I have found that decluttering on the outside helps me declutter on the inside. What I mean by this is the less stuff and activities I have going on around me the more at peace I find myself in.
First off, Get Rid Of What You Don’t Need!!
When I find myself feeling overwhelmed there is nothing more freeing than donating a bunch of unneeded items to our local second hand store.
Sometimes it can be hard to start but one easy way I have found is to spend 15 minutes in each room just throwing stuff away and/or organizing. Decluttering cleans everything up and helps me have less stuff to think about. If 15 minutes isn’t long enough to finish in the room then I just set the timer and work on the area just to make a dent. Progress is progress!!
Two resources I found the most helpful are www.flylady.net and books that I acquired when I first married by author Deniece Schofield.
Many of you know the FlyLady. She has a very informative website and a few books she sells, as well as cute cleaning supplies. She offers a day to day, step-by-step 31 day plan to getting her cleaning plan implemented. I highly recommend you follow it! If you do you will find your home with always be visitor ready.
Deniece Schofield writes organizing books. Her books will show you an efficient way of organizing your junk drawers, your kitchen pantry, your laundry routine, and even your family schedules. She has everything! I think she offers four books last I checked. Even if you have a clean home she will show you how to put everything in its’ place. I plan on giving every one of my daughters a complete set of her books as part of their bridal gift.
Make a Daily Bucket List
A problem I have is keeping my mind clear of debris, especially when I’m showering. It seems that every item I need to get done that day will pop into my head, particularly when I’m in the shower unable to write anything down!!
A great way I have found to keep my mind clear is to sit down each day and write down a bucket list of daily to do’s. I do this directly in my planner so I can remember what I need to get done.
You may also find it helpful to do this with your household honey-do list and even your goal’s. I keep a notebook, similar to my planner, just for this purpose. It has various tabs in it to help me keep track of what I’m working to accomplish. In my planner video I briefly touch on this notebook.
Writing your daily list will help your mind not constantly have to remind itself of what needs to be done. It will also help you get everything done. I have a tendency to forget stuff all the time. It seems to be happening a lot recently!! Writing this list is the only way I remember anything anymore.
The Biggest Help – Cut Your Schedule (and Your Kid’s Schedules!!)!
I also think it’s important to declutter your schedule. Mom’s always over schedule themselves. They think (as well as everyone else seems to think) that you can always ask a Mom to do something for you, particularly if she’s a housewife. After all, she’s got plenty of free time, right?!? That particularly irritates me. But, that’s another post.
Mom’s (and Dad’s) think that their children need to experience every extra-curricular activity out there, particularly if their children are athletic. I’m here to tell you that they will survive (believe it or not) if they experience only one or two in their adolescent lifetime. I know I’m not going to be too popular saying that, but that’s okay. It’s what I think and it’s the truth.
We learned this bit of wisdom early on. A bunch of our friends were putting their children in baseball when my son was in 1st/2nd grade. My son was an athletic boy although he hadn’t learn how to play baseball yet. We enrolled him into the program and was quickly moved up to pitcher. Practices were 3-4 times a week with a game every other weekend. By the time it was over I thought I was going to go crazy. We were tired of breathing baseball and especially tired of late crock-pot dinners and hurried evenings. Our family life revolved around this one child and this one sport.
Now, if this was my only child and the only sport he played then I can almost see this as okay. However, most families seem to think that their children will somehow be mentally under-developed if they can’t constantly be playing some form of a sport.
Trust me. They will live. And, they will be better off without all the activities.
The following year my son’s classmates (he was in a private, parochial school at the time) were all starting up another baseball season. This time, the season was even more extensive and busy. The practices were every day with 1-2 games per week, in the neighboring city that was a 30 minute drive away. Everyone joined, except my son. There was no way our family could handle this kind of disruption.
Of course my son was disappointed. However, he survived. He also learned that family comes before individual and that our family is everything. He was learning self-sacrifice, and that is good.
Our solution to having a sport our children could all participate in, train together, and win together was to take up running. I took up running to help myself lose the baby fat after one baby. My husband joined me and we ran our first Half-Marathon that year. When we came home the children fell in love with our medals.
This caused everyone to want to join in. It’s now a competition to see who gets the most medals. Our youngest to run a half-marathon is 10. We’ve had a bunch of the younger children run 10 K’s as well.
To help with childcare, since all of the older children like to earn their medals, we take turns watching who isn’t running. One older child or Ed or I stay with the younger children and don’t run the half so the other’s can participate. This teaches self-sacrifice for the good of the other’s, while those running learn endurance and perseverance. Win-win for all in the family!!
Take a Class Together as a Family.
Another way to declutter your schedule is to take extracurricular activities together as a family. We just finished taking an art class together. It lasted the whole school year and was twice a month for two hours each time. The teacher was willing to work with the huge age differences and teach us various art mediums.
The last project we completed was framed mosaic’s. The younger children completed mosaic’s that you couldn’t really make out (still pretty but what is it supposed to be a picture of??) while the older children completed pictures that were obvious. When something was difficult for the younger children the older children were there to help them out. Teamwork and self-sacrifice were taught to them by having them take this class together. I even made a mosaic. 🙂
De-cluttering helps our minds work more effectively. If there is too much clutter all around us as well as in our minds and our schedules, it will hurt us mentally. We need to have order in our lives in order to work efficiently.
What has been the best way you’ve de-cluttered in your home? I love hearing what other mothers do as I’m always looking for ways to streamline my own family! God Bless! 🙂
Looking for a little extra help?
If you’re looking for a little bit more help because you are just ‘feeling the chaos’ I made a shortlist of items I recommend doing during times of stress and overwhelm; a type of checkoff list that will help you not feel further behind and still make sure you’re getting the basics done. If this would be of help to you please get the download here.