For some reason, recently I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with life. I don’t have any particular challenges I’m struggling with right now, so I’m not sure why I’ve been feeling this way. I have bad days and good days, but it seems that my bad days (the days when I’m stressed and depressed) are too frequent.

One thing in particular that has gotten me feeling stressed is housework. I am very lazy, and sooo behind on housework. There are just so many other things I’d rather be doing! Which is sad, because I do like it when the house is clean. And I like cleaning, but I don’t like it when the whole house is a wreck. I just get overwhelmed before I even start.

A few years ago I tried FlyLady, but I really didn’t care for her style. I can definitely see how it works for some people – either people who agree with her 100% or people who can take what works for them and ignore the rest. I finally quit FlyLady after it made me just feel more guilty.

Now, I think I need to get some sort of “home management” system to help me get started being a responsible housewife. I’ve been looking for something similar to FlyLady, but less militant and fewer emails! I found two others… HouseHoncho and Habithacker. I signed up for the latter, but it seems you cannot get a daily email reminder, that my best bet is to physically check the website each day. I guess that’s fine; I was just hoping for an email. It’s set up to start on the first of the month. I planned to start last Wednesday, but time got away from me and now it’s the 3rd… I guess I have some catching up to do. (Hmm Day 2 is “Go Shopping”. I like it!)

Sigh. Ultimately I feel even too overwhelmed to start THIS. I just want to… actually I don’t know what I want. What I *should* do is go do some dishes so I can think. And maybe even come up with something for dinner. Or I could go take a nap since Savannah is napping right now. Yeah, that sounds really nice.

13 thoughts on “overwhelmed

  1. I couldn’t hack it with FlyLady. Too overwhelming and I felt like I never made any progress!

    So what I’ve found lately that works for me is I came up with my own cleaning routine.

    It came about after a really big stuff purge. Less stuff = less clutter = easier to clean! LOVE IT.

    So it looks roughly like this (though subject to change daily):

    Mondays: living room, kitchen, dining room
    Tuesdays: Bathrooms
    Wednesdays: Bedrooms
    Thursdays: Grocery shopping, general upkeep
    Fridays: Closets, projects, and whatever else is needed to get the place looking resepctable for the weekend

    I try to tackle the day’s areas with reasonable gusto, and I also spend a few mins each day just returning things to where they should go.

    I do a little bit of laundry each day, too.

    It does help that our place is fairly small so it doesn’t take THAT long!

  2. Same here, I let the house get out of control and then it seems too overwhelming. I’m lucky that my husband takes care of the daily kitchen tasks or else we’d never have clean dishes. We spent all day today cleaning because we have houseguests this weekend, it looks so much better! Every time we do a major cleaning I think that this time I’ll keep up with it. We’ll see I suppose. Good luck!

  3. I know what you mean. FLYlady really helped me in general with her philosophy but after I got the gist, I came up with my own routine. Right now, it looks like this.

    Monday: Maintenance. Go around the house picking up after the weekend and fixing things.
    Tuesday: Tastes. Prep food for the week. Usually snacks like trail mix.
    Wednesday: Wash. Yep, I only have one cleaning day! If something bugs me before Wednesday, I try to take care of it in 15 minutes. Otherwise, I wait until Wednesday and tackle the worst item or something that hasn’t been done in awhile.
    Thursday: Things-to-do. Errands, appointments, etc.
    Friday: Finance. Pay the bills. Balance the books.

    Each day (except Thursdays, since errands can take the whole day) I do laundry and dishes, take out a bag of trash and sort through the mail.

    The whole idea of a routine was new to me when I first got married and things are so much more manageable now that I’ve had one. It has to be flexible and I have to be able to prioritize in case not everything gets done, but I still follow FLYlady’s general philosophy that it’s better to do a little bit than nothing at all. It might not seem to make a difference, but it does! Life is so much more liveable even if you just maintain and never get ahead. (Are you kidding? Can we EVER get ahead of housework?)

    Maybe you can do something like this for you. Take what you’ve learned from the experts and trust yourself! Write down a routine on the calendar and look at it daily to remind yourself of your personal commitments. If it doesn’t work, alter it until it does. Follow your OWN formula and even then be a little flexible. If you can’t do a load of laundry on Monday, for example, try to do two on Tuesday to keep the average of a load a day. Or, if it works for you, have one big laundry day a week.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, you can do it! It might not be someone else’s way, but your own way. That’s all.

    Hope that helps and hope you find something that works soon. I know how depressed a cluttered home can make you feel.

  4. Corinne: I am the exact same way! “Oh everything is clean, now I just have to maintain it!” Sigh.

    Nichole: I like the idea of having a day to handle finances and bills. That would probably be good for me.

    Nichole & Kacie: Yeah I tried that, but I’m really good at justifying not doing things. And if my days got off – like if I was gone all day one day – then my whole schedule would be out of whack and to be honest I could never kick-start myself back.

  5. So say you have an off Tuesday and the bathrooms don’t get done. Or whatever. That’s ok! Just skip it and do Wednesday what needed done on Wednesday. And make sure you get next week Tuesday’s task done that week!

    My Fridays are also catch-up days so that helps a lot.

    Hopefully you can find a routine taht works for you!

  6. All the mamas hear ya! I think no matter how good one is at her routine, there will always be something that throws a wrench in the works – extra laundry because of more messes, you decided to bake and now the kitchen is a mess and the sink is full of dishes, kiddo dragged poop around the floor and now the whole house needs to be washed and sterilized (oh – and daughter needs to be given a bath, and now the potties all need to be cleaned… *sigh*); the possibilities are endless.

