My readers ask me the most common question: "Help, I'm so overwhelmed by my home, where can I begin?"
Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps you're one of those students who asks for help with homework and always asks “write my paper”.
Sometimes, it's not about starting with the pile above or below. It's more about establishing some daily organizational habits that will help you keep clutter and chaos under control.
These are 10 tips to help you stay organized today
1. Utilize a list notebook
Chaos can often result from trying to manage too many things in your brain. To simplify your notes, bullet journaling shorthand can help you focus. It is exhausting, to put it mildly.
Get a notebook and start to write down everything you need. You can be very specific with your list. The more you list, the easier it will be to remember. Even if you don't manage to complete the entire list in one go, it will make a big difference to your mental clutter.
2. Make sure to update your family calendar
Take your list and add it to your calendar. You should make sure that your calendar is up-to-date with school events, appointments, and things to bring.
If you have to bring cupcakes to school Friday, please add a note in Thursday's space to either pick them up or make them the next day.
3. Today's menu plan
While you may not be able to plan for the entire week, you can make menu plans for today. Don't wait until the last minute. Plan what you will eat the next morning.
You can check your freezer and pull out some meat. Then, you can look up a recipe.
Pre-planning for 10 minutes will allow you to forget about it the rest of your day, and give you more head space. You can see the pattern?
Mental clutter = Overwhelmed
4. Never leave a room empty-handed
My best tip for keeping clutter under control is to always take something with you when you leave a room. You can do it while you're on the move: dirty dishes, laundry, toys and mail. Bring it along if it belongs in the room you are going to or passing.
5. Give a task to your children
Too many moms try to do it all alone. Get your children involved. Get started today. Each task on your list should be assigned to them. Although it is often quicker to do it yourself, the training must start somewhere.
6. Create a donation station
Every house needs a place to store the items we don't need anymore. Make sure you have a large box and label it with the words "Donation Station". Let everyone know where it is.
7. Everyday, add 5 items to the donation station
Every member of your household should collect five items today to go to the donation station. Make it a game by setting a timer. You can see who is the fastest to get their 5 items. The donation station will soon be full before you know it!
8. Make a "I'm Outta Here” shelf
You will also need an errand box near your front door. It's called my "I'm Outta Here", and I use it to store things that I need to return to a friend, mailed back, etc. This helps me remember what I need to do and prevents me from getting overwhelmed when I go out.
9. Do a 10-minute tidy up before you go to bed
It's a fact I have repeated many times and will repeat it again. To set yourself up for success, do a 10-minute tidy every night before you go to bed. You can plug in your cell phone, check your calendar, clean surfaces, prepare lunches, or do whatever else is necessary to get the day started on the right foot. It can make a huge difference!
10. Be aware of your attitude
Stop beating yourself up! You will only make yourself miserable by being hard on yourself. Tomorrow is another day. Every achievement, no matter how small, should be celebrated.