Organization Is NOT My End-All Goal…

posted by Andrea | 03/12/2018
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The main goal of my blog is to help anyone who reads it to simplify and better organize at least one small area of their home or life… however, I feel I should clarify that in my own personal life, organization is NOT my end-all goal.

I do not spend my days planning my next organizing project or wondering if everything is neat and tidy behind closed doors and drawers.

I do not skip parties or delay fun activities so I can stay home and clean.

I do not lay in bed at night wondering if everything is put back in the right places or if I’ve remembered everything I need for the next day.

My desire to be organized does not consume my time, energy, thoughts, or actions. It’s not the main goal in my life…

However, being organized allows me to pursue and achieve so many of my other goals… and THAT is why it’s so important to me!

Since my home is relatively neat and organized most of the time, since my schedule is quite simplified and routine-oriented, and since my life is fairly low stress, much of my time and energy are freed up to focus on other things like:

  • running my website and continuing my VA work
  • cooking and eating more nutritiously (something I’ve been slowly working on for many years now)
  • inviting people over for meals, play dates, “coffee”, etc.
  • volunteering for different activities at church and in Nora’s classroom (I’m finally feeling up to more volunteer work!)
  • planning fun activities for my kids
  • working on my digital photo albums (my only “crafty” hobby)
  • working with a physical therapist to heal some back pain and Diastasis recti
  • planning and executing various home improvement projects
  • spending lots of time outside, working in our garden (something I REALLY enjoy)

Everything I mentioned above is important to me — but none of it is necessary. 

No one is forcing me to run my own business, but it certainly gives me loads of satisfaction, and the income is nice too.

I could easily make mac and cheese for my children every day or get Culver’s multiple times a week and my family would think I was the best mom ever, but I feel it’s important to incorporate more nutritious choices — which takes time and energy on my part.

We don’t have to invite people over (it can be a lot of work) but it’s something our whole family enjoys doing, and I’d personally rather invite people over than go somewhere else.

No one requires me to volunteer at church, help with Nora’s class, plan fun activities for my children, or make digital photo books… but I want to.

Working with a therapist is definitely a luxury for me, but something I’m so happy I’m finally doing.

Home improvements and yard work are usually last on my list, but when I have the time, I really enjoy working to improve the state of my home and yard.

My Point?

I wouldn’t have time to do any of the things I listed above if my home was in constant disarray, if my schedule was jam-packed, if my life was very stressful, if I was constantly looking for things in my home or wondering what I needed to do next.

There is NO WAY I could keep up with everything I do to run my business, my blog, and my virtual assistant work unless I was very organized and on-top of my to-do list every single day.

There is NO WAY I’d have the energy to cook and bake nutritious food choices for my family unless I planned ahead, had the right foods in the house, prepared food ahead of time in my freezer, and had a relatively clean and organized kitchen to cook in.

There is NO WAY we’d be able to invite people over if our home was trashed all the time.

There is NO WAY I’d have any extra time or energy to volunteer at church, at Nora’s school, or do extra things with my children.

There is NO WAY I’d allow myself time for digital photo books or physical therapy appointments.

There is NO WAY we’d be able to do house projects if our house was trashed, if we had no extra time, and if I wasn’t working to provide extra income to fund these projects.

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I most definitely understand (and agree) that organization is not the most important thing in life. I also know that in my own life, the fact that I am organized and have simplified so many areas of my life means that I now have significantly more time, energy, and money to put towards things that ARE important to me.

I have more time for my family, my friends, my church, our school and community, my favorite hobbies, and even myself.

Also, I’m so much happier and less stressed!

I know there will still be people who read this and shake their heads, not believing that being organized and simplifying could make this much of a difference… but honestly, I guarantee it does.

I’ve seen it with my own eyes, in my own life and in the lives of ALL the people I’ve helped to get more organized.

I’ve also experienced it through so many of you who have emailed me stories (some even with pictures) about your own organizational journeys, and how much richer, fuller, and happier your entire life is, simply because you finally decided it was time to get more organized.

And sadly, I see the opposite effect all too often when friends, family, and others around me live stressed out, over-scheduled, chaotic, unhealthy lives because they just can’t seem to get their homes and lives under control.

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I do not spend time cleaning, organizing, purging, and simplifying my home and life because I have nothing better to do, because I’m OCD and want my home to look like a magazine, or because I’m putting up a front for my neighbors.

I do it because I know how huge of an impact an organized home and simplified schedule has on the well-being of my entire family.

If that’s not motivation enough to get organized, I’m not sure what will be.

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You won’t see results overnight, but if you want to start moving in the right direction, you can START TODAY with the 3 simple steps I’ve outlined below!

  1. Spend 15 minutes doing something to better the inside of your home (pick an area that bothers you the most).
  2. Look at your schedule and seriously evaluate if there is anything you can drop for now (or forever).
  3. Pull out some paper and a pen and make a to-do list for today or tomorrow (including what you will eat for dinner).

Do this again tomorrow… and the next day… and the next. 

Over time, you should notice a difference in your home — which is fantastic. However, you might also notice a difference in how frazzled (or not frazzled) you suddenly feel, in your own attitude towards each day, and probably even from the people you live with.

Also, you’ll be developing a few very useful habits and modeling those habits for the people you live with.

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In a nutshell, there is almost nothing bad that can come from even the smallest efforts to simplify and get more organized — you really have nothing to lose!

Even if you completely despise the acts of cleaning, purging, simplifying, and organizing, just do it for all the other benefits that could come as a result!

NOTE: I do realize this is not necessarily a ‘black and white’ issue.

If you feel like you actually want to get organized but just can’t, for whatever reason… read this post.

It might not be your fault — there are probably other factors involved! 

