A weekly column celebrating the neat freak in all of us.
After spending a week away from home on a MUCH needed vacation, I came home feeling refreshed and ready to start anew. I also felt a bit worried about falling back into our chaotic routine. It was really nice to have a break from the day-to-day because I was able to evaluate what aspects I missed and figure out a few habits/behaviors I want to change around the house.
In my Organizing Goals for 2013, I wanted to figure out how to change/pinpoint bad habits that contribute to our home mess. Having some distance from my routine really helped me figure out what I want to change, so here we go!
-One of the main reasons why things get chaotic and unkempt around the house is the fact that we are all doing too many things at once. I am super guilty of this behavior. As someone who takes on too many things at once (including making multiple recipes in the kitchen at a time!) I feel like most of the time the tornado that I make in the process of doing something isn’t worth the hassle. I also have a 4 year old who adds additional mess to the situation, but that’s not something that I can entirely control.
I think it would help if I reminded myself that I need to SLOW DOWN and BE MINDFUL of my actions. If I slow down, I am less likely to make more of a mess and I won’t spill things as often. If an action takes a few seconds (like putting away my clothes or putting back a pair of scissors after I’ve used it) I should just DO IT. Because when I have a whole bunch of little things that pile up, it overwhelms me and I feel paralyzed. Plus it’s not rewarding to clean up a bunch of little things. It never ends!
-The weeks go by so fast and I never feel like I have enough time to do all of the things I accomplish. It’s frustrating! Spending a lot of time without reliable internet connection on our vacation made me realize that I waste a lot of time messing around on my phone. I know that my whole family could benefit from me being away from the computer/phone more often. If I have my head in too many places at once, I get stressed. I am guilty of getting short tempered with my son if he’s interrupting me while I’m reading an important email on my phone. The fact is, if I am around him most of what happens on the internet/computer SHOULD WAIT.
How do I combat this? Set boundaries for myself. My phone and computer usage could be off limits during certain times of day. One of the first things I do is look at my phone when I wake up and then I get sucked in the zone of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Shutterbean checking. And once I start doing that I keep getting worked up. It can actually alter my mood. I’ve been testing the waters and ditching my phone while I get ready for work and it’s already helping my productivity. I hope that in the future, I can increase my time away from the phone/computer. Perhaps spending on weekend day unplugged might do the trick? Maybe I could do what Shauna does and not check my phone/email/computer until after I drop Cooper off at preschool. I think it would take a lot of effort, but it could prove to be rewarding.
And with that said, if I have more time to get things done (in a productive/uninterrupted manner) I could actually get ahead of my schedule and do things ahead of time so I’ll be able to build in more relaxing/creative time for myself & family. Perhaps setting timers on my phone so I can go a period of time without using it will help? We’ll see!
-I have a lot of stuff. The problem with having a lot of stuff means that I have to MANAGE a lot of stuff. I’m constantly trying to manage things, some items get lost in the shuffle. This means I end up buying a lot of things that I already have. It is EXTREMELY annoying to find out that I already have agave syrup when I just bought more? I went through a period of time thinking I didn’t have dish soap and ended up buying three separate containers to find out that I had a few tucked deep in the back of my kitchen cabinet.
I could benefit greatly from setting out time and going through all of our cabinets and getting rid of things I need/don’t need. If I have a designated spot for items, I would be able to glance at the space where I keep q-tips and know that I need more q-tips. In a perfect world, this would be easy. Am I too much of a micro-manager? I dunno.
The fact is, I have to be on top of getting rid of unnecessary items in my house. If I don’t buy new/unnecessary things, I’ll be happier because it means that I have less to manage and we’ll save money. It’s a win/win situation.
-For a long time I used to do laundry one day a week. I really thought that was the right way to do it. Turns out it doesn’t really work for me. When my mom suggested that I do a laundry multiple times a week, I thought she was crazy. It seemed like I would be doing nothing but laundry. Turns out that processing one load of a laundry a night makes it REALLY easy to stay on top of laundry. This one little change has made such a difference!
I am sure there are other ways I can help streamline our day/routine. I always appreciate finding new ways of seeing things and shaking up my routine.
In the next year, I hope to simplify, be more mindful and find new ways of operating that will help my productivity/sanity. It’s going to take a lot of patience and perseverance but I know it will be worth it!
Have you made any big discoveries yourself recently? Are there any shortcuts you’ve found that made a HUGE impact on your sanity? I’d love to hear!