A lot of people want to know how to get organized faster but have no idea where to start. A few weeks ago on Facebook, I asked you: What do you need to get organized? I got so many responses, and I read every single one. None of them surprised me, although a lot of them made me laugh!
Many of them were just iterations of “it’s hard” or “I don’t want to.” Believe me, I get it! If I’ve learned anything from my years of in-home professional organizing, it’s that this is hard. It’s a big challenge that involves a huge spectrum of complicated feelings.
But you CAN do it!
I already released a podcast episode about Golden Windows and how you can seize them to create more time for yourself and for organizing. So if your answer to that Facebook question was “time,” be sure to give that one a listen. You might be surprised at where extra time is waiting for you!
Now, there are some times when organization just seems impossible. Specifically, many of you mentioned being chronically ill and needing to feel healthy and energized enough to get out of bed, let alone get working to organize your house. Others (lots!) expressed the need for kid-free time in your home, which is something I understand completely.
Both of these are legitimate reasons for not getting your home organized. So, does that mean you are doomed to a dysfunctional household full of unhappy, disorganized people?
Organizing During Illness
I’ll talk more about chronic illness next week, but for now, I’ll say this: Your health is of the utmost importance, and you should prioritize your own well-being above all else. Do what you can (five minutes here, five minutes there), but do not overexert yourself or make yourself ill in the name of organization.
Organizing With Small Children
When you have young children that need you constantly, you’re lucky to get your hair washed regularly, let alone sort your silverware drawer. You’re stressed to the max and can’t conceive of adding one more thing to your plate.
The problem is, when you are a frazzled new mom and need to find a fork but can’t, you encounter even more stress.
You can’t organize because you’re stressed, but you can’t NOT organize because you’re stressed.
The Productive Home Solution is designed to do small, 15-minute tasks each day, but I’ll let you in on a secret: That’s not how I would do it! When I first overhauled my home in 2012, I did the whole thing in 40 days. The whole thing! I had school-age children, which helped, but I also am just a project-oriented person. I’d rather spend my entire day on laundry than do one small load a day because I like being released of the mental burden of a project as soon as possible.
So, if you’re in this boat with me, because of children being present in your home or otherwise, you may want to think about The Productive Home Solution program as a project and chunk it together as much as you can.
How can you get that done, when you barely have enough time to form a full sentence?
First, prepare. The first portion of The Productive Home Solution is in the kitchen. What you need to do is think–just think–about where the problem areas are in your kitchen and what really needs your focus and attention. You can think anywhere–while you’re driving, while you’re changing diapers, while you’re playing just one more game of Candy Land. Start scribbling these thoughts down on sticky notes and index cards and tossing them into your Sunday Basket.
Now, the hard part. You need a day. One full day, kid-free, husband-free, dog-free, and responsibility-free. Not four hours, not five minutes here and there–one full, entire day.
Before you start pouting and insisting that’s impossible, I want you to consider this scenario: you have a 102 fever and the flu and cannot get out of bed. You call in sick to work. What would happen then? How would your family get taken care of if you couldn’t do it? Would your husband stay home? Would you send the kids to your mom’s house? Would you go to Care.com and hire an emergency babysitter?
Call ‘em in. Take that sick day off work. I mean it!
Give yourself permission to take that sick day, except you get to be healthy! You CAN use that day up and not have to go get an MRI to justify it.
Broaden your horizons, think outside the box, and stop making excuses for why the childcare buck must always, 100% of the time, stop with you. If you are the primary caretaker for your children (or the primary care arranger), I know this can feel unrealistic and indulgent–especially if you don’t bring in any financial income. But if that’s you, you bring a lot of other vital, life-giving aspects to your family, and it’s time you stopped letting dollars dictate your value– even just for one day!
In the rest of this episode, I walk you through what that free day will look like. If you can get the entire first 21 days completed in that time, your kitchen will be organized! If you can schedule two glorious days this fall to do this, the spaces where you spend 80% of your time will be organized.
If you’re looking for permission to fast-track the program because you just don’t have the time, here it is. Join The Productive Home Solution program and the incredible, supportive community, and get your home organized so that you can focus your time on things that deeply matter.