Home Organization for Moms
An Introduction to the “M.O.M. = Master Organizers of Mayhem” Series
*As part of the celebration of the upcoming release of my new book, M.O.M.=Master Organizers of Mayhem: Simple Solutions to Organize Chaos and Bring More Joy to Your Home, I've updated this original series. Hope you enjoy it. Think of it as a little sneak peek at what's to come.
Staying on top of the daily mess and chaos that ensues in a home with kids in it is a lot of work. Exhausting work! Just when you think you have the house all organized, cleaned, and looking good…the kids wake up and make it their day's mission to undo all your hard work. Okay, so there's probably no real malicious intent in their minds. But it can feel like it at times as they pull things out everywhere. Keeping your home organized can feel like a battle.
Before we plunge into my “Top 10” list for getting your home organized, I need to start with a little disclaimer:
I have not always been organized. Being organized did not come naturally to me.
I'm actually a messy person by nature. Let's just say that I've had to break a lot of bad habits to get organized. It's been a learning process for me, especially as we've added more kids to our family and I've had to tweak things we're doing to fit with the new demands that put on our family.
To this day, I struggle with keeping my house in order. When life gets busy, it's easy to let little things go. The problem is we have seven people in our home. And if everyone starts letting things go here and there, by the end of the day (or week) the house looks like a natural disaster area.
I do feel like I've developed an excitement about getting organized. Now, I get a little giddy when I put labels on bins or binders. And you don't want me to get started on how happy my pantry makes me when it's in order. (I refer to it as my happy place.) I love the feeling of having a space clean and organized.
So, how did I get from struggling with my innate desire to be complacent and messy to being organized and efficient in my home?
How I Learned to be More Efficient in My Home
Honestly, it took a little time because I had to do a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked best for our family. As I learned new habits and tried new techniques, I began to see real changes in the dynamics of my home. I was able to get more done and pull my house together faster even when we did let the mess stack up too long. People in my life took notice.
When my oldest two boys were little, I was asked to speak about home organization at our church's MOPS group (Mother Of Preschoolers). That workbook ended up being a two-part series because I found I had so much to share. Preparing for these workshops helped me to think through what I was doing right and what I I knew I could be doing more of to bring more order into my home–and my “Top Ten” rules for getting and staying organized was born.
I kind of laugh now when I think about those talks. In a way, I feel like I didn’t have a clue what was in store for me in a few short years (like having three more kids). However, when I look over the “Top Ten” list I created so long ago, the principles still stand true. It’s just my life is now full of more potential for messes (and more opportunities to practice my systems).
Making Home Organization Fun
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you look around your house and see all the neverending to-dos facing you. The piles, chaos, and mess can be daunting. What I discovered was that I was able to get myself excited about getting to work on getting organized when I made it a game.
To me, getting organized is like working on a puzzle. It’s a challenge…and I love a good challenge. Typically, I tackle the edges first. Then I move on to the guts of the puzzle. After lots of hard work trying different pieces in every possible combination, I have a finished product that I'm proud to show off. Organizing your home is not so different.
First, I lay down the “edges” which are the rules that I'll be sharing in this series. Then I set to work on trying different systems out until I can finally find what works best for our family.
The difference between puzzles and getting organized is that there are different combinations for different people. Not everyone will end up with the same finished product. Organized, yes! But since not everyone has the same family dynamic going on, there will be some differences.What helps one person find success above the mayhem, may not work for someone else.
The key is to discover what works for you!
This is where my “Glean & Tweak” technique comes into play. I’ll talk about this more in-depth in the next chapter. What you need to know now is that there is not always a cookie cutter answer for everyone when it comes to organizing. My brain may be wired differently than yours. So, what works for me, may not work for you. But you can start with the “edges”–my “Top Ten” rules–and then create your own masterpiece.
Oh, I guess one more big difference in my puzzle analogy is that when you have kids, the “puzzle” doesn’t stay put together for very long…and some pieces may go missing. You will probably have to reconstruct it again the next day…and possibly the day after that.
I can't wait for you to dig in and learn more about my Top Ten rules for becoming a
Master Organizer of Mayhem!
Next Up: Home Organization for Moms–Rule #1: The “Glean & Tweak” Technique
Blessings & joy,