Q: HELP! My home is pure chaos.
A: Ok, ok. Breathe. I got you. Can you tell me what kind of chaos?
Q: I have no idea.
A: Ok, let me ask it this way. (Multiple choice, shall we?) Is the chaos environmental? Or relational?
Q: Do I have to pick just one?
A: Ha! No. Both is just fine.
Q: So, you can help me?
A: Yes, I can help you. Let me do some talking, how does that sound?
A: Here’s what you need to know. I want you to think critically or analytically rather. Try to pull yourself out of it and get an ascended view. Do you know what I mean by ascended view?
Q: No. What’s that?
A: It’s like when you’re flying in an airplane and you’re up above looking down. You have a different altitude. You’re up high sitting in a navy blue plane seat peering out the window, right? You’re looking down with an ascended view. Your chaos feels like the mountain you’re trying to climb right now. So, stop and get up high. Take a look from that vantage point and it’s smaller. It’s also a big picture of what’s above and behind and all around. You’re all of sudden, not in it either. You’re up above looking, observing, catching the big picture. Are you following? That’s an ascended view. Can you do that for me?
Q: Ok, yeah. That makes perfect sense. Yes, I can do that.
A: Perfect. Ok. Chaos at home is going to be happening in two parts: with the people or the place. One is easier to fix than the other. People chaos is what I label: relational. Place chaos is what I label: environmental.
If you say, my home is chaotic- I have no idea if dishes are overflowing or if you’re toddler is running in circles and screaming. It’s two very different things.
Environmental is completely controllable, in every way. It’s your actual home and many tasks are just a physical act. Let me explain.
You do have to ask yourself harder questions: Is this room working for us? Should I do dishes at a different time of day or should I learn to do them faster or should I use paper plates more often? Is this piece of furniture inhibiting our ability to move and play in this room, therefore, should I move it?
These are questions that have actual answers. If you aren’t asking yourself these questions on a regular basis then your problem isn’t chaos. Your problem is your perspective.
You are feeling like a victim of your chaos. You’re accepting it and not solving it. It’s not a powerful choice: the victim mentality. Your kids didn’t do this to you. Your husband didn’t do this to you. Figure out what you can and want to do with your environment and take responsibility for it.
With your actual home, as in- every room, every chore, every inch of square footage- you need to just stop. Get your ascended view and then go solve your problems. Put the house in order so that’s it works for you. If you’re just behind on some chores and it feels messy and chaotic to you, then make a plan for catching yourself up so you can catch your breath. Yes, that might mean: sending the kids to the park with daddy after work or hiring some help or having a grandparent pitch in. But, don’t let yourself fall so very far behind that you have lost all your marbles. Ok?
There are solutions to all of the environment stuff but you won’t see them if you aren’t looking for them. And, I mean being really tenacious about solving this stuff. Keep the ascended view.
Can you see any patterns?
Q: Ok. I’m following. This is really helpful. Ok, patterns. Yes, absolutely. Maybe dishes. I’m always really behind on dishes. How do I solve that?
A: First of all, you know, every household is solving these same problems. So, know you aren’t alone. You got this. I’ll just tell you what I do and you’ll have to go and see if it works for you.
The thing is, if we start talking about really practical stuff- what works for you may not work for the next person. Tailor your solutions to your home’s needs and your personality even. Just don’t quit. Don’t stop until you find what works. Then, once you find what works: do more of that.
For dishes, I decided I wanted to be like a ninja.
Q: Haaa! What??
A: No, I’m serious. Totally serious. I go as fast as humanly possible and make my movements strong and sharp, quick and calculated. In my head I’m talking coach-y like this: “Pick up the pace. Yeah, you got this. Wow, record time. Amazing! Good job.” Like a ninja. I mean, like real fighting. If I dread it, I hesitate and it’s a waste of time and emotions. The enemy already got me good in the gut. So, I just fight back. Take the first punch. Lol.
Q: This is hilarious! Are you for real?
A: I’m 100% dead serious. I know, right? But, listen. I want to be brave and strong- mentally and physically and I trick my brain into the whole time until it’s second nature. I’m like: “Hey dishes, don’t mess with me. I’m quick. Gotta be quick! Got ya, see?”
Q: I literally want to roll on the floor laughing right now.
A: I know. I know. It just works for me. I fight. Like everyday when I get up, I’m just ready to show the world I’m a better and faster housekeeper today than yesterday. So funny. Ok, let’s get back on track.
When I’m not even done cooking a meal, while the pan is still hot, I wash it with dish soap and a sponge right away and I set it face down on a towel to dry next to the sink. It’s the easiest dish to wash in the world because it’s still piping hot and nothing is stuck on. Not always but 90% of the time, I do the dishes I dirtied before we even eat.
Then afterwards, I wash my dishes by hand. For real. I’m really fast and we just wash, dry and put away and we all kinda pitch in. I hate dishwashers. It just prolongs completing the cycle. I don’t have time to wait for a dishwasher or wait to cook something else because my dishes are dirty.
But, this only works if the sink is empty before you start cooking. But, see, I love cleaning the kitchen before I start cooking. Sorry, I’m being crazy, but I think it’s fun. I have fun in my kitchen.
Q: Oh my gosh, you are crazy. You don’t even use a dishwasher? And you have 4 kids and homeschool and cook 3 meals a day?
A: I know. Hey listen, don’t judge. I use paper plates when I’m over it. Ninjas need days off.
It might not work for you and that’s totally fine! Load your dishwasher after dinner and run it right then. Maybe try unloading it before bed or right when you get up in the morning so you can put breakfast dishes in it right away. Load it with lunch dishes then load it more at dinnertime and it’s probably full after dinner. It’s a one day dishwasher cycle, right? That might work for you.
The key is trying it and if it doesn’t work, it’s not a big deal, just try something else. You can do it.
Q: Ok, you’re right. I think that might work. And, also, I’m always running out of soap. Maybe that’s my problem! Buy more dish soap.
A: Exactly! See? Now, you’re doing it. You’re solving it on your own. You probably just solved your total home chaos by buying a bigger bottle of soap.
Q: Oh my gosh! This is so funny. I’m stressed over something that 56 oz. of Dawn can fix.
A: Right? Ok, well, don’t feel bad. I think what you’ll find is that it’s fun and addicting to solve problems. Period. Because it was something you could take responsibility for rather than just accepting couldn’t change and feeling sad about it.
You’ll be so proud of yourself every time you look at your big bottle of soap because it represents a change in mindset. You made a change and it worked.
Now, take this mindset and apply it every problem, concern, and issue in every room. It takes time and effort no doubt. But seriously, you will be tackling the chaos piece by piece and in no time, all the little issues will be gone.
As far as the relational chaos, that’s a whole big thing. You really have very little control over conquering this. Start with you. You only control you and you have choices.
If you haven’t been making great choices, no problem, just try again tomorrow. Surprisingly, the more you manage your own mind, will and emotions, the more others will take note and it will affect them and your home in a positive way. But, hey…this is a serious can of worms. Let’s just be happy that you’re going to go get your big bottle of soap and start being a dish ninja and let’s talk about this people stuff another time.
Q: Hahaa! Thank you so much. This has been so helpful. I’m totally texting you a picture of my soap, though.
A: Do it! Ha. I’ll send you a happy face emoji and for real, I’ll be so happy for you.