Stop spinning your wheels and get your home in order with these four simple steps.
Ever wonder how long it would take to get your home in order?
A few years ago, I joked that if I sent my kids away for an entire summer, maybe I’d finally be able to get my home in order.
As a homeschooling mom, I’m used to having my children with me almost 24/7. And because of that, I rarely get uninterrupted time to clean and organize our home.
They never did go away for a summer — and I’m glad they didn’t, because I would’ve missed out on so many memories and so much fun.
But this past year I finally got the chance to see how long it takes to get my housekeeping under control, even with my kids around. I know firsthand the time and energy it takes to get work done around my house and finally get my home in order.
You see, even with a regular cleaning schedule that’s effective during busy seasons, it can still seem impossible to fit in bigger organizational projects in a normal day. And that definitely was my reality for several years.
Due to commitments away from our home and running kids to and from activities, I never stayed home long enough to actually tend to bigger jobs. Throw a move into the mix, and unpacking and settling in seemed virtually impossible.
My to-do list and the mess in certain areas of my home kept piling higher and higher.
The big change
Like it or not, 2020 brought an unimaginable interruption into everyday life. All busyness ceased.
Suddenly, I spent all my time at home, and had virtually no reasonable excuses for not getting work done around my house.
So I dug in.
Slowly but surely I started working through home projects I meant to do but kept putting off. Moving boxes finally got unpacked. Rooms were decluttered and organized. Furniture and walls were repainted. Spaces were decorated.
Unlike what I always imagined, the work didn’t get finished quickly. Some projects took a really long time. What I thought could be finished in a week or a month stretched out much longer.
But, throughout seven months, I made a lot of headway.
The unbelievable thing is that my husband and I still have months of work to go. While we thought we could get completely settled into our home by summer of 2020, we’re shooting for summer of 2021 now. Strangely, I’m not discouraged, because I know the work will get done if we keep our focus and effort.
Feel like you’re in the same boat?
While all the work around my home dragging along, I can’t help but stop and think about you.
- Are you in a similar situation, where you have a growing list of home projects you’d like to attempt but have no idea when you’ll ever find the time?
- Do you want to do so much around your home but just haven’t gotten around to it yet?
- Do you have that one space (big or small) that you just know you need to step into and start purging and organizing, but just can’t bring yourself to start?
If so, I’d love to share four effective tips that have proved to be really helpful to me.
4 Steps to Getting Your Home in Order
Start with a plan.
Knowing you need to do certain jobs around your home is one thing. Getting all of those thoughts and intentions out of your brain and onto paper is another thing.
Take five to ten minutes to do a brain dump, where you simply write every task down in no particular order.
Once you’ve gotten everything out on paper, the next step is to assess what’s urgent. Where do you need to start right away?
As you rank your tasks in order of importance, also try to divide your list into room-specific jobs. What room desperately needs your attention first? What should logically come next?
After you prioritize and strategize your list, write it down. While you’d ideally think of times to work on these jobs, just having a list of what to work on next can be really helpful.
You can take a deep breath, because now you have direction.
It might seem impossible to “make” time. After all, we all get the same 24 hours each and every day.
But there’s no way you’ll ever get to all of your home projects until you make time to do them. Running errands won’t help. Sticking with a busy schedule when you’re always on the go isn’t the solution, either. What you need is to carve out time to work on your housework.
Devote certain times of the day or certain days of the week to focusing on your projects. Only after you make the time and treat your home work as an appointment will you start to notice a big change.
For example, pre-pandemic, Saturdays always used to be a busy day of running errands or getting together with friends for my family. But since this spring, my husband and I devote our Saturdays to getting work done around the house. When the weather is nice, we’re outside working on projects. And when the weather’s not so great, we focus on inside work. We take just one day a week for concentrated work, and it’s made a huge difference.
Once you know what you need to do and set aside time to get the work done, get working.
Even if you have an undesirable task, it can feel a lot easier to simply know you’re going to spend a certain amount of time working to get as much done as possible. Since you’ve made your list of priority jobs for each space in your home, now’s your chance to simply work through that list.
Focus on the job at the top of your list until you’ve finished it. Then, move on to the next priority.
By keeping that focus and approach, continue to work through your list chore by chore, project by project, until your to-dos turn into to-dones.
Once you’ve completed a project you’ve been dreading — or have finished all of your work for a particular room — don’t forget to celebrate! Take some time to appreciate your hard work and the finished product. Take some time off to do something you love. Don’t focus on the next project you need to do until your next available time to work. Simply enjoy your feeling of accomplishment!
And that’s it! But simply starting with a plan, making time, actually doing the work, and celebrating your accomplishment, you’ll be able to get work done around your home.
Even if it will take you longer than you’d prefer to get everything done, be thankful you’re making a dent.
Much like a snowball, it might feel like your progress is unimpressive at the beginning. But as you keep rolling through all your work, you’ll make noticeable progress before you know it.
Along with that progress will come a healthy dose of satisfaction as you realize you’re finally finishing the work you’ve always wanted to start.
Wondering how to clean your home — and keep it clean? Your home can change from a mess to success. You just need to know what to do and follow through with a cleaning strategy that works for YOU. Hilary Bernstein’s eBook, From Mess to Success, will help you take control of your housekeeping … by knowing what to do, how to start, and how to keep working on your very own cleaning strategy for your very own home.
What are some projects that need your attention? What helps you get your home in order?
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