Messy Home

The Anatomy Of A Messy Home

Is our house cluttered, or just disorganized? This is something I think about when our house seems to get out of control. If the kids only had five toys, would they still end up on the floor? Sometimes I think that getting rid of clutter will solve all of our problems, but I know the stuff doesn’t carry all the blame. I’ve never been a wonderful housekeeper, but in the last year or so, I’ve really tried to change my habits. We’re adding a new little robin to our nest, and I would love for him to come home to a peaceful home. The nesting is in full force over here! Last week, I did a walk-through of our home to decide which parts are cluttered, which parts are disorganized, and where I’m being just plain lazy. There are definitely layers to it. This is the anatomy of a messy home.

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Messy Home

Messy Home Layer 1- Kids

I’m going to go ahead and blame this layer of clutter on the kids. These are the toys and shoes and books and snack wrappers that get tossed on the floor on a daily basis.  And even if it’s not put there by kids, it’s probably indirectly related to them. The bag that I dropped immediately while coming in the door because someone had a dirty diaper. Or maybe the book I was reading and left on the coffee table that got carried to it’s new random home by little hands.

Solution: Baskets

Is there really a “solution” for a home that’s well lived in? Probably not. But baskets help. Each bedroom in our home gets a pretty cloth basket in the family room. The idea is that at the end of the day, each person fills up their basket and takes it upstairs. This system is helpful, but we forget to use it on a daily basis. Still, a few times a week makes a difference!

Also, when I feel overwhelmed by clutter, I go through the house with a laundry basket and just dump it all in there. It might sit there for weeks.  This is a good indication that we probably don’t need it as much as we think we do.

Messy Home Layer 2- Indecision

This layer, Indecision, consists of stuff that I have no idea what to do with. It gets put on a shelf or by the computer for lack of a better place to put it. If I get tired of looking at it, it goes into a drawer. These things don’t get picked up in the laundry basket clutter cleaning because if they go into the basket, they will come back to their campground on the desk.  This layer also includes crafts and unfinished projects that I’ll get to sometime.

This is the most telling layer of clutter! If I can’t figure out it’s purpose, then it needs to go!

Solution: Declutter and Get Better Systems

The less stuff our homes hold, the fewer organizational systems we’ll need. But even if I don’t go out and buy storage, a system can help me with some of our trouble spots. Last year, we started putting a basket by the front door for junk mail. Duh! This was the easiest solution to a horrible problem! Now that junk mail never hits the desk.

Anatomy of a Messy Home

So I don’t feel too ridiculously embarrassed sharing this image with you, I just have to point out that this is our basement. When we’re working on cleaning out other areas of the home, it becomes the dumping and sorting ground! But still. It’s often very messy because I can shut the door and forget about it.

Messy Home Layer 3-Exhaustion

Systems don’t help at all if I don’t use them. Sometimes, I’m so exhausted that the pretty shelf organizer I bought remains empty and the sheets are crammed in the closet. If only I could find the motivation through the haze to put things back where they belong!

Solution: Find a Good Time

Find a time when I’m not so exhausted (usually first thing in the morning. Yep, I’m a morning person!) to do things right.


Messy Home Layer 4- Why Bother?

I like to call this layer, “Why bother?” It’s the layer of crumbs that appears beneath the table right after a meal. Why bother cleaning it up when they will just eat again in about two hours? It’s the fingerprints that accumulate on the window when a sticky-handed toddler stands at the glass door watching a bird outside. Why bother with the Windex when he will want to see the squirrel this afternoon?

Solution: Get a Better Attitude

Is something completely meaningless if the results are gone almost immediately? It depends on how we look at it. At church last week, we talked about the importance of hard work. I’m beginning to see these mundane, repetitive tasks as more meaningful than I thought.

I hope this peek into my home made you feel better about your own home 🙂 This journey towards less sure is a long one!

Messy Home






  • Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks August 2, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Oh , Leah, this is all SO true. And I love baskets so much that one of my very first posts was about them! Congrats to you for trying to clamp down on the clutter BEFORE #3 gets here! 🙂

    • leahbmartin August 9, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Thank you so much! We are slowing but surely making progress!


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