When I first became a stay-at-home mom, my expectations of being the perfect mother and homemaker came crashing down rather quickly. Having small children at home all day long meant that the house was constantly being destroyed by piles of toys and crumbs everywhere — despite my constant cleaning. I felt like I was busy all day long, but by the end of the day, the house was usually still a mess and I was weary and overwhelmed.
Fast-forward six years later, and though I am still a SAHM, my house is now in a perpetual state of clean — even with a toddler at home full time. I also work from home part time, and I am able to create a nice little income that will enable me to continue to stay home, even after my youngest child is in school full time next year.
So what has changed? Obviously, after three kids and six years of staying home full time, I have had a lot of practice. The real change came when I finally took the time to get my home organized.
Before organization, I was in a perpetual state of hunting for things. Keys, umbrellas, kids' shoes and just about everything else was constantly going missing. I remember that quiet rage I often felt — that horrible feeling when you can't find something you need and the stress that it causes the entire family.
I would literally pull everything out of closets, searching for that missing thing — sometimes swearing someone must have taken it. I seriously thought that maybe, just maybe, someone had broken into my home and stolen the diaper bag — just the diaper bag — after I had looked for it for hours in vain. How could it just have disappeared? The only logical explanation is that it was stolen.
I always eventually found the stuff I lost, always shoved under a bed or in a bin in the back of a closet. I was a hider and nothing had a proper "home," which meant it always ended up in different places — and I rarely remembered where those were. It wasn't until I took the time to start creating "homes" for everything — homes that were really easy to access — that I saw the most amazing transformation take place.
I never lose anything anymore, because everything has a designated spot where it belongs. I still shove and hide stuff, but now I shove it into the bin that it belongs in, usually one that is clearly labeled. My whole family is able to keep up with the system too, meaning I never need to pick up toys myself anymore. It is easy for my three kids to do it themselves.
The extra time I save from not cleaning all the time and looking for things enabled me to start a home-based business! Want to guess what I do now? I am a professional organizer! Am I still a slob at heart? For sure! The difference is that now I have systems in place that allow me to be lazy and still have a clean and clutter-free home.
Organizing can seem daunting and you may be thinking, "I don't have time for that." The truth is, organization is an investment in your time. Yes, it will take some effort to get organized in the first place — but you are going to save so much time in the long run. That is more than worth it. Trust me, I have less stress, more time and more money than ever before — and I owe it all to some labeled bins and baskets.
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