Thursday, November 6, 2008

Confession of an orginizational derelict....

I’ve got a confession to make…. You ready for it? I am an orginizaitonal derelict. Does this surprise you? Probably not, but at least I am finally admitting it.

I didn’t grow up in a home that was organized, and I am not naturally organized.

No matter how hard I try, I just can not come to a point that I can say I have “arrived” and become organized. And I have tried a lot.

I live in a 2 bedroom mobile home with my hubby, my 3 kids, and 1 dog. I can’t yet claim the cat that adopted our front porch, but I think my hubby is about to give in. We all share limited space with 1 bathroom (the dog doesn’t share the bathroom).

Needless to say, with all the stuff a family of 5 acquires, our home feels pretty small. One thing being out of place can quickly cause a ripple effect and lead to complete chaos. And with my lack of organizational skills this happens a lot.

So through my years I have sought out tips and advice from more experienced home-makers. My journey has led me to other women who are willing to share their experiences and wisdom to help me in the areas of my life that are lacking. I’ve slowly gleaned ideas on how to be more organized.

One thing that I have learned and have done to help me is develop a beneficial evening and morning routine. My morning routine helps me to have a smoother start to my day. It helps my day flow and sets me up to handle interruptions with less stress.

A routine is simply a series of things you do each day, and eventually they become a habit. Whether or not you realize it, you already have a routine that you follow in your day to day life. The question is, does your routine develop helpful habits, or habits that interfere with your day.

My routine is in the form of a written list. My 8 mo is still not sleeping through the night, and most mornings I am still too groggy to think about what to needs to be done. So my list is a tool that helps me to know what to do each morning so I can stay on track in my routine. I am starting to be a lover of written lists.

When I started to develop my routine, I first started with what could be done in the kitchen during the evening to prepare for the next day. I don’t know why, the rest of the house can be in complete disarray and I’m fine. But if my kitchen is out of order I can not function.

So I came up with a evening routine that included straightening up the kitchen, writing out what needs to be done the following day, and thinking of what I need to do to prepare my self for a smoother morning. I would then make sure that each of us had a complete outfit that was clean to wear for the next day.

After I had an evening routine fairly well set up, I started working on my morning routine. I would think of one thing I could do to make my day start better, and I would work on making it a habit. Once I did that one thing pretty regular, then I would add another thing to add and work on. Eventually my routine became fairly regular and consistent and I noticed a big improvement on how my day started and progressed compared to when I neglected to do my routine.

What happens now on days I don’t follow my routine? I feel lost, the whole day feels helter skelter. Interruptions large and small can bring the rest of my day to a stand still, and I have a hard time figuring how to restart it.

My morning routine now looks like this:

Rise and Shine! Feed baby J.
Get baby dressed and happily occupied or put her back to sleep.
Make Bed.
Brush Teeth, do my hair, and put on makeup (sometimes)
Wipe bathroom counter and quickly hand mop around the toilette
Spray the tub
Make some tea or coffee
Read Bible and devotions…

I try to get my routine done before my girls wake up, but since baby J is not sleeping through the night yet. I like to grab all the sleep I can and usually wake up right as they start to stir.

It’s not a very long list, and I don’t always do everything on my routine list. But just doing some of these helps me to be ready to face the day ahead.

If you don’t have a routine, I highly recommend you start one. Just pick one thing that you can do to help your day go smoother, and develop it into a beneficial habit. And keep developing good habits one at a time, and I’m sure that soon you will start to see your days run smoother too..


Karen Couturier said...

Awesome blog Angela. In others eyes I SEEM organized but so much of myl ife depend son lists! Im a a total list person, and I use to never htink i procrastinated but boy have my eyes opened! I DO!!! LOL! Especially now that i have 3 kids andnone of them can help much with chores jsut yet.. by the time they can they probably wont want to and I will have to make them! LOL!
Anyway just wanted to encourage you and say what an aweosme job you are doing! What an accomplishement!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have a great routine set up for yourself! I am like you and it is a REQUIREMENT that I live my life by lists. I am glad that you have been able to fall into a well-set motion for yourself!