How Busy Moms Can Stay Organized
If you have been following me for awhile, you know how I feel about having a clean, decluttered space. Clutter and disorganization raises stress, anxiety, even depression. Not a big surprise. And over the last few years, I have developed great processes to organize my home, as a busy mom. I even created a 30 day Success Sprint called Organize Your Life. It was the most popular of the courses that I released last year so clearly I’m not the only one who desires an organized life. But what I continue to work on is keeping the house organized. There is creep. Of stuff. Of clutter. It’s not as bad as it used to be, simply because I have less. But I still see room for great improvement. Here are the strategies that I use to stay organized to keep my house tidy. While they may sound obvious, or simple; they are not always easy. Let’s see if these work for me (and for you).
Make your bed. I start with it because this is how I start my day. You will hear the same advice from millionaire entrepreneurs to Navy Seals. Once it’s a habit, it will no longer seem a chore. How does making your bed help you stay organized? It starts your day off feeling accomplished. Success begets more success. Plus you are starting with an action that ties into the positive feeling of having an organized home.
Keep only what is useful and sparks joy. If you read Mari Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up, you know this one. It is the bible for getting your life organized. This is not a lesson on how to get decluttered so I’ll keep it brief. In order to stay organized, you need to have less. The goal is to only keep what is useful or brings you joy. When you have less, it will be so much easier to stay on track!
Put things away right away. This is one taught not from the internet but from Jason (my husband). He is the master at this. He doesn’t have a cleaning time as he takes care of it at the time. If he takes a shirt off, he folds it and puts it away. If he takes something out...you got it. He puts it away. Making a conscious effort to do this does make life easier. You don’t have to look for your keys if you always hang them up on the same hook when you get home. You may think you don’t have time but it is actually so much more efficient than allowing things to get in disarray.
Devote 10 - 15 minutes a day to cleaning or organizing. Have you ever heard of The Fly Lady? Check her out at flylady.net? She is all about cleaning your home in baby steps. Each day, she chooses a different area to clean or organize. If you sign up on her site, she will send you emails with reminders about zones to clean.
Make sure everything has a home. I bet you know where your underwear is! Because it has a place. Everything needs a home. Get bins, baskets, buckets, whatever you need so that all items have a place to do. It will help your life look less cluttered and will help your family (in theory) know where things go. Where do you most often see clutter? If it’s papers on the counter, then get a big in basket where it all goes. If it’s shoes by the door, get a shoe organizer.
Hook it up! The more hooks the better. Put up plenty of hooks in the bathroom for towels and robes. We have hooks for tools, backpacks, purses, my jewelry and more.
Follow the one in, one out rule. This has helped me so much! If I buy a new item, I need to let something else go (especially when it comes to clothes). But it also rings true for everything from pots and pans to picture frames. Chances are, we already have “enough”. I resisted this because it often felt like I was letting go of a perfectly good item. But if it is no longer being used or doesn’t bring you joy, then it is doing you no good. Donate it to someone else who may use and love it.
Take A Picture, It Lasts Longer! Our phones are really computers and they have great storage. Take pics of things that you don’t want to store. I take pics of my kids artwork, receipts and even coupons. I store everything in Evernote or my Google Drive. Did you know Google Photo is FREE? Just sayin.
Have A Clutter Bin - Clutter happens. Your family will leave out toys, shoes, pens and the such. Have a couple of bins to put it all in. If they choose not to clean up, at least they will know where to find it when you toss it in. Not going to lie. There was a time that I made my kids to chores to get their stuff out. Wonder if that would have worked with my husband. Oh yeah, he isn’t the problem when it comes to clutter.
Never leave a room empty handed. If I’m going downstairs, I grab the napkins that need to be put in the kitchen. If I’m heading to the garage, I grab the shoes that should have been left there. Heading outside? Grab the trash.
Outsource it - One of my prioritized expenses is having a housekeeper come regularly. I would rather be working and paying for her then home cleaning toilets and floors. I make the entire family “pick up” the house before she gets here. Come on, am I the only one who cleans up for the cleaning girl? I don’t expect her to clean my clutter; just my house.
So those are the strategies that I will use this year to keep my house feeling great. In the end, it’s not about perfection. It doesn’t exist. I would rather a messy home where I play with my kids and have deep connections with the people I love. But I know that I personally feel better, happier and at peace when my space feels good. So I share with you what I do (imperfectly most of the time) so that you too can keep your house organized in 2019!