We all live busy lives. If you are a working mom, your time is extremely limited. Between work and kids’ schedules, you barely have a second for yourself.
As someone who loves to organize, I have a list of things that need to be organized but how am I going to find time to do it? I have a husband, kids, and full-time job. After a long day of work, I want to spend time with my husband and kids, not organizing.
One thing I’ve concluded about organizing, especially after having kids, is that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Let me repeat, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
That is something I’ve finally come to terms with, I’ve saved quite a bit of time with organizing projects by not trying to perfect them. Sure, I want it to be nice and pretty but if something isn’t working out the way it’s supposed to, I find another solution. More time is wasted trying to make it work. It’s like trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans that don’t fit anymore.
Pinterest and other social media outlets have these beautifully organized homes and spaces. They are great to look at and an inspiration but you can easily get frustrated with it because our home doesn’t look the way it’s supposed to. Can you say, #PinterestFail?
Taking on an organizing project can be a daunting task especially if you don’t love it. It’s hard to finish while eating up too much of your time. I love to organize and even I’ve felt like that a few times.
Here are my 7 strategies for organizing when you’re in a time crunch
Make an appointment in your calendar to get the project done. I resisted this for years because I thought I had the willpower. It’s so much more powerful, and more likely to happen when it’s actually scheduled.
Make a List
Knowing all of your organizing projects will help you decide which ones to tackle first. Take the time to sit down and make a list of small organizing projects. Some examples would be the junk drawer, a kitchen drawer, a clothing drawer, the bathroom vanity and so on. Estimate how long each project will take– 5 minutes, 10 minutes, whatever. Overestimate time for each project because it usually takes longer than you think!
Take one organizing project per day that is relative to your day and tasks
Let’s take a clothing drawer, for example. Let’s say you wore a specific shirt that day and just have gotten home from work and are changing out of your work clothes and are putting that shirt away. If you see that the drawer that that shirt belongs to is pretty unorganized, take a minute or two to organize it. Instead of tackling the entire dresser, you tackle just the drawer. Work each drawer each day. Think about it this way: if you have 5 drawers to your dresser, then in 5 days your dresser will be organized. Another example would be the drawer or cabinat where you keep your food storage containers. Lids and containers are all jumbled up and piled up on each other. The next time you unload the dishwasher, take a few minutes to corral all the lids, and stack all the containers before putting clean ones away.
Set a Timer
Using a timer will keep you on task and motivate you to get the project done before the timer goes off. There’s no sense of urgency when a timer isn’t set. If you’ve ever played sports, the clock is always going down. If you’re not winning and there’s not much time left, it’s time to step it up a notch and give it your all. A lot of people swear by the Pomodoro Method. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on one task for that 25 minutes, then take a short break. After you’ve done this four time, take a longer break–20 or 30 minutes.
There are a few ways to purge. You can set an empty box in each room in your house and that can be the box for things you don’t need or don’t know where they belong. When you are putting away utensils from the dishwasher, you can look at your utensil drawer or storage holder and see what you used. If you haven’t used it in awhile, put it in the box. The same strategy applies to clothing–as you are folding laundry, put aside things that are torn or outgrown, and get rid of them.
Ask a Friend To Help
When you have an accountability partner, you are more likely to complete the task. No one likes standing up a friend. Offer up some pizza, coffee, or wine for a little added incentive. It’s also a great time to catch up if you haven’t seen each other in awhile. Friends like helping friends. This is a great strategy for those organizing tasks where you don’t have to concentrate too hard, like organizing the kids’ playroom.
Turn off the Notifications
Our smartphones have become one of the biggest time distractors of all time. Sure, they are very convenient and do make our lives easier but they also have become a huge interruption in our day. I read a few years ago the average person looks at their smartphone 150 times a day! I’m sure that number has increased by now but that’s absolutely insane. Turn off the notifications and check your phone when it’s convenient for you. Better yet, schedule time on your calendar for checking in with social media and checking email.
Taking the time to get organized has big benefits like reducing your stress, increasing productivity and decreasing the amount of time you spend looking for something you need.
Make a plan to get organized. Now, go work that plan!