Clutter, clutter everywhere… a housewife confession

Ok, so it’s no episode of hoarders over here, but it is pretty messy.

The dining room table is covered with clutter.

The coffee table is covered with clutter.

The love seat has clutter, the floor has clutter, the bathroom counter and bedroom floor have clutter.

It’s enough to make me real grumpy and a lot overwhelmed.

I really dislike having all this stuff sitting around making the house look messy. It makes my mind feel messy.

But when I get home from work and have other work to do, the stuff around here kind of piles up.

True, we work on it when we can, and when we feel like it, and we almost always have the kitchen nicely clean, but I can’t help but feel like I can’t really focus on the tasks I have to do when I’m thinking about how messy the house is. I hate having to clean up before I have space to start a project.

Maybe this is something I’ll get used to as we get more settled into marriage. I’m sure we’ll get grooves and rhythms and patterns of how we use our home and how we manage the everyday messes that occur. I certainly managed to function all through high school and college at my parents’ house when the floor in my room would get completely covered with clothes, books, and who knows what all else.

It’s not that I’m naturally one of those people that cleans all the time or has to put things away as soon as I use them.

I’m not like that at all. My mom will certainly vouch for that!

I’m in a hurry. I’m busy. I have things to do and people to see. I have jobs 1, 2, and 3 to balance.

But I also really hate to be surrounded by clutter. That’s why I keep my bookshelves as free from knick-knacks as possible and hesitate to set things on my counters. I like things neat.

I feel more at peace when I’m surrounded by a space that’s organized…

…even though I seldom take the time to organize as I go…

so I end up with a big pile of organizing to do all at once.

And then I get huffy and salty.

And Hubs gets annoyed that I’m huffy for no real reason.

After all, the house was messy yesterday, why am I suddenly freaking out over it?

It’s an endless cycle.

I have a feeling this is something that won’t go away unless we work on it. Life won’t slow down enough for us to always have a perfect house, and that’s fine. It’s perfectly fine. I don’t need a clean house all the time. I want our home to look loved and used and lived in. I just don’t want to have to move a giant pile of mail and half-folded-laundry every time I want to use the table for something.



I had an idea last night that Hubs and I should try to focus on cleaning at least one little area of the house each night before we go to bed. The table, the coffee table, the bathroom counter, the sides of the bed where we both end up with a pile of worn laundry….you get the idea.

That way, we’ll go to bed feeling like we accomplished something specific and tangible, and things won’t get so overwhelming for me to freak out over and get huffy and stomp around cleaning while Hubs sits on the couch looking at me with a confused look on my face.

See what I mean?

What about you? What keeps your house from getting clutter-crazy? How do you handle it when it feels overwhelmingly messy? Is this something that affects your marriage at all? Does it cause fights? I’d love some tips and tricks!


Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Clutter, clutter everywhere… a housewife confession

  1. D.L. Kamstra

    Focusing on one part each day is a great way to help overall. A tip I have come across on a lot of different sites, is to just take 1 minute in each room of your living space to pick up and straighten up. It can be amazing what you can do in that amount of time!

    For me personally, I don’t like a lot of clutter as well, but I am not always the best at putting things back after I use them (such as my make-up in the morning or taking care of my clothes up in the evening). So working on routines one at a time helps. I’m just now working on the clothes one. Probably make-up and hair stuff will be my next one after I no longer leave my clothes lying around.

  2. Donita

    I think your idea of cleaning one space a night is a good one. Wyatt did not have a very good role model in that aspect of Life, I am terrible at cleaning house. I usually wait until the weekend and then spend my entire day on Saturday doing it. I am now thinking that this should have been My Lent Project. After all Lent is not about “giving up something” it is about changing a part of your life to make it better and more pleasing to God. Even though God doesn’t care about my house cleaning, it would make me in a better mood and let me spend more “quality time” with family and friends.

    • Thanks for the comment! I don’t think you’re terrible at cleaning house, but I do think you have a great idea about lent!

  3. Laura

    I completely understand this one!! There is always stuff all over our dining room table, we couldn’t eat on it if we tried! It is almost to the point some days where I would hate to have someone see how cluttered our tables get! I am getting much better about putting my stuff where it belongs, the husband is a bit slower in figuring out what to do with all his clutter (part of that is b/c this is my house and he moved in it after I’d been living here for over a year so he is still figuring out where to put his stuff, it’s only been six months since we got married so he is still adjusting to the living situation). Normally I try to tackle one area or one room at a time, the dining room is always a big one for me b/c that is one of the more public areas of the house. I do believe that the one area at a time thought is the best way to go, it helps me feel less overwhelmed to tackle the clutter in pieces!!

  4. It’s a great idea. I do it, too or try to, at least. And, I know how hard it is to focus on work, when you’ve got a messy house. It’s so distracting.

  5. Wow… this is so me… Spooky.

    I’m with the Hubs on this one. I try to clean a bit every day to keep clutter to a minimum. If I don’t I end up going on a cleaning binge. (My mom hates it when I have one of those. I toss stuff out left and right.) Otherwise, I’m like you, i can’t focus properly to save my life.

  6. Organized clutter and chaos are part of my life. I have been married for almost 26 years and we have four sons. That remark in itself sheds light on the clutter in the house. Granted, I have to remind the boys to pick up their items throughout the main floor. The trick is to organize the clutter. Mail and magazines in one basket…shoes taken off as you come in the house in one place…etc… Make time for yourself to sort through the baskets, with your new hubby, and make it a together activity. Trust me..if I am still married after our clutter disputes you can survive.
    Peach State

    • Great advice! I love the idea of having baskets! It’s one I hope to use when we have a house…which will hopefully be soon. Right now we don’t have room for the baskets!
      But with 4 boys(!) you certainly must know what you’re talking about!
      Thanks for the comment! and thanks for reading!

      • Boy I do remember those days of no room. In the early days we had a coffee table that was also the laundry table. I folded and let it sit there! We only had one dresser our first year of marriage. Have you got any trays or large bowls that you received for a wedding gift? They work just as well as baskets…they can also be prettier and more fun to decorate with.
        Peach State

  7. We don’t have a ton right now, but I have big plans for an entryway once we have a house! I want it to be so organized!

  8. Pingback: #319: Having a functional home « I Love This Husband & Wife Stuff

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