“I Think My Home is Beyond Help”

Maybe you think your house is too far gone. There’s no way you can implement any of this because it seems hopeless. This is not true. You are not beyond help, and neither is your home. You need to start slowly. Major changes too quickly are not going to be helpful or healthy for you here. I’m going to give you some steps, but do not try to do them all at once. It may be a day or a week or two weeks in between each one. That’s fine. It’s been years. You can take a little time here.

The first thing I want you to do is make your bed. I know. But here’s why: it’ll give you a home base to go back to if you get overwhelmed. Start by stripping the bed and washing your sheets. Re-make the bed once it’s done.

Your next step, whenever you’re ready to take it, is to clear out any dishes that are in your room. Take them to the kitchen and put them in to soak in the sink.

Next, again, when you’re ready, grab a trash bag and throw away obvious, actual garbage. Food wrappers, price tags, dryer sheets, empty shopping bags, whatever is clearly and undeniably trash. You may need two or three or five bags. That’s fine. When you’re satisfied that you’ve gotten the obvious trash, take the bags out to wherever your trash goes.

Next, pick one surface. Your nightstand or dresser or desk. Just deal with that one surface. Find a place for every item on it (even if that place is the trash), clear it off, give it a good wipedown, and organize it.

To continue, you’re going to work your way methodically around each room, dealing with just a square foot or so at a time. Give yourself time to get used to the changes. See if you can pinpoint how you feel when you look at a cleaned area. Is it anxious? Relieved? Proud? If it’s anxious, give yourself more time. If it’s relieved or proud, you’re probably OK to keep going. Work around the room systematically, making sure to work slowly and take your breaks.

You’ll get there. I know you will because you want to. Check in here, get support, get ideas, whatever. But you can do this.