Keeping a house can be OVERWHELMING. Especially when you have small children. Today we’re talking about what to do when you get that sinking feeling that you just don’t know HOW it’s going to all get done!
Today’s guest is Carly Campbell from Mommy on Purpose. AND, if you’re a blogger you can find her in the group Blogging Like We Mean It. She’s also the mom to two little people who like to get all. the. things out!
This post is inspired by my How to Clean your Kitchen post — which I wrote after that overwhelming feeling. It helps me just get started…
Big thanks to our sponsor The Organized Home — if you’re looking to simplify organizing around your house! Be sure to use the coupon code mentioned in the episode!
In this episode we talk about:
Other things you might find interesting
Producer: Drew Erickson
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Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys! Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on Episode 29, we’re talking about being overwhelmed by mess. Ever been you? Ever felt like you’ve walked into a room, and you want to burn it down rather than stay there? Let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting, home routines, even some family travel because, heavens knows! Our lives are tangled. I’m your host, Hilary Erickson.
Okay guys, I have a special guest coming on. We are actually roommates at the mom 2.0 conference coming up. We have known each other for a long time on the old internets, but we’ve never met in person. So that’s just one of the fun things about being a blogger. She runs the mom blog, mommy on purpose and she actually does a lot of outreach with bloggers. She’s helps people coordinate a strategy on social media and she runs the blogging group blogging, like we mean it and so if you’re interested in blogging, I would definitely check that out. I want to introduce my good friend Carly Campbell.
This episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast is sponsored. By the organized home the realistic way to manage a home reduce clutter and clean less ever wished you could relax with Netflix rather than worrying about the state of your home or that lost paper you need. No more needing hours to prep for company, be prepared for any doorbell. Let’s simplify organizing so you can enjoy life more. Save 15% with the coupon code untangled. you can find it at pullingcurls.com and the menu under courses or in this episode show notes.
Hey, Carly, welcome to the pulling curls podcast.
Carly Campbell 1:29
Thank you for having me. I’m really excited. This is this is my first podcast.
Hilary Erickson 1:35
Oh virgin podcaster I love it.
Carly Campbell 1:38
Hilary Erickson 1:38
We all have our first. Carly, tell us a little bit about where you live and who you’ve got living at your house with you.
Carly Campbell 1:47
Okay, well I live in Alberta in Canada. Currently it is the coldest place on Earth. Really? That’s not like a figure of speech. That is a fact. Yes, we are colder than the North Pole and the South Pole currently.
Hilary Erickson 1:58
Oh my gosh Santa lives by you.
Carly Campbell 2:00
Yeah. I wish Santa would just bring us the president of warm. but it’s supposed to pass on Monday.
Hilary Erickson 2:06
Yeah, I think we live in the exact opposite like temperatures.
Carly Campbell 2:10
I’m so jealous. It’s been so cold and in my house and I mean in my house because we cannot go out of the house right now. There are four of us and I have I have a grownup husband who can help keep the house clean. But I also have a three year old and a one and a half year old who have like this amazing ability to just undo any tidying that I do ever like while I’m hiding. They will they will ruin it behind me as I go through the roof.
Hilary Erickson 2:37
Oh my gosh, I bet there are so many listeners who are like me too, me too. Yes, we’ve all been there. Well, I’m glad that your husband can clean up after himself. I thought that was good to add. Yes.Yeah. Okay, so what how do you feel when you walk into a room that’s just like so full of like clutter and and all the things how do you feel.
Carly Campbell 2:55
it is so emotionally draining for me? It makes me feel so so overwhelmed and defeated because I I honestly, I mean, there have been times in my past I’m pretty reformed My house is pretty tidy. But there have been times in my past where you would not know that I like a tidy house if you were to walk through one of my rooms at any given point.
Hilary Erickson 3:17
And I think I think First off, we need to like recognize that it’s normal to be so overwhelmed by it. It just feels like impending doom.
Carly Campbell 3:25
Yes, it does. And it feels sometimes, I mean, it has felt like I would never achieve like i think i think what you’re trying to achieve with a clean home is peace. I think, you know, that escape from the overwhelmed feeling, but there’s been times when it felt like I would never achieve that. And I was just like, doomed to live in this mess forever
Hilary Erickson 3:46
squalor, the toddler squalor? And I think it’s worse as a mom because you may have just clean that room like three days earlier, or two days like
Carly Campbell 3:54
oh, you know, the same day.
