About the Author

Sarah Mae has a past that would be her present if it weren’t for Jesus. A blogger, author, and co-author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, she’s currently writing The Complicated Heart, a book for broken-hearted lovers of Jesus. Learn more at @thecomplicatedheart on Instagram or...

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  1. This is a great post that hits on some things I have been thinking about (and blogging about) recently. I love a good 15 minute challenge and have been successful lately in tacking one task completely instead of flitting from thing to thing.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Sarah Mae! I love the one-room idea. I’m too easily distracted to *ever* finish anything when I’m running from room to room.

    And for the record, I think my laundry pile might be a tad larger. Pray for me! 😉

  3. With six kids and the energy of a woman five months pregnant, I think I may win on the laundry pile thing. But it will get done, and some times, a nap is more important. 😉

  4. With a household of children and one teenager – I think I win on the laundry thing. However, the real reason I felt led to make a comment is b/c of the plastic coverings on furnitures.

    My mom and MIL still – after so many years – use plastic covers on their sofas. I use to hate those things, especially in summer when I was wearing shorts and I would get jp to leave – the plastic would stick onto me.

    Oh, the joys of plastic!!!

  5. Just last night I was telling my husband that I just didn’t know how some moms get it all done! And I only have two boys (2 & 4). I honestly feel that sometimes in order to have a perfect home something has to be neglected! I don’t want to be the mom who says, “No boys, we can’t go outside. I need to finish laundry.” Or the wife who is tirelessly working on a spotless kitchen after the kids are in bed, neglecting my husband! (both of which I have been guilty of) Housekeeping is important… but there must be a balance. And I have a hard time with balance. I have an all or none personality, and it plagues me! I think I just need to re-focus on what my goal is for my home.. time to grab me some coffee, pen and paper…

  6. The timing of this post was strangely perfect. I was sitting on the couch nursing my 13-month-old, surveying my messy home and pondering how I need to get a load of laundry in, and how much I have to do… and how hard it is to get anything done while keeping a toddler out of trouble. I’m 13 weeks pregnant and was up for 2 hours last night, so it’s been a rough day so far.

    All that was to say… I’m glad I’m not the only one and your post encouraged me! Now he’s napping, so I better get busy.

  7. Thanks for the tips! I completely agree that having a messy home is just stressful. We are getting ready to move this weekend and I feel completely stressed with boxes everywhere. The house we are moving to is much smaller than the one we are currently living in, but I am so excited to get rid of all the extra “stuff” that we have accumulated!

  8. Wow, can I relate to feeling overwhelmed by the messiness at times. What a great read w/ some great tips for getting the mess under control. It’s so nice to know that I am not alone out here! 🙂

  9. Great post! I was just telling my husband last night, how the piles of clothes, toys and random papers seem to be never-ending…because they’re are. 😉 I constantly have to remind myself of the importance of keeping a clean, comfortable home and NOT a perfectly spotless, everything-organized kind of home (which my perfectionist personality strongly favors). Always nice to know others feel the same way. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!

  10. I can so identify with the laundry. It’s the chore I dislike the most (I actually like doing dishes!). On top of that our dryer was broke for 10 days and with only emergency loads at friend’s house, it is beyond out of control. Having 3 teens in the house will do that! 🙂
    Love your idea of just sitting in quiet, mediatating on my home, and asking God to guide me. I KNOW the feel I want….I’ve been there before…so I can do it. Just need his help getting out of Blog World! 🙂
    Thanks for the helpful post.
    Be blessed~
    Kristi

  11. I love your tips. You are so right. The hardest thing for me to do is getting rid of the toys. Part of me thinks we need to save them ALL since who knows if we will have more. But I know it’s really just me holding onto things I don’t need to. Great post!

  12. My laundry pile is waaay bigger, I’m afraid! LOL

    But these are excellent tips! 🙂 I have a hard time focusing, too, and just grab from here and grab from there and don’t see much improvement. Love taking the 15 minutes to work hard and love the idea of staying in one place at a time. 🙂

  13. Love, LOVE this and so needed it today! As a working momma, I find myself quite overwhelmed as of late. I feel behind at work and at home. By the time I get home in the evenings I am exhausted and the last thing I want to do is clean, BUT I just love the feeling of a clean, tidy, and organized home. You have inspired me to tackle a couple rooms this weekend and maybe while I’m at it I’ll do a couple more. Love the idea of one room at a time and adding something new that brings a smile to your face!

    A little tip that helps me is cleaning up the kitchen before going to bed. Waking up to an empty sink and clean countertops make the world of difference for me. Have a great evening! 🙂

  14. Ask God to help you physically create your vision, and than thank Him for the ability to give life to your home.

    Why is it that I forget to ask my Father for the things that I think are insignificant to Him, but so significant to me? Thank you for the reminder, Sarah Mae!

  15. I just hired help at least once a month–if that can help keep up with things like shutters and baseboards then maybe I can keep a step ahead of things. Actually I’d settle for just being in a mental place that feels like., “ahhhhhh….” a little more often than not.

