Hey, all you normal moms out there that are just trying to keep up! Are you ready for the challenge of the year? I am looking to get your organized and get your feeling empowered in the process. I am calling this the Empower Yourself Through Organization Series!
I know organization doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Including me! I have not always been organized and I can’t say that every aspect of my life is as organized now, as I would like it to be.
Sure there are some type A personality moms out there that seem to have every aspect of their lives under control.
But if you are like me, a normal mom just trying to keep up day to day and make sure our kids get what they need, then you are like most mom’s in this world. Just doing your best.
I have been through many stages of life just like everyone else. Some stages, like as a teen, were super messy.
I had clothes covering my floor from wall to wall. My drawers in my dresser broke because I never closed them. I would just leave the drawers out all the time.
And do you know what my just dessert is…my own daughter does this now. It drives me absolutely CRAZY!
Things started to change for me…
In college, my room was still a mess. I always had clothes everywhere. My roommate, of course, was really neat and clean, so yeah I actually felt bad about my messes.
I feel like that is when my organization journey began. Out of respect for my roommate, I didn’t want to leave my messes around. So I started to clean up, find ways to control my clutter and organized my things.
By Junior in college year, most things in my room were put away. Only my clothes would be left on the floor! I guess that was hard-wired from earlier years!
By the time I got married, I was super organized and had a really clean and clutter-free home that I was proud of. But it took me that long, teenager to 24 years old, to figure out what worked for me.
You know what else I had back then… loads of time. Since I didn’t have any kids yet, I could ponder things and see what worked. Not to mention, I worked full time and had the money to spend on organizational items and equipment.
Organization, after I got married, was a cinch. I had found my rhythm, I had found what worked for me.
Jokes on me! I thought I had it all together! HAHA! Then I had kids! Anyone who is a mom knows that kids make everything 1000 times harder.
With one kid, you can probably manage fairly easily, but once you get to two or more! Things start falling apart if you don’t have a system in place.
(I never had a system in place.) Not one that worked with kids stuff at least!
You would think that being as organized as I was after getting married that I would have been more prepared, but the “stuff” you accumulate with kids just kind of creeps in. It is so slow you don’t really notice.
But before you know it you are ankle deep in toys, books, stuffed animals, blankets, DVD’s, and you are not really sure how it got there.
And how on earth do you get rid of it? I mean your kids love that stuff right?
Well, I was pretty much so wingin’ it at that point. My husband and I were drowning in a sea of clutter.
Time to take control!
Eventually, we had to take some control. The organizational system we have in place now began little by little and many years ago. Kind of just like when I was in college. Finding what worked didn’t happen overnight.
I would find that one particular area of the house would be exploding with shoes, clothes, toys or books and so I would focus on that area.
Certain items or equipment worked wonders for me like using 3M Command hooks for a large part of my organization. They were cheap and easy to apply…no nails or screws required.
Over the door shoe hangers are another go-to for me because they can hold just about anything and be moved at a moments notice. Plus, you can find them pretty cheap and you can find kinds that suit your organization style which we will talk about a little later.
Why Versatile and Semi-Permanent Solutions Work Best…
The thing is, that my organization is always changing and here is why.
I, myself, change over time, my kids change, my husband changes, our stuff changes, our activities change and our time drains changes.
Yup, so I do not believe that anyone can start today and schedule or organize the rest of their life.
What I do believe is that organization in our home’s and our live’s is fluent. It moves and changes based on the needs of our personal lives and family.
Therefore, I can give you guidelines to help you achieve your organizational goals, but as for a “set in stone, this works every time” kind of template. I don’t believe that is possible for anyone to create.
After stating that you are probably wondering why you should even bother right?
Because you can definitely get organized, and it will benefit your life in huge ways.
All I want you to realized is…
It is not one size fits all forever and ever. Over the years you organization will evolve with the events in your life and your family’s life.
There are definitely tips and procedures you can follow to become organized.
Routines you can implement into your morning and evening schedule to get more done.
A few key organizational pieces that can be used to organize your clutter.
Some hard core exploring about how a space can be utilized more efficiently can change your day for the better.
And in the end, you will be that much closer to realizing your everyday goals.
Speaking of goals, we should probably set some…
Goals don’t have to be huge, or long-term or even define your life. If you are not comfortable with making huge life-changing goals, then start with small goals that will help your day run smoother. So examples would be:
- Start getting to appointments or activities on time.
- The ability to get out the door when you say it is time to leave.
- I want to be able to find my keys and phone everyday.
- Stop wasting money re-buying things I already own but can’t find
- Find time to laugh and have fun again with my family.
Start simple and then grow into the bigger goal statements. As you start gaining control over the smaller things in your life you will feel more comfortable moving to larger goal-oriented projects.
One very important thing to remember is that control is never truly yours when you have kids. Therefore, you can only expect 100% perfection when everyone in your house is doing exactly what you are telling them.
In other words, some days you just have to take a deep breath and roll with it. If you set a goal of perfection, then you will set yourself up for failure. But most of the time, if you get organized, you are going to notice a huge difference in your day to day completion of important tasks.
What Getting Organized Can Do For You…
Getting organized can change your life!
YES! You heard me right. There are loads of other things that can change your life, but organization is DEFINITELY on of them!
Think of all of the stress you are under. You are now responsible for everything in your own life as well as everything in the life of your kids and possibly even your husband.
So if you have 2 kids and a husband, you are now responsible for 3 times the amount of appointments, clothes, shoes, coats, sippy cups (hopefully your husband doesn’t use a sippy cup, but I’m not judging!). It was hard enough trying to keep track of all of your own things.
