There is a pretty big chance that if you are reading this and you are part of the OMHG community, that you are a creative soul. Colours, shapes, patterns and designs rule your world and it is also quite possible that all that creative goodness overflows into your home but it manifests itself as clutter and chaos.
Living and working in a chaotic rather than creative environment can have some serious effects:
- You waste time looking for misplaced items
- You get stressed when you can find that all important piece of paper
- The constant battle of trying to keep it tidy wears you down
- You feel embarrassed if friends drop by for a coffee
- It causes bickering and fighting between family members
- And of course, we can’t forget the enormous dollop of mama guilt for not being able to keep on top of it all.
Being a naturally messy person and crazily creative, I know it’s really friggin’ difficult to keep everything organized especially when you add family members into the mix, keeping on top of my own stuff is bad enough! That said, I have figured it out, I no longer ignore the doorbell when a friend pops round or beat myself up for not doing better. It took time but it is doable and here are my top tips…
1. Find a home for everything, and I mean everything.
It is those random objects that float from room to room that cause the problems, if everything has a home it is easy to put it away and easy to find next time you need it. And the added bonus – once everything has a home and all the family knows where the home is, it is so much easier for them to help you to keep the place tidy. Win-Win.
2. Pinpoint The Clutter Magnets
Everyone I know has a couple of spots in their home that attracts clutter, it might be the dining table or a counter top. Take a good luck at what it is that ends up there then brainstorm some ways of stopping it. If it is bills and paperwork that is the problem, set up a inbox and outbox. If it is the kids toys, why do they end up there and not the toy box? Instead of repeating the same pattern of just clearing things away, look at where the actual problem lies and find a way to fix it.
3. Baby Steps, baby!
It is so easy to go all gung-ho and attempt to de-clutter the whole house in half a day but so easy to run out of steam halfway through the first room. Instead set yourself a small task each day, clean out a drawer or tackle a bookcase. It is much easier and more doable if we break the process down.
4. Lead By Example
Kids are often not the tidiest of creatures and they are ones that look to their parents for examples of how to behave, we can hardly expect them to keep their things tidy if the adults in the home don’t set a good example. Use it as a little reminder to yourself when you feel your inner slob ready to rear it’s ugly head.
5. Use the 2 minute rule
If you can see a job that needs doing, ask yourself “Will it take more than 2 minutes” If it is a no, do it, there and then. Job done, pat yourself on the back. If the answer is yes then set it aside to do when you have more time. Once you get in the habit of doing the 2 minute jobs immediately you will notice a huge difference in the amount of work that needs to be done!
What are your top tips for crushing the chaos of every day life so you can focus on creativity?
Meet Jo of My Organized Chaos
Jo Ebisujima is the best selling author of Montessori Inspired Activities For Pre-schoolers. She is the founder of My Organized Chaos where she helps busy mamas organize their home, kids and mind so they have time for the fun stuff.