Get Organized and Live Life On Purpose.
This month I’m sharing the best tips and strategies that have helped me to get organized and to stay that way. Last week we talked about getting organized by making yourself a priority (You can read those posts here, here and here.).
This week I want to share some principles that I have found to be essential to living an organized life.
Principle #1: Eliminate, Eliminate, Eliminate!
As someone said,”You can’t organize clutter.” The best and easiest way to get organized is to cut the excess clutter by getting rid of those possessions, activities and time wasters that are overwhelming your life and weighing you down.
Holding on to STUFF has a serious draining effect on your life. I can tell you from personal experience. A year ago, we sold 90% of our possessions and moved from a six bedroom, three story house to a small three bedroom condo. It took us several months to get rid of everything, but it was so worth it.
I didn’t have any idea how bogged down and overwhelmed I was by trying to maintain all of the things in our house. Of course, I had a good reason for keeping each and every thing that I owned: we need those shelves of books for homeschool; I may need that extra crock pot for a dinner party; we could use those foam sheets for a craft; my Grandmother gave me that crocheted pillow. The list went on and on.
While each of those statements may hold some truth, the cumulative effect of hanging on to so many possessions kept me from really living life. Now that we are rid of all of that junk and have downsized to the tiny condo, I have a new rule: If I don’t LOVE it or use it regularly, it’s OUTTA HERE! The sense of peace and freedom that I have is amazing.
You probably won’t eliminate as much as we did, but if you would like to get rid of some of your STUFF, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do I NEED this? (not will I need it someday )
Do I LOVE this?
Do I WANT MY CHILDREN to have this later?
Can SOMEONE ELSE use this?
Many times our schedules (rather than our true priorities) rule our lives. We say yes to people and activities because we want to be seen as nice, we truly want to help or we think that the busyness is benefiting us. The problem with saying yes to so many things is that you only have so much time in a day. If you are spending most of that time on other people’s priorities rather than your own, maybe you need to reevaluate.
Please do not think that I am telling you to be selfish and never help anyone. Of course we should serve others, we just need to choose wisely where we spend our limited time and resources, and we need to make sure that we are taking care of our family’s needs first.
Our family has chosen to limit outside activities to one per season (not one per child). During swim season, two of my daughters participated on the same swim team with the same schedule. Right now two of my children play music for our church’s youth band. They have practice one day a week. Limiting our activities helps us to have more family time and helps me to maintain my sanity!
You may have different priorities than our family, but before saying yes to another commitment, ask yourself:
Will this BENEFIT my family long term?
Does this align with my PRIORITIES?
Will this commitment prevent me from taking care of my PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES?
Technology has made our lives easier in some ways, but much more complicated in others. There are so many options: hundreds of television shows and millions of websites.
Our family has made a bold move in this area: we have a television-free home. We have a physical television with a dvd player hooked up, but no reception (no television shows including news, sports, kids programming, etc.).
Keeping the t.v. programs out of our home has improved our relationships (we talk more to each other), our productivity (a bored kid is an inventive kid!) and our budget (no cable or satellite bill). When we want to relax we read, play a game or watch a dvd from the library.
We also had a computer free day this past week. Our family enjoyed a delicious home made breakfast, listened to some music while we did an art project together, had a winter picnic in a nearby park and watched a movie together at night. It was a peaceful and enjoyable day and I can tell you we will be doing it again.
Again, you may not make the same choices that we have, but if you would like to evaluate the role of technology in your life ask yourself these questions:
How much time do you spend on the internet?
How much time do you spend watching television?
Are you neglecting other priorities because of the time you spend on technology?
If any of this struck a nerve with you but you don’t know where to start, check out my post: Help! Where Do I Start?
Choose one area that is really overwhelming right now: your schedule and outside responsibilities, your internet use, or your closet. Work this week to remove the clutter in that area. You will feel better almost immediately.
If you would like to, leave a comment saying what you want to work on eliminating this week.
©2012 The Peaceful Mom-Please feel free to share this information as long as you link back and give credit to The Peaceful Mom.com. Please note that this post is not intended as professional advice, but simply the author’s personal opinion. You should seek professional advice if your circumstances require it.