Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Get On Your Way To An Organized Life...

Do you feel like a mess in every way? 
Are you mostly neat and tidy but need help with organization? 
Do you desire to be an organized and scheduled person but have no idea where to start?
Do you start organizing your home only to get stuck and not know what to do next?

If any of the above describes you, I’m telling you now…there is hope!  I have been a pretty organized thinker and scheduled person my entire life.  However, that didn’t always translate to my surroundings.  As a kid, I was a MESS!  My parents would always have to make me clean my room because I let it get out of control and then I had a HUGE mess to clean up and didn’t know what to do with all that stuff!  As I became a teenager I craved organization and because I naturally thought in an organized fashion, I was able to be pretty orderly….then something ugly crept in – OCD or better known as CDO to those of us who have it J   you know, because the letters are in order that way! hahaha...   Anyhow, when I got married it was pretty bad, I literally would get up sometimes at night to straighten the shoes in our closet…that was messed up.  My husband would say “you’re kidding me!? Get back in bed”   I let it kind of take control of me a bit.

Well, I became a mother and that right there can cure you of some of your overly OCD tendencies!  Then, we moved and moved again, had another baby, moved again (twice in 3 months) then another baby and we accumulated more and more “stuff”.  At this point I was anything but organized and I hated it!  I KNEW I could be organized but now there was finding that time  (and energy) to be organized.  I literally spent about 2 hours sitting one day during the kids nap time and pondered how I could become the organized person I used to be... within reason.  I was still scheduled, meaning we had a regular routine we followed each day, yet there were times that were “dead” and honestly I could have been more productive.  Now, we have 5 (soon to be 6) kids ranging from 16yrs to 2yrs of age.  I am still always having to stay on top of things because that IS what mom’s do but we have a schedule, everything has a place and most of the time everything stays in its place.  It can be a daunting task to look at everything you have to do to simply maintain a neat, tidy home but then to also need to organize and de-clutter your home as well can seem so big.  This is when a schedule comes in real handy!  The best advice I can give you is, break it all down.  Break it down into small manageable chunks and it doesn’t seem so big.  On top of that, you feel a sense of accomplishment that will increase your desire to move on to the next task.

Some people like to have a step by step approach so they can follow the steps to accomplish what they need to.  I created to following steps with you in mind J

The very first thing that is so, so important is to get up before your kids and spend some time with Jesus.  Give your day to God and bathe it in prayer.  Ask God to bless your day, to give you strength to accomplish all you desire for your day, to give you wisdom to know when to stop if you need to. We can do nothing without Him and everything with Him!  The days I have done this have gone so much better than the days I have skipped it wanting a few more winks of sleep.

Next step, make a plan!  This step is two fold.
First, you must make a plan of attack.  List the rooms/places that need to be organized and be specific.  I would list by priority. You can then cross off as you complete each item on your list!
 Next, create a schedule for your day.  Think about how your days go now.  What is your routine? Do you tend to eat breakfast at the same time each day? Wash laundry at a specific time? Nap time?   Keep it simple at first, as you become confident,  you can always add or change if necessary.  Post it somewhere you will constantly see it throughout the day. 

Here is a sample schedule for you:

6:00am wake up/ wash face/get dressed/ make bed/devotions & prayer time
7:00am start load of laundry/wake kids/start breakfast/eat breakfast
7:45am clean up after breakfast/switch laundry/take out anything for dinner or start crock pot dinner
8:00am morning chores
9:00am spend 15 minutes decluttering current project
9:15am spend time with kids
9:45am fold & put away laundry/switch laundry
10:00am complete any morning chores needed
11:00am spend 15 minutes relaxing
11:15am make lunch
11:30am eat lunch
12:00pm clean up after lunch
12:30pm fold & put away laundry
1:00pm nap/quiet time
1:30pm work on a small project you can’t do with kids around
3:00pm kids up from nap/snack time
3:30pm rescue the hotspot areas
4:30pm start dinner
5:30pm eat dinner
6:30pm clean up after dinner
7:00pm bath time
8:00pm kids bed time/tidy any areas needed lay out clothes for next day/lay out anything for breakfast that won’t spoil/shower
8:45pm spend time with hubby
9:30pm sleep

Here is a word of caution in your scheduling.  The above is just a sample.  You will need to make a schedule specific to your situation.  You may have a nursing baby that dictates a lot of your schedule, give yourself time to nurse and nap when everyone else is napping.  It is most important that you take care of you during this time as well as your child. This is a season of life and will soon pass, enjoy it and give yourself permission to take a break. Inevitably there will be interruptions in your day – be flexible and know it isn’t the end of the world if your schedule is not followed completely.  Maybe, like me you assign your older children to wash their own laundry, well then you may not need to put laundry on your schedule for every day.  Keep that in mind, don’t hold yourself to someone else’s standards or schedule.  Make one that works for you and you feel you can follow or you will end up burned out and give up altogether.  Also, I have often re-worked my schedule.  As your kids grow older things change in your home and so you have change your schedule.  Know that at some point you too, will need to change up your schedule.  

Ok.  Those  are the first few steps.  Tomorrow, I will share tips on organizing a closet.
Until then here is a challenge for you this week. Make a list of the areas you want to organize in your home and create a schedule that works for you! 

Please feel free to ask any questions you have.


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