How To Get Your Home To Work ‘For You’ Rather Than ‘Against You’

I often see overly general and sometimes grandiose statements about how to better organise yourself, which may sound good, but I find are not as easy to put into practice. That’s why I try to break down the steps into manageable tasks for you to easily follow.

Now I would like to share with you something that was very helpful to me a while back that I think will help you too.

I once read that to get a head start to your day it is a really good idea to make sure you consistently do the following three things. I know they may sound a bit straight forward and obvious but hear them out because believe me, when I put these tips into place and made them part of my morning routine it made a huge difference to how I felt and how productive I was for the rest of the day.

1. The first tip is to always make sure that your kitchen sink is clean and shiny with benches wiped.

2. The second tip is to make your bed every morning no matter what.

3. The third tip is to make sure you get dressed properly from your hair & makeup to your shoes (no slippers!)

Now most of you I’m sure already do these things but I’m also betting that many of you do them in bits and pieces, which is where the problem lies and is definitely not the most time efficient way to do it.

Don’t underestimate the wasted time, (not to mention energy) by allowing yourself to be distracted by something and not finishing a task then and there. There are times of course that some interruptions can not be prevented – but the trick is even if you are distracted and end up having to move to another area of the house, that you go back as soon as you can to complete the task before starting another.

Otherwise you will commonly find that the dishwasher is half stacked and the benches aren’t wiped, and that the bathroom is half tidy but with a couple of towels still on the floor and pj’s not put away, and the bed is made but the bedroom curtains not open, and then there’s you – if you don’t have to get to work outside the home – you may have done half your face and hair and possibly even ended up just popping on a pair of track suit pants.

It doesn’t have to be this way (unless you have an excuse like having a new born baby to take care of!!)

The tip I found most useful and that admittedly took me the longest to implement, not realising the effect it could have, was No 1. -Having a shiny kitchen sink and benches. Doing this consistently really helped me change my attitude to those mundane but necessary household chores and view them slightly differently, and not always use the excuse I’ll do it later. Instead I would think ‘why not now?’, and usually with no good reply would just quickly do it and get it out of the way!!?? Now when I see that clean area it helps motivate me to quickly clear up other ‘hot spots’ as well.

One of the best offshoots to this new habit has been that my husband now makes much more of an effort to keep the bench and kitchen tidy and we are happier all round. (Don’t expect miracles overnight in this area. Give it a little time and some encouraging words to your other half and the kids too and you may be surprised by the results- more on how to get the family on board in an upcoming issue)

By doing the above on a daily basis (or close enough to) you will also become much more aware of other items that are ‘out of place’. You will then be more likely to make the effort to quickly pop things in their proper place. This of course can be a problem if you do not have a home for all the countless objects that co-habit your home!!

If you don’t have a place for everything and your piles are growing uncontrollably because you cannot decide where to put everything, all you need to do is evaluate your piles and when you find something that does not have a logical and/or permanent home find it one.
Just address one pile/drawer at a time. One item at a time. Then for your sanity get into the habit of putting them back there when we have finished with them!!

1. Acknowledge that if you are saying to yourself “but I don’t have the space..” then it’s definitely time to get rid of some of your junk!

2. Prepare yourself before you get stuck into it by collecting/buying all sort of boxes/containers that will be the new homes for all your odds’n’ends. This looks so much tidier than items placed in drawers and cupboards loosely, only to stress you out whenever you see them. It’s amazing what a difference putting your things in separate/related containers can make.

3. Accept that there will have to be miscellaneous grouping of items, just as long as you do not ‘cop out’ by shoving everything in a miscellaneous container!!

4. Look at the item and think about where you use it most often. Then simply put it there. Instead of shoving an item in a drawer because you do not have a proper home for it, make a conscious decision to allocate a home for it right then and there (because ‘later’ often never comes). Then go and get the appropriate container and pop the item in.

5. Find a home for the container that makes sense. For example if it is a hair product/hair clip then it would make sense to put it in a container in the bathroom cupboard. Other examples for those odds’n’ends that can you can make separate homes for be it in your wardrobe/kitchen drawer etc are: your jewellery – (separating big items from smaller items i.e.- rings separate from bracelets and earring etc); pre-bought birthday cards and wrapping paper; nail polishes; odd keys; nails, allan keys screw drivers; loose change etc – get the gist?!

6. Over time the containers you have chosen may overflow with way too many related (and unrelated) items that need to be sorted through again and possibly a bigger home may need to be found. It is still better (depending on the size of the objects in mention) to start with smaller containers to begin with and make sure you limit that box to a set group of objects.

7. By going through this process you will actually make yourself assess whether you need much of the ‘stuff’ you come across. This is a good thing as it will help you purge items that you really do not need & even if you did need it- you would probably forget that you have it because it is hidden away lying in the bottom of a drawer! Think of it this way – then you can make way for the new items you are likely to accumulate during the year!

The best bit is that once you have done this then when you need to use various items you will know where to PUT THEM AWAY WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED WITH THEM (& actually be more likely to put it there) – a great feeling believe me! You will find that after a while your house will start looking tidy the majority of the time. What’s just as good is that doing this can make life so much easier and you will feel much happier when all these items have a proper home.