share post

5 Tips to Get Your House Clean + Nurturing the Nest

by | Jul 13, 2016 | clean + simple, Decorating Inspiration, Domesticity, My Dining Room, My Life, My Living Room, My Seattle House

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy here

5 Tips to Get Your House Clean + Nurturing the Nest

Every once in awhile, I get into a cleaning slump. To be honest, I think the move and planning all the ways I was going to make this house our home “someday” kind of threw me off my rhythms for a bit recently. I hardly even noticed it was happening at first. Little by little I just started putting off housekeeping. Even though I KNOW better, I told myself I’d get back into the daily housekeeping routines when (fill in the blanks with your own excuses)…

Pretty soon I realized what I was actually doing. Besides letting some of my plants die slow deaths of neglect (see my sparse little fern on the shelf above who is now trying to resuscitate himself from my accidental neglect?), I felt I could justify skipping some daily tasks for awhile until I wasn’t as busy, or even until we “finished” this room or that.

But while it felt like I was giving myself time to do other things, what I was really doing was depriving myself of the joy of puttering around my house right now! The result of skipping tasks or not savoring the small practical details of daily living was that I actually felt more overwhelmed, not less.

5 Tips to Get Your House Clean + Nurturing the Nest

While I knew I’d feel extra happy to clean when I had a shiny new farmhouse sink (for instance) I am not always as excited to clean the old one I have right now. Womp womp womp. It sounds awful to say because I should really just be grateful I have a sink at all. And I am grateful, I just need to remind myself of the purpose of a clean sink every now and then.

If you have a shiny new sink, you know how lovely it looks after you polish it clean. A shiny sink is the cherry on top of a beautiful kitchen! Cleaning an old one may not give you quite the same result, but the alternative is a sink full of dirty dishes and that is never pretty.

Click here for my tips and secrets for cleaning a white sink without harsh chemicals!

5 Tips to Get Your House Clean + Nurturing the Nest
I know it’s hard to keep up with a house. Trust me, even though my kids are older now (it will happen before you know it) I not only remember vividly how messy a house gets when kids are small, but even now my house gets messy. Besides our own stuff that seems to multiply everywhere, Jack thinks of this room as his personal puppy playground. He is aways tossing the pillows on the floor and skinning the fur off his toys until the stuffing goes everywhere.

Even when I do want to clean the house, he’s right there to mess it up again. He is pretty much like a toddler in his mess making ability, but not quite as demanding in other ways. But he makes life fun and of course your kids do, too :).

Cultivating a love for a clean (enough) house (whatever house you’re in right now) takes some practice and intentional effort, but it’s worth it when you see the rewards of that daily rhythm. Whether you are in a home-slump from a move or transition or fatigue or just stinkin’ thinkin’ for whatever reason, it’s important for your sanity and joy to gently revive your nesting instincts as soon as you are able. Yes, you can nurture those instincts. I have to do it and I bet you do too, sometimes.

We may not always feel like cleaning or taking care of a house, but many times a slump can be short lived if we can train or retrain ourselves to enjoy home-keeping.

Speaking of nesting, do you remember fall nesting? If you’ve been around for awhile I hope you remember it :). I’m reviving my most loved series this fall! YES, FALL NESTING WILL RETURN! I think last year I was so busy with our move and book writing that I just couldn’t muster my energy for it. SOMETIMES SLUMPS ARE A THING.

But this year I am ready to get back to nurturing the nest. I hope you’ll join me? Would you cheer me on and even be cheered on? I miss our bonding and kindred chats over all things fall nesting so I’m really excited for fall this year.

So, do you ever get in that stinkin’ thinking cycle I mentioned yesterday?

Today I thought I’d share 5 ways I try to overcome it to get us back on track.

5 Tips to Get Your House Clean + Nurturing the NestSOURCES >>Leather Couch / Rug  / Striped Pillows / Macrame Pillow (similar)

How to get your house clean

Here are five tips that help inspire me:

