It’s a struggle to keep it all together.
Every day you try harder and harder but somehow you get lost in the shuffle.
Next thing you know….
It’s almost afternoon, you’re still in your pajamas, you haven’t showered yet, you wanted to have the house clean but that’s half finished, and your spouse will be walking through the door any minute now.
That dear old friend guilt comes back and now you are putting those thoughts in your head again:
I should have spent more time with the kids…
I should have the house clean but it’s nowhere near that…
I can’t wait to get a break…I shouldn’t be thinking that way
Resentment settles in because you aren’t getting the help you need around the house.
You start to internalize things because mom is suppose to have it all together all the time.
But it’s a vicious cycle.
You’re doing more…but less is getting done. At the end of the day you don’t know where your day or your time went.
Here’s the deal…
You don’t have to feel like you are being ping ponged through your day jumping from task to task. No need to have that conversation going on in your head running down the list of things you didn’t do and what you still need to do. You can get more done in a day without adding more to your plate and without all the stress.
It’s all a matter of how you go about your day.
Doing more of the right things while getting rid of the things that are wasteful will transform your day.
By removing the excess clutter around you in your home and life its easier to clear the path for the things that are most important to you.
A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar. (148)”
― Victoria Moran,
Three areas of life where clutter can be found
Clutter area # 1: Time
It’s the one thing in life that we can never get back. And doesn’t it seem like you just don’t have enough of it to get everything done.
When you take a hard look at what you do during the day I’ll guarantee that you’ll find time that is either being wasted or not being used at all.
I hate to get tough on you but sometimes you just gotta hear the truth.
“I don’t have time” is an overused and generic excuse.
We tend to fall back on that when we need a cushion or to justify to ourselves why something can’t be done. Its easy to say and is generally accepted from others because we all feel that way to an extent. You will usually get a reply along the lines of “I hear you on that” or something of that nature. But honestly you have control over your time (to a certain extent) and you will make time for what’s most important.
The question is…
What’s most important?
Once you know this it will become your roadmap in which you can prioritize your day. Based off the answers to these questions you can find exactly where your time is going.
Here’s some questions to think about:
What priorities do I want/need to serve first?
What do I spend most of my time thinking about?
What do I spend most of my time doing?
What time constraints do I have daily? (picking up kids from school, work, appointments,etc)
What is the biggest source of frustration for you in the home?
Here are some ways to free up some time and get things done:
1. Establish a morning routine– recharge, energize, and get pumped for the day. Waking up not prepared for the day ahead is already starting at a disadvantage. It can cost you not only time but also set you back on getting things done because the morning is a perfect time to set things in motion.
2. Break big tasks into small doable tasks– the hardest part of anything is to start but not for you. You know that taking things one step at a time is not only great advice that your mother used to give you but is also the way to get things done. Finish small pieces of the whole each and every day and sooner than later your big project will be done.
3. Learn to say no– One of the biggest time killers we all face is our inability to just say no. I know you just want to be helpful but you can’t spread yourself so thin. You don’t have to raise your hand for every volunteer opportunity, or to bake for the school fundraiser, or to organize the next church function, or whatever it is you do. If its truly not a good time then just explain that. I’m sure they will understand.
4. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate– You can’t do everything all the time. Asking for help is not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean you are incapable. Getting everyone involved in the day to day activities such as cleaning makes life easier and saves you time and energy.
5. Do things at the best hour- Schedule your activities such as grocery runs or appointments at the best time. Try to do things when it will be less crowded. Save time and save your sanity. #aintnobodygottimeforthat
Don’t let your time get filled with junk. Do the things that will make the most impact while getting rid of things that waste time.
Clutter area # 2: Home
Mess creates stress.
Messiness, clutter, and disorganization all have a very real impact on our lives.
Junk will creep into the home before you even realize it.
A couple of target runs here, a little Amazon shopping there and next thing you know you are surrounded by stuff.
Here are 5 ways to not let your home be consumed:
1. Create an atmosphere for success- If you are constantly stressed about the house you won’t be able to get anything done. Clutter or messiness will restrict you and cloud your thoughts. Then you get frustrated and eventually decide that what you were trying to do can’t be done. A clean and comfortable home can do wonders for you mentally and physically.
