I’ve just been to a kid’s birthday party where everything looked organised and tidy and my house doesn’t at the moment! In addition to that I have had a couple of comments made to me today which have niggled me slightly so I thought I would share my thoughts with you:
1. Why don’t you get the girls to put things away after them?
2. I wouldn’t have thought your house gets messy if you are not in the house all day.
1. Let’s take the first one. I thought I did get the girls to put things away after them! However, when I looked closer around the house today I realised that there are so many things that are in the wrong rooms to start with and even when they are in the right rooms they are out of place. I basically get them to clear up when I either get time and we’re not rushing out the door somewhere (most days!).
After arriving home from the party this afternoon, I started frantically picking things up around the house and taking them to appropriate rooms and putting all the clean washing away. All them time I was thinking ‘when I get organised, I will get the girls to put their things away, and started making excuses that there is nowhere for them to put there stuff.
My tip 1: Leave time at the end of every activity that your child does for putting things away. Get them used to putting things in their proper places. Put things at eye level for them and clearly labelled so that they know where things go. Also keep reminding yourself that other people’s houses get messy too – you just don’t see it.
2. Now for the second one. When I leave the house in a hurry in the morning where nothing has been put away and then come home just before putting the kids to bed, adding another layer of clutter in the process, when is there the time to keep the house tidy?. Evenings and weekends are usually filled with ‘conveyor belt’ type stuff like washing, putting away, getting clothes and bags ready for next day, cleaning, kitchen duties, kids parties, entertaining the kids etc etc etc., leaving me feeling exhausted.
My tip 2: Don’t worry that other people’s houses are tidy – they may have more time than you, or have spent all night tidying up before you arrived. Remind yourself what you achieve in one week and that you are organised, it just may not be noticeable. If you really want to work out what is causing the clutter and how things get left laying around, witness everyone (including yourself) for a couple of days and see what sort of clutter trails you can nip in the bud and create diversions for. Don’t give yourself a hard time about the place being a mess; just work on a small bit every day. Go and tidy a small space, say one drawer or the clutter on the side in the kitchen now! That will make you feel slightly better and may spur you on to tidy a bigger space.
Until next time….