My favorite part about my job is that I help people improve the quality of their lives – whether I’m working with them side by side or by phone, or even through my blog or newsletter. I received an email from someone I’ve never met, but who was inspired by my writings to set herself and her family on the path towards being organized. I’m sharing her note to inspire you to discover the simplicity, harmony and freedom of being organized in your own home:
My 10 year old son is diagnosed ADHD and my husband and I, we suspect, also have some ADHD in us. So it’s great to see someone addressing these types of issues when it comes to organization.
Your posts are always so helpful. I just read your blog post on clutter and financial prosperity. That is so true, both directly and indirectly! I also read over your back to school post which is a great reminder for us. And I just planned out my menu for the remainder of the week. I try to plan menus and it doesn’t always happen but when it does things definitely run smoother.
Wanted to share my story with you…maybe you’ve mentioned something like this in the past in your blog but here goes. I’ve been struggling all summer to declutter my home. I went back to work full-time a little over 2 years ago. It was a big transition then and things are now starting to really pile up, closets bulging, financial papers in disarray, etc., etc. We have a bi-weekly cleaning service come in but I think that actually makes the clutter worse as things are put in piles and stashed away for cleaning. Even though everything looks great after a cleaning, by the end of 2 weeks, things are everywhere again and have to be pile or stashed away; the cycle repeats itself. So I’ve decided the whole house needs a good decluttering and downsizing of stuff….I’ve made a little progress this summer but then I get tired, overwhelmed, overly perfectionist-y, burned out and turn my attention elsewhere. It’s almost the end of the summer and my list is still pretty long.
This week, I decided to ask my family for help. My husband can’t stand clutter but he doesn’t know what to throw away, put away, etc. When I was a stay at home mom, we got into some bad habits of me handling everything in the home. So, he usually gets overwhelmed, moves things around a little bit and just retreats to the basement. Then there are the kids…they are 10 and 6. They certainly don’t want to waste their free time cleaning. But I can’t do it all. I am also making a serious effort at getting fit so my time is limited.
So yesterday morning, I wrote them all a sweet note and informed them of my intentions to start the school year organized. I wrote that I would like them all to help and we would start in the evening with our craft pantry and plastics drawers. Then I left for work before they got up.
When I picked up the kids at the end of the day and asked them about my plan, they were not thrilled. Neither was my husband. But after dinner and some downtime, my daughter and I got started. And eventually, the guys got involved, too. I gave them jobs they could handle…I had the kids help me take items out of the drawer. Then together we went through the different cups and decided which to throw away. My husband glued a found broken item. Then he was ready to wipe down the drawers and put everything away. He didn’t put things away exactly the way I would but it was done and organized, which is all that matters. (big aha moment for me!) The kids and I started on the craft cabinet which really took an all-hands-on-deck approach. To my surprise, they did a really good job of letting things go and my daughter was downright relentless (lol)! We decided we should add a couple of shelves to the cabinet so my husband worked on that. At bedtime, everything still needed to be put away. I took care of that and sent everyone to bed. I ran out of time but will finish putting the last few items away tonight. It should only take a few minutes.
What I’ve been trying to accomplish all summer, the family finished in a couple of hours. In addition to some cleaner spaces and checking off some nagging projects, we also got the unexpected benefits of family bonding and a feeling of teamwork. At one point, one of the kids said it was actually kind of fun! And I don’t know how many times I heard, “Oh! That’s where that is!” Now, hopefully the kids will also take some pride in their work and help keep things cleaner. Now we have some momentum and I think we’re going to tackle our dining room tonight.
Well, thanks for listening to my long story. Since you “helped” do this in a sense, I thought you should know. I know it was only half of a pantry and a couple of drawers but I think this is the start of something big in our
Thanks so much for sharing, Chris – please check in again and let us all know how you’re doing. I’d love to hear from other readers about how your organizing journey is going. And if you need a bit of help, either in person or by phone, please get in touch.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,