Everything has a place. Everything in its place.

One of my goals for this year is a mantra to live by: Everything has a place. Everything in its place. Honestly, at times it seems easier said than done, especially with kids. I feel like I’m a pretty clean person. But, when you have kids and life is busy, it’s easy to get behind on stuff or think you don’t have time to put something away.

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she talks about how if something take a minute or less (or maybe it’s 30 seconds, I don’t remember the specifics… just a short amount of time), then instead of waiting, just do it. Finish your dinner? Rinse the plate and immediately put it in the dishwasher. Change into pajamas? Stick your dirty clothes in the hamper and hang up the clean ones. Little actions that just build up to save you time. Another favorite book of mine about productivity is called The Compound Effect. And that’s what it’s all about. Small actions that build up to really save you big time in the end. If you haven’t read either of those books, stop reading this blog and go read them!

So, I started with cleaning out the majority of my closets in the house. I got rid of a lot, threw away tons, and it felt great. Then I’ve just tried to stay on top of everything each day. I have a Weekly calendar sheet that I just write my daily goals down each day and then cross things off as I go. It’s seriously been a game changer for me this year. A few things I’ve realized by staying on top of organization and cleanliness:

  1. Do a little bit of a laundry each or every other day instead of waiting to do a huge amount once a week. It doesn’t take as long to fold and put away and it doesn’t seem overwhelming anymore.
    • If you are going to start laundry, only do it if you know you will have the time to fold and put it away immediately. No more piles of clothes waiting to be put away!
  2. As soon as you get out of bed, make your bed! I’ve always done this, but have started making sure Eva does hers now. When possible, get (somewhat) ready for the day.
    • I’ve noticed I’m so much more productive in the morning if I’ve at least put in my contacts, fixed my hair (even if it’s just a pony tail), brushed my teeth and gotten out of my pajamas (even if it’s into leggings).
  3. If the dish washer needs to be emptied in the morning, do it ASAP. That way the dishes don’t pile up in the sink and you can just put the dirty ones away throughout the day.
  4. I read this article last month saying it’s good to follow the RULE OF FIVE. Every hour, pick up five things. So, if your kids are playing, pick up as you go. Also, every hour, clean for five minutes. In five minutes, you can sweep, mop, vacuum, clean one vanity, clean a toilet. Just one little chore. It doesn’t seem like much, but by the end of the day, you’ve cleaned for one hour!
  5. Keep your counters clear. Holy cow. Even if my house isn’t clean, it definitely feels so much better if my bathroom and kitchen counters are clear. I don’t feel as stressed through the day seeing the clutter!
  6. Set the mood for a clean house. Open the blinds, let in natural light, open the windows when possible. Turn on your scentsy/light a candle. When the house looks fresh, it makes it feel even better.

It really has affected my mood this month keeping the house picked up and clean. It’s still a work in progress and I definitely have off days from time to time. But it made January not seem so dreary. And here’s why: There is a real link between clutter and depression. Read about it here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts on this. Please share any tips or ideas you have, because I’d love to hear about them!

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