Melissa Smallwood is a professional organizer, mother of three boys, mommy blogger, and the owner of the informational website, Organized Life by Design. You can catch up with her on Twitter @multitaskingme.
On to the next chapter of becoming more organized! Are you excited? I hope you are. There is nothing more freeing than ridding yourself of clutter in your environment and in your life. This brings us to my favorite phase of the process- making a plan. Any one that knows me well will tell you I have a mantra- “You gotta have a plan”.
Why Have an Organizing Plan?
You have to have a plan. And that organizing plan will look different for each one of you. It will look different for every household but it will work, if you work it. Having a plan is your road map for change and if you try to make changes to the way you have been doing things (changes to habits) and you don’t have a clear idea of your destination, you will have a much more difficult time staying on course. So, here are some tips for making and sticking with your plan.
4 Tips to Make an Organizing Plan
1. Create daily routines and stick with them. Some people get their feathers in a ruffle when we mention routines. Some personality types crave flexibility and spontaneity and think routine will stifle that. Routines do not detract from that. Actually they increase the efficiency of your time.
Well established routines mean that if mom has to be in the hospital for a while, the washer/dryer and dishwasher still run, people still eat and the home maintains a semblance of order. Why? Because everyone knows their place and what happens next. Routines become the glue that keeps a busy family functioning in an organized manner. Routines are the threads that keep all the balls being juggled in your family from being scattered to the high winds if one gets dropped.
2. Get a master calendar that has room to accommodate the plans for all those areas. You cannot stay organized having a work planner, a home calendar, etc. There has to be a central planning space that everyone can refer to so all can be headed in the same direction. And color coding by family member is helpful for those that don’t think that is taking it too far.
3. When planning, remember the priorities that we are called to live by. Build in one on one time with your spouse. It will not just happen. For all the good intentions in the world, things will come up and get in the way if you are not intentional about your time. And do not forget time for you. A tired, worn out mama or auntie or grandma isn’t good to anybody. Spend daily time with God, allowing Him to fill your cup so you have something inside to pour back out to those around you. Get a manicure, take a walk, whatever is good for you. Loving your neighbor as yourself doesn’t mean quite as much if you are not making yourself a priority.
4. Enlist support from your spouse and others in your home. Becoming more organized is just as much a change of mindset as it is a change in the appearance of a space or room. The more involved your family is in the project, the more accountable they will feel towards the outcome. Limit activities that do not support your family’s priorities. Pray or think about activities and commitments before letting the slippery “yes” come through.
And believe it or not you can make organizing fun! Let the kids compete for who can come up with the best solution for keeping track of Mom’s keys. Remember, you often set the mood and tone for the entire environment (as if we didn’t have enough on our shoulders!) so be enthusiastic and creative as you adjust to new routines. If you are excited about becoming more organized your family will be too!
Catch Organizing with Melissa next Wednesday for “I have a plan- now what?” Visit Works for Me Wednesday for more life organizing tips.