What is the common denominator for all my clients? Are they messy? Nope. Are they lazy? Nope. It is simply they don’t have enough time. Add on top of that, with the limited time they do have the last thing they want to do is organize. We all know that we should be more organized, but we never take the time. When we have a free weekend we don’t suddenly jump up with joy and shout “yippee let’s get organized!” More likely, it happens when you are at your lowest in your life. You see you life a bit out of control and you are at a breaking point and you know you need change. Perhaps you were late paying a bill or missed an important event because it wasn’t written down in your calendar.
When I get the call from a frustrated client to book me I can tell that they are ready for change. We only work for three hours and they often think that we wont get anything done in that three hour block of time. But what I do is I set up guidelines. If you have kids, spouse or pets, they should not be in the home with us while we work. You may love your family and pets dearly, but let’s face it, they are a distraction. I had one client who didn’t want to lock up her cat while we worked. We sat sorting her papers and every minute, yes every minute, her cat would jump in her lap and she would have to push the cat away and she would mess up her papers in the process. She quickly realized why I told her she needed to lock up her cat while we worked. I have had clients try to have their kids home with a spouse watching the kids. Wrong thing to do. I see my client get frustrated as the kids kept coming to talk to us or asking why certain things were being donated.
If you are wanting to get organized and you are motivated for serious change, do me a favor, go to your calendar and mark off three hours of time. Preferable this should be when the kids are at school and the spouse is at work. You may need to take a personal day. I would even call it a mental health day and you should use your allocated sick time at work for this type of purpose. The stress and anxiety involved with being disorganized adds to our mental and physical health. You will feel better once you can get a handle on some of your life.
I was recently helping a friend long distance who was at the end of her rope. The first thing I looked at was her time management. If her kids were in daycare she was working. If they were out of daycare she was with them. There was no time for her being alone in her home. As moms we feel that we can’t have our children in daycare and take an afternoon for some personal care or a morning to get some organizing done. I am here to tell you that you will be in fact a better mother if you do take the time to do these things. Please tell the guilt trip to take a hike once and for all!
Don’t have daycare? Swap with another mom where you take turns watching each others kids. Believe me, you have friends out there who would jump at the chance to do this with you, just ask. You could even take it a step further and tell your friend to come and take before and after pictures when she picks up the kids. Nothing shows progress and keeps you motived like accountability and that includes before and after pictures.
Now once you have your block of time do me one more favor, turn off all electronics. Checking cell phones….going on Pinterest….going on Facebook are all time suckers. You will sit down one minute and the next minute an hour has passed. Be diligent about this. Play some loud music and dance while you organize. Seriously…it is fun! I know, I am weird like that but I think you should try it!
Write down your goals that you hope to accomplish during this time. Be specific but be realistic. You will want to end the three hours with a sense of accomplishment, not a sense of frustration.
Next focus on the organizing task at hand. This is not the time to make the grocery list and do laundry. Unless it is part of your organizing project, don’t do it. I even go so far as tell my clients that they can not leave the room that we are organizing. They simply need to put things at the doorway that need to leave the room. What happens when we leave we suddenly are swept into another project and you are soon taking the iron out and ironing clothes.
Once you have done this one time you will be amazed at how much you can get done when you have no distractions. We all have the same 24 hours in the day and it is up to us in how we spend them. Give yourself focused times of organizing once a month and you will suddenly feel like your life is getting under control. The point is you need to make the time, the time is not just going to happen. So block out the time on your calendar today and start working on your organizing goals so that you are ready when the day arrives.
To Organized, Simplified Living,