Cleaning Hacks

These Are the Signs That You’re Cleaning ‘Too Much’ and It’s Time To Give Yourself a Break

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Getty Images / Johner Images
It's easy to let messes get out of control. When you're spending more time at home, it can feel like you're constantly picking up after yourself. And while keeping a clean home can make you feel more comfortable and organized, Melissa Maker, host of the CleanMySpace YouTube channel, says you're probably cleaning too much.

"We're home more so we're cleaning more, there's no way to get around it," says Maker, who is also the founder of Toronto-based cleaning company Clean My Space. "It is inevitable. We're using more of our space more frequently and in more ways. It is going to get messier faster. I can tell you from my own experience, my husband and I regularly clean our house, our kitchen. It's frustrating sometimes because we spend time cleaning it and it looks beautiful and then the next day, a half a bowl of Cheerios are on the floor, the counters are a mess. It's just the daily work that has to be maintained because the house is being used in a different way than what it was a year ago."

If you feel like you're constantly cleaning your home and that it's overwhelming you, Maker says the first step is to stop overthinking it.

"If you worry about, 'Oh my gosh, I'm not cleaning enough, I'm not doing it perfectly,' to me, that's just taking up mental energy and headspace," says Maker. "No one's coming to my house, I have nobody to impress, I just have to keep my house status-quo so that my family feels comfortable."

And just because you're home more doesn't mean your home needs to be the most organized it's ever been.

"I'm not taking on any extra project right now for cleaning," says Maker. "No, it's not the time to rethink my basement or anything like that. I'm just focusing on what needs to be done today to keep my house healthy, happy, and functional. Everything else can wait until later."

If you're someone who cleans as you go, Maker says that's a good thing. It keeps you from being confronted with a massive mess later on. But sometimes, cleaning as you go isn't practical.

"My living room right now is covered with toys and some laundry that has to be folded. I have this extraordinary ability to see past a mess, and just keep doing what I need to do and don't care," says Maker. "I know what I have to get done today, and it's really not reasonable for me to clean as I go because it's just gonna take too much time. So on a day like today, I will leave everything, and then after my daughter goes to bed, my husband and I will probably each put in about half an hour, and power through as much as we can in that time."

The best thing you can do is figure out an approach to cleaning that doesn't leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. "[A daily cleaning routine] is not something that can be so prescriptive because everyone's so different in their needs and their homes are different," says Maker. "We should clean only as much as we need to so that we feel happy, healthy, and comfortable at home."

Watch Maker share tips for establishing a daily cleaning routine:

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