When I get overwhelmed, I return to lists. They're just so orderly.
My house is a lovely size for my needs. Maybe a tad too big. But very manageable. Truly, it's the easiest of all the places I've ever lived to clean. Perhaps that might be because of my partial ability to let go (mostly) of my attachment to what my children's rooms look like. Or maybe the kids make less mess as they get older. (Which I don't really believe.) Probably it's that the kids' messes look more and more like mine every year, and I can't really decipher whose mess is whose, and I just imagine it's mine.
Everything is just the right size to easily keep clean. And "out of hand" in this house means two days in a row of not doing the dishes. And even after two days, cleaning the kitchen takes fifteen minutes. So no big deal anyway.
Except when there are contributing factors that prevent my innate kitchen-cleaning skills to kick in. Or the one that allows me to pick things up and put them away as I walk through the house, heading towards doing something totally different. That skill doesn't kick in either.
Things that slow me down and contribute to small messes piling up into gargantuan mountains (at least in my eyes)?
Not getting enough sleep.
Where I am on my moon cycle.
If I've argued with my children.
If I've argued with my ex-husband.
If I have a deadline looming.
If my kids have a deadline looming.
Or sometimes ... just because it's winter.
It's especially bad when it's ALL of those things at the same time. Like it was the other day.
So I turn to lists.
Somehow creating a list helps me to feel like I'm accomplishing something, doing something constructive. It's a baby step to actually getting the thing done.
I can accomplish.