feeling of not knowing where in the world to start.

Do you need a routine?
I have several ways to help you get into one – choose one, several, or all of them – I’ve developed tools to help you find success in your homekeeping.  It’s my favorite part of my job here at Clean Mama – seeing readers gain back their homes and time with just minutes a day of routine.

What’s my cleaning routine?

DAILY CLEANING TASKS

A clean home (most of the time) starts with 5 daily cleaning tasks – these are things you learn to do that you set on autopilot and start completing without really thinking about it.  Trust me, it can happen.  My mantra is every day a little something and with that in mind, just doing SOMETHING every day is so helpful.

WEEKLY CLEANING TASKS

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These tasks are the backbone of my cleaning routine.  It’s a system that you need to work through to see why it works.  Thousands of people all over the world complete Clean Mama’s Weekly Cleaning Routine every week – it’s so simple but it works in just about every situation because it has grace (and a day to catch up) built right in to the routine.  If you want to see what I use to clean my house with, check out my Around the House page.

Check out the links below – I share daily reminders on social media and follow what works for you:

Read my book –  Simply Clean
Follow Clean Mama on Facebook
Follow Clean Mama on Instagram
Every month I give away a FREE cleaning routine calendar, find it here.
Join my Private FB group – Homekeeping Society
Want my blog posts and newsletters sent straight to your inbox?  Sign up in the sidebar for those posts – I have a couple very exciting things coming next month – you should probably just sign up 😉

I’m most excited to share a brand new tool with you – the CLEAN MAMA HOMEKEEPING PLANNERS – they’re available in aqua and periwinkle and the only thing of its kind available for sale anywhere.

This format is simple, easy to follow, and just the thing to help you turn cleaning into a routine that will help you put your cleaning on auto-pilot.  Once you have a home that’s easy to clean and stays clean because you are doing itty bitty things all the time without even thinking about it, you’ll see the beauty in the routine too!   You might want to snag one now so you can get started!  Go here to see all of the paper goods products in Clean Mama Home.

If you enjoy my method, you will LOVE my monthly essentials subscription, Homekeeping Society – go here to check it out!

Looking for more?  Check out these posts:

5 Daily Tasks to Maintain a Clean Home 

Simply Clean 7-Day Kick Start Challenge

How to Quickly Catch Up on Laundry

How to Keep Your Home Clean Most of the Time

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Comments

  1. Can I just say thank you? I have followed your for YEARS on instagram and today was my first time to get through Wednesday keeping up. And it’s like your post today says- not perfectly. Like for instance I keep staring at the blinds on dust day thinking I’m gonna get you sucka but not today. And I’m a perfectionist so it’s hard to do that. But I got to today’s success by getting the 3 bathrooms four weeks in a row. And I only have washed the two bathtubs and 1 shower give it take 2.5 times 😉 hahaha. But I really think the reason it works is because there is no decision fatigue of where do I start. It’s just today is ___ day. I was so excited for you when you shared your book news because I know there are women like me who would feel relief at you helping simplify the overwhelming task of housekeeping. Thanks for consistently posting!

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