  1. Stick to the non-negotiables. If I let myself make even one excuse, it’s a downward spiral of stink. I’ve written about my routines and housekeeping methods in my books Love the Home You Have and in Make Room for What You Love, if you need more encouragement for cultivating successful daily habits.
  2. Tune into the tunes. Music always inspires me to clean. It’s like it flips a switch in my head from thinking up excuses and tells me it’s time to get into the groove, so to speak :).
  3. Savor the scents. In order to make daily cleaning something I look forward to, I have to enjoy the process of making my house smell better. Giving myself the gift of good smelling (and healthier) products***, fresh sheets and a clean house changes how I feel about my home. Savoring what clean smells like inspires me to get through my housekeeping chores.
  4. Reward your efforts. It works in kindergarten and it works in adulting, too. What will be your “gold star” as soon as you do the dishes? Finish the task with a reward that is tied to the completion of the project, something as simple as lighting a candle or hanging a fresh dish towel on a hook can be just the pat on the back you need.
  5. Remember, pretty is as pretty does. My grandma always used to quote that little phrase and it stuck with me. While it doesn’t necessarily apply to this situation in the exact way as it was originally intended, cleaning your home isn’t just about improving appearances. Focus on how your day, perspective and mood will improve once you’ve polished the sink and put away clean laundry.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

***Get my favorite plant-based household cleaner and the essential oils I LOVE for wellness and scenting my home here!

Related Posts:

How to Clean a White Sink (3 Secrets, Without Harsh Chemicals)

How Do You Keep a Clean House with Dogs?

Room sources >> Leather Couch / Rug  / Rattan Day Bed / Coffee Table /  Striped Pillows / Macrame Pillow (similar) or Shop My House

5 Tips to Get Your House Clean + Nurturing the Nest


  1. Sallie

    Yes – cleaning slump. I’m in it today. And yesterday. Sink, toilets, and all things stinky. Yep, those would be Non-Negotiables! As soon as my dog wakes up from her nap so I can get to the closet where the cleaning products are (wink!), I’ll take care of those stinky places! Thank you, Melissa, for the motivation! Have a JOYFUL day!

  2. Home Decorative Accents

    Great tips! Like you said, cleaning regularly makes life so much easier than waiting until a huge mess has accumulated. Thanks for the post!

  3. Jo Jo

    So,glad you posted this! I love a clean home…but after moving recently, I found after being here for 3 months in our newly built home I was in a slump…still with things to unpack and figure out how we’re going to use some things in new spaces, etc..that I hadn’t cleaned our home for almost two weeks! The kitchen was cleaned after food prep and eating etc, but I hadn’t done washing of towels, bed linens, dusted, etc for two weeks and it shows! So, today, with your sweet kick in the pants and suggestions I am going on a cleaning frenzy and I’m actually excited about it! lol. Turning on some Bon Jovi right now and getting to it!!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      YES! Livin’ on a prayer …. oh dear, now I won’t be able to get that out of my head. :)

  4. Cathy

    The joy of puttering around the house–I like that! It’s all about attitude, isn’t it? I can totally relate! I think the procrastination of cleaning is worse than the actual cleaning. I love a clean house, but I don’t like to clean. Having the house clean really takes a weight off the shoulders, though!

  5. Karen

    Hi Melissa,

    I found your post today quite thought-provoking. I have been in a cleaning/sorting/processing mode for over two years…if you can believe it. The best way to summarize the why of it is to say that I’m in some sort of transition……haven’t felt well, too much to do, overwhelmed by responsibilities, etc, etc, all of which I asked for!! Now I am dealing with having received what I wanted. The old expression, “Be careful of what you wish for….you just might get it,” comes to mind.

    Anyway, as I was saying…your post prompted me to write about something that has helped me get my enthusiasm back. I declared (to myself) that Monday is *Me* day. That means I attend to myself and my needs on that day. This ranges from doing my nails in a leisurely fashion, sorting out my make-up, re-arranging my purses, scarves and jewelry to reading something special. I do other things on Monday, but not many. The realization came to me that I had been neglecting my own needs for a very long time: personal needs, self-nurturing needs, emotional needs and physical needs. You know what? After some weeks of this, along with meeting a friend for lunch once or twice a month, I am getting back to myself. My energy and enthusiasm for my house are coming back to me. I came to know that when women start feeling like your poor neglected plant, we start to wither and shut down. We aren’t meeting those enduring needs that each one of us has. So, I am feeling restored just by taking the time I needed. So, thanks for prompting that awareness! Sending good wishes your way!

  6. Kathy Cheek

    I wish the reward was that it would stay clean longer after spending the time to clean it!

  7. Inca

    I really appreciated this post and need to hear it. I needed to be reminded that cleaning my home is a privilege many others wish they had. I don’t “have” to keep it clean and nice….I “get” to do it.

  8. patricia

    I invite friends over for dinner. Nothimg makes me clean and tidy more than company coming. The house looks loved with fresh flowers and clean surfaces.

