Are you living in what Marla Scilly, aka The Fly Lady, calls CHAOS? (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). Well then, join the club there are thousands, perhaps even millions of us!

I have struggled with organization in almost every area of my life for, well, my entire life. By starting this blog I hope to encourage others that they too can get and stay organized!

While it will probably embarrass my children for me to air the dirty laundry here, in full color photos, if it helps just one person along their own journey to getting organized and staying that way, it will have been worth it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today lets think about routines. If every morning you do the same things, in the same order, that is a routine. It has probably become a habit, and a habit is something you do automatically, without thinking about it. Now the question is, do you have good habits or bad habits? Stop and think about what you do in the morning when you first get up and again, what do you do in the evening before you go to bed?

Think also about the end result. Do you arrive on time for your job or appointments, feeling fresh and ready to go? Do you have everything you need for the day? Or are you tired & crabby because you didn't get enough sleep, out of sorts because you didn't have enough time to stop for coffee and you were still late for work?

By making some gradual, incremental changes to what you do in the evening and what you do in the morning, you can make some big changes in your end results. For instance, what is it, in the morning, that makes you feel less than in charge of your life? Think about what you can do the night before that will ease up that morning stress.

Marla Cilly, the Flay Lady calls this the 'before bedtime' routine. But don't wait until bedtime! You can start in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on your life schedule, to do these things that will help make your mornings go a lot faster and easier, with less frustration.

  • Check your appointment book or calender and gather up everything you will need for tomorrow.
  • Decide what you are going to wear and lay out your clothes, from the skin out, top to bottom, including jewelry and accessories. That way in the morning you just get dressed, you don't have to think about it, you don't have to make a decision, you've already done that.
  • Set up your coffee, tea, breakfast. Do any little thing you can tonight, so you won't have to do it in the morning.
  • Fix your lunch and refill your water bottle.
  • If you have kids, help them do all of the same things. Make sure their permission slips and homework is in their back pack and it's handy to the exit door. 
  • Shower at night. By taking a shower (or better yet a nice relaxing bubble bath!) at night, before you go to bed, you will probably sleep better, being more relaxed. You'll save time in the morning because you won't have to do it then. 
  • Go to bed at a decent hour. We really do have more energy and feel better when we go to bed in time to get a full 8 hours of sleep. Even if you can't fall asleep right away, just laying there, deep breathing and relaxing and trying to clear you mind, you are at least resting your body. And you will probably fall asleep before you know it.
In the morning hop up as soon as the alarm goes off and get dressed. Make  your bed. Eat your breakfast, get your lunch and water bottle out of the refrigerator and put them with the rest of the stuff you need for the day. Assist the rest of the family as needed and get out the door with minutes to spare. Now I know that real life happens and sometimes everything does not go as planned, but I am quite positive that if you will follow these steps then your mornings will get off to a great start at least 99% of the time.

In the morning, especially if you work away from home, you will probably want to do minimal extra things, but there are a couple of important ones to squeeze in. Make you bed. You will be so happy you did when you come home in the afternoon. A made bed just makes the whole room look nicer. And if you are careful getting out of bed, then making it up is just a matter of twitching the sheets and blankets back up and smoothing them out.

At least rinse your breakfast dishes off, so the food doesn't have time to get dried out and caked on. If you have a dishwasher, which you probably ran last night after dinner, take a couple minutes and put away the clean dishes. That way you can put the breakfast dishes right into it. No more coming home from work to piles of dirty dishes in the sink. I really hate getting up in the morning or coming home in the afternoon to a pile of dirty dishes. It's just a depressing sight. It's like I already have 2 strikes against me. Whereas if things are clean and tidy, it's like starting with a clean slate.

bathroom shelves before
Today's decluttering session focused on finishing up on the bathroom floor. One more coat of paint and when it dried I put the shelves back in. I wiped every thing else down and then cleaned up the shelves.

Starting at the top I cleared one shelf at a time, wiped it down and put back just the things I wanted to live there.

It hasn't been that long since I did this (a couple of months) so there wasn't too much dirt & crud built up, and I only found a couple of bits of trash. so this was mostly about rearranging and reorganizing.

bathroom shelves after
In fact, since I'd gone through and dumped most of the clutter and stuff recently, it actually took less than 15 minutes to make it look this tidy.

So we will hopefully be able to get back to our regular decluttering work very soon!

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