Living with 3 tiny humans, 2 dogs (now 1), 1 cat and a husband is a LOT. Which in itself, really isn’t bad. But what makes it hard are the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves for how things “should” be.

There’s a saying I LOVE and it goes like this:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

If you are spending a lot of your time comparing your house to what you think it should look like- you are doing yourself a great disservice. I’m going to let you in on a secret… not many people truly have a Pinterest worthy house. And if they do, that means they spend ALL their time making it look that way or they can afford to hire other people to help them.

If you really, truly WANT a Pinterest worthy house- you need to stop reading.

This post isn’t how to achieve perfection.

This post is about learning to achieve a standard that brings you joy AND- more importantly- a standard that you can REALISTICALLY MAINTAIN in your home without going crazy.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Let Go Of Expectations

Seeing the counters covered in dirty dishes, toys strewn everywhere and sticky floors used to send me into a downward spiral. I would look at that and just keep sinking… further, and further until I was pretty much paralyzed by the digusting mess and unable to do anything.

There were days where I would THINK about my messy house ALL. DAMN. DAY. but never DO anything. It was insane! It was like a literal weight that I couldn’t get off my shoulders.

What are your expectations about your house and it’s cleanliness? My problem used to be that I felt like our house should have clean, clear counters the majority of the time. The floors should be free of crumbs and my kids toys should be nicely organized.

In reality- that is just ridiculous! I have THREE kids under the age of 6. I have THREE (now 2) animals that go in and out of the house. And, I also have TWO blogs that I run. Plus, you know, I like to try to get a work out in or hang out with my kids. Here’s how to work out when you have small kids.

It got to a point where I realized that my unrealistic expectations were killing my joy every day.

Address Your Clutter Situation

The day I really, truly started to feel like I was getting on top of the never ending mess in our house was the day that I loaded up more than 3/4s of my kids toys for donation. Oh yeah, it was almost 2 van fulls of STUFF and you want to hear the crazy part?


When they came to the play area the next morning they could actually find things and they spent the WHOLE MORNING playing with things that had been lost under a mountain of other crap.

I donated a LOT of MY stuff too- I was RUTHLESS.There is so much stuff we hold onto because we think we should. I hate the word should. It’s such bullshit.

Part of getting control of my messy house was getting rid of CLUTTER. If you have less things, you have less mess and it’s easier to organize. An eye opening experience for me was realizing I didn’t need MORE organization systems- I needed LESS STUFF.

I found this super short, easy to digest FREE online course that will change the way you think about organizing your home- in just 5 words! You can grab the free course here.

Have Discussions With Your Family Members

Sometimes I think we forget that actually communicating can work wonders.

I used to huff around the house mad at everyone, resentful of cleaning up their messes- but I never asked for help or directed them in the first place!

Talk to your kids about age appropriate chores they can do. Tell your partner what you need from them with keeping the house clean. Talk to your family about being a TEAM!

Decide what’s important to you and build good habits.

Are you wanting to do the dishes every night after supper as a family? Chores on Saturday mornings? Small chores every morning? Decide what you want, keep it as simple as possible and implement it.

We are still learning but starting to realize that we LOVE doing the dishes every night after supper as a family and waking up to a relatively clean kitchen – does it happen every night? Nope, but we try!

Is It Something More Than Being Overwhelmed By The Mess?

Full disclosure-

I have ADHD. If you want to read about what life is like a mom of 3 with ADHD, click here.

Having an anxiety disorder, depression or ADHD can really affect your day to day life.

If you think your feelings about your messy house are not “normal” or manageable– talk to your doctor. It might be worth exploring.

What Is A Normal Messy House?

What is a normal level of mess or cleanliness in a house? What’s not?

This may differ from family to family.

There are two extreme ends of the spectrum:

  1. Being obsessed with a clean and tidy house to the point that it’s negatively affecting you and your family.
  2. Not caring about cleanliness or tidiness at ALL and having that negatively affect you and your family.

Neither of those extremes are healthy– for you or your kids.

Have you ever been in a house where you didn’t even want to sit down or eat anything because you were terrified of making a mess?

What about a house where you legit don’t even want to take your shoes off indoors cause you really weren’t sure if the floors had been cleaned in the last decade?

Find Your Balance

Life is about finding a balance that’s realistic to YOU and YOUR FAMILY. With 3 kids I’ve learned to SIMPLIFY- everything! From meals to cleaning routines.

Find a balance that works for you and your household, one that is attainable and maintainable.

My House Is So Cluttered I Don’t Know Where To Start

If this is where you’re at then you need to get rid of some stuff my friend! The feeling of getting rid of things and making space in your home is the start of something beautiful.

Start with this free beginner decluttering checklist- click the image below to download it and print it off!

How Do You Deal With A Messy House?

It’s like dealing with anything- you look for the root of the CAUSE. What is the cause of your messy house?

Sometimes it’s not enough time at home, having too much stuff or being unhappy.

Cleaning your house when it gets really messy will only work for so long. You will get tired and rundown and wonder what the point even is. You need to address the cause and find a solution.

It could simply be decluttering and taking back some control in your own home. It could be developing a system (like this one) that works for your whole family. Maybe it’s as simple as adjusting your expectations to be in line with your situation (are you a single person or are you a family of 5 with multiple animals in the house?)

Does A Messy House Affect You?

The answer?

YES. Unfortunately, having a messy and cluttered house DEFINITELY affects you.

But, I think you already knew that or you wouldn’t be here.

Clutter Infographic by MakeSpace

via MakeSpace

If your house is a disgusting mess, I feel you! Truly. I hope there was something here that helped you with your messy house and your mindset! Let me know if you have any other tips for conquering a messy house in the comments

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