Remember that children’s book
“If You Give a Pig a Pancake”?
Here is my own version and a recap on my morning…
If You Give a Girl a Yoga Mat….
If you give a girl a yoga mat, she might do her physical therapy because she knows it’s important to do it every day… though she finds it to be tremendously boring. But before she starts, she may realize that she has to go the bathroom. In the bathroom, she may find that there is no more toilet paper on the roll and is reminded that the rest of her family has not yet mastered the delicate skill of changing the toilet paper. When she goes to the cabinet to get more she discovers that there is none, and remembers that she forgot to retrieve more from the garage…last time. When she goes out into the garage to get more toilet paper, she notices the recycling bin is overflowing onto the floor. While she is in the back yard emptying the recyclables, she notices the wilted vegetables sitting on the picnic table…picked from the garden by her daughter two days ago. She goes back into the house to put the vegetables in the fridge, pulls out the vegetable drawer and just happens to notice that something has fallen behind the drawer. Upon removing the drawer, she discovers a large chunk of food decomposing in a Ziploc bag that is greenish black in color, unidentifiable, and most certainly rotten. With repulsion, she throws the bag in the trash. With the drawer gone, she can now see that the area beneath the drawer is beyond filthy. After she wipes down the fridge, she heads back to the bathroom to deliver the toilet paper and notices her unmade bed. She quick makes it and heads back to the living room where she finds a pile of stuff sitting next to the basement steps waiting to go downstairs. She picks up the pile and heads downstairs because she does not like clutter. As she is putting the clutter away, she notices the bag of salt pellets sitting next to the water softener machine. She quick fills the water softener with pellets and heads back upstairs. When she reaches the top of the steps, she realizes that she is pooped out, but at least her home is a bit closer to being clean and clutter free. At that moment she sees the yoga matt laying there on the floor and remembers that she STILL has not done her physical therapy! Worse yet, she can’t possibly do it now because she is just too %*&@ exhausted!
Clean & Clutter Free
Take Time To Plan - Weekly planning sessions will have a big impact on helping you stay in control and at peace as the week progresses. Decide what day works best for you …possibly Saturday mornings, Sunday evenings or Monday mornings. This will help you and your family stay organized and avoid the chaos of forgetting appointments, activities or other details at the last minute. Use this planning session to go over the upcoming week’s schedule and add errands, deadlines, appointments, phone calls etc. to your calendar. This is also a good time to plan the week’s menu for meals and to update the weekly chore chart.
10 Minutes Each Night - Have each family member take 10 minutes before bedtime to get ready for the next day. Pick out outfits, pack everything that needs to go to school and set it by the door. Also, gather together after school supplies for activities. Doing this will make the mornings run smoother and will prevent items from being forgotten. This is also a great time to have family members tidy up their rooms and play areas and put things away.
Conquer Clutter - Everything in your home should have a permanent home, if this is not the case in your family, take the time to assign homes to everything you own and make sure other family members know where things go. It is also important to take time each year to de-clutter and purge items that you are no longer using. Kids tend to accumulate and grow out of things rapidly, so by moving unwanted items out of the house on a regular basis, you balance what is coming in with what’s going out.
Practice the Two Minute Rule – Teach your family to practice the two minute rule; If it takes less than two minutes to put something away, do it now rather than later. This will prevent clutter from accumulating and will ensure that items can be found when they are needed. It’s always easier to do a task now rather than wait until you have an enormous and overwhelming pile of mess to tackle. You will also appreciate not having constant clutter sitting around your home.
Make a List –Do you have too much stuff floating around in your head telling you what needs to get done? Creating a daily to-do list allows you to dump all that stuff onto paper and get it out of your head. A to-do list helps you to let go and relax and ensures that you won’t forget anything. Additionally, it is gratifying to be able to cross items off your list as you complete them. Be sure to have just one to-do list and not several. Having a grocery list is also extremely helpful. Teach family members to immediately add items to the grocery list when they run out of something. As you plan your weekly menus, add the meal ingredients to the list.
Establish Routines – Routines can help keep families in order. Everyone functions better once a system is in place, but routines are especially important for children. Forming habits, such as doing homework at the same time every day, and having set bath and bedtimes, can help both you and your child feel more in control. Routines give a sense of security and predictability that make our lives feel less chaotic. Establish a school routine with your child as soon as possible and stick with it.
Learn To Say No – This may be the most important step in promoting peace and organization within your family. Today, many families overbook their days, not wanting to miss out on activities and opportunities. We also struggle with saying “no” to requests for commitments because we feel pressured. It’s always easier to tell someone “yes” than it is to say “no” but it is important to stand firm for your family’s sake. Be selective about your volunteer time, choosing only those causes that are most important to you and limit the number of activities your children participate in. Make having meals together a priority and schedule unstructured time along with your activities. Balancing activities and commitments with time spent at home is essential to ensuring peace and harmony within your family.
Written By Laura Coufal
Clean & Clutter Free
Professional Organizing Services
Laura is the Owner of Clean & Clutter Free, professional organizing services.