How to tame"The Clutter Monster."
I have an admission to make " I am not Martha Stewart, never have been, and probably never will be!" Wow, what a relief that was. I am however "The marginal Queen of Chaos, disorganization and Clutter Gladiator in Training." You see, I have a Clutter Monster or two, maybe even three that live with us and I have found that these monsters love to feed off of Chaos, Disorganization and more Clutter.
In dealing with all Clutter Monsters you have to address their main source of food and, that my friends is CHAOS! We all have chaos in our lives some a little bit some a lot but this is the main thing that drives clutter. In my case, I have a nine year old and a 13 year old who plays travel ice hockey, 2 ancient dogs, one husband, one almost 80 year old father, a big house and a job. This combination, leaves me with little time or energy to deal with my home and hearth. Before, I knew it my house looked like a hurricane hit it. It was then I realized, I had to come up with a better way of dealing with my responsibilities.
In dealing, with the chaos of our lives we have to take a long hard look at ourselves and families. First of all you need to decide if everyone is pulling their own weight. In my case, the answer was a big fat NO!. My children, being the biggest problem. They stopped doing their chores and I allowed this to continue. It was just easier for me to do it. Wrong idea. Not only is it not fair to you and yours to take this approach but it adds to the chaos and clutter. No matter how much of a Super Woman or Man you may be you can't do all things.
Include your family in your process of making your home organized and less clutter. Set time limits for chores to be done, set up clear and concise consequences if things aren't done. For example, if my children don't put their laundry in the wash room it doesn't get clean. Their desire to avoid the chore will soon go away when they have no clean clothes to wear. Make everyone accountable including yourself.
In looking at the giant mess I also realized I need to stop and make time for me. It is in this me time that I plan out my week. Stop and look around at prioritize what needs to be done, what should be done and what can wait and what would I like to be done. When I do this it is easier to plan out what everyone is supposed to do. This makes it easier to delegate the chores.
This leads to the other main feeding source for "The Clutter Monster" DISORGANIZATION! I have to admit this is my own personal issue. I often get so busy and sidetracked that I don't put things in their place or complete a task once started. All I can say this is BADDDDDDDDDD. Not to mention, it is really hard to teach your children not to do this when they see Mommy doing this all the time. If this you also suffer from this problem also, there is hope.
I have found that if I make a conscious choice to put up the peanut butter right away after I make their sandwiches it makes the counter less crazy. If I clean up as I cook dinner, it is less overwhelming to me and mine. I also have found that if I set a timer and set a time for me to start and finish a chore I am more efficient and actually get more done. I also found that with a little time management that I can get a load of laundry in before I leave for work, that I can put cleaning products in my toilets so that they can self clean why I am gone. Little, things like this make a huge difference in how much you can get done.
Finally, dealing with all the stuff in your house. I have found that a lot of the stuff I have needs to just go and getting rid of it makes such a huge difference. When you do laundry and your realize that the pants or shirt your are folding don't fit or you don't like put it in a donation bag. When the bag gets full take it to a local charity for donation. I go several times a year. Whenever, you have a day off or have a break from school tackle your list of things you want done. Clean out your closets, go through your junk drawers, your pantry wherever your clutter hides the most and make an appointment if you will, to address the issue. Also, you need to be ruthless in what stays in your home once you get rid of it. Once you get rid of 48 million broken crayons in your junk drawer when your kids try to bring the home get rid of them. Don't let the junk stay.
Since I have adopted this attitude, I have found that things overall are a lot calmer. I have also realized and accepted that I will never be Martha Stewart and have my home on the issue of her magazine. I am just glad that my home is more peaceful, cleaner, and less cluttered. Also, remember the clutter monsters didn't arrive overnight nor will the leave overnight. This is a long process, but with time you can have a less cluttered and cleaner home.