Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you look around your home? Do you sometimes just want to cry when you see the piles of dishes in the sink, the clutter and bills on the desk, the ever growing to-do list on the fridge, the laundry mountain you have to practically highjump over to get to your closet?
And should we even mention ALL THE THINGS on the floor?
Yep. I’ve been there. Not there as in I’ve been peeking in your windows (don’t worry), but I’ve had a house that felt more chaotic than calm. In fact, my house still gets that way at times, so I know how every little pile and unfinished project and can add frustration and stress to the chaos of daily life at home.
But do we have to live that way?
The truth is, a full and meaningful life will always go hand in hand with at least a little mess. But, with that said, when daily clutter or chaos threatens to overwhelm and derail us, it’s time to take action so we can enjoy the life we really want to live.
We can’t fully live and give of ourselves when we are exhausted, overwhelmed, or discouraged by the state of our home. A messy and disorganized house can rob us of the peaceful oasis we long for in our home.
Do you fear a tidier home will consume too much time or would be impossible with kids under foot? Let me offer you some baby steps to home sanity through encouragement, hope, and an easy place to start. A more peaceful home is within your reach, starting today. I think you’ll be happier, less stressed and ready to tackle the day if your home feels more peaceful.
Here are five ways you can transform your home into a peaceful sanctuary:
1. Give thanks for the chaos makers.
See those socks on the floor, six inches from the laundry hamper? Thank God for the person who wears those socks as you pick them up for the seventh time this week or as you call in the culprit to put the socks in the hamper. See the dishes piled on the counter? As you wash each dish and place it back in the cupboard for the next meal, praise God for the food He provides and pray for people you love who eat off of those dishes every day. Messes are an opportunity to show gratitude for what you have and restore peace as you love and care for the people under your roof.
2. Create special clutter-free corners.
When your entire home looks like a tornado went through, pick one corner in a frequented room to be a clutter-free oasis. Remove what doesn’t belong, toss or repair anything that is broken, and donate what you don’t like. Dust everything off so it smells clean and fresh. Now every time you pass by the corner, take a deep breath and enjoy the peaceful view. That little area just might inspire you to create a few more clutter-free corners!
3. Establish calming daily rituals.
When household tasks feel like chores, every day is a drudgery. But I find that my attitude towards tidying my home changes when I have a few daily simple routines I actually look forward to each day. As I pull up the covers on my bed and set up our pillow shams, I consciously think about how I feel more prepared to maintain a peaceful and orderly ambience that day. Quiet time and prayer during my morning coffee starts my day off on the right calm and grateful note. Throwing in a load of laundry every morning keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list before the day even begins. Wiping off the counters after a meal is a signal to me that my day is done and I am ready to spend time relaxing with my family or husband. Each little task during the day can be viewed as a dreaded chore stealing our time, or we can view it as an opportunity for more peace and joy in our home.
4. Declutter, declutter, declutter.
Clutter is stuff you don’t even need or like, or things you need that were put in the wrong spot. The more stuff you have sitting around that you don’t love or need on display, the more stressed you are going to feel in your home. Give yourself the gift of a peaceful home by getting ruthless about ridding your home of clutter and excessive stuff. Put things away so you can find them when you need them. Only have out what you love and enjoy seeing in your home!
5. Set the tone.
While disorder and clutter can add to the chaos, a sour attitude and grumpy disposition will definitely make everyone in the family feel on edge (even in an orderly home!) Bring more peace to your home by setting the tone for gentle words, gratitude, and loving actions.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I agree that an “attitude of gratitude” sets the course for the day. Having worked with the poorest of the poor in the Middle East in our ministry has really changed my attitude. Instead of “I have to vacuum my house”….”I am thankful I have a roof over my head with carpets to vacuum” (most of the children we serve are either orphans or so impoverished that they are fortunate to have mud floors and a living space the size of my kitchen). Thanking God for what I get to do vs. have to do reminds me of all the blessings He’s showered me with.
