One of the statements I hear most often from the women I coach is that when it comes to creating domestic routines and rituals they simply don't know where to start because the whole house feels overwhelming.
And oh how I sympathise.
For it takes no time at all for me to lose control of routines that usually run like clockwork and when that happens I recognise how very easy it would be to sit back and let it all go to hell. To watch Jeremy Kyle instead. To get back in bed and pretend my bedroom represents the extent of my very existence and that there is no such thing as an overflowing dishwasher and a laundry basket that just will not be tamed. Or to head out of the door and find myself in the most exquisite of hotel lobby's so I can simply deny a life that feels too ordinary in favour of one more rarefied.
But in the end, Jeremy Kyle gets on with his life, I find myself with cause to go downstairs and do battle with the dishes or the hotel receptionist asks me to leave as they simply can't allow me to be hanging around in a housecoat, lowering the tone and being mistaken for the kind of lady of the night even the most desperate of lonely businessman wouldn't exchange pound notes for.
So I step out of my reality TV slumber and head into the kitchen. Or open the front door and decide to face the music, for when all is said and done this is my home and when my home needs a hug, I am she in charge of administering it even on those days when I would rather boil my head in fabric conditioner.
You see when it comes to looking after our homes, no amount of procrastination will help you offset overwhelm unless you decide to START. No amount of thinking about it will make it go away, you have got to get up and get going! So start!
Start now. Start right where you are. In the bedroom or in the living room. Start by recycling that magazine or picking the laundry basket up off the landing and carrying it downstairs. Start by filling the sink with steaming hot water and a squirt of washing up liquid, ready to dip a cloth into, to wipe down anything standing still.
Start by making the bed. Your bed or all of the beds. Start by deciding once and for all to banish that stain on the sofa, or clean out the fridge. Start by standing up and stretching. Or screaming. Or dancing a jig. Anything to get enough energy into your bones to get you moving.
Put mad music on! Light a housekeeping candle (and yes I just made that up, but marking a transition from sloth to purpose with something ritualistic is always a good idea!) or play Marie Kondo on Netflix and SHAME yourself into starting! Do whatever it takes: but start somewhere. Somehow.
This isn't about waging war against the house, it is about stepping into harmony with your home and no amount of avoiding it will help you banish overwhelm. You have to start right where you are, no matter how chaotic that feels, because action breeds more action and pride in achievement, even the tiniest of domestic achievement, really is its own reward.
So start. Please start. Sitting in the midst of chaos is the kind of muddle that will never solve itself, unless you decide to do something about it. So start! Do as much or as little as you can manage and allow effort to create the momentum that will help you to commit to the kind of daily action that will over time dig beautiful holes in overwhelm and eventually see you create a home you are truly proud of.
Start today, start now. You will feel better, I promise.
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