2 years of Organizing: what works and what doesn't

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

the never ending work of organizing
I didn't meant to do this but I realized that the investment I made 2 years ago on organizing my home is totally paying off. I want to tell you what worked and how I am maintaining my success in this area.

Let me tell you how it all started. I had a 6, 5 and a 3 year-old two years ago. We never really had steady home help but occasionally we'd hire someone to come a clean the home. The helpers always did a great job and I also learned that while most people clean your home, organizing it is up to you.

I went back to work and my schedule got super tight. Still, my organization problems did not go away. I told my husband that I'd try to manage the home myself. One time I paid a few bucks so someone could help me organize one of my kids' closets. I learned a lot from that experience. So, how am I enjoying an organized home today?

The first thing I identified was my greatest frustration source. I would say EVERYTHING but to be honest, laundry was the worse thing on my list. It had to be done and I just couldn't keep up with it. I used to have everything laying out on my closet floor because things were really out of hand. Once I identified my greatest source of frustration, I went after my solution. Hiring a professional organizer was out of the realm of what I could afford. I also didn't think that paying someone to clean and do laundry was a good investment of our budget. I knew I had to do it myself, the question was "how?" I came up with my 45-minute solution and I insisted in using it for the past 2 years. I truly found something that I could do myself, it did not cost $30 an hour and every time I use this method I get great results.

The second thing I identified was a time slot when I could implement this plan. I had to take a hard look at my schedule to realize that if I was going to reach the goal of working on organizing my home, I had to BE at home. I had to turn down a lot of outing opportunities so that I could work on home organization. I know some of you probably knew that but I certainly didn't. This also explains why I couldn't keep up with laundry before. I was not at home enough and when I was, I was exhausted. Laundry was the last thing on my list. A great plan without time to implement it is not so great.

The third thing I identified was the need to be persistent with my new discovery. Once I found out that the 45-minute solution was going to get me out of the hole and that I needed to be home to implement it, I added persistence to this equation. Getting organized feels like a miracle but there's nothing miraculous about doing laundry every week. I needed to realize that persistence is the name of the game. I often tell myself "finish what you start" when I am about to work on laundry. I also timed myself washing and folding clothes to further convince my brain that this necessary chore doesn't take long and the benefits are immense. I also learned to save some fun Podcast for such time as laundry time. Anything to aid persistence is worth doing.

I understand some of my readers are just too busy to think about adding one more thing in their schedules. I want to offer some solutions that did not work me for me but may work for you.

Hire Professional Help - Just admit you can't do it and bless someone else with your money. The return for your investment are a clean home and peace of mind. Where would you find such person? Ask around. Ask me if you live in my neck of the woods. Even if you get monthly help, it will be worth the investment.

Hire a young friend - I told you that I paid a few bucks to a friend who helped me organize my kids' closet. I know people who have the habit of hiring a teenager to play with their kids while they organized a certain area of their home. If the kids are your main concern, there are people out there who will play with them while you get organized. It costs a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional and most of your good friends would tell you that they'd do it for free. All you have to do is ask.

Barter - I have yet to find someone who would do this for me but I know that exchanging one talent for another is a great way to get organized. Again, all you have to do is ask the right person and let go of the pride that stops you from admitting you need help. Think about your talents: you have many! I am sure that someone out there can benefit from your talent and you can benefit from theirs. Be open.

Live in a mess until your kids grow up - I'm not willing to do this but it is also an option. To each its own right?

Join a Coop - I understand that people are more open to join a cooking coop than an organizing one. What I've heard through the years is that people do not want others to see what their house looks like. Here's the thing: if your friends want to see a perfect house, they go to the stands and look for Martha Stewart's Living Magazine. We all just need to recognize that living in community requires transparency and an open door policy. Transparency because if you are open, God can answer your prayers through your friends. Open door because if you decide to open your doors any time a friend comes over, you will benefit from living in truth. You will also stop apologizing for the way your home looks. Your friends don't care, they do care about your beautiful heart.

Oh wow, I started with home organization by the way of laundry and I ended with transparency. If you know me you've heard me say that it is through transparency that light shines brighter. Happy organizing!

More on Home Organization:
Time Management for the New Mom
Why Declutter?
How to avoid holiday clutter
Food Prep Day
Organization Hack: time your chores
Finding an Organization Method that works
The 45-minute solution: organizing
Want to be hospitable? Here are 5 tips
Leaders in the home front: organization