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15 comments

  1. Andrea

    03/13/2018

    First of all, I don’t wash sheets very often (only once a month or so). We all shower right before bed and I wash our pillow cases and pj’s regularly — so this obviously eliminates tons of extra laundry.
    Also, here’s the post I did about my laundry routine — it’s still working really well for me!
    I think the fact that you and your husband both work outside of the home is probably the main “issue” with your laundry woes — you just aren’t home nearly as much as others to be able to get more laundry accomplished. You could try running cycles during the night (On the delayed settings) but then you’d have to be diligent enough to fold it and put it away in the morning before work.

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  2. Erin

    03/13/2018

    Love all your tips. Was wonder how you combat the mountains of laundry that seem to pile up every week. Both my husband and I work and have 3 kids. I try to do 1 load a day and put it all away but a few nights a week that doesn’t happen and then I’m behind again. Come the weekend I’m behind about 4 loads again with towels and sheets- wading sheets every other week. I appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you!

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  3. Calliope

    03/13/2018

    I am honestly fed up with ppl (in laws in particular!) that come to my home and comment rather desrespectfully how organised my home/cupboards/pantry etc is!
    They simply can’t understand how I can spend so much time doing this instead of playing w my kid (!), doing other things. Their words.
    About 3 months ago I was sooooo angry that I just replied : You should try it sometime, you’d be amazed of how clean your house would FINALLY look!
    Never got a another comment ever since 😀
    I am like you. I like a clean home AND time to enjoy it or do my things so I really enjoy cleaning/organising. On the plus side, I really think I raise my son to not become a slob since everyone in the family helps to keeping it clean.
    I live in a 3 bedrooms/3 bathrooms/garden/balconies house and I’ve come to the point to need only 3 hours for the whole house.
    And this is possible only because it is unclattered and organised!
    So thank you for your blog, it is always the best read of the day!

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    Andrea Reply:

    on no — I definitely understand how frustrating this would be. Thankfully, I do not get these types of comments from family members! And yes, I definitely agree that a few hours spend cleaning each week is MORE than worth it for me!

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  4. Brenda

    03/12/2018

    I’ve discovered this winter that it helps me mentally to do all my laundry on the weekend. I get all the kids/hubby to bring all their laundry to the laundry room while I am doing the first load and I just keep at it until its done. Then, since it’s ALL done, I feel like I should take care of it. (When I never got it all done before, I wouldn’t take care of the clothes till the piles were falling over, haha. Then I don’t have to think about it for the whole week!

    I used to do the “1 load a day” method, but then it was never done and I we never put the clothes away and I always felt like we were getting dressed out of the dryer.

    My point is, sometimes finding the method that works for you is part of the challenge. I might switch back to 1 load/day during the summer when we are outside/gone more on the weekend (and I don’t care what the kids wear to daycare).

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    Andrea Reply:

    I’m glad you found the system that works for you — I know others who swear by the 1 load a day, obviously there are different methods for different people! But yes, I agree that the key is simply FINDING THE METHOD THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU! And (as you mentioned) you can always change later!

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    Tara Reply:

    I have a friend who swears by the 2-3 laundry rule… 2-3 loads of laundry per day or all the laundry every 2-3 days. I’ve found the thing that helps the most is having less clothing in general so that the mountains of laundry can’t get too big before I’ve washed them. I also have stopped doing everyone’s laundry. From the age of 5-6 my kids do their own laundry. I may help them get it in the washer but they do the rest and food and put away. The whole family folds linens together and then each does their personal laundry however often it needs to be done.we still get mountains sometimes but when it’s all sorted out per person it feels very manageable.

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  5. Meghan

    03/12/2018

    Perfectly said! I keep my home neat and decluttered and get groceries and meal plan during the week. If I didn’t, I’d have to spend my weekends doing those things. The extra effort I put in after work and in the evenings enables me to spend the weekend enjoying my family and doing things I WANT to do, not have to do. Also, my husband and I were fortunate to get away for four nights, but it wasn’t stressful for the sitter and my parents to step in and care for the kids because everything has its place. I didn’t have to spend extra time and energy getting the house ready for them. My 7 and 10 year old could probably run things!
    I’m not a naturally organized person, but reading your blog helps keep me focused!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing Meghan — and yay for a kid-free getaway!
    I’m happy you mentioned that you are not “naturally organized” but that these tips and ides still work for you!

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    Meghan Reply:

    I think there’s a saying about “spend time with the people you want to become.” You and your blog keep me motivated and inspired!

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    Andrea Reply:

    aww… thanks so much!

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  6. Summer

    03/12/2018

    I so agree! People almost always comment on how “clean” my home is, trust me it’s not, however, my home is decluttered. I do not have stuff just everywhere. My counters are vitually empty, which is sooooo much easier to clean continually and everyone is expected to take care of their own stuff. Which means moving it to your room/space.

    I love having my house picked up and knowing where things are, but truthfully I have been in some homes where I can’t fathom how they can accomplish anything with the amount of chaos everywhere. Not to be rude, but I couldn’t even concentrate in some of the homes I know and I am guessing they can’t either. Taking the time to put a little organization in your life, whether it’s your cup or tea or not, is just part of being a productive successful human being.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes — my house truly isn’t nearly as “clean” as I’d like it to be, but it IS very organized and decluttered. The organizational part is much more important to me right now as I don’t like looking at piles of papers, and stuff sitting out. If the floors are a little dirty or the toilets don’t get cleaned as often as I’d like, I can deal with it as long as my house is generally decluttered!

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  7. Glenda

    03/12/2018

    Everything you said about an organized home is so true. I am so much less stressed when things are where they belong and the house is ‘company ready.’
    Thank you for the time and thought that you put into your blog posts.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Glenda 🙂

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