Ugh! I keep backsliding. Last weekend my daughter and grandchildren visited, and I cleaned and picked up and decluttered some, and the house was okay. My piles in the dining room were orderly. The guest bedroom closets are full of stuff that was had been out in the middle of the guest bedroom, but at least it was in storage bins and stacked. Everything looked okay except for one room ... but even that has been improving, thanks to a little work every week. Before my family arrived, I took a few minutes to appreciate the feeling of having a relatively clean and decluttered house. But now a week later, there are things out on every surface. The living room, which used to be the room that stayed clutter free and was my sanity zone, has toys and clutter that have been there since the grandkids left. I don't have any excuses, since I have had the time, if not the inclination, to pick it up. I wish I could force myself to develop the habit of daily pick ups. I know it is less painful to do a little every day, and it would make my life more pleasant... but still I don't do it! Well, I guess I'd better just get busy and pick up again... before it gets worse!
This happened to me recently tool My children came to visit, one from halfway across the country. I had been doing really well until they came and while they were here. A week later, one of them, the one who lives just four hours away came back for another visit for Mother's Day. I hadn't even picked up the dishes from where they had been left four days before.
He commented on it, and teased, "I guess you didn't want to erase the signs that we'd been here." He was right on the mark. The mess was a happy reminder of their visit. Perhaps you may be experiencing some of the same feelings?
Are a lot of the things that are cluttering up your house things that belong to your grown children, or memorabilia of your children's childhoods? Do you have little things of theirs tucked in every nook and cranny?
I find that love can be very messy. Right now, I'm trying to group my children's things by who owns them and put them into separate plastic containers. Afterwards I'll go through them, make a list of what's there and ask them to indicate what they want me to hold on to, what they want sent to them, and what can be given away. It's hard, but I'm making slow but steady progress. Best wishes!
I have pretty much the same problem when my kids come to visit, the place looks like a train wreck afterward. To keep things clean when there are a lot of people in the house, you really have to stay right on top of it and clean a lot, well their only home for a little while and I would rather spend most of it visiting. They do try to help, but their usually tired from traveling and of course you cook more and have more to clean up when there are a lot of people in the house.
Just do a little bit everyday, try the fifteen minute timer trick for a little inspiration, that helps me though I can't do fifteen, I try and do five or ten depending on how I am feeling. Good Luck!