When Your House Becomes a FEMA Zone

I know, I know, it’s the holiday season and thus our homes are supposed to rival Martha Stewart’s as we bake cookies in homemade aprons and cheerfully wrap presents with two foot long bows.

And sometimes it feels like every other house must be that way, at least all the ones in the blogs we follow and on Pinterest.

I surely hope no one thinks my house looks like that! Because for every moment of really clean, minimalistic decor like this:

There’s a thousand more moments that look like this:


You see, everything is in a constant state of flux, December or not. Those cute candles? They burn down and need to be replaced meaning I almost always have a box out. And the ones that get finished up, those are being saved for a new project but in a quarter dozen places around the house. And dishes don’t self clean. Even clean clothes don’t put themselves away.

I know, Disney has deceived us with images of dancing dishes and animals that clean house.

So today, a week before Christmas and family arrives, I decided to get the house cleaned up and hopefully finish a few projects.

Here’s a peak at my to do list:


Yes,  I write things down like “put on shoes” and “eat kiwis” – don’t judge me.

You might have noticed in the picture above that there’s also a bunch of food on the counter and the pantry is half emptied because yes, I also have ants.

Now, the most efficient way to get things done when you have a LOT to do is put on a movie. One that represents the long journey and struggle you have ahead of you.

Naturally, I chose Lord of the Rings. The complete trilogy. Extended Version.

It’s important you don’t choose a movie you haven’t see before because you want to move around a lot. Take things to other rooms. Vacuum without pausing the movie. Be able to move about freely.

My time is equally split between

  1. putting stuff away
  2. finding places for stuff
  3. cleaning

Of course it’s slow moving, getting cleaning supplies out, moving things to another room. Throwing a few things away like stale or ruined food (thank you ants..) but the most important thing is to steadily make progress. Don’t take too many breaks. Don’t sit down!

Keep moving.

I discovered some important things, like all those medium sized boxes I save in the garage are totes handy for sending presents. And spiders love my window sills. I found the floor in the kitchen has a ton of small vein like crevices and the dirt that settles into the cracks looks like it’s part of the pattern. It’s not.

Also, buying Magic Erasers in bulk on Amazon was one of my smarter decisions.

Thankfully 3 discs in, I’ve finally got the living room and kitchen to “not horrendous” meaning tomorrow there are more movies to watch and cleaning to do. Maybe I’ll post some after pictures. Either way, be assured that it’s completely natural to have a few disaster zones this time of year.


2 thoughts on “When Your House Becomes a FEMA Zone

  1. I love this post! My home looks just about like yours right now. I have to not look at those lovely “blog” homes. Otherwise, I get depressed that I can’t have a home that looks like that. Oh, they tell you, you can…but the truth is…I am not that talented in decorating and keeping my home looking like a magazine…LOL!!! I too, am working on kicking the clutter out and getting ready for Christmas. Blessings to you! Have a wonderful Christmas!

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