Recently a lovely lady left this comment on the Clutter Rescue Facebook page:
“My house is on top of me again. Will I ever make it a nice space that doesn’t look like 100 jobs that I need to do.”
I know running a household can seem like Groundhog Day – the same things happening, over and over again, with the never ending to-do list of washing, cleaning, cooking, picking up, putting away, running after kids/hubby/pets, paying bills, dealing with paperwork. At times we all want to throw our hands up in the air and say “Enough!!” (me included!).
So how do we actually stop our home from getting on top of us? Here’s six ideas to get you started!
1. Schedule time in your diary
This doesn’t mean scheduling every day of the week from 9-9.30 to maintain the space. Far from it! It just means that if you know there is a gap in your schedule once or twice a week use it effectively.
An example: Each week on a Tuesday I do pilates from 9-10am. I have done so for years and will only change it if absolutely necessary. After pilates I come home, shower, get a quick bite to eat and head to my office. Then I focus on my paperwork – paying bills, scheduling payments, returning RSVPs, etc. It’s a regular thing on a Tuesday for me. So if you ever want to catch me you’ll know that’s a good time to phone or email!
2. Set limits
On your stuff. This is particularly relevant for wardrobes and kids toys. If you buy a new pair of jeans, get rid of an old pair. If you buy some new season shoes donate an old pair. If your child’s birthday or Christmas is coming up, go through and cull unused toys that are no longer age appropriate. This is known as the “one in one out” rule and helps you set limits around the amount of stuff you have.
3. Send things home
This is relevant for everyone in your home. If you take something from its allocated “home” (from the shelf, the cupboard, laundry, car, top shelf in the bathroom) return it. This isn’t difficult but it takes a behaviour change – particularly if you’re used to just putting things down and leaving them wherever they fall.
A friend of mine has a fantastic way of making sure her family “sends things home”. She lives in a two storey home and has, for example, sticky tape upstairs and sticky tape downstairs. Each is labelled so that her family know where the sticky tape belongs. The next thing she wants to add to the label is where it lives (eg in the top drawer of the desk, on the bookshelf to the left of the printer). Here’s a photo she sent me (which I put together into one image as she said she couldn’t bring them together to take the photo – as they’d have to meet half way and she just couldn’t do it!!).
4. Get everyone involved
Keeping a home organised should never just be one person’s job. Everyone – no matter how old or young – should be responsible for their things, putting them away, and helping with jobs in and around the home. Create job charts for your kids (big kids included if need be!) so that you work together as a team to keep your home organised.
5. If the system isn’t working, change it
If the system you have set up doesn’t work don’t be afraid to change it. You may have read an organising book, listened to someone on TV or even read this blog and thought “That sounds fantastic! I’m going to set that system up!” but then realised it doesn’t work for you. That’s OK. Change it!
6. Let go of perfectionism
This is a toughie. You might not think you’re a perfectionist but deep down, hiding below those layers inside you, could be a perfectionist waiting to burst out and organise your home to within an inch of its life!
Nothing can or ever will be perfect. Please don’t allow yourself to get caught in this trap as it will stop you from enjoying the rest of your life.
Do you have any other ideas or strategies that work for you in your home?
Until next time, happy organising!