As a working mother, my list seems to grow exponentially with each item I cross off. I've found that the key to keeping your sanity is organization, and the first step in getting organized is to trick yourself into a sense of control over your environment. Quieting the "visual noise" that surrounds you will help you focus on what you need to do to actually take control. Are you with me?
No matter how messy your house is or how much you have on your plate, spending just 10 minutes each day to tidy up first will help put you in the right frame of mind and allow you to turn your attention to more important things on your list. Start with the things that will make a big visual impact while requiring little time/effort:
- Make your bed. Do it as soon as you get up, before you are awake enough to talk yourself out of it.
- Pick your clothes up off the floor. Better still, never let them touch the ground. Either put them away or toss them in the hamper as soon as you take them off.
- Close drawers and closet doors. You'll be amazed at how much cleaner your whole room will look...it's like magic!
- Wash/put away the dishes. Load them into the dishwasher right away to keep them from piling up. If you hand wash them, dry them and put them away too. Nothing creates clutter and a sense of despair like a pile of dishes cluttering up the counter/sink.
- Recycle old newspapers/magazines and junk mail regularly. Establish a deadline for reading them. (If you miss the deadline, go ahead and toss it. Life as you know it will not end...I promise!) In the meantime, keep them tidy and contained in a designated spot.
- Set up baskets/bins for shoes, backpacks, reading material and toys. This makes it easy to just toss in the trail of surface clutter left lying around by your loving family. Assign them the task of checking the baskets daily and putting away their own stuff.
- Hang up your bath towel. Put away toiletries immediately after use to keep the bathroom looking respectable. Nothing is worse than sending an unexpected guest to facilities that both smell and look atrocious.
- Declutter the front entrance. It is the first thing you see when you come home and can make the difference between a relieved "Ahhhh, I'm home" feeling or a desire to run away from home. Create a functional yet orderly "landing pad" for keys, phones and other essentials, but keep it free from other clutter.
- Hang up coats/jackets and put away hats, gloves and scarves. Your home should make you feel warm, cozy and safe, not remind you that a cold world awaits just outside your door.
"Instead of spending time being bothered by things that you cannot control, invest your time and energy in creating the results you desire." - Jensen Siaw