4 Tips to Avoid Cleaning Burnout
If you are a mom, chances are that you have experienced burnout when it comes to cleaning your house. Perhaps you don’t like to clean. Or maybe it’s that you have too much on your plate. Maybe it’s just the season of life you are in <insert your descriptor here> that makes you unable to avoid stress when it comes to chores in your home. What ever the case may be, I want to share 4 tips that will encourage you in times where burnout is near.
1. Let It Go
No, not the song from Disney’s Frozen (haha), but let go of the idea of what you think your house should look like. You know, the ideas stuck in your head from watching HGTV, browsing Pinterest, or from those mom’s that seem to have it all together. All I am really saying is, don’t be too hard on yourself momma, let your family determine how your house should “look” during different seasons of your life. You’ll be surprised at how letting go of the expectations from others (as well as yourself) will help your sanity and productivity. I have found that when I let these unrealistic expectations go, I have a more positive outlook on cleaning and this translates into more energy to get it done.
2. Set Realistic Cleaning Goals
This is something that I’ve had to adjust and modify over the years. Every season presents different challenges to the goals I set for my home. I learned early on (with child #1) that I could no longer control the exact time of day that I’d get certain chores done. And now a homeschooling mom of 3 children (ages 5-13) I realized the best thing to do was create a schedule and allow room for grace and flexibility. I have certain days that certain chores should be completed. Most of the time they get done on that day, but every now and then I have to shift things to another day because of unforeseen circumstances. And I’m okay with that. I didn’t used to be, but I have learned to be realistic in what I can do. By setting realistic goals with flexibility in mind, I find that I am no longer burned out when it comes to my chores around the house.
3. Organize, Organize, Organize
I meet a lot of women who desire to have an organized home but quickly become overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. I recommend going through your home and looking to see what things need a “home”. For instance, do you have a lot of stray papers all over the place? Then it may be beneficial to come up with a new filing system. Or perhaps you are plagued with endless stacks of Legos – you can focus some time and energy in figuring out the most cost effective Lego organization system for your particular space. Whatever your organizational challenges are, make a note of them and prioritize them. Then that gives you something to gradually work towards. The progress that I see towards my goals helps keep me energized and excited about organization projects. And always remember that goals are not achieved overnight – rather it is steady progress every day (physically and mentally) that will help you accomplish your cleaning and organizational goals.
My cleaning motto is this: everything in our house should have a home.
4. Get Everyone Involved
This is the kicker. I know that some of you are thinking, my husband doesn’t clean. Okay, maybe he doesn’t. However, if that works for your family, perhaps he can be involved in the planning and/or implementation part of your cleaning schedule. Perhaps he can help keep the children accountable. And if your husband is willing to be a part of it, great! Take the time to sit down together and create a plan to include everyone (who is able) to help clean. For those of you with young children, there are LOTS of things they can do! I had our children helping with small things by the time they were 18 months. Nothing hard, but things like: pairing socks, cleaning up their toys, sweeping, etc. One of our sons loved to be carried in my moby wrap when he was an infant while I did my chores. He would always fall asleep when I vacuumed the floors. Can you guess what that son’s favorite chore is? Yep! Vacuuming! The point is, make sure to get everyone involved in the process. It helps tremendously. And ideally this happens when they are really young, but it’s never to late to do the right thing!
I hope that this post can help a mom out there who is overwhelmed and burned out with cleaning. I am confident that if you start with these four steps you will be on your way to a more positive and restful cleaning experience!