  9. Janet

    After a significant leak in our powder room 6 months ago that entailed ripping out wallboard, insulation and flooring, I have had the “want to” wind knocked out of me. Even though, amazingly, the repair isn’t yet completely finished, I had to kick myself in the pants, too. I realized I had to clean the home I had and accept it in all it’s imperfection – just like a friend! It helped to make the situation part of my master list of house related tasks for the upcoming year so that it’s importance was taken down a notch – like power wash the driveway or clean out the gutters. It does help a lot to know we are all engaged with this “home keeping” task together. Bottom line: we are blessed because we have a home at all!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      We really are blessed so it does help to remind ourselves of that fact and accept it’s crazy imperfections, problems and all. Hope everything will come together for your home and it will be better than ever in the end!

  10. Ms. Maggie the Elder

    Music makes the difference- Pandora One on and am good to go!!!

  11. Linda P.

    Just what the Dr ordered. Cleaned sink and bathrooms–feel better! Thank you for the impetus.

  12. Allison

    I am so glad you are doing your Fall series again! Fall, particularly November, has been such a hard month for me as I watch the greenery around me in Kentucky die. It is also tough because the holidays are harder since my mom died. Your series changed the way I look at Fall. I now can at least appreciate the season and try to think of it as a way to “cozy up” my home, rather than a time of dreariness. You really have helped me change my thought process-I am constantly on the lookout for fresh, fall scented candles!

  13. Heather~FurnishMyWay

    I just moved at the beginning of the month. I think I can safely say I’m in a cleaning slump. I’ve been trying to be good about emptying a box a day, but keeping up with other tasks is hard. I felt accomplished when I hung up a towel bar yesterday and moved a bookshelf into place. However, that feeling didn’t last long when I spotted my sink full of dishes that need to be hand washed and my growing laundry mountain. However, you’re so right about your mood improving with a clean home. I always feel a little better once things are put away. I’m definitely going to try your tips today! Thank you!

  14. Tanya

    I just deep cleaned my house yesterday! I love having a clean home. Great post!

  15. Adrienne

    I’m catching up after a few days away without an internet connection. This is just what I needed today! I’m definitely in a cleaning slump – made worse by the fact that we’re caring for my dear, little 93-year-old mother who has dementia. She’s not living with us but I’m managing everything for her and that, together with watching the changes in her, takes a lot of my energy. Having a clean home to return to is such a wonderful gift to ME! Thanks for the encouragement to get up and get going again. I just turned on favorites from my college days – which was a LONG time ago. I’ll ‘dance’ my way through some cleaning here any minute!

  16. Lolly Jane

    Scents really do make a difference. Scrubbing the toilets suck but this week my hubby opened the bathroom door and said, “Smells good in here!” Mini reward (:

  17. Ivory

    I love it when my home is totally cleaned from top to bottom, and looks beautiful in every room to. However, my problem is, my husband and son messy up one room before I can finish it and move to the next one. I have hypothyroid, which takes most of my energy away mist days. I explain often to them that I, (most days can barely mustard up the energy to go to the bathroom), so I need them to help me keep things clean. I’ve always been a neat/clean freak, with the two of them being the opposite of myself. I hope my guys will follow at least some of your wonderful suggestions/ideas, in cleaning. Thank you. If anyone can relate to anything in my comment, and/or have suggestion, please share. Happy weekend to all.

  18. Rena

    Oh my goodness, I just got out of a cleaning slump a few days ago! Now I’m having to do extra work to get it back to a manageable daily workload.

    Picking up clothes and either hanging or washing them right away really reduces a cluttered look. And I’ve been helping the kids build a healthy habit of making their beds in the morning! They get paid .20 cents to do a few chores, but really, they are being rewarded with healthy habits!

    Thanks for posting this today, I always feel like my house is a disaster zone. Homeschooling two kids definitely makes cleanup difficult, but I have a new attitude about it now, learning how to clean is an important lifeskill, just as learning to read or write or solve math problems too!

  19. Sonja

    Thank you for this post. I’ve had a stressful past year and the cloud has finally lifted and I find myself actually wanting to nurture my house again. I’m finally feeling energy to do it. I’m rereading your books and getting down to it. Thank you.

browse categories:

browse archives:

let’s stay connected!

Follow for daily
Home Inspiration:

get my free decorating guide

home decor inspiration, free downloads,
and more, straight to your inbox