KatieOlthoff.com participates in affiliate marketing and other forms of advertising. We only recommend products and services we believe in and think they will be of use to you. As such, posts on this website may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy. Thank you for your support of this website and our family.

How a Messy Mom Cleans: The Goal

My friends and family are laughing right now.  “Katie can’t write about cleaning!  That’s ridiculous!”

toys in dining room

It’s true, my house is generally a mess.  And under that mess there are crumbs.  And dirt.  And dust bunnies.  Let’s put it this way…I will never win an award for having a clean house.


Sometimes, my house gets messy (I prefer “messy” to “dirty.”  “Messy” sounds so much better.) enough that I get totally overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start cleaning it.

messy living room

Through the last five years, however, I’ve developed a system that helps me get going when the going (cleaning) gets rough.

But before I divulge my secrets, I have to ask one question.  Do you strive to have a perfectly clean house all of the time?  If so, just stop reading.  This is NOT the blog post for you.

Now, for the rest of you, let’s discuss our goal when cleaning.

Our goal is NOT to have every room in the house sparkling at the same time.  Our goal is NOT to have every fingerprint wiped off of every surface.  Our goal is NOT that all of the laundry is clean, folded and ironed every night before we go to bed.

Our goal is not perfection.

Our goal is FUNCTION!  Function, people! 

Our goal is that our houses are clean and tidy enough that the family can function.  Our goal is that everyone can find clean clothes to wear in the morning, that we have a place to prepare food and to eat it, that the kids have a place to play and that we can find the bills before they’re due.


Function – not perfection!


Are you with me? (or against me?)

If you’re with me, follow along on Facebook so you can see the next post in this series, where I tell ya’ll how to get started when cleaning is overwhelming.
How a Messy Mom Cleans

Would you like to comment?

  1. Gosh, that's what I do... pick up, put away... general cleaning once a month doing the corners... our house is lived in, too!

  2. Amen to function!!!! I just had a moment of clutter everywhere and I went through the living room and kitchen and just decluttered, dusted, and cleaned all the counter tops! Made me feel so much better! I have been reading the Clean Mama blog. She has great ideas, but I just can't do it everyday that way. I have to do it in big spurts! Takes me longer, but it is my way. I am like you though, I get overwhelmed easily like with my office and the playroom. I have to take small chunks. I love your Function label! Works for me!!

  3. This is DEFINITELY something I can relate to. I feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I try and have a spic-n-span clean house while raising 4 kids and a farmer hubby, so I try to aim for picked-up and ready for a mother-in-law pop-in :) on a daily basis... I did spend 1 hour on my hands and knees scrubbing my kitchen floor on Saturday, my arms are STILL sore ;)