By Colleen Langenfeld
The house is a wreck, the laundry is in piles,
you haven't a clue what's for dinner, and you can't
find an unpaid bill.
You always feel behind and you're quickly losing the
energy or the muster to 'go faster'. If only you could
Are you feeling this way? If so, your answer lies not
in working harder, but more creatively. The regular
routine of life is quite demanding but has also been
tamed from many different angles. You don't need to
reinvent the wheel! There is a ton of assistance
available and most of it is free!
Step back and assess your situation. Don't assign blame!
Then, focusing on solutions...
- Start simply. Don't try to change everything at once.
It won't work. Instead, pick the item causing you the most
frustration and take five minutes to actually THINK about
why your current routine is not working. What one change
would produce a fast, tangible improvement? Begin there.
- Subscribe to one of the many helpful organizing online
newsletters. (Using your search engine, type in
'organizing tips'.) Vow to incorporate just one tip a week
you learn from these valuable resources.
- Identify the worst 'piles' in your home. Generally,
piles happen because we don't know what to do about the
objects within the pile! Decide what to do with each item
and the pile will disappear!
- Return piles to their rightful owners. Make people
responsible for their own clutter. When you stop acting
like a maid, you'll stop feeling like a maid. Don't nag.
Offer a reward system for everyone completing his or her
chores (including you). Keep it simple, like an ice cream
cone all around. Remember, nobody likes to work for free.
- Use schedules to liberate yourself. Do one load of
laundry a night. That includes folding it and putting it
away! Run out of laundry one night? Iron or sew on that
missing button. While watching tv on Sunday evening, plan
the coming week's menu. In fact...
- Meal-planning is just that: planning. Are you planning
your menu each week? Create a shopping list at the same time.
Consider how much time and energy you want to devote to
cooking and choose recipes accordingly.
- Teach! Everyone in this world who makes it to adulthood
will need to cook a little, clean a little, and master a
little self-care. If someone in your family finds those tasks
too 'beneath' themselves, allow them to experience real life
by removing your personal maid service. You'll be doing them
- When it comes to the dreaded paper clutter, it's easy to
feel overwhelmed. Keep in mind that generally there are only
a handful of categories that need to be addressed to whip an
out-of-shape paperwork system into shape. When you discover
that you only need five or six main categories (for example,
school, work, home, personal, and family. Yours may be
different.) with flexible subcategories for a home filing
system, the task to get clutter-free will not look so daunting.
- Find out what is driving your spouse nuts about your home
life. It may not be bothering you, but by relieving some of
his/her stress-ers as well as your own, everyone will feel
The bottom line? Stop looking for ways to run faster and
instead look for better solutions. They are readily available
and just waiting for you to take advantage of them and make
the mundane, manageable!
(c) Colleen Langenfeld delivers deals, tips and
creative resources to working moms who want
the most out of their homes, families and
careers at http://www.paintedgold.com .
up for our free newsletter and get an
online Creativity Toolkit as our gift to you!