Thursday, January 19, 2012

Third Thursday Thoughts: Getting Organized

Welcome to another edition of Third Thursday Thoughts, brought to you by the wonderful people at Hearts at Home! Every third Thursday of the month, we’ll be sharing our thoughts on the topic of the month. This month’s topic: What are your tips and hints for things that you do around the home that make life easier?

This is a really tough one for me because if you looked up the opposite of Martha Stewart, you’d probably see my name! So, you won’t be seeing me in any magazines or TV shows about getting your home more organized. However, here are a few things I try to do to make this domestically challenged mom’s life a little easier…

Pick up something every time you enter a room. I hate major cleaning events, so I find it easier if I do things in smaller increments. Whenever I enter a room, I check to see if there are a few things I can pick up and put away. Toys, mail, paperwork, books, clothes and more tend to accumulate. To keep from being buried under the clutter, I whittle away at it as I go along. In this way, I’m doing something productive but not feeling overwhelmed by the task.

Keep a to-do list. I’m even more stressed when I’m worried that I’ll forget to do something. Therefore, I keep a running list of things I need to do, like making phone calls, paying bills, taking the kids to sports practices, and more. Knowing that I don’t have to keep all of that information in my brain is a big stress-reliever!

Cut yourself some slack. My parents’ house is absolutely perfect. They put out fresh towels every day, iron their jeans, make sure their sheets are wrinkle-free and their floors are crumb-free. You’ll never find a smudge on their windows (except when my kids are visiting). I used to make myself miserable every time they came to visit by trying to get my house as close to their high standards as possible. I finally decided that it was okay not to be like them. Yes, I still do a little extra tidying when they’re coming, but I’ve crossed “perfection” off my list.

Learn to say “no.” I’ve learned to be more discriminating about the events I sign up for. I no longer feel that I have to volunteer for every single school event or attend every party I’m invited to. If my schedule’s looking full or I’m getting stressed-out, I let go of the guilt about turning things down and saving my sanity.

Communicate your needs. I’m fortunate because my husband is a great cook and a huge help around the house. We split the laundry (he washes; I put it away), running the kids around, and many other things. He’s very handy around the house, which definitely makes my life easier! If you feel as if you’re doing more than your fair share around the house, sit down with your hubby and have a calm heart-to-heart. See if you can work out a schedule that suits both of you. But if you expect him to help out, let him do it his way. Criticism is the easiest way to get him to stop helping! Praise his efforts and work on building a partnership together.

So, what about you? Do you have some great tips for getting more organized or making things easier around your house? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to visit the other blogs participating in Third Thursday Thoughts for inspiration! [Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to view the linky online.]

DISCLOSURE: All Hearts at Home bloggers will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a book. No financial compensation has been provided.


  1. Ack, 'learning to say no'!!! That's the hardest hting for me, but you're right that it's necessary. Also wonderful that you have such a great partner~ i'm blessed that way too, and tag-teaming it makes a huge difference! Thanks for hopping today!

  2. These are great for me! I especially like the one about picking one thing up when I enter a room. It sounds so much easier than just stepping over everything!

  3. I will try the picking one thing up. My goal this year is to teach myself and my family the habit of putting something away when I finish with it. I too am organizationally challenged so I can relate to you woes.

  4. Love your perspective.. thanks for setting me free today. I, too, am learning the power of that little word "no." Sometimes we need to pass on good things so we can focus on the best things. I'm glad life is a journey that allows u-turns!

  5. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Great tips, and a great reminder that sometimes we have to say no. However, this time I'm hoping you will say yes... I'd like to give you the Awesome Blog Content Award. You can read about it here...
    You probably have a billion awards already, but I love your blog and wanted to share. :)

  6. I also do your #1 tip. It is way easier to clean in small doses than to do everything at once! I also just try to get rid of as much as possible!


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