Are you struggling to get your home organized? Do you wonder why your friend’s house is clean and neat, but you can’t even keep one surface in your home clutter free? For some people, being organized comes naturally to them, but for others it can be a daily battle. If you are losing the home organization battle in your home, there are reasons you are struggling that you may be overlooking. Once you recognize your biggest home organization struggles, you can overcome them with a few simple steps.
Struggle Number 1-Exhaustion
Whether you work outside the home or you are a stay at home mom, you are probably exhausted trying to keep up with the demands of your life and family. You have a never ending to do list and very little time to yourself. Once the kids are in bed or you make it to the weekend, you feel totally exhausted. Why wouldn’t you be? At the end of the day the couch and Netflix are going to be far more appealing than attempting to organize your home.
First of all, you need to recognize that you are exhausted. The season of life you are in, the ages of your children, and the demands of your career and family are probably all taking a toll on you. It’s okay to admit that you are not superwoman and cannot do it all. Your body and your mind need rest and when they don’t get it they go into survival mode. So the last thing you can think about is home organization.
Before you even worry about getting organized, you may need time for rest or self care. Once you start doing that then you can set aside a little time each day or over the weekend to start tackling the organization of your home. When you are ready to get organized, start in the place that will make the most difference in your life. It could be getting the kitchen counters or table cleared off, or sitting down and writing a meal plan or family schedule. Pick a small home organization task each week that you can commit to. Once you are able to do that, add a new task in. Don’t forget to ask for help from your spouse, family or friends. You can also hire help when you need it, there is no shame in that!
Struggle Number 2-Overwhelm
If exhaustion doesn’t keep you from getting your home organized, most likely overwhelm will. Overwhelm can happen pretty fast, especially if you are tired and there are multiple piles of clutter or rooms that you want to organize. Overwhelm happens when we are not sure how to deal with our stuff or where to begin. It can literally paralyze you because you feel stuck and cannot get yourself to move forward.
We often struggle with overwhelm because we start looking at the big picture and we let our minds be overcome by it. Sometimes, the best way to overcome overwhelm is just to get started. Choose one small area of your home or a simple task and just start working on it. If you often get overwhelmed here is a list of ways to overcome your overwhelm. Pick one that works for you and try it out for a few weeks.
Struggle Number 3-Lack of Focus
Another reason that many people struggle to get their home organized is that they lack focus. If you jump from one area to another of your home without finishing what you started you will just have a bigger mess. You may also allow yourself to become distracted as you declutter, clean and organize. That’s the fastest way to waste an hour or two of your time.
If you start to organize your home, but you really don’t have a plan, you will quickly get distracted and lose your focus. Before you start any organization project or task, have a realistic goal in mind of what you want to accomplish. Pick a small task such as clearing the dining table, declutter kitchen drawers or write a weekly meal plan. If it helps you, set a timer for the task. When it goes off you can gauge how far you got and if you stayed on task. If you come across an item or problem that you know will get you off track set it aside to deal with later. Often times these items are sentimental so allow extra time to sort them.
Struggle Number 4-You Have No Routines or Systems in Place
If you try to get organized, but you don’t have any routines or systems in place for handling the clutter in your home, you will continue to have the same organizational problems over and over again. You will be fighting a losing battle all the time, because you haven’t fixed the root of the problem.
If you want to stay organized, you have to have routines and systems in place. When you have good home routines, organization becomes more automatic because you spend less time thinking about it. When you have systems in place for dealing with clutter and paper you are more likely to stick to them. You can find more ways to create routines and systems for your home in my Beginner’s Guide to Home Organization. You also want to be sure you are using the right tools to get your home organized.
Struggle Number 5-You Have No Time
This is probably the number one reason that you cannot get your home organized. It is because you cannot find the time to get the job done. Unfortunately, one of the reasons that you can’t find the time in the first place is because you are disorganized. Disorganization eats up your extra time and then you don’t have the time to organize. It is a really vicious cycle.
The best way to stop your life from being completely disorganized is to find a small block of time at the beginning or end of each day to prepare for the upcoming day. Get a piece of paper or a post it and write down all appointments, errands or commitments you have that day that are non-negotiable first. Then fill in the top 3 tasks that you have to get done that day. Do any tasks that you can such as packing lunches or laying out clothes ahead of time. The more you can do in advance the less you will be struggling to get done as you move through your day. The worst time to figure out your responsibilities and get tasks done are when you are racing the clock to get out the door to work or school.
The goal here is to slowly stop the disorganization that causes you to lose time in your day. You lose this time when you are looking for items you can’t find or scrambling to gather everything because you aren’t prepared. The more prepared and organized you can make your day the more time you will open up to get other parts of your home organized.
We all strive to be organized. No one wants their home to be a hot cluttered mess, but your life is full of demands. When you figure out why you struggle with organization, you will be able to get organized. It will take time, but it will be worth it.