Do you shudder when you think of people coming over to visit unannounced? Do you panic when you get a message on your answering machine that family is coming—and they left 4 hours ago (and it's a 5 hour trip)? Do you try to "clean" before your cleaning lady comes? Can you not afford a cleaning lady and sometimes calling desperately your mom "I need help !" Or even try to do it yourself, but ending up discouraged, frustrated, and thinking "It's just impossible"?
The real key here is to take it a step at a time. Take it at your own pace. This IS a fight that you CAN and WILL win! You will have to commit to having less "stuff" if your home and letting go of the sacredcows you've hung on to for all these years (but please note that these cows haven't lifted a finger to help you get organized or clean—they only collect dust and take up space!). This isn't having "Clean Sweep" come to your home and do the work for you—it's all "your" work.
Don't worry. It can be done in a few minutes each day. Yes, you, too can occupy a relatively clean environment as long as you relax and let go of "it's-got-to-be-perfect-itis".
Ready for step one in Househome organization? Good. We're going to declutter first - set a timer and put on some energizing music to get you going. Decide that you're only going to declutter for 15 minutes in one certain room.
Then if you want to work longer, say, another round of 15 minutes, you can. But you don't have to. This helps you get motivated, even when you feel like cleaning is the last thing you'd want to tackle. Yeppsyche yourself out.
Go from room to room one day, just decluttering - 15 minutes in each room. Some rooms might take only five minutes - there's a good feeling! Others might take 30 minutes before you can walk through the room without tripping over something. It'll all average out.
Then on day two, go back to your first room and surface clean. Wipe off counters, sinks, flat surfaces. Then spot vacuum. If there's a stain on the kitchen floor, spot clean that baby. Day three, pick another room. Day four, still another. If you're so motivated one day and get on a roll, surface clean two rooms.
After you've decluttered, we're going to take fifteen minutes a day and do some deeper cleaning in each room. You know, vacuuming thoroughly, dusting, swatting away cobwebs, etc.
Now, if you just repeat this simple schedule, you've got a house that would at least make the grade on a pass-fail system. That takes a load off your mind and alleviates stress in your family relationships.
Remember, it's better to do a little each day and get the job done, than to stress out in an embarrassingly cluttered environment because you're too overwhelmed to even start. Go ahead -- set that timer to declutter your home!