Hilary Erickson 3:59
It’s not fair. really isn’t fair. All right. So when you go into that room, how do you attack it? Well, you have like a system?
Carly Campbell 4:06
`Yes. Do you have a system and my mom taught me this this before I ever had kids, because she would come over to my house. Actually, you know what, maybe my son was already born, but she would come over to my house. And I would just tell her that I was so depressed, not because I had a baby, but because I had a mess that I could not get on top of. And she would just say, Okay, let’s just do this, then she would pick up one thing, and she would hold up this thing, which to me in the mess in the pile of mess, just looked like a mess. Like it didn’t look like a thing to be put away. But she would pick up one thing, and she would say, where does this thing, whatever it was go. And then a lot of times, she probably did this with me four or five times before I actually grasp because at myself, I sound like a slow learner I know. But a lot of times I was like, I don’t know where to put that thing. And that’s why it’s sitting there and she would say, well, then you have to create a home for that thing. And but when I looked at the mess all together, all I saw was 1000 Things that didn’t have homes. So now the system is to pick up one thing and identify if it has a home or not. If it doesn’t have a home, you have to create the home for it which which sometimes means at the beginning it can be really tedious because sometimes it means decluttering covers to make room in the cupboard for things so it can have a home, right? It’s not just always as cut and dried as put this thing away, put this thing away. It’s slowly over sometimes it took days the first time she came over and helped me clean up my house. It took us three days to create homes for all the things so that I could pick up one thing and say where does this thing go and put the thing where it goes?
Hilary Erickson 5:35
Yeah, so but did it get faster?
Carly Campbell 5:38
it not only did it get got faster, it also became more automatic. Over time, I would find myself thinking -after I use the thing if I just put this thing where it goes right now it won’t like live here on the cupboard with 10 other things waiting to be put away on Monday, right? Yeah, so not only did it become like faster, it also became less is to do this to walk into a room and pick up a thing and say, where does this thing go? Because the things are already where they go now, right? Yeah, that’s awesome. So what’s your favorite thing to clean up? Would you say honestly, probably the kitchen. And I don’t know if I think that when I’m doing it, but I love the way it feels when it’s done. And I can stand at the end of the kitchen and look into it and see that everything is tidy. And it’s just such a feeling of accomplishment. I do it every night.
Hilary Erickson 6:25
Yeah. Well, and I just think it’s a good reminder that what once was overwhelming, got done. And it’s a lot of accomplishment.
Carly Campbell 6:33
Yes. And then I look forward to waking up in the morning because I know that when I wake up the kitchen won’t be like telling me that it’s going to be a horrible day. It’ll be telling me that it’s going to be a good day.
Hilary Erickson 6:42
Yeah, that is awesome. And it starts everybody off on the right foot versus coming down. And there’s dishes and stuff everywhere, right?
Carly Campbell 6:48
Yes, yes. And we can find the things that we need in the morning to make breakfast so the kids and I can I can set them on the counter and they can sit there and watch me cook their breakfast because there’s room for them to sit on the counter. Yeah, I hate it when they You just have to stand on the floor and cry
Hilary Erickson 7:02
while I make breakfast sit on the counter kids. Yes. What’s your least favorite thing to clean up? You think? Oh, my bedroom? Your bedrooms are worse true?
Carly Campbell 7:11
Yes, because I still struggle with clothing.
Hilary Erickson 7:13
You’re not really a fashionista. Are you Carly?
Carly Campbell 7:17
Not even a little bit. But I have so much clothing and I’m not a fashionista. So like I don’t I maybe don’t take care of it the way I should. Like, I should just hang it up as soon as I’m done with it. But like very often, I’ll just think like, well just put this on again tomorrow. So I throw it you know, on top of the chest or whatever, but then tomorrow, I don’t put it on, I just put on whatever was in the bathroom so that it lays there for a day and then 10 days go by and then I come into it and I pick up something and I think where does this go? And I think well, I don’t actually know if this one is clean and even if it is clean, it’s really wrinkled clothing just still overwhelms me really bad.
