July was a crazy weird month because I ended my tenure at the job we moved to Albuquerque for and I attempted to jam into it a full summer of family fun, home improvement projects and more. Right now I am working on taking on freelance projects and starting two small business ventures while I do that. It's full speed ahead busy right now. Being home with husband and kiddo every day in July meant I was running hard and fast. But the great part was I was doing a lot of things I loved and enjoyed. Just needed about 20 more hours in every day.
Being home more every day, I feel like I am a little overwhelmed with the messes that accumulate around the house: short term and long term. Short term I would classify as cleaning the kitchen every day and long term might be cleaning out a closet. I felt like we were trying to tackle so many of these kinds of projects every day and yet everything still felt messy.
Then in the past couple of weeks, I read an article about organization where the author stated that houses feel messy, even when we feel like we're constantly cleaning, when we don't finish a job. I can't remember where I read this or who said it, I'm sorry to say. Finish the job. I have been thinking about that a lot. I realized I would do 90 percent of the kitchen cleaning and not finish the job and so the kitchen never felt tidied. I might take the tags off a new piece of clothing but then leave the tags on the dresser top. Or a family member might clear the dinner table but not wipe it down.
So I have been preaching this mantra around the house constantly. "Let's make sure we finish the job." So often it only take an additional five minutes to finish a job but it's so tempting to get tired and say, "that's good enough for now, I'll do the rest _____ (fill in the blank with later, tomorrow, after the kids are in bed, on the weekend.)
It's made a difference to make sure to take the time to quickly wash up the pans after the dishwasher is filled and turned on or to dry the hand-washed dishes and put them away immediately instead of them sitting on the drying rack for hours. When doing laundry, I try to just finish the job and that means getting it folded right away and taken to the appropriate bedroom or closet. When it's my clothing I try to put them away immediately.
Not leaving the day's clothing sitting on a chair but rather hanging it up or putting it in the laundry hamper is another one of those challenges many people have. I think getting everything out of the car each time one exits is another one of those "finish the job" tasks that often get overlooked. Putting make up and hair care products away immediately after use is also a big problem for some households. When things are out of place or chaotic is creates a lot of stress, frustration and wasted time when we have to hunt for things or take entire days to clean up big messes that could've been easily managed in a couple of minutes daily.
We've made an big effort to keep our powder room very tidy over the past couple of months and it has made an amazing difference about how we feel about that room and how clean it looks. It's surprising how nice it looks day after day when people aren't brushing their hair and teeth in that bathroom but using their own bathrooms instead. Now we're guest ready in that room all the time and it's a pleasure to pop in there and not feel upset at how it looks.
I'm still challenged by tidying up and keeping things organized and my family has not necessarily gotten overly enthusiastically excited about my "finish the job" charge, but I see it making little differences around the house and I know it's making a difference for me. I'm the example setter here for caring for the home and creating a nurturing environment so my example matters. So when I see my own things lying around the house I'll stop and grab them and hope that as my things disappear from view that others will follow suit.