I have spent the past several weeks - close to two months going through my house decluttering. I got discouraged many times because to look at the entire house and what needed to be done was entirely overwhelming. Having a messy, cluttered up home with closets disorganized and full; my pantry and freezer disorganized, the basement needing to be cleaned out makes a person tired - just thinking about it was overwhelming. Combine that with trying to keep up on the day to day chores of a home, well it was no wonder I was discouraged.
At one point I thought I must be inept as I had managed a law firm and worked a lot of hours so I sat down one day and just started pondering what I needed to do. At work I had taken major projects such as probating an estate and made a checklist and broke the project down into manageable pieces. That is what I did at home except I added one more caveat - I would not spend an entire day working on decluttering and cleaning up. I would spend a portion of the day and take small steps. Last Saturday it happened. I was putting things away upstairs and I stopped and looked around. It looked pretty good. You could walk around without knocking over piles of clothes, papers and junk. I still have a small loft area to work on but the upstairs looks wonderful. I was shocked when I realized that I was 98% done. I had taken probably 30 minutes at a time working on putting things away, throwing things away and making a pile of things to give away.
Now, I make my bed in the morning (never did that before), take my shower and then do some general pick up of the house and I feel so much better. Before I was embarrassed to have my family come home at the end of the day to a messy house. After all I am a SAHW/SAHM and being home during the day meant I should be able to give them an orderly home.
Lessons learned: 1. A messy house costs money. I couldn't find some things so I would go out and buy what I couldn't find such as paper, pens, pantry items, clothing and so on. 2. Trying to tackle a large task in one day or week can be overwhelming. Breaking it into small allotments of time is easier and also you will not feel like giving up or getting tired of working on the project.
Now that my house is in order it is time to get into a daily, weekly, monthly, annual housecleaning routine. I have been working on a housekeeping manual and my next post will describe that. It comes with a lesson to be learned also: As a SAHW/SAHM I need a professional working planner such as one that I used when I was employed outside of the home.