Are you overwhelmed with keeping your house organized and clean?
It may be time to say goodbye to your perfectionist ideals and say hello to more things getting done more easily (and even without you).
My new motto is “Done is Better than Perfect.” And this has helped my home not only stay cleaner, but has helped my sanity as well.
Say No to Perfect
Years ago, as I sat in my messy house, I had an epiphany.
I read something online about how debilitating perfectionism can be. It was a thought I never had before, but that was a tiny seed that made me realize why I was such a pathetic and unhappy homemaker. Because my home and life was a far cry from being perfect, it took me a long time to realize that I am a perfectionist at heart.
I realized I was saying no to washing the dishes because I didn’t have time to clean them and the sink and the counters right in one shot. I was saying no to folding the laundry and putting it away because it was too overwhelming to think about folding them and sorting them in my own perfect method. And because of this my home felt overwhelming and cluttered and awful.
So I have been learning to say no to perfect instead.
Do a Small Thing
Part of saying no to perfect is just doing one small thing instead of trying to tackle it all. If I have let the dishes get overwhelming because things “needed to soak.” I tell myself to do just one small thing about it. I will empty the soaking water and make a pile of dishes on the counter and empty at least one side of the sink.
By giving myself a micro goal I can feel satisfied that I reached that goal. If I’m interrupted by children or a phone call, I can step away and not feel anxious about it. Or, if I have a few more minutes I will set another micro goal for myself to load the silverware into the dishwasher.
On the other hand, another great micro goal can be telling yourself something like “I’m going to work on this until one of my children need me, or for the next 10 minutes, or until it’s done- whichever happens first.”
When I’ve already accomplished a micro goal toward a larger task, the task no longer seems insurmountable.
Lower your Expectations
What’s better? Sitting in a cluttered, stinky house dreaming of your Pinterest perfect dream home OR getting a small handle on things and living in a cleaner, neater reality? That’s what I thought.
I think it goes without saying, but putting it in these extremes might bring it home a little more.
If we are constantly trying to meet an unrealistic expectation, we will always feel like we are failing.
Give yourself a break! Give yourself a kind reality check: You don’t need things to be gleaming and magazine spread worthy. Heck, you don’t even need to wipe down the counters after doing the dishes. It’s a good thing to do, but don’t make it a debilitating must. You’ll get to it next time. Or you can let someone else do it.
It’s much easier, less overwhelming, and more practical to lower your expectations.
I hate how my husband folds clothes. It drives me so crazy. He just grabs something from a pile, folds it into a weird shape and then lays it in a pile of other like clothes- usually mixing the baby’s and toddler’s clothes into one group and my daughter’s socks in with mine. But you know what? It’s getting done. Without me.
It’s not my ideal way of folding the laundry, but when my husband is willing to do it, I am happy to let him.
I am learning to see that I don’t need to control everything. It’s okay if he piles two different sizes of PJs together for our sons. It takes me 2 seconds to sort them out. It’s okay if the shape of the shirts he folds aren’t the same as mine- they may fit wonky in the dresser drawer, but when I see it it reminds me that I am not alone in this and that he freed up an hour of my time this week while I did something else I love to do.
The same goes for when my daughter puts her clothes away or cleans the bathroom mirror or wipes down the table. I’m learning to cherish the extra time and sanity it gives me rather than fixating on how not perfect it is.
Embracing “Done is Better than Perfect”
When you accept the done is better than perfect philosophy into your own home, you will see that things can get done little bits at a time, and can get done without you. Your house will be cleaner and happier, too.
It’s much better for everyone if you give up the overwhelm that comes with perfectionist ideals and settle for things just being done.