A Clean Home Is an Investment in Your Sanity

To finally change my messy habits, I had to scrub away my self-limiting beliefs

Shannon Ashley
Forge
Published in
5 min readOct 20, 2019

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Photo: Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

I’I’ve been working out of my apartment since my daughter was born five years ago — but despite the amount of time I spend there each day, I never quite figured out how to, as the picture-perfect folks on HGTV say, “make my house a home.” The more I focused on building my online writing career, the more I struggled with housekeeping, eventually letting it fall by the wayside entirely.

I tried to ignore the mess. I made excuses that I was “just so busy,” that I had more important things to do, that it didn’t bother me much. But still, I constantly felt cranky and scattered.

It wasn’t until I enrolled my daughter in preschool — a transition that would require us to have actual morning and evening routines — that I finally decided to take control over my space. But I knew I couldn’t just spend one long weekend in intense Kondo mode and call my work done. I needed a sustainable plan, a system that would allow me to keep my home tidy through all the unexpected bumps, twists, and big deadlines that will inevitably come my way. Here’s what I did, and how it’s been working.

First, I got some goal coaching

Over the summer, I reached out to the productivity and mindset coach Liz Huber, who helped me identify some areas of my life that I wanted to change. My home was at the top of the list.

Huber led me to realize that as a single mom, I was so focused on my work that I didn’t even think it was possible for me to keep up with tidying. I also believed, as a woman with autism, that organization would never be my forte. I have a difficult time making mundane decisions without second-guessing myself, and an even harder time categorizing the objects throughout my home to put them in their proper place.

Through some coaching sessions, I finally started to recognize my self-limiting beliefs. I realized that my overwhelm had become a crutch. I wanted a more organized home, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t keep it up, so I didn’t even try. Admitting what was happening was an important first step.

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Shannon Ashley
Forge
Writer for

It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Calling out vipers since 2018 🍵 https://ko-fi.com/shannonashley 📧 truthurts.substack.com