Cleaning Your Messy House: Where to Start

I live in a messy house. You do, too, unless you just showed up here because you’re one of those super neat people and you’re curious what it’s like to live in a messy house.

Well, it’s not the worst thing in the world! A messy house is a house where people feel comfortable making messes.

Whether it’s a cooking mess, a playing mess or an I just had so much fun I don’t feel like cleaning this up mess, they are all a sign of having lived in your house.

And made a mess.

The problem with a messy house is if you just don’t ever put the mess back together. Then you will start to get miserable about your messy house and feel a bit of despair.

So, that’s what is important. Not that you’re house is messy. Just that you are going to clean it up so that you can have some other experience and mess it all up again.

That sounds way better, right?

What Is the Difference Between a Messy House and a Dirty House?

Living in a messy house for a day or so is not a big deal. Living in a dirty house is not something I think anyone wants to do.

If you’re overwhelmed by your dirty house, then this isn’t the post for you. If it’s the dirt that’s the big problem right now, you want to tackle that before you think about the mess.

So what exactly is a “mess” then anyway?

A messy house is mostly about disorganization and lack of routine.

Messy homes have too much stuff. They don’t have a place for everything and therefore everything is difficult to find which is frustrating. It is also means things are not easy to put away since you might not even know where to put things.

Messy homes also do not usually have good routines for getting not messy.

You really need three rules for not living in a messy house.

  1. Clean up for 15 minutes in the morning
  2. Clean up for 15 minutes at night
  3. Clean up after any activity

If you can get yourself to do those 3 things every day, you will find that the real “cleaning” (like scrubbing tubs, cleaning floors, wiping cabinets) will be done more often and more efficiently.

How do I know all of this? Because it’s what I have lived.

I have lived in a messy house. And I used to HATE that I lived in a messy house. I change the way I see the mess though and not only has it made me more tolerant of a mess, it’s made me a lot more likely to clean up a mess.

So Where Do You Start?

You start with a timer. You’re not cleaning your messy house because you are too busy, you are too aggravated or you feel overwhelmed by it.

You aren’t living in a messy house because you REALLY want a tidy house but you just can’t figure out how to put the dishes in the dishwasher or put shoes away in the basket you put by the door. For shoes. That everyone ignores.

You are living in a messy house because you have some negative feeling about having to clean up the mess.

It doesn’t really matter what that negative feeling is. If you want a tidy, clean house, you’re going to have to deal with the feeling separately from the mess. This post is for the mess. (This one might help with the feeling).

For now, you’re going to set a timer and you’re going to “clean” for 15 minutes. You’re not going for sparkling, you’re going for what my husband likes to call “the crust level”.

Yes, he thinks of our home like a model of the earths layers and there are messes deep into the core.

But messes are actually usually what’s on the surfaces.

Whatever your main living area is (for me it’s the first floor) start there. Get your dishes put away, wipe the counters down, swish the toilet and wipe the bathroom sink, do a mad dash of putting away as much stuff as you can from each room that has stuff in it that doesn’t belong and if you have 3 minutes left over, run the vacuum.

Yes you can do that in 15 minutes.

Then, later that same day, repeat a similar routine for the upstairs (or wherever your bedroom wing is). I include laundry in this part, but if I’m honest, I don’t have the whole laundry routine completely tackled yet, so we might have to figure that one out together.

Do your best to remember to pick up small messes as they pop up throughout the day, but really, if everyone is remembering to do that, then there are no messes to clean up in the morning or at night, right?

Don’t go into this thinking, I’m going to not have a messy house anymore.

Understand that messes are made constantly, you just need a routine for cleaning them up.

I like a routine that includes 4-15 minute cleaning spurts a day. I almost never actually DO 4 a day, but whatever I have missed, gets done on the weekends.

If I actually did all four cleaning spurts a day, I wouldn’t have to clean on the weekends.

That sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

I’ll send you the 15 minute cleaning routines if you want to see them. There’s a place to request the at the end of this post.

Ready to Clean Up Your Messy House?

Get your timer and commit to doing 2 15 minutes spurts of cleaning a day. And cleaning up the small messes you and your family make through out the day as much as possible.

And grab the 15 Minute Cozy Clean Daily Routines and see if you can work yourself up to 4 15 minute spurts a day.