I bet you can't wait for summer. You're thinking about grilling out, going to the beach, having a picnic with friends and family. It will be perfect. If you look at your life today, you might think that there's a lot that needs to be cleaned up before you can enjoy summer. If there was only one day left until summer...would everything get cleaned? Of course not. But that's because we only have one day left until summer, and there's no other choice. How about if it were two days? Or even three? I bet if we had the weekend to work on it, the house would get pretty close to being clean by Monday morning...just in time for it all to start over again with another weekend!
Stop living just to clean and start incorporating cleaning into your day as a practice, not a lifestyle. The idea that you need to keep everything neat and tidy at once is a societal expectation but in reality, it's not a necessity.
Sometimes, when you know that you have a big project to tackle, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. You see the whole picture—the dishes that need to be done, the laundry that needs to be folded, the post-it notes that need to be put away… oh, and what about those books you want to read? How are you ever going to make time for that?
But if you can trust yourself to go where you grow—and allow imperfection—you'll find a way through.
When I feel overwhelmed by how much there is to do, I remember something one of my mentors taught me: Every room in your house doesn't have to be clean at once. If every room in your house is clean one day a week, then you have a clean house. Even if it's never all clean at once.
I think of it this way: "If I had only this moment left on earth, what would I want to do?" And then I do it.
That might mean pausing for five minutes in the middle of doing the dishes and reading an article about something fascinating—or watching someone else play video games for an hour (because hey, if we're being honest with ourselves here).
And this applies to your personal growth as well. You may do a lot of trauma recovery work and feel as if your career isn’t getting the attention it needs…that’s okay. Take a moment and tidy and be grateful and acknowledge every accomplishment. Even if it doesn’t look like a perfectly clean house to the outside, keep going. The only person who your house needs to work for is you.
You don’t need to do a complete overhaul of your house OR your life. You just need to make it work for you. Take small steps towards living authentically. And one day you will wake up and your house will be exactly the way you need it. Even if it’s not society’s expectations of cleanliness.
It’s really that simple.
Stop worrying about what other people’s houses look like and what they think of yours. If they judge you because of your house, then they don’t deserve to be in your life.