When it comes to clutter and knowing where to start, I am like a deer in the headlights. Get someone who is good at this sort of thing to help guide you -in this case I’m thankful to have an organized, non-clutterbug husband who helps me set goals of today, clean out these two drawers….that’s it. It’s amazing how cleaning out and organizing just two drawers helps me feel better about things. Baby steps of progress eventually lead to a simpler, more relaxing home. I will always have to fight my inner clutterbug, but I do find that simplified and cleared off spaces put my heart at ease. If I do nothing else, I make the bed. Something about climbing into a made bed at night that says, “Hey, I accomplished something today.” Start simple and build has been my strategy. Thanks for the reminders to keep at it!
Melissa Michaels says
I love that! Thanks for sharing, Bev. Perfect advice and such helpful support to make progress!
Michele Morin says
Yesterday I wrote the words “closet” and “book cases” on my summer to-do list. I really need to throw out or give away enough stuff to rid myself of the claustrophobia I feel in both those places, and I appreciate this inspiration today, showing me that this is more than just a mundane task: it’s a decision to enhance peace in my home.
Beth Williams says
I am a constant declutter bug. Can’t stand any clutter. Often I go through closets, drawers, etc. & get rid of clothes. I also go through the house looking for items to rid us of. For one thing it makes me feel good to know someone-less fortunate than I-will be able to use those clothes and items. Another way to transform a home is to clean a room one small section at a time. Don’t be overwhelmed by the big picture-break it up into tiny bite sized pieces. You will be amazed at how much calmer and better you feel knowing you accomplished something.
April Chapman says
Very timely article for me. Trying to tame this beast in my life. I just recently ran across the Learn.Do.Become method and it seems to meet you right where you are…that is if you live in chaos like me. I’m guessing the couple that run it are Christians based on how they bring up church and teach some good Godly principles. I’ve just started it, but thought I’d share in case someone else needed an extra level of “help.” 🙂
Rebecca L Jones says
I’ve been going through papers, the dining room table is a catch all for junk mail, and I must learn to be thankful for those who miss the trash can and the spills running down the side and the can’t replace toilet paper people even though it is right there.
Sometimes I think dusting my house is like me throwing it around, the more I do it the more comes back. And I’m feeling a little closed in, forget yard selling in this heat, it’s going to Goodwill. Thanks for the reminder to brighten even a corner.
I have just two things to say in reply to this post:
Thank you for the encouragement; your timing is impeccable. Feeling beyond overwhelmed.
A great group I have found is Declutter My Home on FB. Everyone is so encouraging and people post pictures of what they’ve done.
Valerie Cecilia says
I am right with you @ Brenda. Thank you also @ Denise. Learned so much. Very Overwhelmed.
Wonderful post!!! Definitely great advice. And… I love your witty sense of humor!
Melissa Michaels says
Thank you, Susie!
Sandra J says
I love your ideas on ways to ‘transform our homes into a peaceful sanctuary’. I most identify with the need to have gratitude for the “chaos makers” – they truly bring the joy with the mess – and our attitude towards both is at the heart of every transformation. Thanks for the sweet reminders!
Nancy Ruegg says
Getting started on a distasteful project is the hardest part. But once I’m in the middle of the closet-decluttering, baseboard dusting, or upholstery cleaning, I find it easier to keep going. Just knowing that helps me take those first few steps. Thank you, Melissa, for the reminder that “a full and meaningful life will always go hand in hand with at least a little mess.” Perfection is not the goal; order and general cleanliness is good enough.
I have read everyone comments on this..and it makes me more discouraged than ever, Why? you ask, my home isnt my home so to say, I live in a very cluttered and disorganized home. my husband is a hoarder and I am not allowed to move anything, clean anything, organize anything..my husband goes ballistic. my home is so un-peaceful and chaotic that I feel there is never going to be peace and clutter free. any suggestions would be appreciated.
Melissa Michaels says
I’m so sorry you are in a situation that is so discouraging to you. I can feel your pain, besides the cluttered home I know your heart is tender. Is there any spot in your home that you can claim for yourself? That’s where I would start if it is possible. One corner, one table, one room, one closet, one front porch, one nightstand, really any spot in your home that you can claim as a clutter free zone for yourself. It might not seem like much right now, but it might give you some joy and a spot to start. Make it pretty, look at it often and enjoy it. I’m praying for that to be possible for you, let me know if you are able to claim that spot. I’ll keep praying.