Shame and Housekeeping


I felt embarrassed by my housekeeping skills. I didn’t want people over.

This is when I started reading online and reading books. I took courses, so I could feel better about myself.

It all came from a place of shame and feeling pressure outside of myself (but, then internalized it, so I was pressuring myself.)

Nothing stuck.

It wasn’t until I found a group of people that admitted they didn’t have it all together. We shared our shame and embarrassment. Along with our hopes and plans.

Once all that thoughts and feelings I’d been holding onto were released by admitting it in public, I discovered other reasons to declutter, organize and simplify. It made me feel good to have some order. I could create a home that nurtured to take care of me and my family.

It didn’t have to be perfect to nurture. Even today, I usually have some papers in my inbox, but I no longer have paper piles for months or a stack to file as high as the filing cabinet. I enjoy having a system to pay bills on time or find that invitation or not lose the gift card.

Instead of the willpower and forcing (plus the resistance that comes with it), I have flipped the switch to noticing the positives of what simplifying and cleaning can do for me and my family.

I used to look at a pile of dishes, remembering how Grandma and Grandpa always cleaned up right after dinner. I would feel not good enough. I wanted to rebel. I would procrastinate. It took so much work and energy to get me to do them.

Now I do dishes because I know they are easier to clean right after a meal when you don’t have a dishwasher. I know I won’t want to do dishes anymore two hours after the meal than I do right after. I think about the clean kitchen afterwards. Doing dishes feels like no big deal now.

If you have a lot of shame, resistance and procrastination when it comes to home tasks, check in with your mind. Are you focusing on thoughts that make it harder or thoughts that make home care easier? Be self-compassionate as you go on this journey towards order.

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