Only Be As Organised As You Need to Be.


Are you a naturally organised person?

Me? No. Definitely not.

I have always been a last-minute-finisher kind of person. And it’s really only been since the kids were born that I’ve started to realise the benefits of being organised.

But there’s a danger lurking in that organisation.

An insidious, spontaneity-sucking, stress-inducing, shadowy devil.

And it’s name – The Joy Vampire.  (And here ends that particular metaphor.)

If you over-do the organising, if you schedule the bejeesus out of your days, weeks, months, school terms, you risk losing one of the biggest joys in life – spontaneity.

The feeling that grabs you on a Sunday morning, saying, “Let’s blow off the chores and go to the beach“.
The feeling that leads you and your daughter to fling paint with wild abandon.
The feeling that says its not only OK, but encouraged, for you to call your friend and organise a coffee/chocolate morning tea in say, oh, ten minutes time.

So my tip (as passed on to me by one of my sisters):

Only be as organised as you need to be.

For you, that may mean a to-do list, a daily routine and a weekend each month strictly for chores. Or it may mean knowing what’s for dinner by 5:00PM each afternoon. It looks different to everyone, and there’s no point in comparing.

For me, it means:

  • a list (in my head) of things I LIKE to get done in the mornings. But if these things don’t happen, I’m learning to accept it and not let it spoil my day.
  • a general list of tasks to do each day (EG Monday is change linen, sweep and vacuum floors, laundry)
  • trying to avoid having housework to do on the weekends, so that those days are ours as a family
  • most importantly though, it means understanding that its no tragedy if these things don’t always happen. Do it when you can, so that when you can’t, the house won’t fall into complete disarray.

It sounds like a simple thing to do, doesn’t it? And the tricky part is that what this looks like will change, depending on where you are in your life.

If you have little kids, it may be helpful for you to be more organised than someone with older children, or someone who lives alone, or with a partner or housemate. Regardless, it only has to work for you and your family, so what this looks like to anyone else should barely matter.

That being said, I’m quite nosy and would love to know if you have a system that keeps you on track of your home organisation? Or do you wing it and do what needs doing at the time? Or are you quite strict with your schedule? A mix of all three?

Share your sage advice, folks. I’m always picking up juicy tidbits of wisdom from you!

 

4 Responses to Only Be As Organised As You Need to Be.

  1. Hi Brooke!
    I really like the idea of being only as organized as we need to be. We’ve got some things we do pretty regularly. We wrote about them here: http://www.thissortaoldlife.com/2011/11/04/our-top-10-tips-so-far-for-keeping-our-house-a-home/

    In general, small and steady wins the race for us. Little things, every day(ish). That way, if you need to blow things off for a day, it’s not a big deal. Because some days, you really do need to blow things off!

    • Absolutely! I’m allll for blowing things off when you need to. There’s no point in having a perfectly tidy home, with everything in place, if everybody living there is too tightly wound to enjoy it.

      (At least, that’s what I’m teaching myself!) :)

    • And PS: Your “keep the problem small” suggestion is such a good one. I’d never phrased it like that before, and I really like how succinct it is. Plus, it puts the responsibility on your shoulders, which means you have a direct say in how things go down. Very cool.

  2. Love it this made me smile! I read Nicole’s planning with kids blog and feel completely inadequate – I don’t even know how to do a spreadsheet !! I have always winged it, but three kids mean the more organised I am, the calmer everything is… I have only recently committed to trying to get kitchen cleaned up and dishwasher stacked before I go to bed – when the kids were really small I would leave it til the morning and go to bed with them, so sleep deprived was I. Yes slovenly I know, but by dinner time I would be knackered, so we would all have a bath together and put on pjs and go off to bed happy and relaxed… Even after a very interrupted night this way I would get enough sleep to bound out of bed at crack of dawn and get kitchen sorted… Now I try to do kitchen at night, can’t always get it done before kids’ bedtime so then I am cranky by after spending some time in a semi- dark room I have to drag myself downstairs to clean up… Then I sometimes get a second wind and do a whole lotta housework… Then I stay up too late and am wound up when I get into bed. Then I am tired the next morning. Repeat. Ah it’s a tough gig!!

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