Do you find yourself sitting on the couch at the end of a long day, looking around, seeing all you have left to do and wondering what happened to your day, week, or even month? Right now is the time to decide to organize yourself, your family and your home.
First – Cut yourself some slack!
You have a lot to do whether you work at home or outside of the home. Caring for a family is a full-time job all on its own. Add to the list if you work outside the home, work from home or still have young children that are not in school. Each stage of life brings challenges and issues that continue to keep you a bit off balance.
Second – Write it down!
Whether literally or digitally, you need to write down everything, from your day-to-day chore list to annual events such as birthdays, anniversaries, holiday events and other important dates.
Day to day
Sit with a calendar app of your choosing or a physical calendar and block out what you have to do every single day. Be sure to write it all down including shopping, dinner, getting kids dressed, laundry, doctor appointments, sports, carpool and work time. Account for as much as possible throughout your day; that is a MUST.
Week to week
There is no perfect week, but by checking out your activities on a weekly basis, you can see where you are spending your time throughout the week and determine what can change and where there is extra time that you can carve out for fun.
Month to month and beyond
Write down all the other dates that creep up on you. If you are using a calendar app, such as Google, you can even set reminders for yourself for important dates, lists for holidays, gifts and groceries that you need to buy.
Plan, plan, plan, and then relax. Set a reminder for even simple things, like taking the trash to the curb every week. Tweak things as you go. If a reminder becomes obsolete, delete it. If you find things you consistently forget to do, add the reminder. Use your smartphone technology for your sanity!
Third – Declutter!
Create a time each night to review what you have to do the next day, as well as the rest of the week. While you are doing that, work in the time to organize your clutter one space at a time. Find the junk drawer, the desk space, or the ‘drop off place’ everyone uses to drop everything. Take 15 minutes a day to work on that area. When you finish organizing that space, move on to the next. Working in small increments is essential. Do not allow yourself to feel overwhelmed.
- Create a place for everything
- Schedule a time to declutter daily or weekly
- Involve your family
- Donate or sell items you no longer need
- Delegate at least one task weekly that each family member can do
- Digitally declutter. Designate a time every day, or week at minimum, to unplug from all digital devices and read a book, play a family game or play outside.
Take it day by day. Make it a goal to write down the items you have to get done tomorrow and accomplish them. Baby steps are critical to success. You cannot tackle organizing the whole house in one day or organize your entire family in one hour. Prioritize what is the most important to your peace of mind and work on it gradually.
As you build a system that works for you, reward yourself and your family with more quality time together. Take Saturday trips or a nice vacation that everyone will enjoy. Stay flexible and continue to cut yourself slack as you organize your life!