  16. My laundry pile is at least as good as yours…lol. Thanks for your post. It was just what I needed this morning. I had myself a big cry last night on my hubby’s shoulder, I am completely overwhelmed,feeling like I am not doing anything properly at the moment. Not the housekeeping, not the teaching (we have just started homeschooling), and not the “mummying” (we have 5 kids under 8). Everything you shared resonated with me. And although those thoughts have occurred to me, hearing someone else express them as solutions too, is encouraging. I guess I need to pray more and “Just do it!!”
    God bless

  17. Stacey B, friend, you may need to pray more, but sometimes “just do it” because a shame and failure cycle (do I sense correctly in your writing?). I want to encourage you, listen, there is hope, keep walking by faith each day, lean on the Lord, and do what you can – He knows what you are capable of right now. You have five precious darlings under eight – that is hard! you are in a very special season, molding and training. Please please please keep your eyes on Him and on hope. He is working on you from the inside out, not the other way around.

    Might I suggest this: http://www.corelies.com

    Love you!

  18. “I spend so much time fretting and being overwhelmed that I stay stagnant, which leads to me feeling worse, and then ultimately, I give in to laziness and a “why bother” attitude.”

    I could have written this! Thanks for this post reminding me what I already know…

    Another thought–my mom always points out that I used the word “behind” all the time. She said I need to give myself a break…I’m only behind by my own high standards. It’s worth a thought because “behind” makes me feel even more defeated and unmotivated.

    Time to JUST GET MOVING!

  19. Thank you so much for this! I was having a melt-down moment the other day looking at my house and the mess it has become. I have four children (3 of which I am currently homeschooling) who keep me busy! Between homeschooling and driving them to and from activities, I feel like I don’t have a lot of time to devote to my home. I really struggle with my friends who appear to have it all together. Their homes are always inviting and clean. I often wonder what I am doing wrong. It is so hard to find the time to really clean amongst all of the other pressing things that need to get done. It was so nice to know I am not alone and I am “normal” (whatever that is). ;o) Now time to get off this computer and start my day and somewhere in this day I will find 10 minutes for ME! ;o)

  20. Thank you for this post! Music is a must for chore time and I love the tip about working on one room at a time. That does work so much better! Blessings.

  21. Excellent post! Sympathetic, encouraging and practical. I needed all of that. If I could ask for one more thing it woud be the secret of remaining content in the face of others’ complaints! But focusing on what I can do and change (instead if how I wish I could change others), now that gives me hope.
    And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts, by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5
    Don’t pick on me for quoting out of context (go ahead and read the context) but the Spirit brought that verse to mind and I’m bold enough to write it down.
    Praising God for his work through you (and I was crying out to him this morning!) with thanks.

  22. Just want to let you know Mommies, it does get easier. But for now, try to relax and enjoy your children above all else. Let them help you fold laundry, and pick up. No it wont be perfect, but you are teaching them skills they will need and also spending time with them. Enjoy every moment you have with them. Live life, look at it anew through their eyes. Play with them, get down in the floor with them. Laugh and talk, LISTEN to them. And in a few years when they are all grown and moved on you will have an awesome relationship with some great adults and plenty of time for enjoying a clean house. UNLESS you are blessed enough to have grandbabies, then you do it all over again, only this time in spurts. 😉

  23. Wonderful tips! Thanks for listing them out, I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed but it’s so important to get the big picture and move forward! Thanks for the reminder!

  24. Overwhelmed is an understatement for me… you have some great advice here… now just to get going is huge. My home is not a place of refuge to relax in and it would be nice if it was. Thank you.

  25. I love this! One, it makes me feel like I’m not the only one overwhelmed at times with keeping up the house. Two, you make it seem like it is actually doable.

    Thanks!

  26. Boy did I ever need to read this today!!!! Being on the computer too much does make me way depressed!! This morning being on it is a necessity since I need to finish a powerpoint for work, but once that is completed….I am out of there! Thank you for your words and encouragement.

  27. Thank you for posting your laundry basket as a proof. It was great to know that there is another laundry unfolded yet. I have the same situation, except that… I have four baskets full of clean laundry to be folded, one and a half basket full of dirty clothes, and one mountain sitting still inside our dryer. We have five children, and no matter how much I try to be efficient, I feel I can never finish anything done. I know I can finish “something” done, so I will focus on that mentality.

  28. I can not thank you enough for this. As someone who has dealt with for years, motivation is a huge problem for me. My house is in a perpetual state of clutter and I find it so hard to start cleaning when the task seems so big. I’ve never thought about it in a heavenly perspective and I truly believe that will make a difference. Keeping my house in order is not only for me and my husband, but for the glory of God. Thanks again!

  29. I’m interested in the “curse” and “eternal reasons” for taking care of home and family links, but they don’t work anymore. Can you give me a new link to read those posts?
    I could use some eternal reasoning right now!
    Thanks!

  30. Sarah,
    As a teacher, I find your words of advice comforting and accurate, However, when a person has done all those things and the house still looks like a disaster area because the problem is a partner who takes comfort in the mess. What then? No amount of talking, or cleaning, has done any good. I’m still overwhelmed.