Plus when you are trying to “herd” your kids out the door and they resemble monkeys more than sloths, things get crazy and chaotic.
Do you know how many times I have been trying to leave the house and don’t know where my keys and phone are? I have had to turn around and come home before because I forgot to actually bring the article of clothing with me that I was planning to return that day.
These are the mishaps that have pushed me to find ways to make things work better and run smoother.
By having an organized system in place, you can save yourself wasted trips. You can save yourself wasted time. And possibly even wind up with some time that you didn’t even know you had in the day. Time that you can use for yourself to…I don’t know, take a nap, read a book, take a bath. Wow, those all sound awesome!
So yeah, getting organized could possibly give you what you have been looking for all this time…a break!
Where to start…
The first thing you need to do is figure out how you like your organization. Take a minute (if you have one) to think about the statements below.
Step 1: Choose a look
In Plain Site Organizing
Do you like to have your things showing so that you can see them and get to them quickly?
Things like open shelving, clear bins and glass doors on your cabinets.
People who like things to be out in the open usually have an “out of sight out of mind” mentality.
Meaning that if they put things where they cannot see them, they will totally forget about them and where they are stored.
Out of Site Organizing
Do you prefer things to be hidden at all cost?
These people like dark bins that hide their things and have labels.
No glass on the cabinets, because you never want anyone to know what it looks like inside.
Open shelving is a big no-no for this person because people can see their mess!
Step 2: Choose a scope
Are a general organizer or a detailed organizer. General organizers are happy with things being in the right general area. They have 4 bins marked “Christmas”, and that is where all of the Christmas stuff goes. Period. They do not take things any farther.
A detailed organizer, on the other hand, likes things to be organized down to the very most minute thing. For instance, instead of just having 4 Christmas Bins, they would have one for Christmas lights, one for Christmas wrapping, one for Christmas ornaments, and one for Christmas home decor. And then they would probably take it even further by organizing each bin category even more. Like the Christmas ornaments bin would be further divided into individual boxes inside the bin. One for red ornaments, one for green, one for blue, one for multi-colored…you get the idea. They like every last detail to be organized.
How do you choose?
There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone likes their things organized a little differently so you need to do what works for you. I personally am a mixture of several of these things. I tend to start out with general organization and then pare certain things down into a more micro organized system if needed. But I do like all of my things to be out of sight. I like the look of uniformity and I like the idea of nobody seeing my messes. It makes me feel good.
But what works for you? The biggest decision you need to make right now is if you want things to be open and accessible or if you want them to be hidden away at all cost.
We will get into the other two categories (general or specific organizing) as we start working our way through organizing certain areas of the house.
Where do we start?
When you have kids there are so many things going on in your home and life. So my first suggestion would be to start with the area of your home that seems to cause you the most problems. The area that is a huge time suck for you and your family when you are trying to get out the door. Or an area that you look at every day and say, “I wish I could get this under control.” Find an area that is the biggest stressor for you.
My second suggestion would be to start slowly. You probably don’t have 2 hours at one time to just work on an area in your home with no interruptions. So pick a small section of the big problem area. For instance, if you need to organize the entryway better, start by just organizing the shoes.
DO NOT…I REPEAT! DO NOT start some home improvement project that is going to go unfinished for the next year just because you decided you wanted wanes coating and pegs for your organization system. That will just cause you more stress!
Something Small And Quick
First, organize and find places for all the shoes. Then on a different day, you may have time to work on the coats. When you start working in a space, make notes on how you think the space will function the best and take some quick measurements to carry with you. That way when you are out, if you happen to find something you think will help organize the space, you have the measurements with you.
So What if you Really Want the Wanes Coating and Pegs in the Entryway…
You definitely need to make your home the way you want it. But before you decide to bite off a giant project, you need to plan. That is not what this article is about. This article is about making the problem areas in your home work for you as soon as possible.
Big projects are something you should think about down the road once you have seen how a space functions efficiently. You will make better choices for permanent fixtures that way.
Who Should Be A Part Of This Transformation?
Quite frankly, most of what I discuss is going to be geared toward you as a mom and getting things running smoother for you. But, that obviously means that everyone in the house needs to be on board and understand the system. That is the only way the new organizational systems will produce the results you want.
There are some aspects that your family will not affect at all, such as your mom bag, your space in the bathroom, etc. But for most things, there need to be clear labels and a clear system for everyone to follow.
I am big on chores for my kids. I feel that we all live here so we should all help out. And when we do, it frees up more time for us all to spend as a family doing the things we want to do.
Some Of The Systems That We Will Put In Place
If you are willing to stick with me over the next few weeks, we will be discussing ways to tackle your organizational goals.
- Clutter will be dealt with in your most problematic areas using equipment you can find fairly cheaply.
- We will work to create morning and evening routines for you and your family to follow so things get done more effectively.
- To-do lists will become less of a last minute thing and more of a permanent feature in your home.
- We will create a command center where you can keep schedules, lists, calendars, messages, and more.
- In that command center we will create a system that will house all of the important documents that you need for the year.
- We will create a system that allows everyone in the home to use it efficiently for maximum results.
In the coming weeks, I can’t wait to share some of my tips and tricks with you for getting organized!
If you don’t want to miss out on this fantastic organizing series… Empower Yourself Through Organization... make sure you sign up for my newsletter! That way on January 7th, when my new organizational series starts, you will be there ready to start your organizational transformation!
I can’t wait for you to join me on January 7th!
As a Stay At Home Mom… parenting, organization, kid’s activities and blogging have all become my passion and I want to share what I have learned with you! Browse my site or follow me on social media!