The first month of 2019 is nearly complete. How has it gone for you? Have you been achieving everything you have desired thus far? Or perhaps you need some smaller, more manageable tasks that will help you remain on track for the rest of the year? You've come to the right place. This blog post isn't about making drastic changes, or anything that'll get you completely detoxing the entire home. It's about breaking down 'an organised lifestyle' into habits and daily routines that keep things manageable. Implement one (or many) into your routine just for a week or so at first and see if you like the results!
1. Begin your mornings with intention:
Right from the moment I wake up, I like to know that my day has direction, purpose and intention. When I start my days like this, I know that when the end of the day arrives, I am able to reflect upon what I’ve achieved and be content with it. It makes me more in tune with myself and prevents the guilt created by procrastination and avoidance of difficult tasks. To begin my day, I like to list the 3 most important tasks in my planner, journal or whatever notepad is closest to me. These 3 tasks are the milestones which through achieving them would mean that my day has been successful, productive and fulfilling. They are the top 3 items on my to-do list, and hold the most priority to me. This is a great way to give yourself direction when your never-ending to-do list becomes overwhelming, or if you have difficulty avoiding procrastination on important tasks.
2. Write an effective to-do list:
Once you’ve identified your top 3 priorities, you are able to design an effective to-do list that maintains momentum. Order your to-do list by prioritising the tasks that require your attention first. The tasks that follow are like extra-for-expert tasks which may become priorities in the future, however at this point in time are able to be shifted further down your list. People have been trying for years to cram more in to their days. And often it seems that no matter how hard they try, if they don’t tick off every task of their to-do list they prevent themselves from feeling fulfilled and content. Understand that to-do lists truly are a never ending cycle. You will die with a to-do list uncompleted - so it shouldn’t be something that you stress yourself about. Ensure that you are physically writing your to-do lists by hand. The process of physically writing (rather than typing) your tasks creates a strong connection between you and what you write. In school, they often tell us about how it’s scientifically proven that if we write out our study notes by hand, we will learn them more effectively. These days, typing becomes such an automatic, monotonous task that no longer engages the brain as physical hand-writing would. So go old-school with your to-do list and write it out, besides the feeling of physically ticking off items as you complete them literally sends a shot of dopamine (connected to feelings of pleasure, learning and motivation) to our brains feeling us to accomplish more!
3. Plan your day right!
I’ve read many opinions on how people like to design their days. Some like to accomplish the tasks they’ve been dreading first while others like to tick off ones they enjoy the most first. I always think of it like how people eat their meals. My dad and boyfriend demolish the vegetables on their plate first, always leaving the meat until last. “Gotta save the best til last,” they say. However your kids might always eat their favourite component of the meal first and try to whine their way out of finishing all their vegetables (much like I did). My mum and I are a little different, we have to have a component of every element on the plate in each bite. It means that you’re always eating something you enjoy while also masking the elements on the plate you don’t like as much. Whatever your method, understand it. Live by it. And most importantly, design your day accordingly. I’ve also been one for routines, this means that there is a process I go through every morning and every night (much like what you would take your children though) to get myself ready for bed or up in the morning. Considering how much time is put into the bedtime routines of our children, when did we lose the ability to dedicate the same energy to ourselves? Have consistent cleaning routines or processes that allow you to break down tasks you don’t like into daily habits which make them easier and more rewarding to accomplish. For example, every time you put the kids to bed, give yourself 10 minutes to pick up and clean the house before you are able to take a well deserved break.
4. Give Everything A Home!
During our recent family de-cluttering session, we became more aware of what we really used each area in the house for. We found ourselves constantly questioning, ‘what do I require in this area?’. Whether we like it or not, we subconsciously designate an item to an area. We can be lazy, but often it’s really just our brains looking for the path of least resistance. The difficult thing is when you live in a household of people who believe that one item should live there, while another believes that it should live somewhere else! That’s why tidying and decluttering should always be a family affair - firstly, it shouldn’t be all on one person to keep the house in order and secondly, only with the involvement of other people will future cleaning and organising become manageable. We were determined to remove all of the items from each room that we didn’t need there on a daily basis. Then, we went through and found homes for every single item. If an item has a home, then everyone is aware of where it lives. Meaning that it’s more likely for any member of the family to put it back where it belongs (because they know exactly where it is). This makes general tidying and cleaning so much easier, and less of an overwhelming task.
5. Get The Kids Involved!
I’ve been watching the new netflix series ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’ and honestly I love it. It’s become my new favourite meal prep tv show to have playing in the background, but also the tips I’ve been learning are amazing! If you aren’t familiar with Marie Kondo, she’s a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author for her book ’The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. The book is a short, but thorough guide to how to organise and tidy your home. She believes that you should only keep items which ‘spark joy’ in your life and her tv show is now visual proof of how this method truly works. As a mother herself, her young daughter has grown up seeing the joy that tidying up brings. She makes it an enjoyable task which her daughter now is thoroughly involved with! Marie Kondo has designed her own method of tidying called ‘The Konmari Method’ which also involves a specific way of folding that effectively enables you to fit more into your drawers. This activity of folding is now something that her and her daughter do together on a daily basis, so much so that she now enjoys it! I’m not saying that your 7 year old will love you more for asking them to sit down and fold washing with you. However I do believe that getting the kids involved with the cleaning and tidying process encourages good habits which they will reap the rewards from in the future when living on their own. Perhaps everyone has a few chores to do, or one child is in charge of one area of the house. Gift your children the opportunity to learn responsibility at a young age. Cleaning can be fun, so make it fun (for both your children and your own sake)!
At the end of the day, having an organised home isn't all down to one person in the household. Children don't understand the value or the responsibility they have for their own belongings or as a member of the household if they aren't entrusted or involved with the upkeep of things. One person doesn't make all the mess, so neither should one person have to clean it all up either. If organising is something you dread yet love the results of, then make it fun! Play music, get the kids involved, set rewards for yourself and the family. Make the experience enjoyable, so it's a practice you are able to maintain frequently throughout the year rather than just being a burst of motivation for the beginning of a new year.
I hope you enjoy these tips and find them easy enough to try and implement into your own routines.
From our home to yours,
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!