Kayla Morgan, FUSE Coordinator
When I was asked to write a blog post on organization, I giggled. Me? Organized? Yet as crazy as life on the hamster wheel can seem, the reality is that I am a very organized person. Without organization being present in my life, that hamster wheel would turn into the exercise ball, rolling down a set of stairs, with a loose lid… and no one wants a hamster loose in their house!
So where to begin? There is no perfect recipe for living an organized life. We all have our own routines, and things that we have found to work for our families. Some prefer mapped out methods, whereas others are more about day-to-day survival. One thing we all more than likely have in common is the desire to come out of each day with our head above water and the majority of our checklist complete.
Let’s Go Home
Who doesn’t love being in the comfort of a freshly cleaned house where everything is in its place? We begin and end our days at home; therefore, it makes sense that starting our journey to organization begins there.
De-cluttering is a must. Although I am not a follower of The KonMari Method, I do love the idea of asking yourself, “Does it spark joy?”. Periodically cleaning out different areas of your home, while asking yourself this question along the way, can really help begin the process. Before you can truly organize your belongings you need to know what you have. The ability to locate everything at home, even if that means inside of stacked and labeled Tupperware boxes, will eliminate stress and frustration in those moments when you just need things to come together easily.
Once you have cleaned out, have a yard sale with a goal in mind to get something that your family is really wanting or needing. If you are not up for the “fun” of having a sale, head to the donation spot of your choice. The weight of all of your “non-joy bringing junk” will instantly be lifted off of your shoulders!
It’s easy for organization to fly out the window in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Here are some of my personal tips for everyday organization at home.
- Eliminate “drop-zones” by creating a family command center. Give each family member an assigned area to place their belongings as soon as they arrive home each day. This is also a great place for chore charts or a family to-do list.
- Keep a family calendar visible so that everyone can stay up to speed on what is coming up.
- Map out the week each Sunday so that you have time to seek out help or rearrange plans if necessary.
- Plan out your meals for the week, but be realistic. Everybody needs a pick-up dinner or fend for yourself night at least once a week.
- Keep a running grocery list. Quick stops at the store add up fast, and take up time that most of us don’t have to spare.
- Keep extras on hand. Buy quickly consumed school supplies when it goes on clearance, and keep it for replenishing as the year goes by. I also keep essentials like paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, extra toothbrushes, hairspray, eyeliner, and obviously… coffee… in stock.
- Have a designated homework area that is free from distraction.
- School stacks are perfect for students. I tell my students to pick a
spot near a plug, where they can stack their school items before bed, plugging their technology in right on top. This makes mornings much easier.
- Pack lunches and lay out clothes the night before. If you are like me, you’re spinning out of the driveway on two wheels each morning to make it to where you’re going on time.
- Establish morning and evening routines. Realistically, we all function better when we know what to expect. Set your family up for success by putting these plans in place and sticking to them.
- Straighten up before bed each night. Something is to be said about waking up to a neat house. Although it may be hard to muster up that five extra minutes of energy once everyone is in bed, you’ll be glad you did it the next morning.
- It never fails that our brains catch their second wind once our heads hit the pillow. To avoid the anxiety of forgetting something the next day, try sending yourself emails, setting reminders in your phone, keeping a list in your notes app, or simply keeping a notepad by your bed.
In the Midst of the Grind
Outside of home, in the middle of your daily grind, what are things that you can do to try and stay on top of it all? This is a question with unlimited answers. It’s really all about trying different things and picking what works best for you. Realistically, what works in one phase of life, may not in the
next. What works for one family, may miserably fail for another. It’s okay to mix it up and to do it your way. Here are a few ideas you can try.
- good old-fashioned daily to-do lists
- use post-it notes to leave reminders where they can’t be missed
- prioritize tasks and have a daily/weekly routine to meet goals
- use a paper planner or a planner app
- set reminders for important deadlines or appointments
- use Google Docs (good for running grocery/to-do lists)
- use family organization apps that can be shared on devices
- follow organization blogs for new and fresh ideas
- Pinterest boards for storing ideas/planning events
- keep a neat and organized work space
- keep a trash can/bag in your car and necessities in your console
I hope that through reading this post you have gained at least one idea you feel could help you in your quest for organization. I’ll leave you with words from the insightful Benjamin Franklin, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
Now, I’ve got to go get my life together!