My Secret for Staying Organized
If you are like most of my clients, you are overwhelmed with the number of responsibilities you have on a daily basis. Whether or not you have kids, and whether or not you have a job outside the home, our days can get hectic. I imagine that at the end of the day the last thing you want to do is clean and organize. The couch and TV are so much more enticing. I get it. But I also get the strong desire you have to be more on top of everything, including your home and schedule.
Today I’m going to share with you how I stay on top of it all by giving you my secret for staying organized. (Spoiler alert: it does not involve cleaning all day, every day.)
What Did NOT Work
I used to clean and organize all day. But I felt like I could never stay on top of the laundry, or the cleaning, or the errands. And I couldn’t because my goal was a totally perfect home and blank to-do list 100% of the time.
It wasn’t until I shifted my goals that I could let go of this notion of a perfect home. Now, I have a weekly and monthly reset. I realized that if I could achieve my baseline (which, admittedly, is very high) once a week, that I would be able to let go of all the little messes and additions to my to-do list every day. A full laundry basket? That’s OK. It’s not laundry day. I’ll worry about it when it is. This mindset shift opened up so much space in my life. So much so, that I was able to create this business.
My house is basically purged of everything I don’t want and everything that I own has a very specific spot. Since I don’t have excess stuff, at the end of every week everything goes into its specific spot.
What I Do Instead
Before I share what I do, let me answer your first question: where do I find the time to do all this? The answer is, I make the time because this is a priority for me. I waste plenty of time on social media, don’t get me wrong. But I try to keep my pockets of low-productivity to a minimum. Unless, of course, I need a mental health break. For me, being organized does more to keep me happy and calm than any vice. I really believe that anyone can fit this weekly reset into her routine. It’s just one night a week, and it feels so good when it’s done. And, once it is done, you can unwind with a glass of wine and your favorite TV show.
And for your second question, yes, I have an amazing woman who does a deep clean of my house weekly (including washing sheets), so that is why you don’t see all of the cleaning responsibilities listed on my reset checklists. It is a huge luxury, and so worth the time it saves me. I am a big fan of outsourcing things when I am able.
The items on the weekly reset checklist are meant to move my week forward, and take off the stress, regardless of any mess and chaos around me. I do it on Sunday because I like to keep my weekdays focused on work, and my weekends for home and family. This means getting the kids and my husband involved. So here we go...
My Weekly Reset
First, we do a family grocery trip on the weekends. I know many moms that would rather poke their eyes out with pencils than do that. But for us, it works. We usually get the kids breakfast treats from the bakery to eat while we’re walking around. And we can get their input on what they’ll want for school lunches and dinner. Once we are home, we usually have a dance party while unloading the groceries. As part of the grocery unpacking process, I cut up fruit and veggies for the week, distribute snacks into snack bags, and pack lunches. We also make sure their backpacks are set for Monday, since they hang in the mudroom off our kitchen.
I typically do a load or two of laundry on the weekend while I’m getting other things done around the house. As part of laundry, the kids lay out their outfits on their dressers for Monday (even if we are doing this on a Saturday).
Since every single item in my house has a home, each day I make sure everything is put away in its correct spot. This looks like me going from room to room, opening drawers, and straightening up. All-in, this takes about 20 minutes.
I spend some time responding to any calls or emails, or scheduling them in for the week. And while I’m doing that, I take some time to map out my next 6 days and schedule in any to-dos directly into my calendar.
We then usually take the gang outside. While the kids play, my husband and I vacuum and wipe out the cars and restock center consoles with snacks and quarters. If the forecast looks good, I’ll get a car wash, and while I’m out I fill up my gas tank, which is usually close to empty by then. We also sweep the garage. I’m pretty sure my garage floor is cleaner than my kitchen floor! All of these tasks are slotted around our weekend activities – soccer games, gymnastics class, plans with friends... whatever it may be.
One night, usually Sunday, I dedicate to self-care. I bleach my teeth, do a facial, tweeze my eyebrows and take a bath. I also make sure my purse is restocked and my outfit is picked out. Then I set my alarm, and I’m ready to go.
So that is my weekend reset! Sometimes I do it all on a Sunday and sometimes I spread it out over the whole weekend. It usually takes around 2 hours, plus the grocery shop. It seems like a lot of time all at once, but when I think about the calm it brings to my week, it is more than worth it. And in the end it probably saves me more than two hours of lost time spent looking for things or feeling frustrated or stressed.
My Monthly Reset
I try to do these items around the first of the month. Sometimes not all of this happens every month, and that’s OK. But I like to have the list to refer to because it gets it out of my head. So if, for example, I am proactive about checking when light bulbs are out around the house, I can change the four that need replacing all at once, and not every time one burns out. This sort of batching of activities builds in efficiency in our daily lives. Without further ado, here is the list:
Clean out washing machine. Yes, it infuriates me that I have to do this. But, so it is.
Clean out dishwasher. I realized that my dishwasher was accumulating a film in it. A monthly cleaning does the trick.
Refill Finish in dishwasher. It really does make the dishes more sparkly.
Clean vacuums and vacuum filters. This makes a huge difference in prolonging their lives and getting the dust out of the home.
Refill soap dispensers. Because if it’s not on the list, will it ever get done?
Check light bulbs, because... see above.
Clean light fixtures. I love a sparkly, clean light fixture.
Clean oven. Because we’re adults and we should do that.
My final tip is this: be nice to yourself. Don’t look at my, or anyone else’s standard, for what you should do. You have the power to be whoever you want to be. So if that is an organizing ninja, be that. But if that is someone who can turn a blind eye to mess and relax each night, then be that. Just make sure it’s really what you want, and not what you think you should be.
So, while being kind to yourself and recognizing your priorities, do you think this weekly and monthly reset could be helpful to you? Do you feel like you could add any of these things into your routine to help set you up for a less stressful week? Let me know in the comments below.
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