October 22, 2012

Joyful Mom Monday - Organize! Organize! Organize!

Counting God's Little Blessings

For today's Joyful Mom Monday, I am going to carefully approach the topic of organization!  I say carefully because if you know me, you know organization is NOT one of my strong points.  However, having 4 children in 4 1/2 years definitely got my attention in the organization department! :)  I can honestly say that the most "non-spiritual" (cannot think of another word) change that has helped me become a more joyful mom has been to become more organized.  I have found that the more organized I become, the more I enjoy being organized.  (I'm saying that because I know what all you unorganized people are thinking right now...organization ties you down and binds you to the rules!)  

Yes, organization does tie you down a little more, but I have found that being more organized allows me to have time for the things I enjoy.  For me, it has allowed me to keep my house in fairly decent order so that I do not feel guilty when I sit down and play or read with my kiddos.  So, how can you become more organized?  This, is where I'm really hoping some of you will link up because I am still learning myself, and I am definitely not a pro.  

There are a few things I've learned...some a little late, but hey...better late than never!

1.  Make a chore list.  There have been a variety of methods I have used to clean my house, and all of them have worked, but they don't all work all the time.  When my kiddos were all small, I found it necessary to do one chore a day.  I just never found a huge chunk of time laying around so that I could clean the entire house at once.  Now that they are older, and we spend most of our day homeschooling, I find it necessary to clean my house on Saturday. The point is...figure out what works for you...and then (here's the tricky part!) do it!  Make a list of daily chores (quick wipe down of bathrooms, 1 load of laundry, quick vacuum, etc.) and set aside a specific time to do them each day.  Make a list of weekly chores (mop, vacuum, deep clean bathrooms, dust, etc.) and schedule in when you want to accomplish these. 

2.  Use your children!  Yes, my children sometimes accuse me of using them as a slave! ;)  It is true, though, that children who have a regular part in house work feel more a part of the family...not to mention, they are learning valuable life lessons such as how to clean the toilet! :)  From the time my kiddos are 2 years old, they have regular chores to do.  We are approaching a new season in our family.  As my kiddos have "aged," they have begun to use the "that's not on my chore chart" excuse.  To help get rid of that, we have abandoned chore charts, and they must help for 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon doing anything that may be asked of them.  They are also responsible for their rooms and bathroom in the morning and before bed. I have found we have accomplished much more and have had much better attitudes because everyone is working together as a team.

3.  Make small goals.  When I first began trying to organize my home, it was a struggle.  Let me say, my house was never nasty dirty, but we do live in quite a small little space, and it had just become cluttered with both necessary and unnecessary things.  I have had to become creative in where and how to store things so that they are both accessible and "beautiful."  Start small - one room at a time, one closet at a time, one drawer at a time.  I also would dangle a reward in front of myself if I had a particularly daunting task ahead.  For instance, my kiddos' bedrooms took close to two months to completely reorganize and rearrange.  It was SLOW work!  I looked online and found a set of toy bins that were reasonably priced and looked like the perfect organizer for the kids' small toys. I asked the Mr. for permission to order this IF I first organized the rooms and prepared them for this neat set of bins.  He gave me permission, and I couldn't wait to get everything finished so that I could order my bins!  It was a mental thing, I know, but it worked!

4.  Enjoy the results.  I would find myself laying in the middle of the bedroom floor staring dreamily at the closet I had just reorganized.  Okay...maybe that was TMI!  Now, you KNOW I'm really weird!  This organizing thing is a ton of work, but the results are wonderful.  Even if you finish a drawer a week, take the time to enjoy the drawer.  Start with the place you use the most.  That way, you can enjoy your accomplishments more, and it will motivate you to tackle the next project. 

5.  Once you have organized something, stay on top of it.  Don't let it fall back into its old state of disarray!  It takes much less time to tidy things once a week than to reorganize it entirely once a year.  I keep a running list of the extra things in each room that I would like to get done such as wiping down baseboards, cleaning windows, straightening closets, etc.  At this point in my life, I try to do a few extra things in one room each week.  I have 5 little munchkins who are very good at UNorganizing things for me, and so I find that in order to stay on top of things to my liking, I need to focus on a few extra things each week.  I try not to let any one chore remain on the list for more than a month.   

These are a few things that have helped me.  I would LOVE to hear from you now!  Remember, you do not have to use the topic of organization to link up, but we would love to hear what makes you a joyful mom!  I have decided that this week is an organization week for me.  I am going to try to do a few things in one room each day!  We'll see how that goes....Happy Monday, everyone!  Praying that you are able to be all that God wants you to be this week!
The "rules" (because everyone else's blog has rules) are simple:
1.  Share anything that will encourage other moms to be joyful in their journey.  This can be a fun craft idea, a recipe to cook with your kiddos, a post from your heart, a Bible verse, a picture, a fun memory, a family night idea...anything that we moms can look at and say, "I should try that!" or "That's the way I want my kids to remember me!"
2.  Please link directly to your Monday URL post - not to your blog - so that we can look directly at your post in future days.
3. Please acknowledge the link to Joyful Mom Mondays in some way - either with the button or through a text link so that others can stop by and see all the ideas we have posted.
4.  Enjoy the journey with other moms.  Stop by the other blogs and leave a sweet note of encouragement.

This mothering thing is tough sometimes....way harder than I ever thought it would be, but it can be about so much more than merely surviving if we can draw encouragement from one another. 

1 comment:

  1. Good post! I don't think you're weird for enjoying the results of your work--I do that all the time! I even go back and look at it again periodically throughout the day! (That's probably weird!) :)