2. Get into a routine/ develop good habits– you hear it all the time but routine and habits will absolutely change your home and your life. Developing those good habits in the home makes everything easier. Find a routine that works best for you and then put it on autopilot.
3. Separate/Put away/Throw– go through your home and separate items into three piles. If you don’t use it. Throw it. If you don’t need it. Throw it. If you have worn it in forever. Throw it. (Don’t forget to donate if the item is still in good shape or give to a friend) Put away only the things that you use regularly. Don’t keep “maybe one day” items.
4. Don’t let the procrastination bug get you– Stay on top of the clutter in the house. I’ll do it later turns into I’ll do it never real quick.
5. Get organized- A lot of the time the simple fix is a little organization especially in the kitchen. Have you ever bought something at the grocery store only to find that exact item buried in your kitchen cabinet when you got home? Being organized can save you time and money.
Clutter area #3: Mind
I think my kids ask my wife at least 500 questions an hour.
It’s so bad sometimes I have to tell them to give mommy a break.
You probably know exactly what I mean.
Now add to that all of the normal distractions in life.
News, social media, to-do’s, birthdays, school, events, and on and on.
Your mind gets filled with so much stuff on a daily basis but what most of us do is allow it to build and build without ever really thinking about the affect it has on our lives.
Everything you do during the day takes willpower.
A common misconception about ourselves is that we can call upon our own willpower at any time and in any given situation.
The problem with this is…
It’s not true.
Willpower is not always at will call.
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Sometimes we think we can just power through the day even when we haven’t had enough to rest, or eat, or even given ourselves a break. This way of thinking leaves us with nothing in the tank at the end of the day and a restless mind.
We only have so much willpower a day. It is replenished and emptied and needs to be recharged just like that cellphone in your hand.
Take these steps to get the clutter out and clear your mind:
1. Take time to relax– I don’t mean sneak in a minute or two of resting your head, I’m talking about scheduled relaxation during the day. If you are working on a project or getting some cleaning done try using the pomodoro technique. For every 25 minutes of work you do take a five minute break. After doing this four times take a longer 15-30 minute break. I know you want to just power through and get it done but remember we only have so much willpower a day. Schedule breaks and recharge.
2. Write it down– Stop trying to remember ever little detail imaginable and write it down. One suggestion is to have a dedicated calendar for different things. For example, have a calendar for important family events that everyone can see. Then you can have a personal calendar just for you that has reminders, things you need to do that do, things you need to remember for later…etc.
3. Disconnect– Take time in the day to connect with family and disconnect from everything else. Whether it’s social media or the evening news remove that distraction for a period of time. My wife and I have a no cell phone policy in the house. When we are in the house phones go in a designated spot and we only pull them out to make calls or do a quick Google search for a recipe or something. Find activities you can do together. Uno is one of our favorites.
4. Practice appreciation and gratitude- How many times have you found yourself comparing your life to others? *Hand Raised* Especially with social media being a part of most of our lives this is easy to do. But here’s a secret. That is not real life. Everyone has problems, struggles, insecurities, and things we don’t want people to see. What you are comparing yourself to is not the full picture and by doing so you are limiting your happiness. Appreciation and gratitude for the things you have right now puts it all into perspective. Make it intentional. Each day let someone know why you appreciate them or tell yourself what you are grateful for. It’s amazing what this can do for you.
5. Stop worrying- I know you can’t just all of a sudden stop worrying about things but don’t let it control your thoughts and what you do. Worry can make you sick. Literally. But the problem is a lot of the time you do it to yourself by thinking about all of the possible outcomes of a situation, and usually the bad ones. Worry is fear in disguise and fear cripples you. It will hold you back from becoming the person you can be. It will stifle creativity. It can hurt relationships. Like the song says. Don’t worry…Be Happy
There you have it. 15 ways you can get rid of clutter and get more done every day. Clutter impacts our lives in so many ways and taking those steps to a #clutterfree life is taking a step in the right direction.
Which area of your life is the most cluttered?
What steps are you going to take to get rid of the clutter in your life?