Is your house just a mess because you are lazy?


We could end this blog here couldn’t we, but I know you want more than that. You are like me. You are here because you want to know the why behind it too.

If I am ever going to get a negative comment on social media, it is this one. Stop creating a job out of something no one needs. This is what is wrong with society. People need to stop being so lazy, get off their bum and tidy up. Having a clutter issue is not a real thing.

To start, I am really lazy. I could happily sit down all day if given half the opportunity. I am super organised. Being organised gives me more time to be lazy. So immediately that argument does not stack up. I know that isn’t what they are thinking though.

Let’s put those diagnosed with a hoarding disorder aside (seeing as those leaving negative comments clearly aren’t thinking about it in this way either).

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

I am sure anyone currently struggling with clutter in their home, tired of always feeling stressed and overwhelmed when they walk through the door could tell you it isn’t laziness that got them to this point, however until you have been there, you couldn’t possibly understand that feeling. 

I have been there too despite being the most organised person in most rooms so if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, and trust me, it is not a pleasant feeling.

You see, no one is inherently messy, no one dreams of having a cluttered home. Even if you struggle with letting go of belongings, if you close your eyes now and picture your dream house, the money is no object scenario, I am sure it does not have piles of “stuff” everywhere. And yet, it still happens.

There are a few reasons the clutter becomes overwhelming, and it all comes down to “the system” you have in place. That isn’t supposed to be a scary word though. A system is just how you create homes for things and the methods you use to keep it that way.

The most common people I work with are busy families. They moved in with full time jobs, no children and not much stuff. Over the years they have added furniture and not got rid of the old, they may have added children, pets, been gifted things, outgrown things and it has all been added into the garage, the loft, the cupboards, under the bed until one day… it is full. They turn around and have no idea how it happened. They tidy up, they don’t have problems being attached to paperwork and newspapers. Sure, they have the areas they find difficult to let go but can’t believe it has happened. Now the problem is time. They are busy families now and there isn’t any spare time. How do you even begin tackling a problem like this? So, they bury their head in the sand a while longer.

This does lead into another group so will cover both. These are those that have bought a bigger home. Perhaps their “forever home”. As their previous home was smaller, they didn’t declutter before they moved, they needed to “fill” the space. Except it has all just stayed hidden away for years. The bigger the house, the longer it takes to fill. The longer it takes to fill, the bigger the problem. You see, once it is full, if you have a large home, you can only imagine how many items that is. Once you realise that, it suddenly feels completely overwhelming. Where do you start? Where does it all go? How do I stop it from filling up again?

You then have those who have had a singular event in their life that has changed everything. The home that previously worked for them no longer does. This is when it happened to me. It could be an illness, an accident, divorce, death, redundancy, losing a home. I could go on. For many, the pandemic was a large enough life event to have changed the way we use our home. Cue home schooling, furlough and working from home. The thing is you only know the way you used to do it. It was all manageable before, how do you get back to that? How do you find a way to keep on top of it again? Where was the lesson in school where we learned how to deal with something like this?

As you can see, none of these types of people seem like lazy people. You would be right.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Of course, laziness can cause mess. Someone not putting something back where it belongs, dumping things next to the bin instead of inside it but decluttering and organising won’t help this. So, neither will the comment “stop being lazy and put it away”. The people going through it need support not judgement.

You see, even once you have decluttered and organised your home, you are back on track and feeling great, there will always be mess. We live in our homes after all. Children play with toys; we cook in our kitchens and we have to wear and wash our clothes. This is where the maintenance comes in and yes that does take some accountability and actively “doing” but the negative comments forget about all the work to even get you to this stage. The stage where it is “only” tidying up. Most people are ok with doing this.

Photo by Miriam Alonso on

So, I guess the test is this. When you think of tidying up your home does it feel overwhelming? Do you have to create a home to put things away? Are the cupboards overspilling and you have to cram things in to give yourself a clear surface? Or is a clear surface no longer possible? Chances are, it isn’t laziness standing in your way, it is the current situation your home is in. It needs addressing from scratch so that tidying up is a 10-minute task at the end of the day again. 

Didn’t relate to any of that? Was the answer, no tidying up doesn’t feel overwhelming I just don’t feel like doing it. Everything has a home, there is plenty of space to put it there, it is all very clear and easy to access, I would just rather leave this toolbox outside the cupboard it belongs inside instead of on its shelf. Surfaces would be clear; the cupboards are pretty empty. Then yes, there probably is an element of laziness going on here. After all, in these examples it takes just as long to put it away as it does to “dump” somewhere else. 

I am curious…

Is your house just a mess because you are lazy?

Or did you relate to some of these scenarios?

Did it make you feel better? Make you realise you are not failing; it is just something that you need to work through.

Are you ready to work through it? Do you want to start to change the narrative? Come join me on IG for daily inspiration! OR if you are ready to commit right now, come check out The TOC Method programme. Designed to transform your home into one that works for you without having to spend hours every day sorting it.

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