How to get housework done when it's all piling up

Household chores getting on top of you? TikTok star KC Davis can help, says Vicki-Marie Cossar

You might have heard of KC Davis on TikTok. As @DomesticBlisters she has a 1.3million following thanks to her domestic life hacks.

Overflowing laundry pile? No problem. Sink full of dishes? Sorted.

Her approach is a revolutionary look at cleaning and organising, and KC’s posts can get up to 2.5million views.

Whatever your home situation, there’s a good reason why you might struggle to stay on top of your to-do list. KC says self-compassion is key, and her book will revolutionise how you approach domestic work.

How To Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach To Cleaning And Organising, isn’t a guide on how to clean your house or fold your clothes, instead KC helps you refine routines and build skills to remove stress from daily life.

The therapist and busy mum of two is no stranger to feeling anxious. After the birth of her second child, her own home began falling into chaos. She posted her first video on social media making light of an unkempt house, hoping mums could relate.

‘I was tired, overwhelmed and depressed, but not lazy and neither are you,’ she says. ‘Laziness doesn’t exist. Care tasks are life’s “chores”: cooking, cleaning, laundry, feeding and hygiene.

If you break down the amount of time, energy, skill, planning and maintenance that goes into care tasks, they no longer seem simple.

‘When cooking, for instance, you must make time to work out the nutritional needs and preferences of everyone in your home, plan a shopping trip, decide how and when you’re going to prepare the food and set aside time to do each meal.’

April is Stress Awareness Month so it’s all about considering the causes and cures for our modern-day stress epidemic. The Stress Management Society found that 72 per cent of women reported being stressed.

In her book, KC suggests six life-changing principles that will help transform your home life and we’ve got a sneak-peak into those tips here.

Care tasks are morally neutral

‘When you view care tasks as moral, the motivation for completing them is often shame. When all is in place, you don’t feel a failure; when it’s messy, you do. Being good or bad at them has nothing to do with being a good person. You are not a failure because you can’t keep up with laundry.’

Try: ‘Be kind to yourself. Remember that by doing the task you will experience comfort and pleasure later.’

Rest is a right, not a reward

‘Rest is hard for a lot of people because they have conflated being unproductive with being lazy. Rest is necessary for energy.

You do not have to earn the right to rest. Unlearn the idea that care tasks must be totally complete before you can sit down.’

Try: ‘Develop a compassionate inner voice that can challenge these messages. You are not a bad person for choosing to rest instead of cleaning the kitchen. Self-kindness is extremely motivating.’

Good enough is perfect

‘Find a way of doing care tasks that works for you. The goal is not Martha Stewart’s standards. Get something functional out of your space.

Doing a pile of laundry may feel like an accomplishment, but it is valid to do three pairs of underwear as a form of self-care. Perfectionism is debilitating.’

Try: ‘Embrace adaptive imperfection. We aren’t settling for less; we are engaging in adaptive routines that help us live and function and thrive.’

You can’t save the rainforest if you’re depressed

‘Not being sustainable, eating meat, or purchasing fast fashion when you are fighting to get through the day is not going to cause you to magically gain the ability to do something different.’

Try: ‘You are not responsible for saving the world if you are struggling to save yourself. If you must use paper plates or throw away recycling in order to gain better functioning, you should do so.

When you are functioning again, you will gain the capacity to do real good for the world.’

Shame is the enemy of functioning

‘When completing basic care tasks becomes hard, a person can experience an immense amount of shame.

“How can I be failing at something so simple?” they think.

But humans are messy, fallible, imperfect creatures who cannot, and will not, get things right all the time. And this messy, fallible imperfection never detracts from our inherent worthiness.’

Try: ‘I have found just one affirmation that I believe works and that is, “I allowed to be human.”’

You deserve kindness and love

‘You deserve these things regardless of how good you are at care tasks. When we are stuck in this cycle, we are suffering under the constant barrage of our inner bully.

“Look at this filth; you are so lazy.” “You don’t deserve a shower; look what you’ve done to your room.”

Try: ‘Think back to the last kind thing you did for another human or animal. Remember the compassion you felt. Think what you would say and turn the message inwards.’

How To Keep House While Drowning (Cornerstone Press) is out April 28. You can buy it for £12.99 at Waterstones.

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