10 Ways to Trash Your House


I have had a lot of questions and requests* on how one’s house can get so messy so quickly. So I thought I’d dedicate a post to helping you trash your home at record speeds. It’s really not as hard as you’d think. I’ve broken it down into 1o steps to help you streamline your efforts.

*OK, I didn’t really have any actual requests. I’m flattering myself. But I feel like when people come over, I can just see the wonder in their eyes, and they’re trying to figure out how I manage. So, I want to be helpful.

The first two steps will lay the ground work for having a home that is especially suited towards being trashed. After that, the rest of the steps just fall into place.

(A quick note to those of you who are feeling alone in your desire to trash your house. Realize you’re NOT alone. Your family is probably willing to help you, but you need to tap into their hidden potential. And on top of that, you have to realize that there is a HUGE community of housekeepers {stay-at-home, work-at-home, working parents, etc.} out there who share your struggles. Just be patient with yourself, and reach out to someone you know you can trust and share your heart. It will be ok.)

Ready to get to work?


Step 1: Have a baby
Yes, they’re cute and cuddly, but on top of that, children are the number one mess makers in my book. Their ability to create chaos is only rivaled by the destructive power of a natural disaster. So get busy! Seriously!


Step 2: Repeat Step 1 
Repeat as necessary. I mean the only thing better than one mess maker is two mess makers! (Or three or four. You get the picture.) You’ve read The Cat in the Hat right? Thing one and thing two? Well, those creatures aren’t real. And I’m sad to break it to you but there’s no such thing as a “messy fairy” either, who will come into your home and mess it up for you. You’re going to have to create that army on your own. It will take a couple of years to set this ground work but trust me, once it is in place, you will have to put little to no effort into trashing your house.

Step 3: Take a Shower
I know it seems like cleaning something (even if it is just yourself) is counter-intuitive when it comes to trashing your home, but in all seriousness, this will work. Your little army of mess-makers needs some creative room to breathe, and there’s no better way than to hop in the shower for about 15-20 minutes and let them do their “thing.”

Step 4: Go to the Bathroom
Yes, much like “Step 3: Take a Shower,” going to the bathroom gives your kids some creative space to let their mess making powers take control. Nothing sends a message to get the house dirty than to shut the bathroom door. I’m pretty sure this signal crosses all boundaries of culture, race, or social caste. So don’t hesitate.


Step 5: Leave the Laundry Half Done
Again, counter-intuitive. I know. But hear me out. Sometimes your chaotic cohort needs a little subtle suggestion. If I leave my laundry in the baskets, unfolded, they will take no interest. The real trick is to fold everything in nice neat piles and then walk away (Step 3 & 4 work great for this). Chaos will ensue. Shoot, even if you don’t have kids, entropy will go to work on those piles. It’s a law of science, people!


Step 6: Get a Hobby
I am so committed to my house being in a state of mess, and always ready for the unexpected guest to drop by, that I have taken up several of these. This puts a little more power into your own hands instead of just depending on the kids. Sure, while you’re focused on your hobby, they’ll keep up their work in the background. Seriously, any time you can leave them to their own devises is productive messing time. But your hobbies almost inevitably come with their own paraphernalia. All you need to do is get everything out to work/play with and not put it back when you move on to your next hobby.


Step 7: Mop the Floor
You think I’m joking. I’m SO not joking! You’ve heard that old saying about as soon as you mop, someone will spill? Is that a saying? Well, one of my very wise friends pointed it out, and since then I have not failed in getting out the mop whenever chaos seems to be low. And without fail, someone will dump their milk out, or pee on the floor, or accidentally step on their PB&J. It’s really almost miraculous the effects it will have when you mop. The best part about this is that the kids actually like to do both steps: the mopping and the messing. So you’re off the hook on this one!


Step 8: Wait as Long As Possible to Run the Dishwasher

While you are waiting for that one particular dish to get dirty so it will fit in that last particular spot in the dishwasher, inevitably everything else will pile up while you wait. And that is the perfect storm for a kitchen wreck (which we all know is an essential part to trashing your house). If you don’t have a dishwasher, then you’re in luck. Your approach will be to put all of the dirty dishes in the sink and fill it up with water. Yeah. It sounds like you’re about to clean, right? But you’re not. Just walk away. This is going to be essential for kitchen mayhem. Once that water gets cold, it’s going to be a nasty concoction of cold, slimy water full of food bits. The dishes and nasty water in the sink will make you much less likely to start washing all the dirty dishes. Perfect. That’s exactly what you want.

Step 9: Snack Time
Ok, you’ve been really busy messing up your house, but you’re not done yet. And now you and your army are getting hungry. There are plenty of things you could make that are sure to make messes. Anything that contains peanut butter is a sure bet. If you have to eat it with a spoon, your crew may suddenly decide that this food source should be considered as a possible substitute for your bath & body lines and slather it all over their bodies like lotion. But the BEST snack that has real “wow” power when it comes to creating great visual assault: Popcorn. Every time. Without fail. Some will be spilled. It is in the nature of popcorn to scatter (much like glitter, just edible). And at least for us, it even resists being vacuumed. So if you’re not sure what to try first, I suggest the popcorn.


Step 10: Give your kids scissors. 
Don’t be dumb about it. Make sure they’re the kid-friendly ones, but your supervision should be peripheral. This has been a most popular choice for us the last several weeks. Kids like to pretend like they’re making things while they’re cutting. But what they don’t realize is that you just tricked them into making a huge mess. It’s genius really.

There you have it. It’s just a few steps to get you started. I don’t really consider myself an expert, but I definitely have several years of experience in the mess-making department.

I would love to hear from you! What do you find to be the most sure-fire way to create a mess in your home?


  1. Morgan · · Reply

    I love this post!!!!!! The scissors are a great tip. You also forgot play dough. If you can’t find one of the hair dresser sets where you push the play dough the trough the tiny little holes and then cut it off, allow the dough remnants to dry in the holes. Once dry, just attempting to move will send those little bits flying everywhere! Although honestly, any play dough will work and have a similar effect.

    1. Haha! You’re right!!!

  2. Glitter!!!! Have kids make ornaments with glitter! Glitter everywhere! Oh! And toilet paper! Nothing like a tp’d house by your child or clogged toilet because a whole roll had been unravelled and attempted to be flushed down toilet 😉

  3. Jeanne · · Reply

    Eating in the living room – especially popcorn – works very well for us. Bonus: if you want to feel really good about cleaning something quickly, all you have to do is brush a few crumbs out from under the cushions.

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