When we have little kids under our feet, home life can feel chaotic. That’s why I advocate things like the evening sweep and simple tidy routines with kids. Here is another awesome tool to have in your tool belt when the home starts to seem like it’s out of control. Post contains affiliate links.
As I walked from one end of the house to the other… I got more and more annoyed.
You know that horrible feeling that is like “I am so annoyed right now that I want to look away, but that’ll make it worse, and then I want to clean it, but I Can’t Even because everything is just so Ugh I need to drink a Diet Coke and eat some cheese.”
Or maybe that’s just me…
It wasn’t that the house was completely disgusting and messy. It wasn’t even that toys were everywhere and the kids refused to clean up.
No… it was just that the house wasn’t working for me.
Things didn’t have proper places.
Things that should work were broken.
Things that were broken should have been tossed.
Rooms had gone without something vital for too long.
Corners became dumping grounds for lack of baskets.
It all just felt a bit out of control. And when things feel out of control – particularly if you’re a Type A wife and mom like I am, poor thing – you feel stressed. It’s extremely hard to not feel overwhelmed when you are at odds with your environment and the systems that are going on there.
Then… I found it. I found this little book that I’d been sent a while ago and hadn’t read yet. The book was called Building Your House and, though the whole book was excellent, one part really stood out to me. It was about how we need to do a House Walk.
Before she even went into the specifics I knew it’d be something I had to do in our home to get things to a state that didn’t cause me a Eye Twitch all day long. Let’s dive in…
What is a House Walk?
A House Walk is a purposeful tour you make around your home to determine the following things:
- Mess “hot zones”
- Things that need repairing or replacing (light bulbs, door handles, etc.)
- Stuff to throw out
- What you are lacking (storage, baskets, tools, etc.)
- Projects to be done
- Opportunities to reuse or re-purpose
Essentially, you’re going to walk around your house with a critical eye and figure out the things that are driving you or your family nuts and start fixing them one by one. Now, this isn’t something like “kitchen renovation” or “paint entire upstairs hallway.”
Sure, those things may need doing. But this House Walk is to determine the small inconvenient things that are causing you stress that can be fixed rather quickly.
Tell me more…
What we want to do here is cut down on the stress, clutter, and dysfunction. We’re not trying to tackle major projects that cause stress. Know what stuck out to me when I visited the kid’s bathroom (that I also use the majority of the time)?
The nightlight is burned out!
This has been doing my head in for weeks. I added “night light bulb” to things I need to buy. Along with label maker tape replacement so I can finish a project that’s been taking up the dining room table. In our House Walk we are not trying to rebuild an entire home, we’re trying to make things run more smoothly and efficiently. Look out for things like:
- Small things that are not working or broken | light bulbs, door knobs, drawers, squeaky things, old toys, lamps, etc.
- Things you need to buy | baskets, hampers, stain remover, hooks for the wall, hangers, drawer inserts, toy storage, light bulbs, etc.
- Things you no longer use that you can re-work in other rooms to save you money and time | toys to be passed down, clothes to be passed down, unused baskets or containers, etc.
- Things you can donate or throw out | old cell phone chargers, baby monitors, unused toys, clothes you no longer wear, appliances that are broken, tchotchkes you don’t need, etc.
Though these things may seem small, sometimes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference in your peace of mind. Every night that I try to use the bathroom (5x a night since I’m With Child) I get annoyed there’s no night light. This is an easy fix, but one I just need to do.
How to do a House Walk
Well… this is very technical here, ladies, and I don’t want to lose you… You walk around your house and write down all the problems. Ha. Okay, okay. You go from room to room and write down things that need doing. I’ve had some printables created that I’ll link to below, but a paper will do. Go from room to room, area to area, and mark down what things you need to buy/move/replace/get rid of.
In fact, as you’re walking, you’ll probably get quite a few things picked up, done, or put into piles to help you with this. You won’t need tons of time, but I’d try to do the entire house (or a least each floor) at once because then you’ll see where you can move from one room to another.
The result may surprise you. It’s amazing how one small tweak can make all the difference.
Moving plate storage near the dishwasher.
Creating a drop spot for your keys or purse.
Putting a basket where people drop clutter.