Journey with me through a year of finding the joy in our lives, traveling the pathway to H.O.P.E. – Harmony, Orderliness, Prosperity and Excellence! Let’s commit to charting our course over the days of the week, navigating our way from clutter to clarity – one step, one decision, one action at a time!
1. TUESDAY – CHOOSE A SYSTEM!
One of the very first tools we’ll need to get organized is a “System”. This can be an app on your phone, a spreadsheet, or my favourite, The Index Card System. I learned of this system over 40 years ago when my sister-in-law saw how I was drowning in my disorganized life and recommended a book, Sidetracked Home Executives, written by Pam Young and Peggy Jones, and I’ve been using this system ever since! Yes, the index card system could be considered “old school” but it works for me. Some of you may prefer to use an app (the book is now available as an app!) that you can download to your phone or computer and those of you who love spreadsheets might want to create something in Excel. Whatever most appeals to you is the right choice! Make refreshing mug of hot lemon water and breath in the invigorating fragrance to wake up your mind while you sip & search the internet for your system!
2. WEDNESDAY – RALLY THE TROOPS!
If you share your living/workspace with anyone and you carry the main load of managing the home, you may want to post a notice to alert them that things are about to change! “HELP WANTED – EVERYONE QUALIFIES!”
Even a 3-year-old can have small tasks assigned to them. Don’t worry, it’s not the little ones who are likely to be your toughest customer. Ahem, “Attention: Calling all Teens, live at home Uni-students, Boomerangers and Life Partners! We are all in this together and together we will create the haven we are all dreaming of!”
Hold a Family Meeting. Hint: bring food; it always helps to attract the participants!! Keep the meeting to 1 hour at the very most and have an Agenda so you stay on track. Talk about what each of you wants. Everyone gets to have a say but use a timer to keep the meeting on schedule. Start a notebook to record the date and details of the Family Meeting. Start thinking of your home as if you are operating a small business. Because you are – and everyone has a stake in the Family Biz! Remember, we’re in Training Phase, so let’s start small and grow into the job! Ask everyone who is old enough to do so, to review their own personal space and “Pick a Small Project.” Ask them to write down the details of what they need to organize that space and commit to a date to complete it.
3. THURSDAY – CONTAINERIZE TO ORGANIZE!
No matter what space you want to organize, you’ll likely need some containers. Maybe you already have some on hand. If not, you’ll need to go shopping, but please don’t go to a high-end store and buy expensive organizers. You don’t know what you really need yet, so for now, go to a dollar store and buy small, medium and large containers. I like those clear bins that have detachable lids. Also consider those tray organizers that have 7 or 8 compartments – great for kitchen and office drawers! Once you know your needs better you can replace your containers with a fancier version. You’ll also need a roll of masking tape and a black felt pen to make temporary labels for the containers.
4. FRIDAY – START SMALL; ORGANIZE A DRAWER!
If organizing is not your thing, you’re not alone. Some people make it look really easy but don’t be fooled! Most people who are good organizers today were disasters a while back; they just made a commitment and followed the pathway. But believe me, it was a long and winding road, with many wrong turns. That’s why it’s a journey and not a jaunt! Let’s start with a small project to help build our confidence to tackle a bigger project later on. We all have a junk drawer, right? Well, let’s re-name that drawer a “Utility Drawer.” This is important because if you have a “Junk Drawer” you’ll likely toss a lot of junk into it, but if you have a “Utility Drawer” you’ll be more inclined to keep it organized and functional.
Chose a drawer in your Kitchen. Empty it out. Clean it. Decide what you want the drawer to contain. Does it have Office items like pens, adhesive tape, scissors, note pads, etc. Or does it have plastic baggies, foil wrap, clear wrap etc. Is it big enough to store both of these categories? Or is it small and only have room for cutlery? My small cutlery drawer used to have everything from plastic straws to twist ties to potato peeler and a corkscrew in it. No wonder I couldn’t even find a spoon in there! Now it has cutlery, in a sectioned tray. Clean, tidy, simple, easy. Spoon found – no worries!
4. SATURDAY – Repeat Friday’s task. Pick another drawer. Do just one per day if that’s all you can manage for now. If you feel you can do more, then continue on. Along the pathway there will be times we can go fast, times we’ll need to slow down and times we must pull over to cool our engines. It’s a journey!
5. SUNDAY – Rest, Relax, Recharge! You’ve earned a day of rest. Take time to connect with nature; go for a walk or sit on a bench and watch birds and other wildlife. Spend time with loved ones, organizing can wait while we renew our bonds with faith, family & friends. Take a moment for gratitude. It may feel that you don’t have enough, but there are others who have even less.
Mediate. If this is new to you, find a You Tube video to guide you through a mini session; just a few minutes to start. If this feels good and you have time for more self care, maybe try a light yoga session – again, find a YouTube video for guidance. If regular yoga is too much for you try chair yoga!
6. MONDAY – Repeat Friday’s task.
7. TUESDAY – Meet me here next Tuesday to continue our journey.
H.O.P.E. is on the horizon – one drawer, one cupboard, one closet at a time!