by Lisa Woodruff
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the members of the Organize 365™ Facebook group what they felt they would need to finally get organized. The number one response? Time.
It’s not surprising--I’ve heard this many times over the years. People--women especially--have the firmly held belief that they don’t have enough time, will never have enough time, and therefore their homes are doomed to disorganization and chaos. They get overwhelmed, they get depressed, and their homes get more cluttered and disordered.
Around and around we go.
This is a lie we tell ourselves, and a lie that other people impose upon us. We should be the full time caregiver, the home chef, the housekeeper, the career-driven mastermind, the chauffeur, the family activities director, the dog walker, the fitness model--and if we aren’t, we’re failing.
This is nuts. It’s crazy talk.
The time is there. Really, it is! We simply need to unshackle ourselves from these unrealistic and unattainable goals for our identity. You can get organized in whatever time you have!
There are some times in life when this is nearly impossible. New babies. Depression or other illness. Temporary crises. Short-term monopolies of one role or the other. During those times, you need to snap into survival mode and just do what you can to ensure everyone is fed and treading water until the chaos clears a bit and you can come up for air.
There are also times when organization (and the energy to do it) just comes naturally. It becomes easy, almost effortless, and you seem to make progress quickly. These times, I call Golden Windows.
Golden Windows are periods of opportunity that are compounded with energy and free time that, if seized, can propel you into organization and productivity. They’re as divine as they sound! If you’re looking for them, or know when they are coming, you can empower yourself with the resources and community you need (like in The Productive Home Solution!) and capitalize on the opportunity to organize your home and make it a true haven for your family and your life’s unique purpose.
In this podcast episode, I break down the many Golden Windows that can come along. You may be in one (or more than one!) right now and not even know it. Actually, if you are listening to this episode or reading this blog at the time of publishing, you’re in a Golden Window!
There are three types of Golden Windows: Chronological, Situational, and Seasonal.
Chronological. These Golden Windows are based on your chronological age, and the most prominent and productive one happens around the age of 40. I’m not sure why, but turning 40 brings with it a sense of peace and confidence in women’s sense of self and place in the world. Around 40, women stop worrying so much about what everyone else wants them to be, and starts thinking about what they want to do.
How do I want to spend my time? What am I really meant for? How do I want to spend the second half (or more) of my life?
It’s a general trend, of course, but I’ve seen it happen with women who are married, single women, women with kids, women without kids--it seems to be less about where you are in your life and more about that magical age of 40.
Situational. These will naturally vary based on your life and your different roles, but many women see at least a few of these Golden Windows in their lifetime. Some are full of joy and satisfaction, others are heartbreaking and burdensome. A few examples that I detail in this episode are: moving, new babies, children going to school, children moving out, graduations, weddings, divorce, and remarriage.
Oftentimes, when the youngest child goes to all-day school, a woman who has previously been a stay-at-home mom decides to rejoin the workforce. I say: if you can, wait! This Golden Window is prime time for home organization, re-prioritization, and productivity. It’s a huge family transition and a great time to capitalize on the little extra freedom. Getting your home organized during this time will benefit your whole family.
Seasonal. If you’re reading the above two Golden Window descriptions and thinking, “I don’t have any of those--am I doomed?”, there is good news! Every one of us gets three Golden Windows a year! Each season of the year brings with it a new energy that we can funnel into organizing our homes if we choose. I’ve talked about how I divide my year into thirds in this podcast episode.
While these Golden Windows are excellent opportunities for organization and productivity, they won’t do the work for you. If you’re in a Golden Window, but need direction, instruction, accountability, community, and/or cheerleading, consider learning more about the programs we offer and join us in capitalizing on these magical opportunities. Even if you don’t, I hope you seize your next Golden Window and take small steps to true organization and productivity!
If you tried any of my suggestions, I’d love to see them! Follow me on Instagram for more great organizing tips, then share your photos with me by tagging me @organize365 or using #organize365!