Hilary Erickson 7:49
I think that’s hard. I I cannot tolerate any decisions at that time. So I do throw all my clothes on the floor to you that I try and handle them the next day but I can’t handle them at night, everyone Once in a while I Mike, look at you, you put your jeans back in the drawer. Usually
Carly Campbell 8:04
I just, I can like for the first couple of weeks after I really do a good deep clean of my bedroom, I can put my jeans back in the drawer, but it is the one room that I still haven’t cut into the end the clothes in the bathroom. Also if you undress in the bathroom, it’s the same, like clothes are the one thing that I haven’t conquered yet, but I know I’ll get there because I’m working on it. And I get rid of more clothes all the time. And not really. Do you have a lot of clothes you think yes, because I really well my weight fluctuates for one thing, so I can’t get rid of the small stuff or the big stuff. So there’s always stuff that I’m not wearing and I have a hard time with that. And then I also really like secondhand stores and even if I don’t desperately need three pairs of pants and I just need one. I’ll buy three because I can get them all for $10 each.
Hilary Erickson 8:49
Yeah, I don’t have to choose and that’s terrible. I really had to overcome that. I should just get this because it’s cheap. Yeah, right.
Carly Campbell 8:56
Yes, it’s absolutely detrimental.
Hilary Erickson 8:58
Especially because usually The only times I really care what I look like I’m like at a conference, so I should be wearing more upscale. I shouldn’t be trying to look cheap. I mean, I’m not trying to look cheap. But you know what I’m saying? That’s funny that you say that I might want to afford a little bit more.
Carly Campbell 9:13
The last time I went shopping, I think was right before a conference. And the conference was like four days. And I think I bought eight things because I went to winners, which is actually not a secondhand store. It’s like, I don’t know, if you think you’re winners in the States. I’m in Canada. So it’s like, it’s new stuff, but it’s discounted new stuff. And when you look at it, you’re just like, I can’t believe I can get this shirt for $25. So let me buy eight of them instead of four. And that’s terrible. Because I actually there’s two of them. I’ve actually never worked well. You still conferences this year? Maybe you want to wear it. I’ll take them along. Yeah, I think it’s hard. I again, also I only shop before conferences, too. So I I’m a big believer and I only have X amount of hangers and so I have to throw out anything that doesn’t have a hanger. Oh, that’s been helpful. I agree with That but what I did when I was much more of a hoarder than I am now I’m really, really I know it doesn’t sound like I’m reformed but when it comes to clothes once we were out of hangers, so I went to Walmart and I bought 40 more hangers. And now I have an ever ever abundance of hangers. And there’s there’s never a shortage of hangers to hang something. So that’s never pressures me to tidy. You need less hangers. That’s the problem. I should get rid of the hangers. Yes, yeah. So do you have any tips for reforming if somebody just feels like they can’t get a handle on it? well beyond like actually doing the decluttering. So put your stuff that you are not using and be honest about the stuff you’re not using. I’ll think that I’m using something and the fact of the matter is I haven’t touched it in over a year, put your stuff in a box and then put that box by the door and before you go to bed that night. And so I’m talking like if it’s midnight, I don’t care drive it away from your house, because if you leave that stuff in the box, it will creep back out of the box over the next three days or you know until you get to where it’s going And then so once that stuff is gone and you’ve made room to have a home for everything then when your home is clean really focus on how much better it feels to live in a home that’s clean than a home that’s cluttered like constantly compare the free feeling that you have in the tidy home even if it’s only gonna last for two days this time and then notice when it starts to get cluttered how that feels and that to me is what I think were formed me it’s what made me think if I just clean up my kitchen, you know, now before bed, then tomorrow morning when I wake up, it will feel good.
Hilary Erickson 11:32
Yeah, I like that because I think a lot of people worry about the anxiety they might feel if sometime they needed, you know, 4000 twinkle lights or something, you know, so they don’t get rid of them. That is a good point. Like Yes, I think that people do worry about what they’ll what they’ll do that wouldn’t you rather feel the joy daily of a clean house versus that anxiety that you might have if you might need something that you threw away?