    Some of the things I do are routine – like Mondays are my shopping day, Tuesdays are my library day, Thursdays are my work day, but I don’t have a cleaning schedule. I do the laundry when necessary (when the hamper upstairs is full, Phil brings it to the basement for me), wash diapers when one wetbag is full, start washing dishes when the kiddos are still in their chairs and finishing up a meal, clean in bits and pieces (after I’ve washed the kiddos in the tub, I’ll clean the mirror and countertop or clean the toilet bowl while they’re playing; or while they’re sitting on the potty, I’ll wipe down the counter – it helps to keep cleaning products in different rooms – pick up the living room and fold laundry while playing a DVD…). I HATE to dust, so that pretty much only gets done when it becomes obvious – I’ll grab a duster and swat at a cobweb, and that’s the extent of it! I actually don’t mind vacuuming, and since we don’t have carpets, dirt and stuff gets tracked everywhere so I drag out the vacuum regularly… but I only mop if I see obvious spots, or if one of the kiddos has an accident.

    Some of my friends have cooking days when they will make a week’s worth of meals – I haven’t done that, but sometimes I’ll sit down and plan stuff out so I’m not thinking about it right before dinnertime.

    I try to teach Gwen to pick up after herself – put away one toy before she takes another out – but of course it doesn’t always work. Since she’s capable, I’ll tell her to pick stuff up and put it away, but I still end up putting away the same toys/pillows/blankets/pieces-of-furniture-turned-into-forts over and over. It just comes with the territory! Also – nice bins and baskets come in handy. If you don’t have time to put everything in its place, at least dump it somewhere so it’s contained (and pretty!)

    I think the best thing you can do is take care of things in bits and pieces, and let some things go – don’t expect things to be perfect. My mom taught me to cook/bake at a young age, and she always taught me to get out all the ingredients ahead of time, and to clean up as you go… otherwise there’s a huge mess to clean up at the end.

    Even with all that… I’m in the same boat, and often feel overwhelmed. We’re trying to do everything, and give it equal time, and sometimes I think I have to focus on one thing and not worry about what’s in my peripheral. Easier said than done.

    Good luck!

  7. Ashley,

    I have felt this way so many times. FLYLady was completely overwhelming to me… or maybe the 50 daily emails just annoyed me. :)

    Anyway, a friend recently shared this with me. It is a downloaded planner, one week per page. It lists out chores for each day to help get your house stuff under control. It has been such a huge blessing to me. It does cost $4 to download, but I found a $1 off coupon someone on the web. It is worth every penny, and I don’t get 50 emails on daily basis either. :)


    For a sample page:

    Hope this helps. :)

  8. Following off what Sarah said – I made my own version of motivated moms. I really liked the idea, but it didn’t work for me. It took a while to totally redesign it, but it was worth it. It is a bit more complicated, but gives me a better overall picture of my week. I made a section for everyday chores; Bible readings; daily chores & errands (and put in the weekly “zones” from FlyLady); meal plans with breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and a space for notes. I like having my whole week on one page. It keeps me calmer and focused. I work much better having boxes to check off. I think it is my type-A personality.

    If you want me to send a copy of what mine looks like, just let me know. :)

  9. Sarah: Yeah I came across that site! I have it bookmarked for future use. I don’t have a printer currently, so it’s a little useless for me right now, but I think it could be useful in the future.

    Nichole: I think that’s a huge part of it.

  10. Ashley,
    My biggest struggle is dishes. I like to have a task and complete it. But dishes are never done. When I finally do all the dishes, they then pile up the rest of the day (probably because I love cooking and baking!). I think that’s what wears me out about housework- it’s the same thing over and over again. I like having a clean house, but sometimes it’s hard to be motivated when the task is never “over.” Jobs do become more fun, however, when Jeremiah is helping me. Even though it may take a little longer, it’s nice to have the company and time together (and now that he’s 3 he actually does help and it often goes faster!). I think he was a little over a year when he started “helping.” When I sorted clean, dry laundry I would dump out the clothes and have Jer hand them to me, then I would fold them (and put them on the bed so he couldn’t unfold them). Timmy’s almost to that point, but not quite. He’s starting to take an interest when Jer washes place mats or does dishes (he climbs up on the step stool besides him). It makes some chores become a great teaching opportunity and “being” time together!

  11. Napping’s OK too :)

    FlyLady didn’t work for me, either. Housework gets out of hand for me, too, especially while pregnant, and, as you said, a messy house overwhelms me, too, and totally stresses me out. There are things I just let slide. Bathrooms don’t get thoroughly cleaned very often at all, admittedly. The dishes may only get washed every-other day. The dog hair may get swept up once a week, or twice if Casey is shedding really bad. Laundry is saved for the weekends (though this will have to change with Baby, and I’m not sure how that will work.)

    I do what I can, and Josh does what he can, and everything gets done eventually- often when I (or Josh) get fed up with the clutter (or when we’re having company) and spend a good amount of time straightening up all at once. Not the best system, but it’s what we do to maintain sanity :-P

    How is Paul helping?

  12. Paul does help, but I don’t feel right asking him to do stuff after he’s worked hard all day, when “keeping house” is one of my jobs while I’m home! He should be able to come home to a clean house, something to eat, and get to play with Savannah and not worry about anything else. He’s really good about stepping up when company comes, though.

    Yeah you don’t even want to know how long my dishes pile up… And how little I sweep and vacuum… (I’ve only vacuumed the den twice since the carpet was installed in June.) Though I am usually good about bathrooms because they do annoy me. And I’m on top of washing diapers, but all other laundry falls by the wayside usually. I really need to get into the habit of washing a load a day.

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