There are a lot of people with a lot of theories on where you should begin getting your house in shape.   For example, the Flylady, aka Marla Cilley, says to start with a clean, shined kitchen sink.  That’s a great idea and it does make a big difference in how your kitchen looks, but it didn’t work for me.  I HATE doing dishes, and in order to keep the sink shining, eventually the dishes had to be done.  For me, this was starting with the hardest step first.  And while many Eat That Frog* believers think that’s the way to go–worst first–all it meant for me was more procrastination and not moving to step 2.

Personally, I’m not convinced that where you start is as important as that you start.  What worked for me was vacuuming.  Some of you many hate this chore and want to start somewhere else, and that’s fine.  I’m just telling you what worked for me, and why.

To me, vacuuming makes the most obvious difference in the whole house. With two cats and a dog fur is a huge issue, but even without them dust just gathers.  One day, instead of agonizing over where to start, I just got out my vacuum and started.

To get started, here’s what to do.  The first time you vacuum, go through the whole house as quickly as you can.  This will still take a while, that’s ok.  It won’t take nearly as long as cleaning your whole house would!

Go through the whole house, but here is what you shouldn’t do right now:

  • Don’t move all of the furniture.
  • Don’t pick up everything on the floor first.
  • Don’t vacuum ceilings, window sills or anything but the floor and floorboards.

Vacuum around things.  Vacuum under the big furniture as far as you can reach.  I vacuumed around the room; picking up smaller items as I went and putting them back (the recycling bag for cans, my daughter’s backpack, the cats’ bowls, etc.).

The first time do as thorough a job as you can on the house, or just the downstairs rooms if you have multiple floors.  I did the kitchen, living/family room, dining room, first floor bath.  I did around the closet where my dryer lives, but not my son’s room.

When I was done, I looked around and felt for the first time in a while proud of accomplishing something.  That’s the feeling I want for you, whether you start with vacuuming or something else in your house.  Pick something that will show a visible difference when you are finished.

The following Saturday or earlier if you have time during the week, vacuum again.  Because it hasn’t been long the downstairs or whatever part of the house you’ve already done will be a breeze and you can add in more of the house or the next floor.

In my case, I did the upstairs floor and I also vacuumed the staircase because the dust and fur always gathers on the wood steps.

Will vacuuming clean your  whole house?  Of course not. But it makes a visible difference, and gives you a chance to look around and see things improving.

Maybe vacuuming isn’t your starting step.  Maybe for you it is the shiny sink.  Maybe it’s making your bed or cleaning the litter box daily.  Whatever it is, now is the time to start.  You don’t need to wait for a new week, month or year.  Just jump in, and do something.

Let me know in the comments what you chose, and how it worked out for you.

*Please note – this and all posts may contain affiliate links.  For my full policy, please visit my related page, Affiliate Programs and Sponsored Posts.  As always, all opinions are always my own.  I can be paid, but not bought.