Carly Campbell 11:56
Yes, absolutely. It I had a friend. It’s not Exactly the same but I had a friend who always said nothing tastes as good as fitting in my jeans feels. And so she she focused on that when she was, you know, trying to cut back on sugar or carbs or whatever it were. And it really does work for me with the house and the clutter. What How good does it feel to have a tidy house versus You know, my attachment to the stuff?
Hilary Erickson 12:20
Yeah. And I think that can help you at the store too,
Carly Campbell 12:22
right? Yes, Yes, I think so. Or you’re like,
Hilary Erickson 12:25
do I need this other giant appliance? Right?
Carly Campbell 12:28
Right. No, totally. And you can focus on the feeling of if you don’t spend your money on this thing, then you can spend your money on an experience like a holiday or you’re taking your kids to the zoo. If we’re looking for something smaller than a holiday like you can use your positive feeling reinforcement to help your mess and clutter.
Hilary Erickson 12:47
Yeah, I like that idea a lot. Well, thanks, Carly. I think you gave people lots of good ideas. I think this is something we all struggle with. We all get overwhelmed. areas in our house often get cluttered even if you’re crazy cleaner like myself. There are still times I walk into a room and I’m like, I think I’ll just die rather than try and clean.
Carly Campbell 13:04
That makes me feel good because I think of you as somebody who has a very tidy house.
Hilary Erickson 13:08
I do but you know stuff happens. Yes, yes. Kill me sugar cookies.
Unknown Speaker 13:15
The most recent and then you might as well just burn the kitchen down.
Hilary Erickson 13:17
I know. Yeah, I will. I will build a new kitchen because this is ridiculous. Yeah, hilarious.
Carly Campbell 13:22
My kids aren’t quite big enough to make sugar cookies yet, but I can see the day that it’s it’s coming. Yeah, and it won’t be a fun one. Okay, it’ll be fun momentarily. Right now, their domain is the living room. That’s what they destroy. Like, we keep toys in the living room because we both my husband and I both think like this is their home. We want them to enjoy their home. We don’t want to, you know, limit them to having to play in their bedroom or having to play in the basement. But I pick up the toys three or four times a day because if I don’t pick them up, it’s just they just accumulate and spread and it becomes like a virus in the house
Hilary Erickson 13:56
like the herpes of your there’s no fixing it. Yeah, I think a lot of parents feel that way. I had a friend messaged me about her kid being a dumper. They just dump everything out. And I’m like, it’s just a phase. The only thing you can do is remind them that once they dump it, they got to put it back.
Carly Campbell 14:11
Yeah, well, we work on the idea of different little bins for like, different sets of toys. So like the Lego is in one bin, but the the, like tracks that you make for little cars there and another minute before he can dump out another bed. He has to pick up the first.
Hilary Erickson 14:25
Yeah, it helps a little bit. That’s a good thing. But the worst is when you walk in, and he’s dumped out everything. Then again, you’re like, we’re just gonna burn this down.
Unknown Speaker 14:32
It’s fine. Getting rid of all of it.
Hilary Erickson 14:34
Yeah. All right. Awesome. Thanks
Carly Campbell 14:36
so much, Carly. Thank you. This is so much fun.
Hilary Erickson 14:39
Okay, guys, I hope you enjoyed that episode. I think it’s so true that we just get overwhelmed and you think no one else has this feeling. Just like Carly was saying, she thought, oh, Hilary, your house is so perfect. You would never have this problem, but I totally do. So I just think it’s nice to know that we all feel very similar and I think that’s true for a lot of motherhood. We think everybody else has it together and they Don’t.
If you’d like to know more about you being overwhelmed by mass carly has a post about it and I actually have a post about it. So I’m going to link to those in the show notes. Today’s episode is 29. And you can check out all of those links in the show notes. You can also check it out on my website under pullingcurls/podcasts. Big thanks to our sponsor, the organized home if you guys are looking to give all the things in your house, a home It is the course for you. I loved how Carly was saying that. I think it can be overwhelming to get everything at home. But once they all have a home it’s so much easier doesn’t mean it’s not gonna be overwhelming sometimes, but it’s going to be way easier. And of course, a special thanks to my friend Carly. I just love how honest and open she is about how frustrating and overwhelming it can be. But we can get through it together. If you liked today’s episode, we’d love it if you would share, subscribe and review. It really means a lot. We drop an episode every Monday and until then we hope you have a tangle free day!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai