Thursday, January 28, 2010

Housework: Where To Start When Overwhelmed


My living room after  a  weekend away.

We all have days when there is so much to do and we don't know where to start. Where do you start when you're overwhelmed?

It's important to start somewhere. Albeit small, doing something, anything  can help to motivate and get us moving! The Nester cleans off the front of her refrigerator. Years ago, my sister would always start with reorganizing a drawer or cupboard. I don't know if she still does that or not...

Personally, I don't have one particular thing that I do when in this situation. It varies. But here are a few things that are good starter chores if I have a huge mess, am overwhelmed or just have time for one or two little tasks.

First, I often light a candle and/or turn on some worship music. Then I usually pick one of these chores:


  • Make the bed.
  • Sweep and/or vacuum.
  • Empty/fill the dishwasher; wash dishes.
  • Start a load of laundry.
  • Empty the trash.
  • Put something away.
  • Move "piles" to another room where I can't see them!
  • Write a short 'to-do list.'
By starting with something, even a little thing, my outlook often improves and I want to continue. Before long, I have a few other tasks completed and my home begins to look just a  little bit more inviting!

Where do you start when there's so much to do and the house is a wreck?

7 comments:

Wendi said...

If it is the kitchen I start by unloading and reloading the dishwasher. The bedrooms I make the bed and in the living room I start by removing toys that do not belong in that room.

Bevy said...

Great post! Well, I always say "My day can't start unless our bed is made!"... so, yeah some mornings I threaten (nicely) to make Scott up in it - if he doesn't get up and out. haha (somehow I don't think he'd mind - anything to sleep in would be great for him

Next, the dishes have to be washed before going to bed... so that said, the first thing (besides brewing coffee), in the AMm is to empty the dishdrainer. Somehow, that is a daily chore that I can do half asleep and it works to "wake me up". I have to concentrate on being quite so that I don't wake up the littles.

cassandrasmom said...

I usually start with the laundry, then the dishes, then a general pick up of common areas, dusting then vaccuming. One step at a time is what I tell myself when I get overwhelmed.

Debbie J said...

Somewhere I read that when you were feeling overwhelmed, to "do the next thing". Not sure what the next thing is sometimes. I like to grab a trash bag and go from room to room emptying trashcans and throwing away any magazines or just plain old trash I can find. Then go around from room to room putting things back where they belong. Even carry an empty laundry basket with me to transport these misplaced items. When the rooms are decluttered, its easier to dust and vacuum.

I hope you don't lose your power. Our forecast is pretty definite that we will lose power. I'm like you, "oh joy"! Weather bug says to "complete preparations before sundown". We tried to tell our bosses that we needed to get off work early to make the preparations, but it didn't work. :o)

TJ said...

I normally just pick a room and set the timer for a realistic amount of time to finish the room. When the timer sounds I walk to my next room. You'll be surprised how fast you work knowing you only have so much time. People laugh when I tell them my approach, but that's OK.. :)

Mary Ann said...

Ladies,
All your tips and ideas are great. They sound a lot like what I do! Thanks for sharing. As homemakers, there is so much we can learn from each other.

Hattie said...

I always make my bed before leaving the bedroom. That's easy for me because I am alone. But when my sweet husband was living, the last one out of bed was the one to make it. Just having the bed made gives me a sense of order.