Life can sure be busy. The start of the school year in particular can be extra chaotic. To help you better manage the speed of life so you don't become too overwhelmed here are seven steps you can take to keep on top of all that life throws at you.
1. Start in the worst place first
The best place to begin is in a spot that your changes will be the most noticeable. Starting in a room (or corner of a room) with a lot of clutter is the best way to make the biggest dent and inspire you to keep decluttering. Seeing quick results is one of the best motivators for propelling yourself forward.
2. Categorize your clutter
The key to keeping your clutter at bay is to deal with it before gets the best of you.
Categorize your clutter into four categories - toss, recycle, donate, and keep.
Get rid of anything you've never used or are unlikey to use. That said, if it could be useful to you in a another way, re-purpose it. For example, a tower bookcase no longer needed in your home office could be used as a storage unit (placed on it's side) on the floor of a child's closet. Just purchase some colorful cube bins with handles.
The key here is to only keep things you need, use regularly and brings joy to your life.
3. Implement a 'one in, two out' rule
In order to stay on top of your clutter you have to stop bringing items in without removing some. In other words, stop buying stuff you don't need. For every new item you bring into your home, get rid of at least two things no longer necessary in your life. It takes discipline, but you can do it :)!
4. Give everything a home.
Having a place for everything is the first step to getting in the habit of putting things away on a daily basis. It is amazing how much more ordered your home will be when you have a 'home' for everything and regularly take the time to put things away.
Encourage children to put away their toys, books and clothes by turning cleaning up into a game e.g. race against the song or the clock (put on some fast-paced music or set a timer).
5. Form daily maintenance habits
The best way to stay on top of both your home and your schedule is to mark events and appointments on your calendar right away and commit to doing a few small tasks every day to keep your home both clean and organized.
One good idea just to set aside 5 to 15 minutes at the end of each day to take care of any last minute tasks and to plan for the day ahead.
6. Create routines that work
Wish your day-to-day home life ran smoother? It CAN. The key is to implement regular routines like making it a rule that all school and work lunches are made before bed or that the youngest kids shower before bed on school nights.
7. Streamline your schedule and eliminate unnecessary activities
Where possible, try to consolidate tasks and errands during the same timeframe or split tasks with your significant other so you can both be more efficient.
Furthermore, give some thought to eliminating activities from you personal, couple and family schedules that aren't enhancing your life. Life is too short to be doing things you don't really enjoy.