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Posted on 01-15-2015

If any of my friends are reading this, keep in mind what a work in progress I really am.

Cleaning and organizing things is not one of those attributes that I would list on my resume…well not in regards to my home. In the workplace, I was highly organized and even put in charge of creating new systems and protocol for the positions I was in. I am not sure why that did not translate into my work as a Stay-At-Home Mom. I am on a lifelong journey to remedy that—I am seven years in.

In continuing our One Thing Series, I thought I would share what I do know in case that is a piece that has been missing from your organizational puzzle. Keeping organized doesn’t generally start with one day just waking up and tackling every area in your life that needs a de-clutter intervention. Just like most things, it starts with some basic, small changes that give way to the bigger shift in normalcy. In the area of cleaning, I have found the most basic of lessons is this:

Keep it simple.

If you are like me and struggle with keeping the clutter at a daily manageability, then having small goals each day might be what keeps you motivated. When I am operating under the influence of my own advice, I take a few minutes in the morning to write out three things that I want to get done on the cleaning front that day. Three is a small achievable number, even if I don’t get them done until the kids go to bed that night. But three things consistently done each day will eventually snowball into the look of a clean house. For example, earlier this week, my list looked like this:

  • Dishes (put away clean ones and load dirty ones
  • 2 Loads of laundry (wash, dry, fold, and put away)
  • Organize first shelf of pantry

Now honestly, I dropped the ball a bit with having all three kids home for a snow day, but the last item just got put on the next day’s list. I also did other cleaning-related items that have become habit and I don’t need to put them on a list. But I keep the list simple. I squeeze these items in when I can and don’t beat myself up when they don’t get done right away.

If cleaning is your thing, but organizing is not, the same one thing applies here. If you have a whole room that needs organizing, take it in chunks. Break it up into areas or set a time limit on how long you will work on it each day. When I feel overwhelmed with a whole-room mess, I set a 15 minute timer. I dedicate 15 minutes to it and take a break. Those 15 minutes usually show me that this project isn’t as big as I thought, or it gives me a chance to take a break and fight off the overwhelming feeling.

If you are looking for ideas on organization, Pinterest has some great resources. There are also countless blogs on the subject. Spend some time online getting inspired to tackle that thing that maybe adding stress to your life…and we all know that stress is not good for the alignment!

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