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MomTalk.com November 17, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Renewing Our Spirit Through Clutter Control

Time. It is the one resource that there never seems to be enough of once we're moms. Looking back on each stage of my life, I realize how easy I had it, but just didn't know it. Whether is was living single, just married or having only one child, time seemed easier when I had less. While I would never want to pare down my family, I have thought about reducing the clutter in my life to renew my spirit this spring.

I have found that clutter takes the life out of me. It steals my time looking for a piece of paper or a bill I know needs to be paid, then I might be too frazzled or tired to complete the task once I have found what I am looking for. I decided it was time to take control of my clutter and in turn my life.

By Kris Aoki

Time. It is the one resource that there never seems to be enough of once we're moms. Looking back on each stage of my life, I realize how easy I had it, but just didn't know it. Whether is was living single, just married or having only one child, time seemed easier when I had less. While I would never want to pare down my family, I have thought about reducing the clutter in my life to renew my spirit this spring.

I have found that clutter takes the life out of me. It steals my time looking for a piece of paper or a bill I know needs to be paid, then I might be too frazzled or tired to complete the task once I have found what I am looking for. I decided it was time to take control of my clutter and in turn my life. So, I want to share some of the things that have helped me reduce the confusion in my house.

The first step I took was to decide where I wanted to start. Should it be in the kitchen, living room, the bedroom, the kids' rooms or my office? Are you getting a picture of how much paper I have floating around my house? I decided to start in the office since every once in a great while, one of my marketing clients stops by unannounced. Let me tell you, there is nothing more embarrassing than falling over my daughter's Lego pile while discussion a public relations strategy.

I had decided the where, now I needed the how. First I gave myself a time limit to work. Otherwise, the task felt overwhelming for me. As the popular saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." By settling on a time limit of 10 minutes each day, I started to sort everything that had migrated its way into my office. During the first day of my 10 minute clean up, I found boxes for the stuff, otherwise known as clutter. Well, it didn't take me all the 10 minutes just to find boxes, so I labeled the boxes. One for the kids' things, my husband's things, items that belonged in other rooms, and things that stayed in the office. The first day was done.

The second step was sorting everything by putting like things together in their designated boxes. This took two more 10 minutes sessions. Once everything was sorted, I made a place for the items that belonged in the office by creating file folders, drawer dividers, scanning important documents and most importantly, I used my paper shredder. There was a place for everything to go; now I needed to put it there and keep it there.

When everything was said and done, it took me four days to finish. I cheated on the last day and went longer than 10 minutes because I could see the light at the end of the tunnel or rather the top of my desk, file cabinets and my carpeting. It is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment and it gave me the burst of creativity I needed to finish my other projects.

I also did not finish this project on my own; I had a friend hold me accountable. That may seem like an extreme measure for some, but it gave me the motivation I needed to start the job. The hardest step for me was the beginning. Knowing I had to answer to my very close friend kept me motivated.

Whether we are organizing our family or ourselves, the best advice I have found is to tackle one area for a few minutes a day. You will be surprised how much clutter a person can get rid of by focusing 10 to 15 minutes a day. Now, let's get organizing!

Five Steps to Reducing Clutter

1. Set a Time Limit: Make it manageable. Start with just 10 minutes a day and set a designated time. Keep the appointment and you may find that you want to devote more time to the task.

2. Sort: I have heard from numerous sources that the first rule of organization is putting like things together. Once everything is separated, begin sorting your stuff.

3. Create space: Whether it is creating files, shelves in your closet or a basket to keep laundry in, make sure everything has a proper place.

4. Put It Away: Once you have a space, return the items when you are done. This is sometimes the most difficult piece because it is a daily process.

5. Have a Buddy: Choose a friend or even hire a professional organizer, but if you need help to get started, it is well worth the effort to find someone to confide in.

Kris Aoki is a mother of two and wants to share advice, ideas, as well as helpful suggestions with other moms. She is also a writer and editor. Mom Share appears courtesy of Lone Tree Magazine. Contact Kris at kris@KrisAoki.com



Categories: Advice, Ideas & Stories, MomShare,


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